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05.23.18

Links 23/5/2018: DragonFlyBSD 5.2.1 and Kata Containers 1.0 Released

Posted in News Roundup at 2:05 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • How open-source computing is making AI affordable

    computing and the cloud have brought many previously unaffordable IT options to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). The same is becoming true of artificial intelligence (AI), although it brings new challenges to all sizes of company.

    Even though many of the commercial, high-profile products are aimed at Global 2000 companies, and others marketed at SMEs are perhaps heavier on hype than intelligence, the smarter smaller organisations can learn, build on and use AI techniques right now, with those same open-source and
    .

  • Free Ebook Offers Insight on 16 Open Source AI Projects

    Open source AI is flourishing, with companies developing and open sourcing new AI and machine learning tools at a rapid pace. To help you keep up with the changes and stay informed about the latest projects, The Linux Foundation has published a free ebook by Ibrahim Haddad examining popular open source AI projects, including Acumos AI, Apache Spark, Caffe, TensorFlow, and others.

    “It is increasingly common to see AI as open source projects,” Haddad said. And, “as with any technology where talent premiums are high, the network effects of open source are very strong.”

  • Open source image recognition with Luminoth

    Computer vision is a way to use artificial intelligence to automate image recognition—that is, to use computers to identify what’s in a photograph, video, or another image type. The latest version of Luminoth (v. 0.1), an open source computer vision toolkit built in Python and using Tensorflow and Sonnet, offers several improvements over its predecessor.

  • Finally: Historic Eudora email code goes open source

    The source code to the Eudora email client is being released by the Computer History Museum, after five years of discussion with the IP owner, Qualcomm.

    The Mac software was well loved by early internet adopters and power users, with versions appearing for Palm, Newton and Windows. At one time, the brand was so synonymous with email that Lycos used Eudora to brand its own webmail service. As the Mountain View, California museum has noted, “It’s hard to overstate Eudora’s popularity in the mid-1990s.”

  • The Computer History Museum Just Made Eudora Open Source
  • Openlab: what it is and why it matters

    Six months on from its announcement at Openstack Summit Sydney in late 2017, community testing project OpenLab is in full swing.

    OpenLab was initially formed by Intel, Huawei and the OpenStack foundation as a community-led project for improving SDK support and also introducing other platforms like Kubernetes and Cloud Foundry to the Openstack environment. Ultimately the idea is to improve usability in hybrid and multi-cloud environments.

    Melvin Hillsman sits on the governance board along with Dr Yih Leong Sun of Intel and Chris Hoge from the Foundation. Hillsman moved from Rackspace to Huawei to work specifically on the project.

    “The reason we think Openlab is important is, basically, Openstack for some time has been very specific about testing and integration for Openstack services, focusing only on the projects started at Openstack,” Hillsman tellsComputerworld UK at the Openstack Vancouver Summit. “It’s been working very well, it’s a robust system. But for me as a person in the user community – my getting involved in Openstack was more on the operator-user side.

  • Open source innovation tips for the customer-driven economy

    New technologies, ranging from big data and blockchain to 3D printing, are giving rise to new opportunities and challenges for companies today. To stay competitive, organizations need to become more intelligent, customer-centric, and increasingly agile to cope with changing business demands.

    The worry for many companies which are trying to innovate is that while the speed and scope of applications are expanding rapidly, the variety and complexity of technology is increasing simultaneously, putting pressure on their IT infrastructure.

    Speaking at the SUSE Expert Days 2018 held in Singapore recently, Dr Gerald Pfeifer, VP of Products and Technology Program, SUSE, told attendees that these prevailing trends have come together to make Open Source the primary engine for business innovation.

  • Qualcomm is able to release the Snapdragon 845 source code in 6 weeks

    Qualcomm‘s latest high-end system-on-chip, the Qualcomm Snapdragon 845, was announced at the Snapdragon Tech Summit back in December. The chipset offers 4 Kryo 385 (A75 “performance”) and 4 Kryo 385 (A55 “efficiency”) CPU cores, the latest Adreno 630 GPU, the Spectra 280 ISP, the Hexagon 685 DSP, the Snapdragon X20 LTE modem, and a new Secure Processing Unit (SPU). The Snapdragon 845 SoC is a powerhouse in benchmarks and it is already available in devices like the Samsung Galaxy S9/S9+, Xiaomi Mi Mix 2S, and the OnePlus 6. Developers on our forums have been itching to get their hands on a device with Qualcomm’s latest and greatest, but there’s just one thing that has made some developers worry about the future of development on the platform: The lack of publicly available source code for the kernel, HALs, framework branches, and more on the CodeAurora Forums.

  • SaaS/Back End

    • Kata Containers 1.0

      The 1.0 release of Kata Containers is here! Thank you to the more than 40 individuals who have contributed to the first release of Kata Containers and to developing the Kata community.

    • VM-container chimera Kata Containers emerges from lab

      The open source Kata Containers project, an effort to combine the security advantages of virtual machines with the deployment and management advantages of software-based containers, hit its 1.0 milestone on Tuesday.

      Forged from a merger of Intel’s Clear Containers and Hyper’s runV announced last December, Kata Containers delivers an Open Container Initiative (OCI)-compatible runtime that addresses the downside of traditional container architecture, a shared kernel.

    • Kata Containers Project Releases 1.0 to Build Secure Container Infrastructure
    • Kata Containers 1.0
    • OpenStack Makes its Open Source CI/CD Platform Available to the Wider World

      The OpenStack Foundation made Zuul, an open source continuous integration/continuous development (CI/CD) platform, into an independent project. Zuul also released version 3 of its software.

      Zuul was originally developed for OpenStack CI testing and has since attracted contributors and users across many different organizations, including BMW, GoDaddy, OpenLab, and Wikimedia. It’s the third project to be managed by the OpenStack Foundation, joining OpenStack and Kata Containers.

    • Kata Containers 1.0 Released, Formerly Intel Clear Containers

      Back in December was the announcement of Intel’s Clear Containers being spun into a new project called Kata Containers in collaboration with other organizations. Kata Containers has now reached their version 1.0 milestone.

      Kata Containers 1.0 is now available for this container technology designed for offering a secure and scalable container experience built atop Intel VT technology.

    • What’s new in OpenStack?

      As OpenStack Foundation Chief Operating Officer Mark Collier referenced in his opening keynote, the uses which OpenStack is seeing today expand far beyond what most who were involved in the early days of the project could have ever imagined. While OpenStack started out primarily in the traditional data center and found many large-scale users, particularly in the telecommunications industry, who were using it to manage huge installations of traditional x86 server hardware, the flexibility of OpenStack has today allowed it to thrive in many other environments and use cases.

      Today, we see OpenStack powering everything from academic and research projects to media and gaming services, from online retail and e-commerce to manufacturing and industrial applications, and from finance to healthcare. OpenStack is found in all of these different places not just because it is cheaper than using the public cloud, not just because it makes compliance with various regulations easier, but because its open source code makes it flexible to all sort of different situations.

  • Databases

    • Should Red Hat Buy or Build a Database?

      For a decade, at least, observers of the company have speculated about whether Red Hat would or should enter the database market. The primary argument, one made in this space eight years ago, has historically been that Red Hat is de facto leaving potential dollars on the table by limiting itself to operating platform and immediately adjacent markets. In a more recent piece, analyst Krishnan Subramanian adds that Red Hat is at risk because databases represent a control point, one that the company is effectively ceding to competitors such as AWS or Microsoft.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • LibreOffice 6.1 Beta Arrives Next Week for Second Bug Hunting Session on May 28

      Now that the first bug hunting session, which took place last month on April 27 for the alpha milestone, was a success leading to 91 bugs (8 of them marked as critical and 4 already fixed) being reported by those who attended the event, it’s time for a second bug hunting session at the end of May to discover and squash more of those pesky bugs and issues that may block the release of LibreOffice 6.1.

  • Pseudo-Open Source (Openwashing)

  • Funding

    • Tidelift Raises $15M Series A From General Catalyst, Foundry, & Others

      This morning Tidelift, a startup focused on helping developers work with open source technology, announced that it has closed a $15 million Series A round of funding co-led by General Catalyst, Foundry, and Matthew Szulik, the former CEO of Red Hat, a public open source-centered technology company.

      The subscription-powered startup has an interesting business model which we’ll dive into shortly, but it’s worth noting that the open source space as a whole is quite active. It’s something that Crunchbase News covered last year, describing how startups working with open source software have enjoyed a dramatic rise in investor interest.

      That puts Tidelift in the midst of a trend.

    • Tidelift lands $15M to deliver professional open-source support

      Tidelift Inc. is raising $15 million as it looks to boost its unique open-source software model that sees companies pay for professional support of their favorite projects, allowing those that maintain them to get compensated too.

      The Series A round was led by the investment firms General Catalyst and Foundry Group, as well as former Red Hat Inc. Chairman and Chief Executive Matthew Szulik. The company was able to attract the investment after coming up with a novel idea for maintaining the most popular open-source software projects in a way that benefits both the users and those who help to create them.

      It works like this: Companies pay a subscription fee that entitles them to professional-grade support, similar to the kind of commercial subscriptions offered by firms such as Red Hat, Cloudera Inc. and Docker Inc. A part of these fees are then used to pay the developers who maintain the software. The net result, at least in theory, is that everyone is happy, as companies enjoy the benefits of professional support at lower rates than they might expect from an established firm, and the developers of the software are finally rewarded for their efforts.

  • BSD

    • DragonFlyBSD 5.2.1 Released

      While DragonFlyBSD 5.3/5.4 is exciting on the performance front for those making use of the stable DragonFly operating system releases, DragonFlyBSD 5.2.1 is available this week.

      This is the first and perhaps only point release over DragonFly 5.2.0 that premiered back in April. DragonFlyBSD 5.2 brought stabilization work for HAMMER2 to make it ready for more users, Spectre and Meltdown kernel work, and months worth of other important updates.

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

  • Public Services/Government

    • Do European Governments Publish Open Source Software?

      From time to time I come across news articles about Governmental bodies in Europe adopting the use of Open Source Software. This seems to be a slowly increasing trend. But if European Governments make software for themselves, or are having it made for them, do they publish that software as Open Source?

      This was a question that came up in a meeting at one of my clients. To find an answer, I asked my friends at the FSFE NL-team and did a Quick Scan. Here are the results.

      The short answer: Yes, they do!

      The longer answer: read on.

  • Programming/Development

Leftovers

  • Bill Gates Tries and Fails To Install Windows Movie Maker In Epic 2003 Email Rant
  • Science

    • Tempow raises $4 million to improve Bluetooth

      French startup Tempow has raised a $4 million funding round. Balderton Capital led the round, with C4 Ventures also participating. The company has been working on improving the Bluetooth protocol to make it more versatile.

  • Health/Nutrition

    • Africa Takes Steps For Access To Medicines: Conference To Fight Fakes, Develop Local Production

      A week after African ministers of health adopted a treaty for the establishment of an African Medicines Agency, an international conference held on the side of the World Health Assembly denounced the rampant and increasing issue of fake medicines in Africa, and the lack of adequate action and political will. The Benin president said Benin’s efforts to fight traffickers is so far unsupported, and called developed countries to commit to the fight. Other speakers insisted on the importance of local production of medicines, and the need for biting legislation to defeat fake medicines.

      [...]

      The AMA was praised at the OIF conference, which was meant to bring to the international attention the issue of falsified and sub-standard medicines, everywhere in the world, but in particular in francophone Africa, and what is needed to curb the rampant criminal trade.

      Michel Sidibé, executive director of UNAIDS, opening the conference, said Africa is bearing 25 percent of the global weight of disease, but only produces about 3 percent of the medicines it needs. He called for a criminalisation of fake medicines manufacturers and distributors.

    • 50 Years Of Global Health Progress – Interview With IFPMA Head Thomas Cueni

      Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General, in his inaugural speech at the World Health Assembly this week, explained that partnerships are a key strategy for the WHO to ensuring healthy lives and promoting well-being for all at all ages. He added that the WHO is engaging with the private sector as a crucial partner in achieving health for all. Thomas Cueni, IFPMA’s Director General, in an interview with Health Policy Watch on the occasion of the IFPMA’s 50-year anniversary, explains how the research-based biopharmaceutical industry together with IFPMA have contributed to the huge strides in health progress over 50 years. He explains the major leaps forward, setbacks and mistakes, as well as how industry is part of the solution, as “do-ers” and partners in global health progress. Cueni also talks about pricing and cost of R&D.

  • Security

    • efail: Outdated Crypto Standards are to blame

      I have a lot of thoughts about the recently published efail vulnerability, so I thought I’d start to writeup some of them. I’d like to skip all the public outrage about the disclosure process for now, as I mainly wanted to get into the technical issues, explain what I think went wrong and how things can become more secure in the future. I read lots of wrong statements that “it’s only the mail clients” and the underlying crypto standards are fine, so I’ll start by explaining why I believe the OpenPGP and S/MIME standards are broken and why we still see these kinds of bugs in 2018. I plan to do a second writeup that will be titled “efail: HTML mails are to blame”.

      I assume most will have heard of efail by now, but the quick version is this: By combining a weakness in cryptographic modes along with HTML emails a team of researchers was able to figure out a variety of ways in which mail clients can be tricked into exfiltrating the content of encrypted e-mails. Not all of the attack scenarios involve crypto, but those that do exploit a property of encryption modes that is called malleability. It means that under certain circumstances you can do controlled changes of the content of an encrypted message.

      [...]

      Properly using authenticated encryption modes can prevent a lot of problems. It’s been a known issue in OpenPGP, but until know it wasn’t pressing enough to fix it. The good news is that with minor modifications OpenPGP can still be used safely. And having a future OpenPGP standard with proper authenticated encryption is definitely possible. For S/MIME the situation is much more dire and it’s probably best to just give up on it. It was never a good idea in the first place to have competing standards for e-mail encryption.

      For other crypto protocols there’s a lesson to be learned as well: Stop using unauthenticated encryption modes. If anything efail should make that abundantly clear.

    • Comcast Leaked Customer Wi-Fi Logins in Plaintext, Change Your Passcode Now

      A Comcast Xfinity website was leaking Wi-Fi names and passwords, meaning now is a good time to change your Wi-Fi passcode.

      The site, intended to help new customers set up new routers, could easily be fooled into revealing the location of and password for any customer’s Wi-Fi network. A customer ID and a house or apartment number was all would-be attackers needed to get full access to your network, along with your full address.

    • Update Fedora Linux using terminal for latest software patches
    • Patch for New Spectre-Like CPU Bug Could Affect Your Performance
    • container_t versus svirt_lxc_net_t
    • Linux Redis Automated Mining For Worm Analysis and Safety Advice [Ed: Rather old an issue]

      Since Redis has not authorized the disclosure of the attack method of root authority of Linux system, because of its ease-of-use, the hacking behaviors of mining and scanning of Linux services by using this issue have been endless. Among the many cases that handle this problem to invade the server for black production, there is a class of mining that USES this problem and can automatically scan the infected machine with pnscan. The attack has always been there, but it has shown a recent trend of increasing numbers, which has been captured many times, and we’ve been able to do a specific analysis of it.

    • Turla cyberespionage group switched to open-source malware [Ed: Crackers share code, so let's badmouth FOSS?]

      The Turla cyberespionage group has implemented some new tactics over the last few months incorporating some open-source exploitation tools instead of relying solely on their own creations to run campaigns.

      ESET researchers found that starting in March the Turla has been leveraging the open-source framework Metasploit to drop the group’s proprietary Mosquito backdoor. The group has periodically used open-source hacking tools for other tasks, but ESET believes the group has never before used Metasploit as a first stage backdoor.

    • A Complete Beginner’s Guide to Not Getting Hacked

      Crackers are so to speak the evil hackers. Although these very often also do not offer the possibilities in order to do justice to the descriptions of the media. Then there are the would-be hackers, also called ScriptKiddies who use themTrojan2 and pre-programmed programs to get into computers and do damage.

      The “Kiddie” leads is a departure from the English “kid” (child), since young people are often behind such attacks. Due to their young age and lack of experience, ScriptKiddies often do not even know what they are doing. Let me give you an example. I have seen ScriptKiddies that use methods to intrude into Windows NT Calculator tried to break into a Linux machine. ScriptKiddies are often bored teenagers who try to have fun with the first tool. These tools are usually so simply knitted that actually, each normal, somewhat educated user can serve them.

      [...]

      According to Blendrit, co-founder at Tactica “One thing is clear: this language culture is constantly evolving, and many words find their way into the media, where they have a completely different meaning. Just as our most famous word, “hacker”, has fared.”

    • More Meltdown/Spectre Variants
    • Spectre V2 & Meltdown Linux Fixes Might Get Disabled For Atom N270 & Other In-Order CPUs

      There’s a suggestion/proposal to disable the Spectre Variant Two and Meltdown mitigation by default with the Linux kernel for in-order CPUs.

      If you have an old netbook still in use or the other once popular devices powered by the Intel Atom N270 or other in-order processors, there may be some reprieve when upgrading kernels in the future to get the Spectre/Meltdown mitigation disabled by default since these CPUs aren’t vulnerable to attack but having the mitigation in place can be costly performance-wise.

    • Linux 4.17 Lands Initial Spectre V4 “Speculative Store Bypass” For POWER CPUs

      Following yesterday’s public disclosure of Spectre Variant Four, a.k.a. Speculative Store Bypass, the Intel/AMD mitigation work immediately landed while overnight the POWER CPU patch landed.

    • New Variant Of Spectre And Meltdown CPU Flaw Found; Fix Affects Performance
    • Ubuntu 18.04 LTS Gets First Kernel Update with Patch for Spectre Variant 4 Flaw

      Canonical released the first kernel security update for its Ubuntu 18.04 LTS (Bionic Beaver) operating system to fix a security issue that affects this release of Ubuntu and its derivatives.

      As you can imagine, the kernel security update patches the Ubuntu 18.04 LTS (Bionic Beaver) operating system against the recently disclosed Speculative Store Buffer Bypass (SSBB) side-channel vulnerability, also known as Spectre Variant 4 or CVE-2018-3639, which could let a local attacker expose sensitive information in vulnerable systems.

    • RHEL and CentOS Linux 7 Receive Mitigations for Spectre Variant 4 Vulnerability

      As promised earlier this week, Red Hat released software mitigations for all of its affected products against the recently disclosed Spectre Variant 4 security vulnerability that also affects its derivatives, including CentOS Linux.

      On May 21, 2018, security researchers from Google Project Zero and Microsoft Security Response Center have publicly disclosed two new variants of the industry-wide issue known as Spectre, variants 3a and 4. The latter, Spectre Variant 4, is identified as CVE-2018-3639 and appears to have an important security impact on any Linux-based operating system, including all of its Red Hat’s products and its derivatives, such as CentOS Linux.

  • Defence/Aggression

    • A New Flotilla Steams Towards Gaza

      Elizabeth Murray is aboard a new flotilla to highlight the illegality of the 12-year old blockade that is choking the people of Gaza.

      [...]

      Elizabeth Murray served as Deputy National Intelligence Officer for the Near East in the National Intelligence Council before retiring after a 27-year career in the U.S. government, where she specialized in Middle Eastern political and media analysis. She is a member of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS).

    • An Alarming Tip About a Neo-Nazi Marine, Then An Uncertain Response

      It was Oct. 29, 2017, when Ed Beck decided he had to contact the military police.

      For weeks, Beck had been tracking the online life of a 21-year-old lance corporal in the U.S. Marine Corps. He said he had concluded the young man, a North Carolina native named Vasillios Pistolis, was deeply involved in neo-Nazi and white supremacist activities.

      Beck said he had compiled an exhaustive dossier on the young Marine, tracing the evolution of Pistolis’ racist worldview over recent years and linking him to violent altercations at the bloody white power rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, last August. The most recent piece of evidence, Beck said, was a fresh video that appeared to show Pistolis standing alongside a leader of the Traditionalist Worker Party, a fascist group, during a confrontation with an interracial couple at a restaurant in a suburb of Nashville, Tennessee.

      Beck was well positioned both to be offended by Pistolis’ alleged conduct and to report it: Beck had served in the Marines from 2002 through 2006, including a tour in Iraq. In fact, he’d been assigned to the 2nd Marine Logistics Unit, the same unit in which Pistolis was serving.

      Beck said he contacted the authorities at the unit’s headquarters, Camp Lejeune, a large Marine Installation on the North Carolina coast, and spoke briefly with an investigator for the post’s military police.

    • Drones Don’t Wear Uniforms. They Should.

      The video from Gaza starts with a just-visible multirotor drone juxtaposed against a remarkably blue sky. A group of TV journalists in blue helmets stand at the bottom of the frame, looking up at it. It hangs there for a second, and then tear gas canisters fall from it, issuing waving tails of white smoke. The canisters come to earth immediately in front of the cameras, and the reporters begin to run in all directions, coughing. The camera looks to the blue sky again, and the little black dot recedes, mysteriously, into the distance.

      Welcome to the next stage of the drone revolution.

      Israel may have become the first-ever nation observed using armed consumer drones in a real-world setting on March 12, when a Lebanese news network ran footage (probably dating from March 9) of one dropping tear gas on Gazan protesters. The deployment of drones against crowds of protesters — even armed ones — raises new and worrying questions about legality, identification, and purpose. Such usage may be unavoidable, but the international community at the very least needs to establish — and enforce — legal and ethical standards as soon as possible.

    • Real-Life CIA Card Game Makes Toppling Governments Fun!

      Maybe it’s because I’m a games journalist, but I really do believe that everything is a game. It’s just that some games have vastly higher stakes than others. There’s a big difference between The Game of Life the board game and The Game of the Life the experience of existing in this world.

      And you know who’s even better at turning incredibly serious real-world events into the most dangerous games? The Central Intelligence Agency. That’s why we were saddened but not at all surprised to learn there’s a card game being made based on real-life CIA tactics.

    • Forced to Choose Between a Job — and a Community

      After high school, Arnett joined the U.S. Marine Corps, in 1999. His unit, the 1st Battalion, 7th Marines — the storied Suicide Charley — took him to the other side of the world: South Korea, Japan, Thailand. In the spring of 2003 he was an infantryman in the invasion of Iraq, spending five months in country — Baghdad, Tikrit, Najaf.

  • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

    • WikiLeaks suspect Joshua Schulte accused of leaking to reporters from behind bars: Reports

      A former CIA employee suspected of leaking classified documents to WikiLeaks was accused Monday of sharing secrets with reporters involving the government’s case against him.

      Joshua Schulte, 29, violated a September 2017 protective order barring him from discussing elements of his case, Assistant U.S. Attorney Matthew Laroche argued in Manhattan federal court Monday, local media reported.

      “It is clear the defendant is discussing the search warrants,” Mr. Laroche said, according to New York Daily News.

      Mr. Schulte was arrested last year on federal child porn charges, though it only emerged last week that prosecutors also suspect he leaked top-secret CIA hacking tools published by WikiLeaks in 2017 under the label “Vault 7.”

    • GOP lawmaker: Julian Assange is a ‘very honorable man’

      Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Calif.) praised WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange in an interview published on Wednesday, calling him honorable.

      “He’s a very honorable man,” Rohrabacher told CNN.

      The California congressman visited Assange last August at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London to discuss the 2016 hacking of the Democratic National Committee (DNC), which Assange has said he believes was an “inside job” and not perpetrated by the Russian government.

      After his meeting with Assange, Rohrabacher said there was no evidence to suggest the hacking of the DNC was spearheaded by the Kremlin.

    • A GOP congressman’s lonely quest defending Julian Assange

      President Trump’s secretary of state has dubbed Julian Assange’s group WikiLeaks a “hostile intelligence service.” Trump’s national security adviser once called on the US to use WikiLeaks for “target practice.” And his attorney general asserted that the arrest of Assange remains a “priority” for the United States.
      But Rep. Dana Rohrabacher sees Assange differently.
      “He’s a very honorable man,” Rohrabacher told CNN.

      Rohrabacher, a California Republican facing a potentially difficult re-election this fall, occupies an unusual space in politics. He’s an unapologetic defender of someone viewed as a villain in Washington and a sharp skeptic of the widely held view in Congress and from US intelligence agencies that Russia meddled in the US elections.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife/Nature

    • We Examined 885 European Cities’ Plans To Tackle Climate Change — Here’s What We Found

      Around the world, cities endeavor to cut greenhouse gas emissions, while adapting to the threats – and opportunities – presented by climate change. It’s no easy task, but the first step is to make a plan outlining how to meet the targets set out in the Paris Agreement, and help limit the world’s mean temperature rise to less than two degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.

      About 74% of Europe’s population lives in cities, and urban settlements account for 60-80% of carbon emissions – so it makes sense to plan at an urban level. Working to meet carbon reduction targets can also reduce local pollution and increase energy efficiency – which benefits both businesses and residents.

      But it’s just as important for cities to adapt to climate change – even if the human race were to cut emissions entirely, we would still be facing the extreme effects of climate change for decades to come, because of the increased carbon input that has already taken place since the industrial revolution.

    • The Netherlands Announces Ban On Coal, Plans Close Of 2 Power Plants By 2024

      The Netherlands has announced that it will ban the use of coal for electricity generation from 2030 onwards, and that the two oldest plants must close by the end of 2024, in a move that Germany utility company RWE has deemed “ill judged.”

    • City Trees Are Disappearing

      Forests are essential to combating climate change. They drink up huge amounts of planet-heating carbon from the atmosphere and provide shelter for species struggling to adapt to global warming. For that reason, experts have called for measures to protect forests. But what about trees in cites? We hear much less about them. Yet the trees that line streets and backyards are just as important as those in the forest — actually, maybe even more so. And we are losing them, too.

      New research suggests that American cities and their surrounding areas have been losing as many as 36 million trees a year. That might not sound like a lot when you think about the number of trees in our nation’s forests, but those trees have a powerful impact on health and well-being — and on climate change.

  • Finance

    • Amid Affordable Housing Dispute, Conservatives Seek a Home in Chicago

      When news broke last week that a proposed affordable housing development on Chicago’s Northwest Side had likely been put on hold, Ammie Kessem, a Republican candidate for state representative, vowed on Facebook that it wasn’t the end of the story. Democrats, Kessem wrote, would pay for pushing the plan — including 45th Ward Ald. John Arena, its chief sponsor, and Kessem’s opponent, state Rep. Robert Martwick.

      Martwick, she wrote, “cannot continue to hide on this subject. … The people are going to hold you accountable for it come November.”

      Kessem’s opposition to building the affordable housing complex in her neighborhood has been a central part of her campaign for the Illinois House. And she’s had help.

    • A Guide for Digging Through Trump’s Financial Disclosures

      When President Donald Trump’s latest financial disclosure form was released last week, we dropped what we were doing and started digging.

      We found a few things, including some newly registered companies and a jump in revenue for Trump Productions, which helped produce shows like “The Apprentice” and the lesser-known dating show, “Donald J. Trump Presents: The Ultimate Merger.”

      We’ve decided to show how we did it so you can help us go deeper. Below are tips and tricks for finding noteworthy items buried in the 92-page disclosure.

      First, some background. Trump’s financial disclosure form, which he files each year with the U.S. Office of Government Ethics, provides the most detailed account available of the president’s finances, from his sprawling business empire to individual payments made to his personal attorney, Michael Cohen. The forms are the best window we have into his financial holdings. (His tax returns would also be helpful, but he hasn’t released those.)

      To see newly created companies, we put Trump’s new disclosure form next to last year’s form. That’s how we found T Retail LLC, an “online retail business; startup” that’s listed in the 2018 disclosure, but not in the 2017 one.

    • The ‘Black Hole’ That Sucks Up Silicon Valley’s Money

      The San Francisco Bay Area has rapidly become the richest region in the country—the Census Bureau said last year that median household income was $96,777. It’s a place where $100,000 Teslas are commonplace, “raw water” goes for $37 a jug, and injecting clients with the plasma of youth —a gag on the television show Silicon Valley—is being tried by real companies for just $8,000 a pop.

      Yet Sacred Heart Community Service, a San Jose nonprofit that helps low-income families with food, clothing, heating bills, and other services, actually received less in individual donations from the community in 2017 than it did the previous year. “We’re still not sure what it could be attributed to,” Jill Mitsch, the funds development manager at Sacred Heart, told me. It’s not the only nonprofit trying to keep donations up—the United Way of Silicon Valley folded in 2016 amidst stagnant contributions.

  • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • The Tired Trope of Blaming Trump on ‘Liberal Smugness’

      In an attempt to understand the coalition that gave Trump his narrow victory, for the past year and a half the press has spun a whole new subgenre of stilted, tautological feature reporting on how Trump supporters support Trump (FAIR.org, 2/15/17).

      And in their opinion sections, corporate media have fared no better. They have routinely given platforms to those who claim, with little to no firm evidence, that Trump’s election and his steady (though historically low) popularity (as well as his predicted eventual reelection) are all partly if not wholly the fault of liberal smugness and left-wing political correctness run amok.

    • Giuliani’s New Stance On Russian Collusion: So What? It’s Not Illegal.

      His client insists there was “NO COLLUSION” with Russia to win the presidency, but Donald Trump’s lead lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, has a new theory of the case: What’s the big deal if he did?

      In a recent interview with HuffPost, Giuliani initially disputed the notion that Trump’s daily citing, in the final month of his campaign, of Russian-aligned WikiLeaks and its release of Russian-stolen emails constituted “colluding” with Russia.

      “It is not,” Giuliani said.

      Then he switched tacks.

    • ‘Collusion’ and the insane media divide
    • Yes, a Reasonable Prosecutor Would Have Ordered an Investigation of the Trump Campaign

      We’re rapidly reaching a point in the Russia investigation where partisan opinion revolves almost entirely around unproven assertions. On the anti-Trump left (and parts of the Never Trump right) there exists a burning conviction that Robert Mueller “has the goods” — that there is strong evidence of criminal collusion by Trump and/or his campaign, and critics of the investigation intend to either block Mueller before he can deliver his final report or discredit his conclusions to save the Trump presidency.

      Conversely, among the president’s supporters, there is now a presumption that the entire Russia investigation was and is a bad-faith effort by the “deep state” to create an “insurance policy” against a Trump victory — that there was never reason to investigate Trump, and each new revelation about a different investigatory technique (national-security letters, informants, FISA applications, etc.) is proof of additional wrongdoing.

  • Censorship/Free Speech

  • Privacy/Surveillance

    • Tor Hidden Services

      When people write privacy guides, for the most part they are written from the perspective of the client. Whether you are using HTTPS, blocking tracking cookies or going so far as to browse the internet over Tor, those privacy guides focus on helping end users protect themselves from the potentially malicious and spying web. Since many people who read Linux Journal sit on the other side of that equation—they run the servers that host those privacy-defeating services—system administrators also should step up and do their part to help user privacy. Although part of that just means making sure your services support TLS, in this article, I describe how to go one step further and make it possible for your users to use your services completely anonymously via Tor hidden services.

    • Google sued for ‘clandestine tracking’ of 4.4m UK iPhone users’ browsing data

      Google is being sued in the high court for as much as £3.2bn for the alleged “clandestine tracking and collation” of personal information from 4.4 million iPhone users in the UK.

      The collective action is being led by former Which? director Richard Lloyd over claims Google bypassed the privacy settings of Apple’s Safari browser on iPhones between August 2011 and February 2012 in order to divide people into categories for advertisers.

    • Google Sued For Secretly Collecting Data Of 4.4 Million iPhone Users

      Google has been accused of “clandestine tracking” of 4.4 million iPhone users in the UK and is facing a lawsuit in the high court for as much as £3.2 billion.

    • FBI repeatedly overstated encryption threat figures to Congress, public

      The FBI has repeatedly provided grossly inflated statistics to Congress and the public about the extent of problems posed by encrypted cellphones, claiming investigators were locked out of nearly 7,800 devices connected to crimes last year when the correct number was much smaller, probably between 1,000 and 2,000, The Washington Post has learned.

    • FBI Admits It’s Been Using A Highly-Inflated Number Of Locked Devices To Push Its ‘Going Dark’ Narrative

      Call it a lie. Call it a misrepresentation. Call it a convenient error. Call it what you want. Just don’t call it a fact. Devlin Barrett at the Washington Post delivers a bombshell: the thousands of phones the FBI supposedly just can’t crack despite a wealth of tech solutions at its disposal? It’s nowhere near as many as consecutive FBI directors have claimed.

      [...]

      The FBI’s count was inflated by bad software and sloppy recordkeeping. But it had no incentive to fix it. Even if the error was never detected by the methodology test, someone should have asked how the FBI’s stash of locked phones suddenly exploded from less than 900 to nearly 8,000 in 18 months. But, given the IG’s findings about its slow-walked search for outside tech solutions in the Apple court battle, any red flags were probably ignored in favor of pushing the most dramatic “going dark” narrative possible. Why ask why? Just go with the more jaw-dropping number, even if there’s no physical evidence to back the claim.

    • Ministry of Defence calls for registry of AI experts

      THE UK’S MINISTRY OF DEFENCE has suggested that the government should build a registry of security-cleared artificial intelligence and robotics experts, who can be called-up should Queen and country ever require their services.

      That’s according to a new Ministry of Defence Joint Concept Note entitled Human and Machine Teaming. It also laments the UK’s technical skills shortages and calls for ‘a register of security-cleared UK nationals’ with AI and robotics expertise.

      The document sets out the Ministry’s vision of the future in a world where artificial intelligence is critical to national defence.

      With development of both AI and robotics shifting from the public sector to the private sector, ‘civil commercial investment in AI and robotic technologies, and the recruitment of subject matter experts’, is vastly outstripping the resources available to nation states.

    • President Trump Thinks Basic Phone Security Is Simply Too Inconvenient

      For the past year much has been made of the President’s unwillingness to adhere to anything close to reasonable security when using his mobile phones. Whereas the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) and the National Security Agency usually work in concert providing state leaders with “hardened” devices that are heavily encrypted, routinely updated, and frequently swapped out, Trump has refused to use these more secure DMCC-S devices (effectively a Samsung Galaxy S4 device utilizing Samsung’s Knox security architecture) because they apparently infringe on his ability to Tweet.

    • Folks are shocked – shocked – that CIA-backed Amazon is selling face-recog tech to US snoops, cops

      The American Civil Liberties Union on Tuesday expressed dismay that Amazon Web Services has been urging US government agencies to use its Rekognition API for state-sponsored facial recognition.

      The advocacy organization published emails obtained over a six-month investigation documenting marketing efforts by Amazon employees to convince officials in Orlando, Florida, and Washington County, Oregon, to deploy its cloud-based image analysis tech.

    • Amazon Teams Up With Law Enforcement to Deploy Dangerous New Facial Recognition Technology

      Amazon, which got its start selling books and still bills itself as “Earth’s most customer-centric company,” has officially entered the surveillance business.

      The company has developed a powerful and dangerous new facial recognition system and is actively helping governments deploy it. Amazon calls the service “Rekognition.”

      Marketing materials and documents obtained by ACLU affiliates in three states reveal a product that can be readily used to violate civil liberties and civil rights. Powered by artificial intelligence, Rekognition can identify, track, and analyze people in real time and recognize up to 100 people in a single image. It can quickly scan information it collects against databases featuring tens of millions of faces, according to Amazon.

    • ACLU Obtains Documents Showing Amazon Is Handing Out Cheap Facial Recognition Tech To Law Enforcement

      It’s already been deployed to several areas around the country, with Amazon acting as the government’s best friend a la AT&T historic proactive cooperation with NSA surveillance efforts. The documents [PDF] obtained by the ACLU show Amazon has been congratulated by local law enforcement officials for a “first-of-its-kind public-private partnership,” thanks to its deployment efforts. On top of providing deployment assistance, Amazon also offers troubleshooting and “best practices” for officers using the tech. It has even offered free consulting to agencies expressing an interest in Rekognition.

      These efforts aren’t surprising in and of themselves, although Amazon’s complicity in erecting a law enforcement surveillance structure certainly is. Amazon is looking to capture an underserved market, and the more proactive it is, the more market it will secure before competitors arrive. To further cement its position in the marketplace, Amazon is limiting what law enforcement agencies can say about these public-private partnerships.

    • FBI Admits It Inflated Number of Supposedly Unhackable Devices

      We’ve learned that the FBI has been misinforming Congress and the public as part of its call for backdoor access to encrypted devices. For months, the Bureau has claimed that encryption prevented it from legally searching the contents of nearly 7,800 devices in 2017, but today the Washington Post reports that the actual number is far lower due to “programming errors” by the FBI.

      Frankly, we’re not surprised. FBI Director Christopher Wray and others argue that law enforcement needs some sort of backdoor “exceptional access” in order to deal with the increased adoption of encryption, particularly on mobile devices. And the 7,775 supposedly unhackable phones encountered by the FBI in 2017 have been central to Wray’s claim that their investigations are “Going Dark.” But the scope of this problem is called into doubt by services offered by third-party vendors like Cellebrite and Grayshift, which can reportedly bypass encryption on even the newest phones. The Bureau’s credibility on this issue was also undercut by a recent DOJ Office of the Inspector General report, which found that internal failures of communication caused the government to make false statements about its need for Apple to assist in unlocking a seized iPhone as part of the San Bernardino case.

  • Civil Rights/Policing

    • Should AI Always Identify Itself? It’s more complicated than you might think.

      The Google Duplex demos released two weeks ago—audio recordings of the company’s new AI system scheduling a hair appointment and the other of the system calling a restaurant—are at once unsettling and astounding. The system is designed to enable the Google personal assistant to make telephone calls and conduct natural conversations, and it works; it’s hard to tell who is the robot and who is the human. The demos have drawn both awe and criticism, including calls that the company is “ethically lost” for failing to disclose that the caller was actually a bot and for adding human filler sounds, like “um” and “ah,” that some see as deceptive.

      In response to this criticism, Google issued a statement noting that these recordings were only demos, that it is designing the Duplex feature “with disclosure built-in,” and that it is going “make sure the system is appropriately identified.” We’re glad that Google plans to be build transparency into this technology. There are many cases, and this may be one of them, where it makes sense for AIs or bots to be labeled as such, so that people can appropriately calibrate their responses. But across-the-board legally mandated AI- or bot-labeling proposals, such as a bill currently under consideration in California, raise significant free speech concerns.

      The California bill, B.O.T. Act of 2018 (S.B. 1001), would make it unlawful for any person to use a social bot to communicate or interact with natural persons online without disclosing that the bot is not a natural person. The bill—which EFF opposes due to its over-breadth—is influenced by the Russian bots that plagued social media prior to the 2016 election and spambots used for fraud or commercial gain. But there are many other types of social bots, and this bill targets all of them. By targeting all bots instead of the specific type of bots driving the legislation, this bill would restrict and chill the use of bots for protected speech activities. EFF has urged the bill’s sponsor to withdraw the proposal until this fundamental constitutional deficiency is addressed.

    • Jeff Sessions Wants Police to Use Stop and Frisk Without Reasonable Suspicion

      The attorney general’s recent comments reaffirm his support for unconstitutional policing.

      Attorney General Jeff Sessions has claimed that the settlement of a lawsuit brought by the ACLU of Illinois against the Chicago Police Department resulted in approximately 236 additional victims killed and over 1,100 additional shootings in 2016 alone. This represents a new low for Sessions. He is wrong on the facts — there was no ACLU lawsuit — and wrong on what is required by the Constitution.

      This is not the first time Sessions has been wrong on the facts and argued for bias-filled unconstitutional policies that have been abject failures. He said nothing when the president expressly encouraged police officers not to worry about injuring suspects during arrests. In one of his first actions, he sought to back out of a consent decree imposed on the Baltimore Police Department, but the judge in the case refused his request. He has opened no investigations of systemic policing abuse since taking office, even refusing to act on a scathing report issued by the Justice Department on the Chicago police.

      The ACLU of Illinois did not sue the Chicago Police Department. A lawsuit was not necessary. It wrote a report, backed up by the department’s own data, demonstrating that its stop-and-frisk policy was unconstitutional and ineffective. The policy was characterized by random stops conducted under circumstances where there was no reasonable suspicion that any criminal activity was occurring or had occurred with respect to the person or people being stopped.

    • The Supreme Court Favors Forced Arbitration at the Expense of Workers’ Rights

      The #MeToo movement has offered an important lesson on the collective power of voices joining together to take on individual experiences of injustice. On Monday, the Supreme Court dealt a huge blow to precisely this kind of collective power, ruling against the ability of workers to join together to take on employment discrimination and abuse.

      The court ruled that employers are free to force workers who have been victims of unfair labor practices into private arbitration to address their claims — even in cases where workers sought to bring a collective legal action. The decision came in a case about failure to pay overtime, but its implications are far broader and extend to many of the claims of harassment and discrimination that have surfaced thanks to the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements.

      Arbitration contracts are agreements to bring any future legal dispute through a private system rather than through the public courts. Employees are often required to sign such agreements along with a raft of paperwork on their first day on the job, and many have no memory of signing them.

      The Supreme Court has long held that employers are free to enforce arbitration agreements for individual lawsuits. Monday’s decision extended that principle to cases brought on behalf of a “class” of individuals who claim they were harmed in the same way by discriminatory or unfair policies and seek to bring a single legal action on behalf of the group.

      [...]

      The court’s decision — which Justice Ginsburg, in dissent, called “egregiously wrong” — tips the scales even further in favor of employers and large corporations, at the expense of workers.

    • Chicago Wins ‘Most Corrupt City’ Award Due In No Small Part To Its Awful Redlight Camera System

      We’ve talked a great deal about my home city of Chicago, largely for the myriad of awful, corrupt practices it has put in place around topics that we cover here. For instance, we have an alderman trying to shore up the city budget by taxing the shit out of Uber and Lyft, our Mayor thought it was a great idea to have his own private email accounts to conduct business, and a red light camera system so hilariously geared towards bilking money from citizens that the courts have tossed out huge swaths of the tickets it generated, which led the city to decide to make it barely less corrupt by a measure of tenths-of-seconds worth of leeway for drivers crossing the intersection.

      Now, you might be thinking that all of this effort to be corrupt and insidious seems like a waste. Wouldn’t it be far easier, you might be thinking, to simply run the city in a sensible way? Wouldn’t that actually require less effort and be better for the people of Chicago? Perhaps, but then Chicago wouldn’t have received the prestigious award of “most corrupt city”, as it did this past week.

    • As new CIA chief takes helm, torture questions in Thailand remain

      With her formal swearing-in on Monday by U.S. Vice President Mike Pence, as President Donald Trump looked on, Gina Haspel has made history as the first female director of the Central Intelligence Agency and for now has outrun a controversy over torture in Thailand — a country outside her seven career postings at points officially undisclosed in Africa, Europe and beyond.

      In addition to English, Haspel speaks Russian and Turkish. Like a character in a spy novel, she has left no digital fingerprints from a 33-year clandestine career. She recently recounted to the U.S. Senate intelligence committee some “real life” adventures. “I excelled in finding and acquiring secret information that I obtained in brush passes, dead drops or in meetings in dusty alleys of Third World capitals,” she said.

    • The Belhaj case shows British intelligence agencies are out of control

      For years, Britain’s three security and intelligence agencies – the Secret Intelligence Service, commonly known as MI6; the domestic Security Service, MI5; and GCHQ, the worldwide communications eavesdropping agency – have insisted they are accountable to ministers, that they are responsible to democratically-elected politicians. And for years, ministers have insisted that the agencies are properly accountable to them.

      We all now know what some of us have been saying for a very long time: such assertions are myths. The Prime Minister herself has admitted it.

      On 13 December 2005, Jack Straw, then foreign secretary responsible for MI6, told the Commons Foreign Affairs committee: “Unless we all start to believe in conspiracy theories and that the officials are lying, that I am lying, that behind this there is some kind of secret state which is in league with some dark forces in the United States …There is simply no truth in the claims that the United Kingdom has been involved in rendition full stop, because we never have been”. Straw added that the British government was not compliant in rendition, nor did it turn a blind eye to it.

    • Canadians Subject to CIA Brainwash Experiments Seek Damages

      The Survivors Allied Against Government Abuse (SAAGA) group met in Montreal, Canada, on May 20. “The government should offer an apology and there should be recognition of the injustice that was done,” said Gina Blasbalg, a patient at the institute in 1960.

      Dr. Ewen Cameron, who co-founded the World Psychiatric Association, served as director of the Allan Memorial Institute psychiatric hospital between 1943 and 1964.

      Cameron oversaw ‘depatterning’ and ‘psychic driving’ experiments which attempted to erase a patient’s memories and reprogram them with new thoughts, according to CBC News.

      Cameron tested experimental drugs such as LSD and PCP, medically induced sleep for extended periods, and also oversaw extreme forms of electroshock therapy and sensory deprivation. Many of his patient suffered brain damage as a result.

    • When the CIA Infiltrated a Presidential Campaign

      President Donald Trump seems to believe that FBI agents infiltrated his presidential campaign for political purposes, and has tweeted that the bureau’s actions could amount to a scandal “bigger than Watergate.”

      Trump hasn’t provided evidence to support these allegations, but regardless of their veracity, there is precedent for an American intelligence agency spying on a presidential campaign. It happened in the summer of 1964; the target was Republican presidential candidate Barry Goldwater, and the perpetrator was the CIA, not the FBI.

    • Blood Will Tell

      Most mornings, the sky was still black when Mickey Bryan made the short drive from her house on Avenue O, through the small central Texas town of Clifton, to the elementary school. Sometimes her car was the only one on the road. The low-slung, red-brick school building sat just south of the junction of State Highway 6 and Farm to Market Road 219 — a crossroads that, until recent years, featured the town’s sole traffic light. Mickey was always the first teacher to arrive, usually settling in at her desk by 7 a.m. A slight, soft-spoken woman with short auburn hair and a pale complexion, she prized the solitude of those early mornings, before her fellow teachers appeared and the faraway sound of children’s voices signaled, suddenly and all at once, that the day had begun.

      [...]

      Joe was sent back to the same prison where he was previously held: Texas’ oldest penitentiary, known as the Walls Unit in Huntsville, where the state’s execution chamber is housed. In letters back home to his mother, his older brother and the few friends who remained in touch with him, Joe was circumspect, revealing little about his existence behind bars or the emotional toll of incarceration. By then, he no longer heard from many people he loved — including Jerry, his twin brother, who distanced himself after Joe’s first trial. Even his last remaining Clifton friends gradually faded away. Linda Liardon wrote to Joe every now and then, but eventually she let the correspondence languish. “I was busy raising my boys, and life moved on,” she said. “I’m ashamed to admit that. But after a while, I struggled with what to say.”

      Still, she was left with an uneasy feeling. After Joe’s first conviction, she told me, people had stopped talking about Judy Whitley’s death. “One rumor went around that maybe Joe killed her too,” she said. “I think wrapping all this violence up in one neat little package was comforting to people. Everyone could put this behind them and not have to think that maybe someone was out there who had gotten away with murder.”

  • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

    • Senators Ask FCC Why It Did Nothing To Stop Their Names From Being Fraudulently Used During Net Neutrality Repeal

      Last year you’ll recall that somebody abused the nonexistent privacy protections at the FCC website to flood the net neutrality repeal proceeding with millions of fake comments. While the vast majority of real people oppose the repeal, a bad actor was able to either fraudulently use the identities of real people (like myself), or hijack the identities of dead people to spam the proceeding with bogus support. The goal: undermine public trust in the public comment period in order to downplay the massive opposition to the FCC’s handout to AT&T and Comcast.

      Up to this point, the FCC has done less than nothing to investigate the fraud or prevent it from happening again, largely because it aided the FCC’s agenda. In fact, the FCC went so far as to block a law enforcement investigation into who was behind the fraud.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Oncology drives major pharma deals while immuno-oncology patent activity soars

      Cancer immunotherapy is an exciting, relatively new therapy that treats cancer by unleashing the power of the immune system. It has been hailed as one of the most promising advances in the treatment of cancer in recent times.

      Immuno-oncology research is growing at a rapid pace and for the last three years this has begun to translate into a patenting frenzy as players seek to stake their claim in this wide commercial landscape. In this month’s piece from Clarivate Analytics, Bob Stembridge – the company’s marketing communications manager – looks at what the data is telling us.

    • Trademarks

      • Tam’s unanswered questions of dilution and Section 7

        Scandalous, immoral and disparaging marks are all now fair game, but the question of dilution is less clear. A speaker at the INTA Annual Meeting also questioned why the government didn’t use Section 7 of the Lanham Act to bolster its argument in Tam

    • Copyrights

      • German Court: TV show may not use ‘bloopers’ from other network without permission

        In a judgment dated 20.04.2018 (case No. 6 U 116/17), the Higher Regional Court of Cologne found that short video clips taken from other networks’ TV shows for entertainment purposes are not permissible as a parody or a quotation and thus need to be licensed.

        NDR, a German public broadcaster, had created a series of TV shows titled “Top Flops”. The show featured “funny” sequences (‘bloopers’) taken from various other programs, including shows belonging to RTL’s commercial television network.

      • Copyright Being Used To Prevent Actress From Showing Her Own Demo Reel

        Lawyer Stephen Doniger seems to be going out of his way to file lawsuits that involve creative interpretations of copyright (and by “creative” I mean “wrong.”) You may recall that Doniger was the lawyer behind Playboy suing Boing Boing for copyright infringement for linking to an Imgur collection of Playboy centerfolds. That case went so poorly that the judge tossed it out in just two months. Before that, Doniger made a name for himself (I kid you not) being a fabric copyright troll, filing loads of lawsuits against companies offering similar designs on fabric. He’s also jumped in on the whole situation created by the “Blurred Lines” mess by filing a bunch of “sounds alike” copyright cases.

        It’s almost as if he’s filing all sorts of nutty copyright cases just to demonstrate for us just how ridiculous modern copyright law has become, and how far from its purpose it has strayed. Indeed, that’s about the only explanation I can find for a new filing by Doniger, as noted by the Hollywood Reporter, in which Doniger, representing director Robin Bain is suing actress Jessica Haid for using a clip of the film, Nowhereland in her own demo reel.

        In short, Bain claims that Haid asked for permission to use clips in her demo reel and Bain refused (nice of him). She then got a copy of the film and gave it to another company to include it in her demo reel. Bain is now suing, claiming it’s an “unauthorized derivative work.” Indeed, the lawsuit claims that the clips in the demo reel “included a significant amount of unreleased footage from The Film, which taken together, encompassed the heart of The Film, as well as revealed the ending to The Film.”

      • EFF Presents Mur Lafferty’s Science Fiction Story About Our Fair Use Petition to the Copyright Office

        the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA 1201) makes it illegal to get around any sort of lock that controls access to copyrighted material. Getting exemptions to that prohibitions is a long, complicated process that often results in long, complicated exemptions that are difficult to use. As part of our ongoing to effort to fight this law, we’re presenting a series of science fiction stories to illustrate the bad effects DMCA 1201 could have.

        It’s been 20 years since Congress adopted Section 1201 of the DMCA, one of the ugliest mistakes in the crowded field of bad ideas about computer regulation. Thanks to Section 1201 if a computer has a lock to control access to a copyrighted work, then getting around that lock, for any reason is illegal. In practice, this has meant that a manufacturer can make the legitimate, customary things you do with your own property, in your own home or workplace, illegal just by designing the products to include those digital locks.

        A small bit of good news: Congress designed a largely ornamental escape valve into this system: every three years, the Librarian of Congress can grant exemptions to the law for certain activities. These exemptions make those uses temporarily legal, but (here’s the hilarious part), it’s still not legal to make a tool to enable that use. It’s as though Congress expected you to gnaw open your devices and manually change the software with the sensitive tips of your nimble fingers or something. That said, in many cases it’s easy to download the tools you need anyway. We’re suing the U.S. government to invalidate DMCA 1201, which would eliminate the whole farce. It’s 2018, and that means it’s exemptions time again! EFF and many of our allies have filed for a raft of exemptions to DMCA 1201 this year, and in this series, we’re teaming up with some amazing science fiction writers to explain what’s at stake in these requests.

05.22.18

Links 22/5/2018: Parrot 4.0, Spectre Number 4

Posted in News Roundup at 2:14 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Desktop

    • Lenovo denies claims it chose Windows over Linux in second row over technology

      Lenovo Group has angrily denied claims it chose the popular Microsoft Windows system over a domestically-produced Linux operating system (OS) in a recent government procurement programme.

      The company branded the allegations as “slander” in a statement that follows an internet storm in China in recent weeks over the company’s decisions on domestic versus overseas technology.

      China’s largest personal computer (PC) maker insisted it had suggested using a domestically-produced Linux OS for both desktop and notebook PCs in a recent PC procurement meeting for suppliers organised by the Central Government Procurement Center, according to the company statement on Tuesday.

    • Lenovo denies on voting against preloading domestic operating systems: report

      Lenovo says the report about it voting against preloading domestic operating systems (O/S) are “deliberate slander,” and the company “strongly condemns” the rumor, according to a report by qq.com late Monday.

      Lenovo claimed the suggestion it made was to use a separately made domestic Linux system solution, including in desktops and notebooks, adding that the advice has been submitted.

      The company has always supported the development of domestic O/S, Lenovo said.

      The response came after domestic news site guancha.cn reported earlier the same day that four leading computer manufacturers including Lenovo voted against preloading domestic O/S in personal computers in a poll organized by a government purchasing center on May 16.

    • Linux app support coming to older Chrome OS devices

      Linux apps on Chrome OS is one of the biggest developments for the OS since Android apps. Previous reports stated Chromebooks with certain kernel versions would be left in the dust, but the Chrome OS developers have older devices on the roadmap, too.

      When Google first broke silence on Linux app functionality, it was understood that Linux kernel 4.4 was required to run apps due to dependencies on newer kernel modules. Thanks to an issue found on Chromium’s public bugtracker, we have confirmation that containers won’t be limited to the handful of Chrome OS devices released with kernel 4.4.

  • Kernel Space

    • Looking Ahead To The Linux 4.18 Kernel

      There still are several weeks to go until the Linux 4.17 kernel will be officially released and for that to initiate the Linux 4.18 merge window, but we already know some of the features coming to this next kernel cycle as well as an idea for some other work that may potentially land.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • Plasma 5.12.5 bugfix update for Kubuntu 18.04 LTS – Testing help required

        Are you using Kubuntu 18.04, our current LTS release?

        We currently have the Plasma 5.12.5 LTS bugfix release available in our Updates PPA, but we would like to provide the important fixes and translations in this release to all users via updates in the main Ubuntu archive. This would also mean these updates would be provide by default with the 18.04.1 point release ISO expected in late July.

      • Revisiting my talk at FOSSASIA summit, 2018

        Earlier this year, I had the chance to speak about one of KDE community’s cool projects that is helpding developers erase the line between desktop and mobile/tablet UI’s with ease. I’m referring to the Kirigami UI framework – a set of QtQuick components targetted at the mobile as well as desktop platforms.

        This is particularly important to KDE and a lot of projects are now migrating towards a Kirigami UI, particularly keeping in mind the ability to run the applications on the Plasma Mobile.

      • This Week in KDE, Part 2 : OYLG, Workspace KCM, Single/Double Click

        Last weekend, I went to İstanbul to attend Özgür Yazılım ve Linux Günleri (Free Software and Linux Days 2018) to represent LibreOffice. We had 3 presentations during the event about LibreOffice Development and The Open Document Format. We had booth setup with stickers, flyers, roll-up etc. These were all thanks to The Document Foundation’s supports! You can find detailed information about the event from here : https://wiki.documentfoundation.org/Events/2018/OYLG2018

      • Watching the Detectives

        For instance, Kevin Ottens has been writing about understanding the KDE community by the “green blobs” method, showing who is active when. Lays Rodrigues has written about using Gource to show Plasma growing up. Nate Graham describes the goings-on in the KDE community nearly every week.

        Those are, roughly: a metric-, a visual-, and a story-based approach to understanding the community, over different timescales. But understanding of a system doesn’t come from a single dimension, from a single axis of measurement. It comes from mixing up the different views to look the system as a whole.

      • Managing cooking recipes

        I like to cook. And sometimes store my recipes. Over the years I have tried KRecipes, kept my recipes in BasKet notes, in KJots notes, in more or less random word processor documents.

        I liked the free form entering recipes in various notes applications and word processor documents, but I lacked some kind of indexing them. What I wanted was free-ish text for writing recipes, and some thing that could help me find them by tags I give them. By Title. By how I organize them. And maybe by Ingredient if I don’t know how to get rid of the soon-to-be-bad in my refridgerator.

      • KDAB at Qt Contributor’s Summit 2018, Oslo

        KDAB is a major sponsor of this event and a key independent contributor to Qt as our blogs attest.

        Every year, dedicated Qt contributors gather at Qt Contributors’ Summit to share with their peers latest knowledge and best practices, ensuring that the Qt framework stays at the top of its game. Be a Contributor to Qt!

      • Krita 2018 Sprint Report

        This weekend, Krita developers and artists from all around the world came to the sleepy provincial town of Deventer to buy cheese — er, I mean, to discuss all things Krita related and do some good, hard work! After all, the best cheese shop in the Netherlands is located in Deventer. As are the Krita Foundation headquarters! We started on Thursday, and today the last people are leaving.

      • Back from Krita Sprint 2018

        Yesterday I came back from 3,5 days of Krita Sprint in Deventer. Even if nowadays I have less time for Krita with my work on GCompris, I’m always following what is happening and keep helping where I can, especially on icons, and a few other selected topics. And it’s always very nice to meet my old friends from the team, and the new ones!

      • GSoC 2018 Week #1 with KDE

        There were quite some implementations out of the pre-plans and were huge. They got me very nervous at first. Such changes meant big updation in the code base and lots of time to have everything in place and with no warnings/errors ( well I can’t say much about bugs :p as they always arise in some cases which I or others haven’t tried, but hopefully they will be much less ).

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

  • Distributions

    • New Releases

      • Bodhi Linux 5.0 Enters Development Based on Ubuntu 18.04 LTS, First Alpha Is Out

        Now that Canonical released Ubuntu 18.04 LTS (Bionic Beaver), more and more Ubuntu-based GNU/Linux distributions would want to upgrade to it for their next major releases, including Bodhi Linux with the upcoming 5.0 series. The first Alpha is here today to give us a glimpse of what to expect from the final release.

        Besides being based on Ubuntu 18.04 LTS, the Bodhi Linux 5.0 operating system will be shipping with the forthcoming Moksha 0.3.0 desktop environment based on the Enlightenment window manager/desktop environment, and it’s powered by the Linux 4.9 kernel series. Also, it supports 32-bit PAE and non-PAE systems.

      • Emmabuntüs Debian Edition Linux Is Now Based on Debian GNU/Linux 9.4 “Stretch”

        Emmabuntüs Linux developer Patrick d’Emmabuntüs informs us today on the immediate availability for download of the Emmabuntüs Debian Edition 2 1.02 release.

        Emmabuntüs Debian Edition 2 1.02 is the second maintenance update to the Debian-based operating system used in schools and other educational institutions across the globe. It’s based on the latest Debian GNU/Linux 9.4 “Stretch” operating system and brings various updated components, as well as improvements like the ability to turn off the script that handles the screensaver images and support for automatically detecting and configuring printers.

    • Slackware Family

      • VLC rebuilt for -current, Chromium and Palemoon updated

        Browser updates: both Google Chromium (66.0.3359.181) and Palemoon (27.9.2) released new versions last week which I packaged for Slackware 14.2 and -current. The Palemoon update contains CVE-tagged security fixes. You are advised to upgrade.

    • Red Hat Family

    • Debian Family

      • OSCAL’18 Debian, Ham, SDR and GSoC activities

        Debian has three Google Summer of Code students in Kosovo this year. Two of them, Enkelena and Diellza, were able to attend OSCAL. Albania is one of the few countries they can visit easily and OSCAL deserves special commendation for the fact that it brings otherwise isolated citizens of Kosovo into contact with an increasingly large delegation of foreign visitors who come back year after year.

      • Derivatives

        • Parrot 4.0 is out

          Parrot 4.0 has been released. Parrot is a security-oriented distribution aimed at penetration tests and digital forensics analysis, with additional tools to preserve privacy.

        • Parrot 4.0 release notes
        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Don’t expect Ubuntu maker Canonical to IPO this year

            Canonical, the company best known for its Ubuntu Linux distribution, is on a path to an IPO. That’s something Canonical founder and CEO Mark Shuttleworth has been quite open about. But don’t expect that IPO to happen this year.

            “We did decide as a company — and that’s not just my decision — but we did decide that we want to have a commercial focus,” Shuttleworth told me during an interview at the OpenStack Summit in Vancouver, Canada today. “So we picked cloud and IoT as the areas to develop that. And being a public company, given that most of our customers are now global institutions, it makes for us also to be a global institution. I think it would be great for my team to be part of a public company. It would be a lot of work, but we are not shy of work.”

            Unsurprisingly, Shuttleworth didn’t want to talk about the exact timeline for the IPO, though. “We will do the right thing at the right time,” he said. That right time is not this year, though. “No, there is a process that you have to go through and that takes time. We know what we need to hit in terms of revenue and growth and we’re on track.”

          • Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter Issue 528

            Welcome to the Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter, Issue 528 for the week of May 13 – 19, 2018.

          • Ubuntu 18.04 Bionic Beaver – Canonical giveth, Canonical taketh

            This review focuses on Ubuntu with Gnome 3 – and so I will leave my findings with the Unity desktop separate, except a single sentence: Unity is the desktop environment that 18.04 should have had, and everything else is a fallout consequence of that. So yes, Ubuntu Bionic Beaver is okay. But that’s like saying paying mortgage for the rest of your life and then dying unceremoniously is okay. It’s not okay. Mediocre has never been anything to strive for. EVER.

            Ubuntu Beaver does a few things well – and with some updates, it’s also polished up some of them early turds, as I’ve outlined in the Kubuntu review; hint, the same is ALSO happening in Kubuntu, and we may have a presentable offering soon. Yes to media, phones, app stack, package management. But then, the network side of things should be better, resource utilization should be better, the desktop should be more usable for ordinary humans. It’s ridiculous that you NEED extensions to use Gnome 3, in addition to all the hacks Canonical introduced to make the system usable. So yes, if you wanna be mediocre go for it. 7/10. If not, wait for Kubuntu or MATE to get its game together, or stick Unity onto 18.04. More to follow soon.

          • Canonical founder Mark Shuttleworth takes aim at VMware and Red Hat at OpenStack Summit

            “Google, IBM, Microsoft [are] all investing and innovating to drive down the cost of infrastructure. Every single one of those companies engages with Canonical to deliver public services,” he said.

            “Not one of them engages with VMware to offer those public services – they can’t afford to. Clearly they have the cash, but they have to compete – and so does your private cloud.”

            To capitalise on this trend, the firm is in the throes of rolling out a migration service to help users shift from VMware to a “fully managed” version of Canonical’s Ubuntu OpenStack distribution, which Shuttleworth said costs half as much to run.

            “When we take out VMware, and displace VMware, we are regularly told that a fully managed OpenStack solution costs half of the equivalent VMware estate [to run],” he added.

  • Devices/Embedded

Free Software/Open Source

  • Open Source Storage: 64 Applications for Data Storage

    As data storage needs continue to grow and many organizations move toward software-defined infrastructure, more enterprises are using open source software to meet some of their storage needs. Projects like Hadoop, Ceph, Gluster and others have become very common at large enterprises.

    Home users and small businesses can also benefit from open source storage software. These applications can make it possible to set up your own NAS or SAN device using industry-standard hardware without paying the high prices vendors charge for dedicated storage appliances. Open source software also offers users the option to set up a cloud storage solution where they have control over security and privacy, and it can also offer affordable options for backup and recovery.

  • OpenStack Moves Beyond the Cloud to Open Infrastructure

    The OpenStack Summit got underway on May 21, with a strong emphasis on the broader open-source cloud community beyond just the OpenStack cloud platform itself.

    At the summit, the OpenStack Foundation announced that it was making its open-source Zuul continuous development, continuous integration (CI/CD) technology a new top level standalone project. Zuul has been the underlying DevOps CI/CD system that has been used for the past six years, to develop and test the OpenStack cloud platform.

  • OpenStack makes Zuul continuous delivery tool its second indie project

    The OpenStack Foundation has launched its Zuul continuous delivery and integration tool as a discrete project.

    Zuul is therefore Foundation’s second project other than OpenStack itself. The first was Kata Containers. Making Zuul a standalone effort therefore advance’s the Foundation’s ambition to become a bit like the Linux and Apache Foundations, by nurturing multiple open source projects.

  • OpenStack spins out its Zuul open source CI/CD platform

    There are few open-source projects as complex as OpenStack, which essentially provides large companies with all the tools to run the equivalent of the core AWS services in their own data centers. To build OpenStack’s various systems the team also had to develop some of its own DevOps tools, and, in 2012, that meant developing Zuul, an open-source continuous integration and delivery (CI/CD) platform. Now, with the release of Zuul v3, the team decided to decouple Zuul from OpenStack and run it as an independent project. It’s not quite leaving the OpenStack ecosystem, though, as it will still be hosted by the OpenStack Foundation.

  • Nextcloud 13: How to Get Started and Why You Should

    In its simplest form, the Nextcloud server is “just” a personal, free software alternative to services like Dropbox or iCloud. You can set it up so your files are always accessible via the internet, from wherever you are, and share them with your friends. However, Nextcloud can do so much more.

    In this article, I first describe what the Nextcloud server is and how to install and set it up on GNU/Linux systems. Then I explain how to configure the optional Nextcloud features, which may be the first steps toward making Nextcloud the shell of a complete replacement for many proprietary platforms existing today, such as Dropbox, Facebook and Skype.

  • Why use Puppet for automation and orchestration

    Puppet the company bills Puppet the automation tool as the de facto standard for automating the delivery and ongoing operation of hybrid infrastructure. That was certainly true at one time: Puppet not only goes back to 2005, but also currently claims 40,000 organizations worldwide as users, including 75 percent of the Fortune 100. While Puppet is still a very strong product and has increased its speed and capabilities over the years, its competitors, in particular Chef, have narrowed the gap.

    As you might expect from the doyenne of the IT automation space, Puppet has a very large collection of modules, and covers the gamut from CI/CD to cloud-native infrastructure, though much of that functionality is provided through additional products. While Puppet is primarily a model-based system with agents, it supports push operations with Puppet Tasks. Puppet Enterprise is even available as a service on Amazon.

  • Events

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Mozilla uncovers ‘new conceptual framework’ for open source

        A report has been generated which claims to offers ‘a new conceptual framework’ of open source project archetypes.

        This research cover aspects of open source spanning business objectives, licensing, community standards, component coupling and project governance.

        It also contains some practical advice on how to use the framework (it actually is a working framework) and on how to set up projects.

      • Qt for WebAssembly – check out the examples!

        WebAssembly is now supported by all major web browsers as a binary format for allowing sand-boxed executable code in web pages that is nearly as fast as native machine code. Qt for WebAssembly makes it possible to run Qt applications on many web browsers without any download steps or special server requirements (other than serving the wasm file).

        To give you a closer look, we compiled some demos. For best performance, use Firefox.

      • Redeploying Taskcluster: Hosted vs. Shipped Software

        The Taskcluster team’s work on redeployability means switching from a hosted service to a shipped application.

        A hosted service is one where the authors of the software are also running the main instance of that software. Examples include Github, Facebook, and Mozillians. By contrast, a shipped application is deployed multiple times by people unrelated to the software’s authors. Examples of shipped applications include Gitlab, Joomla, and the Rust toolchain. And, of course, Firefox!

  • Pseudo-Open Source (Openwashing)

  • Funding

    • City student emerges winner in Google contest

      Abishek, who lives in Panangad, was among the 1,000-odd students roped in by FOSSASIA, an organisation from Asia engaged in developing open source software, as part of the contest. He was asked to complete 93 coding tasks in 49 days between November and January this year.

    • Open source startup Tidelift snags $15 mln Series A

      Boston-based Tidelift, an open source startup, has secured $15 million in Series A funding. General Catalyst, Foundry Group and former Red Hat Chairman and CEO Matthew Szulik led the round. In conjunction with the funding, Larry Bohn, managing director at General Catalyst, Ryan McIntyre, co-founder and managing director at Foundry Group and Szulik have all joined Tidelift’s board of directors.

    • Tidelift raises $15M to find paying gigs for open-source developers maintaining key projects

      Tidelift wants to give open-source developers a way to earn some money for contributing to important open-source projects and while helping the companies that are using those projects in key parts of their business, and it just raised $15 million to build those connections.

      General Catalyst, Foundry Group, and former Red Hat CEO Matthew Szulik co-led the Series A founding round into the Boston-based startup, the first time the 17-person company has taken financing, said Donald Fischer, co-founder and CEO of Tidelift. The other co-founders — Havoc Pennington, Jeremy Katz, and Luis Villa — share a wealth of open-source experience across companies like Red Hat and organizations like The Wikimedia Foundation and the Mozilla Foundation.

    • Tidelift Raises $15M Series A To Make Open Source Work Better–For Everyone
  • BSD

    • DragonFlyBSD 5.3 Works Towards Performance Improvements

      Given that DragonFlyBSD recently landed some SMP performance improvements and other performance optimizations in its kernel for 5.3-DEVELOPMENT but as well finished tidying up its Spectre mitigation, this weekend I spent some time running some benchmarks on DragonFlyBSD 5.2 and 5.3-DEVELOPMENT to see how the performance has shifted for an Intel Xeon system.

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

  • Licensing/Legal

    • VMware Announces OpenStack 5, Tesla Releases Some Source Code, KDE’s Plasma 5.13 Beta and More

      Tesla has released some of the source code for its in-car tech. Engadget reports that the company “has posted the source code for both the material that builds the Autopilot system image as well as the kernels for the Autopilot boards and the NVIDIA Tegra-based infotainment system used in the Model S and Model X.”

    • Tesla inches toward GPL compliance in low gear: Source code forcibly ejected into public

      Following five years of hectoring, Tesla has released a portion of the open-source code it’s obligated to provide under the terms of the GNU General Public License (GPL).

      Since 2013, the Software Freedom Conservancy (SFC), responding to complaints of GPL violations related to software in the Tesla Model S, has pressed the carmaker to comply with the terms of the GPL.

      The SFC provides legal support to open source projects. In theory, Tesla could be sued for flouting the GPL, but even the SFC, which backed the controversial GPL claim against VMware, prefers resolving compliance issues outside of court.

  • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

    • Phase Genomics and Pacific Biosciences Announce the Release of Co-Developed Genome Assembly Phasing Software – ‘FALCON-Phase’

      FALCON-Phase is available as open source to scientists and also as a service through Phase Genomics. Scientists can utilize the new software to advance their current research and even revive historic genome projects with the addition of Hi-C data.

    • Open Data

      • Mapping Palestine Before Israel

        During the founding of the state, the Israeli military destroyed more than 500 Palestinian villages; some were completely abandoned, while others became the foundation for Jewish villages and towns. Some villages survived. A new open-source mapping project, Palestine Open Maps, allows users to see the Palestinian landscape as it looked before 1948—and to search for villages and towns from that era to find out whether they remain, were depopulated, or were built over.

        [...]

        The maps’ level of detail is exceptional, showing roads, topographic features, and property boundaries. The team’s next task: to make the maps downloadable.

        [...]

        In the decades since 1948, what Palestinians call the nakba (“catastrophe”) remains a matter of debate between the sides of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. For Barclay, an aim of the mapping project is to clarify at least one part of this debate: the land itself, and what was once there. “Putting the villages on screen that were destroyed, depopulated, and built over in the form of these maps makes what happened irrefutable,” he said. He also noted the irony of using the maps of the former colonizer for such a project. “The British essentially drew these maps as part of their control of Palestine,” he said. “But the maps unintentionally captured the moment before the destruction occurred.”

Leftovers

  • Science

  • Hardware

  • Health/Nutrition

    • World Health Assembly Begins Discussion On Access To Medicines

      On the second day of this week’s annual World Health Assembly, delegates began discussing the issue of “shortages of, and access to, medicines and vaccines.” It is generally held that access to safe, efficacious, and affordable medicines is of paramount importance to achieve the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals by 2030, but there seems to be no expeditious solution, and no lack of divergent views on how to get there.

    • Global Antimicrobial Resistance R&D Hub Launched At Health Assembly

      According to a press release today from the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research, “the German Federal Government has led the establishment of the Global AMR R&D Hub: Under the German Presidency, the G20 Heads of State and Government resolved in the summer of 2017 to intensify global cooperation in the fight against AMR. The Federal Research Ministry subsequently proposed plans for the Global AMR R&D Hub and supported its establishment. Initially, the secretariat of the Global AMR R&D Hub will be based in Berlin, at the German Center for Infection Research (DZIF).”

      “We urgently need new drugs, particularly antibiotics, in the fight against infectious diseases in order to protect the health and lives of people around the world,” German Federal Research Minister Anja Karliczek said in the release. “Resources need to be used more effectively in order to develop more new treatments, diagnostics and prevention measures for resistant pathogens. We will therefore strengthen and improve the coordination of our research on antimicrobial resistance at the national and international level.”

    • WHO Director Dr Tedros Opens First Annual World Health Assembly With ‘Keys For Success’

      According to Tedros, the eradication of smallpox stands as one of the greatest achievement in the history of the WHO but also in the history of medicine. This victory shows “what WHO is capable of,” he said, adding that it could change the course of history, with partners.

    • Global Influenza Initiative Celebrates 10 Years, Adds Former WHO Official

      As the annual World Health Assembly opened today, a global initiative for sharing influenza genetic data celebrated its tenth anniversary and announced new senior advisors for international affairs and biosecurity issues, one of which is Marie-Paule Kieny, former World Health Organization Assistant Director-General for Health Systems and Innovation.

  • Security

    • Google and Microsoft disclose new CPU flaw, and the fix can slow machines down

      Microsoft and Google are jointly disclosing a new CPU security vulnerability that’s similar to the Meltdown and Spectre flaws that were revealed earlier this year. Labelled Speculative Store Bypass (variant 4), the latest vulnerability is a similar exploit to Spectre and exploits speculative execution that modern CPUs use. Browsers like Safari, Edge, and Chrome were all patched for Meltdown earlier this year, and Intel says “these mitigations are also applicable to variant 4 and available for consumers to use today.”

      However, unlike Meltdown (and more similar to Spectre) this new vulnerability will also include firmware updates for CPUs that could affect performance. Intel has already delivered microcode updates for Speculative Store Bypass in beta form to OEMs, and the company expects them to be more broadly available in the coming weeks. The firmware updates will set the Speculative Store Bypass protection to off-by-default, ensuring that most people won’t see negative performance impacts.

    • Spectre variants 3a and 4

      Intel has, finally, disclosed two more Spectre variants, called 3a and 4. The first (“rogue system register read”) allows system-configuration registers to be read speculatively, while the second (“speculative store bypass”) could enable speculative reads to data after a store operation has been speculatively ignored. Some more information on variant 4 can be found in the Project Zero bug tracker. The fix is to install microcode updates, which are not yet available.

    • Red Hat Says It’ll Soon Fix the Speculative Store Bypass Security Vulnerability

      Red Hat informed us today that they are aware of the recently disclosed Speculative Store Bypass (CVE-2018-3639) security vulnerability and will soon release updates to mitigate the issue on all of its affected products.

      Speculative Store Bypass (CVE-2018-3639) is a security vulnerability recently unearthed by various security researchers from Google and Microsoft, and it appears to be a fourth variant of the Spectre hardware bug publicly disclosed earlier this year in modern microprocessor, and later discovered to affect billions of devices. The Speculative Store Bypass vulnerability appearently lets an unprivileged attacker to bypass restrictions and gain read access to privileged memory.

    • Spectre chip security vulnerability strikes again; patches incoming

      After the first-wave of Spectre and Meltdown attacks were conquered, people relaxed. That was a mistake.

      Since the CPU vulnerabilities Spectre and Meltdown showed an entirely new way to attack systems, security experts knew it was only a matter of time until new assault methods would be found.

      They’ve been found.

    • Spectre Variants 3A & 4 Exposed As Latest Speculative Execution Vulnerabilities
    • Speculative Store Bypass explained: what it is, how it works
    • After Meltdown and Spectre, Another Scary Chip Flaw Emerges

      At the same time, though, a larger concern was also looming: Spectre and Meltdown represented a whole new class of attack, and researchers anticipated they would eventually discover other, similar flaws. Now, one has arrived.

    • 22 essential security commands for Linux

      There are many aspects to security on Linux systems – from setting up accounts to ensuring that legitimate users have no more privilege than they need to do their jobs. This is look at some of the most essential security commands for day-to-day work on Linux systems.

    • CVE-2018-3639: Spectre Variant 4 Vulnerability Affects the Linux Kernel

      A Spectre variant 4 vulnerability has been identified in the Linux kernel and represents a very dangerous threat to all affected machines. All system administrators are urged to apply the latest updates as soon as possible to mitigate any possible impact.

    • Spectre Number 4, STEP RIGHT UP!

      In the continuing saga of Meltdown and Spectre (tl;dr: G4/7400, G3 and likely earlier 60x PowerPCs don’t seem vulnerable at all; G4/7450 and G5 are so far affected by Spectre while Meltdown has not been confirmed, but IBM documentation implies “big” POWER4 and up are vulnerable to both) is now Spectre variant 4. In this variant, the fundamental issue of getting the CPU to speculatively execute code it mistakenly predicts will be executed and observing the effects on cache timing is still present, but here the trick has to do with executing a downstream memory load operation speculatively before other store operations that the load does not depend on. If the CPU is convinced to speculatively execute down this victim path incorrectly, it will revert the stores and the register load when the mispredict is discovered, but the loaded address will remain in the L1 cache and be observable through means similar to those in other Spectre-type attacks.

    • Email Might Be Impossible To Encrypt
    • Email Is Dangerous

      One week ago, a group of European security researchers warned that two obscure encryption schemes for email were deeply broken. Those schemes, called OpenPGP and S/MIME, are not the kinds of technologies you’re using but don’t know it. They are not part of the invisible and vital internet infrastructure we all rely on.

      This isn’t that kind of story.

      The exploit, called Efail by the researchers who released it, showed that encrypted (and therefore private and secure) email is not only hard to do, but might be impossible in any practical way, because of what email is at its core. But contained in the story of why these standards failed is the story of why email itself is the main way we get hacked, robbed, and violated online. The story of email is also the story of how we lost so much of our privacy, and how we might regain it.

    • Real Security Begins At Home (On Your Smartphone)

      When the FBI sued Apple a couple of years ago to compel Apple’s help in cracking an iPhone 5c belonging to alleged terrorist Syed Rizwan Farook, the lines seemed clearly drawn. On the one hand, the U.S. government was asserting its right (under an 18th-century statutory provision called the All Writs Act) to force Apple to develop and implement technologies enabling the Bureau to gather all the evidence that might possibly be relevant in the San Bernardino terrorist-attack case. On the other, a leading tech company challenged the demand that it help crack the digital-security technologies it had painstakingly developed to protect users — a particularly pressing concern given that these days we often have more personal information on our handheld devices than we used to keep in our entire homes.

    • Software fault triggered Telstra mobile network outage

      The blackout was the third in May, with an outage to its triple-zero service occurring on 4 May after a cable between Bowral and Orange in NSW was cut due to lightning. On 1 May, the telco suffered an outage of its NBN services and 4G services.

    • Security updates for Tuesday
    • Red Hat responds to Speculative Store Bypass and helps explain Variant 4 chip vulnerability
    • Microsoft, Google: We’ve found a fourth data-leaking Meltdown-Spectre CPU hole
    • Google and Microsoft Reveal New Spectre Attack
  • Defence/Aggression

    • This Article From 1985 Predicted Deadly Force by Police Would Be ‘Nonexistent’ in the Future

      When you imagine the American police officer of the future, what do you see? In the 1980s, one police officer saw “supercops”—a highly trained force of professionals who had the most high-tech toys at their disposal and almost never killed people.

      James R. Metts wrote an article for the October 1985 issue of The Futurist magazine about these “supercops” of the future. The piece is part utopian fantasy (jetpacks!) and part dystopian nightmare (surveillance!), but it’s also a fascinating look into what some people thought cops would look like in the future—just two years before the original RoboCop would hit theaters.

    • The U.S. Considered Declaring Russia a State Sponsor of Terror, Then Dropped It

      The attempt to kill a former Russian spy in England bore an ominous signature: The assailants used a lethal nerve agent of a type developed in the Soviet Union, and British investigators quickly concluded that only the Kremlin could have carried out such a sophisticated hit.

      Soon after the March attack, Rex Tillerson, then the U.S. secretary of state, ordered State Department officials to outline the case for designating Russia as a state sponsor of terrorism under U.S. law. Experts in the department’s Bureau of Counterterrorism began to assemble what they thought was a strong case.

      But almost as quickly as the review began — within about two days — the secretary of state’s office sent new instructions to drop the initiative, according to State Department officials familiar with the episode.

    • 2,000 years ago in Denmark, a fierce battle left dozens dead

      Months after the battle, people ritually damaged remains and put them under water.

    • Russia downs drone near military base in Syria

      The Russian military sais on Monday it shot down an unidentified drone approaching the Russian Hmeimim air base in Syria’s Latakia province.

      A statement carried on Monday by Russian news agencies reported that there were no casualties or damage to the base.

      The Hmeimim air base serves as the main hub for Russian operations in Syria.

  • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

    • Australian workers and youth defend Julian Assange

      Over the past week, the imperialist-led campaign against WikiLeaks editor Julian Assange has intensified. The Guardian, acting as a mouthpiece of the intelligence agencies, has published a stream of articles aimed at providing the pretext for Assange to be expelled from Ecuador’s London embassy, where he was granted political asylum almost six years ago, and forced into the hands of the British and US authorities.

      [...]

      The sentiments of ordinary people stand in stark contrast to the venomous hostility to Assange on the part of governments and the corporate media. On Sunday, the Socialist Equality Party held a successful public meeting in Brisbane, concluding a national series titled “Organise Resistance to Internet Censorship, Free Julian Assange.” The Brisbane meeting, like previous events in Sydney, Melbourne and Newcastle, was attended by workers, retirees, students and WikiLeaks supporters.

    • For Ecuador, Currying Favor with Washington is as Simple as Sacrificing Julian Assange

      For all practical purposes, whistleblower and WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is now a prisoner in asylum at the Embassy of Ecuador in London, facing the torture of near-total isolation from the outside world and hanging by the thread of the Andean state’s dwindling hospitality.

      On Thursday, the Australian – who, strangely enough, was given Ecuadorian citizenship last December – faced a new layer of precariousness atop his six-year refuge, when Ecuadorean President Lenin Moreno ordered that additional security assigned to the building be withdrawn.

    • Assange looks to be one step closer to eviction from embassy

      After half a decade of stagnation, the story of Wikileaks founder Julian Assange and his endless stay at the Ecuadorian embassy in London may be moving into high gear. It was only a week ago when we learned that his hosts were talking about either trying to sneak him out of the country to Russia or simply telling him to pack his things and walk out the door. They were also complaining about his grubby living conditions and describing him as being a “threat” to embassy personnel. Now, in yet another signal that it may be time to go, Ecuador has fully withdrawn Assange’s special security detail who had been protecting him. (Reuters)

    • Assange Team Lawyer: It’s Important That Ecuador Maintains Independence From US

      Former Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa has blasted the country’s government for depriving WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange of access to the outside world. Meanwhile Ecuador’s Foreign Minister Maria Espinosa stated that she and the UK share the intention to solve the issue. Sputnik spoke with Greg Barns, a member of Julian Assange’s legal team.

    • Judge admonishes ex-CIA worker over protective order

      A federal judge has sternly reminded a former CIA employee who may face charges connected to a leak at the agency that he can’t discuss sensitive material covered by a protective order with anyone other than his attorney.

      U.S. District Judge Paul A. Crotty spoke to 29-year-old Joshua Schulte on Monday at prosecutors’ request.

    • Accused CIA leaker must keep quiet about case, judge says

      Prosecutors said in Manhattan Federal Court that the terms of a September 2017 protective order regarding the case of Joshua Schulte, 29, had been broken by recent articles revealing he is under investigation for leaking the closely guarded cyber tools.

    • Alleged CIA leaker accused of sending press info about case

      A former CIA software engineer suspected of leaking classified documents to Wikileaks is also leaking information about his case to the press, it emerged in Manhattan federal court on Monday.

    • Suspect identified in CIA ‘Vault 7’ leak, that revealed iOS-Mac exploits

      U.S. Authorities have identified a major suspect in the so-called “Vault 7” leak that has released a huge cache of information detailing the Central Intelligence Agency’s cyber-tools, including software exploits targeting iPhone and Mac devices.

    • Courts Says CIA Can Dump Classified Info To Members Of The Public And Still Deny They’ve Been Publicly Released

      Journalist Adam Johnson’s FOIA lawsuit against the CIA has been brought to a halt. Johnson sued the CIA for refusing to release classified documents it had previously voluntarily “leaked” to selected journalists. The CIA argued the documents were still classified and not subject to FOIA requests. Johnson argued the CIA had already released the documents to the public when it decided to release this classified info to journalists.

      Back in February, it appeared the court was on Johnson’s side. Responding to the government’s motion to dismiss, the court pointed out the CIA couldn’t waive FOIA exemptions when dumping docs to journalists and then seek to use them when other journalists asked for the same info.

  • Finance

    • Rupert Murdoch Believes In The Free Market… Until His Company Is Struggling: Then He Wants To Regulate Competitors

      Yes, Rupert Murdoch believes this right up until his own companies have trouble adapting and competing. Then he goes running to government to regulate those companies who are actually succeeding.

      There may be reasonable arguments for certain kinds of regulations. But Murdoch’s only reason for calling for regulations of internet companies — after whining about socialism and talking up free markets — is pretty blatantly an attempt to whine for a handout for his own businesses that have failed to adapt to changing times.

  • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • Twitter bots may have affected voters on Brexit, U.S. presidential race: study

      “Overall, our results suggest that the aggressive use of Twitter bots, coupled with the fragmentation of social media and the role of sentiment, could contribute to the vote outcomes,” wrote the authors of the paper, researchers at the University of California at Berkeley and the United Kingdom’s Swansea University.

    • Twitter Bots May Have Boosted Donald Trump’s Votes by 3.23%, Researchers Say

      Automated tweeting played a small but potentially decisive role in the 2016 Brexit vote and Donald Trump’s presidential victory, the National Bureau of Economic Research working paper showed this month. Their rough calculations suggest bots added 1.76 percentage point to the pro-“leave” vote share as Britain weighed whether to remain in the European Union, and may explain 3.23 percentage points of the actual vote for Trump in the U.S. presidential race.

    • “Just be fair”: when does journalism undermine its own reputation?
    • Media Ignore Government Influence on Facebook’s Plan to Fight Government Influence

      Facebook announced Thursday it was partnering with DC think tank the Atlantic Council to “monitor for misinformation and foreign interference.” The details of the plan are vague, but Atlantic Council’s Digital Forensic Research Lab wrote in a non-bylined Medium post (5/17/18) that the goal was to design tools “to bring us closer together” instead of “driving us further apart.” Whatever that means, exactly.

      Behind its generic-sounding name and “nonpartisan” label, the Atlantic Council is associated with very particular interests. It’s funded by the US Department of State and the US Navy, Army and Air Force, along with NATO, various foreign powers and major Western corporations, including weapons contractors and oil companies. The Atlantic Council is dead center in what former President Obama’s deputy national security advisor Ben Rhodes called “the blob”—Washington’s bipartisan foreign-policy consensus. While there is some diversity of opinion within the Atlantic Council, it is within a very limited pro-Western ideological framework—a framework that debates how much and where US military and soft power influence should be wielded, not if it should in the first place.

    • Antifa or Antiwar: Leftist Exclusionism Against the Quest for Peace

      CounterPunch has astonished many of its old fans by its current fundraising ad portraying the site as a prime target of Russia hostility. Under the slogan, “We have all the right enemies”, CP portrays itself as a brave little crew being blown off the water by an evil Russian warship out to eliminate “lefty scum.”

      Ha Ha Ha, it’s all a joke of course. But it’s a joke that plays into the dangerous, current Russophobia promoted by Clintonite media, the deep state and the War Party. This is a reminder that Russophobia finds a variant in the writing of several prominent CounterPunch contributors.

      Yes, CounterPunch continues to publish many good articles, but appears also to be paying its tribute to the establishment narrative.

      Put on the defensive by the “fake news” assault against independent media, CP senior editor Jeffrey St Clair seemed to be shaken by Washington Post allegations that he had published articles by a “Russian troll” named Alice Donovan. St Clair never publicly questioned the FBI claim that the ephemeral plagiarist worked for the Kremlin, when she could as well have been planted by the FBI itself or some other agency, precisely in order to embarrass and intimidate the independent website.

    • Why Are So Many Democrats Afraid of Impeachment?

      Party leaders need to make clear that impeachment is always valid when there is evidence of presidential wrongdoing, cover-ups, and corruption of justice.

    • Virtually Everything the Government Did to WikiLeaks is Now Being Done to Mainstream US Reporters

      At Freedom of the Press Foundation, we believe it’s vital to defend WikiLeaks’ right to gather and publish classified information in the public interest, just as it’s vital to protect the rights of Associated Press and Fox News to do the same. Under the law, the AP, Fox News, and WikiLeaks are no different (a fact that even the government argues). If one falls, the others will not be far behind.

      Despite this fact, many journalists and mainstream media organizations purposefully stayed silent when WikiLeaks first came under attack by the Justice Department in early 2011. That disappointing silence left open the possibility that the Justice Department could use those same tactics against others in the future.

      And unfortunately now it’s clear: virtually every move made by the Justice Department against WikiLeaks has now also been deployed on mainstream US journalists.

    • Philip Cross Madness Part IV

      Mike Barson, keyboard player of the great ska group Madness, had his Wikipedia entry amended by “Philip Cross” to delete his membership of Momentum and interview with The Canary.

      [...]

      A number of people have opined in reply to my posts that the time spent to make all of Cross’s daily edits, as per the number of keystrokes, is not great. That ignores the colossal effort that goes into research and above all monitoring of Wikipedia by the “Philip Cross” operation.

      Finally, this is an excellent example of the bias of Wikipedia. The information about Barson is totally true. He is a proud member of Momentum. It is also quite interesting and an important bit of his life. But according to Wikipedia’s pro-MSM rules, “Philip Cross” can indeed delete it because the information is not from an MSM source. In the unlikely event of the Times or Telegraph ever writing about Barson’s Momentum membership, it would of course be in a hos

  • Censorship/Free Speech

  • Privacy/Surveillance

    • Progressive groups launch petition for government to break up Facebook

      The groups, which include the Content Creators Coalition, Demand Progress and the Open Markets Institute, are urging the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to force Facebook to do three things: spin off its subsidiaries like Instagram and WhatsApp into separate companies, make it possible to communicate across third-party social media platforms and strengthen its privacy rules.

    • The most significant UK data breaches

      With only months until GDPR comes into effect in May 2018, high-profile breaches are still occurring. Here are some of the more significant from UK organisations.

    • Cookies That Go the Other Way

      The original cookie allowed the server to remember the client when it showed up again. Later the cookie would remember other stuff: for example, that the client was a known customer with a shopping cart.

      Cookies also came to remember fancier things, such as that a client has agreed to the server’s terms of use.

      In the last decade, cookies also arrived from third parties, some for site analytics but mostly so clients could be spied on as they went about their business elsewhere on the web. The original purpose was so those clients could be given “relevant” and “interest-based” advertising. What matters is that it was still spying and a breach of personal privacy, no matter how well its perpetrators rationalize it. Simply put, websites and advertisers’ interests end at a browser’s front door. (Bonus link: The Castle Doctrine.)

      Thanks to the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which comes into full force this Friday, that kind of spying is starting to look illegal. (Though loopholes will be found.) Since there is a world of fear about that, 99.x% of GDPR coverage is about how the new regulation affects the sites and services, and what they can do to avoid risking massive fines for doing what many (or most) of them shouldn’t have been doing in the first place.

    • Microsoft makes inroads with U.S. spy agencies [iophk: "now Russia, China, and others have easiest access to the 17 agencies data"]

      Microsoft has secured a potentially lucrative agreement that makes the full suite of the tech giant’s cloud-computing platform available to 17 U.S. intelligence agencies, executives said recently, moving agencies’ computer systems onto Office 365 applications and adding certain cloud-based applications not previously available to them.

    • The backlash that never happened: New data shows people actually increased their Facebook usage after the Cambridge Analytica scandal
    • Chinese school uses facial recognition to check if pupils aren’t concentrating
    • Acer becomes first PC maker to bring Alexa to laptops

      Acer first revealed its plans to bring Amazon’s easily-fooled AI assistant to its hardware line-up back in January, and news of the impending rollout comes just days after rival PC maker HP showed off the first all-in-one to come with Alexa smarts baked-in.

      The Acer Spin 5 line of convertibles, which come kitted out with four-microphone arrays for far-field voice detection, will be the first in line to receive the software update on 23 May, with the gaming-focused Nitro 5 Spin set to offer Alexa when it goes on sale next month.

    • Google has almost completely expunged ‘don’t be evil’ from its Code of Conduct

      Alphabet, the shell company created to house Google and other unrelated projects such as Waymo, never used the phrase, though they have something similar, but Google has always stuck to the idea that not being evil is worth mentioning. Heck, it’s even been the wifi password for shuttles to Google Campus.

    • Google Duplex will warn anyone it calls that they are being recorded

      Duplex calls will need to be recorded so they can be sent to the cloud for parsing. The other solution would be an on-device AI chip that would be much slower although Amazon is said to be looking at one as an accelerator for Echo devices.

    • Google’s Duplex AI Robot Will Warn That Calls Are Recorded

      On Thursday, the Alphabet Inc. unit shared more details on how the Duplex robot-calling feature will operate when it’s released publicly, according to people familiar with the discussion. Duplex is an extension of the company’s voice-based digital assistant that automatically phones local businesses and speaks with workers there to book appointments.

  • Civil Rights/Policing

    • UK gov will have fresh [I]nternet safety laws ready in a ‘couple of years’

      But you’d be wrong. The Department got Digital, Culture, Media & Sport will work with the Home Office and other government departments and industry to knock out a white paper later this year that’ll set out legislation to be brought forward to tackle [I]nternet nastiness.

    • Predatory behavior runs rampant in Facebook’s addiction support groups

      After the call, Couch was surprised to find that she could not log back in to Affected by Addiction. In fact, she came to realize, she’d been banned. The experience left her feeling paranoid, like she couldn’t trust anyone. She warned her son to be careful about support groups.

    • The Pointless “Security” At Airports Stops Everyone But The Criminals

      # warning: references the Fail

      This is the antithesis of security and means that we are actually more insecure than if we put all those TSA dollars into probable cause-based policing. No showy show show at the airport out of that, but it would actually keep us safer.

    • The effect of the new UK cybersecurity laws

      Interestingly, despite earlier indications, the UK government has moved away from applying the very high potential fines linked to percentage of turnover that the GDPR has. Instead, there is a sliding scale of fines depending on the severity of the contravention with the highest being £17 million for a material contravention which caused/could cause an immediate threat to life or significant adverse impact on the UK economy.

    • The Latest: Haspel jokes about rocky confirmation process

      Newly sworn-in CIA Director Gina Haspel says she wants to send more officers into the field, improve foreign language proficiency among the ranks and strengthen the agency’s working relationships with intelligence agencies in partner nations.

    • President Trump swears in new CIA Director Gina Haspel
    • Trump targets former CIA Director John Brennan, quoting a pundit on ‘Fox & Friends’
    • Here’s Why Donald Trump Is Criticizing Former CIA Director John Brennan
    • Trump lambastes a former CIA director ahead of installation of a new one
    • Group affected by CIA brainwashing experiments wants public apology, compensation from government

      A group of Canadians affected by CIA brainwashing experiments conducted at McGill University’s Allan Memorial Institute met for the first time on Sunday to start organizing for a public apology and compensation from the federal government through a possible class-action.

      Around 40 people gathered at a Montreal condo to share their stories, cry and support each other. The pain, many said, was palpable in the room.

      “The government should offer an apology and there should be recognition of the injustice that was done,” says Gina Blasbalg, who became a patient at the Allan in her teens in 1960, and drove with her husband from Richmond, B.C., to attend the weekend meeting.

      ​Survivors Allied Against Government Abuse (SAAGA), as the group calls itself, includes both victims and family members of people who were unwitting participants in brainwashing experiments conducted under the supervision of Dr. Ewen Cameron, director of the psychiatric hospital between 1943 and 1964.

    • China must stop pushing territorial claims, censorship on foreign firms

      China imposes its political assertions on foreign companies, and if they do not comply, it retaliates against them. China should end this excessive censorship, which hinders free economic activities by the private sector.

      The Chinese government has demanded Japanese, U.S. and other airlines describe Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macao as part of China on their websites. They have also been directed to label Taiwan “Chinese Taiwan” and use the same color for Taiwan on their maps as the one for mainland China.

    • Chinese publishers are in uncharted territory as maps get left out of books

      New rules have made it so difficult for publishers to get maps of China past the censors that some are choosing to leave them out of books entirely.

      Three separate publishing sources have told the South China Morning Post that the process of getting them approved for publication is so difficult and costly, they’re even suggesting authors remove maps before they will go ahead with a book deal.

      While Beijing has always been fastidious about maps of China – particularly whether they include the nine-dash line showing its disputed claim in the South China Sea, and the self-ruled island of Taiwan – the censors are now also turning their attention to how the country is represented on maps of the world, and even historical maps.

    • China Now Leads the World — at Bullying

      China has made known that it wants to be the world’s premier power, and it already leads in one area: bullying. The latest example is GAP clothing retailer, which just issued a groveling apology to Beijing for releasing a t-shirt emblazoned with an “erroneous” map of China. The “error” was omitting Taiwan, parts of Tibet, and certain South China Sea islands — all places that Beijing fancies part of its territory.

      The kicker is that, apparently, the shirt wasn’t even being sold in China. In fact, it was photos of the garment taken in Canada’s Niagara region that attracted the Chinese attention after being circulated online. This reflects a little known phenomenon: Through economic bullying, China is influencing markets well beyond its borders.

    • Patriot or Double Agent? CIA Officer on Trial as U.S. Targets Spying by China

      To the U.S. government, Kevin Mallory was a man in desperate straits, with no income in his pocket but with information in his head useful to China, given his longtime work as a covert CIA officer who spoke Mandarin.

    • State TV Says Fishing Rods ‘Used To Communicate With CIA’

      Despite Iran’s Intelligence Ministry insisting there is no proof to suggest that the environmentalists who have been detained were involved in espionage against their homeland, their attorney sees no breakthrough in his clients’ situation.

      At least 13 environmentalists, charged with espionage for “enemies,” have been behind bars since January 24.

      The Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) intelligence organization also detained more than 40 environmentalists, rangers, and their relatives on May 7 and 8 in Hormozgan Province, southern Iran.

    • South Carolina Legislature Repeals Racist ‘Disturbing School’ Law for Students

      In 2015, video surfaced of a police officer violently dragging a Black girl from her school desk. He was arresting her, and using shockingly excessive force, because she was “disturbing school,” a vague law that more or less made it a crime for a student to be loud, to talk back to staff or school police. In other words, it criminalized being a kid.

      Unsurprisingly, this law has disproportionately affected students of color, who are already over-policed outside the school walls, so we sued in August 2016. Last week, we scored a victory on behalf of all students who have been pulled into the maze of the state’s criminal justice system.

      On Thursday, South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster signed an amendment repealing the crime of disturbing schools for students in the state of South Carolina. The importance of this law being signed cannot be understated. Its passage will eliminate a major source of the school-to-prison pipeline, which has caused grievous and lifelong harm to students across South Carolina.

    • Uncle Sam Is Helping Missouri Cops Steal From the State’s Public Education Fund

      When it comes to the practice of civil asset forfeiture, the state of Missouri has the right idea. State law mandates that 100 percent of proceeds from cash and property forfeitures that result in convictions be used to fund the state’s public schools. That’s a sound idea, but there’s one problem: It isn’t happening.

      In 2016, local law enforcement only sent $100,000 to public schools when it seized $6.3 million worth of property. And of that total, 44 percent went to the feds. What accounts for this discrepancy?

      Simple: Missouri law enforcement has conspired with the Department of Justice, in defiance of state law, to ensure that the cash goes into their coffers rather than to the school children of Missouri.

      In 2001, Missouri’s Civil Asset Forfeiture Act (CAFA) was amended in an effort to impede state and local law enforcement from policing for profit, a common practice in many states across the county whereby police are incentivized to seize property and pocket its cash value. CAFA aimed to ensure that upon a defendant’s conviction their seized property be handed off to the local county prosecutor who would “deposit the proceeds into the public education fund as required by the Missouri Constitution,” thereby curtailing law enforcement’s incentive to arbitrarily and pervasively seize, and then keep or cash in, property allegedly involved in a crime.

    • The CIA made a Magic: The Gathering-style card game for training agents, and we played it

      Last year during SXSW, the CIA revealed it designs elaborate tabletop games to train and test its employees and analysts. After receiving a Freedom of Information Act request, the CIA sent out censored information on three different games it uses with trainees — and thanks to Diegetic Games, an adapted version of one of them will soon be available to the public.

      CIA: Collect it All is based off a card game described in the documents as “Collection Deck,” which was designed by CIA Senior Collection Analyst David Clopper. Its play style is roughly based on Magic: The Gathering, and demonstrates how different intelligence tactics can be used to address political, economic, and military crises — and how the system often manages to screw it all up. If you want a copy of your own, there’s a funded Kickstarter campaign for it that ends on Tuesday that charges $29 for a set of physical cards or $10 for a print-and-play version.

    • It takes more than a makeover to make a woman

      Munroe Bergdorf is pushing a pretty sexist view of womanhood.

    • A Death in Slow Motion

      James “Lee” Lewis had waited years for a new heart, praying for the day he would be free of the mechanical pump doctors implanted in him in 2015. The device had extended his life after his heart began to fail, but he hated that its wires and the portable battery pack kept him tethered to land and off his fishing boat.

      [...]

      For the next three months, he remained connected to life-support machines, enduring nearly 20 follow-up surgeries and procedures, before dying on March 23. For many weeks, the hospital withheld key details about his care, the family said, including what went wrong in the operating room during his transplant.

      Along the way, his wife and daughter chronicled Lee’s downward spiral in matter-of-fact Facebook posts that belied their sadness and anger but sometimes hinted at their frustration with the transplant program. ProPublica and the Chronicle confirmed their account through a review of medical records, answers to written questions from the hospital and an interview with a physician involved in Lee’s care.

      Taken together, excerpts from their social media feeds show how loved ones coped after Lee’s transplant — his shot at deliverance — went seriously wrong.

    • An old CIA memo provides rare proof of abuses by Brazil’s dictatorship

      From 1964 to 1985, Brazil was ruled by a military dictatorship that tortured and murdered dissidents in the name of fending off communism. The generals who ran the country have long denied the use of such brutal tactics, but a newly unearthed CIA memo reveals that Brazil’s top leaders knew and approved of a policy to execute people seen as threatening to the regime.

      In the two decades after Brazil’s military overthrew a democratically elected government in 1964, researchers say, the regime committed numerous atrocities. Interrogators utilized electric shocks on victims, drilled nails into their hands and doused their extremities in alcohol before setting them on fire. Hundreds of people deemed a threat to the government died or disappeared.

    • MoD wants to maintain a register of AI experts
    • Military brainboxes ponder ‘UK needs you’ list of AI boffins
  • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

    • Verizon Begins ‘Testing’ DSL Usage Caps It Refuses To Call Usage Caps

      For years now broadband providers have used a lack of competition to impose all manner of obnoxious additional fees on the backs of broadband consumers. That includes arbitrary and obnoxious usage caps and overage charges, which not only raise rates on captive customers, but quite intentionally make using streaming video competitors more expensive and cumbersome. Once caps are in place, large ISPs often exempt their own content from usage caps while still penalizing streaming competitors (aka zero rating).

      ISPs used to claim that such limits were necessary to manage network congestion, but as that argument was increasingly debunked (caps don’t actually help manage congestion) they’ve shifted their justifications to more flimsy alternatives. These days, ISPs usually offer no justification at all, or issue vague declarations that they’re simply trying to help users “better understand their consumption habits.”

    • FCC will take public comments on Sinclair-Tribune merger
    • T-Mobile should stop claiming it has “Best Unlimited Network,” ad group says

      AT&T challenged T-Mobile’s ads to the National Advertising Division (NAD), which ruled that T-Mobile hasn’t substantiated its claim that it has the best wireless network.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Chinese company which raised $1.3 billion in IP-backed financing has Virginia factory site foreclosed

      It would appear that the recipient of the largest ever IP-backed loan has come full circle to cautionary tale.

      Tranlin Paper, based in China’s Shandong Province, borrowed well over a billion dollars from the China Development bank in 2014 on the strength of its IP portfolio. It planned to invest part of the sum in a US-based paper mill which promised to provide 2,000 jobs.

      On the US side at least, the deal appears to have gone pear-shaped. And in China as well, serious questions are being asked about Tranlin’s financial situation.

    • Examining the Role of Patents in Firm Financing

      First, I’m working on a paper on this topic right now, using a high quality dataset that nobody has been able to exploit for this question. I hope my coauthor (David Ratigan, an economist here at Villanova) and I can do so! Hall’s paper lays out some of the challenges we face, and the primary criticism of prior papers: whether the benefit of financing is simply the patent right, or instead the underlying quality of the invention. Professor Hall suggests that the best approach may be a detailed study of companies with unpatented inventions as compared to companies with patented inventions. I think it would be great, but really difficult, to do such a study. But I’m not convinced it is necessary with the proper random sample and controls. We’ll find out, because that’s what we’re trying to do. Even if we fail, I think there is value in knowing the role of the patent right even if it is simply a proxy signal – more on this theoretical question below.

      Second, I think it would be good for law folks to read this. This is not a literature I hear discussed or cited very often.

      [...]

      This last question is the most important, and the one highlighted in this literature review. Must we separate the patent right from the patent innovation in order to determine that the patent system has value? Whenever I have propounded this theory of patenting, that’s the pushback I get – that the patent is just a correlated signal with firm quality, so the patent doesn’t have any real value on its own (this pushback even implies that the patent right has little value). But imagine a world where there is no patent system and firms innovate. How would they signal their quality? The method doesn’t really matter, except to note that those very same firms that don’t patent now can signal their quality in the exact same way.

    • A litigious Chinese Internet startup worth up to $30 billion buys patents for the first time

      China’s most popular news app, Toutiao, uses an algorithm to deliver a personalised feed of content to 120 million active users. The service, which produces no original content of its own, has dedicated most of its IP efforts to date to fending off copyright complaints. But a recent US assignment shows that it is preparing for potential patent conflict, too. Toutiao’s parent company, Bytedance, has raised money at a valuation of up to $30 billion, and remains independent of China’s three big internet giants, Baidu, Alibaba and Tencent.

    • Trademarks

    • Copyrights

      • Sleepwalking towards a perpetual (news?) publishers’ right in online publications
      • US Congress considers extending copyright term

        A Bill has been put before the US Congress that extends copyright protection for sound recordings (that were fixed before 1972) until 2067. This could mean that sound recordings fixed as early as 1923, would remain out of the public domain for evvvveeerrrr 144 years.

      • HBO Wins Stupid Copyright, Trademark Lawsuit Brought By Graffiti Artist Over 2 Seconds Of Background Scenery

        Whenever a company like HBO gets targeted with a lawsuit over intellectual property concerns, you might think we find it tempting to jump all over them in each and every case. After all, HBO has the distinction of being notably horrible when it comes to enforcing its own IP, from shutting down viewing parties, to offering streaming options, to abusing the the DMCA process just to keep spoilers from existing, as though that could possibly work.

        But the truth is the fun we have in cases where these types are found to be in legal trouble over intellectual property only extends to when that legal trouble is in some way warranted. When its not, we find that there is a helpful other party on which to heap our ire. That’s the case in a lawsuit HBO recently won against graffiti artist Itoffee R. Gayle, who complained about his work appearing in a scene of the HBO show Vinyl. The court ruled that HBO’s use was de minimis, or so fleeting so as to cause no injury and therefore not be actionable.

      • How The Recording Industry Hid Its Latest Attempt To Expand Copyright (And Why You Should Call Your Senator To Stop It)

        Last month, we wrote about the problems of the CLASSICS Act that the House was voting on. There’s a lot of background (much of it included in that post), that is not worth repeating, but the very short version is that sound recordings from before 1972 are treated somewhat differently under copyright law than songs recorded since February of 1972. Specifically, pre-1972 sound recordings are not covered by federal copyright law, but by a weird batch of state laws. Due to a bunch of shenanigans, many of those works will not be put into the public domain until 2067, even if by any other measure they should be in the public domain. The RIAA has always liked this aspect of pre-1972 songs. However, there are other aspects of pre-1972 songs that the RIAA does not like, and that’s mainly that the lack of federal copyright coverage means that those works (mostly) don’t get any performance rights, since most state laws didn’t have such a concept. That’s money the RIAA feels is being left on the table.

        One way to handle this would be to just federalize the copyright on pre-1972 works and put all works on an equal footing. Easy, right? But that’s not what the CLASSICS Act does. Instead, it just modernizes the parts of copyright for those works that help extract more money from people (such as adding in performance rights) while refusing to bring with it the parts of copyright law that protect the public — including the timeline for things moving into the public domain.

        [...]

        Instead, it’s just a welfare bill for musicians. And, hey, Congress can set up a welfare system for musicians if it wants to, but it should be described as such and debated as such. Instead, this is being positioned very differently, because of course that’s how the RIAA plays things.

      • Kodi-Addon Developer Gives Up Piracy Defense Due to Lack of Funds

        Shani, the brains behind the popular Kodi-addon ZemTV, has asked his attorney to stop defending him. The London-based developer says he doesn’t have the funds to fight the legal battle against Dish Networks in a US court. As a result, there’s a high likelihood that the broadcast provider will win a default judgment.

      • Singapore ISPs Block 53 Pirate Sites Following MPAA Legal Action

        Several major ISPs have blocked dozens of pirate torrent and streaming platforms following orders from the Singapore High Court. The action, which covers platforms including The Pirate Bay plus KickassTorrents and Solarmovie variants, follows a successful application from the MPAA, which accuses the platforms of flagrant copyright infringement.

05.21.18

Links 21/5/2018: Linux 4.17 RC6, GIMP 2.10.2

Posted in News Roundup at 1:27 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • GNU/Linux vs. Unix: What’s the difference?

    If you are a software developer in your 20s or 30s, you’ve grown up in a world dominated by Linux. It has been a significant player in the data center for decades, and while it’s hard to find definitive operating system market share reports, Linux’s share of data center operating systems could be as high as 70%, with Windows variants carrying nearly all the remaining percentage. Developers using any major public cloud can expect the target system will run Linux. Evidence that Linux is everywhere has grown in recent years when you add in Android and Linux-based embedded systems in smartphones, TVs, automobiles, and many other devices.

    Even so, most software developers, even those who have grown up during this venerable “Linux revolution” have at least heard of Unix. It sounds similar to Linux, and you’ve probably heard people use these terms interchangeably. Or maybe you’ve heard Linux called a “Unix-like” operating system.

    So, what is this Unix? The caricatures speak of wizard-like “graybeards” sitting behind glowing green screens, writing C code and shell scripts, powered by old-fashioned, drip-brewed coffee. But Unix has a much richer history beyond those bearded C programmers from the 1970s. While articles detailing the history of Unix and “Unix vs. Linux” comparisons abound, this article will offer a high-level background and a list of major differences between these complementary worlds.

  • Kernel Space

    • Linux 4.16.10
    • Linux 4.14.42
    • Linux 4.9.101
    • Linux 4.17-rc6

      Things continue to be fairly calm. There’s a couple of commits in here that
      aren’t “trivial few-liners”, but most of it really is pretty small. And in
      fact, a quarter of the full patch for the week is tooling – and the bulk of
      that is the testing subdirectory.

      In fact, drivers are in the minority here, because another 30% is arch
      updates (arm, s390, x86), and we even have more lines of filesystem fixes
      than we have driver fixes (admittedly mostly due to a few of the
      more-than-a-few-liner patches being to filesystems: afs and btrfs).

      We do have a few driver fixes (all over – hwmon, usb, sound, acpi, gpu),
      but it’s all really small.

      So nothing special to report. Go read the shortlog, pull the changes,
      build, and test. It should all be good and pretty stable by this point.

      Linus

    • Linux 4.17-rc6 Kernel Released As Another “Fairly Calm” Release

      Linux 4.17 is up to its sixth weekly release candidate ahead of the official release expected by mid-June.

    • USB Audio Class 3.0 Improvements Coming To Linux 4.18

      With the recently minted Linux 4.17 kernel there was initial USB Audio Class 3.0 support for this audio-over-USB specification while with Linux 4.18 that UA3 support will be further enhanced.

      UAC3 is primarily geared for “USB audio over USB Type-C” that is an upgrade over UAC2 with improved power management, new descriptors, and more.

    • Linux Foundation

      • Linux Foundation LFCE: Hugues Clouâtre

        I started using Linux and open source software professionally at the beginning of my IT career while attending university. I found the simplicity and flexibility of Linux quite interesting, especially compared to the mainstream operating systems at that time (2004). Red Hat and Debian were the first Linux distributions I used in a business environment. Linux gives you the freedom to experiment — it got me interested right away.

    • Graphics Stack

      • IWOCL OpenCL 2018 Videos Start Appearing Online

        There is the conference program for those that are curious about the sessions that took place during this annual OpenCL conference. Eventually, slide decks should be available from there too.

        The most prominent session video of interest to hobbyists and general OpenCL developers/users will likely be The Khronos Group’s President, Neil Trevett, providing a “state of the nation” on CL…

      • Mesa 18.1 Officially Released as the Most Advanced Linux Graphics Stack Series

        The development team behind the open-source Mesa graphics stack announced over the weekend the general availability of the final Mesa 18.1 release for Linux-based operating systems.

        The Mesa 18.1 series comes approximately two months after the 18.0 branch, which probably most GNU/Linux distributions are using these days, and which already received its fourth maintenance updates. Mesa 18.1 introduces a few new features across all supported graphics drivers, but it’s mostly another stability update.

      • Mach64 & Rendition Drivers Now Work With X.Org Server 1.20

        Anyone happening to have an ATI Mach 64 graphics card from the mid-90′s or a 3Dfx-competitor Rendition graphics card also from the 90′s can now enjoy the benefits of the recently released X.Org Server 1.20.

        Mach 64 and Rendition are among the X.Org DDX (2D) drivers still being maintained for the X.Org Server. Even though using either of these two decade old graphics cards would be painfully slow with a Linux desktop stack from today especially if paired with CPU and memory from that time-frame, the upstream X.Org developers still appear willing to maintain support for these vintage graphics processors. Well, at least as far as ensuring the drivers still build against the newest software — we’ve seen before out of these old drivers that they are updated to work for new releases, but at times can actually be broken display support for years before anyone notices with said hardware.

    • Benchmarks

      • Ryzen 7 2700 / Ryzen 7 2700X / Core i7 8700K Linux Gaming Performance With RX Vega 64, GTX 1080 Ti

        With the Linux benchmarks of the Ryzen 7 2700 last week I included a few Linux gaming benchmarks, but for those evaluating CPU options for your next Intel/AMD Linux gaming system upgrade, here is a much more thorough set of benchmarks from a wide variety of OpenGL and Vulkan powered Linux games. The Ryzen 7 2700, Ryzen 7 2700X, and Core i7 8700K processors were tested for this Ubuntu gaming comparison while testing with both a Radeon RX Vega 64 and GeForce GTX 1080 Ti.

      • The Prominent Changes Of Phoronix Test Suite 8.0

        With development on Phoronix Test Suite 8.0 wrapping up for release in the coming weeks, here is a recap of some of the prominent changes for this huge update to our open-source, cross-platform benchmarking software.

      • AMD AOCC 1.2 Code Compiler Offers Some Performance Benefits For EPYC

        Last month AMD released the AOCC 1.2 compiler for Zen systems. This updated version of their branched LLVM/Clang compiler with extra patches/optimizations for Zen CPUs was re-based to the LLVM/Clang 6.0 code-base while also adding in experimental FLANG support for Fortran compilation and various other unlisted changes to their “znver1″ patch-set. Here’s a look at how the performance compares with AOCC 1.2 to LLVM Clang 6.0 and GCC 7/8 C/C++ compilers.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • KDE Plasma 5.13 Looks Like an Awesome Update

        The KDE Plasma 5.13 release is shaping up to be something rather special indeed.

        Currently in development, KDE Plasma 5.13 serves as the next major release of the leading Qt/Qml desktop environment. The update features a stack of improvements, refinements and some innovative new functionality.

        In this post we roundup the best KDE Plasma 5.13 features and changes, plus give you all the details on how to upgrade to Plasma 5.13 in Kubuntu and KDE Neon once it is released on June 12, 2018.

      • First week of coding phase, GSoC’18

        QML plugins will now be loaded into Falkon from the subdirectory qml in the standard plugin paths, similar to Python plugins. Also in metadata.desktop file for plugin, the main entry file (QML) can be specified so that the plugin named X can have the entry file Y.qml.

      • KDAB at SIGGRAPH 2018

        Yes, folks. This year SIGGRAPH 2018 is in Canada and we’ll be there at the Qt booth, showing off our latest tooling and demos. These days, you’d be surprised where Qt is used under the hood, even by the biggest players in the 3D world!

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

      • GNOME 3.30 Desktop to Introduce New App for Finding Free Internet Radio Stations

        GNOME 3.30 is currently in heavy development, with a second snapshot expected to land this week, and the GNOME Project recently updated their future plans page for the upcoming releases with the inclusion of the Internet Radio Locator app, which could make its debut during this cycle.

        Internet Radio Locator is an open-source graphical application built with the latest GNOME/GTK+ technologies and designed to help users easily locate free Internet radio stations from various broadcasters around the globe. It currently supports text-based location search for a total of 86 stations from 76 world cities.

  • Distributions

    • Red Hat Family

    • Debian Family

      • Debian is wrong

        So, the MiniDebConf Hamburg 2018 is about to end, it’s sunny, no clouds are visible and people seem to be happy.

        And, I have time to write this blog post! So, just as a teaser for now, I’ll present to you the content of some slides of our “Reproducible Buster” talk today. Later I will add links to the video and the full slides.

      • Mini DebConf Hamburg

        Since Friday around noon time, I and my 6-year-old son are at the Mini DebConf in Hamburg. Attending together with my son is quite a different experience than plain alone or with also having my wife around. Though he is doing pretty good, it mostly means the day ends for me around 2100 when he needs to go to sleep.

      • Derivatives

        • Parrot 4.0 Ethical Hacking OS Debuts with MD Raid Support, Stable Sandboxed Apps

          Powered by the latest Linux 4.16 kernel series, Parrot 4.0 is a major release of the GNU/Linux distribution designed for ethical hacking and penetration testing operations. It’s the first to introduce stable, reliable support for sandboxed applications as an extra layer of security, and official Netinstall and Docker images.

          “Parrot on Docker gives you access to all the Parrot containers you need on top of Windows, Mac OS, or any other system supported by docker, no matter if it is just your laptop or a whole docker cluster running on an entire datacenter. You will always have access to all the parrot tools in all the isolated environments you need,” said the devs.

        • Debian GNU/Linux 8 “Jessie” Will Reach End of Security Support on June 17, 2018

          According to a security advisory posted by developer Moritz Muehlenhoff on the Debian-security-announce mailing list, the Debian GNU/Linux 8 “Jessie” operating system series will no longer receive regular security updates as of June 17, 2018. However, a limited number of packages will still be updated for a while.

          “This is an advance notice that regular security support for Debian GNU/Linux 8 (code name “jessie”) will be terminated on the 17th of June,” said Moritz Muehlenhoff. “As with previous releases additional LTS support will be provided for a reduced set of architectures and packages.”

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Tennibot is a really cool Ubuntu Linux-powered tennis ball collecting robot

            Linux isn’t just a hobby — the kernel largely powers the web, for instance. Not only is Linux on many web servers, but it is also found on the most popular consumer operating system in the world — Android. Why is this? Well, the open source kernel scales very well, making it ideal for many projects. True, Linux’s share of the desktop is still minuscule, but sometimes slow and steady wins the race — watch out, Windows!

            A good example of Linux’s scalability is a new robot powered by Linux which was recently featured on the official Ubuntu Blog. Called “Tennibot,” the Ubuntu-powered bot seeks out and collects tennis balls. Not only does it offer convenience, but it can save the buyer a lot of money too — potentially thousands of dollars per year as this calculator shows. So yeah, a not world-changing product, but still very neat nonetheless. In fact, it highlights that Linux isn’t just behind boring nerdy stuff, but fun things too.

          • Ubuntu 18.10 Aims to Improve Laptop Battery Life

            It’s been less than a month since Ubuntu 18.04 LTS released, but when you work on a six-month release cycle the focus moves quickly to what comes next. Canonical is doing just that by telling us what we can expect to see in Ubuntu 18.10, which arrives in October.

            If you’re only just getting used to Ubuntu 18.04, don’t worry, Canonical hasn’t forgotten about you. In a blog post, Canonical’s desktop engineering manager, Will Cooke, details plans to release 18.04.1 in July. It will fix a number of bugs, but also introduce the ability to, among other things, unlock Ubuntu with your fingerprint.

          • Ubuntu 18.10 Linux Operating System Launching Oct 2018

            Now that the Ubuntu 18.04 LTS operating system is available to download offering long-term support, its developers Canonical are now looking to the future and have announced that Ubuntu 18.10 operating system is expected to be made available during October 2018 and will bring with it some major new additions and enhancements.

          • Ubuntu 18.10 will come with a new default theme, improved power management, and more

            Scheduled to arrive in October, Ubuntu 18.10 “Cosmic Cuttlefish” will still use GNOME but will come with a new default theme called Communitheme, improved power saving options, a faster first-time startup for apps installed as snaps, DLNA media sharing, and more. Until then, version 18.04.1 is expected to drop in July with a few minor changes, as well as the usual tweaks and bug fixes.

          • Flavours and Variants

            • Kubuntu Drops 32-bit Install Images

              If you were planning to grab a Kubuntu 18.10 32-bit download this October you will want to look away now.

              Kubuntu has confirmed plans to join the rest of the Ubuntu flavour family and drop 32-bit installer images going forward.

              This means there will be no 32-bit Kubuntu 18.10 disc image available to download later this year.

  • Devices/Embedded

Free Software/Open Source

  • Web Browsers

    • More Roads And Faster Browsers

      And it’s exactly what is happening with our Web pages. Browsers become more performant. So developers instead of using this extra performance to make the page extra-blazingly fast, we use it to pack more DOM nodes, CSS animations and JavaScript driven user experiences.

    • Mozilla

      • Firefox 61 Beta 6 Testday Results

        As you may already know, last Friday – May 18th – we held a new Testday event, for Firefox 61 Beta 6.

        Thank you all for helping us make Mozilla a better place: gaby2300, Michal, micde, Jarrod Michell, Petri Pollanen, Thomas Brooks.

        From India team: Aishwarya Narasimhan, Mohamed Bawas, Surentharan and Suren, amirthavenkat, krish.

  • CMS

    • WordPress 4.9.6 Update Helps Websites Prepare for GDPR

      The open-source WordPress content management system project announced its 4.9.6 update on May 17, providing users with privacy enhancements designed to help sites be compliant with the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation.

      GDPR is set to go into effect on May 25, requiring organizations to take steps to protect the privacy of end- user information. To be compliant with GDPR, organizations need to properly disclose how user data is stored and used.

      “It’s important to understand that while the GDPR is a European regulation, its requirements apply to all sites and online businesses that collect, store, and process personal data about EU residents no matter where the business is located,” WordPress developer Allen Snook wrote in a blog post.

  • Pseudo-Open Source (Openwashing)

  • BSD

    • DragonFly BSD 5.2.0

      My experience with DragonFly this week was a lot like my experiences with other members of the BSD family. The system is lightweight, provides lots of useful documentation and gives us a minimal platform from which to build our operating system. The system was stable, fast and provided me with most of the software I wanted. Apart from DragonFly not working with my desktop computer’s hardware, I had an overall good experience with the operating system.

      I had mixed feelings about H2. At this point the file system seems stable and can be used for most common tasks. However, the advanced features that make the future of H2 look so appealing, are not all in place yet. So it might be best to wait another year before switching over to H2 if you want to make the most of snapshots and other advanced file system options.

      DragonFly is typically regarded as a server operating system, and that is where its strengths lie. However, this week I feel it performed well as a desktop platform too. It takes a little while to set up DragonFly as a desktop, but the documentation walks us through most of the process and I was able to do everything I would typically do on Linux desktop distribution.

    • Server maker IXsystems sets sail with new TrueNAS flagship

      All IXsystems storage runs a distribution of OpenZFS, based on the Zettabyte File System (ZFS) initially developed by Sun Microsystems, on x86-based appliances manufactured by iXsystems. The vendor, based in San Jose, Calif., also sells IXsystems FreeNAS rackmount systems used primarily by home offices and small businesses, and all-flash Z50 TrueFlash appliances on the high end.

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • GIMP 2.10.2 Released

      It’s barely been a month since we released GIMP 2.10.0, and the first bugfix version 2.10.2 is already there! Its main purpose is fixing the various bugs and issues which were to be expected after the 2.10.0 release.

    • GIMP 2.10.2 Released With HEIF Image Format Support

      Just shy of one month since the long-awaited debut of GIMP 2.10, the first stable point release is now available.

      Besides fixing bugs, there is new features too including support for HEIF images for importing and exporting, spherize and recursive transform filters added, improved histogram computation, and more.

    • GNU nano 2.9.7 was released

      Accumulated changes over the last five releases include: the ability to bind a key to a string (text and/or escape sequences), a default color of bright white on red for error messages, an improvement to the way the Scroll-Up and Scroll-Down commands work, and the new –afterends option to make Ctrl+Right (next word) stop at the end of a word instead of at the beginning. Check it out.

  • Licensing/Legal

    • Tesla Starts Open Sourcing Some Software Code After Facing Criticism

      Elon Musk might enjoy the status of most-talked-about celebrity in the technology world, but his company Tesla doesn’t have many admirers when it comes to open source and free software enthusiasts. The company is known to be using many GPL-licensed technologies that need Tesla to share the source code of their software.

    • Tesla releases source code for some of its in-car tech
    • It Only Took Six Years, But Tesla Is No Longer Screwing Up Basic Software Licenses

      Tesla is actually doing it. The electric car maker is starting to abide by open source software licenses that it had previously ignored, and releasing the code it’s sat on for over six years, according to Electrek.

      Tesla’s super smart cars, specifically the sporty Model S sedan and Model X SUV, incorporate a lot of open source software, from Linux, the open source operating system, to BusyBox, a collection of tools that are useful when working with Linux and other UNIX environments (like macOS). All open source software is released under licenses and one of the most popular licenses is the GPL, or General Public License.

    • Tesla releases some of its software to comply with open source rules

      Tesla makes some of the most popular electric vehicles out there and the systems in those cars rely on open source software for operating systems and features. Some of that open source software that is used in Tesla products has a license agreement that requires Tesla to at least offer the user access to the source code. Tesla hasn’t been making that offer.

    • Tesla open sources some of its Autopilot source code

      ELECTRIC CAR MAKER Tesla tends to keep the details of its work under lock and key, but now Elon Musk’s company is plonking some of its automotive tech source code into the open source community.

      Tesla dumped some of its code used to build the foundations of its Autopilot semi-autonomous driving tech and the infotainment system found on the Model S and Model X cars, which makes uses of Nvidia’s Tegra chipset, on GitHub.

      Even if you’re code-savvy, don’t go expecting to build your own autonomous driving platform on top of this source code, as Tesla has still kept the complete Autopilot framework under wraps, as well as deeper details of the infotainment system found in its cars. But it could give code wranglers a better look into how Tesla approaches building infotainment systems and giving its cars a dose of self-driving smarts.

    • Tesla releases source code

      Tesla has taken its first step towards compliance with the GNU General Public Licence (GPL) by releasing some of its source code.

      The car maker has opened two GitHub repositories which contain the buildroot material used to build the system image on its Autopilot platform, and the kernel sources for the boards and the Nvidia-based infotainment system in the Model S and Model X.

  • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

    • Lemonade Proposes Open Source Insurance Policy for All to Change, Adopt

      Technology-focused homeowners and renters insurer Lemonade Inc. has proposed an open source renters insurance policy that anyone can contribute to changing, even its rivals since Lemonade is not copyrighting it.

    • Open Hardware/Modding

      • Suitcase Computer Reborn with Raspberry Pi Inside

        Fun fact, the Osborne 1 debuted with a price tag equivalent to about $5,000 in today’s value. With a gigantic 9″ screen and twin floppy drives (for making mix tapes, right?) the real miracle of the machine was its portability, something unheard of at the time. The retrocomputing trend is to lovingly and carefully restore these old machines to their former glory, regardless of how clunky or underpowered they are by modern standards. But sometimes they can’t be saved yet it’s still possible to gut and rebuild the machine with modern hardware, like with this Raspberry Pi used to revive an Osborne 1.

        Purists will turn their nose up at this one, and we admit that this one feels a little like “restoring” radios from the 30s by chucking out the original chassis and throwing in a streaming player. But [koff1979] went to a lot of effort to keep the original Osborne look and feel in the final product. We imagine that with the original guts replaced by a Pi and a small LCD display taking the place of the 80 character by 24 line CRT, the machine is less strain on the shoulder when carrying it around. (We hear the original Osborne 1 was portable in the same way that an anvil is technically portable.) The Pi runs an emulator to get the original CP/M experience; it even runs Wordstar. The tricky part about this build was making the original keyboard talk to the Pi, which was accomplished with an Arduino that translates key presses to USB.

      • My talk from the RISC-V workshop in Barcelona
  • Programming/Development

    • 9 Best Free Python Integrated Development Environments

      Python is a widely used general-purpose, high level programming language. It’s easy to read and learn. It’s frequently used for science, data analysis, and engineering. With a burgeoning scientific community and ecosystem, Python is an excellent environment for students, scientists and organizations that develop technology software.

      One of the essential tools for a budding Python developer is a good Integrated Development Environment (IDE). An IDE is a software application that provides comprehensive facilities to programmers for software development.

      Many coders learn to code using a text editor. And many professional Python developers prefer to stay with their favourite text editor, in part because a lot of text editors can be used as a development environment by making use of plugins. But many Python developers migrate to an IDE as this type of software application offers, above all else, practicality. They make coding easier, can offer significant time savings with features like autocompletion, and built-in refactoring code, and also reduces context switching. For example, IDEs have semantic knowledge of the programming language which highlights coding problems while typing. Compiling is ‘on the fly’ and debugging is integrated.

    • Want to Debug Latency?

      In the recent decade, our systems got complex. Our average production environments consist of many different services (many microservices, storage systems and more) with different deployment and production-maintenance cycles. In most cases, each service is built and maintained by a different team — sometimes by a different company. Teams don’t have much insight into others’ services. The final glue that puts everything together is often a staging environment or sometimes the production itself!

      Measuring latency and being able to react to latency issues are getting equally complex as our systems got more complex. This article will help you how to navigate yourself at a latency problem and what you need to put in place to effectively do so.

Leftovers

  • You Can Send Invisible Messages With Subtle Font Tweaks

    The method is a steganographic technique, meaning it hides secret information in plain sight such that only its intended recipient knows where to look for it and how to extract it. FontCode can be applied to hundreds of common fonts, like Helvetica or Times New Roman, and works in word processors like Microsoft Word. Data encoded with FontCode can also endure across any image-preserving digital format, like PDF or PNG. The secret data won’t persist after, say, copy and pasting FontCode text between text editors.

    The most significant format conversion FontCode messages can transcend, though, is digital to physical and back.

  • Damned Ads!!!

    This is ridiculous. I don’t mind advertisers paying for my browsing experience but killing the browser to do it? What’s with that? You advertisers better get your act together or you’re going to kill the web as we know it. I feel sorry for the noble websites funded by ads. They plead with us not to block ads. I don’t want the overhead of sorting advertisers out between the good, the bad and the ugly. I just don’t want to know. My life is too complicated for an old retired guy. Weeds I understand. They’re just doing their thing. I don’t understand advertisers driving markets away.

  • Hardware

  • Health/Nutrition

    • Trump Administration Aims to Gut Family Planning Program Primarily Serving Low Income Patients

      The new gag rule would cut off access to critical care and information for low income patients nationwide.

      The Trump administration announced Friday that it is proposing a new “gag rule” designed to block patients who rely on Title X from accessing critical family planning services at reproductive health care providers including Planned Parenthood.

      The new proposed rule, which comes despite strong opposition from more than 200 Members of Congress and 110 organizations, has not been released to the public. According to reports, however, the rule is intended to push Planned Parenthood and other reproductive health care providers out of the Title X program if they provide or refer patients for abortions, and would allow providers in the program to withhold comprehensive information from patients about their options.

      If implemented, this will create a reality in which women with private health insurance receive comprehensive information, including referrals for abortion, from their doctors, while women whose providers are funded through the Title X program do not — because of restrictions imposed by the government on their doctors.

    • Five Years After The Indian Supreme Court’s Novartis Verdict

      On 1 April 2013, in a packed room inside India’s Supreme Court, a magnificent building in Indo-British architectural style, two judges delivered a verdict that impacted the national and global conversation about patents and patients.

      India’s apex court delivered a 112-page landmark judgement which dismissed Swiss pharma giant Novartis AG’s appeal for a patent for its life-saving cancer drug marketed under brand name Glivec in most parts of the world.

      The Novartis case triggered a hugely polarising discourse around the world about a key feature of India’s patent regime.

  • Security and Bugs

    • Open Source Security Podcast: Episode 97 – Automation: Humans are slow and dumb

      Josh and Kurt talk about the security of automation as well as automating security. The only way automation will really work long term is full automation. Humans can’t be trusted enough to rely on them to do things right.

    • An introduction to cryptography and public key infrastructure

      Secure communication is quickly becoming the norm for today’s web. In July 2018, Google Chrome plans to start showing “not secure” notifications for all sites transmitted over HTTP (instead of HTTPS). Mozilla has a similar plan. While cryptography is becoming more commonplace, it has not become easier to understand. Let’s Encrypt designed and built a wonderful solution to provide and periodically renew free security certificates, but if you don’t understand the underlying concepts and pitfalls, you’re just another member of a large group of cargo cult programmers.

    • Teensafe, A Teen Phone Monitoring App, Leaks Thousands Of Apple ID Passwords

      Teensafe is a monitoring app used by parents for keeping a check on the activities of their children. The app allows parents to access their child’s location, call history, messages, browsing history, and apps downloaded by them without their permission.

    • Teen phone monitoring app leaked thousands of user passwords

      The mobile app, TeenSafe, bills itself as a “secure” monitoring app for iOS and Android, which lets parents view their child’s text messages and location, monitor who they’re calling and when, access their web browsing history, and find out which apps they have installed.

    • The weirdest bug I’ve found in a compiler: MSVC 2017

      There’s been discussion on cppitertools about the newest MSVC release (15.7) claiming to be fully standards compliant, which led me here.
      The following code fails to compile under MSVC for one reason: the U on lines 4 and 5 is a different name than the T on lines 10 and 11, so the result of the static_assert condition on line 19 is false. (Note that I’m not using std::declval here for simplicity’s sake).

    • Security updates for Monday
  • Defence/Aggression

    • War criminal Henry Kissinger: “AI is the end of the Enlightenment”

      This is a fascinating piece, but not because of its insights (which are anodyne, poorly argued, grounded in monumental ignorance of his subject, and years out of date — your basic high-paid management consultant, recycling five-year-old ideas for CEOs who are ten years out-of-date), but because of who they’re coming from.

      Kissinger is a living fossil, a monster of the 20th century that has staggered into the 21st, one of the last survivors of the cohort of genocidal authoritarians who included Pol Pot and Stalin. His doctrine once held that the state should gather its smartest (which is to say, “most Kissingerian”) elements inside of secret rooms where they would decide who would live and who would die, in the name of humanity’s greater good. They could do this because they had been through elite educational institutions that taught them about Greek, Roman and German philosophers.

    • Academics protest Google’s role in drone murder

      Three prominent technology scholars published an open letter Monday, which has now received over 900 signatures, condemning Google’s collaboration with the Pentagon’s illegal “targeted killing” program.

      The academics published their letter in support of over 3,100 Google employees who issued their own open letter last month protesting the company’s participation in a Pentagon program called Project Maven, designed to leverage the power of artificial intelligence to analyze footage collected by US military drones.

    • How Many Civilians Did Trump Kill in Drone Strikes Last Year?

      If civilian deaths from drone strikes are anything similar, Trump’s team is killing five to ten times as many civilians as Obama did. I’m a little surprised that they aren’t proud of this and eager to share that data, but I guess even the Trumpies have their limits.

    • ‘A Dangerous Low’: Trump Ignores Deadline for Reporting Civilians Killed by US Drone Attacks

      The Trump administration on Tuesday flouted two major deadlines for disclosing the number of civilians killed by U.S. military forces: one public report that was mandated by an Obama-era executive order and focused on drone strike deaths; and one report to Congress that is supposed to detail all civilian deaths tied to U.S. military operations.

      “The Trump administration’s decision not to comply with even the meager transparency requirements of the executive order is a dangerous low,” declared Hina Shamsi, director of the American Civil Liberties Union’s National Security Project.

      “It’s unacceptable,” she added, “for the government to simply refuse to release the numbers of people killed, let alone their identities, the rules governing its deadly decisions, or investigations into credibly alleged wrongful killing.”

    • How the UAE’s Chinese-Made Drone Is Changing the War in Yemen

      “They are working incredibly hard to be the new entrepreneurial contractor in the region, both politically and militarily,” says Farea al-Muslimi, an associate fellow at Chatham House. “They no longer want to remain on the sidelines. Yemen is one of the battles where they think they can improve both their credentials and capabilities.”

      The UAE has invested heavily in military aid to coalition-backed forces in Yemen. It has constructed various security units, seen as proxy forces by the United Nations, to fight al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula on the southern coast. Now, the UAE is directing its efforts to support Tareq Saleh, the nephew of late President Ali Abdullah Saleh who is leading an offensive to retake the strategic port of Hodeidah from the Houthis.

      “In recent days, we had been closely monitoring the Houthi leadership’s movements,” says a senior commander of the coalition’s ground forces advancing from the port of Mokha.

      The strike that killed Samad was part of the Saudi-led coalition’s offensive on Hodeidah. The Saudi ambassador to the United States, Khalid bin Salman, even tweeted about the strike earlier this week, claiming it was in retaliation for Houthi missile attacks. Samad “vowed [a] couple of weeks ago to make 2018 the ‘year of ballistic missiles on KSA,’” the Saudi ambassador wrote. “The response to him was a direct hit under the leadership of HRH Minister of Defense.”

      Though the Saudis have claimed credit for the strike, the intelligence for the attack was routed through Tareq Saleh’s staff to the UAE, which also carried out the operation.

      The UAE did not respond to a request for official comment

  • Finance

    • Over 80% Of 2017 IPOs Had ‘Negative’ Earnings – Most Since Dot-Com Peak

      Put a slightly different way, 2017 was the biggest “money for nothing” year since Pets.com… consider that the next time you’re told to buy the dip. Remember the only reason “the water is warm” is because it has been ‘chummed’ by the the last greater fool ready for the professional sharks to hand their ‘risk’ to…

    • Tax cut sparks record-setting $178 billion buyback boom

      One broad measure of business spending, real nonresidential fixed investment, rose by 6.1% during the first quarter. That’s solid growth signaling a strong economy. However, it was roughly in-line with the past several quarters. It even marked a slight deceleration from the final three months of 2017.

      That means companies have not significantly boosted spending on equipment, factories and other investments that create jobs and boost wages.

      Some economists aren’t surprised that the early windfall of the tax cuts is going to Wall Street, instead of Main Street. They note that companies have long had access to tons of cash. They note that companies have long had access to tons of cash.

      If they had plenty of cash, you shouldn’t really expect having access to more would lead them to invest,” said Alan Auerbach, director of Berkeley’s Robert D. Burch Center for Tax Policy and Public Finance.

    • The EU, Manufacturing and Brexit

      Britain already runs one of the world’s most efficient customs systems. In 2016, the World Bank ranked us fifth in the world on customs performance.

      [...]

      Brown writes, “The ‘Northern Powerhouse’ is just a phrase, and it is hard to believe that devolution in England will achieve more than a further layer of bureaucracy. There is wide agreement on the need for North-South rebalancing, but I believe the fundamental key to achieving this is the recovery of manufacturing.”

      But governments here have seen engineering as just ‘metal bashing’. When the author asked Labour’s Ed Balls, when he was Chief Economic Advisor to the Treasury, his view on the decline of engineering, Balls replied, “You might as well mourn for the dinosaurs.”

      Brown ends with recommendations for accessing the single market, industrial policy, economic management, energy policy, education, taxation, fund management, corporate governance, private equity, representation and accountancy. His key recommendations are these:

      In industrial policy “Choose engineering as a sector to back. Consider import substitution and rebuilding supply chains, and support for exporters. … Conduct tougher public interest reviews of overseas takeovers. Change the restrictive terms of the Business Bank, establish an engineering investment fund …”

      In energy policy “Establish and implement a clear and effective policy embracing cost and security of supply, with protection of the environment. … Bring fracking under the control of one unified authority, and mitigate the impact on the environment and local communities.” He notes that “Thatcher “went on to privatise utilities that did not operate in freely competitive markets and where long-term consideration of the national strategic interest is crucial, for example energy and the railways. In these instances it has worked very much less well, and there is a strong need for reconsideration.”

      And in education “Invest more in primary and secondary schooling, while pruning tertiary colleges and greatly promoting vocational training. … Improve funding for technical subjects in universities, and increase their contacts with engineering industry. Introduce a prestigious engineering qualification. Remove private schools’ charitable status, and provide state schooling on the same basis for all children, with no faith or grammar schools. …”

    • Brexit blamed for dramatic fall in UK business registrations

      Britain’s decision to leave the European Union has sparked a dramatic fall in the number of French, Dutch and Belgian businesses registering in the UK, in a further illustration of Brexit’s impact on the UK economy.

      Figures from Companies House show that French companies registered 48% fewer businesses in the UK in 2016-17 than the previous financial year while companies in Belgium registered 38% fewer. Companies in the Netherlands, which is probably the worst affected by Brexit of Britain’s trading partners, registered 52% fewer companies last year than in 2015-16.

  • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • Hillary Clinton is Now a Victim of ‘Socialists’

      Hillary Clinton’s take on “what happened” in the 2016 election is a running tale of victimization. She was the casualty of FBI Director James Comey and of Vladimir Putin and WikiLeaks. She was unjustly loathed by that “basket” of racist, sexist, nativist, and homophobic “deplorables” that is supposedly the American “heartland,” white working-class and rural population – people she recently painted (at an elite globalist gathering in Mumbai, India) as a bunch of “pessimistic,” slow-witted and retrograde losers. She was victimized by Bernie Sanders, who (Hillary complained) wasn’t even a “real Democrat” but had the unmitigated chutzpah to let his primary campaign challenge her prearranged coronation as the Democratic Party’s presidential candidate.

      Never mind the series of stupid, arrogant, and largely unforced errors that crippled her uninspiring and policy-bereft insider campaign that was under her command. And never mind her own epic unpopularity before and during the campaign – disapproval earned over her many years of functioning as a cold and transparently elitist Establishment agent of the wealthy corporate and financial Few.

    • Polls Show Being Anti-Trump Isn’t Enough to Beat GOP

      With six months to go before the midterm election, recent national polls are showing that the Democratic Party’s much-touted momentum to gain control of the House has stalled. The latest numbers tell us a lot about the limits of denouncing Donald Trump without offering much more than a return to the old status quo.

      Under the headline “Democrats’ 2018 Advantage Is Nearly Gone,” CNN on May 9 reported that nationwide polling found “the generic congressional ballot has continued to tighten” — “with the Democrats’ edge over Republicans within the poll’s margin of sampling error for the first time this cycle.”

      With so many gerrymandered districts as well as widespread voter-ID laws and other GOP-engineered voter suppression, Democrats will need a substantial margin in vote totals to prevent Republicans from retaining a majority in the House of Representatives. (The prospects are worse in the Senate, where Democrats are defending a lopsided number of seats this year.)

    • Code Name Crossfire Hurricane: The Secret Origins of the Trump Investigation

      Within hours of opening an investigation into the Trump campaign’s ties to Russia in the summer of 2016, the F.B.I. dispatched a pair of agents to London on a mission so secretive that all but a handful of officials were kept in the dark.

      Their assignment, which has not been previously reported, was to meet the Australian ambassador, who had evidence that one of Donald J. Trump’s advisers knew in advance about Russian election meddling. After tense deliberations between Washington and Canberra, top Australian officials broke with diplomatic protocol and allowed the ambassador, Alexander Downer, to sit for an F.B.I. interview to describe his meeting with the campaign adviser, George Papadopoulos.

    • The FBI Informant Who Monitored the Trump Campaign, Stefan Halper, Oversaw a CIA Spying Operation in the 1980 Presidential Election

      Photo: YouTube
      The FBI Informant Who Monitored the Trump Campaign, Stefan Halper, Oversaw a CIA Spying Operation in the 1980 Presidential Election
      Glenn Greenwald
      May 19 2018, 2:27 p.m.

      An extremely strange episode that has engulfed official Washington over the last two weeks came to a truly bizarre conclusion on Friday night. And it revolves around a long-time, highly sketchy CIA operative, Stefan Halper.

      Four decades ago, Halper was responsible for a long-forgotten spying scandal involving the 1980 election, in which the Reagan campaign – using CIA officials managed by Halper, reportedly under the direction of former CIA Director and then-Vice-Presidential candidate George H.W. Bush – got caught running a spying operation from inside the Carter administration. The plot involved CIA operatives passing classified information about Carter’s foreign policy to Reagan campaign officials in order to ensure the Reagan campaign knew of any foreign policy decisions that Carter was considering.

      Over the past several weeks, House Republicans have been claiming that the FBI during the 2016 election used an operative to spy on the Trump campaign, and they triggered outrage within the FBI by trying to learn his identity. The controversy escalated when President Trump joined the fray on Friday morning. “Reports are there was indeed at least one FBI representative implanted, for political purposes, into my campaign for president,” Trump tweeted, adding: “It took place very early on, and long before the phony Russia Hoax became a “hot” Fake News story. If true – all time biggest political scandal!”

    • Trump misspells Melania’s name in tweet on her return to White House from hospital

      Length of Walter Reed stay leads to questions over condition but spokeswoman says speculation on first lady’s health ‘uninformed’

    • Emma Barnett: A Classic “Philip Cross” Wikipedia Operation

      High Tory, ex Daily Telegraph and Murdoch, expensive private school, Emma Barnett is BBC Politics’ rising star and stood in as host of the BBC flagship Marr programme on Sunday. She was there rude and aggressive to Labour’s Barry Gardiner. The “highlight” of her career so far was during the general election when on Radio 4 Women’s Hour she demanded instant top of the head recall of complicated figures from Jeremy Corbyn, a ploy the BBC never turns on the Tories.

      The most interesting fact about Emma Barnett is that her exclusive private education was funded by her parents who were pimps and brothel keepers on a large scale, for which both were convicted.

      I know of no compelling evidence as to whether Barnett was, or was not, complicit in her parents’ activities, which financed her education into adulthood. But that this background is interesting and unusual is not in doubt. However the MSM’s image protector, “Philip Cross”, has been assiduous in, again and again, deleting the information about Barnett’s parents from Wikipedia. Not only has Cross deleted the referenced information of her parents being brothel-keepers, he has repeatedly inserted the ludicrous euphemisms that her father was a “businessman” and her mother a “housewife”.

    • The “Philip Cross” MSM Promotion Operation Part 3

      “Philip Cross” has just 200 Twitter followers, but has more MSM journalists following him than are to be found among my 42,300 twitter followers. Despite the fact a large majority of “Philip Cross’s” tweets are mere retweets, with Oliver Kamm and Nick Cohen most frequently retweeted. “Philip Cross” has never broken a news story and the few tweets which are not retweets contain no gems of expression or shrewd observation. In short, his twitter feed is extremely banal; there is literally nothing in it that might interest a journalist in particular. Do not take my word for it, judge for yourself.

      Why then does James LeMesurier, founder of the “White Helmets”, follow Philip Cross on twitter? Why does ex-minister Tristram Hunt follow Philip Cross on Twitter? Why does Sarah Brown, wife of Gordon, follow Philip Cross on twitter?

  • Censorship/Free Speech

    • Jacques: UM feels a lot like the USSR

      According to the complaint: “The University’s disciplinary code prohibits ‘harassment’ and ‘bullying,’ and further increases the potential penalties if such actions were motivated by ‘bias.’ All of those concepts, as the University interprets and applies them, can capture staggering amounts of protected speech and expression.”

      [...]

      “Students should be able to express themselves without fear of retribution,” Neily says.

    • Careful what you say in this university, its speech policies are those of Soviet Russia

      UM is an egregious example of how public institutions are limiting the free expression and debate of ideas — something that seems in opposition to the whole point of a college campus. And it is also creating a climate of suspicion on campus by encouraging students to spy on one another. They never know who they can trust.

      [...]

      The university’s system of encouraging anonymous tattletales (with real consequences for accused students) is “not workable,” she argues.

    • Christian Universities Engaging In Censorship Of Newspapers

      The censorship of newspapers is considered a grievous act in places of learning, but lately some Christian universities are facing accusations of meddling in the stories presented in their own publications. Several students who work at university newspapers have had their stories turned away by editors, claiming that the material was not interesting or would otherwise damage the school’s reputation. For example, Erin Covey of Liberty University complained that her desire to cover an anti-Trump and anti-Falwell event near the campus were blocked by her editors, seemingly because the protesters were only there for free publicity.

  • Privacy/Surveillance

    • Google Could Face $4.3 Billion Claim in U.K. IPhone Privacy Case

      IPhone users suing Google over data-collection claims may be seeking as much as 3.2 billion pounds ($4.29 billion), the search giant said in a court filing.

      The group representing iPhone users, known as Google You Owe Us, now includes 4.4 million people, according to documents filed with the court at a hearing Monday. The group says the Alphabet Inc. unit unlawfully collected people’s personal information by bypassing Apple Inc.’s iPhone default privacy settings.

      While any potential damages are still to be determined, the group has suggested each individual could receive 750 pounds if the case is successful, Google said in court documents. The Mountain View, California-based company denies the allegations and argued at the hearing that the dispute doesn’t belong in a London court.

    • Nearly Everyone In The U.S. And Canada Just Had Their Private Cell Phone Location Data Exposed

      The company recently received all the wrong kind of attention when it was caught up in a privacy scandal involving the nation’s wireless carriers and our biggest prison phone monopoly. Like countless other companies and governments, LocationSmart buys your wireless location data from cell carriers. It then sells access to that data via a portal that can provide real-time access to a user’s location via a tailored graphical interface using just the target’s phone number.

      [...]

      It was yet another example of the way nonexistent to lax consumer privacy laws in the States (especially for wireless carriers) routinely come back to bite us.

      But then things got worse.

      Driven by curiousity in the wake of the Times report, a PhD student at Carnegie Mellon University by the name of Robert Xiao discovered that the “try before you buy” system used by LocationSmart to advertise the cell location tracking system contained a bug, A bug so bad that it exposed the data of roughly 200 million wireless subscribers across the United States and Canada (read: nearly everybody).

    • Report Confirms Deep Flaws Of Automated Facial Recognition Software In The UK, Warns Its Use In The US Is Spreading

      Techdirt has written many stories about facial recognition systems. But there’s a step-change taking place in this area at the moment. The authorities are moving from comparing single images with database holdings, to completely automated scanning of crowds to obtain and analyze huge numbers of facial images in real time. Recently, Tim Cushing described the ridiculously high level of false positives South Wales Police had encountered during its use of automated facial recognition software. Before that, a post noted a similarly unacceptable failure rate of automated systems used by the Metropolitan Police in London last year.

      Now Big Brother Watch has produced a report bringing together everything we know about the use by UK police of automated facial recognition software (pdf), and its deep flaws. The report supplements that information with analyses of the legal and human rights framework for such systems, and points out that facial recognition algorithms often disproportionately misidentify minority ethnic groups and women.

    • Why Is My Facebook Android App Asking For “Superuser” Permission?

      It looks like developers working at Facebook really love to live dangerously. The company knows how to violate the user trust and play loose and fast with data protection and user privacy. The recent Cambridge Analytica scandal is a perfect example of the same.

    • The Facebook Android App Is Asking for Superuser Privileges and Users Are Freaking Out

      The Facebook Android app is asking for superuser permissions, and a bunch of users are freaking out about granting the Facebook app full access to their device, an understandable reaction following the fallout from the Cambridge Analytica privacy scandal.

      “Grants full access to your device,” read the prompts while asking users for superuser permissions.

    • Prime suspect in CIA ‘Vault 7′ hack still hasn’t been charged
    • Canada’s Trudeau Promotes ‘Anglosphere’ Spying

      While the media has been full of news about information-gathering by Facebook and other Internet giants, other secretive organizations that are a major threat to our personal privacy and public security are seldom mentioned. When they are, it has been because politicians are praising them and offering up more money for them to spy.

      For example, Justin Trudeau recently promoted the “Anglosphere’s” intelligence sharing arrangement. Two weeks ago, in a rare move, the PM revealed a meeting with his “Five Eyes” counterparts. After the meeting in London Trudeau labeled the 2,000 employee Communications Security Establishment, Canada’s main contributor to the “Five Eyes” arrangement, “an extraordinary institution”. Last year Trudeau said that “collaboration and cooperation between allies, friends and partners has saved lives and keeps all of our citizens safe.”

    • Jerry Chun Shing Lee spy trial: ex-CIA officer pleads not guilty, will wait a year before trial in US

      A former CIA officer and Hong Kong resident accused of passing top secret information to Chinese intelligence officers in exchange for money will have to wait a year before going on trial in the United States.

      Jerry Chun Shing Lee, an American citizen who worked for the CIA from 1994 to 2007, pleaded not guilty on Friday to one charge of conspiracy to commit espionage and two of illegally retaining classified information.

      Lee, 53, appeared for arraignment in a federal court in Alexandria, Virginia, “unshackled in a green jumpsuit and glasses”, according to CNN. US District Judge Thomas Selby Ellis III set his trial date for February 12, 2019.

    • UK Supreme Court to probe British spy court’s immunity from probing

      Privacy International’s years-long challenge against UK government hacking is headed to the nation’s final court of appeal at the end of the year.

      The case, part of the privacy activists’ ongoing legal battles over the UK’s spy agencies’ activities, focuses on the government’s use of general warrants to hack computers and devices inside and outside Blighty.

      The fight kicked off in 2014, when Privacy International issued a legal complaint to Britain’s spying oversight court, the Investigatory Powers Tribunal, alleging the campaign group was hacked by GCHQ.

    • Chinese spies promised to take care of ex-CIA officer for life, prosecutors say

      Chinese spies promised to take care of a former CIA officer for life if he handed over information on clandestine activities in their country, federal prosecutors say.

      Defendant Jerry Chun Shing Lee, 53, pleaded not guilty Friday in federal court in Alexandria to charges of conspiracy to commit espionage and holding on to classified information after leaving the CIA.

    • Ex-CIA officer accused of spying for China pleads not guilty

      The Justice Department alleges that Lee, a former CIA case officer and US citizen, was asked to trade information for money by two Chinese intelligence officers in 2010 and 2011 while he lived in Hong Kong.

    • ‘I felt exposed online’: how to disappear from the [I]nternet

      The process of deleting one’s Facebook account is deliberately arcane. The social network encourages you to “deactivate” your account, rather than “delete” it, to leave an open door if you later regret the decision. Permanent deletion requires a request be made to the company. If you log in within 14 days of the process being under way (easy to do accidentally if you have the app on your phone or linked accounts that require you to log in via Facebook), the company will automatically cancel your original request.

  • Civil Rights/Policing

    • Is a Moral Compass Enough for the CIA?

      On Thursday, Gina Haspel was confirmed as America’s next CIA director after the Senate voted to approve her nomination in a 54-45 vote. Her appointment stirred concern among anti-torture advocates because of her role in operating a black site in Thailand where operatives used enhanced interrogation techniques on detainees. For today’s issue, I spoke to a few former intelligence officials to get a sense of how officers navigate through situations that are morally challenging, and what happens when an agent receives a potentially unethical directive.

    • CIA’s Haspel can tap undercover work in Russian operations

      Scrutiny of the 33-year spy career of new CIA director Gina Haspel has focused on her undercover role in the harsh interrogation of suspected terrorists, but she cut her teeth in intelligence operations against Russia.

      She’s sure to tap that latter experience as she takes over at the nation’s premier intelligence agency at a time of rising tension with Moscow. President Donald Trump has characterized it as worse than during the Cold War, and it’s been aggravated by investigations into Moscow’s interference in the election that brought Trump to power.

    • McCaskill defends CIA vote, says reasons are classified
    • Democrat McCaskill defends no vote on Trump CIA pick – but can’t say why
    • Dem McCaskill slammed for vote against Trump CIA pick
    • McCaskill defends CIA vote, says reasons are classified
    • McCaskill defends CIA vote: Reasons classified

      Earlier Saturday, Republican Sen. Tom Cotton of Arkansas said McCaskill “put partisan politics over national security” by opposing Haspel.

    • Donnelly stands by support of new CIA director

      Democratic Senator Joe Donnelly is standing by his support of the CIA’s newest director.

      Gina Haspel will be the first female director of the CIA. Her nomination was confirmed by the Senate on Thursday.

      Her confirmation was reached because of yes votes from six Senate democrats. That includes a vote from donnelly.

    • Haspel was only following orders: she’ll make a good CIA chief

      Listening to members of Congress question the putative director of the Central Intelligence Agency, Gina Haspel (in some cases rudely), one quickly got the impression that with the exception of a very few individuals on both sides, senators had their minds made up long before they sat down.

      The major reason is simply politics. We are so deeply split politically that I suspect that Jesus Christ would have trouble getting widespread support from this committee.

    • New CIA chief Gina Haspel is the ‘spy’s spy’

      The more uncomfortable parts of the new CIA chief’s Senate confirmation hearing would have taken place behind closed doors – fitting for a person who has spent most of her career in the shadows.

    • Innocent Infants

      There is a certain amount of confusion about the reason for the practice, and even more confusion about whether the activity it is seeking to prevent is criminal or not. But one thing is absolutely clear. It is not the same as what the Nazis did in the 1930s and 1940s, when families were being taken to concentration camps. When arriving at the camps, children were sometimes taken from their parents and, in many cases following the separation, would never again see their parents. The families arriving at the camps were not undocumented immigrants. They were citizens of the countries in which they lived.

      The Trumpsters are dealing with families that are neither citizens nor residents of the United States. The children they are dealing with are newly arrived in the United States. They are with parents who have arrived illegally and are seeking asylum. Like the Nazis, Trumpsters make no attempt to deny what they are doing. But whereas the Nazis had no need to justify what they were doing, the Trumpsters know that to avoid criticism, they must justify their actions.

    • Bright Light: Romania’s ‘Utter Denial’ of CIA Renditions Role

      Poland has grudgingly paid damages, Lithuania is investigating and Macedonia has apologised. Even Donald Trump’s pick to head the CIA said this month that it should never happen again.

      Yet Romania maintains a stubborn silence over its own alleged role in a secret CIA renditions and torture programme after the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States.

      A March 28 apology by Macedonia’s year-old government for its involvement in the CIA rendition of a man in 2004 and the appointment of CIA director Gina Haspel has refocused attention on one of the darkest chapters of former President George W. Bush’s ‘War on Terror’.

      An upcoming ruling at the European Court of Human Rights, ECHR, is expected to punch a hole in the wall of official denial in Bucharest and a pending decision at the International Criminal Court, ICC, could yet bring more scrutiny.

    • This week’s reveals about the Deep State’s info ops

      It has been a big week for America, with big reveals showing how the Deep State manipulates the news – and our view of the world. Of course this has not been reported by the major news media.

    • Why misunderstanding identity politics undermines the goals of a just society

      The crisis of identity politics has undermined the concept of intersectionality, which is viewed as critical to the struggle for liberation from all forms of oppression. The recent assassination of the Brazilian Black queer activist Marielle Franco and the consequent public uproar demonstrate the threat intersectional leaders pose to the ruling establishment that uses division and preserves privilege to stifle change. Leaders such as Franco serve a vital unifying role in a peoples’ transnational solidarity movement that embraces—rather than eliminates—identities.

      Ashanti Monts-Treviska co-manages a social enterprise, Cascadia Deaf Nation, which focuses on creating a member-owned cooperative model that co-creates thriving spaces with Deaf Black Indigenous People of Color (DBIPOC*) in British Columbia, Washington State and Oregon. Monts-Treviska is a doctoral student in transformative studies and consciousness at the California Institute of Integral Studies.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Respecting Foreign Judgments and $79 million for clicking “I agree”

      After losing in the UK, SAS brought its lawsuit to the USA and won on the same contract claim that was a loser in the UK (but lost on the copyright claim). The US lawsuit also included a fraudulent inducement and unfair trade practices under N.C. UDTPA. A jury found WPL liable — although WPL was barred from presenting any evidence regarding its reliance upon the UK and EU safe harbors. Damages $80 million.

      In this process, the district court refused to give any preclusive effect to the UK judgment.

      On appeal, the Fourth Circuit held that the UK judgment was properly denied preclusive effect since it was contrary to North Carolina policy. “North Carolina courts [are] more protective of the sanctity of contracts” than are UK or EU courts.

    • WIPO Asked To Improve Its Reporting On Development Agenda Implementation

      The World Intellectual Property Organization annual self-evaluation of the implementation of its 2007 Development Agenda was rubber-stamped by most delegates again this year at the Committee on Development and Intellectual Property. But Brazil offered detailed suggestions on ways to improve the report and ensure that past work is not being included in the reporting on new accomplishments. It also warned against confusing WIPO’s Development Agenda work with its broader activities for the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

    • Trademarks

      • Disparaging and scandalous trade marks post-Tam

        While the Supreme Court settled the issue of disparaging marks, Section 2(a)’s prohibition against immoral or scandalous marks is still being contested. The Federal Circuit last month declined to hear the Brunetti case en banc

      • Canada tackling trade mark trolls

        One provision in Canada’s national intellectual property strategy is to prevent the misuse of the registration system such as instances of “trademark squatting”

        The Canadian government unveiled its first national intellectual property strategy at the end of April, in which one provision was to prevent the misuse of the trademark registration system such as instances of “trademark squatting”.

    • Copyrights

      • Barton Beebe on Bleistein

        Barton Beebe’s recent article, Bleistein, the Problem of Aesthetic Progress, and the Making of American Copyright Law, was already highlighted on this blog by Shyamkrishna Balganesh, but I wanted to add a few thoughts of my own because I really enjoyed reading it—it is a richly layered dive into the intellectual history of U.S. copyright law, and a wonderful piece to savor on a weekend.

        In one sense, this is an article about one case’s role in U.S. copyright law, but it uses that case to tackle a fundamental question of copyright theory: what does it mean “to promote the Progress”? Beebe’s goal is not just to correct longstanding misunderstandings of Bleistein; as I understand it, his real point is that we can and should “assess[] aesthetic progress according to the simple propositions that aesthetic labor in itself is its own reward and that the facilitation of more such labor represents progress.” He thinks Justice Holmes’s invocation of “personality” in Bleistein represents a normatively attractive “third way” between judges assessing aesthetic merit and simply leaving this judgment to the market—that aesthetic progress is shown “by the mere fact that someone was willing to make the work, either for sale or otherwise, and that in making it, someone had invested one’s personality in the work.”

        This personality-centered view of copyright seems similar to the Hegelian personality theory that was drawn into IP by Peggy Radin and elaborated by Justin Hughes, though at times it seems more like Lockean theories based on the author’s labor. I think he could have done more to explain how his theory relates to this prior literature, and also how it’s different from a utilitarian theory that recognizes the value creators get from creating (à la Jeanne Fromer’s Expressive Incentives). In any case, I think Beebe’s take is interesting, particularly with the connection he draws to John Dewey’s American pragmatist vision of aesthetic progress.

      • Poking the IP [sic] bear

        Whether or not you believe “legacy” artists deserve more copyright protections, there is no good reason not to condition that gift upon the artist taking some steps to claim that right, so that the “legacy” recordings no one cares about can be simply and cheaply made available through archives and other sources. (And before you start with Berne and the like, re-read Sprigman’s piece.)

        This is the point just never engaged. [...]

      • Fairplay Canada Discredits “Pro-Piracy” TorrentFreak News, Then Cites Us

        Earlier this week Fairplay Canada, the coalition lobbying for a national piracy blocking mechanism, countered its critics in a detailed reply. Buried in the footnotes, the document also included a stab at TorrentFreak, ‘discrediting’ our coverage by labeling us a “pro-piracy” site. Interestingly, however, the same report later cites TorrentFreak as a reputable source on site-blocking jurisprudence.`

05.20.18

Links 20/5/2018: KDevelop 5.2.2 and 5.2.3, FreeBSD 11.2 Beta 2

Posted in News Roundup at 7:22 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Linux fragmentation – The Sum of All Egos

    If Tom Clancy had been a technophile of the software kind, he’d have used this title instead of the familiar one for one of his iconic blockbuster thrillers. The thing is, Linux accounts for a tiny percentage of the overall desktop market share. The perennial 1% has been around roughly since 2005, and even if the actual share is higher than that, it’s still a small and largely insignificant fraction. And yet, there are hundreds of Linux distributions populating this narrow, crowded arena. Why? Well, ego, of course.

    One might say: open source. Ah, well, the open-source nature of Linux has been the chief excuse to the colorful abundance of replication and duplication of the Linux desktop world, while at the same time serving as the main catalyst to the expansion of Linux in the commercial space, which makes for a dubious cause. I believe the reason is different. Let me tell you what it is.

  • Desktop

    • ‘Crush Them’: An Oral History of the Lawsuit That Upended Silicon Valley

      The then-23-year-old giant, which ruled the personal computer market with a despotic zeal, stood accused of using monopoly power to bully collaborators and squelch competitors. Its most famous victim was Netscape, the pioneering web browser, but everyone from Apple to American Airlines felt threatened by late-’90s Microsoft. The company was big enough to be crowned America’s most valuable firm, bold enough to compare attacks on its domain to Pearl Harbor, and, eventually, bad enough to be portrayed as a (semifictionalized) cadre of hypercapitalist murderers in a major motion picture. The “don’t be evil” optics that colored the rise of today’s tech giants (and have recently lost their efficacy) were a direct response to Microsoft’s tyrannical rule.

  • Kernel Space

    • Steam Controller Kernel Driver Is Landing In The Linux 4.18 Kernel

      The Linux 4.18 kernel will feature the initial Steam Controller kernel driver that works without having to use the Steam client or using third-party user-space applications like the SC-Controller application.

      A few months back we reported on a kernel driver being worked on for the Steam Controller by an independent user/developer outside of the gates of Valve. In part through reverse-engineering, Rodrigo Rivas Costa has been working on this native Steam Controller Linux kernel driver that works for both USB cable and wireless modes of the Steam Controller and is a proper HID driver.

    • Graphics Stack

      • AMD Zen CPU Microcode Added To Linux-Firmware Tree, Bulldozer Updated

        When the Linux Firmware tree was updated on Friday with the newest AMDGPU firmware files for the graphics processors, the Family 17h “Zen” CPU microcode files also made their debut.

      • Learn How To Make Use Of Vulkan’s New Debug Extension – VK_EXT_debug_utils
      • ARM Mali 400/450 “Lima” DRM Driver Steps Closer To Mainline

        When it comes to open-source ARM Mali graphics driver efforts there has been the Panfrost driver targeting the Mali T700 series that has occupied much of the limelight recently, but there has been a separate effort still working on open-source driver support for the older 400/450 series.

        Qiang Yu who works for AMD during the daytime has for the past number of months been working in his spare time on reviving open-source ARM Mali 400 series support. Qiang’s efforts are based upon the original “Lima” driver initiative that was started years earlier by Luc Verhaegen.

      • AMD Rolls Out New Firmware For A Number Of GPUs

        AMD has landed a number of updated firmware images into the linux-firmware tree for their recent generations of hardware.

        There is updated Radeon GPU firmware for Raven Ridge, Fiji, Tonga, Stoney, Topaz, Carrizo, Vega 10, Polaris 10, Polaris 11, and Polaris 12 GPU families. More or less, the newer AMD GPUs now have updated firmware available.

      • RADV Gets Support For 32-bit GPU Pointers For User SGPRs, Benefiting Performance

        Samuel Pitoiset of Valve’s Linux graphics driver team has been working on support for 32-bit GPU pointers for user SGPRs as his latest performance enhancement for this open-source Radeon Vulkan driver.

        Months after AMD’s Marek Olšák was working on 32-bit pointers for RadeonSI to free up some scalar general purpose registers (SGPRs), Pitoiset has been pursuing similar support for the RADV Vulkan driver.

      • Raven Ridge With The Ryzen 5 2400G On Mesa 18.2 + Linux 4.17 Is Finally Stable

        Depending upon the motherboard and other factors, the Raven Ridge Linux support has been a bit of a mess since its February launch. Fortunately, with time various Linux driver fixes have landed for improving the stability and performance of these APUs with Zen CPU cores and Vega graphics. During my recent testing of the AMD Ryzen 5 2400G, it was completely stable and running fine with the newest open-source driver code but the Ryzen 3 2200G was still a stability nightmare.

      • Mesa 18.1 is out with the shader cache on for Intel

        Open source drivers on Linux have advanced rather quickly and now we have another fresh release out with Mesa 18.1 which was released yesterday.

        One of the major new features, is that the shader cache for Intel is now turned on by default, which should hopefully result in smoother performance for those of you gaming with an Intel GPU. Vulkan 1.1 support for the AMD RADV and Intel ANV drivers, plus various performance improvements and bug fixes.

  • Applications

    • SMTube review – Your train to Youtube

      It’s a no brainer. On the desktop, you go online, and you open a tab and you load Youtube, and then you play clips. But then, on mobile devices, you have dedicated applications, which usually offer a somewhat more efficient media experience. So, on the desktop, it’s the browser way or the … SMTube way?

      SMTube is a cross-platform Youtube player, which allows you to search and play videos from the popular media platform, with some additional search tweaks and filters, and extra download options, all this from the desktop, without having to keep a browser tab open. It’s a convenient tool to use, and with the recent rewrite, it actually works, and it works fairly well. I decided to test to see what gives.

      [...]

      SMTube looks like a nice tool. It is not strictly necessary or needed, but it does allow you to have Youtube open and playing, even if you’re not currently using your browser, i.e. you can use it like any other media player. This is nice, plus you get a clean and intuitive interface, decent search and filter options, and it’s easy to change settings and configure additional players. You also have the option to download clips.

      I don’t know where SMTube stands when it comes to Google, Youtube, but ordinary users will surely appreciate the extra flexibility they get with a media player rather than just a browser tab. Of course, you’re not signed in, you don’t get recommendations, comments or playlists, and such, so I guess there are benefits to going directly to Youtube. But if you’re only after what Youtube can play without any socializing, SMTube is an excellent choice. It’s had a rough ride, it never quite fully worked for me in my various distro reviews, but this new version is stable, robust and works well. At the very least, it’s worth testing. Choo choo.

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Games

      • FRAMED Collection, a noir-styled spy adventure where you rearrange comic tiles is now out

        It’s actually a compilation of FRAMED and FRAMED 2, games that have been widely praised and previously only available on mobile platforms. It has you moving around slices of an animated comic book, to put the noir-styled spy adventure story together. It actually sounds hilarious, as it’s not a basic “this one has to go here” type of game, as it changes what happens based on where you put the tiles creating some amusing sounding failures:

      • Paradox’s grand strategy titles will be getting more content soon

        At their annual convention, Paradox Interactive have announced new expansions for their current grand strategy titles. There’s a little bit of everything for fans of these games.

      • Stellaris: Distant Stars story DLC pack releases May 22nd, new trailer is out

        The latest and probably one of the most exciting story DLC packs for Stellaris, Distant Stars, is now set to release May 22nd.

        In short, there’s going to be a lot more to find when you go exploring. One of the problems I repeatedly talked about with Stellaris (even though I do love it) was that it just didn’t have enough content. This pack seems like it will fix that problem and then some. They say there’s around 50% more anomalies to discover, they’ve also improved some of the originals. There’s three new leviathans, new types of stars and something about discovering a constellation outside our own galaxy.

      • Myst 25th Anniversary Collection will not being seeing a Linux release for now

        It seems the plans to team up with Codeweavers to bring Myst 25th Anniversary Collection [Kickstarter] to Linux didn’t work out.

      • A Linux beta build of Solstice Chronicles: MIA may come soon

        The developer behind the great looking top-down shooter Solstice Chronicles: MIA [Official Site] has said that they may soon have a Linux beta build.

      • What are you playing on Linux this weekend and what do you think about it?

        It’s a weekend, the sun is shining in a rare event for where I live, so naturally I will be spending my time playing Linux games. What will you be playing this weekend?

        Personally, I’m going to be jumping back into Rocket League. Between the intense gameplay and sweet music, it’s certainly in my top 10 most played Linux games. As much as I love the game, I’m simply terrible at it. Anyone who’s watched some of our livestreams will attest to that fact, but even so I soldier on and keep playing. It truly says something about a game, to keep pulling you back in even when you know you’re probably go to have loss after loss.

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • Plasma 5.12.5, Applications 18.04.1 and Frameworks 5.46.0 by KDE now available in Chakra

        On your next system upgrade you will receive all the latest versions of KDE’s Plasma, Applications and Frameworks, in addition to several other package updates. For more details and the full changelogs on KDE’s software releases, you can read the official announcements:

        Plasma 5.12.5
        Applications 18.04.1
        Frameworks 5.46.0

        Other noteworthy package updates include wine 3.8, skypeforlinux 8.20.0.9 and pypy 6.0.0.

      • Doxyqml 0.4.0

        After almost two years, here comes a new version of Doxyqml, the QML filter for Doxygen. This new version adds a new command-line option: –namespace to wrap the generated C++ in a namespace, and makes the parser more robust. Nothing ground-breaking, but some nice changes nevertheless.

        What’s interesting with this project is that I don’t use it these days, but it still receives contributions from time to time. This puts me in the unusual position (for me) where most of my contributions to the project are reviewing code, cleaning things, a bit of infrastructure (I just added code coverage checks: 88%, not too bad) and release management.

        Surprisingly, I like doing this, I am happy to see this little tool remains useful enough that others keep it alive.

      • KDevelop 5.2.2 and 5.2.3 released

        KDevelop 5.2.2 and 5.2.3 released

        We today provide a stabilization and bugfix release with version 5.2.2 and 5.2.3. 5.2.2 was tagged 6 weeks ago, but we never managed to release it because we did not have the patience to fix the Windows installers in time due to a broken CI. Windows installers are provided for 5.2.3 again. We’ll only provide source tarballs for 5.2.2 and we encourage everyone to just skip this release and use 5.2.3 which contains a few more bug fixes.

        This is a bugfix-only release, which introduces no new features and as such is a safe and recommended update for everyone currently using KDevelop 5.2.1.

      • This week in Usability & Productivity, part 19

        This week we announced a beta of the upcoming KDE Plasma 5.13 release, and so far the internet seems pretty excited about it.

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

      • Nautilus Ability To Launch Binaries Or Scripts To Be Reverted, Might Be Implemented Differently

        It looks like the decision to remove the ability to run binaries and scripts from Nautilus file manager will be reverted. The change comes after some use cases appeared that the developers agreed they need to support, “especially for enterprise and content creators”.

        One such use case that was mentioned as a reason for reverting this is a small “if then that” script for building HTML and PDF files, which uses Zenity to display a dialog, as well as notifications to display the progress.

        I find the use case being used as an example a bit weird because that’s certainly not something common, like a self-extracting game script for instance.

      • Stickers in Riot

        The matrix.org protocol is flexible so this is a good example of how to add new features to the clients that uses matrix without the need to change the protocol.

        This is not a core feature because you can send images, but I think this is great and add a simple way to show reactions for the users, so as I was reading I thought that we can add this to Fractal, so I started to read how we can add support for this.

      • Talking at GPN 2018 in Karlsruhe, Germany

        Similar to last year I managed to attend the Gulasch Programmier-Nacht (GPN) in Karlsruhe, Germany. Not only did I attend, I also managed to squeeze in a talk about PrivacyScore. We got the prime time slot on the opening day along with all the other relevant talks, including the Eurovision Song Contest, so we were not overly surprised that the audience had a hard time deciding where to go and eventually decided to attend talks which were not recorded. Our talk was recorded and is available here.

  • Distributions

    • Reviews

      • Cinnamon Desktop Spices Up RoboLinux Raptor

        RoboLinux is a unique distro that focuses on incorporating Windows versions XP through 10 within a fully functional Linux operating system. You might never need the Stealth VM features that let you easily install and run Microsoft Windows within most any Linux distro. Still, RoboLinux is a topnotch general purpose Linux computing platform that comes with a choice of leading desktop environments. RoboLinux creates a cloned Drive C from a Windows partition and installs your favorite Windows version with all of your costly Windows software running in a virtual machine.

    • AsteroidOS

    • Gentoo Family

      • A short history of Gentoo copyright

        As part of the recent effort into forming a new copyright policy for Gentoo, a research into the historical status has been conducted. We’ve tried to establish all the key events regarding the topic, as well as the reasoning behind the existing policy. I would like to shortly note the history based on the evidence discovered by Robin H. Johnson, Ulrich Müller and myself.

    • Red Hat Family

    • Debian Family

      • Free software log (April 2018)

        This is rather late since I got distracted by various other things including, ironically, releasing a bunch of software. This is for April, so doesn’t include the releases from this month.

        The main release I worked on was remctl 3.14, which fixed a security bug introduced in 3.12 with the sudo configuration option. This has since been replaced by 3.15, which has more thorough maintainer testing infrastructure to hopefully prevent this from happening again.

      • MiniDebCamp Hamburg – Friday 18/5, Saturday 19/5

        Friday and Saturday have been very productive days, I love events where there is time to hack!

        I had more chats about contributors.d.o with Ganneff and Formorer, and if all goes according to plan, soon salsa will start streaming commit information to contributors and populate information about different teams: not only about normal packaging repos, but also about websites, tools, native packages, etc.

      • Progress report from the Movim packaging sprint at MiniDebconf

        Nik wishes you to know that the Movim packaging sprint (sponsored by the DPL, thank you!) is handled under the umbrella of the Debian Edu sprint (similarily sponsored) since this package is handled by the Teckids Debian Task Force, personnel from Teckids e.V.

        After arriving, I’ve started collecting knowledge first. I reviewed upstream’s composer.json file and Wiki page about dependencies and, after it quickly became apparent that we need much more information (e.g. which versions are in sid, what the package names are, and, most importantly, recursive dependencies), a Wiki page of our own grew. Then I made a hunt for information about how to package stuff that uses PHP Composer upstream, and found the, ahem, wonderfully abundant, structured, plentiful and clear documentation from the Debian PHP/PEAR Packaging team. (Some time and reverse-engineering later I figured out that we just ignore composer and read its control file in pkg-php-tools converting dependency information to Debian package relationships. Much time later I also figured out it mangles package names in a specific way and had to rename one of the packages I created in the meantime… thankfully before having uploaded it.) Quickly, the Wiki page grew listing the package names we’re supposed to use. I created a package which I could use as template for all others later.

      • Help the Debian kernel team to help you

        I gave the first talk this morning at Mini-DebConf Hamburg, titled “Help the kernel team to help you”. I briefly described several ways that Debian users and developers can make it easier (or harder) for us to deal with their requests. The slides are up in on my talks page, and video should be available soon.

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • UbuCon Europe 2018: Analysing a dream [English|Spanish]

            The idea of organising the Ubucon in Xixon, Asturies was set two years ago, while participating in the European Ubucon in Essen (germany). The Paris Ubucon took place and in those days we uderstood that there was a group enough of people with the capacities and the will to hold an European Congress for Ubuntu lovers. We had learnt a lot from German and French colleagues thanks to their respective amazing organizations and, at the same time, our handicap was the lack of s consolidated group in Spain.

          • Flavours and Variants

            • What’s New in Ubuntu MATE 18.04 LTS

              Ubuntu MATE 18.04 LTS has been released and announced by Ubuntu MATE project. As part of official ubuntu flavor, this release features the latest MATE Desktop 1.20.1 as default desktop environment. Also introduces numerous improvements and new features, including better support for HiDPI displays, new desktop layouts, as well as support for indicators in all layouts by default.

              Familiar is new default layout of desktop Ubuntu MATE 18.04. it based on the traditional layout with the menu-bar (Applications, Places, System) replaced by Brisk Menu. Use MATE tweak if you want try out the various desktop layouts.

              Brisk Menu applications menu is now enabled by default in Ubuntu MATE 18.04 LTS, which ships with the Head-Up Display (HUD) feature of the Unity 7 desktop environmentand .MATE Tweak, which now lets you toggle the HiDPI mode more easily and a revamped Ubuntu MATE Welcome screen that now includes browser selection support and system telemetry if you want to help the Ubuntu MATE team improve future releases.

              Ubuntu MATE 18.04 LTS also received several improvements. Among these, we can mention the Caja file manager, which can now encrypt your most precious files, advenced bulk rename, hash checking and advanced ACl properties. Marco window manager, which got hardware acceleration. MATE Dock Applet, which now features icon scrolling and matching

  • Devices/Embedded

Free Software/Open Source

  • 19-year-old Developer at the Forefront of TRON (TRX) Opensource Wallet DApp
  • 19-years-old German developer Spearheads TRON (TRX) Opensource Wallet DApp

    No doubt that Tron community is preparing for mainnet launch, with different ideas coming in from all roads. As part of its readiness, Tron has unveiled its Opensource Wallet DApp developed by 19-year old German developer, Marius Gill, who has been programming since 13 years old.

    The DApp is an outcome of Project Genesis, which was launched in March 2018 purposely to encourage TRON’s community engagement in bringing in new things into Tron ecosystem. The project provides a bonus pool of 2 billion dollars for active members around the world have lent their hands in implementing ideas for the community.

  • Events

    • Collabora and GStreamer spring in Sweden

      Earlier this month, a few of us from Collabora, Olivier Crête, Nicolas Dufresne, George Kiagiadakis and I attended the GStreamer Spring Hackfest in Lund, Sweden. Hosted by Axis Communications (who uses GStreamer in their surveillance cameras for many years now), it was a great opportunity for the GStreamer community to touch base and work on open bugs and pet projects.

      [...]

      As for myself, I mainly worked on (or rather started to work on) split-field interlacing support in GStreamer, adding relevant formats and modes in the GStreamer video library. In addition, as a Meson developer (Nirbheek Chauhan) was present, I took the opportunity to discuss with him the last bit of porting build system of Geoclue to Meson, a side project I’ve been working on. It helped me get it done faster but also helped Nirbheek find some issues in Meson and fix them!

      All in all, my first GStreamer hackfest was an awesome experience (even though I was not feeling well). It was also very nice to hangout and socialize with old and new friends in the GStreamer community after a long time. Many thanks again to Axis for hosting us in their offices! See you at the GStreamer Conference this fall!

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Reality Redrawn Opens At The Tech

        The Tech Museum of Innovation in San Jose was filled on Thursday with visitors experiencing new takes on the issue of fake news by artists using mixed reality, card games and even scratch and sniff cards. These installations were the results of Mozilla’ Reality Redrawn challenge. We launched the competition last December to make the power of misinformation and its potential impacts visible and visceral. Winners were announced in February.

      • Tangerine UI problems

        I’ve been a big fan of Tangerine for a while, it’s a bank that doesn’t charge fees and does what I need to do. They used to have a great app and website and then it all went a bit wrong.

        It’s now a HTML app for Desktop and mobile. This isn’t the fault of the tools used, but there’s some terrible choices in the app across both.

        [...]

        The overall feel of the app is that its full of spinners, far too cluttered and just to confusing. Hey not everything I’ve built is perfect, but even I can spot some real problems with this app. I pretty sure Tangerine can do better than this.

        And yes, I’m writing this while drinking a beer I recently bought, as shown on my transaction page.

  • Pseudo-Open Source (Openwashing)

  • BSD

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • GCC 9 Drops Support For Older ARM Microarchitecture Versions

      Next year’s GCC 9 compiler release will be eliminating support for older ARM versions.

      Fortunately, ARMv7 and newer is still in great shape given they are still common and even ARMv6 support is also still supported by the GNU Compiler Collection. But as of Friday they dropped support for ARMv3 and older followed by dropping ARMv5 and ARMv5E.

      The dropping of ARMv3 and older even includes finally eliminating the support for ARM2. The ARM2 target in GCC is finally no more.

      This doesn’t come as too much of a surprise though with pre-ARMv4T support being deprecated since GCC 6 and the ARMv5 support being deprecated since GCC 7 last year.

  • Licensing/Legal

    • Congratulations to Tesla on Their First Public Step Toward GPL Compliance

      Conservancy rarely talks publicly about specifics in its ongoing GNU General Public License (GPL) enforcement and compliance activity, in accordance with our Principles of Community Oriented GPL Enforcement. We usually keep our compliance matters confidential — not for our own sake — but for the sake of violators who request discretion to fix their mistakes without fear of public reprisal. As occurred a few years ago with Samsung, we’re thrilled when a GPL violator decides to talk about their violation and works to correct it publicly. This gives us the opportunity to shine light on the real-world work of GPL and copyleft compliance.

      We’re thus glad that, this week, Tesla has acted publicly regarding its current GPL violations and has announced that they’ve taken their first steps toward compliance. While Tesla acknowledges that they still have more work to do, their recent actions show progress toward compliance and a commitment to getting all the way there.

    • Tesla releases some of its software to comply with open source licences

      Tesla is a software-heavy company and it has been using a lot of open source software to build its operating system and features, such as Linux Kernel, Buildroot, Busybox, QT, and more.

      Some of the copyright holders have been complaining that Tesla hasn’t been complying with their licenses.

    • The Software Freedom Conservancy on Tesla’s GPL compliance

      The Software Freedom Conservancy has put out a blog posting on the history and current status of Tesla’s GPL compliance issues.

  • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

  • Programming/Development

    • Announcing git-cinnabar 0.5.0 beta 3

      Git-cinnabar is a git remote helper to interact with mercurial repositories. It allows to clone, pull and push from/to mercurial remote repositories, using git.

    • RcppGSL 0.3.5

      A maintenance update of RcppGSL just brought version 0.3.5 to CRAN, a mere twelve days after the RcppGSL 0.3.4. release. Just like yesterday’s upload of inline 0.3.15 it was prompted by a CRAN request to update the per-package manual page; see the inline post for details.

    • Sony Is Working On AMD Ryzen LLVM Compiler Improvements – Possibly For The PlayStation 5

      One of Sony’s compiler experts has taken to working on some tuning for the AMD Ryzen “znver1″ microarchitecture support within the LLVM compiler stack. This begs the question why Sony is working on Ryzen improvements if not for a future product.

Leftovers

  • Longer talk at MSST2018

    The most important lesson I’ve learned is that this is fundamentally an economic problem; we know how to do it but we don’t want to pay enough to have it done.

    How far into the future should we be looking?

    What do the economics of storing data for that long look like?

    How long should the media last?

    How reliable do the media need to be?

  • Google Drops “Don’t Be Evil” Motto From Its Code Of Conduct

    In 2015, when Google reorganized itself under Alphabet, the new parent company drafted a new motto for itself — “Do the right thing.” However, Google’s own unofficial motto remained “Don’t be evil.” The company kept it as a part of the corporate code of conduct since 2000.

    In the latest development, Gizmodo has uncovered that Google has dropped the “Don’t be evil” phrase from its Code of Conduct. As per the findings, the updated version of the web page, which was first archived by the Wayback Machine, has a significant change.

  • Google Removes ‘Don’t Be Evil’ Clause From Its Code of Conduct

    Google’s unofficial motto has long been the simple phrase “don’t be evil.” But that’s over, according to the code of conduct that Google distributes to its employees. The phrase was removed sometime in late April or early May, archives hosted by the Wayback Machine show.

    “Don’t be evil” has been part of the company’s corporate code of conduct since 2000. When Google was reorganized under a new parent company, Alphabet, in 2015, Alphabet assumed a slightly adjusted version of the motto, “do the right thing.” However, Google retained its original “don’t be evil” language until the past several weeks. The phrase has been deeply incorporated into Google’s company culture—so much so that a version of the phrase has served as the wifi password on the shuttles that Google uses to ferry its employees to its Mountain View headquarters, sources told Gizmodo.

  • Science

    • How heavy use of social media is linked to mental illness

      According to a survey in 2017 by the Royal Society for Public Health, Britons aged 14-24 believe that Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and Twitter have detrimental effects on their wellbeing. On average, they reported that these social networks gave them extra scope for self-expression and community-building. But they also said that the platforms exacerbated anxiety and depression, deprived them of sleep, exposed them to bullying and created worries about their body image and “FOMO” (“fear of missing out”). Academic studies have found that these problems tend to be particularly severe among frequent users.

    • Humans Are Dumb At Figuring Out How Smart Animals Are

      The court declined to hear the case, but one judge did say that some highly intelligent animals probably should be treated more like people and less like property.

  • Hardware

    • Popular YouTuber Says Apple Won’t Fix His iMac Pro Damaged While Disassembled

      The damage resulted when they dropped the display while attempting to reattach it to the aluminum chassis. Towards the end of the video, Sebastian also says the iMac Pro requires a new logic board and power supply unit, suggesting there may have been a short circuit that caused damage to internal components as well.

  • Security

    • Purism’s New Purekey OpenPGP Security Token, Windows 10 Now Includes OpenSSH, Vim 8.1 Released and More

      Purism, maker of the security-focused Librem laptops, announced yesterday it has partnered with Nitrokey to create Purekey, “Purism’s own OpenPGP security token designed to integrate with its hardware and software. Purekey embodies Purism’s mission to make security and cryptography accessible where its customers hold the keys to their own security.” You can purchase a Purekey by itself or as an add-on with a laptop order. According to Purism’s CSO Kyle Rankin, “By keeping your encryption keys on a Purekey instead of on a hard drive, your keys never leave the tamper-proof hardware. This not only makes your keys more secure from attackers, it makes using your keys on multiple devices more convenient.”

    • Encrypted Email and Security Nihilism

      Earlier this week, a group of German researchers published an alarm about newly discovered problems with encrypted email that is creating major controversy in the internet security community. This research — published in a snappy-titled report called EFail — is a valuable and important work highlighting the challenges with email security.

      Unfortunately, many of the responses to this report have been close to the line of “security nihilism:” Throwing your hands in the air and saying that because certain important security measures aren’t perfect, we should abandon them altogether. This is harsh and potentially damaging to the best efforts we currently have to protect email and risks leading people astray when it comes to securing their communications. In fact, there are important things that people can do to protect their email. This post examines the controversy, what people should do to secure their email, and how we might do better in the future.

      Email is a widespread communications tool and people generally expect it to be private. But from a security standpoint, the baseline assumption is that email is “like a postcard:” Anything you write in an email can be read by your email provider (e.g., Google, if you use Gmail) and also by the email provider of the person you send mail to. If those providers (or any of their system administrators or lawyers) want to read your mail, or are hacked, or bribed, or coerced by law enforcement into sharing access, the content of your email is easily accessible to them.

    • Most dangerous new cyber security threats [iophk: "Windows TCO, yet neither Microsoft nor Windows get a mention"]
  • Defence/Aggression

    • No monopoly on David Kelly’s death: Miles Goslett responds to David Aaronovitch’s criticism

      As Oborne has demonstrated, Aaronovitch misrepresented my book and portrayed me as an unhinged conspiracy theorist. In fact, the book is intended to be a careful analysis of the Hutton Inquiry into Kelly’s death and the ramifications of that process. Its aim is to show how Tony Blair’s desperate government rode roughshod over the long-established method of inquiry into this event – a coroner’s inquest – and installed its own, less rigorous investigation. As a result key witnesses were excluded, evidence was concealed and loose ends allowed to remain untied. I believe, though I accept I may be wrong, that Aaronovitch began his review with a firmly closed mind. Let me explain why I have arrived at this interpretation.

    • The Donald, Vlad, and the Bibi

      As a general rule, it is pointless to rank world leaders or lesser political figures by measures that track their vileness or how much harm they inflict upon the world.

      Sometimes, though, it can be enlightening to do precisely that – provided it is understood that what is being compared are not so much the character traits of deplorable individuals, but the political lines they advance in the circumstances they confront.

      One such time is now – as Donald Trump is doing his best to launch a “stupid war” against Iran. That expression was candidate Barack Obama’s in 2008; he used it to describe the war George W. Bush and Dick Cheney launched against Iraq.

      Since at least 1945, the United States has only fought stupid wars. Some have been stupider than others, but, with varying degrees of enthusiasm, Democrats and Republicans have supported them all. If Trump does get an Iran War going, count on bipartisan support for it too, though, for sheer stupidity, it would rival and perhaps even exceed the Kennedy-Johnson-Nixon war against Vietnam.

    • Trump: Making America Dread Again

      Trump’s flagrant disregard for the safety of the American people has been punctuated by the proposed elimination of the budget reserved for containing an Ebola epidemic. Earlier this year, Trump pushed through Congress an additional $84 billion for the bloated, unauditable military budget—more than the Pentagon had requested.

      Callous Donald is determined to enable and even abet companies that are spewing dangerous toxics into our air, water, and food-growing areas. Many of these companies have contributed to his campaign. This serial failed gambling czar’s coldblooded personality is anti-law. President Trump and his agency chiefs are violating federal statutory mandates to protect the health and safety of Americans.

    • Whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg: Civil Disobedience Against Vietnam War Led Me to Leak Pentagon Papers

      Whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg was a high-level defense analyst in 1971 when he leaked a top-secret report on U.S. involvement in Vietnam to The New York Times and other publications that came to be known as the Pentagon Papers and played a key role in ending the Vietnam War. We speak with Ellsberg about the recent 50th anniversary of one of the most famous acts of civil disobedience in the United States. On May 17, 1968, Catholic priests and activists broke into a draft board office in Catonsville, Maryland, and stole 378 draft cards and burned them in the parking lot as a protest against the Vietnam War. They became known as the Catonsville Nine. Ellsberg discusses the role nonviolent direct action can play in social movements. Ellsberg says that the ending of the war in Vietnam “relied on a lot of people doing unusual things.”

    • Google, drone murder and the military-intelligence-censorship complex

      The publication of this week’s open letter by leading academics protesting Google’s role in the military’s drone assassination program exposes the close partnership between the major technology giants and the US military/intelligence complex.

      The letter, now signed by nearly 1,000 academics, declares that “Google has moved into military work without subjecting itself to public debate or deliberation, either domestically or internationally.” It adds, “While Google regularly decides the future of technology without democratic public engagement, its entry into military technologies casts the problems of private control of information infrastructure into high relief.”

      In March, Google admitted to helping the Pentagon develop artificial intelligence software to identify objects in video recordings captured by drones, within the framework of a program called Project Maven. While Google claims that the technology is not being used to kill people, the letter’s authors note that the system can be easily modified to identify human beings for assassination.

  • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

    • Revealed: Julian Assange’s embassy guest list in the summer of the Clinton email leak which includes RT reporters, hackers and Michael Moore [Ed: And now Daily Fail participates in selectively associating Wikileaks with crime, Russia etc.]
    • Ecuador Removes Extra Security At Embassy Where Julian Assange Lives

      Ecuador’s president has ordered the removal of extra security at the country’s London embassy — where WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has been since 2012.

    • Price of Coming Forward: Joshua Schulte’s Past Whistleblowing Comes Back to Haunt Him

      On Tuesday, the New York Times and Washington Post publicly identified the U.S. government’s prime and only suspect in the leaks of CIA documents to the transparency organization WikiLeaks. Joshua Schulte, a former CIA software engineer, has been suspected of being the WikiLeaks source since last year, when authorities raided his Manhattan apartment just one week after the first batch of the documents, known collectively as “Vault 7,” were released last March.

      Vault 7 has been a sore spot in the U.S. intelligence community since it broke, largely because it was the “largest ever publication of U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) documents,” one that detailed the CIA’s global and covert hacking program as well as its arsenal of hacking tools and exploits.

      As MintPress reported at the time, one of the agency’s capabilities revealed by Vault 7 was the CIA’s ability to leave the “fingerprints” of foreign governments on hacks the CIA itself had conducted. The revelation of this capacity cast immediate doubt on the evidence that the Russian government had hacked the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

      In addition, the leak represented an unparalleled embarrassment for the agency, particularly after the high-profile leaks of NSA Whistleblower Edward Snowden and the measures taken by the government to prevent a repeat occurrence. The sensitive nature of the case is a likely reason as to why Schulte continues to be in government crosshairs despite the lack of evidence against him.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife/Nature

    • Clean air, water on voters’ agenda, but not Congress’

      All of which provides a backdrop to the truly bizarre spectacle that took place in a hearing held by the House Science Committee this week. In a hearing meant to focus on technological solutions to climate change (like the hugely popular wind and solar), Republican members of the committee decided to once again raise questions about whether humans were influencing the warming climate, with one Congressman suggesting that the warming-driven rise in our oceans might instead be caused by rocks falling into the seas.

    • Republican Rep. Mo Brooks Blames Coastal Erosion for Rising Seas

      Bridenstine’s new comments came a day after Alabama Republican Congressmember Mo Brooks suggested during a House Science committee hearing that coastal erosion—and not greenhouse gas emissions—is to blame for rising sea levels. Rep. Brooks made the comments as he questioned Philip Duffy, president of the Woods Hole Research Center.

    • ‘Somebody’s Cheating’: 8 Years After Ban, Scientists Urge World Leaders to Find Mysterious Source Behind Skyrocketing CFC Levels

      Despite having been banned, emissions of a chemical found to create holes in the ozone layer have skyrocketed in recent years, according to a new study—leading scientists to wonder whether the pollutant is being secretly manufactured somewhere on Earth.

      Scientists at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) found that CFC-11 emissions have gone up 25 percent since 2012, although the international community agreed to end production of all chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) by 2010 as part of the Montreal Protocol in 1987.

      “Somebody’s cheating,” Durwood Zaelke, founder of the Institute for Governance and Sustainable Development, told the Washington Post of the new research. “There’s some slight possibility there’s an unintentional release, but…they make it clear there’s strong evidence this is actually being produced.”

    • Most Americans say climate change affects their local community, including two-thirds living near coast

      Roughly six-in-ten Americans (59%) say climate change is currently affecting their local community either a great deal or some, according to a new Pew Research Center survey.

      Some 31% of Americans say the effects of climate change are affecting them personally, while 28% say climate change is affecting their local community but its effects are not impacting them in a personal way.

      As is the case on many climate change questions, perceptions of whether and how much climate change is affecting local communities are closely tied with political party affiliation. About three-quarters of Democrats (76%) say climate change is affecting their local community at least some, while roughly a third of Republicans say this (35%).

    • Oh, POLITICO, Please Don’t Publish Garbage — Reality Check For Electric Vehicle Hit Job

      I’ve read many wonderful pieces of work from POLITICO. The outfit has a great crew of political reporters who sometimes break huge and important stories. The op-eds and in-depth political analyses can be superb. From time to time, POLITICO has been the top source I’ve relied on for US political coverage … and funny cartoons.

      That said, I think I’ve read only one piece on the website about electric vehicles … and it was absolute garbage. Actually, garbage is just something useless that needs to be thrown in the trash can, whereas this was worse. This piece, reaching people fairly new to the concept of electric vehicles, misled readers on a critical point or two. Furthermore, think about who the audience reading the article might be — politically involved people with a left leaning. These are people who might one day (if not today) be in a position to make policy, and they are people who might have particular concern (or at least political concern) to push and vote for environmentally friendly policies. Convincing them that electric cars are not greener than gasoline cars is a disservice to society.

  • Finance

    • Trump personally pushed postmaster general to double rates on Amazon, other firms

      Details of Amazon’s contract with the Postal Service are secret, making it difficult for financial experts to assess claims about the relationship. Amazon has said that publicly releasing the contract, which contains detailed information on the company’s delivery systems, would give competitors an unfair advantage.

    • Trump reportedly wants to punish Amazon by trying to double Postal Service rates

      The Postal Service, though it’s lost money for the last 11 years, reported a 11.8 percent year-over-year increase in revenue to $19.5 billion last year, some of which is likely attributable to Amazon’s increased spending in the area. The nature of Amazon and the Postal Service’s deal remains secret.

    • PayPal in talks to buy Swedish small-business platform iZettle for $2.2 billion
    • PayPal to Buy iZettle for $2.2 Billion to Compete With Square

      The deal is the biggest ever for San Jose, California-based PayPal and will help it compete with Square Inc., which made a name for itself by helping small businesses and food-truck vendors conduct credit card and mobile transactions. Founded in 2010 by Jacob de Geer and Magnus Nilsson, iZettle also started out with a mobile-phone gadget for accepting credit card payments. It has since expanded into software and financing services to support small businesses.

    • Lighthizer says NAFTA countries are ‘nowhere’ near reaching a deal

      U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said that after nine months the United States, Mexico and Canada are still far from completing an update of the 24-year-old NAFTA deal with a slew of sticking points looming over the talks.

    • Where next for migrant Roma communities post-Brexit?

      The number of migrant Roma living in the UK is not known. Estimates by the Council of Europe put the figure at 225,000 Roma, which amounts to 0.36% of the entire population. The European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights, however, claims that the real figure is between 500,000 and 1,000,000, excluding indigenous Gypsies and Irish Travellers. In the wake of Brexit this group faces an uncertain future.

      A recent report of the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) on ‘Roma communities and Brexit’ has highlighted what it called “a triple whammy of risks: uncertainty over their future legal status, rising concerns about hate crime, and a potential loss of EU funding for integration and support services”.

      The report’s findings do not come as a surprise. They reveal long-standing concerns of human rights activists, NGOs and public policy think tanks over both the UK response to the EU Framework for National Roma Integration Strategies, on one hand, and the consequences of the Brexit vote, on the other.

    • Why I am not a Liberal and how we need to fight bin Trump and Brexit

      In the year 2000, when post-1989 globalisation was at the zenith of its self-confidence, four of us got together in North London to plan how to respond to what we experienced as a growing problem with the way the world is governed. We felt the need for a serious space to question the suffocating future being offered us, with the socialist left defeated everywhere except Brazil. Along with Paul Hilder, Susan Richards, David Hayes and others, I initiated openDemocracy.

      Perhaps because he confuses my commitment to openness with liberalism, Jan Zielonka, Oxford professor of European politics, has just tagged me as a Liberal; in openDemocracy, in his contribution to a vitally important debate over how to frustrate the hard right. The exchange began in March, when the historian of Liberalism, Edmund Fawcett, called for liberals like himself and leftists to unite in the face of danger. I then responded and welcomed Fawcett’s positive challenge. How to confront the grim international setting matters far more than my personal politics. And new and surprising allies, such as the ex-Director of the CIA, have emerged. I want to take the opportunity to explore the significance of this, especially for the United States as Trump shreds the Iran nuclear agreement.

      But first, I want to be clear about the direction I’m coming from to explain why Zielonka gets me completly wrong. While liberal in my personal views I have never been a ‘Liberal’ politically. I am an advocate and organiser of political openness, which is quite different. The way politics is conducted remains closed, indeed it invents new forms of closure. The brilliant Transformation section of openDemocracy now focuses on this with a coverage that is both granular and general. As its editor Mike Edwards recently argued, an open approach, “runs counter to the realities of modern politics, media and knowledge production, but the other options are much, much worse: a slide into authoritarianism, enforced artificial unity, or permanent division”.

    • Gender Justice at the Heart of the Poor People’s Campaign

      The Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival, will begin six weeks of actions on May 13 in more than 30 state capitals. Each week will have a different theme, with the first week dedicated to raising up “Children, Women, and People with Disabilities in Poverty.”

      In a recent interview, Rev. Liz Theoharis explained that when she and fellow campaign co-chair Rev. William Barber II first began developing this initiative, they mapped out the poorest communities in the United States. “Our research revealed that the states with the highest overall poverty rates also had the worst voter suppression and the highest number of women and children in need,” she said.

      The campaign teamed up with the Institute for Policy Studies to conduct an extensive audit of key indicators since Dr. Martin Luther King and other leaders launched the original Poor People’s Campaign in 1968. The report, organized around the themes of poverty, systemic racism, militarism, and ecological destruction, integrates issues related to gender justice throughout. Here are five charts which show that while poverty affects all demographic groups in the United States, women (especially women of color) and transgender individuals are particularly hard hit.

    • Yes, neoliberalism is a thing. Don’t let economists tell you otherwise

      Well, this one at least is half-true. Like literally every concept that has ever mattered, the concept of ‘neoliberalism’ is messy, it’s deeply contested, it has evolved over time and it differs in theory and practice. From the start, there has been debate within the neoliberal movement itself about how it should define itself and what its programme should be. And, yes, it’s often used lazily on the left as a generic term for anything vaguely establishment. None of this means that it is Not A Thing. This is something sociologists and historians instinctively understand, but which many economists seem to have trouble with. Having said this, it is possible to define some generally accepted core features of neoliberalism. Essentially, it privileges markets as the best way to organise the economy and society, but unlike classical liberalism, it sees a strong role for the state in creating and maintaining these markets. Outside of this role, the state should do as little as possible, and above all it must not interfere with the ‘natural’ operation of the market. But it has always been part of the neoliberal project to take over the state and transform it for its own ends, rather than to dismantle or disable it. Of course, there’s clearly a tension between neoliberals’ professed ideals of freedom and their need for a strong state to push through policies that often don’t have democratic consent. We see this in the actions of the Bretton Woods institutions in the era of ‘structural adjustment’, or the Troika’s behaviour towards Greece during the Eurozone crisis. We see it most starkly in Pinochet’s Chile, the original neoliberal experiment. This perhaps helps to explain the fact that neoliberalism is sometimes equated with libertarianism and the ‘small state’, while others reject this characterisation. I’ll say it again: none of this means that neoliberalism doesn’t exist.

    • C.F.P.B. Payday Loan Rule Likely Spared Wrath of Congressional Review Act

      There was rare good news for regulatory safeguards this week: The window closed for Congress to pass legislation repealing the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau rule on payday loans, according to advocates of the initiative.

      Stop the Debt Trap, a coalition of labor unions and non-profits, said Wednesday evening that the “legislative clock has expired” on efforts to annul the rule under the Congressional Review Act.

      “Consumer and civil rights advocates are urging the consumer bureau to keep intact the rule, which is set to go into effect summer 2019, and to fulfill the bureau’s responsibility to enforce the law,” the organization said in a statement.

      [...]

      While Congress appeared on Wednesday to officially spare the payday rule, hours earlier, there was an ominous development in Washington for consumer safeguards. In a party-line vote, the Federal Trade Commission voted 3-2 to approve Andrew Smith as head of the agency’s Bureau of Consumer Protection.

      Smith has previously served as a lawyer for some of the most recognizable corporations accused of malfeasance, as noted Monday by Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), and Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii).

  • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • England is restless, change is coming

      My purpose today is to make a big argument about the state of politics in England. Namely, without radical devolution we are not going to achieve social justice.

      I’m pleased to be speaking here at IPPR as recently you produced an important report describing the emergence of Englishness as a political force.

      You were correct to begin a conversation about England. There is a restlessness here. A mounting dissatisfaction which ‘Little Englander’ politics has attempted to colonise. I am going to set out why their narrow message fundamentally misunderstands what is happening.

    • The McCain Cult

      So much time spent on this trifle of a story. Someone named Kelly Sadler, a “special assistant” and “communications aide” to the president stated in a White House meeting May 10 that Sen. John McCain’s opposition to the appointment of Gina Haspel as CIA director was irrelevant.

      “It doesn’t matter, he’s dying anyway,” she said, according to a leak—presumably by a White House colleague wanting to embarrass her. And so the liberal media—assiduously avoiding coverage of the unprecedented teachers’ strikes in this country, or the Afghan situation as the U.S.-trained army deteriorates and the Taliban expands, or the situation in Iraq as the anti-U.S. Sadrists take power, or the opening of that record-breaking bridge from mainland Russia to Crimea—dwells on this issue of a Trump aide making a “joke” about McCain’s likely immanent death.

    • Iraq elections final results: Sadr’s bloc wins parliamentary poll

      A political bloc led by Shia leader Muqtada al-Sadr has won the country’s parliamentary election, the electoral commission said, ahead of internationally favoured Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi’s bloc.

      Al-Sadr himself cannot become prime minister as he did not run in the election, but his bloc’s victory puts him in a position to have a strong say in negotiations.

      His electoral list captured 54 parliamentary seats, according to the results released on Saturday.

      The Fatah bloc led by Hadi al-Amiri, who has close ties with Iran, came in second with 47 seats.

    • Trump Jr. met with Gulf adviser who offered help to win election: report
    • Trump Jr. and Other Aides Met With Gulf Emissary Offering Help to Win Election

      The Trump Tower meeting and follow-ups are the first indication that countries beyond Russia may have offered help to the Trump campaign.

    • Tory MPs prepare for snap autumn election as Theresa May hit by Brexit deadlock

      Conservative MPs are preparing for another snap general election as they fear the Brexit deadlock will become insurmountable for the prime minister.

      Some have spoken to their local party associations asking to be readopted as prospective parliamentary candidates in readiness for an autumn election.

      The back-bench MPs acted after meeting Theresa May last week for a private Brexit briefing as she tried to stop a row over Britain’s future customs relationship with the European Union tearing the party apart.

  • Censorship/Free Speech

    • The Curious Takedown Notices of ‘Tongues of Glass’ Poet Shaun Shane

      The poet going by the name Shaun Shane has come to the forefront again, half a decade after his one-line poem triggered a takedown controversy. In a series of DMCA notices sent to Google, the poet posits that people are using black hat SEO to get to him. Targeted sites include BoingBoing and Techdirt, but also entirely unrelated ones, including the homepage of the company ‘Shaun Shane Bricklaying.’

    • UK government plans new legislation to tame internet’s ‘wild west’

      The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport and the Home Office are jointly working on a white paper that is expected to be published in the autumn.

    • Gruesome Jihadi Content Still Flourishes on Facebook and Google+
    • ‘Blocking Pirate Sites Through Court is Uncertain, Slow and Expensive’

      Fairplay Canada sees its own site blocking proposal as the best option to counter infringing websites. In a reply response to the CRTC, the coalition argues that the ‘alternative’ judicial option is uncertain, costly, and will take a lot of time. The response further criticizes misleading and false comments from the public, while adding more support for its blocking plans.

    • Students take on press censorship, get national coverage

      A study of press freedom at Christian universities conducted by Taylor University students has garnered national coverage.

      Religion News Service, the Washington Examiner, the Student Press Law Center and several other religion and college media news sites have run stories in the last two weeks about the study, which was released on May 1 by the newly formed Student Press Coalition. Taylor students created the SPC in order to publicize their study’s results and make clear they weren’t representing the university.

    • Music streaming service Spotify initiates censorship against R. Kelly and XXXTentacion

      On May 10, global music streaming platform Spotify began a regime of censorship against artists it accuses of “Hateful Conduct.” The same day, singers Robert “R.” Kelly and Jahseh Dwayne Onfroy (known as XXXTentacion) became its first targets.

      Under the new policy, Spotify will censor music that “incites hatred or violence against a group or individual based on characteristics, including race, religion, gender identity, sex, ethnicity, nationality, sexual orientation, veteran status[!], or disability.” Moreover, the announcement goes on, “When an artist or creator does something that is especially harmful or hateful (for example, violence against children and sexual violence), it may affect the ways we work with or support that artist or creator.”

      [...]

      Works by the 20-year-old Onfroy (XXXTentacion), who presently faces charges for battery against a pregnant woman, were given the same treatment, including removal from the Spotify playlist “Rap Caviar,” which has nearly 10 million followers.

      Prior to these acts of censorship, a witch-hunt atmosphere had been whipped up around these two singers in the press and on social media. In the case of Kelly, the group of Hollywood figures known as the “Time’s Up movement” threw their weight behind an existing campaign to “Mute R. Kelly.” The manifesto at muterkelly.org makes clear its disdain for democratic rights:

    • Germany’s Attempt to Fix Facebook Is Backfiring

      The new year was just a day old when Alice Weidel, the 38-year-old co-leader of the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) party, and Beatrix von Storch, her deputy, came under investigation for inciting hatred on Twitter. Both women had attacked the police in Cologne for tweeting a New Year’s greeting in Arabic: “What the hell is wrong with this country?” von Storch asked in a racially incendiary tweet, accusing the police of supporting what she called “barbaric, gang-raping Muslim hordes of men.” Weidel echoed that sentiment, accusing the police of supporting “knife-stabbing migrant mobs.”

    • Govt to take censorship issue to parliament, says minister

      Federal Information Minister Marriyum Aurangzeb said on Saturday that the censorship issue would be taken to parliament instead of the information minister tendering her resignation in protest.

      Addressing an Iftar dinner she hosted for journalists, she said the government was aware of the problems being faced by some publications and “I have personally been under pressure to resign on the issue. But I thought for how long the ministers would keep stepping down on such issues instead of taking them head-on”.

    • Minister regrets not doing away with media censorship completely

      Information and Broadcasting Minister Marriyum Aurangzeb has said she regrets that her ministry could not do as much as it wished to eliminate the culture of censorship on the media.

      Speaking at an Iftar dinner, hosted by her ministry for the Lahore media, she said that in her short period as the minister she tried her best that the media could be facilitated to the maximum to bring clarity regarding the government affairs.

      She said that she is aware of the concerns and complaints of the media fraternity regarding censorship and sabotage of certain media outlets. She said the government tried its best to do whatever it could to curtail such activities. But, still there was a lot of room for improvement in that regard, she added. The minister pledged that if the PML-N would come to power against after 2018 elections, it would give special attention to the issue.

    • Warframe Moderator’s Authoritarian Censorship Spawns Community Backlash

      Digital Extremes could be looking at some steep community unrest if things don’t get resolved quickly regarding a North American chat moderator for Warframe who has taken the reigns of authority and utilized it to abuse censorship within the community.

    • Prime Minister’s Spokesperson Denounces Church For Censoring Nonconformist Priest

      The Prime Minister’s spokesperson has denounced as “outrageous” an ultimatum by the Church to outspoken priest Mark Montebello that he will be defrocked if he continues speaking out in the media.

      “The Church censors one of its most progressive thinkers,” Kurt Farrugia tweeted. “I had the privilege to work with Fr Mark as deputy editor of It-Torċa…it seems freedom of speech in Malta is a privilege only afforded to conservatives. Outrageous.”

    • Erdoğan ends UK state visit by calling jailed journalists ‘terrorists’

      Turkey’s president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, has ended his three-day state visit to the UK by insisting that all the journalists locked in Turkish jails were terrorist criminals, ignoring a warning from Theresa May not to lose sight of democratic values as he sought to defend his country from “the extraordinary pressures of a failed coup and Kurdish terrorism”.

      At a press conference in Downing Street alongside May, Erdoğan made no reference to May’s remarks about human rights, but instead urged her to do more to extradite Turkish exiles from the Gulenist or Kurdish movements, saying that if she did not act act against terrorists, it would come back to bite her.

    • Turkish President Visits UK To Remind Everyone He Still Wants To Punish Critical Speech

      I’m not sure why any nation with at least a passing respect for civil liberties would continue treating Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan as a world leader worth discussing ideas with. Erdogan rolled into the United States with his entourage of thugs and thought he could have critics beaten and unfriendly journalists tossed from press conferences. He continually petitions other countries to punish their own citizens for insulting him.

      Back at home, Erdogan is jailing journalists by the hundreds, claiming they’re terrorists. A failed coup set off the latest wave of censorial thuggery, with Erdogan bolstering his terrorist claims by pointing to criminal acts like… robbing ATMs. A massive backlog of “insulting the president” cases sit in the country’s court system — a system that’s certainly aware it’s not supposed to act as a check against executive power.

      And yet, world leaders continue to act as though Erdogan is an equal, rather than an overachieving street thug with an amazingly fragile ego. UK Prime Minister Theresa May, hoping to strike a trade deal with Turkey, invited Erdogan to not only discuss a possible deal, but speak publicly.

    • Valve Warns Anime Developers To Censor Sexualized Content On Steam Or They Will Be Removed
    • Steve Stoute Says If R. Kelly & XXXTentacion Music’s Banned, Then Why Don’t People Say ‘We’re F**king No Playing Michael Jackson’
  • Privacy/Surveillance

    • Revealed: Storyful uses tool to monitor what reporters watch

      Software developed by a subsidiary of Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp to help journalists verify content on social media is also being used to monitor the videos and images viewed by reporters who use the tool.

    • The growing threat to privacy from big data forensics and false positives

      It turned out that the ambulance crew who had taken him to the hospital that day were later called to where the murder in question took place. Somehow, the ambulance team carried with them the DNA of the accused man, and left it on the body of the victim. Even though the quantity of genetic material involved was minuscule, today’s DNA amplification techniques are such that it is possible to extract long enough genetic sequences from these kind of situations to allow them to be matched with DNA database entries. Ironically, the very sensitivity of DNA forensic techniques means that cases of innocent people being accused of crimes are likely to become more common. The problem is that we shed and leave our DNA on everything we touch, even where we stand, and so it is possible for it to be picked up and transferred somewhere else – even on to a murder victim.

    • Website leaked real-time location of most US cell phones to almost anyone

      LocationSmart, as the service is known, identifies the locations of phones connected to AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, or Verizon, often to an accuracy of a few hundred yards, reporter Brian Krebs said. While the firm claims it provides the location lookup service only for legitimate and authorized purposes, Krebs reported that a demo tool on the LocationSmart website could be used by just about anyone to surreptitiously track the real-time whereabouts of just about anyone else.

    • Cambridge Analytica files for bankruptcy amidst “siege” of negative attention

      The Friday court document also notes that the attorney preparing the filing was paid for by Emerdata, a new data analytics firm founded by many of the same people who were formerly involved in Cambridge Analytica. Emerdata, like Cambridge Analytica, is largely funded by the Mercer family, who are well-known Republican donors and Trump supporters. Rebekah Mercer was named as a director to Emerdata in March 2018. What exactly Emerdata does or how it will operate going forward remains a bit of a mystery.

    • GDPR Hysteria

      In another week the GDPR, or the General Data Protection Regulation will become enforceable and it appears that unlike any other law to date this particular one has the interesting side effect of causing mass hysteria in the otherwise rational tech sector.

  • Civil Rights/Policing

    • Labor undecided on support for increased airport ID checks

      The government made its proposal known on Tuesday, with Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull saying the measure was being advanced because there were “dangerous times” facing the country, according to an ABC report. A sum of $294 million has been set aside to increase security at Australian airports and put in new measures in regional centres.

      Turnbull and Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton announced legislation to give the police the power to carry out random identity checks at airports without any cause.

    • TSA Thuggos Turn Into The “Security” Version Of Vindictive Uber Drivers, Secretly Rating You

      This turn of events we’re left with — citizens as docile sheep in the face of our civil liberties being violated — ultimately doesn’t go in a good direction, let’s just say, and it probably won’t end well down the road.

    • $10K Isn’t What It Used To Be — Nor Are Constitutional Rights: Time To Revisit Banking Reporting Requirements

      And Holcombe makes the point that $10K in 1970 dollars would be $65K in today’s.

    • US Immigration Officials Pull Plug on High-Tech ‘Extreme Vetting’

      According to reports, ICE has dropped the requirement to use machine learning or other automated predictive decision-making technologies in its proposals to contractors vying for government business. Instead, ICE will emphasize human oversight of the vetting process.

    • New York workers could get right to ignore bosses emails and phone calls

      That’s if a “right to disconnect” bill sponsored by New York City councilman Rafael Espinal passes. It sets a $250 fine for employers who require staff to answer calls and emails after hours. Espinal’s bill was inspired by a similar law that went into effect last year in France.

    • An Agricultural Movement for People-to-People Reparations Puts Itself on the Map

      On a small plot of land on the outskirts of Chicago, a farm collectively owned by gender-non-conforming immigrants will cultivate produce and a younger generation of food justice activists. That’s the vision that Viviana Moreno, Nadia Sol Ireri Unzueta Carrasco and Jazmín Martinez, organizers and farmers based in Chicago’s Little Village neighborhood, are working to turn into reality.

      Catatumbo Collective, as the three call themselves, told Rural America In These Times in an email: “We’re approaching a worker-owned farm through an intersectional and holistic lens that understands that our community’s issues can be addressed in part by sustainable farming and food justice educational programs.”

      Viviana, Ireri and Jazmín have known each other from years of organizing against deportations in Chicago and working in Little Village’s Semillas de Justicia community garden.

      Of Venezuelan and Mexican heritage, the three incorporate their families’ experiences—with land stewardship and NAFTA-driven migration—and the history of campesinos’ and Indigenous peoples’ land struggles into their approach.

    • Socialists and Progressives Just Trounced the Democratic Establishment

      If members of the Democratic Party establishment weren’t already worried, after Tuesday night, they should be. In primaries across the country, at least eight candidates running on explicitly progressive platforms won out, including open socialists and political newcomers who took out longtime incumbents.

      These victories are proof that the recent successes of left challengers are no fluke. Rather, the wins show that voters who are tired of the type of milquetoast, means-tested policies pushed by centrist Democrats are willing to embrace candidates running on bold, redistributive policies. And far from being too far left to win, these candidates have the political winds at their backs.

    • Criminalizing Victims: the Fate of Honduran Refugees

      According to the National Catholic Reporter, Honduran human rights leader and Jesuit priest Fr. Ismael Moreno Coto, who was a friend of slain environmental activist Berta Caceres, plans to meet with members of the US Congress this week in order to “offer a number of suggestions on how the U.S. government can play a constructive role in promoting human rights in Honduras.” He is currently on a 9-city tour of the United States to raise awareness about the state of contemporary Honduran society and the historically negative role that the US has played there, especially in its support and funding of right-wing governments and the Honduran military.

      The Trump administration’s recent decision to suspend Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for 57, 000 Hondurans who came to the United States after Hurricane Mitch devastated the country in 1998 may have also inspired his visit. Trump’s refusal to renew TPS will affect a total of 300,000 Central Americans and Haitians. The vast majority are perfectly law-abiding members of US society who have now, at the stroke of a pen, been criminalized. It is not outside the realm of possibility that Father Ismael may appeal to American government officials to fight against sending vulnerable people to one of the most dangerous countries in the Western Hemisphere.

    • Time to quell the Lords’ anti-democratic riot

      The constitutional crisis that nobody on the left wants to talk about.

  • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

    • The decline of Snapchat and the secret joy of internet ghost towns

      When websites become useless, they become a reminder of what was lost when the [I]nternet gained purpose, function, and profit. We are all still searching for an online space where we can yell our secrets and be unseen and disappear. These opportunities now often exist only in dying online spaces, the last place where no one is looking.

    • ISPs and Ajit Pai are really sad about Senate’s vote for net neutrality

      USTelecom claimed to speak on behalf of Internet users, saying that “Consumers want permanent, comprehensive online protections, not half measures or election year posturing from our representatives in Congress.”

    • ‘Uphill Battle,’ But Net Neutrality Defenders Say Victory in House Possible

      Celebrating the ‘historic win’ in the Senate on Wednesday for only the briefest of moments, advocates for the open Internet who have worked relentlessly to reverse an effort by the telecommunications industry and Trump’s FCC to kill net neutrality protections have immediately turned their attention to the U.S. House of Representatives where they say victory is possible if the American people keep up the pressure.

      “The people saying we can’t win on net neutrality in the House are the same people who, just 5 months ago, were saying we could never do it in the Senate,” said Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) on Thursday. “Ignore them. Just keep fighting.”

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Webinar on Defend Trade Secrets Act
    • Copyrights

      • Police Forces Around Europe Hit Pirate IPTV Operation

        More than 150 law enforcement officers in Italy, Switzerland, Germany and Spain have coordinated to dismantle a large pirate IPTV operation. TV channel sources, which were spread among companies, commercial premises and even private homes, were targeted in dozens of locations. The investigation focused on 49 suspects, five of whom were arrested and taken into custody.

      • Congress wants to extend the copyright on some sound recordings to 144 years

        Hatch merged the bill with the CLASSICS act, which creates a new federal copyright rule for pre-1972 sound recordings; in some cases, this will create a 144 year copyright term for these older recordings. What’s more, it gives an unassailable advantage to the biggest streaming companies like Spotify and Pandora, whose existing music publisher agreements lock in a much lower royalty rate than the statute provides for, something no new competitor will be able to use.

      • Congress’ Latest Move to Extend Copyright Protection Is Misguided

        Twenty years later, the fight for term extension has begun anew. Buried in an otherwise harmless act, passed by the House and now being considered in the Senate, this new bill purports to create a new digital performance right—basically the right to control copies of recordings on any digital platform (ever hear of the internet?)—for musical recordings made before 1972. These recordings would now have a new right, protected until 2067, which, for some, means a total term of protection of 144 years. The beneficiaries of this monopoly need do nothing to get the benefit of this gift. They don’t have to make the work available. Nor do they have to register their claims in advance.

05.19.18

Links 19/5/2018: Mesa 18.0.4 and Vim 8.1

Posted in News Roundup at 12:24 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Is systemd on Linux Evil – For The Record

    Is systemd on Linux Evil? How does it compare to alternatives like runit? I discuss some considerations with systemd and below are the links I reference in the video.

  • Desktop

    • A beginner’s guide to Linux

      The key difference is that Linux is open source. In the most simple terms, it just means that no one single person or corporation controls the code. Instead, the operating system is maintained by a dedicated group of developers from around the world. Anyone who is interested can contribute to the code and help check for errors. Linux is more than an operating system; it is a community.

    • Why Linux apps on Chromebooks are a really big deal (really!)

      It may have gotten lost in the shuffle of all the Android P news at Google’s I/O conference last week, but fear not, dear friends: Chrome OS has definitely not been forgotten.

      Google’s been making steady progress in advancing its Chromebook operating system over the past several months, particularly around its efforts to further align Android and Chrome OS and turn Chromebooks into all-purpose productivity machines and Android tablet replacements. Practically every week, in fact, there’s some new and noteworthy feature being added into the platform (something we’ve talked about a great deal in my weekly newsletter as of late).

      And though it wasn’t in the keynote, a massive new development did sneak its way into Chrome OS during I/O: the quietly announced ability for Chromebooks to run Linux apps as if they were native applications, without the need for any complex and security-defeating configurations. Linux app support is on its way to the Pixelbook to start — currently in that device’s developer channel and likely becoming available much more broadly before long.

    • System76’s Oryx Pro Laptop Targets AI Developers

      System76’s latest laptop Oryx Pro is a beast in terms of configuration and it focuses on AI and Machine Learning developers. Read about the specifications and pricing

    • Linux Apps On Chromebooks – Unleaded Hangouts

      Linux Apps On Chromebooks. Does this present a compelling reason to buy a Chromebook or instead, is this too little too late for Google? We discuss.

  • Server

    • Blockchain Consolidation Phase Is Imminent, Hyperledger Chief Says

      Brian Behlendorf, a driving force behind the Apache web server and longtime supporter of open source software, now spends his time developing blockchain technology for the enterprise.

      As the executive director of the Hyperledger project, an open source blockchain initiative hosted by the Linux Foundation, Mr. Behlendorf is working to create enterprise-ready distributed ledger technologies and develop a community of corporate blockchain developers that will outlast a fevered investment climate.

      Blockchain is still nascent in the enterprise, but the conversation has evolved beyond basic technology questions to more involved discussions about scale, interoperability and governance, Mr. Behlendorf said.

    • 6 key data strategy considerations for your cloud-native transformation

      Many organizations are making the move to cloud-native platforms as their strategy for digital transformation. cloud-native allows companies to deliver fast-responding, user-friendly applications with greater agility. However, the architecture of the data in support of cloud-native transformation is often ignored in the hope that it will take care of itself. With data becoming the information currency of every organization, how do you avoid the data mistakes commonly made during this cloud transformation journey? What data questions should you ask when building cloud-native applications? How can you gain valuable insight from your data?

      The ensuing presentation includes six key considerations companies must have when they make this transition to cloud-native.

    • Making Kubernetes Easier with Cloud Foundry Platform

      Kubernetes is one of the biggest technology disruptors to hit the IT industry in a long time — maybe since Amazon EC2, now more than a decade old. It has helped turn containers from a convenient packaging method into the building blocks of modern application architectures, and has shifted the discussion in many circles from cloud computing to cloud-native computing.

      If that seems like a form of technological hair-splitting, it isn’t. Cloud-native technologies and architectures are the means by which more traditional businesses — like insurance, financial services or even heavy machinery — can transition from simply consuming cloud resources into operating like the cloud providers themselves. This is shifting the way they run their businesses, making them more agile, distributed and ready to tackle via software, whatever their businesses demand. As with most new technologies, however, it’s important to look at Kubernetes with some perspective.

    • Virtualized lab demonstration using a tweaked Labtainers running in a container

      Labtainers is quite interesting as it allows isolating a lab in several containers running in their own dedicated virtual network, which helps distributing a lab without needing to install anything locally.

      My tweak allows to run what I called the “master” container which contains the labtainers scripts, instead of having to install labtainers on a Linux host. This should help installation and distribution of labtainers, as well as deploying it on cloud platforms, some day soon. In the meantime Labtainer containers of the labs run with privileges so it’s advised to be careful, and running the whole of these containers in a VM may be safer. Maybe Labtainers will evolve in the future to integrate a containerization of its scripts. My patches are pending, but the upstream authors are currently focused on some other priorities.

  • Kernel Space

    • A Remote KMS Linux Backend Is Being Worked On That Could Work With VNC

      Thomas Hellstrom of VMware who has worked on Mesa going back to the Tungsten Graphics days is developing a remote KMS back-end that could be transmitted over VNC or similar protocols.

      In essence this kernel mode-setting (KMS) kernel back-end would allow the display to be transmitted remotely over VNC or similar remote desktop sharing technologies. The current intention is on open-source VNC server support.

    • Graphics Stack

      • mesa 18.0.4

        Mesa 18.0.4 is now available.

        In this release we have:

        r600 driver gets a fix for constant buffer boounds, which fixes rendering bugs
        in Trine and Witcher 1.

        Several fixes for RADV driver: fixes around alpha channel in Pre-Vega, fix in
        multisample image copies, and fixes around multilayer images in compute path.

        For the case of ANV/i965 drivers, also a couple of fixes, all of them around
        ISP. On top, there are a couple of fixes relative to code emission around 16-bit
        integers, and a a fix for a leak in blorp for Gen4 and Gen5.

        Speaking of leaks, there are also fixes for winsys/radeon/amdgpu and
        pipe-loader.gets a couple of patches to fix a couple of leaks.

        SPIR-V part gets a patch to apply OriginUpperLeft to FragCoord.

        Mesa core gets a couple of patches to fix error handling in
        get_framebuffer_parameteriv, and to add missing support for
        glFogiv(GL_FOG_DISTANCE_MODE_NV).

      • Mesa 18.0.4 Released With A Handful Of Bug Fixes

        Mesa 18.1 might be out this weekend but for those riding the Mesa 18.0 stable release series for now, Mesa 18.0.4 is the latest point release.

      • AMD Will Continue Maintaining Multiple Compute Stacks For Linux

        With the great shape that ROCm has been getting into recently for open-source Radeon GPU compute support on Linux including advancing OpenCL support, one might have rightfully assumed that was going to be their centralized compute stack moving forward. It turns out that their PAL-based compute stack will continue to be maintained too.

      • VC5 Gallium3D Driver Becomes V3D, Enabled By Default In Mesa

        What was developed as the VC5 Gallium3D driver is now renamed to V3D and enabled by default in new Mesa 18.2 builds.

        The Broadcom Video Core V driver that was already part of Mesa was renamed to V3D to match the name of the V3D DRM kernel driver. The VC5 to V3D renaming occurred since this driver is already supporting a VideoCore VC6 device, so the VC5 naming was no longer deemed appropriate.

      • VMware 13.3 X.Org Driver Brings DRI3 With Latest Mesa, X.Org Server 1.20 Support

        Usually X.Org DDX driver releases aren’t too notable these days with most of the open-source Linux graphics innovations happening elsewhere in the stack, but for those using the VMware graphics virtualization support available through their different virtualization products, the xf86-video-vmware update out today is on the heavier side.

      • Open-Source NVIDIA Volta GV100 Support Queued For Linux 4.18

        Initial open-source driver support for the NVIDIA GV100 “Volta” GPUs will be introduced with the upcoming Linux 4.18 kernel cycle.

        Earlier this month I wrote about the initial open-source GV100 Volta patches coming out for the Nouveau Direct Rendering Manager while now that work has been queued into the DRM-Next tree ahead of the Linux 4.18 merge window opening in June.

      • The Open-Source ARM Mali “Panfrost” Driver Now Supports Textures & More

        The in-development Panfrost reverse-engineered, open-source driver for supporting ARM Mali T700 series graphics is now much more capable thanks to work carried out on their “half-way” Gallium3D driver in recent weeks.

        Alyssa Rosenzweig has provided an update on the Panfrost driver progress and their very early stage Gallium3D driver. Their recent code is quite a bit of progress considering where they were one month ago with just being able to render a cube.

      • CUDA 9.2 Released With GEMM Improvements

        We knew it was coming while today NVIDIA has rolled out the CUDA 9.2 stable release update.

        The CUDA 9.2 release includes speed-ups for launching CUDA kernels as well as faster performance for GEMM computational performance for half-precision and small N matrices. CUDA 9.2 also fixes a number of issues, including incorrect results with some GEMM calls on V100 Tensor Core GPUs and other BLAS problems.

      • Mesa 18.1 Released With Intel Shader Cache Default, OpenGL 3.1 ARB_compatibility

        First time Mesa release manager Dylan Baker has managed to release Mesa 18.1 on time as the Q2’2018 quarterly update to this OpenGL/Vulkan driver stack.

        While it feels like Mesa 18.0 was just recently released, it’s already been a month and a half, which had arrived significantly late due to release delays. Fortunately, Mesa 18.1 is now available and hopefully allowing for a normal Mesa 18.2 release cycle for next quarter.

        Mesa 18.1 ships with the Intel OpenGL shader cache now being enabled by default, OpenGL 3.1 with ARB_compatibility context support for the prominent Gallium3D drivers, ARB_bindless_texture support for Nouveau NVC0 that is important for some newer Linux game ports like Dawn of War 3, EXT_semaphore support for RadeonSI, various other new OpenGL and Vulkan extensions being supported by Radeon and Intel, and other enhancements. See our Mesa 18.1 feature overview for a more thorough look at all of the changes that made it into this release.

    • Benchmarks

      • A Closer Look At The GCC 8 Compiler Performance On Intel Skylake

        In continuing with our recent benchmarks of the brand new GCC 8.1 compiler, here are more tests while using an Intel Skylake CPU and testing with -O2, -O3, and -O3 -march=native optimization levels while comparing the resulting binary performance of GCC 8.1 and GCC 7.3.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • Plasma 5.13 Beta

        Thursday, 17 May 2018. Today KDE unveils a beta release of Plasma 5.13.0.

        Members of the Plasma team have been working hard to continue making Plasma a lightweight and responsive desktop which loads and runs quickly, but remains full-featured with a polished look and feel. We have spent the last four months optimising startup and minimising memory usage, yielding faster time-to-desktop, better runtime performance and less memory consumption. Basic features like panel popups were optimised to make sure they run smoothly even on the lowest-end hardware. Our design teams have not rested either, producing beautiful new integrated lock and login screen graphics.

      • KDE Plasma 5.13 Enters Beta with New Lock & Login Screens, Browser Integration
      • KDE Plasma 5.13 Beta Released With A Compelling Number Of Improvements
      • Greeting

        Hello all! This is my first time writing about my work progress in a blog, so some things are still awnkward for me. And it is also my first time participating in GSoC and there are many things new to me. I’m cooperating with KDE organisation or rather with one of their projects, named Krita.

      • Calamares 3.2.0 released

        The Calamares team is happy to announce the availability of Calamares 3.2.0, the first iteration of the new features-and-functionality series of Calamares 3.2.x releases. This is the new series of Calamares releases following on from the stable 3.1 series.

        Calamares is a distribution-independent system installer, with an advanced partitioning feature for both manual and automated partitioning operations. Calamares is designed to be customizable by distribution maintainers without need for cumbersome patching, thanks to third party branding and external modules support.

      • Calamares 3.2 Linux Installer Framework Released

        Version 3.2 of the Calamares universal Linux distribution installer framework is now available as their latest big feature release that has been in development the past number of months.

        Calamares 3.2 features new localization capabilities, improved logging, enhanced GeoIP detection, improved KDE Plasma integration, optional user-tracking, upgraded KPMCore usage, and various module improvements.

      • Qt 5.11.0 RC2 out

        We have released Qt 5.11.0 RC2 today. Delta to RC(1) release can be found as an attachment. We are still targeting to release Qt 5.11.0 Tue 22nd May as planned

      • Qt 5.11 RC2 Released With The Final Expected Next Week

        The Qt Company is hoping to be able to release the Qt 5.11 tool-kit in just a few days.

        Developers working on Qt 5.11 are striving still to release this half-year tool-kit update ahead of schedule on Tuesday, 22 May, rather than the following week as originally was planned.

      • Get Started with Qt 3D Studio 2.0 beta 1

        Now that the beta 1 release of Qt 3D Studio 2.0 is out, let’s go through the steps involved in trying it out for real.

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

      • virtual-keyboard: Add new virtual keyboard protocol
      • Purism Is Proposing A Virtual Keyboard Protocol For Wayland

        Purism’s Dorota Czaplejewicz has been active within the Wayland community recently as they work on their Librem 5 phone Wayland compositor and Phosh shell for this software stack and iMX8 hardware they hope to begin shipping next year.

        On behalf of Purism, Dorota’s latest Wayland work is proposing a new virtual keyboard protocol for Wayland. This allows for the emulation of keyboards by applications and complements the existing input-method protocol. The new virtual-keyboard protocol is based upon the Wayland keyboard specification but with support for seat bindings and dropping serials.

      • Introducing Calls

        Arguably the most critical functionality in a phone is the ability to make and receive calls through the Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN), that is normal cellular calls using phone numbers. While at Purism we are eager to implement communication systems that enable much greater privacy and security than one can expect from PSTN calls, the PSTN is still the most ubiquitous network and for the time being we can’t very well go around selling a phone that isn’t able to make PSTN calls.⁰

        My task has been to develop a dialer and call handler for PSTN calls. Like all of our work on the Librem 5, this is intended to make use of existing code wherever possible and also target the GNOME platform which our PureOS defaults to. There is currently no GNOME PSTN dialer so we intend to contribute our program to the GNOME project.

      • Purism Introduces Its Telepathy-Using GTK3-Based Phone Dialer Plans

        Purism has formally introduced “Calls”, its GTK3-based PSTN (Public Switched Telephone Network) phone dialing application that it hopes will be accepted into the upstream GNOME project. Purism plans to develop this phone dialer using GNOME’s Telepathy framework but for now is using a simple oFono back-end.

        Calls is the new program Purism is developing to make and receive conventional telephone calls for supporting their default GNOME-based software stack being developed for the Purism 5 smartphone.

        While Telepathy is controversial among even GNOME developers, they are pursuing this framework for their phone call application as it will also support SIP calls and other features provided by the GNOME framework.

      • Boxes now supports RDP connections

        Boxes has been the go-to option for easy virtual machine setups in GNOME for quite some time, but some people don’t know that our beloved application can also act as a remote viewer.

        The “Enter URL” option in the new machine assistant is how you get a new remote machine added to your collection. It supports addresses of Spice and VNC servers and oVirt and Libvirt brokers. You can also paste the URL of an operating system image (iso, img, qcow, etc…) and Boxes will download and boot it for you.

      • Dual Monitor: Fix Mouse Getting Stuck On Second Monitor In Gnome Shell With Ubuntu Dock Or Dash To Dock

        On my dual monitor setup, if I made any application fullscreen on the primary monitor (left-hand side screen – monitor “1″ in the image above), the mouse cursor would get stuck on the secondary monitor (right-hand side screen) and I could only move it back to the primary monitor if I moved between monitors through the top part of the screen.

      • Dash to Panel Update Adds Intellihide, New Configuration Options

        Dash to Panel merges the GNOME Dash (aka Dock) and top bar into a unified, single panel that you can place on any edge of the screen:

        In the latest update, Dash to Panel v14, the task bar picks up a bunch of welcome improvements, including support for “intellihide” (aka auto-hide).

        This option (off by default) makes the panel slide out of view when an application window is maximised and/or touching it, and gracefully restored when there’s space for it.

        Although hidden you can access the panel at any time just by moving your mouse to the screen edge it’s hiding under.

  • Distributions

    • Red Hat Family

      • Using Ansible Galaxy Roles in Ansible Playbook Bundles

        The Open Service Broker API standard aims to standardize how services (cloud, third-party, on-premise, legacy, etc) are delivered to applications running on cloud platforms like OpenShift. This allows applications to consume services the exact same way no matter on which cloud platform they are deployed. The service broker pluggable architecture enables admins to add third-party brokers to the platform in order to make third-party and cloud services available to the application developers directly from the OpenShift service catalog. As an example AWS Service Broker created jointly by Amazon and Red Hat, Azure Service Broker created by Microsoft and Helm Service Broker created by Google to allow consumption of AWS services, Azure services and Helm charts on Kubernetes and OpenShift. Furthermore, admins can create their own brokers in order to make custom services like provisioning an Oracle database on their internal Oracle RAC available to the developers through the service catalog.

      • Government, enterprise interest in Red Hat and open source sky rocketing

        A popular quote from Mohandas Gandhi graces most of the Red Hat Canada offices across the country: “First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.”

        It’s been said that making money from something that’s given away for free is next to impossible, but Red Hat and its Canadian business has turned that assumption on its head and remains dedicated to the open source community.

      • Red Hat’s CloudForms to slum it by wrangling boring old VMs

        Red Hat’s decided virtual servers ought not to be a standalone silo for much longer, so has created a “Virtualization Suite” that combines Red Hat Virtualization with the CloudForms tool it offers to manage OpenStack and cloud-native applications.

        CloudForms has been around for a while and offers administrators one app with which to manage and automate hybrid infrastructure. But Red Hat’s Virtualization (RHV) tools have remained their own little island.

      • Red Hat’s AI Strategy

        “The impact of AI will be visible in the software industry much sooner than the analog world, deeply affecting open source in general, as well as Red Hat, its ecosystem, and its userbase. This shift provides a huge opportunity for Red Hat to offer unique value to our customers. In this session, we’ll provide Red Hat’s general perspective on AI and how we are helping our customers benefit from AI.”

      • Microsoft and Red Hat Announce a Managed OpenShift Offering on Azure
      • OpenShift Common Briefing: OpenShift on OpenStack with Ramon Acedo Rodriguez (Red Hat)

        In this briefing, Red Hat’s Ramon Acedo Rodriguez presents the strategy, vision and current state of affairs for containers within Red Hat OpenStack Platform. In this session you will learn what role containers play in OpenStack, what we as Red Hat are focusing on, what we already have brought to our customers and what you can be expecting in the future in infrastructure as well as tenant layers.

      • News Bits: QNAP, Veritas, Dell EMC, ClearSky Data, Cohesity, Quest, Red Hat, NVIDIA, & More
      • Emergent, LLC Exclusively Awarded Small Business DoD Enterprise Software Initiative Contract To Provide Red Hat Solutions
      • Red Hat Summit: An Eventful Tour from Enterprise Integration to Serverless
    • Debian Family

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Ubuntu 18.10 Features: New Theme, Android Integration, Better Power Consumption

            As you can imagine, Ubuntu 18.10 will come with a lot of new features and improvements, some of which Canonical planned for a long time but didn’t manage to implement them in the recently released Ubuntu 18.04 LTS (Bionic Beaver) operating system due to its long-term support status and the focus on stability and reliability.

            So, like any other 9-month supported release, Ubuntu 18.10 will be a testbed for Canonical to try new things. Some of these include the ability to unlock your Ubuntu desktop with a fingerprint reader, integration with the KDE Connect Android app by default through GS Connect, a new installer, and a new system theme.

          • Ubuntu 18.10 Aims To Lower Power Use, Default To New Desktop Theme
          • Creating the world’s first robotic tennis ball collector with Ubuntu

            Why else did the Tennibot team turn to Ubuntu originally? “We needed something that was both light and compatible with libraries and existing software. Given the geographical spread of where the Tennibot would end up, our final choice needed to have remote upgrading capability too. And of course, both for ourselves plus our users who are not tech savvy, it needed to be solidly tested and stable” said Lincoln Wang, CTO at Tennibot.

            Haitham Eletrabi, CEO of Tennibot adds, “The compatibility with software like ROS and OpenCV makes the implementation and testing of Tennibot’s algorithms an easy task. The support from the Ubuntu community also simplifies debugging the device’s software. In addition, Ubuntu is so versatile with different sensors and components that it really makes it the more superior option for us.”

          • Desktop plans for 18.10

            Bionic is out the door and we’ve started the Cosmic cycle so I wanted to take this opportunity to tell you about our plans for this cycle, the sorts of features we want to work on and what you can expect from 18.10 when it arrives in October.

          • Ubuntu Podcast from the UK LoCo: S11E11 – Station Eleven – Ubuntu Podcast

            This week we reconstruct a bathroom and join the wireless gaming revolution. We discuss the Steam Link app for Android and iOS, the accessible Microsoft Xbox controller, Linux applications coming to ChromeOS and round up the community news.

          • Ubuntu 18.10 will bring power improvements, new default theme, and more

            With Ubuntu 18.04 LTS out the door, the folks at Canonical are starting to talk about plans for the next version of the popular GNU/Linux distribution. Actually, the next two.

            Ubuntu 18.04.1 is expected to roll out in July, bringing bug fixes and a few new features including easier access to Thunderbolt settings and support for unlocking a PC with your fingerprint.

          • Flavours and Variants

            • Kubuntu Devs to Focus More on Supporting ARM Laptops & Raspberry Pi Than 32-Bit

              Earlier this month, the Kubuntu developers have confirmed to us that they won’t support new 32-bit installations with the upcoming Kubuntu 18.10 release, and now they made it official.

              Developer Valorie Zimmerman posted a message on the Kubuntu-devel mailing list a couple of days ago to officially announce that Kubuntu 18.04 LTS (Bionic Beaver) is the last Kubuntu release to offer 32-bit ISO images, as starting with Kubuntu 18.10 (Cosmic Cuttlefish) they won’t be supporting new 32-bit installations.

              As already widely reported, the removal of the 32-bit install media revolution has begun amongst official Ubuntu flavors. The first to take the big step was Ubuntu MATE, followed closely by Ubuntu Budgie, Ubuntu Studio, and Ubuntu Kylin. After an official proposal from developer Bryan Quigley, Xubuntu and Kubuntu followed too.

            • Hands-On with First Lubuntu 18.10 Build Featuring the LXQt Desktop by Default

              The Lubuntu development team promised to finally switch from LXDE (Lightweight X11 Desktop Environment) to the more modern and actively maintained LXQt (Lightweight Qt Desktop Environment), and the switch is now official.

              Lubuntu developer Simon Quigley approached us earlier today to inform that the latest Lubuntu 18.10 daily build is quite usable as he and his team did a lot of work in the past week to accommodate the LXQt desktop environment by default instead of the LXDE desktop environment.

              The main difference between LXDE and LXQt is that the former is written with the GTK+ 2 technologies, which will eventually be phased out in favor of the more advanced GTK+ 3, and the latter is built using the Qt framework. However, it doesn’t look like there are any plans for LXDE to move to GTK+ 3.

            • Lubuntu 18.10 Officially Switching From LXDE To LXQt

              After working on Lubuntu-Next for a while in transitioning from the GTK-based LXDE desktop environment to the modern and maintained LXQt desktop environment that is powered by Qt5, the Lubuntu 18.10 will be the release that officially moves over to the LXQt desktop and pushes out LXDE.

              Walter Lapchynski of the Lubuntu project has confirmed that for the Ubuntu 18.10 “Cosmic Cuttlefish” cycle they are switching to LXQt for good.

  • Devices/Embedded

Free Software/Open Source

  • Choosing the right open source tool for movie project management

    One thing artists, engineers, and hackers share in common is their antipathy for management. So, when the time comes when we actually need project management, it comes as a painful growing experience.

    For the Lunatics! animated open movie project, we started by using basic tools popular with open source software projects, like a version control system (Subversion), a wiki (MediaWiki), and a bug-tracker and online browser for the source code (Trac). This is viable for a team of a half-dozen people and an unhurried schedule on a volunteer project. But it quickly becomes unmanageable for larger teams and tighter schedules.

  • Addressing the Complexity of Big Data with Open Source

    Simple software is a thing of the past. Think about it: No program out there is created in a vacuum. Every program uses libraries, has run-time dependencies, interacts with operational environments, and reacts to human inputs. Free and opensource software, as a creative free-market approach to software development, provides more than one solution for every challenge. There are multiple compilers, operating systems, statistics packages (known today as machine learning), test frameworks, orchestration solutions, and so on. Each project moves at its own speed, releasing new features and adding new attributes. Imagine for a second that there is a need to combinea few of these complicated projects into a meta-complex system. It sounds quite sophisticated, doesn’t it?

  • Review: Icinga enterprise-grade, open-source network monitoring that scales

    Continuing our quest for robust, enterprise-grade open source network monitoring, we tested Icinga Core 2 (version 2.8.1) and the stand-alone Icinga Web 2 interface. Created in 2009 as a fork of the Nagios network monitoring tool, Icinga has come a long way.

    We found Icinga to be a powerful monitoring tool with many great features. The Core install is straightforward and basic monitoring is easy with either pre-configured templates or plugins. However, we discovered that the Web install is a bit more complicated and could stand to be streamlined.

  • DigitalBits Foundation Networks Blockchain Companies In Open Source Consortium

    The DigitalBits Foundation is an open source project that provides development resources, infrastructure, events and education via a global transaction network and protocol. Loyalty program operators are able to tokenize their respective loyalty points as digital assets on this decentralized network and users can trade these various digital assets on-chain. DigitalBits latest addition is a partnership with Cogeco Peer 1, a global provider of business-to-business products and services.

    The Foundation’s vision is to see the DigitalBits blockchain help solve portability, security and liquidity issues with certain digital assets, such as Loyalty and Rewards programs, and help generate additional value for consumers, businesses and certain charitable organizations.

    Al Burgio, the founder and CEO, talked with Block Tribune about the organization.

  • How Will U.S. Tensions With China Affect Open Source Networking?

    There’s been a lot of drama in 2018 concerning the Chinese vendors Huawei and ZTE and their ability to do business in the United States. The fate of these companies seems inextricably tied to larger geo-political events.

    ZTE has been banned for seven years from buying components from U.S. companies for its products. And members of the U.S. Congress have attacked Huawei’s ability to do business in the country, claiming the vendor’s equipment poses a national security risk.

  • SD Times Open Source Project of the Week: Bazel

    The project is led by a core group of contributors and Googlers, and managed by the community. The group of core contributors is self-managing and added by two supporting votes from other core contributors.

    According to Google, some parts of Bazel will never make it into open source because it integrates with Google-specific technology or the company plans to get rid of those features in the future.

    The Angular team has announced plans to migrate its build scripts with Bazel to get faster and more reliable incremental builds. As of Angular 6, Angular itself is now built with Bazel, according to Stephen Fluin, developer advocate for Angular. “Bazel is the build system that Google and the Angular team use to keep incremental builds under 2 seconds,” the team wrote in a post.

    Bazel is already being used by companies such as Asana, Ascend.io, Databricks, Dropbox, Etsy, Google, Huawei, LingoChamp, Pinterest and Uber. Open-source projects using Bazel include Angular, Deepmind Lab, GRPC, gVisor, Kubernetes, Sonnet, TensorFlow and Trunk.

  • Events

    • Welcome Our New Google Summer of Code Students

      KDE Student Programs is happy to present our 2018 Google Summer of Code students to the KDE Community.

      Welcome Abhijeet Sharma, Aman Kumar Gupta, Amit Sagtani, Andrey Cygankov, Andrey Kamakin, Anmol Gautam, Caio Jordão de Lima Carvalho, Chinmoy Ranjan Pradhan, Csaba Kertesz, Demetrio Carrara, Dileep Sankhla, Ferencz Kovács, Furkan Tokac, Gun Park, Iván Yossi Santa María González, Kavinda Pitiduwa Gamage, Mahesh S Nair, Tarek Talaat, Thanh Trung Dinh, Yihang Zhou, and Yingjie Liu!

    • PyCon US 2018 Wrapup

      I attended PyCon US in Cleveland over the last week. Here’s a quick summary of the conference.

      Aside from my usual “you should go to PyCon” admonition, I’d like to suggest writing a summary like this every time you visit a conference. It’s a nice way to share what you found valuable with others, and also to evaluate the utility of attending the conference.

      I barely write a lick of Python anymore, so I mostly attend PyCon for the people and for the ideas. ome themes are common to PyCon: data science, machine learning, education, and core language. Of course, there’s always a smattering of other topics, too.

      During the poster session, I saw a poster on the Python Developers Survey 2017 from JetBrains. One statistic that surprised me: 50% of respondents use Python primarily for data analysis.

    • LinuxFest NorthWest 2018 Recap

      Nineteen years in, LinuxFest Northwest is the original community LinuxFest and is easily the lowest-stress event on my calendar. While Bellingham, Washington may seem like an odd place to host a conference, it is actually the natural end of the line for tech workers who migrate up the West coast from Silicon Valley in search of an affordable place to live and work where you can kayak after work. This lifestyle draw has created quite the tech scene in the Bellingham area and its proximity to the Canadian border makes LFNW an attractive destination for Vancouver, B.C. community members. Some attendees traveled from as far away as Germany and Taiwan, making this an international event despite its remote location. If you have never been to an LFNW, I encourage you to consider attending the 20th anniversary one in 2019!

    • Fractal hackfest in Strasbourg

      Apart from the technical side of things, I also tried to act as a city guide and hope my guests liked the places I took them. I for sure had lots of fun hanging out with all those people!

    • FOSS-North 2018 – OSS community at its finest

      On April 22nd and 23rd, we attended a growing OSS event called FOSS North in Gothenburg – Sweden. According to foss-north.se, “FOSS-North is a free / open source conference covering both software and hardware from the technical perspective. Hosted in Gothenburg between Copenhagen, Oslo and Stockholm with an international airport, we provide a meeting place for the Nordic foss communities and will bring together great speakers with a great audience.” and that alone sounds like a lot of fun for us nerds!

      [...]

      FOSS-North hosted a bevy of different speeches during the 2-day period with 25 speakers, 2 of them from Jolla! We held our speech about the history of Jolla and the Sailfish community, continued by a piece of our roadmap for Sailfish X, Sailfish 3, and what is planned for the future. We ended the talk by a rather long Q&A from the audience. You can watch the whole talk below, and also access our slides that we used during the talk here.

    • Mastering CI/CD at OpenDev

      After launching in 2017, the OpenDev Conference is now an annual event. At the inaugural event last September, the conference focus was on edge computing. This year’s event, taking place May 22-23, will be focused on Continuous Integration/Continuous Deployment (CI/CD) and will be co-located with the OpenStack Summit in Vancouver.

    • Join us in Hamburg for the Hamburg Mini-DebConf!

      Thanks to Debian, I have the chance to be able to attend the Hamburg Mini-DebConf, taking place in Hamburg from May 16th to May 20th. We are hosted by Dock Europe in the amazing Viktoria Kaserne building.

    • MiniDebConf Hamburg – Thursday

      I missed my flight on Wednesday, and for a moment I thought I would have to cancel my attendance, but luckily I was able to buy a ticket for Thursday for a good price.

      I arrived at the venue just in time for a “stand-up” meeting, where people introduced themselves and shared what are they working on / planning to work on. That gave me a great feeling, having an idea of what other people are doing, and gave me motivation to work on my projects.

      The venue seems to be some kind of cooperative, with office space for different associations, there is also a small guest house (where I am sleeping), and a “kantina”. The building seems very pretty, but is going through some renovations, so the scaffolding does not let you see it much. It also has a big outdoors area, which is always welcomed.

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • [Mozilla] SQL Style Guide
      • Mozilla Firefox 60.0.1 Released with Many Improvements, Disables WebVR on macOS

        Mozilla released on Wednesday the first point release to the Firefox 60.0 web browser, version 60.0.1, which brings several improvements and fixes some annoyances reported by users lately.

        One of the annoyances that Mozilla resolved in the Firefox 60.0.1 release, which started rolling out to Linux, Mac, and Windows platforms, is the displaying of “Sponsored content” on the New Tab page. Mozilla says that it will now immediately disappear when the user disables the “Sponsored Stories” option in Preferences.

        With the Firefox 60.0.1 release, the web browser now avoids overly long cycle collector pauses with certain add-ons, improves momentum scrolling on non-zoomable pages for touchscreen devices, and restores language translations of the Preferences panels when using a language pack.

  • CMS

    • Goodbye Octopress, hello Pelican

      I’ve spent some time during this DebCamp to migrate to Pelican, which is written in Python, packaged in Debian, and its dependencies are quite straighforward to install. I had to install (and write) a few plugins to make the migration easier, and port my custom Octopress Bootstrap theme to Pelican.

  • Pseudo-Open Source (Openwashing)

  • BSD

    • FreeBSD on the System76 Galago Pro

      Hey all, It’s been a while since I last posted but I thought I would hammer something out here. My most recent purchase was a System76 Galago Pro. I thought, afer playing with POP! OS a bit, is there any reason I couldn’t get BSD on this thing. Turns out the answer is no, no there isnt and it works pretty decently.

      To get some accounting stuff out of the way I tested this all on FreeBSD Head and 11.1, and all of it is valid as of May 10, 2018. Head is a fast moving target so some of this is only bound to improve.

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • Is GIMP’s 2.10 Release Catching up with Photoshop?

      Of the many notable new features, GIMP 2.10 has ported most of its image processing capabilities to GEGL, a data flow based image processing framework that is free software (its source code is in GNOME git).

      GEGL provides floating point processing and non-destructive image processing capabilities, “allowing high bit depth processing, multi-threaded and hardware accelerated pixel processing, and more”.

      GIMP’s lack of multi-core processing has historically caused performance issues, which is a true deterrent in the graphics processing world.

      Moreover, the program can now utilise parallel processing, which is a big deal for various reasons, namely, more efficient processor usage through use of multiple cores.

    • Code & Supply is here for Pittsburgh’s ‘awesome’ software community

      The 2016 Abstractions conference drew software professionals from all over the world — many of them big names in the field, such as Larry Wall, who invented the Perl programming language; Richard Stallman, founder of the Free Software Foundation and creator of GNU; and Raffi Krikorian, formerly of Twitter and Uber — which was one of Reese’s goals when he first started hosting Code & Supply’s meetups.

  • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

    • Open Hardware/Modding

      • Open Source Calculator Teaches us about Quality Documentation

        Graphing calculators are one of those funny markets that never seem to change. Standardized testing has created a primordial stew of regulatory capture in which ancient technology thrives at modern retail prices while changing little. The NumWorks calculator certainly isn’t the first competitor to challenge the Texas Instruments dynasty with a more modern interface (and a design from this decade), but behind it’s subtle color pops and elegant lines lies the real gem; a fantastically well documented piece of open source hardware. The last time we wrote about the NumWorks, it was to demonstrate a pretty wild hack that embedded an entire Pi Zero but it’s worth drawing attention to the calculator itself.

  • Programming/Development

    • Git Has A New Wire Protocol Yielding Much Greater Performance

      The Git Protocol Version 2 was announced today by Google as a major update to the distributed revision control system’s wire protocol. Git protocol version 2 is much more efficient and yields significant performance benefits.

      The new Git wire protocol offers server-side filtering for references, easy extensibility for new features, and simplified client handling of the HTTP transport.

    • Introducing Git protocol version 2

      Today we announce Git protocol version 2, a major update of Git’s wire protocol (how clones, fetches and pushes are communicated between clients and servers). This update removes one of the most inefficient parts of the Git protocol and fixes an extensibility bottleneck, unblocking the path to more wire protocol improvements in the future.

      The protocol version 2 spec can be found here.

      [...]

      We recently rolled out support for protocol version 2 at Google and have seen a performance improvement of 3x for no-op fetches of a single branch on repositories containing 500k references. Protocol v2 has also enabled a reduction of 8x of the overhead bytes (non-packfile) sent from googlesource.com servers. A majority of this improvement is due to filtering references advertised by the server to the refs the client has expressed interest in.

    • Push Notifications Considered Harmful

Leftovers

  • fridge 0.1

    Imagine something really cool, like a fridge connected to a powerwall, powered entirely by solar panels. What could be cooler than that?

    How about a fridge powered entirely by solar panels without the powerwall? Zero battery use, and yet it still preserves your food.

  • Health/Nutrition

    • The Patent Paradox In Brazil And Its Implications For Access To Medicines

      The patent system was allegedly designed to allow recovery of the investment in research and development (R&D) of a new product, through the selling of the product under exclusivity for a period of time. Several studies have related high prices of medicines to the monopoly situation established by the patent system and other monopoly rights (such as data exclusivity). It is known that the existence of a patent can lead to high prices due to the market condition in which one producer can operate with exclusivity. In the absence of competition, a producer can charge virtually any price for its product. Competition, therefore, can promote significant price reduction and increase access.

    • Patent Backlogs Fuel Efforts To Extend Pharma Patent Terms In Thailand And Brazil, AIDS Activists Say [Ed: Some people needlessly die due to particular kinds of patents]

      It takes five to eight years for a patent to be examined in Thailand because of the Department of Intellectual Property’s (DIP’s) “innovative step examination” procedure, said Chalermsak Kittitrakul, coordinator for access to medicines campaigns at AIDS Access Foundation. When a patent application is submitted to the DIP, the agency makes a formal notification to the public. Patent protection begins from the filing date and extends for up to 20 years. If the application is not opposed, or is opposed but later accepted, the applicant has the option of waiting five years to submit a request to start the examination process, he said.

      A study carried out with the support of the DIP and the Thai Food and Drug Administration found that the large patent examination backlog is attributable both to the innovative step examination and to the multinational pharmaceutical industry, said Chalermsak. Since patent protection begins when an application is filed, multinational drug companies will often send threatening legal notices to generic companies seeking to produce a similar drug even if it’s not yet clear that the patent will be granted, he said. Companies also take advantage of the gap in the patent examination process, he said: The study, on evergreening patents on medicines carried out be an academic team covering patents and patent applications in 2000-2010, showed that most innovative step examination requests for drug patents are submitted to the DIP in the fourth and fifth year.

    • News of 25-year patent term is premature, but expect big pharma changes in China in the near future

      Headlines were generated earlier this week, following a report that China has introduced 25-year patent terms for some innovative drugs. However, it turns out not to be true, with a number of sources confirming that no such changes have yet been implemented. Nevertheless, with a conditional patent term extension for pharmaceuticals products having been proposed by Chinese state institutions – which are also considering other reforms of pharmaceutical IP rights – life sciences innovators ought to keep a close eye on developments in the country. The reports began with a Nikkei Asian Review article on the 16th May…

  • Security

    • Security updates for Friday
    • Summer of Code: Bug found!

      I totally forgot to talk about EFAIL in my last blog posts. It was a little shock when I woke up on Monday, the first day of the coding phase, only to read sentences like “Are you okay?” or “Is the GSoC project in danger?” :D
      I’m sure you all have read about the EFAIL attack somewhere in the media, so I’m not going into too much detail here (the EFF already did a great job *cough cough*). The E-Fail website describes the attack as follows:
      “In a nutshell, EFAIL abuses active content of HTML emails, for example externally loaded images or styles, to exfiltrate plaintext through requested URLs.”

    • Red Hat admin? Get off Twitter and patch this DHCP client bug
    • What You Need to Know About Cryptocurrency ‘Malware’ Found on Ubuntu’s Snap Store
    • Security and privacy: Do you know what’s lurking on your system?

      The first was the kernel. I ended up hand-crafting a kernel, removing anything I thought was unlikely we’d need, then restarting several times when I discovered that the system wouldn’t boot because the things I thought I understood were more … esoteric than I’d realised. I’m not a kernel developer, and this was a salutary lesson in how skilled those folks are. At least, at the time I was doing it, there were less code and fewer options than there are today. On the other hand, I was having to hack back to a required state, and now there are more cut-down kernels and systems to start with than there were back then.

      The other piece I left for last was pruning the installed operating system applications and associated utilities. Again, there are cut-down options that are easier to use now than then, but I also had some odd requirements—I believe that we needed Java, for instance, which has, or had …. well let’s say a lot of dependencies. Most modern Linux distributions start off by installing lots of pieces so you can get started quickly without having to worry about trying to work out dependencies for every piece of external software you want to run.

  • Defence/Aggression

    • An Iranian Viewpoint on the Battle for Syria

      This policy has continued to the present. In the summer of 2012, the U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency outlined their strategy in a secret document : “THERE IS THE POSSIBILITY OF ESTABLISHING A DECLARED OR UNDECLARED SALAFIST PRINCIPALITY IN EASTERN SYRIA (HASAKA AND DER ZOR).”The U.S. looked favorably on what the document predicts will be the creation of the “Islamic State”: “THIS IS EXACTLY WHAT THE SUPPORTING POWERS TO THE OPPOSITION WANT, IN ORDER TO ISOLATE THE SYRIAN REGIME…”.

      Then, in a leaked audio conversation with Syrian opposition figures in September, Secretary of State John Kerry said the U.S., rather than seriously fight Islamic State in Syria, was ready to use the growing strength of the jihadists to pressure Assad to resign, just as outlined in the DIA document.

      “We know that this was growing, we were watching, we saw that Daesh [a derisive name for Islamic State] was growing in strength, and we thought Assad was threatened,” Kerry said. “We thought however we could probably manage that Assad might then negotiate, but instead of negotiating he got Putin to support him.”

      Russia began its military intervention in late September 2015 without the United States, with the Kremlin’s motives made abundantly clear by Vladimir Putin and other Russian officials. But such clear explanations are rarely reported clearly by Western corporate media, which instead peddles the line from officials and think tanks that Russia is trying to recover lost imperial glory in the Middle East.

      [...]

      The true “state sponsor of terrorism” is not Iran; it is the West and their allies. Since Iran has been fighting ISIS and other extremists in Syria, it is appropriate that the first feature length movie depicting that battle against terrorism and ISIS comes from Iran.

      Hundreds of Iranians have given their lives alongside their Syrian and Iraqi comrades. “Damascus Time” is not the product of Hollywood fantasy; it’s the product of actual human drama and conflict occurring in the Middle East today. “Damascus Time” is fictional but based on a real conflict with actual blood, atrocities, tragedies and martyrs.

    • Blaming the Victims of Israel’s Gaza Massacre

      Monday’s casualties included 1,861 wounded, bringing total injuries inflicted by Israel to 6,938 people, including 3,615 with live fire. Israel is using bullets designed to expand inside the body, causing maximum, often permanent damage: “The injuries sustained by patients will leave most with serious, long-term physical disabilities,” says Médecins Sans Frontières (Ha’aretz, 4/22/18).

    • Gaza & the US Press

      The Palestinian health ministry in Gaza says Israeli soldiers killed at least 60 Palestinians and wounded as many as 2,700 in an eight-hour period pm May 14. Palestinians protesting both the horrific living conditions in Gaza and their inability—despite international law—to leave it, to return to the homes from which they were expelled, along with hundreds of thousands of people, in the 1940s. At the same time—and for many US TV viewers, on a sickening split-screen—Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, celebrating the opening of the US embassy in Jerusalem, declared it a “great day for peace.”

      Media could hardly avoid revealing the disjunction, even as many worked hard to tell you you weren’t seeing what you thought you were seeing—that the overwhelmingly unarmed people were a violent mob, that the snipers picking them off from a distance were defending their lives.

    • US Not Sitting Idly By on Eve of Venezuelan Election

      Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro is the frontrunner in the presidential elections that will take place on Sunday. If past pronouncements and practice by the United States are any indication, every effort will be made to oust an avowed socialist from the the U.S. “backyard.”

      This week, the leftist president of Bolivia, Evo Morales, tweeted: “Before the elections they (U.S. and allies) will carry out violent actions supported by the media and after the elections they will try a military invasion with Armed Forces from neighboring countries.”

      U.S. antipathy towards the Venezuelan government started with the election of Hugo Chávez in 1998, followed by a brief and unsuccessful U.S.-backed coup in 2002. Chávez made the magnanimous, but politically imprudent, gesture of pardoning the golpistas, who are still trying to achieve by extra-parliamentary means what they have been unable to realize democratically. After Chávez died in 2013, the Venezuelans elected Maduro to carry on what has become known as the Bolivarian Revolution.

  • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

  • Finance

    • The Surprising Popularity of ‘Far Left’ Policies

      “The Far Left Is Winning the Democratic Civil War” was the headline over a Washington Post report (5/16/18) on the results of recent primary elections.

      So what counts as “far left” to the Washington Post, the newspaper owned by the world’s richest human?

      [...]

      Scott Wallace in Pennsylvania was described as “the grandson of Henry Wallace, who was Franklin Roosevelt’s vice president for a term, and then ran against Harry Truman, who FDR dumped him for, from the far left in 1948.” Aside from Scott Wallace’s self-description as a “proud progressive” and his promise to “make America sane again,” genealogy was all the Post presented to tie him to the “far left.”

      There were also some candidates who were implicitly placed in the “far left” by the fact that they successfully challenged “Democratic moderates,” thus “causing a new bout of heartburn among party strategists.” For example, Pennsylvania congressional candidate Susan Wild was worrisome because she defeated John Morganelli who “opposes abortion rights and ‘sanctuary cities,’” and whom she criticized for “for speaking positively about Trump and tweeting that he was open to taking a job in the administration during the transition.” You know, like “moderates” do.

  • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • The United States’ New ‘Religious Freedom’ Appointee Is a Religious Bigot

      Tony Perkins does not believe the Constitution protects the religious freedom of Muslims or liberal Christians.

      The newest addition to the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom, Tony Perkins, does not believe in religious freedom.

      Perkins, who was appointed to the post by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), will now serve on a commission that supposedly serves as a watchdog “dedicated to defending the universal right to freedom of religion or belief abroad,” even though he has repeatedly demonstrated that he does not believe in the equal protection of Muslims and others.

      The commission has a long history of politicization, along with anti-Muslim and anti-LGBT bias. Perkins’ inclusion will only continue to undermine its credibility.

      While he claims to support religious freedom, Perkins believes that the Constitution does not protect the rights of Muslims.

    • Federal judge skeptical of lawsuit brought by 3 Democrats against Trump campaign

      A federal judge on Thursday cast doubt on a civil lawsuit brought against the Trump campaign and Roger Stone by three Democrats who claim that election-year WikiLeaks releases destroyed their reputations.

      The hearing put Trump campaign lawyers in the position of arguing in court that there was no collusion between President Donald Trump’s campaign and the Russians — a drama that played out on the one-year anniversary of special counsel Robert Mueller’s criminal investigation into exactly that matter.

    • Trump campaign decries lawsuit claiming Russian link to hacked emails

      A lawyer for U.S. President Donald Trump’s campaign on Thursday rejected as “wild speculation” allegations by three Americans that it conspired with Russians to disseminate their private information from hacked emails to deter them from supporting Hillary Clinton in the 2016 election.

    • “Trump, Inc.” Live: From “The Art of the Deal” to the Dossier

      A few days ago, we held a live taping of the “Trump, Inc.” podcast at The Greene Space in New York City. Tony Schwartz, the co-author with Donald Trump of “The Art of The Deal,” talked with Ilya Marritz from WNYC and Jesse Eisinger from ProPublica about what Schwartz does and does not recognize in President Trump now.

    • How a Typical Government Leak Turned Into a Three-Way War Between Comey, McCabe and Trump

      That conclusion is inescapable if you closely examine the sworn testimony of two erstwhile FBI allies, James Comey and Andrew McCabe, about the leaking episode that led to McCabe’s firing in March. After all, two diametrically opposed accounts can’t both be correct.

      President Donald Trump has seized upon the situation — laid bare in a report from the Justice Department’s inspector general — to assail both men, long among his favored targets for reasons having nothing to do with their veracity. “He LIED! LIED! LIED!” Trump wrote, in a veritable presidential tweet-gasm, hours after the McCabe report’s release. “McCabe was totally controlled by Comey – McCabe is Comey!! No collusion, all made up by this den of thieves and lowlifes!”

      This is much more than a venomous 21st century personal duel — tweet versus tweet at 10 paces. The credibility of Comey and McCabe is crucial, giving Trump every incentive to tar them. The former has offered withering accounts of his interactions with the president. And given what the two men observed both before and after Trump sacked Comey, both could be called on for key testimony in a potential obstruction of justice charge against the president.

    • Making Excuses for Russiagate

      The best evidence that Russia-gate is sinking beneath the waves is the way those pushing the pseudo-scandal are now busily covering their tracks. The Guardian complains that “as the inquiry has expanded and dominated the news agenda over the last year, the real issues of people’s lives are in danger of being drowned out by obsessive cable television coverage of the Russia investigation” – as if the Guardian’s own coverage hasn’t been every bit as obsessive as anything CNN has come up with.

      The Washington Post, second to none when it comes to painting Putin as a real-life Lord Voldemort, now says that Special counsel Robert Mueller “faces a particular challenge maintaining the confidence of the citizenry” as his investigation enters its second year – although it’s sticking to its guns that the problem is not the inquiry itself, but “the regular attacks he faces from President Trump, who has decried the probe as a ‘witch hunt.’”

  • Censorship/Free Speech

    • New Malaysian Prime Minister Who Promised To Kill ‘Fake News’ Law Decides It Might Be Useful Now That He’s In Power

      The “fake news” law erected in Malaysia was put in place to do one thing: allow the government to increase its control of journalists. Top-level corruption needed to be buried, and a “fake news” law seemed like a handy way to do it. The law made one thing clear: the government alone would decide what news was fake. The most likely target appeared to be reporting about the mysterious appearance of $700 million in Prime Minister Najib Razak’s personal bank account.

      The law claimed its first victim shortly after being enacted. A Danish citizen visiting Malaysia was arrested and charged after he posted a YouTube video allegedly misrepresenting the time it took for emergency services to respond to the shooting of a Hamas engineering expert. The man will now spend a month in jail after being unable to pay the $2,500 fine handed down by the court.

      It once looked like the law might be headed for a swift derailment. Mahathir Mohamad promised he would abolish the law entirely if elected Prime Minister. The BBC reports only part of the previous sentence has come to pass.

    • My innocent joke about lingerie and an insidious culture of censorship: Leading academic says trouble caused by a one-liner he cracked in a lift left him reeling

      Maybe, in a crowded lift packed with people whom I didn’t know, I was feeling a little claustrophobic. Maybe I’m too fond of old jokes.

      But when a voice from the front of the elevator called out: ‘What floors would you like, people at the back?’ I retorted: ‘Ladies’ lingerie!’

    • First they came for Josh Blackman: why censorship isn’t the answer

      Having been thinking, reading, speaking, and writing about “hate speech” over the last four decades, I had come to believe that I had nothing new to say, and that all arguments on all sides of the topic had been thoroughly aired.

      That view began to change several years ago, as I started to see increasing activism on campus and beyond in sup­port of various equal rights causes. Having been a student activ­ist myself, I have been thrilled by the recent resurgence of student engagement. I have been disheartened, how­ever, by the fact that too many students and others have called for censoring speakers who don’t share their views, apparently believing that freedom of speech would undermine the social justice causes they champion.

    • Desire for censorship? It’s more likely than you think

      On the heels of World Press Freedom Day – a day designed to raise awareness of the importance of freedom of the press and remind leaders of their duty to uphold and respect the right to freedom of expression – I’m reminded I shouldn’t have to point that fact out.

      Isn’t it 2018? Aren’t we all preaching for acceptance of diversity, as well as diverse thoughts and points of view?

      Not according to some, and that was on full display in the community last week.

      A group of individuals were angry a particular letter had been published in our Letters to the Editor section for it expressing an opinion they disagreed with. Rather than contact us directly and speak with us about the rationale behind why the letter was published, they decided to use social media to slam the Lacombe Globe as if we endorsed the letter or were using it as a “publicity stunt.”

    • Texas A&M Sued for Social Media Censorship

      In what could emerge as an interesting First Amendment test case, Texas A&M University was sued in federal court for allegedly censoring user comments on its official Facebook page. The lawsuit was filed by the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a nonprofit devoted to defending civil liberties online, on behalf of the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. The plaintiffs believe government-owned social media sites should be a forum for public discourse. Since 2016 PETA has been waging a campaign against alleged animal abuse at Texas A&M’s muscular dystrophy dog laboratory, and claims that the university’s social media team has been suppressing user comments about the lab.

    • The Philip Cross Affair

      The operation runs like clockwork, seven days a week, every waking hour, without significant variation. If Philip Cross genuinely is an individual, there is no denying he is morbidly obsessed. I am no psychiatrist, but to my entirely inexpert eyes this looks like the behaviour of a deranged psychotic with no regular social activities outside the home, no job (or an incredibly tolerant boss), living his life through a screen. I run what is arguably the most widely read single person political blog in the UK, and I do not spend nearly as much time on the internet as “Philip Cross”. My “timecard” would show where I watch football on Saturdays, go drinking on Fridays, go to the supermarket and for a walk or out with the family on Sundays, and generally relax much more and read books in the evenings. Cross does not have the patterns of activity of a normal and properly rounded human being.

      [...]

      There is no doubt that Kamm, leader wirter of Murdoch’s Times, is close the the “Philip Cross” operation. Many people believe that Kamm and Cross are the same person, or that Kamm is part of a multiple persona. Six times I have personally had hostile edits to my Wikipedia page by “Philip Cross” made in precise conjunction with attacks on me by Kamm, either on Twitter, in a Times editorial or in Prospect magazine. Altogether “Philip Cross” has made 275 edits to my Wikipedia page. These include calling my wife a stripper, deleting my photo, removing my reply to attacks made on me by Kamm and Harding among others, and deleting my refusal of all honours while a British diplomat.

      Neil Clark and Peter Oborne are among many others who have suffered attacks on them by Philip Cross on Wikipedia simultaneously with attacks by Kamm on other media. Clark is taking Kamm to court for stalking – and “Philip Cross” has deleted all reference to that fact from Kamm’s Wikipedia page.

      What is plain is that Kamm and Cross have extremely similar political views, and that the dividing line of those they attack and those they defend is based squarely on the principles of the Euston Manifesto. This may be obscure, but is in fact an important Blairite declaration of support for Israel and for neo-con wars of intervention, and was linked to the foundation of the Henry Jackson Society. Who do we find editing the Wikipedia entry for the Euston Manifesto? “Philip Cross”.

      What is particularly interesting is that “Philip Cross”‘s views happen to be precisely the same political views as those of Jimmy Wales, the founder of Wikipedia. Jimmy Wales has been on twitter the last three days being actively rude and unpleasant to anybody questioning the activities of Philip Cross. His commitment to Cross’s freedom to operate on Wikipedia would be rather more impressive if the Cross operation were not promoting Wales’ own opinions. Jimmy Wales has actively spoken against Jeremy Corbyn, supports the bombing of Syria, supports Israel, is so much of a Blairite he married Blair’s secretary, and sits on the board of Guardian Media Group Ltd alongside Katherine Viner.

    • UK Gov’t To Allow Citizens To Head To Nearest Newsstand To Buy Porn… Licenses

      The UK government’s continuing efforts to save the country’s children from the evils of internet porn are increasingly ridiculous. Filtering efforts applied by ISPs have managed to seal off access to plenty of non-porn sites while still remaining insanely easy to circumvent. The government — with a straight face — suggested there was nothing not normal about internet customers turning over personal information to ISPs in exchange for the permission to view porn. It’s as if building a database of the nation’s porn aficionados was the government’s original intent.

      Since nothing about this was working about the way the porn filter’s architects (one of whom was arrested on child porn charges) imagined, the UK government decided the same non-functioning tech could be put to work filtering out “terrorist content.” Bad ideas have repeatedly been supplanted by worse ones, and now it appears UK citizens may be able to opt out of ISP porn-related data harvesting by [squints at press report] buying a porn license from their local newsjobber.

    • As Childish Gambino shows, pop music can be powerfully political – despite censorship

      It is a violently subversive darkly comic take on police brutality, white supremacy, and US machismo – and Childish Gambino’s music video, This is America, has been released to critical acclaim, 133,000,000 YouTube hits (and counting), and minimal backlash.

      It may seem incongruous, then, that in 1988, Noam Chomsky and Ed Herman proposed that the media industry would not oppose state or private power in any fundamental way. Herman and Chomsky highlighted five causal factors that led them to this conclusion: concentrated corporate ownership; the prevalence of advertising money; the reliance on official information sources; the disproportionate ability of powerful organisations to issue flak against dissenters, and a pervasive axiom that the Western economic system is a panacea.

    • Rice Bunny: Censorship And #MeToo In China

      As you might know, translating from a language like Mandarin to English is not as simple as say, French to English, especially when it comes to names. Ben, for example, took a Mandarin class and the teacher gave him the name “Jiang Pin Sun” because it sounds kind of like “Ben Johnson.”

      This idea, of phonetic translation, brings us to… Rice Bunny. If you translate the English words “rice” and “bunny” into Chinese, you get something that kind of sounds like “me too.” And if you’ve been an adult on the internet recently, you’re pretty familiar with what “Me Too” means.

      In China, though, the hashtag #metoo is censored; posts containing it are deleted and wiped out forever by government censors. So activists and supporters, who are constantly trying to keep the movement alive, have started using the words for rice and bunny, or the emoji of a a rice bowl and a rabbit.

    • There Is No Magic Bullet For Moderating A Social Media Platform

      Obviously, many of the examples we chose were designed to be challenging (many based on real situations). But the process was useful and instructive. With each question there were four potential actions that the “trust & safety” team could take and on every single example at least one person chose each option. In other words, even when there was a pretty strong agreement on the course of action to take, there was still at least some disagreement.

      Now, imagine (1) having to do that at scale, with hundreds, thousands, hundreds of thousands or even millions of pieces of “flagged” content showing up, (2) having to do it when you’re not someone who is so interested in content moderation that you spent an entire day at a content moderation summit, and (3) having to do it quickly where there are trade-offs and consequences to each choice — including possible legal liability — and no matter which option you make, someone (or perhaps lots of someones) are going to get very upset.

    • Fight Hate Speech with More Speech, Not Censorship: ACLU’s Nadine Strossen

      Few issues are as controversial as the right to free speech, especially when it’s pitted against people’s desire not to feel attacked or hated simply because of their race, gender, or sexual orientation.

      Over the past 20 or 30 years, speech codes have proliferated in the workplace and at colleges and universities. By a narrow margin, says Gallup, today’s college students say promoting an inclusive campus environment is more important than protecting First Amendment rights of free speech. Yet large majorities also say they want a campus in which all speech is allowed and that their own campus stifles free expression.

      Nadine Strossen, who served as the president of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) from 1991 to 2008, is the author of the new book Hate: Why We Should Resist It with Free Speech, Not Censorship, which lays out a compelling argument against policies that try to restrict what individuals are allowed to say. Attempts to legally prevent and criminalize hate speech, Strossen writes, typically end up being used against the very people and groups they are intended to protect. What’s more, she says, the alleged harms caused by ugly speech are routinely overstated.

    • Legislating Censorship in California

      People have a right to hear all sides of controversial issues and to decide for themselves what they want to believe. They should be free to buy books and attend conferences that address controversial topics. Adults should be permitted to seek voluntary, faith-based counseling services that they believe are in their best interest.

      [...]

      Specifically, California Assembly Bill 2943 would make “advertising, offering to engage in, or engaging in sexual orientation change efforts with an individual,” connected with the sale of goods or services, unlawful as a type of consumer fraud. The bill defines “sexual orientation change efforts” as “any practices that seek to change an individual’s sexual orientation. This includes efforts to change behaviors or gender expressions, or to eliminate or reduce sexual or romantic attractions or feelings toward individuals of the same sex.” Of course, the bill does not prohibit those psychotherapies that the government believes are intended to affirm rather than change gender expressions or romantic feelings.

    • Civil liberties group unveils Repeal mural, calls out ‘chilling effect’ of censorship

      A new Repeal the 8th mural, commissioned by the Irish Council for Civil Liberties, was unveiled in Dublin today, as the council said censoring art is “highly questionable” legally. The mural by street artist Giant Sigh, at Bang Bang café in Phibsboro, calls for a Yes vote and is of a figure combining Lavery’s Cathleen Ní Houlihan, familiar from the old pound note, with Rosie the Riveter, the second World War symbol of working women, complete with a Repeal tattoo on her arm.

    • ‘Chilling’ artistic censorship in abortion campaign criticised

      The Irish Council for Civil Liberties has criticised what it has described as censorship in the artistic community surrounding the debate on the Eighth Amendment.

      It said it was concerned at the “chilling effect” of decisions to remove Maser’s Repeal the 8th mural at the Project Arts Centre in Dublin, and to drop a discussion on a new book on the repeal campaign from Dublin’s International Literature Festival.

      The council, which is advocating a Yes vote in the referendum, also cited difficulties encountered by Grace Dyas and Emma Fraser in presenting a touring theatre piece Not At Home, which incorporates testimonies from Irish women and is designed to be accessible to all sides.

    • Here’s How Twitter Is Trying to Stop Bullying and Abuse on Its Service
    • Steam Game Developers That Do Not Censor Sexual Content Will Be Removed: Valve
    • Valve seem to be tightening their rules on games with sexual content
    • [Updated] HuniePop and Other Adult Games Facing Removal From Steam Store
    • Valve’s Inconsistent Rules On Sexy Steam Games Continue To Baffle Devs
    • Mature Visual Novels are at Risk of Being Taken Down from Steam
    • NCOSE Takes Credit For Steam Censoring And Removing Ecchi Games, Visual Novels
    • Sen. Ted Cruz: Social Media Censorship “Real and Present Danger”
    • Iran Tightens Internet Censorship by Requiring Government Agencies to Use State-Approved Search Engines
  • Privacy/Surveillance

    • Real-time Location Data Of Nearly All US Smartphone Users Exposed

      A cell phone tracking service called LocationSmart has been reportedly leaking real-time location data on millions of mobile phone customers across North America.

      Exploiting a bug in its website, anyone could track the location of US cell phone users without obtaining their consent. This bug was spotted by Robert Xiao, a Carnegie Mellon University researcher, in a free trial feature of the website.

    • AT&T Customers Can’t Accelerate NSA Docs Hearing

      A California federal judge summarily refused Wednesday to accelerate a hearing considering access to classified materials sought by AT&T customers pursuing a putative class action over records collected by the National Security Agency.

      U.S. District Judge Jeffrey S. White did little more than sign his name to the NSA’s proposed order refusing to move the hearing up from July 6 to June 8 as the customers wanted, to counteract delays granted the government and address arguments on their standing to sue.

    • Evolving Chrome’s security indicators

      Previously, we posted a proposal to mark all HTTP pages as definitively “not secure” and remove secure indicators for HTTPS pages. HTTPS usage on the web has taken off as we’ve evolved Chrome security indicators. Later this year, we’ll be taking several more steps along this path.

    • Google Chrome To Drop ‘Secure’ Indicator From HTTPS Pages

      Google announced on Thursday in an official blog post that the ‘Secure’ indicator on websites will be removed from September onwards. The move is followed by the gradual shift of web towards adopting HTTPS as the default safety protocol.

    • As the Web moves toward HTTPS by default, Chrome will remove “secure” indicator

      The background to this change is the Web’s gradual migration to the use of HTTPS rather than HTTP. With an ever-growing fraction of the Web being served over secure HTTPS—something now easy to do at zero cost thanks to the Let’s Encrypt initiative—Google is anticipating a world where HTTPS is the default. In this world, only the occasional unsafe site should have its URL highlighted, not the boring and humdrum secure site.

    • Judge Allows Fourth Amendment Challenge Of Warrantless Device Searches At The Border To Continue

      A federal judge has allowed the ACLU, EFF, and the several plaintiffs they represent to continue their Fourth Amendment lawsuit against DHS, ICE, and CBP. The plaintiffs are challenging the Constitutionality of border device searches — something that has skyrocketed in recent years. As it stands now, these agencies believe nothing stronger than reasonable suspicion is needed to perform highly-intrusive searches. In many cases, not even suspicion is needed, thanks to the “border search” exception to the Fourth Amendment courts have carved out for the government.

      Policies for agencies performing border device searches are pretty much identical. All allow searches and seizures of devices without individualized suspicion. This warrantless, suspicionless search may also result in the device being confiscated for weeks or months while a forensic search is undertaken — again, supposedly without violating travelers’ rights. CBP’s policy was altered this year, requiring forensic searches and the mirroring of devices to at least reach the level of reasonable suspicion. Better than ICE’s policy, but still nothing approaching a warrant.

      The government sought to have the lawsuit dismissed, claiming the plaintiffs had no standing to assert violations, much less seek injunctive relief on the theory they would likely be subjected to intrusive device searches the next time they traveled.

    • Apple co-founder: ‘We’ve lost our privacy’

      He also applauded the European Union for its efforts to reclaim back taxes from major companies. The EU has ordered Apple to pay Ireland $15 billion after regulators determined that the country had granted it illegal tax breaks. Apple is appealing the ruling.

    • Steve Wozniak tells us: ‘We’ve lost our privacy and it’s been abused’

      He also hinted it is worth considering whether monopolists like Facebook, Amazon, and Apple should be split up.

  • Civil Rights/Policing

    • Slovakia police criticised over treatment of murdered journalist’s colleague

      “The actions of the National Crime Agency are hostile and seem to point to an investigation of reporters and not the murder of Ján Kuciak,” the OCCRP said in a statement. “We have seen this same behaviour by police in captured states and autocratic regimes. It does not belong in Europe.”

      During the alleged interrogation, it is claimed an attempt was made to download information from her phone using specialist equipment. Holcová was allegedly threatened with a €1,650 (£1,440) fine unless she agreed to cooperate. When the download attempt failed, officers are said to have produced a prosecutor’s order which allowed them to seize it.

    • Haspel Could Be Subject to Arrest Abroad Under Universal Jurisdiction

      Francis Boyle is professor of international law at the University of Illinois College of Law. He is the author of many books on International Law and an outspoken critic of US policy in the Middle East. Boyle’s books include Foundations of World Order and the sequel, Destroying World Order. In the following interview with Pacifica Radio host Dennis J Bernstein, Boyle warns that, among other things, given her background as key implementer of the US torture program, Gina Haspel is vulnerable to be arrested for war crimes and crimes against humanity if she travels abroad.

      [...]

      We have a 600-page executive summary of the Senate Foreign Intelligence Committee’s report on the extent of torture and extraordinary disappearances by the CIA. This is an official US government document. She was not personally named in there, but she was a high-level official who was personally involved. She certainly supervised the operation in Thailand. Under international law, there is a command responsibility. She is denying that she herself physically tortured anyone, but she supervised others doing the torturing. Under international criminal law, she is accountable for the criminal behavior she oversaw.

    • Oakland: The New Gold Standard in Community Control of Police Surveillance

      There is a new gold standard in the movement to require transparency and community engagement before local police departments are permitted to acquire or use surveillance technology. Oakland’s Surveillance and Community Safety ordinance builds upon the momentum of several cities and counties that have enacted laws to protect their residents from the unchecked proliferation of surveillance technology with the power to invade privacy and chill free speech.

      Santa Clara County in Northern California passed the first ordinance of this type in 2016, putting into public view a range of surveillance equipment already in county law enforcement possession and requiring use policies, annual impact reports, and approval at a public hearing before agencies could acquire or use surveillance equipment. Since then, cities across the country, including Seattle, WA; Berkeley, CA; and Davis, CA; have expanded on this model. In addition to reports on the potential risks to civil liberties and privacy, required reporting includes an assessment of whether the surveillance technology’s use would impact or has resulted in a disparate impact on a particular segment of their community.

      Oakland’s Surveillance and Community Safety ordinance raises the floor on what should be expected as additional cities and towns look to embrace these critical protections. For example, Oakland’s ordinance more clearly applies the definition of surveillance technology to include software used for surveillance-based analysis. Also, Oakland’s ordinance sets a new bar in disclosure by expressly prohibiting city agencies from entering into non-disclosure agreements (NDA) or any surveillance-related contract that conflicts with the ordinance.

    • DOJ Still Wants To Lock People Up For Protesting The Government, Or Even Just Talking About It

      The government is still trying to land a conviction from its mass arrest of participants in last year’s Inauguration Day protests in Washington, DC. So far, it has nothing to show for its efforts but a far-too-casual disregard for civil liberties.

      The prosecutions began with the government’s breathtaking demand for the personal info of all 1 million+ visitors to the Disrupt J20 website. From there, things did not improve. The government’s prosecutors accused protest participants of “hiding behind the First Amendment” while attempting to strip away First Amendment protections. One of those charged by the government with rioting was journalist Alexi Wood, who had filmed the protests and had the footage to show he wasn’t a participant in violent or destructive acts.

      The government compounded its unconstitutional behavior in court when its lawyer (Jennifer Kerkhoff) tried to downplay the significance of a foundational part of our justice system — that the accusers must prove “beyond a reasonable doubt” the accused committed a crime.

    • Call Them by Their Names

      The presumption of innocence is supposed to protect those accused of a crime, in law and in the press. In corporate media, that rule also seems to apply to white people who report people of color to the police for doing innocuous things. As FAIR found, their identities are far more closely protected than those of people falsely targeted for “suspicious” behavior.

      In the past few weeks, major news media have been flooded with coverage of incidents of alleged racial profiling and implicit bias—from golfers reported to police for playing “too slowly,” to picnickers fingered for using the wrong type of grill at a park. This coverage was prompted by viral videos and other social media posts released by the accused or by concerned bystanders, in real time or soon after these events occurred. The characters in these stories had one thing in common: The callers and officers involved were white; the alleged offenders, black or brown.

    • ICE Drops Extreme Vetting Software Plan After Discovering No One Could Possibly Deliver What It Wants

      It appears the concept of “extreme vetting” at our borders has been backburnered. The Washington Post is reporting ICE has scrapped plans to acquire software capable of strip-mining immigrants’ social media accounts and converting this info into a RATE MY DANGEROUSNESS number. However, it does not appear the concept is being done away with entirely.

    • ICE just abandoned its dream of ‘extreme vetting’ software that could predict whether a foreign visitor would become a terrorist

      Federal immigration officials have abandoned their pursuit of a controversial machine-learning technology that was a pillar of the Trump administration’s “extreme vetting” of foreign visitors, dealing a reality check to the goal of using artificial intelligence to predict human behavior.

      Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials told tech-industry contractors last summer they wanted a system for their “Extreme Vetting Initiative” that could automatically mine Facebook, Twitter and the broader Internet to determine whether a visitor might commit criminal or terrorist acts or was a “positively contributing member of society.”

    • ‘The Idea of Storytelling Is Just Essential’

      After campus police at Colorado State University pulled two Native American teens off a college tour when a woman told 911 that they were “definitely not” supposed to be there, the school’s president spoke directly to concern about “white supremacists” and their attempt to “frighten and isolate people.” While, if headlines are meant to tell the tale, the New York Times’ “Native American Brothers Pulled From Campus Tour After Nervous Parent Calls Police” fell rather short. Euphemism aside, listeners likely heard about the incident, spotlighted like others, via social media.

      Did you know, though, that fully a third of the senior Interior Department officials reassigned in Secretary Ryan Zinke’s recent reshuffle are Native American, even though Native Americans make up less than 10 percent of the department’s workforce? Sources say it’s part of Zinke’s barely veiled plan to remove obstructions to extractive industry. That news, reported by Alice Ollstein at Talking Points Memo—and that’s about it—is also a story about indigenous people and their life in 2018 America. Isolated snapshots of outrageous harms are a meager substitute for genuine coverage of a complex community. There are plenty of things that won’t be captured on cellphone cameras.

  • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

    • RIPE76 Presentation Archive
    • All California Kids Deserve Internet Access—Including Youth in Detention and Foster Care

      A 2014 report by the National Institute of Justice, part of the Department of Justice’s Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, highlighted the counterproductive nature of punitive policies in the juvenile justice system. They simply don’t work. It would be more effective to provide incarcerated youth with educational opportunities so they don’t fall behind their peers, ensuring they have a fair shot at integrating back into society. California has an opportunity to accomplish exactly this by providing the state’s juvenile offenders with access to quality education resources though the Internet.

      Juvenile facilities and state-run foster care programs across California don’t have to provide youth with Internet access for educational purposes. Assemblymember Mike Gipson introduced a bill, A.B. 2448, that aims to fix this problem. The bill ensures that juvenile detention facilities provide youth with access to Internet and computer technology for educational purposes. It also encourages those facilities to provide Internet access for youth to remain in contact with family members. Additionally, youth in foster homes will be given access to the Internet for age-appropriate enrichment and social activities.

    • Here’s the Name of Every Senator Who Voted Against Net Neutrality—and When to Vote Them Out
    • The ‘Race To 5G’ Is Largely Just Marketing Nonsense

      By now you’ve probably been informed that the next-generation of wireless broadband technology is going to revolutionize everything. Much like they did with 3G and 4G, wireless carriers like AT&T, Verizon, Sprint and T-Mobile have repeatedly hyped the fifth-generation (5G) wireless standard, insisting that the technology will somehow usher forth a “societal transformation” that’s going to have a magical, cascading impact on every sector in technology, from the internet of (broken) things to the smart cities and self-driving car technologies of tomorrow.

    • The Path to Victory on Net Neutrality in the House of Representatives and How You Can Help

      The United States Senate has voted to overturn the FCC and restore net neutrality protections, the fate of that measure currently rests in the House of Representatives. While many will think that the uphill battle there makes it a lost cause, that is simply not true. Together, we have the power to win in the House of Representatives.

      Now that the Senate has officially voted 52-47 to reverse the FCC’s so-called “Restoring Internet Freedom Order” under an expedited procedure known as the Congressional Review Act (CRA). It is now pending a vote in the House of Representatives. And while many will incorrectly assume since House Republican leadership has expressed their opposition to ever voting on net neutrality, nothing will come of it, the wishes of the leadership are frankly irrelevant.

      What actually matters is whether 218 members of the House of Representatives from either party want to vote to protect net neutrality through a process called a “discharge petition.”

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Robot inventors are on the rise. But are they welcomed by the patent system?

      This article is brought to you based on the strategic cooperation of The European Sting with the World Economic Forum.

      Author: Kay Firth-Butterfield, Head, Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning, World Economic Forum LLC & Yoon Chae, Prior Fellow, World Economic Forum Center for the Fourth Industrial Revolution; Intellectual Property Associate, Baker McKenzie.

    • Warburg Pincus sells ipan to Castik Capital

      Warburg Pincus has sold intellectual property management service ipan Group to Castik Capital.

      Since its acquisition by Warburg Pincus in 2014, ipan has more than tripled its revenues.

      Earlier this year, ipan further expanded its product offering by launching ip-x-change, a new open platform for IP related Software and Services.

    • Magistrate Disclosure of Daughter’s Summer Associate Employment

      I thought this was interesting. Magistrate’s daughter will be a summer associate at the patentee’s firm, and so she disclosed it to the parties and invited their views on whether they thought the case should be reassigned. It is Pacific Coast Building Products, Inc. v. Certainteed Gypsum, available here.

      When I was clerking for the CAFC a few years ago, as clerks we avoided cases where we had any entanglement as an internal procedure, but I thought this was interesting because obviously the patentee’s firm knew it was going to hire the daughter, and the magistrate thought it wasn’t a conflict, but wanted the facts out there.

    • UK publishes Trade Secrets Regulations 2018

      The main change from the draft is the introduction of a new third regulation that seeks to set out the relationship between trade secrets and the existing law of confidential information

      The UK government published the Trade Secrets Regulations 2018 today after the legislation was laid before parliament.

    • Trademarks

      • Big Barber Chain Bullies Owner Of Single Barbershop Over Using The Name ‘Tommy’

        There are a couple of things to note here. Tommy Gun’s applied for its trademark in Canada in 2009. Luong opened his shop under its current name in 2003. At that time he also registered his business with the local government, something that Tommy Gun’s is insisting he change as well. Tommy Gun’s own LinkedIN page suggests that the chain was founded in 2009, meaning that Luong was using the name in commerce first. If anything, it seems that Luong should have been the one to have fired off a C&D rather than the other way around.

      • CJEU rules innovative products alone do not make marks distinctive

        Triggerballs’ failed attempt to register a 3D mark for its massage ball follows a growing trend of reluctance for EU courts to grant trade mark rights in shapes

        The Court of Justice of the European Union ruled on May 16 that a trade mark does not have distinctive character because the product it covers is innovative.

      • China to become biggest foreign trade mark filer – CompuMark report

        China is set to overtake the US as the biggest foreign trade mark filer by 2020, according to a CompuMark study published today.

      • Food Fight Over: New Jersey Turnpike Authority Gets Told To Pound Sand By PTAB Over Florida Pizza Company’s Logo

        You may recall that way back in early 2015, we discussed the absurd story of the New Jersey Turnpike Authority suing Jersey Boardwalk Pizza for trademark infringement. At issue was that the pizza joint’s owners, both from New Jersey, had crafted a clever logo that mimicked the logo for the Garden State Parkway, except it altered all the words to be the parlor’s name and the food it served. It was a clear homage. Nobody denied it. That didn’t change the fact, however, that the NJ Turnpike Authority is both not in the business of selling pizza, nor is it in the business of being in Florida. As such, there was zero potential for customer confusion, and the court dismissed the case.

        You would have thought that would be the end of this story. But, no, the NJTPA decided to go the trademark office and try to have the pizza parlor’s trademark invalidated.

      • Pizza fight may be lost after feds deliver burn to N.J. in trademark case

        New Jersey has lost a significant battle against the owners of a small Florida-based pizza franchise whose owners modeled their advertising logo after the state’s Garden State Parkway sign.
        logos-border.jpgJersey Boardwalk Pizza has been using the logo on the left to advertise its business. The New Jersey Turnpike Authority argues its too similar to the Parkway logo. File photo

        Three administrative judges with the United States Patent and Trademark Office ruled Monday that Jersey Boardwalk Pizza can continue to use its logo, which the New Jersey Turnpike Authority argued was confusingly similar to the Parkway logo.

    • Copyrights

      • How The Record Labels Screwed Up The Music Industry, And The Tech Industry Saved Them

        If you’ve been following how much the record labels stumbled around the internet for the past couple of decades, then you know the basics here. But time has a way of erasing some of the nuances of history, and I find it incredible to watch the RIAA and the record labels these days walking around proudly acting as if they were the ones who “saved” the music industry by embracing streaming services that now make up the bulk of the recording industry’s revenues. Indeed, as we’ve pointed out for years, the recording industry has a very long history of overvaluing the music and undervaluing the services that people want. They’ve spent so long insisting that the music is the sole source of the value of what they produce, that they always downplay (or entirely erase) the rest of the equation: getting the music to fans in a manner that is convenient, reasonable, and non-burdensome. Instead, they always focus on killing the golden goose — insisting that any successful music tech service pay them more and more until they’re squeezed dry.

        Over at Motherboard, Ernie Smith, has a good history of how the recording industry screwed up streaming in the early days (unfortunately he does what most people do and refers to what’s really the “recording industry” as the “music industry” — and also simplifies the history to be just one round of mistakes, rather than many, many mistakes leaving a graveyard of dead tech companies in its wake — but the overall article is still excellent). It’s a very instructive piece in detailing exactly how the record label bosses were so focused on making sure that they had control and limits, that they didn’t care at all about providing a service that people actually wanted. Much of it focuses on the two idiotic music label-approved streaming services that the industry tried to launch MusicNet and PressPlay (which we dubbed MusicNot and PressPause way back in 2001). Smith details how both services were built entirely focused on “how do we protect our revenue stream” rather than “how do we serve the customer.”

      • De Gaulle’s manuscripts: ‘public archives’ and ‘public domain’ – same difference in France?

        Last month, the Conseil d’Etat, the highest administrative court in France, declared that the 313 manuscripts and telegrams written by Charles de Gaulle between 11 December 1940 and 11 December 1942 were official public archives belonging to the state of France (see herein French). As a result, the manuscripts written by the former French President and leader of the Resistance during the Second World War will soon be made available to the public as opposed to becoming part of a private collection. For many historians and public domain enthusiasts, the decision reads as a win. The dispute was not one of copyright but rather of heritage law, leaving the status of these archives in relation to the (copyright) public domain in need of further clarification. Indeed, war-time copyright material is eligible for a special type of protection in France… Read on for more on this.

05.17.18

Links 18/5/2018: AsteroidOS 1.0 Released, More Snyk/Black Duck FUD

Posted in News Roundup at 3:30 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Desktop

    • Raptor Launching Talos II Lite POWER9 Computer System At A Lower Cost

      For those that have been interested in the Talos II POWER-based system that is fully open-source down to the firmware but have been put off by its cost, Raptor Computer Systems today announced the Talos II Lite that is a slightly cut-down version of the Talos II Workstation.

      The Talos II Lite is still a very competent beast of a system and features a single POWER9 CPU socket, EATX chassis, 500W ATX power supply, and is sold as a barebones package. The Talos II Lite motherboard supports up to the 22-core POWER9 CPU, eight DDR4 ECC RAM slots, one PCI Express 4.0 x16 slot, one PCI Express 4.0 x8 slot, dual Gigabit Ethernet, four USB 3.0 ports, and one USB 2.0 port.

    • A little Talos of your very own

      Overall, that $3300 really does translate into greatly improved expandability in addition to the beefier power supplies, and thus it was never really an option for my needs personally. Maybe my mini:Quad analogy wasn’t so off base. But if you want to join the POWER9 revolution on a budget and give Chipzilla the finger, as all right-thinking nerds should, you’ve now got an option that only requires passing a kidneystone of just half the size or less. It ships starting in July.

  • Server

    • Containers and microservices and serverless, oh my!

      A new round of buzzword-heavy technologies are becoming relevant to—or at least discussed among—developers, operations professionals, and the tech staff who lead them. Need to come up to speed on the changing cloud and container trends and technologies? If you feel out of the loop, this tech-transfer explainer should provide enlightenment.

      Once upon a time, virtual machines changed how we thought about servers. Then, the cloud changed how we thought about IT. Now, containers have started a new transformation. The latest entry is “serverless”—though I should point out immediately that the term serverless is a misnomer. Future cloud-native applications will consist of both microservices and functions, often wrapped as Linux containers.

      VMs and the cloud enabled DevOps, the practice of developers and IT operations staff collaborating to optimize technology processes. Cloud technologies’ dynamic compute and storage resources made it easier to provision resources. The idea behind DevOps is that developers no longer need to worry about infrastructure because that’s taken care of in the background by programs such as Ansible, Chef, and Puppet.

      Then along came containers. Containers use far fewer resources than VMs by using shared operating systems. Containers are also easier to spin up and down when circumstances require it.

    • How a competitive cycling team applies DevOps and agile methods
    • Red Hat Virtualization 4.2 Gains New SDN, High-Performance Features
    • Scaling AMQ 7 Brokers with AMQ Interconnect

      Red Hat JBoss AMQ Interconnect provides flexible routing of messages between AMQP-enabled endpoints, including clients, brokers, and standalone services. With a single connection to a network of AMQ Interconnect routers, a client can exchange messages with any other endpoint connected to the network.

      AMQ Interconnect can create various topologies to manage a high volume of traffic or define an elastic network in front of AMQ 7 brokers. This article shows a sample AMQ Interconnect topology for scaling AMQ 7 brokers easily.

      AMQ Interconnect does not use master-slave clusters for high availability. It is typically deployed in topologies of multiple routers with redundant network paths, which it uses to provide reliable connectivity. AMQ Interconnect can distribute messaging workloads across the network and achieve new levels of scale with very low latency.

      The router accepts AMQP protocol–based connections from clients and creates AMQP connections to brokers or AMQP services. The router classifies incoming AMQP messages and routes the messages between message producers and message consumers.

      A messaging client can make a single AMQP connection into a messaging bus built with routers, and over that connection it can exchange messages with one or more message brokers connected to any router in the network. At the same time, the client can exchange messages directly with other endpoints without involving a broker at all.s

    • Advisory: Red Hat DHCP Client Command Injection Trouble
  • Kernel Space

    • Is it time to remove ZONE_DMA?

      The DMA zone (ZONE_DMA) is a memory-management holdover from the distant past. Once upon a time, many devices (those on the ISA bus in particular) could only use 24 bits for DMA addresses, and were thus limited to the bottom 16MB of memory. Such devices are hard to find on contemporary computers. Luis Rodriguez scheduled the last memory-management-track session of the 2018 Linux Storage, Filesystem, and Memory-Management Summit to discuss whether the time has come to remove ZONE_DMA altogether.

    • Zone-lock and mmap_sem scalability

      The memory-management subsystem is a central point that handles all of the system’s memory, so it is naturally subject to scalability problems as systems grow larger. Two sessions during the memory-management track of the 2018 Linux Storage, Filesystem, and Memory-Management Summit looked at specific contention points: the zone locks and the mmap_sem semaphore.

    • Hotplugging and poisoning

      Memory hotplugging is one of the least-loved areas of the memory-management subsystem; there are many use cases for it, but nobody has taken ownership of it. A similar situation exists for hardware page poisoning, a somewhat neglected mechanism for dealing with memory errors. At the 2018 Linux Storage, Filesystem, and Memory-Management summit, Michal Hocko and Mike Kravetz dedicated a pair of brief memory-management track sessions to problems that have been encountered in these subsystems, one of which seems more likely to get the attention it needs than the other.

    • Reworking page-table traversal

      A system’s page tables are organized into a tree that is as many as five levels deep. In many ways those levels are all similar, but the kernel treats them all as being different, with the result that page-table manipulations include a fair amount of repetitive code. During the memory-management track of the 2018 Linux Storage, Filesystem, and Memory-Management Summit, Kirill Shutemov proposed reworking how page tables are maintained. The idea was popular, but the implementation is likely to be tricky.

    • get_user_pages() continued

      At a plenary session held relatively early during the 2018 Linux Storage, Filesystem, and Memory-Management Summit, the developers discussed a number of problems with the kernel’s get_user_pages() interface. During the waning hours of LSFMM, a tired (but dedicated) set of developers convened again in the memory-management track to continue the discussion and try to push it toward a real solution.

      Jan Kara and Dan Williams scheduled the session to try to settle on a way to deal with the issues associated with get_user_pages() — in particular, the fact that code that has pinned pages in this way can modify those pages in ways that will surprise other users, such as filesystems. During the first session, Jérôme Glisse had suggested using the MMU notifier mechanism as a way to solve these problems. Rather than pin pages with get_user_pages(), kernel code could leave the pages unpinned and respond to notifications when the status of those pages changes. Kara said he had thought about the idea, and it seemed to make some sense.

    • XFS parent pointers

      At the 2018 Linux Storage, Filesystem, and Memory-Management Summit (LSFMM), Allison Henderson led a session to discuss an XFS feature she has been working on: parent pointers. These would be pointers stored in extended attributes (xattrs) that would allow various tools to reconstruct the path for a file from its inode. In XFS repair scenarios, that path will help with reconstruction as well as provide users with better information about where the problems lie.

    • Shared memory mappings for devices

      In a short filesystem-only discussion at the 2018 Linux Storage, Filesystem, and Memory-Management Summit (LSFMM), Jérôme Glisse wanted to talk about some (more) changes to support GPUs, FPGAs, and RDMA devices. In other talks at LSFMM, he discussed changes to struct page in support of these kinds of devices, but here he was looking to discuss other changes to support mapping a device’s memory into multiple processes. It should be noted that I had a hard time following the discussion in this session, so there may be significant gaps in what follows.

    • A new API for mounting filesystems

      The mount() system call suffers from a number of different shortcomings that has led some to consider a different API. At last year’s Linux Storage, Filesystem, and Memory-Management Summit (LSFMM), that someone was Miklos Szeredi, who led a session to discuss his ideas for a new filesystem mounting API. Since then, David Howells has been working with Szeredi and VFS maintainer Al Viro on this API; at the 2018 LSFMM, he presented that work.

      He began by noting some of the downsides of the current mounting API. For one thing, you can pass a data page to the mount() call, but it is limited to a single page; if too many options are needed, or simply options with too many long parameters, they won’t fit. The error messages and information on what went wrong could be better. There are also filesystems that have a bug where an invalid option will fail the mount() call but leave the superblock in an inconsistent state due to earlier options having been applied. Several in the audience were quick to note that both ext4 and XFS had fixed the latter bug along the way, though there may still be filesystems that have that behavior.

    • Controlling block-I/O latency

      Chris Mason and Josef Bacik led a brief discussion on the block-I/O controller for control groups (cgroups) in the filesystem track at the 2018 Linux Storage, Filesystem, and Memory-Management Summit. Mostly they were just aiming to get feedback on the approach they have taken. They are trying to address the needs of their employer, Facebook, with regard to the latency of I/O operations.

      Mason said that the goal is to strictly control the latency of block I/O operations, but that the filesystems themselves have priority inversions that make that difficult. For Btrfs and XFS, they have patches to tag the I/O requests, which mostly deals with the problem. They have changes for ext4 as well, but those are not quite working yet.

    • A mapping layer for filesystems

      In a plenary session on the second day of the Linux Storage, Filesystem, and Memory-Management Summit (LSFMM), Dave Chinner described his ideas for a virtual block address-space layer. It would allow “space accounting to be shared and managed at various layers in the storage stack”. One of the targets for this work is for filesystems on thin-provisioned devices, where the filesystem is larger than the storage devices holding it (and administrators are expected to add storage as needed); in current systems, running out of space causes huge problems for filesystems and users because the filesystem cannot communicate that error in a usable fashion.

      His talk is not about block devices, he said; it is about a layer that provides a managed logical-block address (LBA) space. It will allow user space to make fallocate() calls that truly reserve the space requested. Currently, a filesystem will tell a caller that the space was reserved even though the underlying block device may not actually have that space (or won’t when user space goes to use it), as in a thin-provisioned scenario. He also said that he would not be talking about his ideas for a snapshottable subvolume for XFS that was the subject of his talk at linux.conf.au 2018.

    • Fantastic kernel patches and where to find them

      I’ve griped before about kernel development being scattered and spread about. A quick grep of MAINTAINERS shows over 200 git trees and even more mailing lists. Today’s discussion is a partial enumeration of some common mailing lists, git trees and patchwork instances. You can certainly find some of this in the MAINTAINERS file.

    • Linux Foundation

      • Sprint Joins ORAN Alliance and Linux Foundation Networking Fund

        Sprint is becoming a member of the ORAN Alliance, formerly known as the xRAN Forum, and it is also joining the LF Networking Fund (LNF).

        The two moves signal the operator’s commitment to the open source world. It’s making these inroads prior to its planned merger with T-Mobile. The two companies announced earlier last month that they will merge. The deal, if approved, will close in early 2019.

    • Graphics Stack

      • Vulkan 1.1.75 Released With Many Issues Resolved

        It’s been almost one month since the Vulkan 1.1.74 debut but now that’s been succeeded by Vulkan 1.1.75.

        The Khronos Group has put out Vulkan 1.1.75 this morning as the newest revision to this graphics/compute API. The Vulkan 1.1.75 update doesn’t introduce any new extensions, but there are a wide number of issues resolved — as usual, mostly document clarifications about intended behavior and some fixes.

    • Benchmarks

      • AMD Ryzen 5 2600 / Ryzen 7 2700 Benchmarks On Linux, 9-Way Ubuntu CPU Comparison

        Last month we delivered launch-day Linux benchmarks of the Ryzen 5 2600X and Ryzen 7 2700X for these new “Zen+” processors while recently we received the non-X Ryzen 5 2600 and Ryzen 7 2700 processors for Linux testing as well. In this article are benchmarks of these new AMD Ryzen processors as well as other Intel/AMD CPUs for delivering a fresh nine-way Linux distribution comparison using the very latest software components.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • LabPlot Support for live data

        Coming close to the next release of LabPlot, the last new feature in this release that we want to introduce is the support for live data. This feature developed by Fábián Kristóf during “Google Summer of Code 2017” program. In this context, the support for live data refers to the data that is frequently changing and the ability of the application to visualize this changing data.

        Prior to the upcoming release, the only supported workflow in LabPlot was to import the data from an external file into LabPlot’s data containers and to do the visualization. On data changes, the user needed to re-import again. With LabPlot 2.5 we introduced the “Live Data Source” object that is “connected” to the actual data source and that takes care of re-reading the changed data according to the specified options.

      • News about Elisa

        Elisa is a music player developed by the KDE community that strives to be simple and nice to use. We also recognize that we need a flexible product to account for the different workflows and use-cases of our users.

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

      • Gnome Shell Dash To Panel v14 Brings Intellihide, Configurable Window Previews Size

        The Gnome Shell Dash to Panel extension combines the Dash with the top Gnome panel. The result is a single panel that provides an icon taskbar, the tray, system menu, and date / time indicator. This is similar to the KDE Plasma and Windows 7 (and newer) taskbar. The extension supports Gnome Shell 3.18 and newer.

      • Working on GNOME To Do this Summer

        I am Rohit Kaushik (kaushik on IRC) from Delhi, India. I am currently pursuing B.E Computer Science at BITS Pilani, Goa. I am interested in Software Engineering, Machine Learning and Research. I usually spend my free time playing badminton, cricket or listening to music.
        Last year, I worked on implementing Todoist for GNOME To Do and this time again I will be working on GNOME To Do, improving the two plugins that I wrote earlier and implementing newer features. I am grateful to GNOME and my mentor feaneron for giving me this opportunity.

      • Banquets and Barbecues

        One of the biggest problems with Fractal at the moment is that 1-1 messaging is pretty terrible. Since the rooms in the sidebar are sorted by most recent activity, high-traffic public rooms (such as GNOME IRC channels) tend to drown out rooms with less traffic, such as 1-1s and small groups. This is problematic because the signal-to-noise ratio in 1-1 chats and small groups tends to be much higher than in high-traffic public rooms. This leaves the user constantly searching for the rooms they care about, while the rooms they don’t care about are always at the top.

      • Performance hackfest
  • Distributions

    • New Releases

      • Linspire Server 2018 Released, Based On Ubuntu 16.04 With Xfce Desktop

        Back in January was the news of Linspire (formerly known as “Lindows”) making a comeback and this week marks the release of Linspire Server 2018.

        Linspire/Lindows had previously been focused on just a desktop offering, but PC/OpenSystems acquired the Linspire rights a few months back and now they are spinning up new products. The newly-announced Linspire Server 2018 is based on Ubuntu Server 16.04 and is available for free with a self-support license while the company is also selling commercial support for interested users.

    • OpenSUSE/SUSE

      • openSUSE.Asia Summit 2018 Taiwan: Call for proposals is open

        openSUSE.Asia Committee calls for proposals of talks for openSUSE.Asia Summit 2018 held at National Taiwan University of Science and Technology on August 11 and 12. We might have community day on 10th August before the summit.

        openSUSE.Asia Summit is one of the great events for openSUSE community (i.e., both contributors, and users) in Asia. Those who usually communicate online can get together from all over the world, talk face to face, and have fun. Members of the community will share their most recent knowledge, experiences, and learn FLOSS technologies surrounding openSUSE.

    • Slackware Family

      • HandBrake 1.1.0 – now also in a patent-friendly package

        A new release of HandBrake, the video transcoder/ripper. The version 1.1.0 (released last month) comes with a load of enhancements, bug fixes and new features. Read the announcement to get all the details.

        And its GTK+-3 based GUI still compiles on Slackware 14.2. The devs must have done something right. Thank you! Still, it is sad that I can not compile the HandBrake GUI on Slackware 14.1 – or older – due to the GTK+-3 requirement (how I wish that the Qt based GUI was still an option). You could still build the CLI-only variant I suppose. But it might also be a good idea to upgrade to Slackware 14.2 if you thought of running the graphical HandBrake program…

    • Red Hat Family

      • Enhanced OpenShift JBoss AMQ container image for production

        As a Solution Architect at Red Hat, I had the opportunity to run an « JBoss AMQ on OpenShift workshop » some weeks ago at a customer site. Working with AMQ for years outside OpenShift and having just played with the containerized version, I was astonished that some features were already there but not documented while some others were simply missing.

        This post is a walk-through some enhancements I’ve made to Red Hat JBoss AMQ container image in order to meet my customer requirements. It goes through some topics like: adding a monitoring layer to AMQ, making configuration management across environments easier and explaining source-2-image process and use-cases for AMQ. By the way, if you’re interested on monitoring topic on Red Hat integration solutions, I recommend having a look at Bruno Meseguer excellent blog post that was an inspiration for reproducing on AMQ what was done on Fuse.

      • Red Hat brings cloud-native capabilities to software partner ecosystem

        Red Hat, the world’s leading provider of open source solutions, has introduced Kubernetes Operators to the Red Hat OpenShift ecosystem, providing a simplified path for software partners to ultimately deliver tested and validated Kubernetes applications on the industry’s most comprehensive enterprise Kubernetes platform.

      • Red Hat’s AI Strategy

        Daniel Riek leads the AI Center of Excellence in the CTO Office at Red Hat, which is tasked with advancing the adoption of AI across Red Hat’s products, services and communities. Before that, Daniel has managed engineering groups, worked on Container Strategy and has led RHEL Product Management.

      • Fedora

    • Debian Family

      • Video Channel Updates

        I’ll still keep uploading to YouTube, but ultimately I’d like to make my self-hosted site the primary source for my content. Not sure if I’ll stay with MediaDrop, but it does tick a lot of boxes, and if its easy enough to extend, I’ll probably stick with it. MediaDrop might also be a good platform for viewing the Debian meetings videos like the DebConf videos.

  • Devices/Embedded

Free Software/Open Source

  • Coreboot 4.8 Released With 17 New Motherboards Supported

    While many Coreboot users just habitually ride the latest Git code, for those sticking to official stable releases, Coreboot 4.8 was released today.

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • The Rust compiler is getting faster

        As changes are made to the Rust compiler, a suite of benchmarks measuring compile time is run regularly on the development version. The data is viewable at http://perf.rust-lang.org. The default view is graphical, showing data from the past month.

      • These Weeks in Firefox: Issue 38
      • Scaling Firefox Development Workflows

        One of the central themes of my time at Mozilla has been my pursuit of making it easier to contribute to and hack on Firefox.

        I vividly remember my first day at Mozilla in 2011 when I went to build Firefox for the first time. I thought the entire experience – from obtaining the source code, installing build dependencies, building, running tests, submitting patches for review, etc was quite… lacking. When I asked others if they thought this was an issue, many rightfully identified problems (like the build system being slow). But there was a significant population who seemed to be naive and/or apathetic to the breadth of the user experience shortcomings. This is totally understandable: the scope of the problem is immense and various people don’t have the perspective, are blinded/biased by personal experience, and/or don’t have the product design or UX experience necessary to comprehend the problem.

      • Release of python-zstandard 0.9

        Zstandard is a highly tunable and therefore flexible compression algorithm with support for modern features such as multi-threaded compression and dictionaries. Its performance is remarkable and if you use it as a drop-in replacement for zlib, bzip2, or other common algorithms, you’ll frequently see more than a doubling in performance.

      • Revisiting Using Docker

        When Docker was taking off like wildfire in 2013, I was caught up in the excitement like everyone else. I remember knowing of the existence of LXC and container technologies in Linux at the time. But Docker seemed to be the first open source tool to actually make that technology usable (a terrific example of how user experience matters).

        At Mozilla, Docker was adopted all around me and by me for various utilities. Taskcluster – Mozilla’s task execution framework geared for running complex CI systems – adopted Docker as a mechanism to run processes in self-contained images. Various groups in Mozilla adopted Docker for running services in production. I adopted Docker for integration testing of complex systems.

      • Extensions in Firefox 61

        Firefox 60 is now in the Release channel, which means that Firefox 61 has moved from Nightly to the Beta channel. As usual, Mozilla engineers and volunteer contributors have been hard at work, landing a number of new and improved WebExtensions API in this Beta release.

        Before getting to the details, though, I’d like to note that the Firefox Quantum Extensions Challenge has come to an end. The contest was a huge success and the judges (myself included) were overwhelmed with both the creativity and quality of the entrants. A huge thank you to everyone who submitted an extension to the contest and congratulations to the winners.

      • Enigmail 2.0.4 available – better protection against Efail

        Enigmail now discovers if GnuPG prints a warning message about missing MDC (Modification Detection Code) for old algorithms like CAST5 and treats it like a hard failure. Such a message will no longer be displayed.

  • Databases

    • Built-in Sharding for PostgreSQL

      Built-in sharding is something that many people have wanted to see in PostgreSQL for a long time. It would be a gross exaggeration to say that PostgreSQL 11 (due to be released this fall) is capable of real sharding, but it seems pretty clear that the momentum is building. The capabilities already added are independently useful, but I believe that some time in the next few years we’re going to reach a tipping point. Indeed, I think in a certain sense we already have. Just a few years ago, there was serious debate about whether PostgreSQL would ever have built-in sharding. Today, the question is about exactly which features are still needed.

      If you haven’t followed progress in this area closely, I highly recommend that you read the Built-in Sharding page which my colleague Bruce Momjian wrote up for the PostgreSQL wiki in December of 2016 as well as the very interesting slides which Etsuro Fujita, Kyotaro Horiguchi, Masahiko Sawada, and Amit Langote presented at PGCONF.ASIA 2016. (Note that the atomic commit feature mentioned in that presentation did not make it into PostgreSQL 11.)

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • TDF announces LibreOffice 5.4.7

      The Document Foundation (TDF) announces LibreOffice 5.4.7, the last minor release of the LibreOffice 5.4 family, currently targeted at mainstream users and enterprises.

      TDF suggests deploying LibreOffice in production environments with the backing of certified developers, migrators and trainers (an updated list is available at https://www.libreoffice.org/get-help/professional-support/). This is extremely important for the growth of the LibreOffice ecosystem.

  • Pseudo-Open Source (Openwashing)

  • BSD

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • Tarballs, the ultimate container image format

      The tarball format is plain and simple, it’s the one we know and love, and it’s been there “forever” as its name suggests. The tarball that guix pack produces can be readily extracted on another machine, one that doesn’t run Guix, and you’re done. The problem though, is that you’ll need to either unpack the tarball in the root file system or to play tricks with the unshare command, as we saw in the previous post. Why can’t we just extract such a tarball in our home directory and directly run ./opt/gnu/bin/guile for instance?

    • Using GnuCash as a Freelancer to Track Finances and Prepare Taxes

      I don’t own a credit card (by choice), so keeping a close eye on my finances is really important, but I think whether or not you have a credit card, it’s a good idea to track all of your financial transactions.
      It’s really the only way you’ll know what’s coming in and what’s going out. This is a great habit to do even if you don’t have any problems keeping a positive balance – and I would say it’s essential to do if you struggle with debt.
      Luckily I have no debt but I’ve seen a number of people turn around their whole financial situations just by starting to keep a ledger of all of their transactions.

    • Who controls glibc?

      The removal of an old joke from the GNU C Library manual might not seem like the sort of topic that would inspire a heated debate. At times, though, a small action can serve as an inadvertent proxy for a more significant question, one which is relevant to both the developers and the users of the project. In this case, that question would be: how is the project governed and who makes decisions about which patches are applied?

      Toward the end of April, Raymond Nicholson posted a patch to the glibc manual removing a joke that he didn’t think was useful to readers. The joke played on the documentation for abort() to make a statement about US government policy on providing information about abortions. As Nicholson noted: “The joke does not provide any useful information about the abort() function so removing it will not hinder use of glibc”. On April 30, Zack Weinberg applied the patch to the glibc repository.

      Richard Stallman, who added the joke sometime in the 1990s, asked that it not be removed. The resulting discussion touched on a number of issues. Carlos O’Donell, who has been trying hard to resolve the issue with some degree of consensus, suggested that the joke could hurt people who have had bad experiences associated with abortion. He proposed a couple of possible alternatives, including avoiding jokes entirely or discussing such issues in a different forum. Stallman, however, replied that “a GNU manual, like a course in history, is not meant to be a ‘safe space’”. He suggested the possibility of adding a trigger warning about functions that create child processes, since childbirth is “far more traumatic than having an abortion”.

  • Licensing/Legal

    • Licenses for data

      The amount of available data is growing larger these days, to the point that some data sets are far larger than any one company or organization can create and maintain. So companies and others want to share data in ways that are similar to how they share code. Some of those companies are members of the Linux Foundation (LF), which is part of why that organization got involved in the process of creating licenses for this data. LF VP of Strategic Programs Mike Dolan came to the 2018 Legal and Licensing Workshop (LLW) to describe how the Community Data License Agreement (CDLA) came about.

      The kinds of data affected are for applications like machine learning, blockchains, AI, and open geolocation, he said. Governments, companies, and other organizations want to share their data and the model they want to follow is the one they have learned from open-source software. So the idea behind the CDLA is to share data openly using what has been learned about licensing from decades of sharing source code.

  • Programming/Development

    • LLVM 5.0.2 Released With Spectre Variant Two Mitigation

      For those that haven’t yet upgraded to LLVM 6.0 stable, the long overdue LLVM 5.0.2 is now available.

      LLVM 5.0.2 was due out at the end of March while now at the middle of May this point release has materialized. What makes this new LLVM 5.0 stable update important is that it contains the compiler-side Retpoline support for Spectre Variant Two mitigation. This was already found in LLVM 6.0 and then back-ported to LLVM 5.0 and now available in this latest point release.

Leftovers

  • Health/Nutrition

    • US birth rates drop to lowest since 1987

      Births in the US have dropped to their lowest rate in 30 years, marking a cultural shift as women delay motherhood, experts say.

      Some 3.85 million babies were born in the US in 2017, the fewest since 1987, as births among women in their teens and 20s decreased.

      Both the birth rate – the number of births per thousand – and fertility – a lifetime average forecast – fell.

      Declining birth rates are common as countries become more developed.

      The US fertility rate is lower than the UK’s but the US still has a higher fertility rate than many other countries.

      While births decreased among younger women in the US last year, it rose in women aged between 40 and 44.

  • Security

    • Security updates for Thursday
    • Critical Linux Flaw Opens the Door to Full Root Access
    • It has been a bad week for encrypted messaging and it’s only Wednesday

      Also on Monday, a different team of researchers disclosed a vulnerability in the desktop version of the Signal messenger. It allowed attackers to send messages containing malicious HTML and JavaScript that would be executed by the app. Signal developers published a security update on Friday, a few hours after the researchers privately notified them of the vulnerability. On Monday, Signal developers issued a new patch after discovering over the weekend that the first one didn’t fully fix the bug. (The incompleteness of the patch was independently and more-or-less simultaneously found by the researchers.)

    • Purism and Nitrokey Partner to Build Purekey for Purism’s Librem Laptops

      Purism, the social purpose corporation which designs and produces security focused hardware and software, has announced today that they are partnering with Nitrokey, maker of Free Software and Open Hardware USB OpenPGP security tokens and Hardware Security Modules (HSMs) to create Purekey, Purism’s own OpenPGP security token designed to integrate with its hardware and software. Purekey embodies Purism’s mission to make security and cryptography accessible where its customers hold the keys to their own security and follows on the heels of their announcement of a partnership with cryptography pioneer and GnuPG maintainer Werner Koch.

    • Purism Expands Its Linux Hardware Portfolio To Include A USB-Based GPG SmartCard

      If Purism didn’t have their hands full enough already working to further free Linux laptops and their very ambitious project to get their own Linux smartphone software/hardware shipping next year, they have now expanded their portfolio with the Purekey.

    • Purism Partners with Nitrokey to Reinforce the Security of Their Linux Laptops

      Purism, the maker of Linux-powered laptops, announced today that it partners with Nitrokey, a maker of Free Software and Open Hardware USB OpenPGP security tokens and Hardware Security Modules (HSMs), to create a OpenPGP-based security token called Purekey.

  • Defence/Aggression

    • The Rebuilding of Syria

      During visits to Syria in 2016 and 2018, the devastation from years of war was tragically evident. Block after block in central Homs had the bombed out look of post-Second World War Berlin. The Old City and historic Souq of Aleppo was in ruins. Passing the Eastern Ghouta region near Damascus, we observed a shell-pocked landscape of ruined and burned out buildings and farms that stretched for miles. In the Palestinian Yarmouk Camp/neighborhood and the southern Damascus suburbs the fighting is still going on between government forces and elements of Daesh (ISIS) and al-Nusra. The result will be comparable devastation after the successful conclusion of combat operations.

      On the other hand, Damascus, modern Aleppo, Hama, Dera’a and the coastal cities of Latakia and Tartus — despite being targeted by rebel mortars and rockets which caused many civilian casualties — have remained largely intact, even as the fighting has taken a steep toll on the exurban neighborhoods and rural towns nearby.

      Less well known is the heavy damage to Syria’s industrial infrastructure, particularly in Aleppo. After 2011 anti-government forces occupied the extensive industrial zone outside the city and proceeded to systematically loot the modern factories. Tens of millions of dollars’ worth of industrial equipment from textile, plastics, chemical and pharmaceutical firms were sold off or simply stolen and shipped across the nearby border to Turkey. What could not be transported easily was destroyed.

    • ‘The Everyday Process of Ethnic Cleansing’

      Diana Buttu is a Palestinian-Canadian lawyer and former Palestinian negotiator. On Monday, she and hundreds of other protesters were roughed up and brutalized by a phalanx of heavily armed Israeli security forces as they tried to raise the Palestinian Flag in front of the new Jerusalem-based US Embassy .

      Buttu was outraged as she noted “from video footage we can see that people were shot in the back. Others were shot for carrying tires or for simply walking into these areas. These were individuals who posed no threat whatsoever. Even if they were attempting to cross the border, you don’t use live fire to kill people who are crossing a border.”

  • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

    • Ecuador’s former president defends spy operation to protect Julian Assange

      The former president of Ecuador Rafael Correa has defended a multi-million dollar spy operation to protect Julian Assange in the country’s London embassy after an investigation by the Guardian revealed that his government had employed an international security company and undercover agents during much of the Australian’s six-year stay.

    • The UK’s Russia Inquiry Had A Date To Interview Julian Assange. Then The Foreign Office Called.

      The UK inquiry looking into Russia and the Cambridge Analytica scandal had agreed a provisional date for a public interview session with WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, before abandoning the plan after a call from the Foreign Office, BuzzFeed News has learned.

      Foreign Office officials called the Digital Culture, Media and Sport committee after learning of the plan to interview Assange from the Ecuadorian embassy in a high-profile public forum, according to a well-placed source.

      The closely watched DCMS inquiry, chaired by Conservative MP Damian Collins, was originally set up to look at fake news back in January 2017. But the MPs on the committee have been going down different paths, holding headline-grabbing public sessions with everyone from fake news academics to Brexit whistleblowers to representatives from the US tech giants.

    • Sarah Harrison: “It’s not the journalist’s role to decide what the public can see”

      Sarah Harrison: What was unique about WikiLeaks, was the anonymous dropbox. Because Julian (Assange) came from a technical background and he was able to build – at a time when nobody else could – this technology where a whistleblower could simply submit to the website in an anonymous fashion. Obviously, journalists have been working with sources for many years. But the technology hadn’t been brought to that problem. That was the crux of what made the WikiLeaks organisation different was the technology.

      I was comparing it to that in a vivid image that people can picture of, being able to bring the baby (the documents) to the website which could then ensure that it got to the world and the press and it could survive. It’s one of the achievements of WikiLeaks that that is now a normal thing for many newsrooms to have a dropbox like this, which I think is an excellent development in journalism.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife/Nature

    • Pew Research Finds Broad Bi-Partisan Support For Solar Power In US

      he latest Pew poll finds an astonishing difference in opinion between Republicans and Democrats about climate change and protecting the environment. Overall, two thirds of Americans say the government is not doing enough to reduce the effects of global climate change. 19% say the government is doing “about the right amount” with another 13% saying “too much” is being done.

      But the findings between Republicans and Democrats reveal a sharp divide between the two groups. Almost 90% of Democrats believe the federal government is not doing enough to protect key aspects of the environment such as air and water quality but few Republicans agree.

      Specifically, 89% of Democrats say the federal government isn’t doing enough to protect air quality. Only 26% of Republicans say the same thing. On the subject of water quality, 91% of Democrats say the federal government isn’t doing enough compared with 39% of Republicans.

  • Finance

    • Infrastructure built our middle class and now we must build it yet again

      It is hard to imagine our country without our iconic pieces of American transportation infrastructure.

    • 5 Unexpected Ways The 1990s Were Different From Today
    • Federal Watchdog Launches Investigation of Age Bias at IBM

      The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has launched a nationwide probe of age bias at IBM in the wake of a ProPublica investigation showing the company has flouted or outflanked laws intended to protect older workers from discrimination.

      More than five years after IBM stopped providing legally required disclosures to older workers being laid off, the EEOC’s New York district office has begun consolidating individuals’ complaints from across the country and asking the company to explain practices recounted in the ProPublica story, according to ex-employees who’ve spoken with investigators and people familiar with the agency’s actions.

      “Whenever you see the EEOC pulling cases and sending them to investigations, you know they’re taking things seriously,” said the agency’s former general counsel, David Lopez. “I suspect IBM’s treatment of its later-career workers and older applicants is going to get a thorough vetting.”

  • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • NYT Edit Board Are Last Humans on Earth Who Believe US Neutral in Israel/Palestine Conflict

      The fact that the United States favors Israel in its decades-long “conflict” with the Palestinians is not a subjective or abstract question; it’s a well-established empirical fact. The US gives over $3 billion a year in military aid to Israel (more than the US spends on aid for the last seven countries it’s bombed combined), and defends it from sanction almost uniformly at the UN Security Council. Israel’s support from the US Congress borders on sycophantic. The US, on the other hand, gives no military aid to Palestine, and opposes resolutions that even acknowledge Palestine exists—much less support its resistance to Israeli occupation. The US gives some aid to the Israeli-approved and corrupt Palestinian Authority, but this largely serves to buy off the docile and unpopular PA.

      [...]

      It’s difficult to imagine any of the seemingly knowledgeable and healthy adults at the Times editorial board actually thinking the US has been “neutral” in its dealings with Israel and Palestine. Perhaps not 100 percent lockstep. Perhaps sometimes pushing back against the most right-wing elements in Israel. But “neutral”? It flies in the face of decades of evidence to the contrary.

      This isn’t the first time the New York Times has played the part of a kindergartener finding out Santa Claus isn’t real. As FAIR noted last December (12/30/17), Times reporter Mark Landler used the specter of Trump to totally whitewash America’s aggressive and violent past, in a manner that crosses from jingoistic to outright goofy…

    • Morning mail: European council president condemns ‘capricious’ Trump

      The threat posed by Donald Trump’s administration has been likened to that of China and Russia by the European council president, Donald Tusk, as he condemned the US’s withdrawal from the Iran deal and the rising threat of a transatlantic trade war. Tusk offered a withering commentary on the chaotic US administration, saying: “We are witnessing today a new phenomenon: the capricious assertiveness of the American administration. Looking at the latest decisions of President Trump, some could even think, ‘With friends like that, who needs enemies?’”

  • Censorship/Free Speech

    • Dismal state of academic freedom in Turkey described by HRW

      Turkey’s universities are experiencing a period of self-censorship and a lack of academic freedom as hundreds of academic staff face prosecution and thousands more have lost their jobs, international non-governmental organization Human Rights Watch (HRW) said in a report it published on Monday.

    • Facebook Releases First-Ever Community Standards Enforcement Report

      For the first time, Facebook has published detailed information about how it enforces its own community standards. On Tuesday, the company announced the release of its Community Standards Enforcement Preliminary Report, covering enforcement efforts between October 2017 and March 2018 in six areas: graphic violence, adult nudity and sexual activity, terrorist propaganda, hate speech, spam, and fake accounts.

      Facebook follows YouTube in releasing content enforcement numbers; last month, the video-sharing platform put out its first transparency report on community guidelines enforcement, showing the total number of videos taken down, the percentage of videos removed after being flagged by automated tools, and other details.

    • Leading Israeli Playwright Faces ‘Censorship’ At Home

      Joshua Sobol claims that his latest play, ‘The Last Act,’ was the subject of a political witch hunt. Joshua Sobol is one of Israel’s leading playwrights, having also achieved worldwide notoriety with his 1984 offering “Ghetto,” a poignant look…

  • Privacy/Surveillance

    • Publishers need to stop using insecure HTTP

      Academic publishers play a major role in the dissemination of scholarly information. As a society, we need to be able to rely on these publishers to provide information securely, accurately, and with content integrity. We also want to ensure that our personal information (e.g., a site password) is secure, and scholarly publishers have a responsibility to the community to protect our data.

      I’ve been surprised how often scholarly publishers’ pages are published as HTTP, which (unlike HTTPS) doesn’t encrypt data in transit. Implementing HTTPS has become much easier with initiatives such as Let’s Encrypt and Certbot (but I recognize legacy systems can make it more difficult).

    • Mark Zuckerberg to appear before European parliament

      The Facebook founder’s decision to meet MEPs will be seen as a snub to the UK parliament. British MPs have asked him to appear to explain the company’s role in the Cambridge Analytica scandal where the personal data of tens of millions of people was used without their permission.

    • Zuckerberg Agrees to EU Parliament Grilling Over Data Scandal
    • EFF Asks FBI, DOJ To Turn Over Details On Thousands Of Locked Phones The FBI Seems Uninterested In Cracking

      The FBI’s growing number of uncracked phones remains a mystery. The agency claims it has nearly 8,000 phones in its possession which it can’t get into, despite multiple vendors offering services that can allegedly crack any iPhone and countless Android devices.

      The push for mandated backdoors and/or weakened encryption continues, with successive FBI heads (James Comey, Chris Wray) declaring public safety is being threatened by the agency’s locked phone stockpile. This push seems doubly insincere given a recent Inspector General’s report, which revealed agency officials slow-walked the search for a third-party solution to unlock a phone belonging to the San Bernardino shooter.

      Legislators have taken notice of the FBI’s disingenuous push for a legislative mandate. Back in April, a group of lawmakers sent a letter to the FBI asking what it was actually doing to access the contents of its growing collection of locked phones and why it insisted there were no other options when it was apparent vendors were offering phone-cracking solutions.

    • EFF to New York Appellate Court: No Warrantless Searches of Devices at the Border

      In a month of court victories for travelers’ digital privacy, EFF continues its legal fight for Fourth Amendment rights at the border. We filed an amicus brief yesterday, along with the ACLU and NYCLU, urging a New York State appellate court to rule that border agents need a probable cause warrant to search the electronic devices of people at international airports and other border crossings.

      We asked the court to rule that the extremely strong and unprecedented privacy interests we have in the massive amount of highly sensitive information stored and accessible on electronic devices is protected under the Constitution. This is our eighth amicus brief in a case where border agents have conducted warrantless searches of travelers’ phones or laptops at the border. For too long, federal agents have treated the border as a Constitution-free zone, searching travelers without individualized suspicion that they have committed a crime. This must stop.

  • Civil Rights/Policing

    • Company used by police, prisons to find any mobile device breached (again)

      Since the application is Web based and the website allows “Anywhere, anytime access to all system controls” for the Securus call system, the usernames and passwords could conceivably be used to gain access to not just device location data but prisoner phone records and other sensitive data. A previous breach at Securus reported by The Intercept exposed data on 70 million recorded prisoner phone calls, including calls between prisoners and their attorneys.

    • Congressional Members Decide It’s Time To Make Assaulting A Police Officer A Federal Hate Crime

      It’s apparently time for a legislative update to The War on Cops. Apropos of nothing, legislators from both sides of Congress have flung some more “cops are more equal than others” legislation into the ring. Senators Orrin Hatch and Heidi Heitkamp have joined their House counterparts in attempting to make any crime against a police officers a hate crime.

    • AT&T Mobility Fired Me for Being Pregnant

      Demerit-based attendance policies discriminate against pregnant women.

      When I found out I was pregnant in the fall of 2014, I was so grateful to have a job with AT&T Mobility. My husband and I both worked as sales representatives at the company’s store in Elkhart, Ind. Our jobs provided us a stable, comfortable life that we looked forward to sharing with our son. We made $14 an hour, plus commission, and AT&T Mobility provided generous benefits that included paid maternity leave. We both loved our jobs and looked forward to fulfilling sales careers with the company.

      But that hope evaporated as my pregnancy progressed. I had severe nausea that wasn’t just “morning sickness.” I felt sick nearly all the time and had trouble sleeping. In my second and third trimesters, things got even worse, and I developed cholestasis, a disabling liver condition characterized by intense itching all over the body. These difficulties meant that I occasionally was late for my shift, or needed to stay home, and that I had to visit my doctor more often.

      These symptoms were scary and stressful on their own. I never dreamed that they also would cost me my job.

    • ACLU Client Makes History As First Air Force JAG Corps Officer to Wear Hijab

      ACLU applauds Air Force for respecting religious freedom.

      When Lt. Maysaa Ouza began her first assignment as an officer in the Air Force’s Judge Advocate General’s Corps earlier this month, it was a historic moment. Lt. Ouza, a recent law school graduate, became the first Air Force JAG Corps officer authorized to wear hijab. Before she enlisted, the Air Force granted her a religious accommodation allowing her to wear hijab during basic and officer training and in her role as chief of legal advice at Scott Air Force Base. The groundbreaking development was a long time in the making.

      Lt. Ouza always knew that she wanted to serve her country. As the daughter of immigrants, she was called to give back by defending the very freedoms and liberties that have afforded her and her family so many opportunities.

      When Lt. Ouza was in law school and began investigating her options for military service, however, there was one potential obstacle: her hijab. For Lt. Ouza, the practice of covering her hair and neck by wearing hijab reflects a core tenet of her Muslim faith. She believes that being forced to remove the head covering is humiliating and no different than being compelled to strip in front of others.

    • Home Office grants visa to student in U-turn after ‘distressing’ visit

      In an unexpected U-turn, the Home Office has granted a visa to a woman it had previously classified as an immigration offender, just 24 hours after video footage of a distressing dawn raid on her home was published by the Guardian.

      Zixuan Qu, 29, who submitted an application to extend her student visa over four years ago, has been granted leave to remain in the UK for a further five years.

      For the past four years, the Home Office has been sitting on her application, and has held her passport, preventing her from going back to China to visit her grandparents, who brought her up. She was forced to cancel her wedding because she was unable to register the marriage without a passport.

    • Brown v. Board Made It to 64. But How Much Longer Will It Survive?

      It’s been 64 years this week since Brown v. Board Of Education began charting a new course for public schools and race in America. In a unanimous decision, the Supreme Court struck down the dishonest doctrine of “separate but equal” and exposed the white supremacy that lay beneath it.

      Yet, the celebration this year is muted by a fresh sense of uncertainty. The sanctity of the landmark decision that helped ensure Black children’s full and equal access to participation in American society is increasingly under attack in the courts, in government, and in the private sphere.

    • Congress Wants More Protections for Cops While Ignoring Police Reform

      An “empty gesture” — that is the term that Rep. Jerrold Nadler, Democrat from New York, used to describe H.R. 5698, the Protect and Serve Act of 2018, which creates a new federal crime for targeting law enforcement officers.

      “There is no profession more widely protected under federal and state law than working in law enforcement,” Nadler continued as the U.S. House Judiciary Committee considered the bill last week on the eve of Police Week. Protect and Serve, he said, is a “one-sided approach that presents the strong risk of creating a perception of bias against community-based policing concerns.”

      So how did this bill pass the U.S. House of Representatives this week by a vote of 382 to 35? And how did it pass with the support of some of its critics in Congress?

    • A Tale of Two Tortures

      It was with some disbelief that I read of two torture-related stories emerging around the same time last week. The first was about the legal victory of Abdul Hakim Belhaj, Libyan dissident, kidnap victim of MI6 and the CIA, and torture victim of Colonel Gaddafi. UK governmental apologies were finally made and reparation paid. For once justice was seen to be done and the use of torture condemned.

      Meanwhile, across the pond last week the reverse side of the same coin was on full disgusting display. Our American chums are in the process of attempting to appoint an alleged notorious torturer as the head of the CIA.

      While nominee Gina Haspel had soft-ball questions lobbed at her by a tame pack of senators at her confirmation hearing, retired CIA senior analyst, former presidential briefer, and now justice activist, Ray McGovern, stood up and said what the Senators knew, but would not say: namely that she supervised — directly, on site — the waterboarding of Al Nashiri, who had been kidnapped and brought to the first secret CIA prison abroad (in Thailand) for “interrogation.” McGovern was dragged out by four burly police, thrown to the ground, and injured when additional police piled on. Here is a link to the video of this assault.

  • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

    • Senate Approves First Step In Uphill Effort To Restore Net Neutrality

      As noted previously, net neutrality advocates managed to convince Congress to try and use the Congressional Review Act (CRA) to reverse the FCC’s misleadingly-named “Restoring Internet Freedom Order.”

      That order, approved by a 3-2 FCC vote last December, not only kills net neutrality (as of June 11), but eliminates much of the FCC’s authority to police monopoly ISPs. Since many still don’t seem to understand this, it’s worth reiterating that the attack on net neutrality is just one part of a much broader plan to severely hamstring FTC, FCC, and state oversight of giant broadband monopolies that face little to no organic market competition.

      Today’s hearing before the Senate included all of the favorite hits culled from a decade of net neutrality debates, including ISP-loyal lawmakers like John Thune repeating the entirely false claim that net neutrality rules somehow devastated sector investment (SEC filings, earnings reports, and countless CEO statements disprove this). Claims that U.S. net neutrality rules were “heavy handed government regulation of the internet” were also frequently repeated (that’s also not true, and the U.S. rules are arguably modest by international standards).

    • ‘Most Americans Say They Want Protections for the Open Internet’

      All social justice fights intersect in some way. But net neutrality is the definition of a keystone issue: The policy protects the space in which to discuss and debate and organize all the other fights, the means to talk around the legacy media gatekeepers—the ones who tell you that killing people in other countries to force them to change their elected leadership is reasonable, but providing healthcare for everyone is outrageous.

      In a sort of slow-motion trainwreck, the Trump FCC—led by former Verizon lawyer Ajit Pai—moved to dismantle net neutrality protections only recently won. Millions of people voiced their strong opposition, but were overruled—while Pai and his agency produced a truly bizarre video of him doing a smug victory dance to show off to a bunch of industry lobbyists.

    • Update on Fight for Net Neutrality in U.S. – Senate votes to save net neutrality, now it’s up to the House

      We’re pleased this resolution passed – it’s a huge step, but the battle to protect net neutrality and reinstate the 2015 rules isn’t over. The next step is for the motion to go to the House of Representatives for a vote before the order is supposed to go into effect on June 11. Unfortunately, the rules in the House will make passage much harder than in the Senate; at this point, it’s not clear when, or if, there will be a vote there.

      We will continue to fight for net neutrality in every way possible as we try to protect against erosion into a discriminatory internet, with ultimately a far worse experience for any users and businesses who don’t pay more for special treatment.

    • This Is Ajit Pai, Nemesis of Net Neutrality
    • Senate Votes to Save Net Neutrality, but Hurdles Remain

      Senators Susan Collins (R-Maine), John Kennedy (R-Louisiana), and Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) crossed the aisle to defend net neutrality in what was otherwise a party-line vote. The final tally was 52–47. Collins had announced her support for the proposal in January, but Murkowski and Kennedy didn’t announce their positions in advance of the vote.

    • Net neutrality advocates gain symbolic win as Senate votes to save Obama rules

      But resolution requires passage in House and Trump’s signature – an unlikely outcome before FCC’s repeal goes into effect in June

    • Senate votes to reinstate net neutrality — but it has a long way to go

      In order for net neutrality to actually be reinstated, two more things have to happen. First, the House has to use the CRA to overturn the policy as well. That’s even harder. Instead of 30 signatures, net neutrality supporters have to collect signatures from a full majority of House members. Even if they get every single Democrat on board — and they don’t have that yet — they’d still need the support of 22 Republicans. And finally, if that happened and they all voted to reverse the policy, it’d still have to get signed by President Trump, who is not a fan of the policy.

    • The Senate Voted to Stand Up for Net Neutrality, Now Tell the House to Do the Same

      The Senate has voted to restore the 2015 Open Internet Order and reject the FCC’s attempt to gut net neutrality. This is a great first step, but now the fight moves to the House of Representatives.

      The final Senate vote was 52 to 47 in favor. That puts a bare majority of the Senate in step with the 86% of Americans who oppose the FCC’s repeal of net neutrality protections.

      Net neutrality means that the company that controls your access to the Internet should not also control what you see and how quickly you see it once you’re there. We pay our ISPs plenty of money for Internet access, they shouldn’t have the ability to block or throttle any application or website we choose to use or visit. And they shouldn’t get to charge extra to deliver some content faster while slowing down others or get to prioritize their own content over that of competitors.

    • As Intermediary Liability Is Under Attack, Stanford Releases Updated Tool To Document The State Of Play Globally

      We’ve spent many years talking about the issue of intermediary liability on the internet. While the term is one that nearly everyone agrees sounds boring as anything, it’s incredibly important in protecting your rights to express yourself online. The key issue is who is liable for speech that is posted online. The common sense reaction should be that “the speaker” is responsible for any speech they make online. However, for reasons I still don’t full comprehend, many, many, many people would prefer that the site hosting the speech should be liable. In many cases, this might not seem to matter. But it can actually matter quite a bit for absolutely everyone. While most speech is perfectly legal, there remain some exceptions (including copyright, defamation, true threats and more).

      And while some people think that those exceptions are narrow enough that pinning liability on websites shouldn’t be a big deal, that’s not true in practice. Because if you say that the website (the intermediary or platform) is liable for the speech, then merely making an accusation of illegality in the speech has a high likelihood of censorship of protected speech. That’s because most platforms will take down speech that is reported in an attempt to avoid potentially crippling legal liability. Indeed, in many cases, platforms are then pressured (either by law or threat of laws or legal action) to pre-filter or moderate certain content just to avoid even the possibility of legal liability.

    • Comcast Found To Be Charging $90 Installation Fees At Homes Where Comcast Is Already In Use

      Any review of our ongoing coverage of Comcast will leave you with the impression that the mega-company is almost perfectly terrible at customer service, seems only interested in growing as large as possible as quickly as possible while tamping down anything resembling the potential for competition in its market, and has done everything in its power to kill net neutrality on top of it all. While many might believe that Comcast is getting killed by the same cord-cutting epoch causing so many others in the entertainment space to reach for the Tums, we recently noted that the cable company is actually still raking in money hand over fist. This is done, at least in part, by the company’s subtle strategy of simply upping what they charge customers for internet services.

    • Charter Uses Net Neutrality Repeal To Claim States Can’t Hold It Accountable For Shoddy Service, Failed Promises

      While people remain exclusively fixated on the telecom industry’s attacks on net neutrality, the reality is companies like Comcast, Charter, AT&T and Verizon are busy trying to eliminate nearly all federal and state oversight of their businesses. And while deregulation has its uses in healthy markets as part of an effort to protect innovation, you may have noticed that the telecom market isn’t particularly healthy. As such, the end result of eliminating most meaningful regulatory oversight without organic market pressure in place is only likely to make existing problems worse.

      This battle is getting particularly heated on the state level. After the Trump administration dismantled net neutrality and consumer privacy protections, states began flexing their muscle and attempting to pass their own privacy and net neutrality rules. ISP lobbyists, in turn, tried to head those efforts off at the pass by lobbying the FCC to include (legally untested) language in its net neutrality repeal “pre-empting” states from being able to protect broadband consumers in the wake of federal apathy.

      And in the wake of the net neutrality repeal, companies like Charter (Spectrum) are trying to claim that states have no legal authority to hold them accountable for failed promises, slow speeds, or much of anything else.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Lenovo, the Chinese giant that plays by the rules … and loses

      The war of words between the US and China over trade has many subtexts, but treatment of intellectual property (IP) is a major factor. Donald Trump believes that the world’s second-largest economy gains an unfair advantage over its main rival due to an overly aggressive and sometimes underhand approach to IP – the patents and copyrights that underpin big tech, manufacturing and creative breakthroughs.

      So what happens when China plays the game fairly and buys American IP to gain a foothold in the world’s biggest economy? In the case of Lenovo, one of China’s biggest tech firms, doing so has been no guarantee of success. The Beijing-based company has bought three respected US tech businesses since 2005: IBM’s PC arm and low-cost server unit, and Motorola smartphones. None of them has worked out.

    • Sex, Death, and Intellectual Property

      This paper makes two main contributions. First, it shows that IP often provides an effective tool for managing personal and social boundaries and as a result reinforces autonomy, community, and kinship among the diverse group of individuals who become rights holders. Individuals are using the old tools of IP to tackle a new and different set of socioeconomic challenges. Second, as a normative matter, it argues that IP provides some important practical and conceptual advantages over other legal responses to sexual privacy and family mourning. IP delegates context-sensitive boundary-management decisions to individuals, families, and communities—as opposed to more top-down criminal or regulatory solutions—and can be transferred within communities and across generations—as opposed to more individualized tort and contract solutions. Although undeniably a break from traditional theory, IP can be a useful means of legally responding to emergent cultural vulnerabilities.

    • Trademarks

      • Dr Dre loses trademark battle with gynaecologist Dr Drai

        Rapper and music mogul Dr Dre has lost a dispute over his name, after he tried to prevent gynaecologist Draion M Burch from trademarking the name Dr Drai.

        As well as practising gynaecological and obstetric medicine, Burch is the author of books including 20 Things You May Not Know About the Vagina, and is a public speaker on women’s health issues.

        Dre, real name Andre Young, argued the public would be confused at the similarity of the names; Burch argued there would be no such confusion “because Dr Dre is not a medical doctor nor is he qualified to provide any type of medical services or sell products specifically in the medical or healthcare industry”.

    • Copyrights

      • Copyright Once Again Hiding Important Cultural Artifacts

        And lest you think this is a small problem, I’ll point again to the research of Paul Heald, who has documented the giant hole in our culture created by lengthy copyright terms. Public domain works published prior to 1923 are available. Works in the last few years tends to remain available. Works from the many, many, many decades in between?

      • Music Modernization Act gathers momentum in Senate

        On May 15, singers and songwriters including Smokey Robinson, Dionne Warwick, Darlene Love and Josh Kear urged the judiciary committee to support the copyright reform. Senators demonstrated their support by incorporating their favourite lyrics into their comments.

        [...]

        Every time I see that image again, I am dismayed about what it says about our culture, and how little supporters of our existing copyright system seem to care about what copyright is doing to our culture. Supporters of the existing system regularly exclaim how they are the ones who support culture and creators with their views on extensive copyright protections, yet they run away and hide when people point out things like this, where copyright gets in the way of culture, locks it up and (unfortunately) sometimes throws away the key completely.

      • Sweden Cancels Agreement With Elsevier Over Open Access

        A collection of Swedish universities and research institutions will not renew its current contract with Elsevier that expires at the end of June, Times Higher Education reports today (May 16). The move comes not long after academic institutions in other countries have let publishers’ subscriptions lapse when fee negotiations come to an impasse.

      • Internet Association Blasts MPAA’s ‘Crony Politics’

        The Internet Association, an industry group that consists of several large technology companies, has lashed out against the MPAA. In a letter to the House Energy and Commerce Committee, they accuse Hollywood’s main lobbying group of using the Facebook scandal for “rent seeking” and “crony politics” to further its own interests.

      • Roku Displays FBI Anti-Piracy Warning to Legitimate YouTube & Netflix Users

        Legitimate users of the Roku platform were greeted by an ominous message over the past few hours when accessing official channels including YouTube and Netflix. An FBI warning, which advised that “unauthorized copying is punishable under federal law”, noted that the channels had been removed due to repeated claims of copyright infringement.

05.16.18

Links 16/5/2018: Cockpit 168, GCompris 0.91, DHCP Bug

Posted in News Roundup at 6:49 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Desktop

    • What Linux apps on Chrome OS means for open source

      I own a Pixel 2 laptop. Right now, it’s collecting dust, which is a shame, as it’s some of the best hardware I’ve ever used. And don’t get me wrong, for the longest time I used that Pixel proudly. But eventually I needed more like when edits came back for a book and Google Docs didn’t handle MS Office Track Changes, which it can now do, or when I needed to work with an image editor and Pixlr simply wouldn’t cut it. In all honesty, there were more moments like that than not.

      But I don’t consider myself an average user (for which the Chromebook is perfectly suited). So eventually I put the Pixel on a shelf, in favor of a MacBook Pro. Although that particular hardware isn’t quite as nice as the Pixel (battery life, keyboard, and screen layout pale in comparison), it allowed me to get my work done without much of a struggle.

    • The desktop belongs to Electron

      I’ve been using a Pixelbook over the past week, checking out the new Linux application functionality. It’s not ready for prime time, but it’s a billion times better than the last time I tried to run Linux apps on Chrome OS.

  • Audiocasts/Shows

    • Cooking with Linux (Without a Net)

      It’s Tuesday, and it’s time for Cooking With Linux (without a net) where I do some live Linuxy and open source stuff, live, on camera, and without the benefit of post video editing therefore providing a high probability of falling flat on my face. Today, we’re going back to WSL and trying to run X Windows and we’re going to take a Linux distribution most people have never heard of out for a spin.

    • Episode 28 | This Week in Linux

      On this episode of This Week in Linux, check out some big distro release news from Fedora, CentOS, CoreOS, KaOS and more. There’s new versions of Firefox, Kdenlive, GNOME and Cinnamon available. Lubuntu announces their switch to LXQt by default. If you’re interested in learning Python, Humble Bundle has a great Python Development bundle available. Ubuntu 18.10’s codename was announced and some of the Ubuntu Flavours might be dropping support for 32bit ISOs in the 18.10 cycle. Google confirmed that Linux Apps are coming to ChromeOS. Then later in the show we’ll look at some gaming news from Atari and Valve, also some mobile news from Puri.sm and Android. All that and much more!

  • Kernel Space

    • Linux 4.16.9
    • Linux 4.14.41
    • Linux 4.9.100
    • Linux 4.4.132
    • Linux 3.18.109
    • Linux 4.9.100, Linux 4.16.9 Bring More Spectre V1 Safeguards
    • P-State Powersave Improvements May Help Boost I/O Performance

      Those running Intel Skylake servers may soon see better I/O performance if using the P-State powersave governor that is often the default on many Linux distributions.

    • Linux Foundation

      • Free Webinar on Community-Driven Governance for Open Source Projects

        Topics such as licensing and governance are complex but nonetheless critical considerations for open source projects. And, understanding and implementing the requirements in a strategic way are key to a project’s long-term health and success. In an upcoming webinar — “Governance Models of Community-Driven Open Source Projects” — The Linux Foundation’s Scott Nicholas will examine various approaches for structuring open source projects with these requirements in mind.

    • Graphics Stack

      • NVIDIA 390.59 Linux Driver Brings New GPU Support, X.Org Server 1.20 Compatibility

        For those using the long-lived NVIDIA 390 driver series rather than the latest NVIDIA 396 short-lived series (or happen to be stuck on 390 like for Fermi GPU support), the NVIDIA 390.59 Linux driver was released minutes ago.

        Most notable for existing NVIDIA 390 driver series is there is now xorg-server 1.20 compatibility. There is X.Org Server 1.20 support on the NVIDIA 396 series already, but for those using this long-lived driver branch, there is back-ported 1.20 server compatibility.

      • AMDGPU Feature Updates Submitted For Linux 4.18, Bringing Vega M & More

        Alex Deucher of AMD today submitted the initial batch of Radeon/AMDGPU DRM driver feature updates to DRM-Next that in turn are slated to land in the Linux 4.18 merge window in June. There’s a fair amount of notable feature work this round for Radeon Linux users.

      • AMD Publishes Open-Source Driver Support For Vega 20

        AMD today published their big set of patches bringing open-source Linux kernel support for the “Vega 20″ graphics processor.

        Vega 20 is the rumored 7nm AMD graphics processor that is said to be up to 70% faster than the current leading RX Vega 64 graphics card, according to some reported leaks. Vega 20 is expected to offer up to 32GB of HBM2 memory and be announced this calendar year, but there is some belief that it might just be a deep learning accelerator and not focused as a gaming graphics card or at least not initially.

      • Gallium3D’s HUD Gets A Frametime Graph Capability

        In addition to being able to plot the frames per second, CPU usage, and many other possible sensor outputs, the Gallium3D Heads-Up Display (HUD) is now capable of showing the frametime while gaming.

      • Mesa 18.0.4 Coming This Week With More Fixes

        While Mesa 18.1 is expected for release this week, those riding the Mesa 18.0 stable series will also have an 18.0.4 point release coming in the next few days.

        Mesa 18.0.4 is expected for release this Thursday or Friday as the newest point release for this Q1’2018 Mesa series. Mesa 18.0.4 release candidate 1 was issued today with just over two dozen fixes.

      • Mesa 18.0.4 Linux Graphics Stack to Squash Rendering Bugs in Trine & The Witcher

        The Mesa graphics stack for Linux-based operating systems will soon receive a new maintenance update that addresses a few important bugs in some games and improves various of the included open-source graphics drivers.

        Mesa 18.0.4 is expected to arrive this week as the fourth maintenance update to the Mesa 18 series, bringing improvements to the r600 graphics driver for ATI/Radeon GPUs that fix some rendering bugs in the Trine and The Witcher video games, as well as several bug fixes for the Radeon RADV Vulkan driver.

        The Intel ANV Vulkan and Intel i965 OpenGL graphics drivers have been improved as well in this Mesa 18.0.4, which patches a leak in Intel’s BLORP code for 4th Generation and 5th Generation Intel Core processors, and adds a few fixes to code emission around 16-bit integers and Image Signal Processor (ISP).

    • Benchmarks

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

      • GNOME Devs to Remove the Ability to Launch Apps from the Nautilus File Manager

        Launched in mid-March 2018, GNOME 3.28 is the most advanced and also the first release of the widely-used desktop environment for Linux-based operating systems to drop support for desktop icons from the Nautilus file manager, which handled them for the past two decades, planning to move the functionality to GNOME Shell.

        Last month, the GNOME Project kicked off the next six-month development cycle, for GNOME 3.30, which will see the light of day in September 2018 with a more sandboxed system where you won’t be able to launch binaries/executables, nor programs directly from the Nautilus file manager.

      • Endless OS Picks Up Companion App for Android, Smarter Updates in Major Release

        Packed with dozens of stability and performance improvements, the Endless OS 3.4 release is one of those major ones that you’ll have to install on your personal computer if you’re running the Linux-based Endless OS. It features an enhanced GNOME 3.26 desktop environment with smarter updates to help you manage data consumption on limited data plans.

        Additionally, Endless OS 3.4 marks the introduction of the Endless Companion App for Android smartphones, which will be available in the coming weeks and promises to let users view content from their Endless OS computers on their Android phones while enjoying the features of the native Endless OS apps.

      • Endless OS 3.4 Released, Allows Scheduled Updates & Companion App For Android
      • Endless OS 3.4 Released With New Features, Linux 4.15, And Phone Companion App

        Founded in 2011, Endless Mobile, Inc. develops Linux-based Endless OS and hardware running the same. The firm has recently shipped Endless OS 3.4, the latest and major release of the operating system.

      • Flatpak 1.8 FreeDesktop.org Runtime Is Yocto-Free, Powered By BuildStream

        The current Flatpak runtimes are based upon the 1.6 FreeDesktop.org runtime but a major new version is in the works.

        Unlike the current Freedesktop runtime where the lower-layer is built using Yocto and the upper-layer built with Flatpak-Builder, the new 1.8 Freedesktop runtime is making use of BuildStream.

      • Introducing the 1.8 freedesktop runtime in the gnome nightly builds

        All the current Flatpak runtimes in wide use are based on the 1.6 Freedesktop runtime. This is a two-layered beast where the lower layer is built using Yocto and the upper layer is built using flatpak-builder.

      • GNOME’s 2018 Performance Hackfest Wraps Up In Cambridge

        GNOME’s 2018 Performance Hackfest is wrapping up today in Cambridge, UK after spending the past few days focusing on how to better optimize the desktop stack for RAM/CPU/GPU/power efficiency. The fruits of this hackfest will hopefully become apparent with the GNOME 3.30 release due out this September.

        The GNOME Foundation and Raspberry Pi Foundation put on this latest developer gathering to focus on improving GNOME’s performance. Among their work was looking at how to improve the graphics performance of GNOME Shell, reducing system memory usage, looking at slow I/O issues, and more.

      • Fractal Hackfest in Strasbourg

        Last week we had an intense 4-day hackfest in Strasbourg to map out the future of Fractal, a native GNOME Matrix messaging app. The event was held at Epitech in Strasbourg’s old town, and organized by Alexandre Franke. Among the attendees were core Fractal contributors Daniel, Alexandre, Eisha, and Julian, as well as Dorota, Adrien, and Francois from Purism. Special thanks go to Matthew from the Matrix core team for joining us on the first two days.

      • Internationalization of Fractal (part 2)

        For my investigations, I first tried to write a textual program that works with gettext. I spent quite some time to figure out how all of this works but I finally was able to make it work. And that means that we should be able to implement i18n for Fractal using gettext!

      • GNOME Performance Hackfest

        We’re about to finish the three days long first GNOME Performance Hackfest here in Cambridge.

        We started covering a few topics, there are three major areas we’ve covered and in each one of those there has been a bunch of initiatives.

      • GIMP 2.10.0 is out!

        So we are a bit late to announce it, since this happened on April 27, during Libre Graphics Meeting 2018 (by the way, can you spot ZeMarmot team, Aryeom and Jehan, in the goodbye photo of the meeting?), but yeah after 6 years of hard work, GIMP 2.10.0 is finally out!

        This is a huge release. You can read the release notes which are scrolling like forever and that is still not actually the full deal. We had so many awesome changes and cool new features in this release that we had to cut down the release notes contents when writing it.

      • Announcing Board of Directors Elections 2018

        From 2016 to 2017, I was a director on the GNOME Foundation Board of Directors. This is a great opportunity for anyone working on the GNOME project. And because Board elections are coming up, I wanted to share the news.

  • Distributions

    • New Releases

      • Linspire Server 2018 Released

        Today we are pleased to announce the release of Linspire Server 2018 to the public. Linspire Server 2018 is based on Ubuntu Server 16.04. Linspire Server 2018 is a solution for medium to small businesses as well as education facilities. Linspire Server 2018 is available today and will be free to download and use under a self support license. Commercial support is available for customers who want that piece of mind.

        Linspire Server 2018 boots by default into a customized XFCE environment for a GUI environment to ease the complexity for customers coming from Windows Server or macOS Server. We use DWM as a secondary window manager and users can use the server as a command line only environment as well.

    • OpenSUSE/SUSE

      • openSUSE Leap 15 Promises Enterprise Migration to SUSE Linux Enterprise (SLE) 15

        Being based on SUSE Linux Enterprise (SLE) 15, the upcoming OpenSuSE Leap 15 operating system borrows a lot of code from upstream, so you can imagine that one of the most attractive features of this release will be the ability to migrate installations to the long-term supported, enterprise-ready SUSE Linux Enterprise (SLE) 15 operating system series for certifications, mass deployments, and everything else you might need from an enterprise OS.

        “For the first time, SUSE will support migration from Leap to SLE, which gives system integrators developing on Leap the possibility of moving to an enterprise version for certifications, mass deployments and/or extended Long Term Support,” said openSUSE Project. “openSUSE Leap 15 brings plenty of community packages built on top of a core from SUSE Linux Enterprise (SLE) 15 sources, which is the first time the two major releases were built from the beginning in parallel.”

      • Have a Release Party, Promote openSUSE’s Newest Version

        There are just 9 days left for the release of openSUSE Leap 15 and the community can help spread the word of the release by having a release party and promoting the newest version of Leap.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat Brings in Red Hat Virtualization 4.2 to Enable IT Infrastructure Innovation

        Red Hat, Inc. recently announced the availability of Red Hat Virtualization 4.2. The latest release of its Kernel-based Virtual Machine (KVM)-powered virtualization platform is underpinned by the enterprise-grade backbone of Red Hat Enterprise Linux. It offers substantial product updates including a simplified user interface and new capabilities regarding virtual networking. It combines new capabilities with the company’s enterprise-grade reliability and support to provide a solid foundation for IT-related innovation. Along with Red Hat Virtualization 4.2, the company also introduced Red Hat Virtualization Suite. The suite includes Red Hat Virtualization and Red Hat CloudForms — the company’s hybrid infrastructure management platform, delivering a pre-integrated and simplified access point to open virtualization technologies mixed with management.

      • Red Hat’s new mission: Making IT’s four footprints immaterial

        For the past several years, Red Hat has emphasised the interplay of IT’s four footprints, from physical servers and virtual machines to private and public clouds.

        A single environment is unlikely to scale and adapt to meet the needs of the modern enterprise, from competitive dynamics to evolving customer demands.

        Hybrid cloud, where workloads and resources span these deployment options, is now a critical component for digital transformation, as is consistency. CIOs need to know that their applications and services will respond consistently in a certain way, every time, everywhere.

      • CoreOS Is New Linux, Not A RHEL Classic Killer
      • Red Hat’s CEO On Why The Open Source Leader Will Dominate Containers
      • Boston Children’s, Red Hat develop cloud platform for images

        The cloud-based platform—called the ChRIS Research Integration Service—was developed as part of a collaborative effort between Boston Children’s Hospital, Red Hat, Boston University and the Massachusetts Open Cloud.

        [...]

        ChRIS provides a standardized way of deploying imaging applications, reducing the barrier that currently exists between app developers and users who need quick access to them. Because ChRIS runs on Red Hat OpenShift deployed on Red Hat OpenStack Platform, app containers built for ChRIS come prepackaged with all of the required libraries, enabling the user to quickly install an app and then use it in an orchestrated way within the platform.

      • Red Hat 3scale 2.2 aligns API management, open source drive

        The next update to 3scale’s API management platform improves multi-tenancy and other features to align the product’s on-premises and hosted versions. But the real changes arrive later this summer, when all components of the platform are open-sourced.

      • Red Hat Summit: Functions as a Service with OpenWhisk and OpenShift

        Serverless computing (often called Functions-as-a-Service, or FaaS) is one of the hottest emerging technologies today. The OpenWhisk project, currently in incubation at Apache, is an open-source implementation of FaaS that lets you create functions that are invoked in response to events. Our own Brendan McAdams gave a presentation and demo that explained the basics of serverless, how the OpenWhisk project works, and how to run OpenWhisk in OpenShift.

      • Next DevNation Live: Serverless and Servicefull Applications: Where Microservices Complements Serverless, May 17th, 12pm EDT
      • CRN names four Red Hat leaders to its 2018 Women of the Channel list

        We are excited to share that four of Red Hat’s channel leaders have been named to CRN’s 2018 Women of the Channel list. Margaret-Ann Bolton, senior director of Global Partner Marketing; Terri Hall, vice president of Global Cloud and ISV Partners and Alliances; Petra Heinrich, vice president of EMEA Partners and Alliances; and Kim Leavitt, director of Global Partner Marketing, were recognized by CRN for their outstanding work in the channel. Their dedication, leadership and effort has helped to lead to another year of partner successes and innovation for Red Hat. This is the sixth consecutive year that Margaret-Ann has been recognized, third consecutive year for Terri, and the first time for both Petra and Kim.

      • Video: Women and Open Source

        In this video from the Red Hat Summit, Mary Cochran from Red Hat leads a panel discussion on Women in Open Source.

      • Open integration is ‘key tenet’ of Red Hat Virtualization

        The open hybrid cloud lies ahead of us, this is the way of things. This truism (if indeed it is one) is impacting the way firms like Red Hat are building out virtualisation technologies.

      • Finance

      • Fedora

        • Fedora-Based Korora Linux Takes a Break, No Updates Are Planned in the Future

          When a new stable Fedora Linux release hits the streets, the Korora development team starts preparing the next major release of their GNU/Linux distribution, based, of course, on the latest Fedora Linux operating system. But not this time, as the Korora team announced they are taking a break from developing the Korora Linux, which won’t be getting any updates in the foreseeable future.

          “Korora for the foreseeable future is not going to be able to march in cadence with the Fedora releases. In addition to that, for the immediate future, there will be no updates to the Korora distribution,” said one of the developers. “So we are taking a little sabbatical to avoid complete burnout and rejuvenate ourselves and our passion for Korora/Fedora and wider open source efforts.”

        • Void Linux gave itself to the void, Korora needs a long siesta – life is hard for small distros
        • Fedora-based Linux distro Korora is dead

          Fedora is a great Linux distribution, but it is not always a wise choice for beginners. Since the distro focuses on truly free and open source software, it can be hard to get non-free packages, proprietary drivers, fonts, and codecs installed. Fedora 28 makes this easier thanks to an update to the Software app, but it is still not as easy as say, Ubuntu.

    • Debian Family

      • Freexian’s report about Debian Long Term Support, April 2018

        Like each month, here comes a report about the work of paid contributors to Debian LTS.

      • Derivatives

        • Truth is More Important Than Harmony

          Today I did a very silly thing, because it was the right moment and the right audience…

          No, it probably wasn’t! But I figured it was probably as close as it would get to one. Of course it will brand me further as a troublemaker, but that’s not entirely fair– I really wasn’t the one who started the trouble.

          Devuan’s structure is clearly built on the bazaar– when they find something unofficial that can help Devuan more than hurt it, they just offer the opportunity to be official.

          This is based on observation and it may not be true as a solid rule, but it happened with Devuan-live (and it’s one the best moves Devuan made– it helped me to believe they can make timely, great decisions) and it appeared to be happening eventually with vdev (unfortunately abandoned by its author) and it appears to have happened with the now-official Devuan forum: https://devuan.org/

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Canonical Says There’s No Rules Against Mining Cryptocurrencies through Snaps

            Last week, users discovered that two of the snap packages uploaded by user Nicolas Tomb in the Snap Store, namely 2048buntu and Hextris, mined cryptocurrency in the background while the applications were running without user’s knowledge. Canonical immediately removed the apps from its Snap Store.

            Now, the company behind the popular Ubuntu Linux operating system is addressing the issue saying it has no rules against mining cryptocurrencies through snap apps if the developer informs users about this. As Nicolas Tomb didn’t inform users that his apps are mining for cryptocurrencies, the apps were removed.

          • Canonical finally comments on Ubuntu Linux Snap Store security failure
          • Canonical on trust and security in the Snap Store

            Here’s a posting from Canonical concerning the cryptocurrency-mining app that was discovered in its Snap Store.

          • Potentially Malicious Bytecoin Miner Removed from the Ubuntu Snap Store
          • Canonical on trust and security in the Snap Store

            Here’s a posting from Canonical concerning the cryptocurrency-mining app that was discovered in its Snap Store.

          • Canonical finds hidden crypto-miners in the Linux Snap app store

            Last Friday, Canonical, the developer of the popular Ubuntu operating system and owner of the Snapcraft app store, spotted one application surreptitiously mining cryptocurrencies in the background.

          • Ubuntu Server development summary – 15 May 2018
          • Top Snaps in April 2018

            In case you missed it, here are some of the snaps we featured during April 2018. Here you’ll find snaps to enhance your productivity, tools for creatives, IDEs for developers and games for the weekend.

            You can stay up to date with our editorial picks by following @snapcraftio on Twitter where we share three new and interesting snaps a week. We’d also love to hear what your favourite snaps are, perhaps you’ve found something we’ve missed.

          • Flavours and Variants

            • Xubuntu 18.04 Bionic Beaver – Middle ground

              Year 2016 was the year of Xfce. Year 2017 belongs to Plasma. This year, so far, it seems MATE is the innovative beast, and Xfce is sort of stagnated, without pushing the initiative. I think secretly the projects are afraid to make things better, because that will break the neverending cycle of development. After all, for devs, the only thing that matters is coding. User experience is an alien concept. And inside this gap, Xubuntu 18.04 fits perfectly. Which means not that well.

              The distro did the basics okay – media, phones, apps. Package management can be better, battery life can be better, network support can be better, the visual side of things can be a whole lot better. There were way too many inconsistencies, and the distro lacks the love and fun that it used to have only a year ago. Is it apathy, exhaustion, mere luck? I don’t know. But Xubuntu Beaver feels like a product of habit rather than love and passion. And it is not LTS solid. Plus very little actual innovation, which can sort of be excused, but then why all them bugs? Overall, Bionic behaves something like 6.5/10. Worth checking, but for the time being, the other lightweight option – Ubuntu MATE – seems more mature and fun ready. It will be quite interesting to see how things evolve over the coming months. Check it, don’t expect any miracles.

            • Ubuntu Budgie 18.04 Review: The Perfect Blend of Ubuntu and Budgie Desktop

              Solus Linux is loved for many reasons. Its flagship desktop environment Budgie, in my opinion, is the biggest reason to love Solus. While there was no shortage of desktop environments in the Linux domain, the arrival and the acceptance of Budgie desktop environment by a widespread audience, clearly showed that there was a huge scope (or even a need?) for a modern, intuitive and non-intrusive desktop environment.

              But all is not well in Solus land. Solus unlike a majority of Linux distros is not based on any other parent distro. Solus is written from scratch and has it’s own package management system and software repository. I loved Solus 3. But as an ardent Linux user, I need the latest packages and support from newer software, which, at the moment is not that good on Solus. The software repository is not as vast as that of Ubuntu. Also, the package manager itself needs to evolve.

  • Devices/Embedded

Free Software/Open Source

  • Helping enterprises adapt to open source switching

    Enterprise adoption of open source switching hasn’t kept pace with cloud providers and telcos. What are some of the barriers blocking the use of disaggregation?

    [...]

    Today, there are a number of NOSes available from vendors both large and small — suitable for use in a variety of ways, including top of rack, where the Open Compute Project (OCP) has provided the underlying open source switching design standard.

    [...]

    Disaggregated NOS often requires Linux knowledge, rather than the familiar command-line interfaces known by conventional network engineers. Its deployment may rely on an automation-based Agile process, such as NetOps, which differs from predictable IT processes, like IT service management.

  • Summer of Code: Quick Update

    I noticed that my blog posting frequency is substantially higher than last year. For that reason I’ll try to keep this post shorter.

    Yesterday I implemented my first prototype code to encrypt and decrypt XEP-0374 messages! It can process incoming PubkeyElements (the published OpenPGP keys of other users) and create SigncryptElements which contain a signed and encrypted payload. On the receiving side it can also decrypt those messages and verify the signature.

    I’m still puzzled about why I’m unable to dump the keys I generate using pgpdump. David Hook from Bouncycastle used my code to generate a key and it worked flawlessly on his machine, so I’m stumped for an answer…

    I created a bug report about the issue on the pgpdump repository. I hope that we will get to the cause of the issue soon.

  • BCE Panel: Open Source Makes Telcos ‘Nimble’

    Big Communications Event — Open source can help telcos become “nimble,” and shed their history of “wait and see,” James Feger, CenturyLink VP of network virtualization, said here Tuesday at Light Reading’s Big Communications Event (BCE).

    “The power of open source is it allows telcos to be more nimble, rather than the wait-and-see attitude we’ve traditionally been viewed with,” CenturyLink Inc. (NYSE: CTL)’s Feger said, speaking on a panel about open source in telecom.

    Indeed, innovation rather than cost savings are the main reason to adopt open source, noted Csaba Kiss Kallo, head of connectivity, mobility and security portfolio at Vodafone Ireland. “‘Free’ is not the main reason we go after open source. The reason is agility — the benefits you get from an ecosystem and development, those thousands of software developers who’ve put their knowledge together and developed something that can be used by everyone in the community,” he said. (See Vodafone Prioritizes Automation as Efficiency Bolsters Margins.)

  • OpenFin contributes FCD3 program to Fintech Open Source Foundation

    The Fintech Open Source Foundation (FINOS), a nonprofit foundation promoting open innovation in financial services, together with OpenFin, the operating system powering digital transformation on financial desktops, today announced the contribution by OpenFin of the FCD3 program into the Foundation’s open source governance framework.

    Financial applications are often difficult or impossible to connect to one another, requiring users to continuously re-key information, hampering productivity and creating operational risk. The Financial Desktop Connectivity and Collaboration Consortium (FDC3) solves the problem by providing industry standards for desktop application interoperability.

  • App development tool provider Fuse joins open source community

    Fuse is joining the open-source world with the release of Fuse Open. Fuse is a cross platform mobile app development tool suite that supports Android and iOS applications. that aims to reduce development times and resources.

  • Events

    • Ceph Day London 2018 Recap

      Some days since the Ceph and CloudStack Day in London last month now. It was a great event, great presentations and a lot of networking with the local community.

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Mozilla Thunderbird: EFail and Thunderbird, What You Need To Know

        DO NOT DISABLE ENCRYPTION. We’ve seen recommendations from some outlets to stop using encrypted Email altogether. If you are sending sensitive data via Email, Thunderbird still recommends using encryption to keep those messages safe. You should, however, check the configuration of the applications you use to view encrypted EMail. For Thunderbird, follow our guidelines below to protect yourself.

      • Debugging Modern Web Applications

        Building and debugging modern JavaScript applications in Firefox DevTools just took a quantum leap forward. In collaboration with Logan Smyth, Tech Lead for Babel, we leveled up the debugger’s source map support to let you inspect the code that you actually wrote. Combined with the ongoing initiative to offer first-class JS framework support across all our devtools, this will boost productivity for modern web app developers.

        Modern JS frameworks and build tools play a critical role today. Frameworks like React, Angular, and Ember let developers build declarative user interfaces with JSX, directives, and templates. Tools like Webpack, Babel, and PostCSS let developers use new JS and CSS features before they are supported by browser vendors. These tools help developers write simpler code, but generate more complicated code to debug.

      • Firefox Performance Update #8

        Talos is a framework that we use to measure various aspects of Firefox performance as part of our continuous integration pipeline.

        There are a number of Talos “suites”, where each suite contains some number of tests. These tests, in turn, report some set of numbers that are then stored and graphable via our graph viewer here.

        Here’s a full list of the Talos tests, including their purpose, the sorts of measurements they take, and who’s currently a good person to ask about them if you have questions.

        A lot of work has been done to reduce the amount of noise in our Talos tests, but they’re still quite sensitive and noisy. This is why it’s often necessary to do 5-10 retriggers of Talos test runs in order to do meaningful comparisons.

        Sometimes Talos detects regressions that aren’t actually real regressions1, and that can be a pain. However, for the times where real regressions are caught, Talos usually lets us know much faster than Telemetry or user reports.

        Did you know that you can get profiles from Try for Talos runs? This makes it much simpler to diagnose Talos regressions. Also, we now have Talos profiles being generated on our Nightly builds for added convenience!

      • This Week in Rust 234
      • Thoughts on retiring from a team

        The Rust Community Team has recently been having a conversation about what a team member’s “retirement” can or should look like. I used to be quite active on the team but now find myself without the time to contribute much, so I’m helping pioneer the “retirement” process. I’ve been talking with our subteam lead extensively about how to best do this, in a way that sets the right expectations and keeps the team membership experience great for everyone.

      • Rust turns three

        Three years ago today, the Rust community released Rust 1.0 to the world, with our initial vision of fearless systems programming. As per tradition, we’ll celebrate Rust’s birthday by taking stock of the people and the product, and especially of what’s happened in the last year.

        [...]

        Finally, the Rust community continues to work on inclusivity, through outreach programs like Rust Reach and RustBridge, as well as structured mentoring and investments in documentation to ease contribution. For 2018, a major goal is to connect and empower Rust’s global community, which we’re doing both through conference launches in multiple new continents, as well as work toward internationalization throughout the project.

      • New in Firefox 61: Developer Edition

        Firefox 61: Developer Edition is available now, and contains a ton of great new features and under-the-hood improvements.

  • Databases

    • Open source HarperDB database solution studio launched

      “With the release of the HarperDB studio, we are providing tools that the industry expects while at the same time taking it a step further and including analytical capabilities to shorten the data value chain and provide accessible, real-time actionability on big data for IoT and HTAP use cases,” said HarperDB CEO Stephen Goldberg.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • Oracle Solaris 11.3 SRU 32 released

      We’ve just released Oracle Solaris 11.3 SRU 32. It’s available from My Oracle Support Doc ID 2045311.1, or via ‘pkg update’ from the support repository at https://pkg.oracle.com/solaris/support .

    • Solaris 11.3 SRU 32 Released With Package Updates

      While waiting for Solaris 11.4 to be released, Oracle has today rolled out its thirty-second stable release update to Solaris 11.3.

      With this latest SRU to the two-year-old Solaris 11.3 is now Apache 2.4.33, OpenSSL 1.0.2o, Wireshark 2.4.6, Perl 5.22, Python 2.7.14, and a wealth of other package updates. There are also some new system calls for yielding better network performance, netstat providing more UDP socket statistics, and various other minor enhancements.

  • Pseudo-Open Source (Openwashing)

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • Zerocat Chipflasher “board-edition-1″ now FSF-certified to Respect Your Freedom

      This is the first device under The Zerocat Label to receive RYF certification. The Chipflasher enables users to flash devices such as laptops, allowing them to replace proprietary software with free software like Libreboot. While users are able to purchase RYF-certified laptops that already come with Libreboot pre-loaded, for the first time ever they are capable of freeing their own laptops using an RYF-certified device. The Zerocat Chipflasher board-edition-1 is now available for purchase as a limited edition at http://www.zerocat.org/shop-en.html. These first ten limited edition boards are signed by Kai Mertens, chief developer of The Zerocat Label, and will help to fund additional production and future development of RYF-certified devices.

      “The certification of the Zerocat Chipflasher is a big step forward for the Respects Your Freedom program. Replacing proprietary boot firmware is one of the first tasks for creating a laptop that meets RYF’s criteria, and now anyone can do so for their own devices with a flasher that is itself RYF-certified,” said the FSF’s executive director, John Sullivan.

      An RYF-certified flashing device could also help to grow the number of laptops available via the RYF program.

      “When someone sets out to start their own business selling RYF-certified devices, they now have a piece of hardware they can trust to help them with that process. We hope to see even more laptops made available under the program, and having those laptops flashed with a freedom-respecting device will help to set those retailers on the right path from the start,” said the FSF’s licensing & compliance manager, Donald Robertson, III.

  • Public Services/Government

    • Councils back launch of open source library for digital services

      A new community driven repository of shared material where local authorities and partners can collaborate by uploading and downloading assets for building digital services has been launched.

      Local authorities already sharing and using resources on the Jadu Library include Swindon Borough Council, The Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead, Norwich City Council, Canterbury City Council, London Borough of Hounslow and Birmingham City Council, with more pledging to follow.

      Dr Mark Thompson, a key architect of the UK government’s open IT strategy and senior lecturer at Cambridge Judge Business School who co-authored the recent Green Paper Better Public Services: A Manifesto commented: “In the UK there are 430 councils that at a business process and technology level are pretty much replicating versions of the same things. It makes no sense to be reinventing the wheel time and time again.

    • New open source library helps councils share digital assets

      The Jadu Library will enable the sharing and reusing of work and help councils become hubs for economic and social exchange. Rather than having to build online services themselves, the councils can capitalise on what is already available and use service specialists.

  • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

  • Programming/Development

    • Qt 3D Studio 2.0 Beta Available

      We are getting close to releasing the Qt 3D Studio 2.0 and the first Beta is released today. First beta packages are now available through the Qt online installer & Qt download. Let’s have a quick summary of the changes & new features we are introducing. For detailed information about the Qt 3D Studio please visit our web pages at: https://www.qt.io/3d-studio

    • Qt 3D Studio 2.0 Reaches Beta

      Qt 3D Studio, the 3D focused user-interface IDE born out of NVIDIA’s big code contribution to Qt, is now in beta for its version 2.0 update.

      The big focus for Qt 3D Studio 2.0 has been on developing a new runtime based upon Qt 3D. That is happening and Qt 3D Studio is still on track for releasing around June while the Qt 3D Studio 2.1 release is expected in September and Qt 3D Studio 2.2 in December, per earlier communication.

    • Code contributions via bug reports and forum posts
    • Optimizing Device Communication with Qt MQTT
    • OPC UA support in Qt 5.11

      OPC UA is a central element of the Industry 4.0 story providing seamless communication between IT and industrial production systems. basysKom has initiated Qt OPC UA in 2015 with the goal of providing an out of the box Qt API for OPC UA. In 2017 basysKom, together with The Qt Company, has finished up a Technology Preview of that API. It will be available with the upcoming Qt 5.11 release end of May.

Leftovers

  • FileMaker 17 makes all users Advanced
  • John Carmack recalls “frustrating” arguments with Apple’s Steve Jobs
  • John Carmack, Legendary Developer of Wolfenstein 3D And Doom, Reflects On His Relationship With Steve Jobs
  • Twitter delays shutdown of legacy APIs by 3 months as it launches a replacement

    Twitter is giving developers more time to adjust to its API platform overhaul, which has affected some apps‘ ability to continue operating in the same fashion. The company clarified this morning, along with news of the general availability of its Account Activity API, that it will be delaying the shutdown of some of its legacy APIs by three months’ time. That is, APIs originally slated for a June 19, 2018 shutdown – including Site Streams, User Streams, and legacy Direct Message Endpoints – will now be deprecated on Wednesday, August 16, 2018.

    The news follows an announcement from Favstar that said it will end its business when the older APIs are shut down for good. And it follows the relaunched Mac app from Tweetbot, which includes a list of changes as to how the app will work when the API changes go into effect.

    Twitter had said back in April that it would delay the scheduled June 19th deprecation date, but didn’t announce a new date at that time. That may have led some developers to believe that a longer reprieve was in order while Twitter rethought its plans.

  • DevOps hiring strategies to attract top talent

    I don’t often talk to recruiters. In fact, I don’t typically work with third-party recruiters because all too often, they are interested only in filling a job req, collecting their commission, and moving on to the next one. Additionally, most recruiters don’t really understand the needs of a DevOps-minded organization. But good recruiters are often the best source of knowledge when it comes to finding great talent.

    When I sat down to write an article about DevOps hiring, I knew that candidates’ and hiring managers’ thoughts would be well covered by the Opensource.com DevOps community. But I thought it’d be great to get some tips from a recruiter on how to find, cultivate, and, well, recruit great talent for DevOps roles.

  • Health/Nutrition

    • USDA wants public comments on its plan to label GMO foods

      One controversial solution to societal unease has been the call to place labels on foods that contain GMOs. While these have been considered on local and state levels, a relatively obscure 2016 federal law mandated that labels be applied nationwide. The task of devising the labeling system was given to the Department of Agriculture. Last week, the USDA finally got around to proposing some possible solutions and is now asking for public comment on them.

    • At St. Luke’s in Houston, Patients Suffer as a Renowned Heart Transplant Program Loses Its Luster

      The anonymous letter reached Judy Kveton in March 2017. Nearly two months earlier, her husband’s failed heart transplant at Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center had led to a week of follow-up surgeries, a pair of devastating strokes and then, his death. The donor heart that doctors had implanted in David Kveton was “just not acting right,” Judy remembers the surgeon, Dr. Jeffrey Morgan, telling her hours before she decided to remove her husband from life support.

      The letter mailed to her home in nearby Fort Bend County — one page, single-spaced and folded into an envelope with no return address — told a different story.

      It said St. Luke’s has had some of the worst heart transplant outcomes in the country. It said other physicians had specifically voiced concerns about Morgan, the program’s lead surgeon. And it said, despite “numerous complications, deaths, and poor outcomes,” administrators had not done enough to correct the problems.

    • As Wait for New Heart Got Longer, Patient Grew Sicker

      In early 2014, when Travis Hogan’s malformed heart was failing, his longtime doctors at Texas Children’s Hospital referred him to Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center, long recognized as one of the best in the country for complicated heart transplants.

      Hogan, then 29 and living at his family’s home in Pasadena, Texas, didn’t know it, but the iconic program was undergoing a series of dramatic changes.

      Two years earlier, the transplant program slipped into turmoil when several top physicians left for a competitor. In the years that followed, patients at St. Luke’s waited significantly longer than the regional or national average for new hearts.

    • EU-Mercosur FTA Seen As Best Chance To Advance Access To Health In Trade Deals [Ed: Killing poor people to artificially elevate the price of life-saving medicine (which can be reproduced very cheaply by every nation)]

      AIDS activists, health activists and civil society organizations in Brazil and Argentina are pushing back against the negative effects of the planned free trade agreement between the Mercosur countries and the European Union. The EU-Mercosur negotiations might be the best chance as of now to advance an intellectual property agenda that is more favourable to access to health, says Pedro Villardi, coordinator on IP policy issues at the Associação Brasiliera Interdisciplinar de Aids Observatorio National de Politicas de Aids (ABIA).

  • Security

    • Protect your Fedora system against this DHCP flaw

      A critical security vulnerability was discovered and disclosed earlier today in dhcp-client. This DHCP flaw carries a high risk to your system and data, especially if you use untrusted networks such as a WiFi access point you don’t own. Read more here for how to protect your Fedora system.

      Dynamic Host Control Protocol (DHCP) allows your system to get configuration from a network it joins. Your system will make a request for DHCP data, and typically a server such as a router answers. The server provides the necessary data for your system to configure itself. This is how, for instance, your system configures itself properly for networking when it joins a wireless network.

      However, an attacker on the local network may be able to exploit this vulnerability. Using a flaw in a dhcp-client script that runs under NetworkManager, the attacker may be able to run arbitrary commands with root privileges on your system. This DHCP flaw puts your system and your data at high risk. The flaw has been assigned CVE-2018-1111 and has a Bugzilla tracking bug.

    • Security updates for Tuesday
    • Security updates for Wednesday
    • Study Finds Students With Better Grades Are Equally Poor At Keeping Strong Passwords [Ed: Well, the "attack surface" as security bigwigs like to call it goes well beyond just passwords; many people still use platforms with back doors, keyloggers etc.]
    • Kaspersky to move some core infrastructure out of Russia to fight for trust

      “By the end of 2019, Kaspersky Lab will have established a data center in Zurich and in this facility will store and process all information for users in Europe, North America, Singapore, Australia, Japan and South Korea, with more countries to follow,” it writes in a press release.

    • RedHat admins, patch now – don’t let your servers get pwned!

      RedHat Linux, together with its stablemates Fedora and CentOS, just patched a serious security bug.

      This bug doesn’t need a fancy nickname, because it ended up (entirely by chance, of course) with a very memorable bug number: CVE-2018-1111.

      Bug OneOneOneOne affects DHCP, short for dynamic host configuration protocol, a network-based system that helps you automate the process of getting computers to play nicely together online.

      DHCP solves the problem of how to use the network itself to get a network number (in popular parlance, an IP address) in order to start using the network.

    • What OpenShift Online and Dedicated Customers Should Know About the Recent DHCP Vulnerability

      Red Hat recently announced information about CVE-2018-1111, a vulnerability in the integration between Network Manager and DHCP present in Red Hat Enterprise Linux.

      OpenShift Online and Dedicated run on top of RHEL and as such have the vulnerable package installed. However, because each cluster is contained within individual private networks all of the common ways to exploit this flaw are effectively removed.

    • Thunderbird and the Recent #EFAIL Vulnerability, Fedora Urges Users to Update DHCP Packages, Kernel Updates and More

      The Fedora team is pushing its users to update their DHCP packages addressing a recently discovered flaw (CVE-2018-1111). Fixes are available for versions 26, 27, 28 and Rawhide.

    • Linux admins: Dire vulnerability gives attackers root access in RHEL, CentOS, Fedora
  • Defence/Aggression

    • Maharashtra ATS nabs Pak-trained man planning to carry out assassinations

      Officials said that the man, who was arrested by the anti-terror agency’s Juhu unit on May 11, had been to Pakistan, via Sharjah and Dubai, for training at a camp operated by a terror outfit.

    • DPRK cancels talks with ROK, threatens to scrap Trump summit over US-South Korea military drills

      The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea cancelled talks with the Republic of Korea in response to military drills carried out between ROK and the United States, Yonhap reported Wednesday (local time).

      According to the report, DPRK’s Central News Agency (KCNA) stated that the air force drills being carried out between ROK and the United States are a “rehearsal for invasion of the North and a provocation.”

      The talks scheduled for Wednesday were planned to discuss follow up actions following the historic summit that took place between DPRK’s leader Kim Jon Un and ROK’s president Moon Jae-in.

      The DPRK has also threatened to pull out of the upcoming Trump summit over the military drills.

  • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife/Nature

    • Trump Wants to Expand Oil Drilling to 90 Percent of Our Seas. We’re Marching on June 9 to Stop Him.

      Summer beckons—and with it, the season’s first trip to the beach, which remains the number-one outdoor recreational activity for Americans of all classes and ideologies. It may be one of the last truly nonpartisan activities we do together. But thousands will come out of the water on June 9 for the first ever March for the Ocean—and that should be nonpartisan too.

    • The Bigger The Mother Fish, The More Babies She Has

      But the surprising thing that Marshall’s team found was that bigger fish produce “massively more offspring and larger offspring than smaller fish,” Marshall says. As fish grew larger, female fertility grew even faster. For example, take a 60-pound fish and compare it with a 4-pound fish. It’s 15 times as big. But it produces 28 times the amount of eggs as the smaller one.

    • Large Female Fish Play a Big Role in Replenishing Populations: Study

      After examining the size and number of eggs laid by females from 342 fish species, researchers discovered that in 95 percent of those species, big, old females produced more eggs per kilogram of their body mass. In Atlantic cod (Gadus morhua), for example, the team found that a 30-kilogram female fish spawned more eggs than two 28-kilogram counterparts did combined. The eggs from the larger mothers were also bigger and packed with more calories.

      Bigger fish produce “massively more offspring and larger offspring than smaller fish,” study coauthor Dustin Marshall of Monash University tells NPR.

    • How one man’s death led to the extinction of a butterfly population
    • California approves measure to require solar on new homes after 2020

      The standards also include some smaller efficiency requirements for non-residential buildings. The state expects that, on the whole, the new requirements will help state residents save money. Overall, California expects the new residential and non-residential standards to cost the state economy $2.17 billion, while generating an energy bill savings of $3.87 billion, for a net savings of $1.7 billion.

  • Finance

  • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • Macron to Merkel: I’m still out to change Europe
    • Media Can Tell Readers Who’s Killing Whom–When They Want To

      If you’ve been noticing the headlines about Israeli forces killing Palestinian protesters that seem carefully designed to avoid mentioning who’s doing the killing, you may be wondering: Is that how media always do it? The answer is no: Journalists know very well how to include the identity of the killers in the headline—when they think that’s information that’s important for the reader to know.

    • Writing Off Democracy in Venezuela, US Press and Politicians Dream of a Coup

      When are elections free and fair, according to corporate media? When the US government says they are.

      The May 20 Venezuelan presidential elections pit Hugo Chavez’s successor, President Nicolas Maduro, against opposition challenger Henri Falcon. Maduro has called for the United Nations to observe and oversee the contest. Despite calling for elections throughout 2017, many local opposition groups, together with the US government, have demanded no observers should come, arguing that it would “validate” the elections, and have preemptively decided they will not recognize the victor.

  • Censorship/Free Speech

    • Twitter to de-rank ‘trolls,’ provokes conservative anger over ‘censorship’
    • Twitter’s new troll filtering might actually prevent more abuse than any ban
    • Twitter amps up censorship: Hides bad tweets
    • Twitter Admits Shadowban Plan: Conservatives on Twitter Brace for MORE Censorship

      Twitter has announced new measures to crack down on “trolls” on the social media platform. But because the company is so Left-leaning, conservatives are preparing for the worst.

      While the company isn’t using the now popular term “shadowban,” they appear to be admitting that’s basically what they’re doing.

      Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey has in the past tweeted his approval of an article calling for the annihilation of the conservative movement.

    • Twitter Will Begin Hiding All Tweets From Suspect Accounts

      Those whose tweets are deemed to be “disruptive,” but that don’t violate Twitter’s policies outright, will be secluded at the bottom of a conversation thread or search result, to make room for more productive and respectful conversations. Some of the new signals Twitter will consider include whether you’ve confirmed your email address, whether you’ve created multiple accounts from the same IP address, and whether you’re frequently blocked by accounts you interact with. Tweets that get filtered this way—as long as they don’t violate Twitter’s policies—won’t be removed, but you will have to click “Show more replies,” or elect to “show everything” in your search settings in order to view them.

    • Britain’s New Porn Law Is Insanely Stupid

      In another bid to Make Britain Victorian Again, the Conservative government is in its final stages of implementing stricter porn regulations. The original proposal? By the end the year, all British adults wishing to visit an X-rated website would have to legally prove their age, most likely by putting down a credit card number — something no human has done to see porn since 1998. But in response to criticism regarding hacking, the government has thought of a more discreet system for accessing porn: asking your local mini-mart guy.

    • Stormy Daniels’ Lawyer Sends Totally Bogus, Censorial Defamation Threat To Reporter He Doesn’t Like

      No matter what you might think of the various legal fights involving Stormy Daniels, her lawyer, Michael Avenatti, is making quite a name for himself over the past couple of months — partly for his legal strategy, partly for breaking news about Michael Cohen and Donald Trump, and partly for constantly appearing on TV at what appears to be every possible opportunity. Even if you happen to support his dogged focus on calling out Cohen and Trump, it is worth noting that Avenatti seems to fall into the camp of a few other lawyers in filing and threatening completely bogus defamation threats trying to silence people. Last month, there was some news when Daniels, represented by Avenatti, sued Donald Trump for defamation over a tweet of Trump’s.

      I could probably write 90,000 words just to give you a basic background of how we got here, but assuming you follow at least some of the news around this, the short version is that Daniels claimed on 60 Minutes that a few years back she was threatened in a parking lot by a man who told her to leave Trump alone. There was some dispute about the veracity of this claim, and Daniels eventually had a sketch artist draw what the guy looked like, leading Trump to then tweet: “A sketch years later about a nonexistent man. A total con job, playing the Fake News Media for Fools (but they know it)!” Daniels sued over this tweet, calling it defamatory.

    • They Always Suck: UK ISP ‘For The Children’ Filters Block Disney And Educational Websites

      Website blocking is now all the rage across much of the world. The way such website censorship happens is, however, as varied as the countries in which the censoring occurs. While some nations enact laws for internet filtering on all sorts of grounds — be it porn, extremist content, or political dissent –, other countries have ISPs that proactively do this kind of filtering for their host countries. In many cases, this results in “parental filters” designed to keep harmful content from finding the eyeballs of children. In reality, when Comcast tried this here in America, it managed to block TorrentFreak for some reason.

      But nobody does collateral site-blocking damage like UK ISPs. The stories about “for the children” and “but…terrorists!” ISP website filtering are legion, but recent reports put any focus by ISPs on the well-being of children in heavy doubt, given the amount of purely innocent children’s content that is getting blocked by ISP filters.

    • The risk of self-censorship

      The International Publishers Association (IPA) broached the subject of freedom to publish at the recent London Book Fair, where the president of PEN International, Jennifer Clement, chaired a panel on censorship and self-censorship. Hearing how the censors work in Iran was fascinating—for example, there are words that cannot be used in publications, forcing translators to turn “wine” into “water”. This is an amusing example, to Western ears at least, but it points to the arbitrary and heavy-handed nature of state-sponsored censorship (and it raises issues around violating the integrity of a publication).

      [...]

      Even in countries with legal regimes that protect freedom of expression, you can see it happening. Take France as an example. Emmanuel Pierrat, president of the French PEN Club, recently wrote in Livres Hebdo of two examples of French children’s book publishers coming under pressure to alter their publications: On a Chopé la Puberté is a book trying to help children through puberty; Tous à Poil! tries to help children see through physical differences between people. In one case, the publisher withdrew the publication. In the other, the illustrator announced not just the end of the publication in question but of the whole universe of characters the book was based on.

    • Lars von Trier Is ‘Against Censorship’ of Any Kind: ‘If You Can Think It, You Should be Able to Show It’

      Lars von Trier is back, and not everyone is too thrilled about it. The controversial filmmaker returned to the Cannes Film Festival on May 14 to debut his serial killer drama “The House That Jack Built,” but the movie’s extreme graphic violence against women and children caused walkouts during the screening and severe outrage in the hours after the film’s debut. It’s hardly the first time von Trier has shocked viewers, but the director tells University Posts that he doesn’t see anything wrong with depicting graphic violence and nudity.

      “I’m against censorship of any kind,” von Trier said. “My opinion is that if you can think it, you should be able to show it.”

    • Reporters Without Borders Germany Brilliantly Bypasses Government Censorship

      Despite a large amount of criticism over “fake news” and American journalism, things could be worse when you look at the extreme censorship of news media that exists across the world. For the billions of people deprived of this right, getting around government enforced censorship is no easy task, but there may now be a glimmer of hope due to a brilliant hack by Reporters Without Borders Germany.

      It was discovered that while some of the most repressive countries routinely restricted access to independent blogs and news media by blocking individual sites or social networks, the ability to censor music is not as easy. So when Reporters Without Borders Germany realized this digital loophole earlier this year, they went to work at taking advantage of it in a creative and very effective way.

    • Groups Plan to Fight Social Media’s Anti-Conservative Bias
    • New Coalition Forms to Combat Censorship of Conservative Speech Online
    • Conservative activists launch effort to combat social-media political bias
    • ‘Conservatives Against Online Censorship’ Coalition to Persuade Social Media Giants to Address Bias Complaints
    • Conservatives unite to fight online censorship
    • New Coalition Forms to Combat Censorship of Conservative Speech Online

      In response to the continued restriction and censorship of conservatives and their organizations by tech giants Facebook, Twitter, Google and YouTube, the Media Research Center (MRC) along with 18 leading conservative organizations announced Tuesday the formation of a new, permanent coalition, Conservatives Against Online Censorship.

    • Facebook Releases Censorship Stats In First Ever Such Report [Ed: In the name of (selective) 'transparency' Facebook is now telling us that censorship is needed because "violence". So those who oppose censorship by Facebook are violent people? Does that follow? No. Innuendo.]
    • Facebook says posts with graphic violence rose in early 2018 [Ed: Facebook wants the media to frame its censorship as "against violence"... controlling the narrative under the guise of 'transparency']
    • Spotify removing R. Kelly’s songs is a sign of a worrying trend towards censorship
    • Take R Kelly’s smug face off Spotify altogether
    • What does Spotify’s new ‘hate content’ policy mean for artists, the music industry, and Time’s Up?
    • R. Kelly Banned from Playlists on Apple Music, Pandora, and Spotify
    • Pandora, Apple Music Join Spotify In Pulling R. Kelly’s Music From Promoted Playlists
  • Privacy/Surveillance

    • Less Than One Week To Back Our Kickstarter For The CIA’s Card Game; Also Reddit AMA Today

      So, we’re now less than a week away from the close of our Kickstarter campaign for our version of the CIA’s recently declassified training card game, which we’ve dubbed: CIA: Collect It All.

    • Xbox: Here’s All Your Data That Microsoft May Share With Publishers

      If some or all of this information sounds spooky to you, there is something you can do. You can stop sharing game or app data with publishers by revoking access either on your console or through this website for some games and apps.

    • Philip Morris device knows a lot about your smoking habit
    • Special Report: Philip Morris Device Knows a Lot About Your Smoking Habit

      In seeking regulatory approval for a new smoking device called iQOS, Philip Morris International Inc is claiming the electronic gadget is less likely to cause disease than traditional cigarettes. But the iQOS holds another, less obvious advantage over regular smokes: the ability to harvest personal data about users’ smoking habits.

      The tobacco giant is already building a database of iQOS customers who register with the company. And it has developed a software application that could take things a step further.

    • Bill Introduced To Prevent Government Agencies From Demanding Encryption Backdoors

      The FBI continues its push for a solution to its “going dark” problem. Joined by the DOJ, agency head Christopher Wray has suggested the only way forward is a legislative or judicial fix, gesturing vaguely to the thousands of locked phones the FBI has gathered. It’s a disingenuous push, considering the tools available to the agency to crack locked devices and obtain the apparently juicy evidence hidden inside.

      The FBI hasn’t been honest in its efforts or its portrayal of the problem. Questions put to the FBI about its internal efforts to crack locked devices are still unanswered. The only “new” development isn’t all that new: Ray Ozzie’s “key escrow” proposal may tweak a few details but it’s not that far removed in intent from the Clipper Chip that kicked off the first Crypto War. It’s nothing more than another way to make device security worse, with the only beneficiary being the government.

      The FBI’s disingenuousness has not gone unnoticed. Efforts have been made over the last half-decade to push legislators towards mandating government access, but no one has been willing to give the FBI what it wants if it means making encryption less useful. A new bill [PDF], introduced by Zoe Lofgren, Thomas Massie, Ted Poe, Jerry Nadler, Ted Lieu, and Matt Gaetz would codify this resistance to government-mandated backdoors.

    • California Bill Would Allow Elected Officials to Regulate and Veto Police Use of Military Spy Tech

      In recent years, protesters have come face to face with police forces that are increasingly well-equipped with battlefield surveillance technologies. That’s because U.S. police are getting more and more equipment from the U.S. military—including sophisticated surveillance equipment. The trend has led to disturbing scenes like those from 2014 protests against police shootings, in which peaceful protesters were confronted by law enforcement equipped with sophisticated military equipment.

      In California, a bill is moving forward that would rein in those acquisitions of military equipment, and restore frayed relationships between police and the communities they serve. A.B. 3131 would allow police to acquire military equipment only after the acquisition is approved by a relevant elected legislative body, with opportunity for public comment required.

      Typically, the governing body for a law enforcement agency will be a city council or county board of supervisors. These officials would also need to evaluate the threat to civil liberties posed by the technology, and create a use policy that is legally enforceable.

    • The Supreme Court Says Your Expectation of Privacy Probably Shouldn’t Depend on Fine Print
    • Australia looking into claim Google harvests data while consumers pay

      Google is under investigation in Australia following claims that it collects data from millions of Android smartphone users, who unwittingly pay their telecom service providers for gigabytes consumed by the activity, regulators said on Tuesday (May 15).

    • You’re paying for Google to track you so that you can use Google services for free
    • Facebook: ‘No plans’ for Zuckerberg to testify in UK despite summons threat
    • Facebook Faulted by Judge for ‘Troubling Theme’ in Privacy Case

      The social media giant has misinterpreted prior court orders by continuing to assert the “faulty proposition” that users can’t win their lawsuit under an Illinois biometric privacy law without proving an “actual injury,” U.S. District Judge James Donato said in a ruling Monday. Likewise, the company’s argument that it’s immune from having to pay a minimum of $1,000, and as much as $5,000, for each violation of the law is “not a sound proposition,” he said.

    • Cambridge Analytica/Facebook: Will EU politicians back up their words with deeds?

      Faced with the Cambridge Analytica scandal, representatives of all the major political groups expressed concern about the dangers to democracy and the abuse of personal data. One effective way of stopping political micro-targeting is having the discipline and courage not to engage in it. The European Parliament has repeatedly called for all relevant stakeholders to “self-regulate”. If MEPs believe their own words, surely the same should also apply to them?

  • Civil Rights/Policing

    • Delaware Became the First State to Ban Child Marriage and New Jersey Could Be Next
    • FBI’s Bust Of Black Open Carry Advocate Predicated On An InfoWars Video Ends In Dismissed Indictment

      The FBI’s throwback to its Martin Luther King Jr.-watching heyday has reached the first stop on its way to its eventual nadir. Deciding backlash against violence perpetrated by law enforcement officers had resulted in too many frightening African Americans organizing, the agency decided to place “Black Identity Extremists” under surveillance, claiming this made-up group would “likely” engage in violence against police officers.

    • UK Cops Threaten Facebook Users With Arrest After They Mock Department’s Tiny Drug Bust

      If any officers were distressed or anxious because locals dragged them a bit for peacocking their tiny pot bust, they’re in the wrong field of work. Facebook commenters pale in comparison to the invective routinely hurled at officers during the course of the day, often delivered in person by someone on the receiving end of an arrest. And that’s even less anxiety-raising or distressing than the sticks-and-stones equivalents (knives, mostly) suspects might bring to bear against officers of the law. “Words may never hurt me,” say the police, as they seek to use others people’s words to hurt them.

      Finally, there’s the idiotic claim about gateway drug use, one that has been repeatedly found false. Busting people for smoking weed in a park isn’t going to do anything to stop the trafficking of harder drugs or the “resulting criminality” involved in their distribution. Not only is the West Yorkshire Police willing to abuse a law to silence critics, it also wants everyone to believe they reside in a magical dystopia where minor pot busts in a nature park somehow accomplishes something of value to society as a whole.

    • Police Are Mislabeling Anti-LGBTQ and Other Crimes as Anti-Heterosexual

      Rob heard a loud knock at his door late one night in August 2014. His landlord had been calling him about maintenance issues in his Columbus, Ohio, apartment, but that night she came with a male companion and began to scream at him. According to a police report, the man jumped into the argument and threatened Rob — who asked that we not use his full name — with a homophobic slur. Fearing an escalation, he called the police.

      “A thing that I’ve dealt with my entire life as a gay man is extreme prejudice, from threats to constant harassment,” Rob said, noting that his landlord had previously told his neighbors that he was a “filthy queer.”

      Columbus police acknowledged Rob’s concern that the incident may have been motivated by bias, but they got a key detail wrong in their incident report: They mistakenly marked it as a case of anti-heterosexual harassment.

    • The Government Has Information on Gina Haspel’s Torture Record. The Senate Can’t See It.

      In 2005, the CIA destroyed 92 videotapes that had depicted the torture of two detainees. The destruction took place over objections from the White House, the CIA’s legal counsel, and senior intelligence officials.

      Gina Haspel, President Trump’s nominee to head the CIA, drafted the cable ordering the tapes’ destruction and lobbied for them to be shredded. She claims, however, that she did not think the cable she drafted would be sent before “making sure that we had all the stakeholders’ concurrence.”

      Now, a bipartisan group of senators, including Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), Sen. Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), Sen. Jack Reed (D-R.I.), and Sen. Angus King (I-Maine), are calling on the Justice Department to make a federal prosecutor’s report about the destruction of the videotapes available to senators before the chamber votes on Haspel’s nomination.

      [...]

      Haspel’s nomination has prompted renewed urgency to release the Durham report. In her confirmation hearing last week, Haspel contradicted the CIA’s own documents when she claimed that there was only one detainee depicted in the tapes, not two.

      The report may also shed light on conflicting statements from Haspel and her former boss, Jose Rodriguez, about her knowledge of his decision to order the videotapes destroyed. Rodriguez has implied that Haspel knew more than she has let on.

    • Iowa’s New Abortion Law Is Just One of Many Intended to Render Roe Meaningless

      Slowly but surely, state legislatures are stripping women of their constitutional right to abortion.

      On May 4, Iowa earned the dubious honor of signing into law the most extreme abortion restriction in the nation. The measure prohibits most abortions after six weeks into pregnancy — long before many women even know they’re pregnant.

      The good news is it will likely be blocked before it ever goes into effect because the ACLU of Iowa, Planned Parenthood, and the Emma Goldman Clinic are suing and a similar ban from North Dakota was previously struck down.

      The bad news is the political theatre surrounding the passage and invalidation of overreaching laws like this one frequently obscures the harmful effects of other abortion restrictions that are equally pernicious but deemed more moderate by comparison.

    • New Orleans’ District Attorney Has a Warped Vision of Justice

      Prosecutor Leon Cannizzaro has illegally abused crime victims and witnesses — all in the name of upholding the law.

      We appeared in court last week for the first hearing in our lawsuit, with partner Civil Rights Corps, against the Orleans Parish District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro’s Office. We are challenging the office’s illegal use of fake subpoenas and its practice of arresting crime victims and witnesses on the basis of false information.

      The case is, at its core, about the prosecutor’s office abusing its power and coercing the victims and witnesses of crimes in violation of the Constitution. Yet, after the hearing, instead of taking responsibility for his office’s unethical and illegal actions, Cannizzaro issued a public statement grossly mischaracterizing the case and, in doing so, further misled the public.

      Cannizzaro’s response to the hearing is befitting of a prosecutor’s office so laser-focused on end results that it cannot see the illegalities of its actions or the harm it is causing the very community it is charged with safeguarding. He called our suit “a calculated attack on the criminal justice system” and claimed that its goal was to prevent witnesses from testifying altogether. The district attorney’s office further alleges that our clients are seeking to “disregard their civic duty to testify truthfully.”

      These claims could not be further from the truth.

      Our client Lazonia Baham, in fact, dutifully appeared at multiple court dates, but when she did not respond to a fake subpoena, the office sought a material witness warrant against her alleging she failed to communicate with them. She was jailed for 8 days on a $100,000 bond. Ms. Baham was never even called to testify in the criminal case; the defendant accepted a plea deal.

    • We’re Victims’ Rights Advocates, and We Opposed Marsy’s Law

      The proposal would have backfired and undermined the due process rights of the accused.

      The “Marsy’s Law” campaign arrived in Iowa this year like it has in many other states. This national effort seeks a specific list of constitutional rights for crime victims more expansive than the statutory rights afforded victims in every state. Iowa’s version sought to enshrine existing legal rights to notification, participation, and restitution into our constitution and add rights to safety, privacy, and the right to refuse discovery requests. For now, state legislators resisted the popular appeal of the campaign’s central theme — that crime victims deserve “equal rights” to the accused in criminal proceedings.

      The Iowa Coalition Against Domestic Violence and the Iowa Coalition Against Sexual Assault remain unwavering in our support for victims, yet we oppose Marsy’s Law. We represent agencies providing direct services to crime victims before, during, and long after any encounter with the criminal legal system. In addition to offering emergency services, these are the people law enforcement call to assist at a crime scene or at the hospital to support rape victims. Lawyers and judges rely on them to accompany victims in court and explain legal proceedings. They help victims obtain housing, jobs, and access to services and safety.

      We believe this well-intentioned effort promotes the wrong mechanism for advancing victims’ rights. Amending the Iowa Constitution to comport with Marsy’s Law undermines the legal system and strains resources to the range of programs addressing victims’ comprehensive needs. The assertion that victims deserve constitutional rights equal to the accused mischaracterizes how the justice system operates.

      Granting equal constitutional rights to a victim identified at the outset of criminal proceedings threatens due process and diminishes fundamental principles of American justice. It also unfairly prioritizes the needs of victims seeking remedy in criminal court over the vast majorities who do not. Victim needs identified in a statewide survey include housing, transportation, counseling, and healthcare, as well as legal assistance.

    • Haspel now likely to get CIA boss confirmation. Thanks, Democratic senators. You had one job.
    • ‘Common Doodle’? ‘Jihad’ Graffiti on Swedish Church Sparks Social Media Storm

      “Imagine somebody painting a swastika over a mosque. Would we have the same ‘consequence-neutral’ coverage?” yet another user argued.

    • The young Turks rejecting Islam

      In the 16 years that President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s party has been in power, the number of religious high schools across Turkey has increased more than tenfold.

    • Indonesia church bombings: A timeline of militant attacks
    • Surabaya: Suicide bombers attack Indonesia police headquarters
    • Men-only event at US mosque sparks backlash

      Ruhii says she was accused of denigrating the community and even hurting the chances of the mosque being built. Male members in her family were taunted, her mother was “cold-shouldered” by her co-workers, she says.

    • Radicalism: The Real Shock Was the Reaction of the Americans…

      He expressed disgust that most women did not wear the hijab or participate in prayer five times a day. Then he got straight to the point: “Ours,” he explained, represented Muslims like him.

      The sentiment is hardly a new one. A person hears similar proclamations from many Muslim extremists throughout the years. The real shock was not letter but the reaction of many Americans after seeing it.

    • How London’s gangs could spawn tomorrow’s jihadis

      Britain is making the same mistakes about its own ‘lost territories’, those identified in 2016 by Dame Louise Casey in her government review. Describing the “worrying levels” of segregation within some British communities, Dame Louise warned they were fuelling Islamic extremism and she made a series of recommendations to tackle the growing problem. Last November she bemoaned the fact that her review had been “tucked away in the all-too-difficult filing cabinet and it hasn’t seen the light of day”.

    • Ad Software Dev Doesn’t Like Being Called Out For Privacy Violations ; Sends Threatening Letter To Researchers Who Exposed It

      The Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA), passed in 1998, governs the sort of data that can be collected from children under the age of 13. That’s why kids have to age themselves prematurely to create accounts on some social media networks. It’s a law kids under the age of 13 subvert every day, but it’s in place to protect kids from online services and restricts information collected by apps and online services that cater to children.

      Unfortunately, there are a lot of app developers ignoring this law. A recently-published research paper shows a host of violations and questionable practices that smartphone/tablet app developers are engaged in. Serge Egelman, one of the paper’s co-authors, notes that thousands of apps are violating this law every day. In just one example, an advertising SDK (software development kit) made by ironSource is harvesting personal data from 466 child-directed apps.

      It’s not as though this is a simple oversight. In an earlier blog post detailing COPPA violations, Egelman points out Android developers must take a series of affirmative steps to market apps directed at children. There’s a long list of stipulations that must be met before Google will allow apps to become part of its Designed For Families program.

      Apps using ironSource’s SDK are being marketed to kids, making the presence of a targeted advertising tool not merely questionable, but possibly illegal. As Egelman’s blog post notes, it certainly violates ironSource’s own terms of service. This is taken from its privacy policy, as archived late last year.

    • For Students of Color with Disabilities, Equity Delayed Is Equity Denied

      A key step towards addressing racial disparities in special education is being derailed.

      A core promise of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act is that a child with disabilities will receive a free, appropriate public education in the least restrictive environment possible. This requirement is a matter of civil rights and equity: It ensures that children do not receive a substandard education because they have a disability.

      In 2004, Congress included another promise of equity when it reauthorized the IDEA by requiring states and the Department of Education to address racial and ethnic disproportionality in special education. To date, that promise has gone unfulfilled. And now, Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos wants to press pause on the effort to fulfill it.

      “Significant disproportionality” is a term that describes when school districts “identify, place in more restrictive settings, or discipline children from any racial or ethnic group at markedly higher rates than their peers.” The IDEA requires states to determine whether there are disproportionalities in state or in local educational agencies and to make necessary adjustments in policies and practices.

      Recognizing these disparities is hugely important because they can be indicators of over-identification, under-identification, or misidentification of disabilities. In any of these cases, students with disabilities may miss out on opportunities to receive needed and appropriate services. Moreover, over-identification of students of color turns special education into a tool of segregation because these students are more often placed in restrictive settings, suspended, and expelled. Instead of spending time in the classroom learning with their peers, they may make contact with the school-to-prison pipeline.

      Despite the requirement to track disproportionality, the question of how states should actually do so remained. Without a standard approach for measuring, states’ findings did not reflect reality.

    • Third teenage girl is raped and burned alive in India in one week

      Two other teenagers were victims of similar attacks a week ago in Jharkhand state. One died and one is in hospital.

      The latest teenager was alone at her home in Sagar district of Madhya Pradesh state when she was raped, police said on Friday.

    • Noura Hussein: Sentenced to death in Sudan for killing ‘rapist husband’

      The judge in Omdurman confirmed the death penalty for Noura Hussein after her husband’s family refused to accept financial compensation.

    • She stabbed her husband as he raped her. A court sentenced her to death

      A 19-year-old Sudanese woman has been sentenced to death for fatally stabbing the man she was forced to marry, who she says raped her as his relatives held her down.

    • Teenager who killed husband after he raped her is sentenced to death in Sudan

      Married by her family at 16, Noura fled to take refuge at an aunt’s house for three years before she was tricked into returning home by her own family, who then handed her over to her husband’s family.

    • Sudan: Defend Noura Hussein Hammad

      In May 2017 after Noura was forced to take part in her own wedding ceremony and after she was sent on a “honeymoon” with her “husband”, she refused to have sex with him for 5 days. On the 6th day the “husband” called his brother & cousins who held Noura’s arms and legs, while he raped her. On the 7th day, as he entered the room to rape her again, Noura killed him with the knife that he brought with him to threatened her.

  • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

    • Comcast Still Makes A Killing, Even When You Cut The Cord

      While the rate of cord cutting is expected to double for Comcast this year, the phenomenon isn’t having as dire an impact on the company’s bottom line as you might expect. That’s thanks to Comcast’s growing monopoly over broadband in countless markets where the nation’s phone companies are simply refusing to upgrade their networks at any real scale. That lack of competition lets the company not only jack up the standalone price of broadband (starting at $75 in many markets), but it allows the company to implement punitive and unnecessary usage caps and overage fees to drive up your bill should you embrace streaming alternatives.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • TRIPS Flexibilities In High Demand

      Using flexibilities in the World Trade Organization Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) has long been an issue of the developing world. But policymakers gathered at a meeting on access to health in Brussels today said there was an urgent need for European Union countries, too, to make more use of flexibilities.

      Nessa Childers, Member of the European Parliament, said, “An important message we need to heed is that we must reverse course on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights, to fully implement and promote the flexibilities and safeguards allowed under trade law,” according to a press release from Health Action International (HAI), organiser of the event.

    • The Guangdong High People’s Court guideline for SEP disputes: a primer [Ed: In China they call the place where patent trolls wielding SEP/FRAND patents (one you cannot dodge) come to destroy you the "People's Court"]

      Ben Ni of King & Wood Mallesons gives an overview of the guideline for trial of standard essential patent dispute cases, which incorporates rules established in cases worldwide

    • Trademarks

      • Mark McKenna: Trademark Counterfeiting And Creep

        One of my favorite events at Akron Law this past school year was hearing Professor Mark McKenna deliver the Oldham Lecture on his fascinating paper, Criminal Trademark Enforcement And The Problem Of Inevitable Creep. The completed article, forthcoming in the Akron Law Review, is now available on SSRN.

        The story, in Mckenna’s telling, is simple. There is a criminal remedy for trademark “counterfeiting” because, most people would agree, using an identical trademark for goods or services that are identical to the trademark owner’s is an economically and morally worse act than ordinary trademark infringement. A modern-day example of this atrocious crime is the company that has been hawking dysfunctional “Philips Sonicare” toothbrush replacement heads on Amazon.com. Consumers buy them thinking they are the real thing, and are sorely disappointed when the brush heads do not work. But to deserve the classification as criminal, as a legal matter, the act of counterfeiting must be proven “beyond a reasonable doubt” to fit within the exact text of the relevant statute, the Trademark Counterfeiting Act. According to McKenna, courts have veered from the statutory text, and are instead expanding criminal counterfeiting beyond Congressional authorization. Thus, the article’s reference in its title to “inevitable creep.”

        There are parts of this well-done article with which people are likely to agree, and other parts with which people are likely to strongly disagree.

    • Copyrights

05.15.18

Links 15/5/2018: Black Duck’s Latest FUD and the EFF’s EFFail FUD Debunked Further

Posted in News Roundup at 1:55 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Chrome OS to get neat new tricks alongside support for Linux apps
  • What’s new in Chrome OS and Chromebooks at Google I/O 2018
  • Google Chrome OS now has a built-in Linux virtual machine and aims to be a better tool for coders
  • The Eric Lundgren Story: When Free isn’t Free

    If you told me that one day I might be writing an article defending Microsoft’s draconian ideas on software licenses, I’d never have believed it. Yet here we are. I don’t like the way Microsoft licenses their software, and I imagine many Hackaday readers feel the same way. But at the same time I recognize they have the right, as the creator of said software, to license it however they see fit. If we celebrate legal victories over those who would violate the terms of the GNU GPL license, we cannot in the next breath condone the violation of proprietary licenses simply because they run counter to the hacker ethos.

    As a community we fought back against people selling prints of Creative Commons Non-Commercial models downloaded from Thingiverse, a scenario nearly identical to the one Eric has found himself in. Ignorance to the fine print doesn’t absolve you from being held accountable; just because you found it for free online doesn’t mean you can put it into mass production and pocket a profit.

    When he chose to use proprietary software for his computer refurbishment plans, he took on the burden of following the restrictive licenses such software is bound by. Had he decided instead to put into production install discs for Ubuntu or any other GNU/Linux distribution, things would have gone very differently. His goals of putting old computers back into service would have been met, and he would have not been in violation of the software’s license. But that’s not the choice he made.

  • Desktop

    • Microsoft’s Linux Adoption: How Things Change [Ed: Surely Matt Hartley understands how Embrace, Extend, Extinguish works, no? Seems so...]

      When Microsoft began promoting themselves as the company that “Loves Linux,” some Linux community members were skeptical. Some even believed that Microsoft’s move to embrace Linux was based on the once tried and true “embrace, extend, extinguish” approach to technology we’ve seen in the past. And this concern is based on a hisory of the past use of this strategy.

      While it’s a valid to worry about Microsoft’s motivation behind their self-claimed embrace of Linux, I think Microsoft’s motivation is more selfish than a desire to extinguish Linux would suggest. Based on their activity with cloud computing and more recently, the Internet of Things (IoT), I believe Microsoft is looking to utilize technology that has proven itself in those fields – Linux is that technology.

      Linux is a means to an end for Microsoft. It allows the software giant to participate with greater efficiency by utilizing existing toolsets. The official reasoning that Microsoft offers is Linux and open source in general provides a great ecosystem. An ecosystem Microsoft is now (apparently) motivated to give back code to. My own concern, however, is how much of this code being given back upstream is good for the community.

      The concern that I have is I believe the code being sent upstream must always benefit Microsoft directly or indirectly in some way. I haven’t seen any examples of Microsoft providing code that benefits projects that are unrelated to their own efforts. Perhaps I missed something along the way, but due to their anti-FoSS history, it’s unreasonable to expect Microsoft to give back to projects that might not benefit them directly or indirectly. And yes, Microsoft’s sponsorship of various Linux conventions is an example of indirect benefit to Microsoft.

  • Server

  • Kernel Space

    • IWD 0.2 Released For Advancing Intel’s Linux WiFi Daemon

      Last week marked the release of IWD 0.2, the second public release of this WiFi daemon for Linux systems destined as a replacement for WPA Supplicant.

      It was back at the end of 2016 that the code was made public while now there is finally the second version release. IWD 0.2 brings support for several new features as well as several bug fixes.

    • Linux Foundation and ONF

      • Linux Foundation LFCS & LFCE: Maja Kraljič

        A couple of years ago I decided to start using Linux because I didn’t want to support corporations any more — especially where open source solutions are available. So I bought a computer just for that purpose, installed the current version of Ubuntu (Ubuntu 16.04 at the time), and took the Introduction to Linux course on edX.org which opened a new world of possibilities for me.

      • The edge defines experience, but can’t be done without open source – ONF

        For years the industry has been focusing on the core network, but the tides are beginning to turn, with the edge taking centre stage. While this is a promising development, the economics are simply not supporting the ambition.

        “Edge processing is vital,” said Timon Sloane, VP of Marketing & Ecosystem at ONF. “When we started talking about this it was a novel idea, but the industry is just catching on now. The subscriber edge is where experience is created.”

        This focus on the edge of the network is a huge opportunity, but also presents a massive problem. The core network is easy. It is one place, easy to manage, but the edge consists of thousands of sites which are usually located within three miles of the customer. Most of the time these sites are windowless, concrete bunkers, with little or no lighting, representing 80% of operator CAPEX. Upgrading these sites is critical to the performance of the network, but is a time consuming and expensive job.

      • The First 10 Years of Software Defined Networking

        In 2008, if you wanted to build a network, you had to build it from the same switch and router equipment that everyone else had, according to Nick McKeown, co-founder of Barefoot Networks, speaking as part of a panel of networking experts at Open Networking Summit North America.

        Equipment was closed, proprietary, and vertically integrated with features already baked in, McKeown noted. And, “network management was a dirty word. If you wanted to manage a network of switches, you had to write your own scripts over a lousy, cruddy CLI, and everybody had their own way of doing it in order to try to make their network different from everybody else’s.”

      • ONF: Major Vendors Not Joining Open Edge

        The major incumbent telecom vendors have not embraced the Open Networking Foundation’s new initiative to build the supply chain and ecosystem to enable rapid deployment of edge computing, an ONF executive said here today. As a result, that effort is moving forward with other vendors.

        Speaking at the Open Compute Project workshop in advance of BCE, Timon Sloane, vice-president of marketing and ecosystem, admitted that those “major incumbents” — whom he didn’t specifically name — were part of a December Open Networking Foundation meeting at which the strategy was adopted that involved operator-driven reference designs that would push open source edge platform deployments forward faster. (See ONF Operators Take Charge of Edge SDN.)

        “If you had looked at our partner list a few months ago, you would have seen all major incumbents on our partner list,” Sloane commented in response to an audience question. “Those incumbents have not stepped up, they have not shown us they are making that level of investment. So we have made a shift.”

      • Lisbeth McNabb Joins the Linux Foundation as Chief Financial Officer and Chief Operating Officer

        The Linux Foundation, the organization of choice for the world’s top developers and companies to build and advance open technology, today announced Lisbeth McNabb is joining the organization as Chief Financial Officer (CFO) and Chief Operating Officer (COO).

        McNabb brings extensive finance and operations experience to The Linux Foundation, having lead teams at large organizations such as Match.com and PepsiCo. McNabb will manage the finance and operations teams at The Linux Foundation.

      • New Technologies Lead to New Linux and Cloud Training Options
    • Graphics Stack

      • OpenCL 2.2 Sees A Maintenance Update With Document Clarifications, Bug Fixes

        While OpenCL 2.2 support by the major hardware vendors’ drivers are sadly languishing, a new maintenance release of this year-old OpenCL standard was issued today to provide various bug fixes as well as documentation clarifications to the specification. Additionally, there is also an update to the OpenCL SPIR-V specification.

      • AMD’s Compressonator 3.0 Brings Better Texture Compression

        AMD’s GPUOpen team has released Compressonator 3.0, the latest major update to this tools collection for dealing with texture and 3D model compression and optimizations for Linux, macOS, and Windows.

        The Compressonator 3.0 release brings improved texture compression, mesh optimizations, mesh compression support, and other enhancements.

      • X.Org Server 1.21 Opens For Development

        Following the long drawn out and feature-packed X.Org Server 1.20 cycle, the 1.21 window officially opened up today.

        Adam Jackson of Red Hat who continues serving as the X.Org Server release manager today did the post-1.20 version bump to begin allowing new feature material to land for this next cycle.

        For the time being xserver Git is living as version 1.20.99.1 and Adam’s latest codename is “Carrot and Ginger Soup.”

        No release plans have been posted yet, so it remains to be seen if 1.21 will aim to get back on a six-month release cadence like X.Org had been getting good at delivering on. Or if it will be like 1.20 where it was one and a half years in the making.

      • AMDKFD In Linux 4.18 Bringing Vega GPU Support

        The AMDKFD kernel driver in the upcoming Linux 4.17 has the long-awaited discrete Radeon GPU support working so it can be used with the ROCm/OpenCL compute user-space, but Vega GPU support wasn’t ready for this release. Fortunately, it’s ready for Linux 4.18.

      • Four Years After Launch, AMD Kaveri Sees Huge Performance Boost On Linux

        For those making use of AMD Kaveri APUs, the latest Linux graphics stack improvements will now yield much better performance — up to twice as fast in some instances! Here are some benchmarks with Ubuntu 18.04 on the AMD A10-7870K.

      • AMDVLK Driver Adds VK_KHR_display Support

        The AMD developers working on their official Vulkan driver code updated the public source trees yesterday for XGL and PAL that form the AMDVLK open-source Linux driver.

      • GEM Improvements & Better Intel Icelake Support Coming To Linux 4.18

        Building off their first batch of DRM updates for Linux 4.18, the Intel open-source crew has submitted a second batch of new feature material to DRM-Next that in turn will land with this next kernel cycle.

        Changes with this pull request include NV12 pixel format support finally being firmed up, a number of Intel Icelake improvements, GVT virtualization updates, Panel Self Refresh (PSR) updates, execlist fixes and updates, “tons” of GEM memory management improvements, and a variety of other fixes and code improvements.

    • Benchmarks

      • The Performance Of Clear Linux With GCC 8

        Intel’s Clear Linux operating system has been among the first notable Linux distributions upgrading to the recently-released GCC 8.1 as the default system compiler and then proceeding to rebuild its packages against this annual update to the GNU Compiler Collection. Here are some before/after benchmarks of their GCC 8 deployment for those interested.

        GCC 8 offers many compiler improvements from tentative C17 and C++20/C++2A support to newer CPU support and performance optimizations. In fact, our tests have found for some significant compiler boosts on Intel Skylake hardware but there are also benefits for AMD Ryzen and other CPU microarchitectures.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • A weekend at Akademy-es in Valencia

        This past weekend I travelled to Valencia, the third biggest city in Spain, located by the Mediterranean sea, to attend to Akademy-es, the annual meeting of the KDE community in Spain. At this event we also hold the KDE Spain annual assembly.

        KDE España is the legal entity behind the KDE community in Spain and legally represents KDE in my country. We are about 30 members and it was founded in 2009 although Akademy-es started a few years earlier.

      • My First Post!

        I’m Michael, a students taking part in this year’s GSoC. I am working on improving the “palette” docker for Krita.

        Finally I’ve got something that’s almost a blog set up. Hopefully it’s set up. This post is a test.

        Krita is the first open source project I have contributed to, so I don’t really know the ecosystem of the open source world. When I heard that should be posting blogs on Planet KDE, I thought it would be like posting on some online forum. Sign up, log in, and post. I later realized it’s not that simple…

        All right. I am going to do some web stuff some day. I can make today that day. As a result, I now have a super ugly Github Pages blog. But it will become prettier one day.

        Back to my GSoC project. You can find the descriptions here.

      • [Krita] Interview with El Gato Cangrejo

        The performance in Linux, I recently changed my OS from Windows 7 to Linux Mint and I have noticed a significant difference in performance between the systems. I noticed a difference in performance between working in grayscale and working in color too, and and also I’m waiting for some layer FX’s as the ones in photoshop, specifically the trace effect, which I used a lot when I worked with photoshop.

      • Plasma Sprint in Berlin

        Last month the developers of Plasma, KDE’s featureful, flexible and Free desktop environment, held a sprint in Berlin, Germany. The developers gathered to discuss the forthcoming 5.13 release and future development of Plasma. Of course, they didn’t just sit and chat – a lot of coding got done, too.

        During the sprint, the Plasma team was joined by guests from Qt and Sway WM. Discussion topics included sharing Wayland protocols, input methods, Plasma Browser Integration, tablet mode for Plasma’s shell, porting KControl modules to QtQuick, and last but not least, the best beer in Berlin.

      • KDE Plasma Developers Collaborating With Sway On Wayland Support

        A KDE Plasma development sprint recently happened in Berlin. One of the most interesting takeaways out of that event was the collaboration with the lead Sway developer, the increasingly popular i3-compatible Wayland compositor.

        Drew DeVault who leads Sway’s development and also the wlroots Wayland library attended the KDE Plasma sprint to begin talks of collaborating with KDE developers on Wayland support.

        He was talking with the Plasma crew about collaboration over Wayland protocols, bouncing around of ideas between projects, and also discussing matters like remote access support for Wayland.

      • Ubuntu Studio 18.10 To Offer A KDE Plasma Desktop Option

        The multimedia-focused Ubuntu Studio Linux distribution has used GNOME since its inception and while that is continuing for now, a sign of a possible shift is coming with Ubuntu Studio 18.10 to offer a KDE Plasma desktop option.

        For this next Ubuntu Studio release, the GNOME Shell desktop will be their default environment but they are going to offer a KDE Plasma option — the first time they have offered an alternate desktop option. They would like to make it an option to select at install-time what desktop is preferred by the user, but due to size/packaging constraints, they may end up offering two separate ISOs.

      • Plans for Ubuntu Studio 18.10 – Cosmic Cuttlefish

        For Ubuntu 18.10, we have been starting to think outside-the-box. There is something to be said of remaining with what you you have and refining it, but staying in one spot can lead quickly to stagnation. Coming up with new ideas and progressing forward with those ideas is the cure to stagnation. If we can’t move forward, then we become stagnant, and a stagnant Linux distribution is a dying distribution. Technology is constantly changing and evolving, so we decided for this release cycle, and with the new leadership, Ubuntu Studio is undergoing something of a “reboot”; this is to say we’ll be adding new technologies and making some changes along the way.

        Ubuntu Studio is an unique flavor of Ubuntu. Currently, it is the only remaining flavor of Ubuntu that is tied to its applications as opposed to its desktop environment. Originally, Ubuntu Studio started as an add-on to an existing Ubuntu installation, which used the GNOME 2 Desktop. Then Ubuntu Studio started to release its own CD images for direct download, as opposed to being an add-on. This included the GNOME 2 desktop and all of the metapackages much as it exists now.

        In 2010, Ubuntu changed to move to Unity. With concerns about the performance of the brand-new desktop environment, and with GNOME 2 being deprecated in favor of GNOME 3, the Ubuntu Studio team decided to adopt the Xfce desktop, keeping an experience as close to GNOME 2 as possible, and to avoid the performance issues of KDE’s Plasma 4.

      • New in Qt 5.11: improvements to the model/view APIs (part 1)

        The Qt model/view APIs are used throughout Qt — in Qt Widgets, in Qt Quick, as well as in other non-GUI code. As I tell my students when I deliver Qt trainings: mastering the usage of model/view classes and functions is mandatory knowledge, any non-trivial Qt application is going to be data-driven, with the data coming from a model class.

      • Akademy 2019 Call for Hosts

        The organization of this year’s Akademy is in full swing: the official conference program is out, we have had an insightful interview with one of the keynote speakers, another is coming soon, and attendees are already booking flights and accommodation. The #akademy IRC channel on Freenode and the Telegram group are buzzing with messages, advice and recommendations.

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

      • Reducing the number of image copies in GNOM

        In the context of GIMP/GNOME, the only thing that knew how to draw RGB images to X11 windows (doing palette mapping for 256-color graphics cards and dithering if necessary) was the GIMP. Later, when GTK+ was written, it exported a GtkPreview widget, which could take an RGB image buffer supplied by the application and render it to an X window — this was what GIMP plug-ins could use in their user interface to show, well, previews of what they were about to do with the user’s images. Later we got some obscure magic in a GdkColorContext object, which helped allocate X11 colors for the X drawing primitives. In turn, GdkColorContext came from the port that Miguel and I did of XmHTML’s color context object (and for those that remember, XmHTML became the first version of GtkHtml; later it was rewritten as a port of KDE’s HTML widget). Thankfully all that stuff is gone now; we can now assume that video cards are 24-bit RGB or better everywhere, and there is no need to worry about limited color palettes and color allocation.

      • Get A Floating Live Window Preview In Gnome With Window Corner Preview Extension

        I really like the Opera video pop out feature, but I wanted this for any window, and not just web videos, so I searched for a Gnome picture-in-picture alternative, and I came across Window Corner Preview, a Gnome extension which does just this in an intuitive way.

        Window Corner Preview shows a floating live video preview of a window in a screen corner. The extension can be useful in multiple situations, like watching a terminal window for some activity, keep an eye on a YouTube or Netflix video, use it as a way to see a webcam preview, and so on.

      • GSoC 2018 with GNOME: Internationalization of Fractal (part 1)

        It is the beginning of the coding period and I will first work on investigating on implementing the internationalization of Fractal and then find a way to do it. At this moment, internationalization support in Rust is limited and new, so no GTK application written in Rust have implemented it yet. And it is very exciting to work on this with this perspective, furthermore because I will write some blogposts that will try to explain how to do it and I hope it could help other people to do so!

      • Implementation of the PartialEq trait for Message
      • Improving the development experience for GNOME Settings

        After Bastien and Rui announced that they were stepping down from maintainership of GNOME Settings, I went ahead and volunteered to take care of it. This was not a random act, though; for quite some time, I’ve been adding and changing code all around. I was pretty involved in moving to the new layout, and with the help of other contributors, implemented the redesigns of various panels. Clearly, I have a technical debt to the app.

        Adding to that, assuming maintainership over it also aligns well with the goals of my employer, Endless, and gives a nice upstream/downstream overlap. With that, I can spend a bigger chunk of my work time on upstream tasks. Moreover, it allows us to have a stronger relationship with the GNOME community — after all, it allows me to bridge the insights and knowledge we gain from our users to a wider community.

      • Google Summer of Code 2018 at GNOME

        Hi! I am Aditya Manglik from Wien, a.k.a. carpediem on IRC. Currently I am pursuing a Bachelor’s thesis in Deep Learning from TU Wien. I am interested in software, operating systems and AI. Travel, hiking and football occupy rest of the time.

        I started with Linux ~7 years ago when my Windows desktop failed to boot because of a curious experiment accident with system32 files. Looking back at that moment, I am glad for the few hours of initial pain which was worth several years of sanity. Since then I have been working with Linux as the primary platform. I like Open Source Software because it’s much more fun to break and fix something, which really helps understand what’s happening in the machine. I used to like C/ C++ quite a bit, but you can probably throw any language and I am happy to learn it.

      • Nautilus Will No Longer Launch Binaries Or Desktop Files

        Nautilus (or Files), the Gnome file manager, received a Git update which removes its ability to launch binaries or programs in general. That means you won’t be able to double click binaries, scripts, or desktop files to run them – this includes the ask dialog which lets you choose if the file should be launched or displayed.

        A quite big consequence of this change is that you won’t be able to launch AppImage files from Nautilus any more, though I think AppImage files were not intentionally targeted by this change (I may be wrong). As a side note, this also affects applications or games distributed as self-extracting scripts.

      • GNOME Is Removing the Ability to Launch Binary Apps from Nautilus

        Last year Nautilus lost the ability to show desktop icons — now GNOME developers plan to drop another familiar feature.

        According to a code commit on Gitlab the famous file manager is set to lose the ability to run binaries and launch apps directly.

        Or, to put it another way, you won’t be able to double-click on programs, scripts or apps to launch them using Nautilus.

  • Distributions

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandriva Family

      • Mageia Blog (English) : Issues with the Grand Update?

        This should not be needed, as 32-bit libraries should be able to co-exist on a 64 bit install, as they may be needed for third party applications.

        Bug 23016 has been reopened to study this a bit more. For now, we’re watching for reports, and giving you the workaround of uninstalling the 32 bit library.

        It’s not that 32-bit isn’t able to mix with 64-bit in all cases, just in some, where there are files in the lib package that should be in a different (non-arch specific) package. In these two cases, it’s the /usr/share/locale/ files are in both the 32 and 64 bit packages, with identical names and paths.

        The rpm package manager allows a file to be owned by more than one package, provided the attributes are identical, but it blocks updating with a new version, since it’s trying to update one of the packages, but until the other version is updated too, there is a conflict. We’re keeping a watch-out for these packaging errors.

        It’s possible that if you’ve used DNF to do the update, rather than urpmi, you won’t have this problem; as we gather more information, we’ll add it to roundups in the coming weeks.

        While all this Grand stuff has been happening, we’ve also been doing plenty of the usual things, including over 300 packages into Cauldron.

    • OpenSUSE/SUSE

      • OpenSUSE Leap 15 Supports Transactional Updates Using Btrfs / Zypper / Snapper

        Of the many new features coming to openSUSE Leap 15 that is built from the same sources as SUSE Linux Enterprise 15 is support for transactional updates.

        Incubated by the Kubic Project for fleshing out an openSUSE micro-OS container operating system, openSUSE Leap 15 supports transactional updates — to basically update operating system packages in an atomic manner. Under this transactional approach, updates will either be applied all together in a single transaction or not at all. If something goes wrong, the system can also be returned to the previous functioning state.

      • Transactional Updates in openSUSE Leap 15

        This blog is part of a series of technical blogs leading up to the release of openSUSE Leap 15. All of the blogs provide a use case regarding openSUSE Leap and the packages available in the distribution. Happy reading.

        Transactional Updates is one of the exciting new features available in the upcoming release of openSUSE Leap 15, which is scheduled to be officially released May 25.

        Contributed by the Kubic Project, Transactional Updates provides openSUSE systems with a method of updating the operating system and its packages in an entirely ‘atomic’ way. Updates are either applied to the system all together in a single transaction, or not at all. This happens without influencing the running system. If an update fails, or if the successful update is deemed to be incompatible or otherwise incorrect, it can be discarded to immediately return the system to its previous functioning state.

        This differs from existing alternatives that already exist in the open source world. Some users use a rather exorbitant approach of maintaining multiple versions of their system in multiple partitions on disk to switch between the partitions to address a fear of tampering with a perfectly running system.

      • Status update for openSUSE Conference

        The openSUSE Conference is right around the corner and attendees list keeps growing for oSC18, which will take place May 25 – 27 at the Faculty of Information Technologies of Czech Technical University in Prague.

        There are about 250 people signed up to attend the conference and most of the talks have been scheduled for this year’s conference. In addition to the conference, there will be a cryptofest on May 26, which will incorporate comes oSC18. The schedule for the cryptofest list three oSC18 security-focused talks and will be room 107.

        There are several track that will be taking place at the conference like an openSUSE track, a cloud and containers track, an open source track, a desktop and application track and an embedded track. On Saturday, May 26, will be a lightingbeers talk where people will get a free beer and give a short 5 minutes talks; people can sign up for this at http://bit.ly/2wtjczw.

    • Red Hat Family

      • View from the airport: Red Hat Summit 2018

        Red Hat proves it’s a force to be reckoned with in the hybrid space

        Red Hat’s annual meet is a chance for the company and its customers, to celebrate all things open source; yet this year’s summit was about something more important.

        With the weight of 25 years behind it, the pressure was on the company to make a bold stand, proving to the industry that it can ward against the likes of Amazon and other goliaths looking to wrestle control of the highly lucrative hybrid cloud market.

        The past few days have proved one thing. Red Hat is poised to become the dominant force in hybrid cloud and open source.

      • IBM, Red Hat expand cloud alliance

        The agreement builds on IBM’s recent move to re-engineer its entire software portfolio with containers, including WebSphere, MQ Series and Db2. Container technologies are fast becoming a safe and reliable way to move applications across multiple IT footprints, from existing data centres to the public cloud and vice versa. Going hand-in-hand with IBM’s shift to containerised software, is Red Hat’s expansive portfolio of enterprise-grade, cloud-native, and hybrid cloud infrastructure solutions, which, when combined, provide a clear pathway for enterprises to adopt hybrid cloud computing.

      • Red Hat lists companies that have deployed full open hybrid cloud infrastructure

        Red Hat, Inc. has announced that organizations across the globe including Banco Multiva; Genesys; and UKCloud have deployed a fully open hybrid cloud infrastructure based on Red Hat technologies. By implementing the Linux container and Kubernetes-based Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform on massively-scalable cloud infrastructure offered through Red Hat OpenStack Platform, these organizations are accelerating their digital transformations with infrastructure that is designed to be as flexible and automated as the workloads running on it.

      • Why Amazon and Red Hat are the two biggest winners in enterprise cloud

        In picking winners in the cloud wars, Amazon Web Services (AWS) is the most obvious choice. As the resident hegemon, it’s hard to argue with a company that has accelerated its growth over the past two quarters on top of a run-rate that dwarfs that of all other vendors…combined.

      • PodCTL #35 – Kubernetes News & Events

        The end of April and early May is the heart of the Spring tradeshow season, and this year it was packed with Kubernetes events and news. We look back at the Kubernetes-related news and trends coming out of Cloud Foundry Summit, KubeCon/CloudNativeCon and Red Hat Summit.

      • Making the Operation of Code More Transparent and Obvious

        You can study source code and manually instrument functions as described in the “Use the dynamic tracing tools, Luke” blog article, but why not make it easier to find key points in the software by adding user-space markers to the application code? User-space markers have been available in Linux for quite some time (since 2009). The inactive user-space markers do not significantly slow down the code. Having them available allows you to get a more accurate picture of what the software is doing internally when unexpected issues occur. The diagnostic instrumentation can be more portable with the user-space markers, because the instrumentation does not need to rely on instrumenting particular function names or lines numbers in source code. The naming of the instrumentation points can also make clearer what event is associated with a particular instrumentation point.

      • Scientific Linux 7.5 Officially Released Based on Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.5

        The developers of Scientific Linux, a free and open-source clone of Red Hat’s RHEL (Red Hat Enterprise Linux) operating system, released a new update to the latest Scientific Linux 7 series.

        Now that Red Hat released the final Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.5 update to its Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 operating system series, the open-source and free clones have started popping up, beginning with CentOS Linux 7.5 (1804) and now continuing with Scientific Linux 7.5.

        However, like in the case of CentOS Linux 7.5, don’t expect to see any major changes or new features included in the Scientific Linux 7.5 release, which appears to be only a small update to the Scientific Linux 7 operating system series adding a few updated components and minor improvements.

      • Red Hat Updates KVM-Based Virtualization

        Red Hat today announced the general availability of Red Hat Virtualization 4.2, the newest release of its Kernel-based Virtual Machine (KVM)-powered virtualization platform. Built on the enterprise-grade backbone of Red Hat Enterprise Linux, Red Hat Virtualization 4.2 offers significant product updates from a simplified user interface to new capabilities around virtual networking, pairing new capabilities with Red Hat’s enterprise-grade reliability and support to lay a more stable foundation for IT innovation. Introduced in tandem with the new version is Red Hat Virtualization Suite, comprised of Red Hat Virtualization and Red Hat CloudForms, Red Hat’s hybrid infrastructure management platform, offering a pre-integrated, simplified access point to open virtualization technologies combined with management.

      • Dynatrace Launches OneAgent Operator to Enhance Automation in Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform Environments

        Software intelligence company Dynatrace, last week announced from Red Hat Summit 2018, “Dynatrace OneAgent Operator”.

        Dynatrace’s OneAgent is a set of specialised processes that run on each monitored host to collect business and performance metrics. As one of the first Red Hat partners to integrate the Operator Framework SDK into its platform, platform administrators will be able to automate the management, updates and roll-out of its OneAgent in their Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform environments.

      • Red Hat Enhances Foundation for Digital Transformation with Latest Version of Red Hat Virtualization
      • Jim Whitehurst: Why aren’t we more invested in our work?

        Understanding employee engagement is difficult—and so is defining engagement in the first place. Many smart people offer different definitions of “engagement,” but most seem to agree that it refers to the emotional connection people feel to their work.

        And it’s becoming one of the most frequently cited challenges for organizations around the world. Statistics about employee engagement tell a sobering story. For example, a Gallup study found that only 15% of employees globally feel engaged at work (in the U.S. and Canada, that number is 31%—not much better).

      • Watch over 100 Red Hat Summit 2018 session videos online

        Over 100 breakout sessions from Red Hat Summit 2018 are now available to watch on YouTube. Even if you were at Summit, there were too many sessions to attend all of the ones you might have wanted to see. All of the recorded sessions are in one big searchable YouTube playlist. In the next few weeks, a number of the developer sessions will be highlighted on this blog by topic.

      • Finance

      • Fedora

        • Review: Fedora 28

          For this review I used Fedora Workstation with a vanilla GNOME desktop environment, and I tried to use native GNOME applications as much as possible. I found vanilla GNOME to be a mixed bag. There were many aspects I really liked but there also a few things that made me cringe.

          Let’s start with the positives. The documentation is quite good – it is well written and covers all the basics. I also quite like how GNOME handles notifications; they are displayed underneath the clock and clicking on the clock brings up a menu that shows recent notifications. The notification area is also used to display calendar appointments and what music is playing. At first I saw the notification area as an ugly, humongous monster but I grew to like it.

          Most GNOME applications are pretty, and the absence of toolbars and buttons encouraged me to learn various keyboard shortcuts. After a few hours I no longer missed the minimise button on windows – using the Super-H shortcut is quicker and easier than clicking with the mouse on a minimise button. GNOME applications also use a pleasantly consistent work flow. For instance, applications such as Files, Music and Photos all give you the option to mark items as a “favourite”, which in effect is a handy bookmarking system. Similarly, to perform a search in applications such as Files, Web and Software you simply start typing. It takes a little time to get used to but it soon becomes second nature. Having to use the Ctrl-F keyboard combination to do a search now feels a little slow.

          That said, I don’t buy into the “distraction-free” philosophy. The GNOME desktop certainly looks very clean – there is just one panel with a few items. Personally, though, I like to be able to open applications with the click of a button, and I like to see what applications I have got open at all times (whether via a dock or task bar). I can’t get used to constantly opening the “Activities overview” to access applications, work spaces and the search menu. It feels like I am using a mobile phone desktop environment on a PC.

          My main gripe with GNOME, though, are applications such as Photos. In Shotwell, I can instantly see how many photos I have. I can easily find images by browsing to the relevant directory. I can choose which directories photos are imported from, and if Shotwell’s toolbars become too overwhelming I can simply hide them. GNOME Photos has stripped all these functions and assumes that I am happy to spend hours organising my photo collection in a new way, by adding them to albums. And then Photos doesn’t even find images in the directory it is supposed to automatically retrieve images from.

          Of course, this is my personal opinion, and it is more about GNOME than it is about Fedora. As I mentioned in the introduction, I like Fedora for its release cycle, package manager and because it is at the forefront of many new technologies. I work in a web hosting environment with many CentOS and CloudLinux servers, and Fedora seems a natural fit. Plus: GNOME can be tweaked.

          As for Fedora itself (sans-GNOME), it seems Fedora 28 is another solid release. I upgraded one my PCs from version 27 to 28 without any issues. SELinux hasn’t thrown any mysterious alerts at me yet. Updates are applied quickly and cleanly and just about all software I want to use is available. It is a pleasantly boring experience.

          I also like where Fedora is going with the third party repositories. Fedora’s project leader, Matthew Miller, recently talked on the Late Night Linux podcast about how Fedora is trying to find the right balance between software freedom and providing a functional system. He was unapologetic about the third party repos: “[...] being a theoretical, pure freedom distribution that doesn’t actually work on anybody’s hardware doesn’t help anybody.” I very much agree and hope Fedora will add more third party repositories. At the same time I would like to see better integration of Flatpak repositories and applications.

          Finally, I should mention that there are various Fedora spins. If you don’t like GNOME, you have the option to install Fedora with the KDE, Xfce, LXQt, LXDE, MATE, Cinnamon or Sugar on a Stick desktops.

        • GSoC 2018: Kicking off the Coding

          It’s May 14, and this is when we officially start coding for GSoC, 2018 edition. This time, I would be working on improving the Fedora Community App with the Fedora project. This marks the beginning of a journey of 3 months of coding, patching, debugging, git (mess) and the awesome discussions with my mentors and the community.

          The Fedora App is a central location for Fedora users and innovators to stay updated on The Fedora Project. News updates, social posts, Ask Fedora, as well as articles from Fedora Magazine are all held under this app.

        • Fedora 28: Better smart card support in OpenSSH

          Smart card support was introduced around 2010 with OpenSSH 5.4. The inital scope was restricted to the RSA keys — the only supported key type at that time in OpenSSH — other than legacy DSA keys. Previously, users needed to specify the PKCS#11 driver for the smart card. Additionally, the OpenSSH client had to query the server with all the stored keys in the card, until an acceptable key was found. This slowed down authentication, and reveals public keys to the server that might not be necessary (e.g., if we have a single card with keys for distinct servers).

          Over the years, OpenSSH gained support for additional authentication keys, such as ECDSA and later EdDSA. However, the smart card subsystem has not changed much since the early days. Cards with ECDSA keys are not yet supported, and there is no option for the user to specify the key to use when connecting to a server. Fedora 28 addresses these limitations. This article describes these improvements, the background behind them, and how they can be used.

        • Moving to Fedora Atomic 28
        • Fedora BoF report from Summit 2018
    • Debian Family

      • Renata D’Avila: Debian Women in Curitiba

        At MiniDebConf Curitiba last year, few women attended. And, as I mentioned on a previous post, there was not even a single women speaking at MiniDebConf last year.

        I didn’t want MiniDebConf Curitiba 2018 to be a repeat of last year. Why? In part, because I have involved in other tech communities and I know it doesn’t have to be like that (unless, of course, the community insists in being mysoginistic…).

        So I came up with the idea of having a meeting for women in Curitiba one month before MiniDebConf. The main goal was to create a good enviroment for women to talk about Debian, whether they had used GNU/Linux before or not, whether they were programmers or not.

        Miriam and Kira, two other women from the state of Parana interested in Debian, came along and helped out with planning. We used a collaborative pad to organize the tasks and activities and to create the text for the folder about Debian we had printed (based on Debian’s documentation).

      • Derivatives

        • Knoppix 8.2 Linux Distribution Released

          Longtime Linux users likely have many fond memories of the Knoppix Live CD Linux distribution and today a new release is now available.

          Knoppix 8.2 is now available to succeed last year’s 8.1 release. Knoppix 8.2 features a wealth of package updates over 8.1, including the use of the Linux 4.16 kernel, KDE Plasma 5.12.4, Qt 5.10, and hundreds of other package updates for this Debian-based Live CD/DVD/USB distribution.

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Kali Linux vs Ubuntu – Which Distro is Better for Hacking?

            Kali Linux is the most popular penetration testing and hacking Linux distroibution and Ubuntu is the most popular Linux distribution. Since it is kind of common knowledge that Linux is a more convenient OS to use for hacking than Windows, the next question is a no-brainer; which Linux distro is the best to use for hacking?

            But what is hacking anyway? And why does it matter which distribution is being used? Let’s get to it.

          • Ubuntu 18.10 Planning For GS Connect, Allowing Phone Integration With The Desktop

            Canonical has expressed interest in shipping Ubuntu 18.10 with GS Connect, the GNOME Shell implementation of KDE Connect that allows interfacing with your phone from the desktop. GS/KDE Connect allows receiving phone notifications on your desktop, viewing and responding to messages from your desktop, and to use your phone as a remote control to the desktop, among other features.

          • Ubuntu 18.10 Cosmic Cuttlefish May Include Out-of-the-box Android Integration

            If you’re reading this article, there are great chances that you might be owning a computer as well as a smartphone. In such case, very often we feel the need for a seamless integration between both the devices. While Apple is known for how well its devices work with each other, Microsoft has also been making similar attempts.

          • Ubuntu 18.10 May Include Some Seriously Neat Android Integration…

            Ubuntu 18.10 could come with some seriously neat Android integration available out-of-the-box.

            Ubuntu desktop manager Will Cooke has proposed shipping the GSconnect GNOME Extension by default in Ubuntu 18.10 Cosmic Cuttlefish.

            But what is this extension, and why might it benefit Ubuntu desktop users?

            Let’s find out.

          • Ubuntu Make Developer Tools Installer 18.05 Adds Support For Atom Beta, Eclipse Javascript, Re-Enables Unity3D

            Ubuntu Make, the app that allows installing developer tools on Ubuntu systems, was updated to version 18.05, which includes new IDEs, like Atom Beta, Goland, or Eclipse Javascript, fixes, and other improvements.

          • Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter Issue 527
          • Flavours and Variants

            • The Nifty Dozen: 12 cool features in Ubuntu MATE

              Ubuntu MATE 18.04 Bionic Beaver will hopefully work around its bugs and problems and present a robust, unified, slick desktop to its users. Regardless, there’s no denying the wealth of innovation and fun that’s gone into this product. For a few years, I thought MATE was sort of simmering quietly, and then, bam, it comes back like a horde of Rohan warriors riding to Gondor. Or something.

              If you’re looking for an Ubuntu-like experience, Ubuntu MATE comes as close to the original as possible, and it also gives you phenomenal, unprecedented level of flexibility to customize and change your desktop however you feel like. The understated power of Gnome 2. Of course, it’s not all about Unity. On its own, as a classic desktop, Ubuntu MATE comes loaded with interesting features and options that allow you to use the system however you fancy – a classic look or a modern MAC-like look, dock, panels, global menu, themes, you name it. Shake and bake. Time to explore then. Just beware the bugs.

            • This Week in Lubuntu Development #5

              Some work was done on the Lubuntu Manual by Lubuntu contributor Lyn Perrine and Lubuntu Translations Team Lead Marcin Mikołajczak. You can see the commits they have made here.

              We need your help with the Lubuntu Manual! Take a look at PROGRESS.md on our GitHub or Launchpad repositories, or contact us for ways to help there. Otherwise, if you know another language, you can also help with translations! Pull requests on GitHub or Merge Requests on Launchpad are always welcome.

            • Pinguy OS 18.04 Beta2