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07.16.18

Links 17/7/2018: Catfish 1.4.6 Released, ReactOS 0.4.9, Red Hat’s GPL Compliance Group Grows

Posted in News Roundup at 11:57 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Desktop

    • Warehouse Clearance Sale! Librem laptops starting at $999

      We sometimes get asked whether we will sell previous Librem models at a discount. The fact is that we normally don’t have a lot of Librem laptops lying around–the current stock sells out quickly and we order new batches. However, we also sometimes offer more than one type of Librem 13 or 15 laptop so customers can pick which hardware appeals most to them. Most recently this happened when we offered you the choice of i5 vs. i7 CPU and the choice of adding on a TPM chip. The demand for the i7 CPU and TPM chips were overwhelming to the point that both the i7 and TPM chip are now standard on our entire product line.

  • Server

    • How The Update Framework Improves Software Distribution Security

      In recent years that there been multiple cyber-attacks that compromised a software developer’s network to enable the delivery of malware inside of software updates. That’s a situation that Justin Cappos, founder of The Update Framework (TUF) open-source project, has been working hard to help solve.

      Cappos, an assistant professor at New York University (NYU), started TUF nearly a decade ago. TUF is now implemented by multiple software projects, including the Docker Notary project for secure container application updates and has implementations that are being purpose-built to help secure automotive software as well.

    • IBM’s new Nabla containers are designed for security first

      Companies love containers because they enable them to run more jobs on servers. But businesses also hate containers, because they fear they’re less secure than virtual machines (VM)s. IBM thinks it has an answer to that: Nabla containers, which are more secure by design than rival container concepts.

      James Bottomley, an IBM Research distinguished engineer and top Linux kernel developer, first outlines that there are two kind of fundamental kinds of container and virtual machine (VM) security problems. These are described as Vertical Attack Profile (VAP) and Horizontal Attack Profile (HAP).

    • [Podcast] PodCTL #42 – Kubernetes 1.11 Released

      Like clockwork, the Kubernetes community continues to release quarterly updates to the rapidly expanding project. With the 1.11 release, we see a number of new capabilities being added across a number of different domains – infrastructure services, scheduling services, routing services, storage services, and broader CRD versioning capabilities that will improve the ability to not only deploy Operators for the platform and applications. Links for all these new features, as well as in-depth blog posts from Red Hat and the Kubernetes community are included in the show notes.

      As always, it’s important to remember that not every new feature being released is considered “General Availability”, so be sure to check the detailed release notes before considering the use of any feature in a production or high-availability environment.

    • Red Hat Looks Beyond Docker for Container Technology

      While Docker Inc and its eponymous container engine helped to create the modern container approach, Red Hat has multiple efforts of its own that it is now actively developing.

      The core component for containers is the runtime engine, which for Docker is the Docker Engine which is now based on the Docker-led containerd project that is hosted at the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF). Red Hat has built its own container engine called CRI-O, which hit its 1.0 release back in October 2017.

      For building images, Red Hat has a project called Buildah, which reached its 1.0 milestone on June 6.

  • Kernel Space

    • PDS 0.98s release

      PDS 0.98s is released with the following changes

      1. Fix compilation issue on raspberry pi.
      2. Minor rework and optimization on balance code path.
      3. Fix wrong nr_max_tries in migrate_pending_tasks.

      This is mainly a bug fix and minor optimization release for 4.17. The rework of balance code doesn’t go well, it actually make more overhead than current implement. Another rework which based on current implement is still on going, hopefully be included in next release.

    • PDS-MQ CPU Scheduler Revised For The Linux 4.17 Kernel With Minor Optimizations

      Alfred Chen announced this week the release of PDS-mq 0.98s, his latest patch-set of this CPU scheduler against the Linux 4.17 upstream code-base and includes minor optimization work and bug fixes.

      The PDS scheduler stands for the “Priority and Deadline based Skiplist multiple queue scheduler” that is derived from Con Kolivas’ former BFS scheduler with Variable Run Queue (VRQ) support. PDS design principles are to be a simple CPU process scheduler yet efficient and scalable. PDS-mq differs from Con Kolivas’ current MuQSS scheduler.

    • Add infrastructure for Vblank and page flip events in vkms simulated by hrtimer

      Since the beginning of May 2018, I have been diving into the DRM subsystem. In the beginning, nothing made sense to me, and I had to fight hard to understand how things work. Fortunately, I was not alone, and I had great support from Gustavo Padovan, Daniel Vetter, Haneen Mohammed, and the entire community. Recently, I finally delivered a new feature for VKMS: the infrastructure for Vblank and page flip events.

      At this moment, VKMS have regular Vblank events simulated through hrtimers (see drm-misc-next), which is a feature required by VKMS to mimic real hardware [6]. The development approach was entirely driven by the tests provided by IGT, more specifically the kms_flip. I modified IGT to read a module name via command line and force the use of it, instead of using only the modules defined in the code (patch submitted to IGT, see [1]). With this modification in the IGT, my development process to add a Vblank infrastructure to VKMS had three main steps as Figure 1 describes.

    • The State Of The VKMS Driver, Preparations For vBlank & Page Flip Events

      One of the exciting additions to look forward to with the upcoming Linux 4.19 kernel cycle is the virtual “VKMS” kernel mode-setting driver. The driver is still a work-in-progress, but multiple developers are working on it.

    • Linux Foundation

    • Graphics Stack

      • NIR Continues To Be Prepped For OpenCL Support

        Longtime Nouveau contributor Karol Herbst who joined Red Hat several months ago has been working on Nouveau NIR support as stepping towards SPIR-V/compute support and this summer the work very much remains an active target.

      • Nouveau Gallium3D Moves Closer Towards OpenGL 4.5 Compliance

        While the RadeonSI and Intel i965 Mesa drivers have been at OpenGL 4.5 compliance for a while now, the Nouveau “NVC0″ Gallium3D driver has been bound to OpenGL 4.3 officially.

        This Nouveau Gallium3D driver for NVIDIA “Fermi” graphics hardware and newer has effectively supported all of the OpenGL 4.4/4.5 extensions, but not officially. Originally the NVC0 problem for OpenGL 4.4 and newer was the requirement of passing the OpenGL Conformance Test Suite (CTS), which at first wasn’t open-source. But now The Khronos Group has made it available to everyone as open-source. Additionally, the proper legal wrangling is in place so the Nouveau driver could become a conforming Khronos adopter under the X.Org Foundation without any associated costs/fees with Nouveau being purely open-source and primarily considered a community driver.

      • NVIDIA 390.77 Linux Driver Brings Updated Kernel Support, Fixes

        NVIDIA released today the 390.77 Linux driver, the latest in the 390 “long-lived” driver branch, for those not using the short-lived 396 bleeding-edge driver series.

        With the NVIDIA 390.77 Linux driver release it now works with up through the Linux 4.17 stable kernel series. Additionally, there are several pressing bug fixes.

      • Igalia Aligns Latest Patches For Giving Intel’s Mesa Driver OpenGL 4.6

        Igalia developers have been very involved with the Intel open-source developers on getting the long-awaited OpenGL 4.6 support into the “i965″ Mesa driver. As has been the case for a while, out-of-tree patches can allow this to happen but with the Mesa 18.2 branching soon, it doesn’t look like this will materialize ahead of this next release.

    • Benchmarks

      • Comparing Latencies and Power consumption with various CPU schedulers

        The low-latency kernel offering with Ubuntu provides a kernel tuned for low-latency environments using low-latency kernel configuration options. The x86 kernels by default run with the Intel-Pstate CPU scheduler set to run with the powersave scaling governor biased towards power efficiency.

        While power efficiency is fine for most use-cases, it can introduce latencies due to the fact that the CPU can be running at a low frequency to save power and also switching from a deep C state when idle to a higher C state when servicing an event can also increase on latencies.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • Catfish 1.4.6 Released, Now an Xfce Project

      It’s a great day for fans of the fast and powerful Catfish search utility. With the 1.4.6 release, Catfish now officially joins the Xfce family. Additionally, there’s been some nice improvements to the thumbnailer and a large number of bugs have been squashed.

    • Catfish Search Utility Joins The Xfce Project

      The Catfish search utility now officially lives under the Xfce umbrella.

      Catfish is a GTK3-based and Python 3.x written program for searching for files on the system. Catfish has long been common to Xfce desktop systems and complementary to the Thunar file manager. The Catfish 1.4.6 release was made this weekend and with this version has now officially become part of the Xfce project.

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • KDE Applications 18.08 branches created

        Make sure you commit anything you want to end up in the KDE Applications 18.08 release to them :)

        We’re already past the dependency freeze.

        [...]

        August 16: KDE Applications 18.08 Release

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

      • Petr Kovar: GUADEC 2018

        Back from GUADEC, held in the beautiful Andalusian city of Almería, Spain, from 6th July through 11th July, 2018, I wanted to share a few notes wrt documentation and localization activities at the conference and during the traditional post-conference hacking days.

      • GUADEC18 Developer Center BoF Part 1: The Developer Experience

        At this year’s GUADEC lightning talks I spontaneously announced and arranged a Developer Center BoF (Birds of a Feather) session. We were six attendants who met together Wednesday the 11th September. I think it is important that we communicate our doings to the rest of the community, so I will make a few short blog posts based on our meeting notes and my own thoughts on the subject.

      • GSoC 2018: Safe Shared Access to Cairo Image Surfaces

        I’m working on librsvg, a GNOME SVG rendering library, to port the SVG filter effects and related infrastructure from C to Rust. Librsvg uses Cairo, a 2D graphics library, for most of its drawing operations. Cairo can draw to a number of different surfaces like XCB and Xlib windows and pixmaps, PDF documents and PostScript files.

      • Have you ever commented while angry?

        Here’s my proposal (feature request for GitLab / irssi? 😉): if I feel heated when writing a reply, I will take 5 minutes before hitting the send button. I expect when I come back that I’ll look like the bad guy, some re-wording will happen, and the world will become a little bit less bad than it would have.

  • Distributions

    • DistroWatch The Best Website For Distro Hoppers

      The DistroWatch features release announcements of new versions of hundreds of Linux and other distributions. It does host reviews of distros, podcasts, and newsletters. DistroWatch first published by Ladislav Bodnar, the founder, and maintainer, on May 31, 2001.

      DistroWatch initially focused on Linux distributions. But later based on user requests, it went on adding different flavors of operating systems like BSD family, Android x86, Oracle Solaris, MINIX, and Haiku etc.

      The DistroWatch presents detailed information at one place in a very convenient manner. At the time of writing this article, the DistroWatch hosted information of more than 300 active distributions (referring the list of distros populated under drop-down feature on the first page of the DistroWatch) and more than hundred in queue. It is said that the DistroWatch lives out of advertising and donation. LinuxCD.org is the first to advertise on the DistroWatch site.

    • OpenSUSE/SUSE

      • openSUSE Tumbleweed: a Linux Distro review

        The bittersweet result: I may be free of the operating system release cycle, but have spent far more time fussing over my rolling distro than I ever would have fussed to upgrade from point release A to point release B. openSUSE impresses, but I probably should have (sigh …) adopted their point release distro Leap instead, or stood pat with Mint. (Although I’ll likely Tumble from here on in, now that I’ve hacked my way through the worst of the Tumbleweed learning curve.)

        If also tempted by the Tumbleweed bleeding edge: Dost thou know how to make and restore a disk image, either via the fabulous free Clonezilla or a commercial equivalent? Canst thou partition a disk, and, perhaps, fix a broken boot loader? I’ll dare to name these skills as entry bars for Tumbleweed adoption, especially the first one. I figured out how to do this stuff, still judge my knowledge as barely adequate to drive Tumbleweed daily. (Although one can install the Tumbleweed ISO in a virtual machine, fiddle to one’s heart’s content.)

    • Slackware Family

      • The oldest, active Linux distro, Slackware, turns 25

        For many early Linux users, Slackware was their introduction. One user told me her first Linux install was Slackware—and she had to use a hex editor to fix the partition tables so that Slackware would install. Support for her hardware was added in a later release. Another got his start building the data center that would power one of the first internet-enabled real estate sites. In the mid-1990s, Slackware was one of the easiest distributions to get and didn’t require a lot of effort to get IP masquerading to work correctly. A third person mentioned going to sleep while a kernel compile job ran, only to find out it had failed when he woke up.

        All of these anecdotes would suggest a hard-to-use operating system. But Slackware fans don’t see it that way. The project’s website says the two top priorities are “ease of use and stability.” For Slackware, “ease of use” means simplicity. Slackware does not include a graphical installer. Its package manager does not perform any dependency resolution. This can be jarring for new users, particularly within the last few years, but it also enables a deeper understanding of the system.

        The different take on ease of use isn’t the only thing unique about Slackware. It also does not have a public bug tracker, code repository, or well-defined method of community contribution. Volkerding and a small team of contributors maintain the tree in a rolling release called “-current” and publish a release when it meets the feature and stability goals they’ve set.

    • Red Hat Family

    • Debian Family

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Ubuntu 18.04 LTS and 16.04 LTS Amazon Linux AMIs Now Support Amazon’s SSM Agent

            As of July 2018, Amazon’s Linux AMIs (Amazon Machine Images) that are based on either the Ubuntu 16.04 LTS (Xenial Xerus) or Ubuntu 18.04 LTS (Bionic Beaver) operating systems now come pre-installed with the AWS Systems Manager Agent (SSM Agent), an Amazon software designed to run on hybrid or Amazon EC2 instances in public and private clouds on AWS (Amazon Web Services).

            “With this new feature release, AWS Systems Manager Agent is installed by default on all instances launched or built from Ubuntu 16.04 LTS (2018.07 and later) and 18.04 LTS (all versions) AMIs,” said Amazon. “By having the agent pre-installed, you can quickly start using AWS Systems Manager features such as Run Command, State Manager, Inventory and Patch Manager.”

          • The Fridge: Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter Issue 536

            Welcome to the Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter, Issue 536 for the week of July 8 – 14, 2018.

  • Devices/Embedded

Free Software/Open Source

  • Apache Cassandra at 10: Making a community believe in NoSQL

    Ten years ago this month, when Lehman Brothers was still just about in business and the term NoSQL wasn’t even widely known, let alone an irritant, Facebook engineers open-sourced a distributed database system named Cassandra.

    Back then, the idea that huge numbers of companies would need a scalable database was almost laughable – and that grip of traditional relational database systems is reflected in the mythical moniker given to what would become one of the first of many databases designed to run on a cluster of machines.

    Named after the Greek figure who was cursed to utter the truth but was never believed, Cassandra might seem an odd choice for a system whose raison d’être is believability – but it delivered a nice dig at the stalwarts of the RDBMS world… and their trust in a false Oracle.

  • Google Launches Jib, Automated Container Packaging for Java Apps

    Google has released software that could automate the packaging of a Java program so that it can be run in the cloud-native environment.

    Jib is an open-source Java “containerizer,” one that handles all the steps of packaging your application into a container image, according to Appu Goundan and Qingyang Chen, two Google engineers who co-wrote a blog post announcing the new technology.

    Created over two decades ago at Sun Microsystems, Java was introduced as a “write once, run anywhere” programming language, where all the code would be packaged in a JAR file, and run by a Java Virtual Machine on any platform. The requirements for running code anywhere have expanded with the introduction of containerization, however. Few shops are Java-only these days, and many are turning to containerization for true application portability,

  • WSO2 Summer 2018 Release Brings Agility to Secure Microservices Integration
  • New Operations in Mexico Extend WSO2’s Reach Across Latin America
  • How Open Source Became The Default Business Model For Software
  • 10 Best Kodi Addons You Should Install In 2018 | Legal Addons

    Kodi is one of the most popular media player software which enables you to access videos, music, and pictures via the internet or local storage on a host of platforms. Managed by XBMC foundation, Kodi is an open source software. However, its reputation has been soiled by labeling it as a piracy bearer, and that is why many ask “Is Kodi legal?” You can read more about Kodi and whether it is legal or not here.

  • Summer of Code: Plan for the grand finale

    To get that done, I have to polish up my smack-openpgp branch which has grown to a size of 7000 loc. There are still some minor quirks, but Florian recommended to focus on the big picture instead of spending too much time on small details and edge cases.

    I also have to release pgpainless to maven central and establish some kind of release cycle. It will be a future challenge for me personally to synchronize the releases of smack-openpgp and pgpainless.

  • Pharmaceutical industry gets first open source platform for Level 4 serialization

    Pharmaceutical companies today for the first time have an open source alternative for level 4 serialization with the launch of QU4RTET, a platform that provides them with new flexibility, transparency and affordability as they comply with global drug anti-counterfeiting laws.

  • Kontron Uses Open Source to Move Beyond Bare Metal

    Kontron, a company known for its embedded computing technology, is leveraging virtualization and open source to become a direct supplier to large service providers, promising to integrate hardware and operating system software with best-of-breed virtual network functions.

    That new sales strategy has evolved to support containers, particularly as they fit at the edge of the network, which for Kontron AG is the cell tower. In May, Kontron announced that its integrated SYMKLOUD open source platform now supports the latest versions of OpenStack for virtual machines and bare metal, as well as Kubernetes v1.10 for Docker and containers, via its distribution partnership with Canonical.

  • Open Source Expands In Finance With The FINOS Platform
  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Popular Firefox extensions now available in 7 new locales

        Firefox is available in over 90 languages, giving millions of people around the world access to the web in words they understand. Our community of translators and localizers do this because they believe that the web belongs to everyone, not just those who speak a popular tongue.

      • No Longer Lost in Translation

        You might have noticed that while Firefox supports 90 languages, many extensions and their listings on addons.mozilla.org (AMO) are only available in English.

        At present, we don’t have a way to connect extension developers with the translation community at scale, and Pontoon, Mozilla’s tool for localizing products and websites, currently only supports translating the AMO site itself.

        What we do have, however, is a desire to make translation resources available, a longstanding and active community of localizers, and friends on Mozilla’s Open Innovation team who specialize in putting the two together. Part of Open Innovation’s work is to explore new ways to connect communities of enthusiastic non-coding contributors to meaningful projects within Mozilla. Together with Rubén Martín, we ran a campaign to localize an initial group of top Firefox extensions into the 7 most popular languages of Firefox users.

      • Measuring Localization Time (in CI)

        As we all know, measuring things is a good way to get concrete information. Now that Firefox CI is fully on Taskcluster this was a good opportunity to measure and see what we can learn about timing in localization tasks.

        The code that generated the following charts and data is viewable in my Github repo, though as of this writing the code is rough and was modified manually to help generate the related graphs in various configurations. I’m working on adjusting them to be more general purpose and have better actual testing around logic.

      • Mozilla Reps Community

        The Reps program is working to prepare the ground for Mission Driven Mozillians and there are different tasks and issues to face for that.

        The most important point for the Reps Council is the Roles of Reps inside the communities. We know that in Mozilla there are a lot of international communities, local community and project specific communities, and we need to understand and be ready to support all of them.

      • QMO: Firefox 62 Beta 8 Testday Results
  • Pseudo-Open Source (Openwashing)

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • Synopsys ARC HS4x Processors Now Supported By GCC

      The GCC 8 compiler brought the Synopsys ARC CPU target while for the GCC 9 release is going to be support for the company’s HS4x processors.

      Merged today to mainline GCC is support for the HS4x CPUs within the ARC target. Adding this newer generation of ARC processors to the GNU Compiler Collection code-base was just a few hundred lines of code with building off the existing target code.

  • Licensing/Legal

    • A Movement Builds as a Diverse Group of 14 Additional Leaders Seek Greater Predictability in Open Source Licensing

      Today’s announcement demonstrates the expanded breadth and depth of support for the GPL Cooperation Commitment. Companies adopting the commitment now span geographic regions, include eight Fortune 100 companies, and represent a wide range of industries from enterprise software and hardware to consumer electronics, chip manufacturing to cloud computing, and social networking to automotive. The companies making the commitment represent more than 39 percent of corporate contributions to the Linux kernel, including six of the top 10 corporate contributors.1

    • ARM: Arm joins industry leaders in commitment to fair enforcement of open source licenses

      Today, Red Hat announced that several leading technology companies, including Arm, are joining a diverse coalition of organizations that have come together to promote greater predictability in open source license enforcement. Alongside Amazon, Canonical, Linaro, Toyota, VMware and many others we have committed to ensure fair opportunity for our licensees to correct errors in compliance with their GPL and LGPL licensed software before taking action to terminate the licenses.

    • Debian “stretch” 9.5 Update Now Available, Red Hat Announces New Adopters of the GPL Cooperation Commitment, Linux Audio Conference 2018 Videos Now Available, Latte Dock v0.8 Released and More

      Red Hat announced that 14 additional companies have adopted the GPL Cooperation Commitment, which means that “more than 39 percent of corporate contributions to the Linux kernel, including six of the top 10 contributors” are now represented. According to the Red Hat press release, these commitments “reflect the belief that responsible compliance in open source licensing is important and that license enforcement in the open source ecosystem operates by different norms.” Companies joining the growing movement include Amazon, Arm, Canonical, GitLab, Intel Corporation, Liferay, Linaro, MariaDB, NEC, Pivotal, Royal Philips, SAS, Toyota and VMware.

    • Collaboration in open source license enforcement — a community movement is happening

      “Discourage litigation. Persuade your neighbors to compromise whenever you can.”

      This was Abraham Lincoln speaking in the mid-1800s but his advice is still relevant today. Litigation is almost always a poor tool for fostering collaboration, whether among neighbors or software developers.

      In approaching the topic of open source license enforcement, it is important to consider Lincoln’s advice. Collaboration during open source license enforcement is a key to successful compliance just as it is an important element to success in the software development process. In assessing license enforcement tactics, you need to ask whether they will foster greater collaboration in open source software development. If the ultimate result of excessive or abusive enforcement is that developers and enterprises are turned off from participating in upstream open source communities, the ecosystems will wither and we all suffer as a result.

    • GPL Cooperation Commitment gets more support for open source licensing

      Red Hat has announced its open source license enforcement initiative is making new strides. As part of the GPL Cooperation Commitment, 14 new companies have joined the effort to promote greater predictability for GPLv2 and LGPLv2.x licenses.

      “Through this initiative, we hope ultimately to increase participation in the use and development of open source software by helping to ensure that enforcement, when it takes place, is fair and predictable,” according to the commitment’s website.

    • The Global IP Exchange: Human ingenuity and open source technology

      He said: “Customers do increasingly care about open source, and if you don’t comply you are at risk of upsetting authors, as well as litigation and injunctions.”

      “If you’re just distributing internally, then you’re fine, but as soon as it leaves your company, then you’ve triggered an obligation.”

      For those who don’t comply, he warned that either the licensor, or the Free Software Foundation will find out.

  • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

    • Collaborative World Shaping: Why Open-Source Tech Matters in a For-Impact Future

      How many lives could be saved if there was a way to vastly cut down inefficiency and through bureaucracy, by problem solving at a global scale? Could technology help us reach more individuals in need more meaningfully, substantially helping people affected by disasters – in less time?

      The technology is already out there – but not enough people know about it.

      In 2017, Hurricane Irma—the strongest hurricane ever recorded in the Atlantic Ocean—made landfall; with widespread, “catastrophic” damage, disaster relief organizations were overwhelmed. “A lot of traditional means of crisis response are very top down, and they didn’t really kick in — we saw headlines about how the Red Cross didn’t show up to shelters,” said Greg Bloom, a community organizer and civic hacker who knew he had to step in to assist.

    • The First Open-Source Smart Contract Platform to be Started by Rootstock

      RSK Labs, formerly known as Rootstock, an Argentinian startup building the first open-source smart contract platform with a 2-way peg to Bitcoin.RSK Labs CEO Diego Gutiérrez Zaldívar on Bitcoin Smart Contracts Sidechain and Crypto Industry Challenges.

      Even though at this point of time the 2-way peg security of the RSK blockchain is still relying on a group of third parties called ‘Federation’, in the future the developers promise to bring a “trustless” automatic peg. How fast this happens to some degree depends on the overall miners support.

      The company says its goal is to add value and functionality to the Bitcoin ecosystem by enabling Ethereum-like smart-contracts, near instant payments and higher-scalability, and this past January after almost two years of development its mainnet dubbed Bamboo was finally launched.

    • Creality’s Ender 3 3D Printer is Now Fully Open Source

      Creality3D, founded in 2014, is a 3D printer manufacturer based in China, offering more than 20 products. Their popular Ender 3 was recently voted “Best 3D Printer Under $200” by All3DP (review here).

      Now, the company is making their most popular 3D printer, the Ender 3, completely open source.

      This makes it the first Open Source Hardware Association certified 3D printer in China. This means not just a few files have been shared, but all hardware, CAD files, board schematics and firmware files are available. You can find the updated versions on the company’s GitHub page.

    • Charité’s researchers integrate open-source platform into the ‘Human Brain Project’

      Universitätsmedizin Berlin and the Berlin Institute of Health (BIH) are pleased to announce that ‘The Virtual Brain’ neuroinformatics platform has joined the EU’s Flagship ‘Human Brain Project’. With financial support from the EU’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program, Charité’s researchers are now integrating their open-source platform into the ‘Human Brain Project’. This will provide participating researchers with a research infrastructure that promotes efficiency and reproducibility. The researchers will focus on refining the theoretical underpinnings of the computer models used, developing efficient simulation technology, and working on neuroinformatics solutions that enhance the reproducibility of studies.

  • Programming/Development

    • Opinion: GitHub vs GitLab

      So, Microsoft bought GitHub, and many people are confused or worried. It’s not a new phenomenon when any large company buys any smaller company, and people are right to be worried, although I argue that their timing is wrong. Like Microsoft, GitHub has made some useful contributions to free and open-source software, but let’s not forget that GitHub’s main product is proprietary software. And, it’s not just some innocuous web service either; GitHub makes and sells a proprietary software package you can download and run on your own server called GitHub Enterprise (GHE).

      Let’s remember how we got here. BitMover made a tool called BitKeeper, a proprietary version control system that allowed free-of-charge licenses to free software projects. In 2002, the Linux kernel switched to using BitKeeper for its version control, although some notable developers made the noble choice to refuse to use the proprietary program. Many others did not, and for a number of years, kernel development was hampered by BitKeeper’s restrictive noncommercial licenses.

      In 2005, Andrew Tridgell, working at OSDL, developed a client that bypassed this restriction, and as a result, BitMover removed licenses to BitKeeper from all OSDL employees—including Linus Torvalds. Eventually, all non-commercial licenses were stopped, and new licenses included clauses preventing the development of alternative version control systems. As a result of this, two new projects were born: Mercurial and Git. Created in a few short weeks in 2005, Git quickly became the version control system for Linux development.

      Proprietary version control tools aren’t common in free software development, but proprietary collaboration websites have been around for some time. One of the earliest collaboration websites still around today is Sourceforge. Sourceforge was created in the late 1990s by VA Software, and the code behind the project was released in 2000.

    • Is BDFL a death sentence?

      A few days ago, Guido van Rossum, creator of the Python programming language and Benevolent Dictator For Life (BDFL) of the project, announced his intention to step away.

      Below is a portion of his message, although the entire email is not terribly long and worth taking the time to read if you’re interested in the circumstances leading to van Rossum’s departure.

    • Thoughts on Guido retiring as BDFL of Python

      I’ve been programming in Python for almost 20 years on a myriad of open source projects, tools for personal use, and work. I helped out with several PyCon US conferences and attended several others. I met a lot of amazing people who have influenced me as a person and as a programmer.

      I started PyVideo in March 2012. At a PyCon US after that (maybe 2015?), I found myself in an elevator with Guido and somehow we got to talking about PyVideo and he asked point-blank, “Why work on that?” I tried to explain what I was trying to do with it: create an index of conference videos across video sites, improve the meta-data, transcriptions, subtitles, feeds, etc. I remember he patiently listened to me and then said something along the lines of how it was a good thing to work on. I really appreciated that moment of validation. I think about it periodically. It was one of the reasons Sheila and I worked hard to transition PyVideo to a new group after we were burned out.

    • How to Setup Python Virtual Environment on Ubuntu 18.04

      Python is a versatile programming language that can be used for many different programming projects(Web – Mobile – Desktop).

      Easy to set up, and written in a relatively straightforward style with immediate feedback on errors, Python is a great choice for beginners and experienced developers alike. Python 3 is the most current version of the language and is considered to be the future of Python.

      This article will guide you through installing Python 3 on your local Linux machine and setting up a programming virtual environment via the command line. This article will explicitly cover the installation procedures for Ubuntu 18.04, but the general principles apply to any other distribution of Debian Linux.

    • How expensive is globbing for sources in large projects

      Since we have the measurement script, let’s use it for something more interesting. Modules are an upcoming C++ feature to increase build times and a ton of other coolness depending on who you ask. The current specification works by having a kind of “module export declaration” at the beginning of source files. The idea is that you first compile those to generate a sort of a module declaration file and then you can start the actual compilation that uses said files.

      If you thought “waitaminute, that sounds exactly like how FORTRAN is compiled”, you are correct. Because of this it has the same problem that you can’t compile source files in an arbitrary order, but instead you must first somehow scan them to find out the interdependencies between source (not header) files. In practice what this means is that instead of single-phase compilation all files must be processed twice. All scan operations must be done before any compilation jobs can start because otherwise you might start to compile a file before its dependencies are fully processed.

      The scanning can be done in one of two ways. Either the build system scans the sources meaning it needs to understand the syntax of source files or the compiler can be invoked in a special preprocessing mode. Note that build systems such as Ninja do not do any such operations by themselves but instead always invoke external processes to do their work.

Leftovers

  • Security

  • Defence/Aggression

    • CIA collaborated with Gülen – Lobbyist

      Turkey’s public enemy number one, Islamist preacher Fethullah Gülen, has U.S. politicians on his payroll and a history of cooperation with the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency, London-based lawyer Robert Amsterdam told Turkish news channel A Haber in a filmed interview on Monday.

      Amsterdam, on retainer by the Turkish government to lobby internationally against Gülen, discussed the fruits of his activities, which he said had accelerated legal repercussions against Gülen’s organisation in the United States and raised awareness about the group.

    • UK ‘complicit in killing civilians and risks being prosecuted over illegal drone operations’, major report suggests

      British military personnel could be prosecuted for killing civilians in drone strikes and risk becoming complicit in alleged war crimes committed by the US, an inquiry has found.

      A two-year probe by the All Party Parliamentary Group on Drones revealed that the number of operations facilitated by the UK in Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Pakistan and Somalia has been growing without any public scrutiny.

      As well as launching its own strikes, the Ministry of Defence is assisting operations by the US and other allies that could violate both national and international law, it said.

  • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

    • The War on Assange Is a War on Press Freedom

      The failure on the part of establishment media to defend Julian Assange, who has been trapped in the Ecuadorean Embassy in London since 2012, has been denied communication with the outside world since March and appears to be facing imminent expulsion and arrest, is astonishing. The extradition of the publisher—the maniacal goal of the U.S. government—would set a legal precedent that would criminalize any journalistic oversight or investigation of the corporate state. It would turn leaks and whistleblowing into treason. It would shroud in total secrecy the actions of the ruling global elites. If Assange is extradited to the United States and sentenced, The New York Times, The Washington Post and every other media organization, no matter how tepid their coverage of the corporate state, would be subject to the same draconian censorship. Under the precedent set, Donald Trump’s Supreme Court would enthusiastically uphold the arrest and imprisonment of any publisher, editor or reporter in the name of national security.

      There are growing signs that the Ecuadorean government of Lenín Moreno is preparing to evict Assange and turn him over to British police. Moreno and his foreign minister, José Valencia, have confirmed they are in negotiations with the British government to “resolve” the fate of Assange. Moreno, who will visit Britain in a few weeks, calls Assange an “inherited problem” and “a stone in the shoe” and has referred to him as a “hacker.” It appears that under a Moreno government Assange is no longer welcome in Ecuador. His only hope now is safe passage to his native Australia or another country willing to give him asylum.

    • Pamela Anderson Defends Assange and Putin: ‘Everything Is So Anti-Russia’
    • Pamela Anderson Opens Up About Being Romantically Linked to Julian Assange: ‘It Is Sexism’
    • Pamela Anderson Thinks ‘The World Of Julian’ Assange
    • Pamela Anderson Stands Up for Julian Assange and Vladimir Putin
    • Pamela Anderson: Americans are programmed to blame Russia when things go wrong
    • DoJ claims Assange colluded with the Russians in the US elections

      The Justice Department’s indictment Friday of 12 Russian military intelligence officers undermines those denials. And if the criminal charges are proved, it would show that WikiLeaks (referred to as “Organization 1” in the indictment) received the material from Guccifer 2.0, a persona directly controlled by Russia’s Main Intelligence Directorate of the General Staff, also known as GRU, and even gave the Russian hackers advice on how to disseminate it.

  • Finance

  • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

  • Censorship/Free Speech

    • On Speech And Subpoenas, New York Giveth And Taketh (First, The Good News On Platform Jurisdiction)

      Like the anti-SLAPP statute does for unmeritorious litigation Section 1987.2 of the Code of Civil Procedure allows for mandatory recovery of fees for unmeritorious unmasking subpoenas that courts quash. Unfortunately, like robust anti-SLAPP laws, not all states have such a provision, which is another reason why it’s important that platforms not be exposed to these other jurisdictions simply because they may have completed the purely ministerial task of registering with the Secretary of State or having some users there and not any more substantive connection. Platforms are in the business of facilitating speech, and they should be able to choose which laws to expose themselves to that will give them the best ability to do it.

    • On Speech And Subpoenas, New York Giveth And Taketh (Now, The Bad News On Journalist Protection)

      On the other hand, both anonymous speech and free press cases affect the interests of third parties and both vindicate important First Amendment rights upon which public discourse depends

    • Leyonhjelm: Censorship is treating us all like children

      Free speech involves both the freedom to communicate and the freedom to receive communications. Yet the Commonwealth restricts what we can read, watch, play and listen to.

      This hurts those Australians who would choose to read, watch, play or listen to censored material. It also does nothing for other Australians, who would have a clear option if this censorship was not present: we can choose to not read, watch, play or listen to the material. Free speech involves no obligation to listen.

      One of the three free speech bills I recently introduced in the Senate seeks to remove the ban on publications, films and computer games on the grounds that they offend against standards of morality, decency and propriety.

    • Educators reject censorship, encourage student exploration of ‘problematic’ literature of the past

      From Confederate memorials to “problematic” literature in schools, communities across the country are wrestling with how to acknowledge the past and its imperfections without offending the sensibilities of modern schoolchildren and their teachers, with most solutions employing one of the three R’s: remove, rename, revise.

      But some educators are encouraging another way. They are engaging with children in an exploration of values and culture to better understand the mores of the past and the present.

      “Why is Ma so scared of Native Americans? Where does prejudice come from in pioneers? What prejudices do we still have today?” Melissa Scholes Young, an associate professor in the writing studies program at American University, offers as questions to explore the cultural landscape and significance of the “Little House on the Prairie” series of children’s books by Laura Ingalls Wilder.

      [...]

      Dr. Gilboa said it’s wrong to censor authors for “accurately reflecting their time and history” even when their prose clashes with the ideals of the modern enlightened age. A far better response, she said, is to talk directly to children about the issues in question with the proper values and context.

    • Chinese island eyes oasis from web censorship for foreigners

      China’s Hainan island has proposed allowing foreign visitors access to censored websites such as YouTube and Facebook, a double standard that has raised cries of indignation from the country’s internet users.

      The province, known as China’s Hawaii thanks to its resorts and tropical beaches, is set to become the country’s largest free trade zone and hopes to attract increased investment in hi-tech industries, as well as more tourist dollars.

      Part of that effort includes making the island more hospitable to foreign tourists through such steps as instituting visa-free travel and making it easier to use foreign credit cards.

      [...]

      Chinese internet users wanting to view the proposal will struggle to find it, after the Hainan government quickly removed the document from its website.

    • University of Kansas caved to ‘censorship’ over blackened American flag art, civil liberty groups say

      Three civil liberties groups sent a letter to the University of Kansas demanding that the school reinstate a piece of artwork, a blackened American flag collage, meant to represent political polarization in the United States, after the Kansas governor ordered its removal last week.

      “Censorship won last week, but today, we’re fighting back for the First Amendment,” said Will Creeley, senior vice president for legal and public advocacy at the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, according to a press release Monday. “The law is clear: The government can’t censor artistic expression just because powerful people don’t like it. Artistic freedom is especially important at our public colleges and universities, and we’re proud to stand with the ACLU of Kansas and the National Coalition Against Censorship in its defense.”

    • NCAC Joins FIRE and the ACLU Urging the University of Kansas to Restore American Flag Artwork

      NCAC has joined the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Kansas in a letter to the University of Kansas (KU) strongly urging it to take a stand against censorship by restoring a public artwork that the university removed last week. The artwork, “Untitled (Flag 2),” by artist Josephine Meckseper, is part of a nationwide public art program, “Pledges of Allegiance,” organized by Creative Time and featuring 16 artworks that incorporate flags that address a variety of themes and topics by artists around the world.

    • University Refuses to Apologize for Desecrated, Anti-Trump American Flag
    • Civil liberties groups now demanding that KU put flag art back on flag pole
  • Privacy/Surveillance

    • Oregon Supreme Court Adopts Use Restrictions on Nonresponsive Data for Computer Warrants

      As regular readers know, I have argued in my academic writing that the Fourth Amendment should be interpreted to impose use restrictions on nonresponsive data seized pursuant to a computer search warrant. In a new decision, State v. Mansor, the Oregon Supreme Court appears to have adopted my approach under Oregon’s state equivalent of the Fourth Amendment.

      Let me start with some context. Computer warrant searches require the government to find a needle in an enormous electronic haystack. When the police execute a warrant to search for and find the needle of evidence, they usually need to seize the haystack first to search it. I have argued that a warrant to seize the needle should allow the police to seize the haystack to search for the needle. But there’s a catch: The government should ordinarily not be allowed to use whatever else they find in the haystack. If the warrant is only to seize a needle, the police can only take away and use the needle, unless there are exigent circumstances exposed by the discovery of other evidence. The nonresponsive data — other evidence that may exist in the haystack but is not described in the warrant — ordinarily can’t be used. For the details of my view, see this article.

    • Oregon Supreme Court Sets Up New Limits For Digital Device Searches

      Searching digital things isn’t like searching physical things. But a majority of Fourth Amendment jurisprudence relies on making inapt comparisons between houses/papers and devices capable of holding several housefuls of papers, communications, photos, etc.

      Guidelines for digital searches are an inexact science. Given the nature of these searches, there’s clearly room for abuse. It’s almost inevitable. Access must be granted to an entire device (computer, phone, hard drive) to find what’s sought as evidence. Files aren’t named incriminating.docx so files must be opened to determine their contents. In almost all digital searches, law enforcement gets the haystack and then goes looking for needles.

    • Everything That’s Wrong With Social Media Companies and Big Tech Platforms, Part 3

      I’ve written two installments in this series (part 1 is here and part 2 is here). And while I could probably turn itemizing complaints about social-media companies into a perpetual gig somewhere — because there’s always going to be new material — I think it’s best to list only just a few more for now. After that, we ought to step back and weigh what reforms or other social responses we really need. The first six classes of complaints are detailed in Parts 1 and 2, so we begin here in Part 3 with Complaint Number 7.

    • FBI Wish List: An App That Can Recognize the Meaning of Your Tattoos

      We’ve long known that the FBI is heavily invested in developing face recognition technology as a key component in its criminal investigations. But new records, obtained by EFF through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit, show that’s not the only biometric marker the agency has its eyes on. The FBI’s wish list also includes image recognition technology and mobile devices to attempt to use tattoos to map out people’s relationships and identify their beliefs.

      EFF began looking at tattoo recognition technology in 2015, after discovering that the National Institute for Standards & Technology (NIST), in collaboration with the FBI, was promoting experiments using tattoo images gathered involuntarily from prison inmates and arrestees. The agencies had provided a dataset of thousands of prisoner tattoos to some 19 outside groups, including companies and academic institutions, that are developing image recognition and biometric technology. Government officials instructed the groups to demonstrate how the technology could be used to identify people by their tattoos and match tattoos with similar imagery.

      Our investigation found that NIST was targeting people who shared common beliefs, with a heavy emphasis on religious imagery. NIST researchers, we discovered, had also bypassed basic oversight measures. Despite rigid requirements designed to protect prisoners who might be used as subjects in government research, the researchers failed to seek sign-off from the in-house watchdog before embarking on the project.

      Following our report, NIST stopped responding to EFF’s FOIA requests. The agency also rushed to retroactively alter its documents to downplay the nature of the research. In a statement issued to the press, NIST denied our findings, claiming that its goal was simply to evaluate the effectiveness of tattoo recognition algorithms and “not about the many complex law enforcement policies or approaches that may be related to images of tattoos.”

    • ‘Utah has long stood as one of our nation’s most patriotic states’ — Declassified documents show the pitch to lure National Security Agency Data Center [Ed: Violating the Constitution makes you unpatriotic, not patriotic]

      In January 2006, David M. Winberg wrote a two-page paper lobbying the National Security Agency to build a computing center at Camp Williams.

      Winberg, a Utahn with a long history with the NSA, lauded the technical advantages of the site. Then he used the last paragraph to promote Utahns as a whole.

      “Utah has long stood as one of our nation’s most patriotic states,” Winberg wrote. “The people of Utah are committed to the principles and practices of maintaining and improving our national security.”

    • German Police searches Tor-supporters Zwiebelfreunde on flimsy bases

      On 20 June, searches were carried out1 at the homes of several board members of the German association “Zwiebelfreunde”. All their computers and storage media (hard drives, USB keys) were seized by the German police.

      The reason? These three people are supposedly “witnesses” in an ongoing investigation into a blog calling for anti-fascist protests in Augsbourg, in Germany. The Police consider that this blog calls for violent actions.

      And the link between this blog and Zwiebelfreunde? Hold onto your hat. The email address associated with the blog is hosted by the American organisation Riseup. And Zwiebelfreunde collects donations on Riseup’s account. It’s hard to imagine Google’s hardware being seized by the Police if the people behind the blog had chosen Gmail.

      It’s a bit as if La Quadrature du Net’s offices, as well as the homes of its leaders, had ben searched because of an account created on mamot.fr, La Quadrature’s Mastodon instance.
      It doesn’t make sense.

      This is clearly an attack on Zwiebelfreunde, which for years has been promoting and facilitating the use of privacy-protecting tools such as those of the Tor project. It helps collect funds for these projects, in this case Riseup.
      The money raised by Zwiebelfreunde is used in particular to develop the tools and services provided by Riseup, to reimburse travel expenses and to maintain RiseUp’s Tor infrastructure.

    • DOJ Tells Ron Wyden About The Times It Has Collected Journalists’ Communications; Leaves Some Facts Out

      The Trump Administration — much like the administration before it — has declared war on leakers. The government prefers to selectively leak info using anonymous sources, but only the sort of leaks that serve its political/PR purposes. Everything else — no matter how much the leaked info serves to better inform the public — is the target of investigations and prosecutions.

      Jeff Sessions claims this administration has opened three times as many leak investigations as Obama’s. If so, it will rack up unprecedented numbers. Both the Obama administration and the Trump administration have decided it’s OK to target journalists’ communications to hunt down leakers, an act that strikes at the very heart of the First Amendment.

      An indictment against James Wolfe, a longtime Senate Intelligence Committee advisor, was put together by harvesting emails and other private communications between Wolfe and various reporters. This document confirmed what was already suspected by Ron Wyden, who demanded late last year the DOJ turn over information on its targeting of journalists’ communications.

  • Civil Rights/Policing

    • Why There Must Never Be a Speech and Assembly Tax

      In Massachusetts, rally organizers are burdened by unlawful charges.

      A historic level of activism and protest has been seen in our nation’s streets and public parks over the past two years. These protests reflect the profound importance of our constitutional right to peaceful assembly: People come together, voice their dissent, and organize for change. The right to join with neighbors in protest is core to the First Amendment and critical to a healthy and vibrant democracy.

      On Jan. 20, 2018, thousands of people gathered on Cambridge Common in Cambridge, Massachusetts, for the second Women’s March. As in hundreds of other cities around the world, the Cambridge event was organized in protest of the Trump administration’s attacks on the civil rights of women and other marginalized people. The event was peaceful, with a light police presence.

      And yet, Cambridge event organizers were billed for thousands of dollars for police details and emergency medical services. They were also told to expect additional invoices for police from neighboring cities and towns and the local transit system.

      Despite successfully completing the permitting process and paying permit application fees before the event, organizers were told less than two weeks before the event that they could be additionally charged for public safety services. That discussion happened after the organizers mentioned to police that there could be counter-protesters present at the event.

      Charging rally organizers for public safety services as a condition for granting permits deters political participation — plain and simple. Most event organizers would think twice about coordinating a protest if they thought they might owe $4,000, like the Cambridge Women’s March organizers ultimately owed. In fact, the Cambridge organizers flagged the bills to the ACLU for that very reason. They feared the impact of the city’s practices on the exercise of free speech of all who seek permits for the Cambridge Common and other public parks.

    • A Baby Was Separated From Her Uncle at the Border. Three Months Later, Her Mother Is Still Trying to Get Her Back.

      Sendy Karina Ferrera Amaya opened her mouth, and a gloved hand gave each cheek a perfunctory brush with a cotton swab.

      Fifteen seconds, and the $429 DNA test she’d paid for was over. “Eso es todo,” the lab technician said last Thursday. That was it. Ferrera, 25, gave a tentative smile and walked out to join her fiancé. Squeezing his hand as they drove away, she allowed herself to hope. To imagine her curly-haired 1-year-old daughter wrapped in her arms, much bigger and more wiggly than last time she held her. Maybe next week, she would finally be reunited with Liah, whose name she wore around her neck like a talisman.

      Even though the Trump administration is under a court order to reunite children who were separated from their parents under the “zero tolerance” immigration policy, Ferrera has no idea what that means for her family. Liah had traveled from Honduras with her uncle in mid-April. Ferrera was in the U.S. already, having entered undetected months earlier.

    • CIA Mind Control Survivors Seek Restitution From Canadian Government

      More than 40 years after the notorious MK Ultra program became public knowledge, the CIA’s mind-control program is still shrouded in mystery and unanswered questions. Now, Canadians who became non-consenting test subjects in experiments are seeking closure for the inhumane LSD and electroconvulsive therapy research that left hundreds of psychiatric patients permanently scarred. Despite the well-documented cases of patients who suffered lifelong consequences as a result of the inhumane experiments, the Canadian government has neither accepted responsibility nor apologized for its role in the CIA project.

    • Black Lives Matter Is Still Here—and Avoiding the Mistakes of Their Predecessors

      The fifth anniversary of the founding of Black Lives Matter (BLM) makes me think back 50 years, not five. Shortly before he was killed, Martin Luther King lamented that the gains of the civil rights movement had come at “bargain rates” because it cost America nothing to integrate lunch counters and buses or give Blacks the right to vote.

      King knew that the real fight—against systemic forces such as the criminalization of African-Americans—lay ahead. As a 10-year-old growing up in Memphis, Tennessee, I did not understand—I just saw what looked like visible progress until King was killed, and it seemed like the progress not only stopped, it rolled back.

      The young activist started at 26 and was dead at 39. Richard Nixon’s nefariously designed “war on drugs” came next, fueling the over-policing and mass incarceration of Black bodies.

    • Inside the Family Separation Legal Drama

      Federal court blocks government from deporting any families it separated, lambasts HHS official for ‘exasperating declaration

      The federal judge who ordered the Trump administration to reunite the nearly 3,000 children it separated from their parents has temporarily blocked the government from deporting any of the families it reunites until at least July 23.

      The ACLU had requested the temporary restraining order due to concerns that families may have been coerced into agreeing to voluntarily return to countries where they may be in danger because they believed that was the only way they could get their children back. We wanted to make sure that parents would have time to consider their options and be fully informed of their rights before making their decision.

      The ruling came after a rollercoaster few days in which Judge Dana Sabraw both praised the administration for its good faith and compliance with court orders, then lambasted it for fundamentally misunderstanding what it was being asked to do.

      On Friday, July 13, when Judge Dana Sabraw held a status conference on the government’s efforts to reunite the children by the July 26 deadline, he seemed pleased with the progress.

      [...]

      “It is clear from Mr. Meekins’s Declaration that HHS either does not understand the Court’s orders or is acting in defiance of them,” Judge Sabraw said. He added that Meekins appeared to be providing cover for the government’s “lack of foresight and infrastructure necessary to remedy the harms” caused by separating families and that HHS appeared to be “operating in a vacuum, entirely divorced from the undisputed circumstances of this case.” Judge Sabraw then ordered the government to submit its plan for reunifying the children with their parents, which the government did on Sunday.

    • In New York, Intolerance Has Become Routine

      It is just a snapshot, but it makes for a plenty ugly picture all the same: The New York City Commission on Human Rights surveyed more than 3,000 Muslim, Jewish and Sikh residents of the city late in 2017 and found striking rates of racially and or religiously motivated assault, harassment and workplace discrimination.

      Some 38 percent of those surveyed said they had been verbally harassed or taunted because of their race or faith. Nearly 10 percent said they had been the victim of an actual physical assault. A similar percentage of those surveyed said they had seen their property vandalized or otherwise defaced.

      Lurking in those broad numbers are some more specific outrages: 18 percent of Sikhs surveyed said they had been denied service by a local business; roughly 6 percent of those surveyed who said they wore religious garments reported having had someone try and tear those garments off them.

  • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

    • Ajit Pai Pretends To Care About Identity Fraud That Plagued Net Neutrality Repeal

      You’ll of course recall that during the net neutrality repeal the FCC’s public comment process was flooded with bogus comments in support of (and in a few instances in opposition to) the FCC’s plan. Many of these comments came from a bot that filled the proceedings with fake comments in perfect alphabetical order, something that should have been pretty easy to prevent (had the FCC actually wanted to). Many of the comments came from people that had their identities lifted to support the repeal (like myself), while other commenters were, well, deceased.

      Nobody’s been able to yet confirm who was behind the identity fraud and bot attack, in part because the FCC actively blocked a law enforcement investigation attempting to find out. The general consensus is that “somebody” (either ISP-linked outfits or some group of partisans) was hoping to erode trust in the comment process to try and downplay the massive public backlash to the repeal. But it should also be noted that this is a problem that extends beyond the FCC, and has impacted other major policy decisions at major agencies government wide.

  • DRM

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • A complex patent trail shows how NPE litigation might be developing in China

      Over the past couple of years, several major NPEs have announced big Chinese portfolio acquisitions. But a new litigation in Beijing shows that this is not the only way foreign assertion entities are affecting the market here – some patents formerly owned by now-defunct NPEs are re-emerging in Chinese lawsuits. Xiaomi’s strong smartphone sales and its IPO in Hong Kong have put a bull’s-eye on its back. It is facing down lawsuits from Ericsson in India and Coolpad in China, having recently beaten an SEP assertion by KPN.

    • Expect closer supervision of US biologics settlements in wake of Humira ‘reverse payment’ concerns

      Two US senators have called on the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to examine patent settlements involving biologic and biosimilar producers, echoing calls from patient advocacy groups. Raising particular concerns about AbbVie’s recent high-profile Humira agreements, the legislators have cast doubt on the legitimacy of settlements that have otherwise been interpreted as a triumph of the Illinois entity’s patent strategy. But whether or not the FTC decides to inspect the Humira settlements, rights owners should expect an increase in legal, regulatory and public scrutiny of such deals in the future.

    • If runway models are performers…is France in breach of its international obligations?

      In a recent post, this GuestKat explored the possibility for runway models to claim performers’ rights under UK law (here), concluding that runway models could make a reasonable claim for performer’s rights protection under several legal bases. One such basis relies on the definition of “protected performers” under the Rome Convention and WIPO Performance and Phonograms Treaty (WPPT) [as interpreted here]. International treaty or no international treaty, the provisions of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act (CDPA) in the UK are arguably broad enough to fit runway models within the scope of performers’ rights (see also, Richard Arnold (2016) para 2.17). As such, invoking the Rome Convention and WPPT is most germane in the face of a narrow [conservative?] interpretation of the CDPA.

    • Interview: All Via’s saying is give peace a chance

      Joseph Siino, president of patent pool manager Via Licensing, tells Managing IP about his peace plan to end wireless patent wars, the impact of China and the coming challenges of 5G technology

    • Copyrights

      • More than a million Europeans spoke out to stop internet-destroying censorship rules, but the fight’s not over

        Ten days ago, the European Parliament dealt a major blow to a radical proposal that would force online services to deploy copyright bots to examine everything posted by users and block anything that might be a copyright infringement; the proposal would also ban linking to news articles without paid permission from the news sites.

        The July 5 vote means that the European Parliament will debate these clauses in September. In the meantime, there’s a lot of behind-the-scenes scurrying around as members of parliament and giant corporations lay out their forces for the fight in September.

      • A Key Victory Against European Copyright Filters and Link Taxes – But What’s Next?

        Against all the odds, but with the support of nearly a million Europeans, MEPs voted earlier this month to reject the EU’s proposed copyright reform—including controversial proposals to create a new “snippet” right for news publishers, and mandatory copyright filters for sites that published user uploaded content.

        The change was testimony to how powerful and fast-moving Net activists can be. Four weeks ago, few knew that these crazy provisions were even being considered. By the June 20th vote, Internet experts were weighing in, and wider conversations were starting on sites like Reddit.

        The result was a vote on July 5th of all MEPS, which ended in a 318 against 278 victory in favour of withdrawing the Parliament’s support for the languages. Now all MEPs will have a chance in September to submit new amendments and vote on a final text—or reject the directive entirely.

        While re-opening the text was a surprising set-back for Article 13 and 11, the battle isn’t over: the language to be discussed on in September will be based on the original proposal by the European Commission, from two years ago—which included the first versions of the copyright filters, and snippet rights. German MEP Axel Voss’s controversial modifications will also be included in the debate, and there may well be a flood of other proposals, good and bad, from the rest of the European Parliament.

        There’s still sizeable support for the original text: Article 11 and 13′s loudest proponents, led by Voss, persuaded many MEPs to support them by arguing that these new powers would restore the balance between American tech giants and Europe’s newspaper and creative industries—or “close the value gap”, as their arguments have it.

        But using mandatory algorithmic censors and new intellectual property rights to restore balance is like Darth Vader bringing balance to the Force: the fight may involve a handful of brawling big players, but it’s everybody else who would have to deal with the painful consequences.

      • The MEP behind Europe’s proposed copyright censorship proposal can’t explain all the copyrighted images in his social media

        Axel Voss is the German MEP responsible for Article 13 of the pending EU Copyright Directive, which says that it’s not good enough for companies to remove infringing material posted by users once they’re notified of its existence; instead, Voss wants then to spend hundreds of millions of dollars implementing automated filters that prevent anyone from posting copyrighted material in the first place (even if they have the right to do so under fair dealing, and even if that means that a lot of legitimate material gets accidentally blocked).

        Voss’s explanations for this proposal have been incoherent and technologically illiterate, so maybe it’s no surprise that he turns out to be a serial copyright infringer whose social media feeds for the past two years include at least 17 images from major German news agencies, used without permission.

        Buzzfeed Germany found the images; then they asked Voss, who had insisted that Article 13 had been proposed to end the posting of copyrighted images where “there is no remuneration of the concerned author” whether he’d paid the photographers whose work he’d used without permission.

      • Guy In Charge Of Pushing Draconian EU Copyright Directive, Evasive About His Own Use Of Copyright Protected Images

        There’s one person who wields more power than anyone to shape the awful EU Copyright Directive: the MEP Axel Voss. He’s the head of the main Legal Affairs Committee (JURI) that is steering the Directive through the European Parliament. Voss took over from the previous MEP leading JURI, Therese Comodini Cachia, after she decided to return to her native Malta as member of the national parliament. Her draft version of the Directive was certainly not perfect, but it did possess the virtue of being broadly acceptable to all sides of the debate. When Voss took over last year, the text took a dramatic turn for the worse thanks to the infamous “snippet tax” (Article 11 of the proposed Directive) and the “upload filter” (Article 13).

        As Mike reported a couple of weeks ago, Voss offered a pretty poor defense of his proposals, showing little understanding of the Internet. But he made clear that he thinks respecting copyright law is really important. For example, he said he was particularly concerned that material is being placed online, where “there is no remuneration of the concerned author.” Given that background, it will probably come as no surprise to Techdirt readers to learn that questions are now being asked whether Voss himself has paid creators for material that he has used on his social media accounts…

Links 16/7/2018: Linux 4.18 RC5, Latte Dock v0.8, Windows Back Doors Resurface

Posted in News Roundup at 4:29 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Kernel Space

    • TxFS Linux File-System Supports ACID Transactions, Simple API

      Presented at this past week’s 2018 USENIX Annual Technical Conference (ATC18) was TxFS, the Texas Transactional File System for Linux.

      Texas Transactional File System (TxFS) has been in the works for a number of years and is a transactional file-system that offers a simple API, wide range of hardware support, high performance while supporting ACID transactions, and relatively low complexity.

      TxFS has been worked on by the University of Texas at Austin as well as VMware Research. Papers on TxFS have been published before but their ATC18 paper can be found here (PDF).

      One of the professors involved in this work has also tweeted some different remarks including the file-system is down to just five thousand lines of code by utilizing the file-system journal, how they provided isolation for TxFS transactions, and its very simple API of just three system calls.

    • Linux 4.18-rc5

      For some reason this week actually felt very busy, but the rc5 numbers
      show otherwise. It’s all small and calm, and things are progressing
      nicely.

      I think the “it felt busy” was partly due to me stressing out over a
      nasty VM bug that turned out to have a trivial two-liner fix. But
      there were also a fair amount of email threads for future stuff, so
      that probably also made me feel last week was busier than the actual
      rc5 tree shows.

      Anyway, of what little happened in rc5 (see appended shortlog for
      details), it’s just a fairly random collection of smallish fixes all
      over. About a third drivers (nothing in particular stands out – rdma,
      usb, ata, mmc, sound) with the rest being some tooling (mostly perf),
      some arch updates, some filesystem stuff (mostly reiserfs), some arch
      fixlets (mips, arm[64], x86) and some misc core kernel (tracing, VM
      fixes, timers, yadda yadda).

    • Linux 4.18-rc5 Kernel Released: Regressions Continue To Be Tackled
  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • This week in Usability & Productivity, part 27

        Get ready for a humongous week for KDE’s Usability and Productivity initiative! KDE developers and contributors squashed a truly impressive number of bugs this week, all the while adding features and polishing the user interface.

      • New client languages for Qt WebChannel

        At the company I’m working at, we’re employing Qt WebChannel for remote access to some of our software. Qt WebChannel was originally designed for interfacing with JavaScript clients, but it’s actually very well suited to interface with any kind of dynamic language.

        We’ve created client libraries for a few important languages with as few dependencies as possible: pywebchannel (Python, no dependencies), webchannel.net (.NET/C#, depends on JSON.NET) and webchannel++ (header-only C++14, depends on Niels Lohmann’s JSON library).

      • Latte Dock 0.8 Released For This KDE-Aligned Desktop Dock

        Latte Dock 0.8 is now available as the latest feature update for this open-source, KDE-aligned desktop dock.

        Latte Dock 0.8 adds multiple task separators, new layout settings, new appearance settings, panel/dock mode changing, various new community layouts, larger badges, new command-line options, a number of Wayland improvements, new global shortcuts, and various other enhancements.

      • Latte Dock v0.8, “…a friendly smile…”

        Latte Dock v.0.8 released!!! The third stable release has just landed!

      • Eighth & Ninth week of coding phase, GSoC’18

        The API to interact with browser user-scripts. This will enable the plugin to create, register, remove, and get all the user-scripts loaded in the browser. Also the scripts registered by it will automatically gets unregistered when the plugin unloads.

      • GSoC 2018 – Coding Period (June 26th to July 15th): RAID on Linux

        I’ve passed in the second evaluation of Google Summer of Code 2018. I am ready for the third phase, but before that I’ll give some updates about how my progress with RAID on kpmcore is going. This post will explain how RAID management works on Linux.

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

      • Description view

        Now, coming to the description view itself, along with displaying metadata objects like Developer, Publisher, Co-op, Release Date, Genre as GtkLabels, Cover is being displayed in a thumbnail view with the game’s title placed just below the thumbnail as a GtkLabel, additionally a game’s Rating is rounded off and shown as a Star Rating. Description is shown in a GtkScrolledWindow placed just adjacent to the thumbnail.

      • GUADEC 2018 Almeria – reflections

        Almeria was a grand time, as usual being able to connect with friends and acquaintances is a large part of what makes GUADEC special. I found all the evening events to be spectacular and full of surprises. The beach party was awesome, and the flamenco night was just spectacular. I was really moved by the music and the dancing. There was clearly a lot of different influences there.

      • Ruxandra Simion: GUADEC 2018

        I would like to begin this special blog post by congratulating everybody for contributing to a memorable GUADEC. This was my first time officially attending the GUADEC conference, after attending as a visitor some of the events held in Manchester during the GUADEC 20th edition last year, and this time it was truly an amazing experience.

        [...]

        I would like to thank through this blogpost the organising team for the effort and dedication put into holding the GUADEC conference in the beautiful city of Almeria. Without all of your hard work I would not be writing this post now.

        To the women of GNOME, thank you for kindly receiving me at the women’s dinner and sharing your experiences with me. I truly appreciate it, and I will try my best to keep in touch with you all and continue to share ideas and experiences with you.

        Thank you to everyone who interacted with me after delivering the lightning speech on modernising Five or More. It really means the world to me you came by to say hi, are willing to offer feedback, or even help with some aspects.

      • Nautilus and GTK+ 4
      • GNOME’s Nautilus Port To GTK4 Making Progress

        While GTK4 likely isn’t coming out until next spring, the Nautilus file manager port to this updated tool-kit is well underway.

        GNOME contributor Ernestas Kulik has provided an update on the porting effort of Nautilus to GTK+ 4. Nautilus is now building under GTK4 and can run, but a lot of work remains.

      • GUADEC 2018 Almería

        I recently attended the recent GNOME Users and Developers European Conference (GUADEC) in Almería, Spain. This was my fifth GUADEC and as always I was able to attend thanks to my employer Canonical paying for me to be there. This year we had seven members of the Ubuntu desktop team present. Almería was a beautiful location for the conference and a good trade for the winter weather I left on the opposite side of the world in New Zealand.

  • Distributions

    • Reviews

      • Review: Hyperbola GNU/Linux-libre 0.2.4

        Hyperbola GNU/Linux-libre is a curious project that takes a number of interesting approaches which set it apart from other distributions. The Hyperbola distribution is based on snapshots of Arch Linux. While Arch Linux is a rolling release distribution, Hyperbola maintains fixed releases taken from Arch snapshots and then, according to the project’s website, the Hyperbola developers mix in security updates from Debian. The idea is to create an Arch-like operating system with a fixed base and minor patch updates.

        The distribution is dedicated to free software ideals and ships only libre software as defined by the Free Software Foundation. Finally, Hyperbola makes a special edition called Hypertalking which is based on TalkingArch and provides accessibility software for visually impaired users.

        I downloaded the distribution’s main edition which is available as a 672MB ISO. The distribution media will boot on both 32-bit and 64-bit systems with the option to select which architecture we want from the ISO’s boot menu. When the disc boots we are presented with a text console where we are advised we can see documentation for getting on-line using the Lynx web browser by typing “lynx network.html”.

        The default, text-based interface on the disc is quite minimal, but it’s enough to partition our hard drive and set up a local copy of the operating system. I don’t think it’s intended to do much more than that.

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandriva Family

      • Major updated packages for Lx 3

        Good news for OpenMandriva Lx 3 users. While OpenMandriva Lx 4.0 in on the way, we keep taking care of OMLx 3.03. Developers crisb, itchka, and TPG have made available a long list of updated packages just released to our updates repositories after the normal testing.

        Updated packages include Firefox 61.0.1, Thunderbird 52.9.0, Plasma 5.12.6, Quassel 0.12.5, Qt5 5.9.6, Libre Office 6.0.5, Mesa 18.1.3 and number of other updated KDE packages.

      • While Waiting for OpenMandriva Lx 4, OpenMandriva Lx 3 Users Get Lots of Updates

        While waiting for the forthcoming OpenMandriva Lx 4 operating system series, users of the current OpenMandriva Lx 3 release have received numerous updated packages.

        The OpenMandriva development team announced over the weekend that a long list of updated packages await users of the OpenMandriva Lx 3 operating system series, which include the recently released KDE Plasma 5.12.6 LTS desktop environment and Mozilla Firefox 61.0.1 web browser.

        “Good news for OpenMandriva Lx 3 users. While OpenMandriva Lx 4.0 in on the way, we keep taking care of OMLx 3.03. Developers crisb, itchka, and TPG have made available a long list of updated packages just released to our updates repositories after the normal testing,” reads the announcement.

    • OpenSUSE/SUSE

      • openSUSE Tumbleweed Users Get LibreOffice 6.1, Mozilla Firefox 61, and FFmpeg 4

        The month of July 2018 was pretty busy for the openSUSE Tumbleweed development team, and the first two weeks of the month already delivered dozens of updates and security fixes.

        openSUSE developer Dominique Leuenberger reports that a total of nine snapshots have been released in July 2018 for the openSUSE Tumbleweed Linux operating system series, which follows a rolling release model where users install once and receive updates forever. As expected, these 9 snapshots bring numerous updates and bugfixes.

    • Red Hat Family

    • Debian Family

      • Google Summer of Code with a Debian Project

        Yes! My project proposal was selected.

        First of all I want to mention that I began my open source adventure with Debian.

        I started to participate in the open source events like Hackathons, BSP and Conferences and doing small contribution to different projects and this is how everything started.

      • Debian 9.5 Released: “Rock Solid” GNU/Linux Distro Arrives With Spectre v2 Fix

        Following the fourth point release of Debian 9 “stretch” in March, the developers of the popular GNU/Linux distro have shipped the latest update to its stable distribution. For those who don’t know, Debian 9 is an LTS version that’ll remain supported for 5 years.

        As one would expect, this point release doesn’t bring any set of new features and keeps focusing on improving an already stable experience by delivering security patches and bug fixes. In case you’re looking for an option that brings new features, you can check out the recently released Linux Mint 19.

      • Your Help Is Needed to Test VeraCrypt Support in the Tails Anonymous OS, GNOME

        The team behind the famous Tails operating system, also known as the Amnesic Incognito Live System or simply Anonymous OS, needs your help to test the integration of the VeraCrypt disk encryption software.

        In an attempt to provide Tails users with better security, the team is working hard these days on the integration of the VeraCrypt open-source and free disk encryption utility used for on-the-fly encryption of encrypted disk drives into the next-generation Tails OS as well as the GNOME desktop environment it uses by default.

        This will let Tails users easily unlock encrypted volumes on-the-fly when using the anonymous live system to stay hidden online while protecting their identity and privacy. To makes things even easier, they created the VeraCrypt Mounter utility for unlocking VeraCrypt encrypted drives.

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Ubuntu’s Snap Apps Website Gets Much Needed Improvements

            Canonical, Ubuntu’s parent company, is pushing aggressively for the adoption of its universal packaging system Snap. And in the same bid, it has improved the user interface and user experience of its online Snap application store.

            Snap applications are a new kind of s self-contained, containerized applications. They contain most of the dependencies inside it and are confined from the operating system and other applications through security mechanisms. In other words, Snaps are more secure by design but they are bigger in size and take longer to load than the regular Linux applications.

          • Flavours and Variants

            • Ubuntu MATE – Pimp your desktop to perfection

              Ubuntu MATE has made a quantum leap of innovation in the past several months, offering a wealth of visual and functional changes and a mindblowing level of flexibility when it comes to customization. You really have the ability to implement anything and everything, and all of it natively, from within the system’s interface. The list of options is so long that it can be overwhelming.

              Hopefully, this little pimping guide puts some order into this fine and rich chaos. Ubuntu Bionic isn’t the most refined distro, but it sure has the almost infinite possibilities to make it appear and behave how you want it. You can have a classic desktop one day and then a MAC-like thing the next and then Ubuntu Unity the day after that. It’s all there, very slick, very elegant. Well, it’s time for you to do some exploring. See you.

            • Want to Make Linux Mint Look Like a Mac? This Theme Can Help

              We’ve established how easy it is to make Ubuntu look like a Mac but theming Linux Mint, the popular Ubuntu-based offshoot, is a little trickier.

              But no more.

              It’s now possible to make Linux Mint look like a Mac too, and it’s all thanks to a customised version of the uncannily accurate macOS Mojave GTK theme we highlighted here, just a few weeks ago.

              If you’ve longed to add some Cupertino styling to the Cinnamon desktop, keep reading!

            • This Week in Lubuntu Development #7

              Here is the seventh issue of This Week in Lubuntu Development. You can read the last issue here.

  • Devices/Embedded

Free Software/Open Source

  • The car industry needs to embrace open source

    The race to develop software for the connected car market is heating up as consumers expect their vehicles to give them the same experience and ease of use that they have come to know with their smartphones.

    The 2017 Autotrader Car Impact Study found that 53 percent of consumers expect their vehicles to offer the same level of technology as their phones, keeping them connected on the move.

    Unfortunately, far too many of the automotive manufacturers and the other companies that are developing products for the connected car market are stuck in neutral, unable to produce software at a pace to stay competitive with smartphone level technology.

    While the eventual goal for many of the companies in this space is aimed at coming out with the first road-ready autonomous vehicle, most of the current attention is geared towards writing code for infotainment systems, the combination of interfaces that provide services like navigation and streaming music or video to make those long commutes a little bit more bearable.

  • Luxoft joins Daimler in software for next-gen cars

    The centre is looking for QA Automation Engineers with expertise in Python, Manual QA Engineers with DevOps principles knowledge, Software Developers with Linux Embedded Expertise, C++, Qt and Tools and Automation Engineer, with Jenkins, Git and Unix systems knowledge

  • Events

    • Linux Audio Conference Team: All videos now available

      The title says it all: We have finally finished up on the remaining videos.

      You can find them all either linked on the respective event pages in the schedule or in the collection of videos on media.ccc.de (linked to in the menu).

      Due to holidays and other things in life, releasing the few remaining videos (mainly concerts, a few workshops and the keynote) took longer than anticipated. We hope they’re worth the wait and are sure you will be able to enjoy them!

    • Linux Audio Conference 2018 Videos Available For Your Enjoyment

      Taking place last month at Berlin’s C-Base was the sixteenth Linux Audio Conference. The 2018 Linux Audio Conference focused on everything from different open-source sound projects to different multimedia tools and more.

  • Pseudo-Open Source (Openwashing)

  • Programming/Development

    • Confessions of a recovering Perl hacker

      My name’s MikeCamel, and I’m a Perl hacker.

      There, I’ve said it. That’s the first step.

      My handle on IRC, Twitter and pretty much everywhere else in the world is “MikeCamel.” This is because, back in the day, when there were no chat apps—no apps at all, in fact—I was in a technical “chatroom” and the name “Mike” had been taken. I looked around, and the first thing I noticed on my desk was the Camel Book, the O’Reilly Perl Bible.

      I have the second edition now, but this was the first edition. Yesterday, I happened to pick up the second edition, the really thick one, to show someone on a video conference call, and it had a thin layer of dust on it. I was a little bit ashamed, but a little bit relieved as well.

    • RcppClassic 0.9.11

      A new maintenance release, now at version 0.9.11, of the RcppClassic package arrived earlier today on CRAN. This package provides a maintained version of the otherwise deprecated initial Rcpp API which no new projects should use as the normal Rcpp API is so much better.

    • Mike Hommey: Announcing git-cinnabar 0.5.0 beta 4

      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.

    • Russ Allbery: Review: Effective Python

Leftovers

  • Health/Nutrition

    • UK-India trade review calls for flexibility on food standards and chemical rules

      The official joint trade review – obtained by Unearthed despite the UK government’s refusal to release it – spotlights a range of non-tariff barriers to trade identified by Indian businesses, including limits on fungicides in basmati rice, the enforcement of food hygiene standards for milk and dairy products such as paneer and the use of hormone-disrupting chemicals across a range of non-food products.

      The list – drafted by the Indian ministry of commerce – stops short of demanding the rules be removed after Brexit, instead suggesting flexibility in how and when they are applied to meet the needs of exporters.

    • Monsanto ‘bullied scientists’ and hid weedkiller cancer risk, lawyer tells court

      “Monsanto has specifically gone out of its way to bully … and to fight independent researchers,” said the attorney Brent Wisner, who presented internal Monsanto emails that he said showed how the agrochemical company rejected critical research and expert warnings over the years while pursuing and helping to write favorable analyses of their products. “They fought science.”

      [...]

      Wisner also read documents that he said showed how Monsanto strategized plans to “ghostwrite” favorable research.

    • Does Roundup cause cancer? Patient’s case against Monsanto goes to trial in SF

      The case of a Benicia groundskeeper who claims he developed terminal cancer as a result of using the herbicide Roundup went to trial Monday in San Francisco Superior Court, the first of what could be a flood of cases accusing the agricultural giant Monsanto of distributing deadly poison and trying to cover it up.

    • We Have No Idea How Bad the US Tick Problem Is

      Ostfeld and his wife and research partner Felicia Keesing are in the middle of a four-year study to evaluate the efficacy of two tick-control methods in their home territory of Dutchess County, an area with one of the country’s highest rates of Lyme disease. It’s a private-public partnership between their academic institutions, the CDC, and the Steven and Alexandra Cohen Foundation, which provided a $5 million grant.

    • A Virginia teen suffered third-degree burns after touching an invasive weed that can cause severe burns, blisters, scars, and blindness — here’s what you should know about giant hogweed

      The plant’s sap, which people can encounter when they break the stem or leaves or brush against its bristles, can make skin extremely sensitive to the sun, leading to third-degree burns in a short period. Scars from the burns can last for years, and the reaction can cause blindness if sap gets in a person’s eye.

    • ‘His Face Was Peeling Off’: US Teen Hospitalized After Touching Giant Hogweed

      A Virginia teenager was hospitalized earlier this week with second and third-degree burns after touching a giant hogweed plant, an invasive species whose sap causes one to become allergic to sunlight.

    • This Giant Invasive Flower Can Give You Third-Degree Burns

      But whatever you do, don’t touch it. The giant hogweed’s toxic sap could give you third-degree burns if you don’t get out of the sun and wash it off immediately. Like an anti-sunblock, chemicals in its juices disrupt your skin’s ability to filter out harmful UV rays. Get it in your eyes and you could go blind.

      [...]

      “We’ve been getting calls and emails with parents afraid to let their children outside,” says Elaine Lidholm, a spokesperson for the Virginia Department of Agriculture. And rightly so. Hogweed sap contains a class of chemicals called furocoumarins that absorb specific wavelengths of light. Those excited molecules bounce around in skin cells causing DNA damage and cell death, starting with blisters and a raised rash. The more time you spend in the sun, the more energy they absorb, damaging tissues even further down, which can result in second- and third-degree burns.

    • ‘These Kids Are Watching Their Parents Die’

      For children growing up in the shadow of the opioid crisis, public schools have become the safety net of last resort.

    • First death linked to air pollution as government asthma advisor finds ‘striking association’ with girl’s fatality

      A government health advisor said there was a “striking association” between the times young Ella Kissi-Debrah was admitted to hospital in an emergency, and spikes of nitrogen dioxide and PM10s, the most noxious pollutants, near her home.

    • Illegal levels of air pollution linked to child’s death

      According to a report by one of the UK’s leading experts on asthma and air pollution, Prof Stephen Holgate, there was a “striking association” between Ella’s emergency hospital admissions and recorded spikes in nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and PM10s, the most noxious pollutants.

    • How Flawed Drug Testing Can Ruin Your Life

      We talked to “Ross,” who works out of a government lab in a major American city. He gave us his insider perspective on exactly what drug testing is like, and how deeply the worst parts of the system might screw you.

    • How Nestle Makes Billions Bottling Free Water

      Nestle, the world’s largest food and beverage company, bottles Michigan’s water for next to nothing and sells it at great profit. And the state has just approved its request to pump even more, despite the failed promise of jobs and 80,000 public comments against Nestle. Meanwhile, just two hours away, Flint still doesn’t have clean water. AJ+’s Dena Takruri meets those who have a stake in this fight, including local environmentalists, a tribal citizen, ordinary residents and a Nestle spokeswoman.

    • Elon Musk says he will fund fixing Flint’s foul water

      As is usually the case with plans that are barely an hour old, the details are thin as of now. But Musk—tweeting from China—told people in Flint to reply to his tweet with test results showing contamination above the recommended limits, at which point he would arrange having a water filter fitted for them. (We should note that it’s actually the EPA, not the FDA, that sets limits on environmental pollution exposure, and that the state of Michigan has already been supplying water filters to affected residents.)

    • MDEQ official who told Flint residents to ‘relax’ will lead media training for Michigan
    • He told Flint to ‘relax.’ Now, Michigan is paying him to lead media training.

      The estimated $49,000 contract lasts through 2021 and lists Brad Wurfel as one of two “key personnel” for the project, along with firm partner Deborah Muchmore. Wurfel joined the firm in 2016, about a year after resigning as DEQ communications director amid controversy from Flint’s water crisis.

    • The Flint Water Crisis Is Bigger Than Elon Musk
    • Elon Musk Calls Thai Cave Rescuer A “Pedophile” In Bizarre Twitter Outburst

      Elon Musk is known to have his meltdown moments on Twitter from time to time. Just last week, in an interview with Bloomberg, he promised to tone down his tweets and become better at the social network.

      Well, he doesn’t seem to catch a break. This time, he ended up attacking Vernon Unsworth, one of the Thai cave rescue divers who played an important role in the mission. In a now-deleted tweet, Musk called him a “pedo guy.”

    • British cave diver considering legal action after ‘pedo’ attack by Elon Musk

      British caver Vernon Unsworth, centre, gets out of pick up truck
      British caver Vernon Unsworth, centre, became the target of Elon Musk’s ire after he criticised the billionaire’s plan to use a submarine to rescue 12 trapped boys Photograph: STAFF/Reuters

      A British cave diver who was instrumental in the rescue of 12 children trapped in a northern Thailand cave says he is considering legal action after the inventor Elon Musk called him a “pedo” on Twitter.

      Vernon Unsworth, 63, told the Guardian on Monday he was “astonished and very angry” at the attack, for which Musk offered no evidence or basis. The billionaire initially doubled down on the comments made on social media, but has since deleted them.

    • Water Is a Human Right – in Flint, in Michigan, and the US

      While US standards allow for small levels of lead, from a public health perspective there is no safe level of lead.

    • ‘Nothing to worry about. The water is fine’: how Flint poisoned its people

      This is the story of how the city of Flint was poisoned by its own water. It was not because of a natural disaster, or simple negligence, or even because some corner-cutting company was blinded by profit. Instead, a disastrous choice to break a crucial environmental law, followed by 18 months of delay and cover-up by the city, state and federal governments, put a staggering number of citizens in peril.

      [...]

      What happened in Flint reveals a new hydra of dangers in civic life: environmental injustice, the limits of austerity, and urban disinvestment. Neglect, it turns out, is not a passive force in American cities, but an aggressive one.

    • Michigan DHHS director makes final push to avoid Flint water jury trial

      Attorneys for Lyon and special Flint water prosecutor Todd Flood are scheduled to argue whether the director should be bound over on charges of involuntary manslaughter and misconduct in office on Wednesday, July 10, more than a year after he was arraigned on the charges.

    • The Next Flint Water Nightmare Could Be Closer Than You Think

      Clark’s new book, The Poisoned City: Flint’s Water and the American Urban Tragedy, out this week, retells the story of Flint in a compelling, nuanced fashion that’s sure to make readers angry all over again. It’s a story of failure and misconduct that seems all the more urgent at a time when the people in charge of the government are trying to dismantle federal agencies.

      I recently talked to Clark why citizen complaints about Flint’s water were ignored, how media pressure turned the crisis into a national conversation, and whether other cities could be at risk for a Flint-like crisis.

    • Task force set up to combat marine pollution, judicial commission told

      Officials of the PN, KPT, Port Qasim Authority, Karachi and Korangi fish harbour authorities, Karachi Sewerage and Water Board, Sindh Environmental Protection Agency, TDAP, secretary for environment and alternative energy, secretary for livestock and fisheries and others were in attendance during a meeting held by the commission at the Sindh High Court on Saturday.

      The participants discussed the issue of marine pollution and related concerns such as discharge of municipal and industrial waste across West Wharf and Karachi and Korangi fish harbours.

    • No Fish In ­Water Vapour: In Gujarat, Fishermen Are Suffering Due To Narmada Waters
    • Over 80pc water supplied through private tankers unfit for consumption: Wasa

      More than 80pc of water supplied by private tanker services in the garrison city is unfit for human consumption, a laboratory report from the Water and Sanitation Agency (Wasa) has found.

      The report was presented to Commissioner retired Capt Saif Anjum during a meeting at his offices on Saturday.

    • Nevada to become first state to execute inmate with fentanyl

      The state intends to use a synthetic opioid – involved in more than 20,000 overdose deaths in 2016 alone – to kill Scott Dozier, a double murderer, after finding it difficult to obtain other drugs for Nevada’s first execution in 12 years because of opposition from pharmaceutical manufacturers.

      But questions have been raised about whether Nevada’s department of corrections broke the law to obtain the fentanyl, and whether the multibillion dollar distribution company that provided the drug ignored evidence it was to be used in an execution.

  • Security

    • Data breaches show we’re only three clicks away from anarchy

      An IT glitch afflicting BP petrol stations for three hours last Sunday evening might not sound like headline news. A ten-hour meltdown of Visa card payment systems in June was a bigger story — as was the notorious TSB computer upgrade cock-up that started on 20 April, which was still afflicting customers a month later and was reported this week to be causing ruptures between TSB and its Spanish parent Sabadell.

      Meanwhile, what do Fortnum & Mason, Dixons Carphone, Costa Coffee and its sister company Premier Inn have in common with various parts of the NHS? The answer is that they have all suffered recent large-scale ‘data breaches’ that may have put private individuals’ information at risk. IT Governance, a blog that monitors international news stories in this sphere, came up with a global figure of 145 million ‘records leaked’ last month alone. Such leaks are daily events everywhere — and a lesson of the TSB story was that cyber fraudsters are waiting to attack wherever private data becomes accessible, whether because of computer breakdown or lax data protection.

    • UK security researcher Hutchins makes renewed bid for freedom

      British security researcher Marcus Hutchins, who was arrested by the FBI last August over alleged charges of creating and distributing a banking trojan, has made a fresh bid to go free, claiming that the US has no territorial jurisdiction to file charges against him for alleged crimes committed elsewhere.

    • Common Ground: For Secure Elections and True National Security

      An open letter by Gloria Steinem, Noam Chomsky, John Dean, Governor Bill Richardson, Walter Mosley, Michael Moore, Valerie Plame, and others.

    • Containers or virtual machines: ​Which is more secure? The answer will surprise you

      Are virtual machines (VM) more secure than containers? You may think you know the answer, but IBM Research has found containers can be as secure, or more secure, than VMs.

      James Bottomley, an IBM Research Distinguished Engineer and top Linux kernel developer, writes: “One of the biggest problems with the current debate about Container vs Hypervisor security is that no-one has actually developed a way of measuring security, so the debate is all in qualitative terms (hypervisors ‘feel’ more secure than containers because of the interface breadth) but no-one actually has done a quantitative comparison.” To meet this need, Bottomley created Horizontal Attack Profile (HAP), designed to describe system security in a way that it can be objectively measured. Bottomley has discovered that “a Docker container with a well crafted seccomp profile (which blocks unexpected system calls) provides roughly equivalent security to a hypervisor.”

    • A New Method of Containment: IBM Nabla Containers

      In the previous post about Containers and Cloud Security, I noted that most of the tenants of a Cloud Service Provider (CSP) could safely not worry about the Horizontal Attack Profile (HAP) and leave the CSP to manage the risk. However, there is a small category of jobs (mostly in the financial and allied industries) where the damage done by a Horizontal Breach of the container cannot be adequately compensated by contractual remedies. For these cases, a team at IBM research has been looking at ways of reducing the HAP with a view to making containers more secure than hypervisors. For the impatient, the full open source release of the Nabla Containers technology is here and here, but for the more patient, let me explain what we did and why. We’ll have a follow on post about the measurement methodology for the HAP and how we proved better containment than even hypervisor solutions.

      [...]

      Like most sandbox models, the Nabla containers approach is an alternative to namespacing for containment, but it still requires cgroups for resource management. The figures show that the containment HAP is actually better than that achieved with a hypervisor and the performance, while being marginally less than a namespaced container, is greater than that obtained by running a container inside a hypervisor. Thus we conclude that for tenants who have a real need for HAP reduction, this is a viable technology.

    • Measuring the Horizontal Attack Profile of Nabla Containers
    • Tron (TRX) Gives $25,000 to 5 Developers Who Spotted Bugs in Open-Source Code

      Just a couple of days ago, Binance – a very popular digital currency trading platform – credited the Binance account of thirty-one selected Tron (TRX) traders with five million TRX tokens. Recently, the Tron Foundation has also announced it gave away $25k to five developers that are actively working to redefine the community of Tron.

    • Open Source Security Podcast: Episode 105 – More backdoors in open source
    • GandCrab v4.1 Ransomware and the Speculated SMB Exploit Spreader [Ed: Microsoft’s collaboration with the NSA on back doors is a gift to keeps giving…. to crackers.]
    • Rewritten GandCrab Ransomware Targets SMB Vulnerabilities To Attack Faster

      GandCrab ransomware, which has created a hullabaloo in the cybersecurity industry by constantly evolving, has yet again caused a commotion. The latest version of the ransomware attacks system using SMB exploit spreader via compromised websites. The ransomware is adding new features every day to target different countries.

      The attackers behind the ransomware are scanning the whole internet to find the vulnerable websites to unleash the attack. The latest version features a long hard-coded list of websites that were compromised and were used to connect with it.

    • France’s cyber command marched in Paris’s Bastille Day Parade for the first time

      For the first time, France’s military cyber command marched in this year’s Bastille Day parade on the Champs Elysees in Paris, alongside other units in the nation’s armed forces. The military noted that it’s a recognition of the advances that the unit has made since its formation last year, and reinforces that “cyber defense remains a national priority.”

      French defense minister Jean-Yves Le Drian announced the formation of COMCYBER in December 2016, noting that the emergence of state actors operating in cyberspace was a new way to approach warfare. The command brought all of the nation’s soldiers focused on cyber defense under one command, with three main tasks: cyber intelligence, protection, and offense.

    • Should I let my staff choose their own kit and, if so, how?
  • Defence/Aggression

    • The lethal Obama’s big SA welcome

      Next week, South Africans will welcome former US president Barack Obama to the country. He will be celebrated because he is one of us – he is black, an African, a son of the soil…

      Obama will deliver the Nelson Mandela Annual Lecture. However, the significance of the connection between Obama, as the first black president of the US, and our own first black president is overstated. Mandela did not side with the rich and powerful. He was also opposed to the deathly military adventurism that is so intrinsic to US foreign policy.

      Obama refined this policy and included targeted assassinations of “brown” people. Remember how apartheid’s defence force targeted and assassinated exiled South Africans? As a journalist in the 1980s, I witnessed this destruction of families. And those people Obama’s fighters assassinated? Well, they were “terrorists”. The same as the people the apartheid regime assassinated.

      That we will accept Obama uncritically says more about our own duplicities, expediencies, blindness, gullibility and, of course, our racial biases and prejudices. We like him because he is one of us – he is black.

    • 2 Killed in Gaza, 4 Wounded in Israel, in Most Intense Fighting Since 2014 War

      Two Palestinians were killed in an Israeli airstrike and four Israelis were wounded by mortar fire from Gaza on Saturday as fighting in and around the Gaza Strip escalated to what the Israeli prime minister called the most intense level since the 2014 war.

      Hamas and allied Islamic militant groups fired nearly 100 projectiles at Israeli territory throughout the day, most of them mortar rounds, though rockets were fired at the city of Ashkelon.

      Israel’s Iron Dome air-defense batteries intercepted more than 20 of those that had the potential to do damage, the military said, but some got through. A mortar struck the courtyard of a Sderot synagogue, according to the Israeli military, and local news media reported that a house in Sderot was also hit, wounding four members of a family.

    • CAL THOMAS: Is Europe awakening to the threat?

      Much of Europe was asleep, or in denial, when the Nazis took power and began rebuilding their military in violation of the Versailles Treaty that brought World War I to

    • Turkey Attempted to Stop Broadcast of Assyrian Genocide Documentary

      The Turkish Embassy in Sweden officially asked the Swedish television channel TV4 last week not to air a documentary on the Assyrian Genocide. The documentary Seyfo 1915 — The Assyrian Genocide by the director Aziz Said and produced by the Assyrian Federation of Sweden was scheduled to be aired on Sunday 24 April, the day Assyrians and Armenians commemorate the victims of the genocide perpetrated by the ruling Young Turks during the late phase of the Ottoman Empire.

    • Anti-terrorism: Hate Speech

      To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether, in pursuit of their anti-terrorism strategy, they will require preaching in mosques and teaching in madrassas in England and Wales to be monitored for hate speech against non-Muslims.

    • Six killed, Baptist church burnt in fresh Plateau attack

      According to an eyewitness, the fresh attack lasted for almost an hour before the intervention of the military.

    • Indonesian forces to blame for Papua killings: Amnesty

      Indonesian security forces are behind the unlawful killing of at least 95 people in Papua since 2010, with most perpetrators never held to account, Amnesty International said in a new report on Monday.

      Papua, on the western half of New Guinea island, has been the scene of a simmering independence insurgency since it was annexed by Indonesia in the late 1960s.

    • Indonesia: Falling to Radicals

      If the repatriated foreign fighters are able to radicalize Indonesia’s Muslims, all of the country may eventually resemble Aceh Province, where, after a lengthy reign of terror by Islamic militias, most Christians have been driven out.

    • Regional Election; Playing the Religion Card in North Sumatra
    • Rape of hill girls triggers protest at Shahbagh

      Three women’s rights platforms formed a human chain in front of Bangladesh National Museum in Dhaka’s Shahbagh this morning demanding immediate arrests and exemplary punishment of all the perpetrators who raped two indigenous girls in Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) this month.

    • Victims of rape in South Asia face further violation from the courts

      The so-called “two-finger test”, in which a doctor examines the vagina to decide if a woman is sexually active, was banned in India in 2014, after the Supreme Court ruled that it was an invasion of privacy (as well as irrelevant). In 2016 Pakistan prohibited the test from being used in rape trials. This year Bangladesh followed suit. Yet in all three countries the test is still widely used.

      Last year Human Rights Watch, an internationtional pressure group, found that the test is still routine in Rajasthani hospitals. And this year an Indian human-rights organisation, Jan Sahas, looked at the records of 200 group-rape trials and concluded that the test was a deciding factor in 80% of them.

    • Finland has second thoughts about its women soldiers

      “We have to have a universal military service, so that we are able to train for war a military of 280,000 people,” he told Finnish public TV.

    • Taliban’s best fighters being trained by Iran

      Hundreds of Taliban fighters are receiving advanced training from special forces at military academies in Iran as part of a significant escalation of support for the insurgents, Taliban and Afghan officials have told The Times.

      [...]

      A political adviser to the Taliban at its Quetta Shura headquarters in Pakistan said: “The Iranian offer of training came with two demands: that we should put more focus on attacking American and Nato interests in Afghanistan, and devote more forces to attacking the Daesh [Isis].”

    • Telangana student shot dead in US eatery; police release suspect video
    • Wimbledon ‘ring of steel’ goes up as police chief warns vehicle terror attacks are continuing threat

      The waist-high posts are a new feature of the ‘ring of steel’ thrown around the All England Lawn Tennis Club to guard against the nightmare scenario of a vehicle being used to mount pavements and ram innocent tennis fans.

    • Salafist Scare in Sweden as Report Points to Avalanche Growth of Radical Islam

      According to the report, named “Between Salafism and Salafic Jihadism,” the number of Islamist extremists has grown tenfold over the past decade.

    • South Koreans resist arrival of Yemeni asylum seekers

      “And local people here are worried,” Kim added. “We have all read about the problems that immigrants have caused in Europe — in Germany and France in particular — and we do not want that to happen here.

      “And we are also worried because of their religion,” he admitted. “We have had no contact with Muslim people before, but we know that they all have big families and they bring their own culture instead of trying to adapt to the place where they live, so people here think that they should have gone as refugees to other Muslim countries.”

  • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

    • Britain is reportedly in high level talks with Ecuador to evict Julian Assange from the London embassy

      JULIAN Assange is reportedly set to be evicted from Ecuador’s London embassy after six years of asylum, with Britain in high-level talks with the South American country.

      Ministers and senior Foreign Office officials are said to be in discussions over the future of the Australian WikiLeaks founder, who has been confined to the Ecuador embassy in Knightsbridge for more than six years.

      His refuge in the building has cost taxpayers millions of dollars since he fled there 2012.

    • New bid to kick Assange out of embassy

      BRITAIN is in high-level talks with Ecuador to evict Julian Assange from the country’s London embassy, it was reported yesterday.

    • Ecuador’s new president might be ready to kick Julian Assange out of London embassy

      Wikileaks founder Julian Assange has been living in the Ecuadorian embassy for six years, but the country’s new president is ready to evict.

      According to The Sunday Express, Foreign Office minister Sir Alan Duncan is “said to be involved in a diplomatic effort” just weeks ahead of President Lenin Moreno’s visit.

    • Britain, Ecuador in ‘High-Level’ Talks to Evict Julian Assange from Embassy

      Speaking to reporters from the balcony’s Ecuador London embassy in 2012, Assange called on U.S. authorities to halt its investigation into WikiLeaks. “I ask President Obama to do the right thing. The United States must renounce its witch hunt against WikiLeaks,” said Assange. “The United States must dissolve its FBI investigation. The United States must vow that it will not seek to prosecute our staff or our supporters.”

      Embassy staffers in March cut off Assange’s internet access and revoked permission to receive visitors.

    • Britain ‘is in secret talks with Ecuador in bid to evict Julian Assange from South American country’s London embassy’

      Britain is in secret talks with Ecuador to evict Wikileaks founder Julian Assange from its embassy in London.

      Senior foreign officials, believed to include the Foreign Office minister Sir Alan Duncan, are in talks to try and decide Mr Assange’s future.

      He has been living at the embassy in Knightsbridge, in London, since June 2012 and is fearful he will be extradited to the United States if he leaves.

      The top-level discussions come just weeks before a UK visit by new Ecuador President Lenin Moreno who has previously called Assange a ‘hacker’ and a ‘stone in the shoe’, according to The Sunday Times.

    • Julian Assange WikiLeaks founder could be EVICTED from Ecuador embassy

      As Julian Assange awaits possible eviction, we take a look back.

    • Report: Julian Assange Soon May Be Kicked Out of Embassy
    • New bid to kick Assange out of embassy

      But since then, Mr Assange has fallen out with the Moreno administration, which has cut off his internet access, installed jammers and banned visitors apart from his lawyers.

      Ecuador has even considered appointing Mr Assange to the United Nations in a desperate bid to get him out, according to documents from Ecuador’s intelligence agency Senain obtained by The Guardian.

      Officials believed the move would give him diplomatic immunity and enable him to escape without arrest. Last month two officials from the Australian High Commission paid a first visit in six years to the embassy in a signal that there may be a breakthrough in the stalemate.

    • Britain is reportedly in high level talks with Ecuador to evict Julian Assange from the London embassy
    • Ecuador in talks to evict Julian Assange, its ‘stone in the shoe’

      The South American state and UK ministers are trying to find a way to evict the WikiLeaks founder from its London embassy

    • Assange could soon be evicted from London embassy

      WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange may soon be evicted from the London embassy that has sheltered him for the last six years.

      Ecuador, which has played host to the political provocateur since 2012, and Britain are in high-level discussions over Assange’s fate, the Sunday Times of London reported.

      New Ecuadorean president Lenin Moreno – who has called Assange a “stone in the shoe” – dismisses him as a problem he inherited from his predecessor.

      The South American nation’s former president granted Assange political asylum shortly after the Australian was accused of sexual assault and rape in Sweden.

      Assange claimed the charges were part of a U.S. plot to discredit him for WikiLeaks disclosures that embarrassed the Obama administration.

      Bur Ecuador’s new government, which has cut off his Internet access and banned most visitors, isn’t buying the story.

    • Assange on line over DNC email origins

      At the beginning of 2017, one of Julian Assange’s biggest media boosters travelled to the WikiLeaks founder’s refuge inside the Ecuadorian embassy in London and asked him where he got the leaks that shook up the US presidential election only months earlier.

      Fox News host Sean Hannity pointed straight to the purloined emails from the Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman.

      “Can you say to the American people, unequivocally, that you did not get this information about the DNC, John Podesta’s emails, can you tell the American people 1000 per cent you did not get it from Russia or anybody associated with Russia?”

      “Yes,” Assange said. “We can say – we have said repeatedly – over the last two months that our source is not the Russian government and it is not a state party.”

    • US Kept Tabs on Mexico’s President-Elect for Years, WikiLeaks Shows

      The two-cable series has revealed confidential exchanges between Washington and US outposts in Mexico since 2006, bearing testimony to attempts by the previous administration to profile the nation’s leftist leaders and parties.

      A 2009 memo written in the name of then State Secretary Hillary Clinton inquired about ties between Lopez Obrador, also known as AMLO, and his political allies, and the extent to which they were likely to work together in the run-up to 2010 and 2012 elections.

    • Julian Assange Scores Major Legal Victory as Court Orders Safe Passage of Wikileaks Founder Out of Embassy

      The Inter-American Court of Human Rights based in Costa Rica is a multinational independent judicial body which handles court cases relating to the human rights of individuals in or effected by the laws of the members states of the Organization of American States (OAS). At present the OAS is comprised of every North American, Central American and South American nation, although Venezuela has expressed a desire to withdraw from the body.

      Today, the Court ruled that it is the duty of nations to allow for the passage of successful asylum seekers from embassies to the mainland territory of the state that has granted an individual asylum. For Julian Assange, this would mean that according to the Court’s decision, Britain has a legal obligation to allow Julian Assange to exit the Ecuadorian Embassy in London in peace and allow for his safe transit to an airport from which he would be able to fly to Ecuador, the country that has granted Assange asylum and where he now also holds formal citizenship.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife/Nature

    • As Electricity Returns to Puerto Rico, Its People Want More Power

      A nine-month, $3.8-billion effort to end the longest blackout in U.S. history has restored power to much of Puerto Rico.

    • Puerto Rico’s New Electric Utility Chief to Get $750,000 Salary

      Former General Electric executive Rafael Diaz-Granados will replace Walter Higgins as chief executive officer of the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority, according to a statement from the utility. His salary, up from the controversial $450,000 base pay that Higgins garnered during his short tenure.

    • Pope Francis warns against turning Earth into vast pile of ‘rubble, deserts and refuse’

      “There is a real danger that we will leave future generations only rubble, deserts and refuse,” he warned.

    • Mumbai beach turns garbage dump after Arabian Sea vomits trash: Horrifying photos

      Despite multiple clean-up drives undertaken by concerned citizens, Mumbai’s waste problem continues to afflict its beaches. It has been exacerbated by the flow of untreated sewage into the Arabian Sea. Dumping of plastic trash in the sea has become a killer for aquatic life and is also affecting the marine food chain.

    • Delhi Air Pollution: Introducing A Fleet Of 1,000 Electric Buses Likely To Improve Air Quality
    • How the people of Delhi saved 16,000 trees from the axe

      Delhi is one of the world’s most polluted cities, with air quality frequently reaching hazardous levels. The one mitigating factor is that large parts of the city still have substantial green cover, although this has also been depleting due to development [sic] projects.

    • Orcas of the Pacific Northwest Are Starving and Disappearing

      Normally four or five calves would be born each year among this fairly unique urban population of whales — pods named J, K and L. But most recently, the number of orcas here has dwindled to just 75, a 30-year-low in what seems to be an inexorable, perplexing decline.

      [...]

      iNot only are there fewer calves in recent years, but signs of inbreeding also point to a weakening population. In the 1970s and 80s, theme parks like Sea World captured nearly 4 dozen orcas from the region, possibly shrinking the pods’ gene pool. In the last three decades, just two males fathered half the calves in the last three decades, and only a third of the females are breeding, just once every decade instead of every five years. Researchers worry that reproducing females are aging out of the population, and won’t be replaced.

    • Scott Pruitt’s grubby tenure at the EPA is over

      Indeed, under Andrew Wheeler, its new acting administrator, the agency could be more effective at ravaging it. A former coal lobbyist, Mr Wheeler is also a climate change sceptic and considered an effective bureaucratic operator. He promises a less scandal-plagued and more quietly efficient Trumpian EPA. Mr Pruitt’s departure would in that case be good for accountability but more bad news for the environment.

    • Pruitt grants loophole to ‘super polluting’ diesel truck manufacturers on last day at EPA

      Glider trucks combine older engines–that do not meet modern emissions requirements–with newer truck bodies. The Times reported that small fleet owners have sought out glider trucks in order to evade emissions regulations, as they are cheaper to run.

    • ‘Super Polluting’ Trucks Receive Loophole on Pruitt’s Last Day

      In the final hours of Scott Pruitt’s tenure as administrator, the Environmental Protection Agency moved on Friday to effectively grant a loophole that will allow a major increase in the manufacturing of a diesel freight truck that produces as much as 55 times the air pollution as trucks that have modern emissions controls.

    • 5 Things to Know About Acting EPA Chief Andrew Wheeler

      According to Trump’s announcement via Twitter, Andrew Wheeler, Pruitt’s recently-Senate confirmed deputy, will “assume duties as the acting Administrator of the EPA” on Monday, July 9. Wheeler will hold the position until until the president formally announces a new agency head, as noted by the New York Times, which could keep Wheeler in the job for several months. Given that information, here is everything you should know about the new leader of the EPA…

    • Air pollution is triggering diabetes in 3.2 million people each year

      The new estimate, reported in July in The Lancet Planetary Health, holds air pollution responsible for about 14 percent of new cases of diabetes worldwide. Factors such as genetics, weight, activity level and diet also influence the risk of the disease, which is on the rise globally. (The World Health Organization estimates that 422 million people now live with type 2 diabetes — up from 108 million in 1980.)

    • Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) – April 2017 to March 2018, Annual Report, Experimental Statistics Report

      There were 6,195 individual women and girls who had an attendance where FGM was identified or a procedure related to FGM was undertaken in the period April 2017 to March 2018. These accounted for 9,490 attendances reported at NHS trusts and GP practices where FGM was identified or a procedure related to FGM was undertaken.

      There were 4,495 newly recorded women and girls in the period April 2017 to March 2018. Newly recorded means this is the first time they have appeared in this dataset. It does not indicate how recently the FGM was undertaken, nor does it mean that this is the woman or girl’s first attendance for FGM.

    • Viral Test: Does Congress support female genital mutilation?

      Just recently, the Congress encountered backlash on social media because its spokesman Abhishek Singhvi, a top-notch lawyer himself, represented a Muslim group that defends the practice of female circumcision.

    • Network of survivors demands ban on female genital mutilation

      On the day the Supreme Court came out strongly against female genital mutilation (FGM) and circumcision, a network of survivors, ‘WeSpeakOut’, reiterated the demand for a ban on the practice prevalent among Dawoodi Bohra Muslims.

    • Supreme Court questions practice of female genital mutilation

      The plea has sought a direction to make FGM an offence on which the law enforcement agencies can take cognisance on their own. It has also sought to make the offence “non-compoundable and non-bailable” with provision for harsh punishment.

    • 6,000 Girls & Women Reported FGM in Britain Over the Past Year

      More than 6,000 women and girls who visited a doctor, midwife, obstetrician, or another public health service in England between April 2017 and March 2018 had undergone FGM at some point in their lives, official figures showed.

  • Finance

    • How Tipping Shortchanges Workers

      Tipping also perpetuates discrimination. Studies show that customers of all races tip black waiters less than white ones, no matter the level of service; conversely, white servers make more in tips than any other racial group. Customers also tip beautiful women more than those thought unattractive.

      The size of a gratuity has little to do with rewarding good service, accounting for less than a 3 percent difference in how much people tip. Instead, people’s biases are in the driver’s seat.

    • Why the world should adopt a basic income

      Contrary to conventional wisdom, the case for BI does not rest on the assumption that robots and artificial intelligence will cause mass unemployment or that it would be a more efficient way of relieving poverty than present welfare systems (although it would). The main arguments are ethical and relate to social justice, individual freedom and the need for basic security.

    • Trump driver sues over unpaid overtime

      Donald Trump’s former driver claims he was not paid for thousands of hours of overtime and is now suing the Trump Organisation.

      One of Noel Cintron’s lawyers, Larry Hutcher, told NBC News he is allegedly owed US$350,000 (AU$470,000).

      The suit reportedly lists the Trump Organisation as a defendant but not the president himself.

    • Trump’s visit marks the start of shock doctrine Brexit

      The term “Shock Doctrine” was first used by Naomi Klein in her 2007 book of the same name. With the subheader “The rise of disaster capitalism”, she outlined her thesis: while advocates of neoliberal capitalism said it would dance hand in hand with democracy as these ideologies encircled the world, in fact neoliberalism marches in step with violence and disaster.

      In Chile, the dictator Augusto Pinochet delivered the radical right plans concocted by economist Milton Friedman on the back of his 1973 military coup and aided by the torture and murder of thousands, often using electronic batons to literally shock people into acquiescence. Throughout the late 20th century, the International Monetary Fund came into former colonies when they faced crises and used the leverage of much-needed loans to force mass privatisations, tax cuts for the rich and public spending cuts for the rest.

      After the tsunami swept across the Indian Ocean in 2004, beaches were privatised by hotels. After Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans in 2005, Klein has since written, “I watched hordes of private military contractors descend on the flooded city to find ways to profit from the disaster, even as thousands of the city’s residents, abandoned by their government, were treated like dangerous criminals just for trying to survive.”

      From the privatisation of war in Iraq and Afghanistan to the divvying up of oil contracts afterwards, the rich and powerful and their pet governments have become expert in using crises to ensure that they continue to profit as ordinary people lose everything.

    • The right to join a union is a right that is needed now

      For millions of America’s more than 153 million workers, there is still far too little “equality in the pursuit of happiness.” In fact, 90 percent of the country’s workers have wages that are stagnated since 1967, and income inequality remains at an unprecedented level. And in real terms more than 12 million American workers are still today either unemployed or underemployed.

    • Amazon will sell more online than everyone else In the U.S. combined next year

      Amazon’s market share will increase 15 percentage points from 2016 to 2019.

    • Exploited Amazon workers need a union. When will they get one?

      Amazon has suppressed all efforts since its founding, but with widespread employee abuse, only unions can hold the company accountable

    • Union: Activation model hitting Finland’s senior unemployed hardest

      Union data showed that just 13 percent of long-term unemployed or jobless persons close to retirement age were able to avoid having their benefits cut.

  • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • 32 arrested after India mob lynches man over WhatsApp child abduction rumour

      Indian police said on Sunday they have arrested 32 people after a man was killed by a mob in the country’s latest lynching over suspicion of child kidnapping sparked by rumours on WhatsApp.

      [...]

      The spate of lynchings started last May in eastern Jharkhand state after rumours on WhatsApp about child kidnappers led to the killing of seven men.

      The rumours have since resurfaced, with 21 deaths reported in dozens of attacks across the country mostly targeting non-locals.

    • WhatsApp group admin held in Bidar

      The Bidar police have arrested 28 persons, including the administrator of a WhatsApp group and one of its members, on charges of killing a Hyderabad-based engineer and injuring three others on suspicion of child-lifting.

    • Techie Beaten To Death By Mob In Karnataka After WhatsApp Rumours

      More than 20 people have been killed across India over fake WhatsApp rumours. The last such incident took place in Maharashtra’s Dhule, where five people were killed. The WhatsApp videos that had triggered the attack were fake – one of them was a five-year-old video from Syria that had photographs of children who died in a nerve gas attack.

    • First Earth Battalion: Bombshell book reveals classified ‘psychic warfare’ military unit

      A BOMBSHELL new book is set to reveal the secrets of a CIA unit designed to train psychic soldiers.

      The book – “Project Stargate” – unearths thousands of declassified US government on the top secret “First Earth Battalion”.

      Author Axel Balthazar claims his findings could “require us to rethink everything we think we know about physics, the human mind, and the nature of reality”.

      He told Daily Star Online: “The official story is that these things didn’t work, that they were a joke, and a waste of taxpayer money.

    • US indictments may queer pitch for ex-NSA hackers [sic]

      The US Justice Department’s indictment of 12 Russians for alleged hacking offences connected to the 2016 US presidential election on Friday has got at least one ex-NSA hacker [sic] fearing a reprisal.

    • Finns rally against Trump, Putin ahead of Helsinki summit

      About 2,500 protesters demonstrated in support of human rights, democracy and the environment in Helsinki on Sunday, a day before U.S. President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin hold a summit in the Finnish capital.

    • 12 Russian intel officers indicted for hacking the DNC and Clinton campaign

      The indictments were filed by Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller, who is investigating possible collusion between the presidential campaign of President Donald Trump and the Russian spies US intelligence agencies say interfered with the 2016 election. So far, Mueller’s team has indicted 32 people, including members of a Russian company that blanketed social media with fake news stories and senior members of the Trump campaign. Friday’s indictments were disclosed by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein at a press conference in Washington, DC.

    • UK’s Theresa May: Trump told me to ‘sue the EU’ over Brexit

      Donald Trump advised British Prime Minister Theresa May to “sue” the European Union in the tense negotiations over Britain’s exit from the bloc, May said Sunday.

      The American president told reporters Friday at a joint press conference with May that he had given the British leader a suggestion that she found too “brutal.” Asked Sunday on the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show what that suggestion was, May said with an amused expression: “He told me I should sue the EU. Not go into negotiation, sue them.”

      She added: “What the president also said at that press conference was ‘Don’t walk away. Don’t walk away from the negotiations. Then you’re stuck.’”

    • Memo to the President Ahead of Monday’s Summit

      If you are wondering why so little is heard these days of accusations that Russia hacked into the U.S. election in 2016, it could be because those charges could not withstand close scrutiny. It could also be because special counsel Robert Mueller appears to have never bothered to investigate what was once the central alleged crime in Russia-gate as no one associated with WikiLeaks has ever been questioned by his team.

      Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity — including two “alumni” who were former National Security Agency technical directors — have long since concluded that Julian Assange did not acquire what he called the “emails related to Hillary Clinton” via a “hack” by the Russians or anyone else. They found, rather, that he got them from someone with physical access to Democratic National Committee computers who copied the material onto an external storage device — probably a thumb drive. In December 2016 VIPS explained this in some detail in an open Memorandum to President Barack Obama.

      On January 18, 2017 President Obama admitted that the “conclusions” of U.S. intelligence regarding how the alleged Russian hacking got to WikiLeaks were “inconclusive.” Even the vapid FBI/CIA/NSA “Intelligence Community Assessment of Russian Activities and Intentions in Recent U.S. Elections” of January 6, 2017, which tried to blame Russian President Vladimir Putin for election interference, contained no direct evidence of Russian involvement. That did not prevent the “handpicked” authors of that poor excuse for intelligence analysis from expressing “high confidence” that Russian intelligence “relayed material it acquired from the Democratic National Committee … to WikiLeaks.” Handpicked analysts, of course, say what they are handpicked to say.

  • Censorship/Free Speech

    • Swedish Farmers Slammed as ‘Racist’ for Flag Image in Support of Football Squad

      To support their national football team during the ongoing World Cup in Russia, Torpshammar natives Per Johan Andersson and his wife Katrine created a vibrant image of a national flag made of hay sacks and posted it on Facebook. While welcomed by thousands of buoyant Swedish fans, the image also inspired “anti-racists” to fill the comments section with hatred against the farmer and his wife.

    • Alex Jones Claims The White House Asked Him For A Report On Internet Censorship

      Alex Jones, the conspiracy theorist who called the Sandy Hook shooting a hoax, claimed that the White House asked him to prepare a report about the supposed censorship of conservative voices online when he recently spoke with President Trump.

      Yesterday, on his daily Infowars show, Jones claimed that tech industries are working to censor websites like his own but they aren’t willing to “implement the censorship fully because they’re afraid [that] Congress and Trump might call them out.” A recent Pew Research Center poll found that a majority of Americans believe that social media companies censor specific political viewpoints, despite a lack of concrete evidence illustrating any such systemic discrimination; rather, it seems the opposite is true.

    • Real danger not fake news – it’s censorship

      Social media giants like Twitter and Facebook that used to brag about promoting free speech now say they’re taking on a new role — the speech police.

      Twitter is suspending as many as a million accounts a day, with 70 million silenced in May and June, according to data disclosed recently. The massive purge is to prevent the spread of fake news, Twitter says. The problem is this: Who decides what’s fake?

    • House Lawmakers To Question Facebook, Alphabet, Twitter Over Political Bias And Censorship

      The House Judiciary Committee is set to question the biggest social media companies Tuesday on their social media filtering practices, which will likely lead to accusations of political bias from Republican lawmakers

      Top executives for Google, Facebook, and YouTube will be present to testify.

      “The advent of social media has made it possible for people to connect across continents, explore vast amounts of information, and share meaningful dialogue with friends and strangers,” House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte said in a statement. “However, this same technology can be used to suppress a particular viewpoint and manipulate public opinion.”

    • Social Media Giants To Testify On Alleged Censorship Of Conservative Views

      Facebook, Twitter and YouTube officials are set to testify about censorship practices on social media and whether conservative viewpoints are being suppressed.

    • House Judiciary Committee to Hold Hearing on Social Media Censorship
    • Representatives from the three social media giants will answer questions on whether they promote liberal viewpoints over conservative ones Tuesday.

    • Big tech’s censorship of conservative users is alive and well

      A study released by the Pew Research Center in late June has once again brought to the surface a key issue of the Obama-era Title II net neutrality regulations: America’s concern about big tech’s approach to privacy, censorship and political bias and how Obama ignored it.

      The study found that “seven-in-ten Americans think it likely that social media companies intentionally censor political views they find objectionable.”

    • The powers that be love censorship

      Recently, General Ghafoor fielded questions from journalists, where one asked him why Imran Khan should be spared if Sharif and Zardari were under fire. The question may be wrong, but we cannot discourage the culture of asking for answers from people in power.

      The one time that I felt this was most important was during the time that Kulbhushan Jadhav’s issue was the talk of the town. From the very start, when General Asim Bajwa, along with former information minister Pervez Rashid, introduced the Indian agent, there were many questions that should have been asked.

      The same reporter was present during this event as well, but he remained silent along with the many other journalists who chose to censor themselves. However, during this time another journalist raised another question — unrelated to Jadhav — but was asked to leave the room.

    • Bilawal terms ‘press censorship’ as pre-poll rigging

      The PPP has warned of pre-poll rigging ahead of a general election on July 25, a day after tensions were ratcheted higher by the dramatic arrest of former premier Nawaz Sharif.

      Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari, chairman of the Pakistan PPP, said the caretaker government installed ahead of the vote was not giving his party a “level playing field” in the campaign.

      “The press is facing censorship, political activists are being detained, and this is not only a violation of human rights but also pre-poll rigging,” he told a press conference in Peshawar on Saturday.

    • ECP comes under fire in Senate

      The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) came under severe criticism in Senate on Thursday as majority of the parties accused the top electoral watchdog of dancing to the tune of ‘establishment’ in order to bring a particular political party into power.

      They said that crackdown on politicians particularly those belonging to Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) under some pretext is a clear indication that forthcoming general elections have already been managed to pave the way for a specific party.

    • On the right to publish and self-censorship

      One can observe that in the 21st century and more so in the preceding months, journalism in Pakistan has not only become more professional but has also innovated new ways to resist control. An antagonistic relationship between the state and media is the hallmark of any progressive liberal democracy. Pakistan, which has seen rare and brief spells of democracy, has witnessed a continuous attack on journalists, media outlets and the press.

      However, what warrants attention is the dilemma of self-censorship within the industry. Article 19 of the Constitution of Pakistan states that “there shall be freedom of the press”. On the other hand, ever since the colonial era, vindictive attacks have plagued the field of journalism.

    • On Censorship Resistance: a Chat with Mainframe CEO Mick Hagen

      The Mainframe team recently donated 1,000 ETH to the Freedom of the Press Foundation. Privacy technology skeptics in the mainstream often say of the tech, “Well I have nothing to hide, why should I personally care?” In the context of the donation to the Freedom of the Press Foundation, what’s your rebuttal to that skeptical position?

    • UncensorPat.ch Fights Censorship In Steam’s Adult Games

      Video games are, by far, the largest entertainment industry on the planet. As with most entertainment industries, a subset of these games are focused on adult themes, many of which have a subtle or downright overt sexual tone to them. Whether you play them in secret or don’t mind letting your freak flag fly, a particular problem exists with this medium of entertainment: the largest digital games distributors universally have policies in place against explicit sexual content on their platforms. Enter UncensorPat.ch [NSFW], a website dedicated to hosting uncensor patches for these games. We spoke with the site’s operator “Pat” about their site and the industry in general.

    • Censorship killed the video star

      Mihir Joshi woke up on the morning of 1 February 2015 to the news that the music video for his song Sorry was finally being telecast on Pepsi MTV Indies, a now defunct television channel dedicated to Indian independent music. It was a personal milestone for the musician, TV anchor and former radio jockey, fulfilling his childhood dream of watching one of his own music videos on MTV. But his excitement was undercut by a minor annoyance. When his label Times Music sent the video to the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC), which must certify any music videos before it can go on air, the review committee insisted that he mute the word “Bombay”—used only once early on—from the song and video. Joshi says he accepted the change because he just wanted to get the song’s message, a response to the infamous 2012 gang rape case in Delhi, out to as many people as possible.

    • 100 years of film censorship in India

      Film censorship was born of fire. Early film stock had a compound called nitrocellulose, which was used in explosives as guncotton. Mixed with camphor, it became nitrate film—not explosive, but still violently flammable. In 1897, a year and a half after the first ever film screening, a nitrate fire at the Bazar de la Charité in Paris killed 126 people. A spate of similar incidents over the next decade resulted in the world’s first cinematograph legislation being passed in Britain in 1909, to improve safety standards by controlling the issue of cinema licences.

      One kind of control led to another. Since the 1909 Act made licences necessary for public screenings, local authorities used this to regulate not just the conditions in which the film would be screened but also the contents of the film itself. After a few confusing years with everyone making up their own rules, the British Board of Film Censors was formed in 1912.

    • Dibakar Banerjee: ‘All of us turn into hustlers when we go and present our films to the censor board’

      My own experiences with censorship have led me to believe that the censor board is more the symptom than the problem, because I think everyone has had incidents where you’re trying to express something and there is a gatekeeper who doesn’t let you. When you and I speak, I say something to you, you hear me out and that’s it. But imagine if there was a third person whom I have to tell beforehand what I’m planning to tell you, and he says that you aren’t ready to hear this and I think you should tell this to him instead. At the core, it’s a lot of us making films and somebody’s sitting across the table saying, “I don’t think this is appropriate.”

      The reasons (for censorship), according to the Cinematograph Act, are national security, national integrity, moral decency—terms open to wide interpretation. And I must speak to the third person before I speak to you. So I’m always trying to figure out in my head how to speak to the person between us and get it past him to you. So I start trying to be smart, slipping things under the carpet, using code that you’ll understand. Already I’m subverted. I’m already being a bit of a hustler.

    • Sacred Games row: Rahul Gandhi disapproves of censorship

      Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Saturday appeared to disapprove demands to censor uncharitable references to former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi in the web series Sacred Games. Sacred Games, the critically-acclaimed web series by Netflix, has run into trouble with a Congress supporter filing a police complaint against its makers for insulting late Rajiv Gandhi. Mr Rahul Gandhi in a tweet said, “BJP/RSS believe the freedom of expression must be policed & controlled. I believe this freedom is a fundamental democratic right. My father lived and died in the service of India. The views of a character in a fictional web series can never change that.” With his tweet the Congress president made it clear that Congress believes in freedom of speech and they don’t condone the complaints against it, without explicitly referring to the cases.

    • Let’s Ponder: Will Netflix’s Sacred Games throw open the floodgate of net censorship?
    • Netflix India Petitioned To Delete Content From ‘Sacred Games’ Series
    • Researchers find that filters don’t prevent porn

      This research follows the controversial news that the UK government was exploring a country-wide porn filter, a product that will most likely fail. The UK would join countries around the world who filter the public Internet for religious or political reasons.

      The bottom line? Filters are expensive and they don’t work.

  • Privacy/Surveillance

    • Facebook loophole exposed personal info of people in ‘closed’ groups

      The loophole was investigated by security researcher Fred Trotter, who had been contacted by Andrea Downing, a moderator of a members-only Facebook group for women with a high genetic risk of developing breast cancer. The Facebook group’s members frequently shared highly personal information about their conditions, including surgical details.

    • Dark Patterns: How Tech Companies Use Interface Design to Undermine Online Privacy

      However, even though users theoretically can change their privacy settings to optimize protection for their personal data, they may not do so. In part, that’s because it requires effort, and people often simply accept the defaults. Moreover, it turns out there are other issues because of the use of “dark patterns” in screens supposedly helping the user control their privacy settings. The term was coined back in 2011 by Harry Brignull, an expert in user interface design. Here’s his definition:

    • To monitor social media like creating a ‘Surveillance State’: SC

      Frowning upon its move to monitor social media platforms, the Supreme Court on Friday issued notice to the Centre on TMC legislator MohuaMoitra’s petition challenging it.

      A three-judge Bench headed by Chief Justice of India DipakMisra asked the Centre to file its response in two weeks after senior advocate AM Singhvi, representing Moitra, alleged that monitoring of social media was akin to personal surveillance of citizens by the State.

    • Aadhaar in Ayushman Bharat desirable but not mandatory clarifies Govt

      The Government today clarified that Aadhaar is “desirable” but not mandatory to avail benefits under the Centre’s ambitious Ayushman Bharat – National Health Protection Mission (AB-NHPM).

  • Civil Rights/Policing

    • ‘As Long As Solitary Exists, They Will Find a Way to Use It’

      Villa is not the only person with difficulty readjusting to human contact. In the spring of 2017, members of Stanford University’s Human Rights in Trauma Mental Health Laboratory interviewed 29 men who had spent more than 10 years in the SHU and were now in general population. The study, which is the first of its kind to study the aftereffects of prolonged isolation, found that people in long-term solitary confinement experienced a number of psychological problems, such as irritability, intense anger, anhedonia (an inability to feel joy), hopelessness, depression, anxiety, and emotional numbing. Many of these emotions did not dissipate upon release from the SHU; instead, they persisted or even worsened after the men were in general population.

    • 20-year sentence for Iranian woman who protested headscarf
    • Found: Rosa Parks’s Arrest Warrant, and More Traces of Civil Rights History

      The fragile papers, filled in with sharp signatures and characters stamped out on manual typewriters, are part of what officials believe is the largest surviving trove of legal records from the boycott. Quietly discovered by a courthouse intern during a housecleaning project and now on loan to Alabama State University, the records will be made public online this summer.

      Although historians do not believe these documents contain anything to alter the well-established story of the bus boycott, the new collection appears to hold some leads and fine-grained details for researchers studying what happened in Alabama’s capital.

    • Hyderabad man stabbed 16 times for adopting muslim girl

      “People were running all around. In the middle of the chaos I found the seven-year-old girl crying and took her to the Sultan Bazaar police station. With little response, I took her to the Shahinyathgunj police station where the police asked me to take care of her until someone comes,” he said. When no one came to claim her, he adopted her.

    • Genocide of Sikhs is taking place in Islamic Pakistan: Baba Gurpal Singh Peshawari.

      Afraid of targeted killings, Sikh families from Peshawar city of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK) province of Pakistan are fleeing to safety days after killing of members of Sikh community including a local Sikh religious leader in recent time . As matter of fact, Pakistan’s minority Sikh community is dispersing to other parts of the country from Peshawar after repeated attacks by Islamic fundamentalists.

      Peshawar has a population of about 30,000 Sikhs, out of which, 60 per cent has left for other parts of Pakistan to avoid living under a constant threat.

    • Neighbors who call police on 12-year-old mowing lawn increase his business, customer says
    • Why female suicide in Afghanistan is so prevalent

      About 3,000 Afghans attempt to take their own lives every year, according to the Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC). Herat province accounts for more than half of all cases nationwide.

      According to health officials in Herat, 1,800 people tried to kill themselves in 2017 alone, of whom 1,400 were women – and 35 succeeded in taking their own lives.

      The figure is almost twice as high as the year before, when some 1,000 suicide attempts were recorded.

    • A women-only private island is not empowering – it is elitist
    • Outrage after Malaysian man marries 11-year-old Thai girl

      Muslim men are allowed to have up to four wives in Malaysia.

    • Fifth standard girl expelled from a Kerala Madrasa for sporting sandalwood paste on her forehead.

      A fifth standard school girl from Kerala has been expelled from a Madrasa after she wore sandalwood paste bindi on her forehead as a part of a short film acting assignment.

      Ummer Malayil, the girl’s father, has lashed out at the Madrasa on his Facebook post, making it clear that her daughter is lucky enough to have escaped from the stone pelting punishment.

    • George Hotz is on a hacker crusade against the ‘scam’ of self-driving cars
    • Former CIA Subcontractor Deports Immigrants for ICE

      Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)

      Less than a year after the 9/11 attacks, a Long Island plane broker began helping the CIA transport terrorism suspects to black sites around the world. Now, the owner of that company is helping to ferry a new population for the federal government: immigrants.

      Classic Air Charter Inc. was awarded a contract worth up to $635 million to help facilitate deportations. The federal government has allotted about $5.5 million for the contract so far. These contracts were originally reported in a database created by Sludge.

      In the early 2000s, the owner of Classic Air Charter had a company called Sportsflight. That company was involved in the same business – facilitating private air travel – but with a different client at the time: the Central Intelligence Agency.

    • On Toxic Femininity

      Calling good men toxic does everyone a deep disservice. Everyone except those who seek empowerment through victim narratives.

      For the record: I am not suggesting that actual victims do not exist, nor that they do not deserve full emotional, physical, legal, medical, and other support. I also do not want to minimize the fact that most women, perhaps even all, have experienced unpleasantness from a subset of men. But not all women are victims. And even among those women who have truly suffered at the hands of men, many—most, I would hazard to guess—do not want their status in the world to be ‘victim.’

      All of which leads us directly to a topic not much discussed: toxic femininity.

      [...]

      Toxic masculinity, and toxic femininity, are inherently selfish modes, and those not employing them should be interested in seeing them eradicated.

    • Two amputations a week: the cost of working in a US meat plant

      Records compiled by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) reveal that, on average, there are at least 17 “severe” incidents a month in US meat plants. These injuries are classified as those involving “hospitalisations, amputations or loss of an eye”.

      Amputations happen on average twice a week, according to the data. There were 270 incidents in a 31-month period spanning 2015 to 2017, according to the OSHA figures. Most of the incidents involved the amputation of fingers or fingertips, but there were recordings of lost hands, arms or toes. During the period there were a total of 550 serious injuries which cover 22 of the 50 states so the true total for the USA would be substantially higher.

    • Can the Saudis Break Up With Wahhabism?

      Prince Mohammed is unlikely to pull off a break with the Wahhabi religious establishment because the clerics have proved to be resilient and have displayed a great capacity to adapt to transitions and vagaries of power. Attempts to marginalize the clerics date back to the early 20th century.

    • UP: Woman accuses husband of ‘love jihad’

      “10 years back I married my husband knowing that he was a Hindu, but after I moved to my in-laws’ house in Meerut, I found out that my husband was a Muslim. He also tried to convert me to Islam,” she told ANI.

      Furthermore, she alleged that her in-laws were forcing her to convert to Islam.

    • Sex after #MeToo

      Sex is now so complicated that many young adults seem to have given up on it entirely. Recent research suggests that one in eight British 26-year-olds has never had sex, up from one in 20 a generation ago. Last year’s National Survey of Sexual Attitudes and Lifestyles confirmed this trend, showing that 23 per cent of 16- to 24-year-olds had not had sex in the past year. Clearly, sex was in decline prior to #MeToo, #TimesUp and all the recent publicity surrounding allegations of rape, sexual assault, unwanted kisses, hugs that linger and, of course, knee-touching. But the interminable coverage of #MeToo has certainly ramped up the anxiety, the fear of getting it wrong, of being abused or falsely accused.

    • Illegal migrants in Paris suburb soar to 400,000 as hundreds of migrant children sleep on streets

      Illegal immigrants, now estimated to make up a fifth of the population of Seine-Saint-Denis, north-east of Paris, are severely straining public services and creating social tensions, according to a parliamentary report.

      Seine-Saint-Denis has long been the French department with the highest proportion of immigrants, but the report warns that the number of illegal migrants may have risen as high as 400,000.

    • Sharia Courts: To be or not to be

      Zakia Soman of Bharatiya Muslim Mahila Andolan, who was a petitioner in the Triple Talaq case said, “Of course Sharia courts or Darul Qazas have been around for quite some time. But this special push to set up such courts all over the country is a move by the AIMPLB to remain relevant.”

      The Sharia courts are only used by men, she said. “They are supposed to function like family courts. Women do not approach these courts as decisions are usually given against women,” she explained.

    • Cleric wants separate country for Indian Muslims if Sharia courts are not allowed

      AIMPLB is planning to move the proposal for establishing Shariat courts for discussion at a meeting in Delhi on July 15. BJP lawmakers have criticised this demand and have called it unconstitutional.

    • J&K Dy Grand Mufti’s shocking demand: ‘Give us a separate nation if you can’t let us set up Shariat courts’

      Hours after All India Muslim Personal Law Board’s (AIMPLB) proposal for opening Shariat courts in all districts of India was rejected by the BJP, Nasir ul Islam, the deputy grand mufti of Jammu and Kashmir, triggered a major row with his remarks by demanding a separate nation for Muslims. “Any resistance to this effort by the BJP means it doesn’t want Muslims to stay in India. In that case, we urge them to give us a separate nation,” he said.

    • Muslim Law Board Plans To Open Sharia Courts In All Districts Of India

      The All India Muslim Personal Law Board or AIMPLB, the highest decision making body on Muslim affairs, plans to open Darul-Qaza (Sharia courts) in all districts of the country to resolve issues in line with Islamic laws.

      The proposal will come up for discussion at a meeting of the Muslim Law Board in Delhi on July 15.

    • ‘80% were grown-ups’: Swedish dentist fired for exposing migrant ‘kids’ as adults talks to RT

      The dental hygienist then sued his employers and won damages. But the Region of Gotland appealed to the highest labor court in Stockholm and hired one of Sweden’s top-ranking lawyers “to crush” him, as he says on his website. On July 4 he learned that he lost his case and also admitted “economically bankrupted him and his family.” The dentist, who had worked in the sector for 10 years, was fined some 475,000 kroner ($54,000).

    • Sikh Cop Alleges Turban Removed, Dragged By Hair From Home In Lahore

      In a video widely circulated on social media on Tuesday, Pakistan’s first-ever Sikh police officer Gulab Singh alleged that his turban was removed and he was dragged by hair out of his home along with his family by the officials of the Evacuee Trust Property Board. By releasing the video, he underscored that “everyone should be aware of the atrocities committed on the Sikh community in Pakistan.”

      He claimed that the government wants to forcefully evict the Sikh community from the country.

    • Uproar over Chinese women seen doing handstands in Malaysian tourist street, mosque

      Both the photo and video have drawn criticism on social media for inappropriate dressing in a short sleeveless top and hot pants, while the woman in the photo was criticised for “performing stunts” in front of a religious building.

    • Iran: Women Arrested for Dancing

      Iranian state television on July 9, 2018, broadcasted apologies by several women who were briefly detained in May for posting videos of themselves dancing on their popular Instagram accounts, Human Rights Watch said today. On the same day, Shaparak Shajarizadeh, who took her headscarf off in public in January to protest compulsory hijab laws, announced on her Instagram page that a court sentenced her to 20 years in prison for this act, although it suspended 18 years of the sentence, meaning she has to serve 2 years in prison.

    • Uncle, cousins ‘kill girl for honour’

      An 18-year-old girl, who claimed to be a rape victim, was allegedly killed on Wednesday by her uncle and cousins in Sharifabad village in Mirpurkhas district. The victim’s father, Muhammad Younus Bhatti, told police that his brother Allah Dito Bhatti and his sons Attaullah Bhatti and Sanaullah Bhatti strangled his daughter to death.

    • Atheists in Indonesia, Afraid For Their Lives, Fake Being Muslims

      Living a double life isn’t all that uncommon in Indonesia, where atheists live in fear of being sent to jail (or worse) thanks to fundamentalist religious groups. AFP profiled one of these atheists, identified only as “Luna Atmowijoyo,” about her de-conversion from Islam years ago.

    • Violence on the rise in Sweden’s nearly-full prisons

      With the nation’s prisons at around 95 percent capacity, attacks on prison staff are increasing. There were 91 reported incidents in which staff members were targeted by violence in 2017, a 65 percent increase from 2015 figures.

      Violence amongst inmates is also on the rise, with the 327 cases in 2017 representing a 39 percent increase.

    • The vicious circle of Islamist terrorism and far-right extremism

      Far-right groups and Muslim extremists don’t just use the same language of exclusion to divide the population essentially between Muslims and everyone else – they also depend on one another for legitimacy. That’s the conclusion of a new report that looked at both sides of extremism in Germany and how groups rely on one another to reinforce their own views.

      [...]

      “There need to be more opportunities for people to air their grievances, to feel [sic] listened to,” he says. “If there are concerns about migration or foreign policy, instead of making them into taboo topics, create opportunities to allow people to feel listened to so they don’t get channeled into extremist ideology.”

    • Valley Of No Return: Kashmiri Pandits Have Little To Hope For

      There is bitterness, despair, even resignation. From the looks of how things are going, Kashmiri Pandits have little to hope for. It has been twenty-eight years since 4,00,000 Hindus—most of them Pandits—were forced to flee the Kashmir Valley. Most of them ­believe they have lost their birthland forever.

    • Ventura County denies pulling off woman’s head-covering in response to civil rights suit

      U.S. District Court Judge Percy Anderson has ordered all attorneys involved in the litigation to prepare a joint status report over the next few months addressing several items related to the case. The report will be discussed when attorneys meet before Anderson at 10:30 a.m. Aug. 13.

    • Denmark confronts Islamism and integration

      The chatter about mass “Christianization” or mass loss of citizenship or similar radical measures only obscures the real debate here: whether these measures can be effective in introducing peaceability and a degree of prosperity to mainly Muslim immigrant communities. Many Europeans, not least in the continent’s Jewish communities, will be hoping that Denmark’s government succeeds.

    • “No ghettos in 2030”: Denmark’s controversial plan to get rid of immigrant neighborhoods

      The law, which was passed on May 28, is part of a broader government initiative titled “One Denmark without Parallel Societies: No Ghettos in 2030.” The plan aims to eradicate what the Danish government says are “parallel communities” in Denmark that are rife with crime and populated by poor, uneducated immigrants from “non-Western countries” who are not being properly integrated into Danish society.

    • Kano: Muslim Boy Must Not Die For Blasphemy

      Urgent steps must be taken to save the life of a muslim boy who has been accused of blasphemy in Kano state in Northern Nigeria. Local sources said that the sharia enforcement agency in the state known as the Hisbah arrested the boy after he allegedly sang a song saying that a saint that belonged to one of the Islamic traditions was greater than Allah.

    • Skewed focus in study of German anti-Semitism

      However, right wing anti-Semitic prejudice does not explain the fact that some Jewish schoolchildren are severely harassed by Muslim children. The threats of a Muslim classmate against a Jewish girl in a second grade Berlin elementary school class is a case in point. He said that she should be killed because she does not believe in Allah.

    • Teens in Germany fire anti-Semitic insults at local rabbi

      The incident took place on Friday afternoon, when Gurevitch, 39, was on his way to pray. He said he does not hide his Jewish identity, despite increasingly frequent anti-Semitic attacks in Europe.

    • Qadianis shouldn’t be allowed to vote as Muslims: Ulema

      The central leaders of the “Aalmi Majlis-e-Tahaffuz-e-Khatm-e-Nabuwwat” have termed demand of the Human Rights Commission that Qadianis should be given chance to cast vote in the general elections like Muslims, as against the Constitution of the country and facts.

    • Man cleared of murder refuses community service because of Ramadan

      Just before and after midnight at Warrender Park Road and Bruntsfield Links, the pair assaulted a number of people. Zakariyah pled guilty to two assaults and a breach of the peace.

      Then both accused and friends travelled to the Leith area where Ibnomer killed Shaun with a punch.

  • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Rare books and when the copyright public domain might fail in its essential purpose

        or, to enact suitable legislation to ensure that ownership of the tangible right in the book does not prevent access to the contents, indeed even exercising something like the power of expropriation/eminent domain to take the tangible property from its owner in the name of the public. Either option challenges basic notions of property ownership, and with respect to expropriation, there is arguably something distasteful about relying on such a measure in order to make the contents publicly accessible.

      • Suffocating Financial Power Means Mismatches in Copyright Cases

        Being an entrepreneur in the digital age comes with risks, particularly when a business model is connected in any way with the music and movie industries. Kim Dotcom says he’s spent $40 million in legal bills fighting his corner while TVAddons founder Adam Lackman is already facing potential bankruptcy. Neither defendant is anywhere close to a full trial on the merits of their respective cases.

      • ‘Copyright’s True Purpose Is Dead, It Never Existed’

        According to the US Constitution, copyrights exist to “promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts.” It’s meant to facilitate and encourage artists to create content, which the public can enjoy. But is this how copyright still functions today? Texan A&M law professor Glynn Lunney Jr doesn’t think so.

      • Rightscorp Prompted The RIAA to Sue Internet Provider

        With help from the RIAA, several companies are waging a legal battle against Grande Communications, accusing the company of not taking proper action against pirating subscribers. It turns out that this idea didn’t originate at the music group. Instead, it was anti-piracy group Rightscorp that prompted the lawsuit.

      • Anti-Piracy Portal Blocked Due to Alleged Phishing & Malware

        A government-backed portal set up to convince pirates that going straight is the best philosophy is being flagged as dangerous by security software. People who receive piracy notices are directed to GetitRightFromaGenuineSite.org but according to anti-virus vendors and even third-parties like Twitter, the domain should be avoided due to a potential malware and phishing threat.

07.14.18

Links 14/7/2018: Mesa 18.1.4, Elisa 0.2.1, More on Python’s Guido van Rossum

Posted in News Roundup at 9:31 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Nintendo Found a Way to Patch an Unpatchable Coldboot Exploit in Nintendo Switch

    If you plan on buying a Nintendo Switch gaming console to run Linux on it using the “unpatchable” exploit publicly disclosed a few months ago, think again because Nintendo reportedly fixed the security hole.

    Not long ago, a team of hackers calling themselves ReSwitched publicly disclosed a security vulnerability in the Nvidia Tegra X1 chip, which they called Fusée Gelée and could allow anyone to hack a Nintendo Switch gaming console to install a Linux-based operating system and run homebrew code and apps using a simple trick.

  • Kernel Space

    • Linux Foundation

      • Linux Foundation Brings Power of Open Source to Energy Sector

        The Linux Foundation launched on July 12 its latest effort—LF Energy, an open-source coalition for the energy and power management sector.

        The LF Energy coalition is being backed by French transmission system operation RTE, Vanderbilt University and the European Network of Transmission System Operators (ENTSO-E). With LF Energy, the Linux Foundation is aiming to replicate the success it has seen in other sectors, including networking, automotive, financial services and cloud computing.

    • Graphics Stack

      • Libinput Gets Reworked Trackpoint Acceleration

        Peter Hutterer at Red Hat is trying again to get trackpoint acceleration performing nicely under the libinput library so trackpoints behave nicely across Wayland, X.Org, and Mir systems.

        Hutterer believes now that libinput’s previous trackpoint acceleration code was “simply broken”, but he believes this new code is on the right track and supports a wider configuration range.

      • libinput has a new trackpoint acceleration

        Just a heads-up, I just merged a branch that fixes trackpoint acceleration
        in libinput. The previous approach was simply broken, the new one is quite
        similar to what we had before anyway – calculating speed from the deltas and
        applying the acceleration curve from that. The curve is adjusted for
        trackpoints with a relatively wide configurable range.

      • Mir 0.32.1 Released With Launcher For Internal Wayland Clients, Fixes

        Canonical developers working on Mir have prepared the release of Mir 0.32.1 with a few fixes and improvements off the recent release of Mir 0.32.

        The Mir abstraction library (libmiral) now has a launcher for internal Wayland clients and the MirAL shell has reinstated the “spinner” in Wayland for when starting the shell. There are also several bug fixes pertaining to Mir’s Wayland and Mesa support in this point release.

      • Wayland 1.16 & Weston 5.0 Reach Alpha

        Samsung’s Derek Foreman has announced the alpha release of Wayland 1.16 as well as the Weston 5.0 reference compositor.

        As is often the case with recent Wayland releases, they are not all that large. Wayland 1.16 Alpha does away with the deprecated wl_global definition, fixes various oddities, the Wayland code generator now supports foreign enums, and updated contribution documentation.

      • mesa 18.1.4

        Hi list,

        Mesa 18.1.4 is now available for download.

        In this release we have:
        – Several fixes for i965
        – Several fixes for anv
        – A few fixes each for radeonsi, glx, the glsl compiler, the autotools build,
        nir, st/dri, and r600

        Dylan

      • Mesa 18.1.4 Released With Fixes For Intel & Radeon Drivers

        For those abiding by Mesa stable releases, Mesa 18.1.4 is now available — in time for updating prior to any weekend Linux gaming or other activities — for these open-source OpenGL/Vulkan driver components.

        Mesa 18.1.4 truth be told isn’t all that of an exciting release, unless you happened to be affected by any of the just over two dozen fixes incorporated into this timed point release.

      • Raven Ridge Support Posted For AMDKFD Compute Driver

        Felix Kuehling of AMD sent out the remaining six patches for getting the AMD Raven Ridge (Ryzen APUs) working with the AMDKFD kernel compute driver so that the ROCm/OpenCL user-space compute stack can be run on these new APUs.

      • Radeon RX Vega Display Regression Fix Heading To Linux 4.18 Git

        If you have been part of the group of Radeon RX Vega Linux users trying out Linux 4.18 and finding your display no longer lights up, heading to Linux 4.18 Git should be a fix for at least some of the users.

        Sent out on Friday was a batch of AMDGPU DRM-Fixes-4.18. It’s just three fixes, but two of them are pertaining to display problems and the other a segmentation fault if the GPU does not power up properly when resuming the system.

      • Marek Squeezes More Performance Out Of RadeonSI In CPU-Bound Scenarios

        AMD’s leading open-source RadeonSI Gallium3D developer, Marek Olšák, sent out a new patch series this week aiming to benefit this Radeon OpenGL driver’s performance in CPU-bound scenarios.

        The patch series is a set of command submission optimizations aimed to help trivial CPU-bound benchmarks to varying extents. In the very trivial glxgears, the patch series is able to improve the maximum frame-rates by around 10%.

      • Intel Sends In A Final Batch Of DRM Feature Updates Targeting Linux 4.19

        After several big feature pull requests of new “i915″ Intel DRM driver features landing in DRM-Next for Linux 4.19, the Intel open-source developers have sent in what they believe to be their last batch of feature changes for queuing this next kernel cycle.

    • Benchmarks

      • Vulkan vs. OpenGL Performance For Linux Games

        It has been a while since last publishing some Linux GPU driver benchmarks focused explicitly on the OpenGL vs. Vulkan performance, but that changed today with a fresh look at the performance between these two Khronos graphics APIs when tested with AMD and NVIDIA hardware on the latest RadeonSI/RADV and NVIDIA Linux graphics drivers.

  • Applications

    • The Best Linux VPNs of 2018

      If the 20th century was defined by an explosive growth in technology, then the 21st century is beginning to be defined by personal security, or more pointedly, a lack thereof. Virtual Private Networks (VPNs), once mainly a site-to-site connection tool for IT professionals, have evolved to become personal services that let individual users connect to the internet by using encrypted traffic that prevents third parties from snooping on their web activities.

      This VPN evolution occurred because it has become increasingly easy for hackers to exploit constantly changing operating systems (OSes), applications, and networks. This means sophisticated tactics, such as man-in-the-middle attacks, aren’t just being aimed at businesses anymore. It’s happening to everyday folks who are frequenting their favorite coffee shop. This means these folks need to upgrade their security arsenal.

    • Winds – RSS and Podcast software created using React / Redux / Node

      Winds is billed as a beautiful, modern, open-source RSS Reader and Podcast app. It’s certainly garnishing attention among open source enthusiasts. It’s picked up over 5,000 stars on GitHub, so I’ve been putting this JavaScript software through its paces.

      Winds is cross-platform software. There are desktop apps available for Linux, macOS and Windows. There’s also a web version. The software is released under an open source license (BSD-3-Clause). It’s developed by GetStream.io (Stream), a Venture Capital backed company based in the US and the Netherlands.

    • Alacritty – A Fastest Terminal Emulator for Linux

      Alacritty is a free open-source, fast, cross-platform terminal emulator, that uses GPU (Graphics Processing Unit) for rendering, which implements certain optimizations that are not available in many other terminal emulators in Linux.

      Alacritty is focused on two goals simplicity and performance. The performance goal means, it should be speedy than any other terminal emulator available. The simplicity goal means, it doesn’t supports features such as tabs or splits (which can be easily provided by other terminal multiplexer – tmux) in Linux.

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Wine or Emulation

    • Games

      • Don’t miss the GOG weekend sale which has some rather nice Linux games

        GOG are doing weekend sale celebrating French game studios and there’s quite a few really good Linux games worth picking up.

      • Third-person shooter with Battle Royale modes ‘Crazy Justice’ to launch towards the end of this month

        It’s seen a number of delays, along with repeated silence from the developer but it looks like Crazy Justice [Official Site] may finally arrive this month.

        After promising daily updates almost two weeks ago and then going silent, the developer Black Riddles Studio today put out an update on Twitter which gave an estimated release date of “anywhere between 20th-30th of July”.

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

        It’s the weekend and the sun is out, so naturally many of us will be staring at a bright screen playing the latest and greatest Linux games.

        I tend to go through phases of being attached to specific games for a few weeks before utterly burning myself out on them, currently Counter-Strike: Global Offensive has managed to hook me back in. It’s not exactly the newest game, but it still has such fluid and fun gameplay that there’s still really nothing else like it in the shooter scene.

      • ‘Hacknet’ Is Free on Steam Right Now
      • Xbox 360 Wireless Controller for PC+Rocket League+Ubuntu=Awesome

        I’m a gamer. I’ve been playing PC games since DOS, and have no plan to ever stop, thankfully there are an increasing number of wicked games available on GNU/Linux systems, like Rocket League for example.

        If you’ve been living under a rock for the past few years, and have no idea what Rocket League is, it’s basically Soccer/Football (other game modes have other sports, etc, but the primary focus is as mentioned) in super high powered, jet propulsed cars; it’s awesome. However, Rocket League is not very easily played via keyboard, and having some kind of controller is essential.

        I use an Xbox 360 Wireless Controller as my primary controller when playing games that support one on Linux.

      • Egosoft have confirmed that X4: Foundations will be on Linux

        Fantastic news for fans of Egosoft space simulation games, as they have now actually confirmed that X4: Foundations [Official Site] will be on Linux.

      • We Happy Few has a brand new trailer out

        We Happy Few, the action adventure from Compulsion Games and Gearbox Publishing looks rather promising in the brand new trailer.

      • Get your game on, in the browser

        The web is a gamer’s dream. It works on any device, can connect players across the globe, and can run a ton of games—from classic arcade games to old-school computer games. The web could be the best platform for gaming, and Firefox is the the best browser for gaming. Here’s why.

        [...]

        Firefox is the fastest and most efficient browser for gaming. Don’t believe us? Try out some of these games and see for yourself:

        The Internet Archive Mac Software Library – Do you miss those black-and-white games you used to play on your old Macintosh? The Internet Archive has worked to preserve many older, classic computer games so now you can play them in your browser.

        http://slither.io/ – This is a fun, MMO Snake-like game with good graphics, is in-browser, and also happens to have a really good Privacy Policy (we’re into stuff like that).

        Battlestar Galactica Online – Who’s a Cylon? Are you a Cylon? Find out.

        LEGO Online – Playing with LEGO IRL is awesome, but the toy maker has made some of the best console and computer games in the past decade. Now you can play some of them online.

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • 0.2.1 Release of Elisa

        The Elisa team is happy to announce our new bugfix release, version 0.2.1.

        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.

        We focus on a very good integration with the Plasma desktop of the KDE community without compromising the support for other platforms (other Linux desktop environments, Windows and Android).

        We are creating a reliable product that is a joy to use and respects our users privacy. As such, we will prefer to support online services where users are in control of their data.

      • More Konsole Updates: Tabs

        One of the things that every old application suffers is from old code. It’s easier to keep something that works than to move to something new, even if the final result is better. Take a look at the current Tabbar + Buttons of Konsole.

      • [Okular] GSoC 2018 – Second month status

        I am working on the GSoC project Verifying signatures of pdf files and since the last blog post I have made number of improvements. They are listed below.

        [...]

        This is a dialog similar to print preview dialog but instead of previewing what is about to be printed it loads the data covered by a signature in a read-only KPart. In its current state this dialog is pdf specific. This is problematic since okular is a universal document viewer. So I plan to make it a bit more generic.

      • Going to Akademy 2018
      • Chrome Browser Launching Mitigation for Spectre Attacks, The Linux Foundation Announces LF Energy Coalition, Kube 0.7.0 Now Available, New Android Apps for Nativ Vita Hi-Res Music Server and More

        Version 0.7.0 of Kube, the “modern communication and collaboration client”, is now available. Improvements include “a conversation view that allows you to read through conversations in chronological order”; “a conversation list that bundles all messages of a conversation (thread) together”; “automatic attachment of own public key”; “the account setup can be fully scripted through the sinksh commandline interface”; and more. See kube.kde.org for more info.

      • Release of KDE Frameworks 5.48.0

        July 14, 2018. KDE today announces the release of KDE Frameworks 5.48.0.

        KDE Frameworks are 70 addon libraries to Qt which provide a wide variety of commonly needed functionality in mature, peer reviewed and well tested libraries with friendly licensing terms. For an introduction see the Frameworks 5.0 release announcement.

      • KDE Frameworks 5.48 Brings KWayland Fixes & Many Other Improvements

        KDE Frameworks 5.48 is now the latest monthly update to this collection of add-on libraries complementing Qt5.

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

      • Carlos Soriano: Gtk4 Flatpak example

        As part of Ernestas Kulik work on porting Nautilus to gtk4 he has created a tagged entry widget to replace libgd tagged entry and eventually upstream to gtk proper. To give easy testing he created a Flatpak file for building a simple app with this widget, which serves as an example of how to create a simple app with gtk4 too.

      • Philip Withnall: GUADEC 2018 thoughts

        GUADEC this year was another good one; thank you to the organisers for putting on a great and welcoming conference, and to Endless for sending me.

        Unfortunately I couldn’t make the first two days due to a prior commitment, but I arrived on the Sunday in time to give my talks. I’ve got a lot of catching up to do with the talks on Friday and Saturday — looking forward to seeing the recordings online!

        The slides for my talk on the state of GLib are here and the notes are here (source for them is here). I think the talk went fairly well, although I imagine it was quite boring for most involved — I’m not sure how to make new APIs particularly interesting to listen to!

      • Georges Basile Stavracas Neto: My Perspective on This Year’s GUADEC

        This year, I had the pleasure to attend GUADEC at Almeria, Spain. Lots of things happened, and I believe some of them are important to be shared with the greater community.

        [...]

        A big cleanup was merged during GUADEC. This probably will mean small adaptations in extensions, but I don’t particularly think it’s groundbreaking.

        At the second BoF day, me and Jonas Ådahl dived into the Remote Desktop on Wayland work to figure out a few bugs we were having. Fortunately, Pipewire devs were present and we figured out some deadlocks into the code. Jonas also gave a small lecture on how the KMS-based renderer of Wayland’s code path works (thanks!), and I feel I’m more educated in that somewhat complex part of the code.

        As of today, Carlos Garnacho’s paint volume rework was merged too, after extensive months of testing. It was a high-impact work, and certainly reduces Mutter’s CPU usage on certain situations.

        At the very last day, we talked about various ideas for further performance improvements and cleanups on Mutter and GNOME Shell. I myself am on the last steps of working on one of these ideas, and will write about it later.

        [...]

        Even though I was reluctant to go, this GUADEC turned out to be an excellent and productive event.

      • Daniel García Moreno: GUADEC 2018

        GUADEC is the GNOME Users And Developers European Conference, is an annual conference that take place in Europe, and this year was in Spain, so I should go. I’ve became a foundation member this year and I’ve two Google Summer of Code students from GNOME organization working on Fractal, so this year GUADEC was an important one for me.

      • Harish Fulara: [GSoC 2018] Welcome Window Integration in Pitivi – Part 4

        The next and the last task under “Welcome Window Integration in Pitivi” as per my GSoC project is to integrate project thumbnails in recent projects list. I am currently working on this task and hope to finish it by next week.

      • Application screenshots with Gitlab CI

        The fresh new tooling used for development in the GNOME project (gitlab, meson, docker, flatpak) has a lots of potential

      • Matthias Clasen: The Flatpak BoF at Guadec

        Here is a quick summary of the Flatpak BoF that happened last week at Guadec.

      • Flatpak 1.0 Is En Route For Linux App Sandboxing & Easy Program Distribution

        At the recent GUADEC 2018 conference in Spain, GNOME developers plotted the imminent Flatpak 1.0 release as well as what’s coming after the big 1.0 milestone.

      • More Mutter Performance Tuning Work Landing For GNOME 3.30

        GNOME 3.30 is looking like Mutter will be quite fit with the ability to remove its dependence on X11 code and various performance tuning optimizations. On top of already landed performance work in recent months, more optimizations have just landed and it looks like more could still be on the way.

        Most recently, as of this morning, this two month old GitLab request was merged about re-using paint volumes. From the last commit it explains, “Cuts down approximately all paint volume calculations when there’s windows that redraw frequently, but don’t move.”

  • Distributions

  • Devices/Embedded

Free Software/Open Source

  • Best open source business intelligence and analytics tools

    So what are some open source alternatives to these proprietary tools? And aside from cost what benefits can they bring? Here’s our pick of the market.

  • SD Times Open-Source Project of the Week: GraphQL Engine from Hasura

    With its open source release this week, GraphQL-as-a-Service company Hasura’s GraphQL Engine is looking to lift the burden on front-end and enterprise application developers who want to begin incorporating GraphQL’s data querying and manipulation capabilities in their preexisting Postgres-based applications without having to dig through the back-end of GraphQL’s code to implement it.

    ”GraphQL and the tooling around it dramatically increases the feature velocity for developer teams by reducing the communication required between them while developing new features,” the company wrote in this week’s announcement. “As a result, GraphQL servers are like self-documenting APIs that enable full API discoverability for the developers. This enables the front-end developers to make API requests, in order to introduce new features or change existing ones, in GraphQL without having to wait for back-end developer teams to deliver APIs and document the changes.”

  • FOSS Project Spotlight: Pydio Cells, an Enterprise-Focused File-Sharing Solution

    Pydio Cells is a brand-new product focused on the needs of enterprises and large organizations, brought to you from the people who launched the concept of the open-source file sharing and synchronization solution in 2008. The concept behind Pydio Cells is challenging: to be to file sharing what Slack has been to chats—that is, a revolution in terms of the number of features, power and ease of use.

    In order to reach this objective, Pydio’s development team has switched from the old-school development stack (Apache and PHP) to Google’s Go language to overcome the bottleneck represented by legacy technologies. Today, Pydio Cells offers a faster, more scalable microservice architecture that is in tune with dynamic modern enterprise environments.

    In fact, Pydio’s new “Cells” concept delivers file sharing as a modern collaborative app. Users are free to create flexible group spaces for sharing based on their own ways of working with dedicated in-app messaging for improved collaboration.

    In addition, the enterprise data management functionality gives both companies and administrators reassurance, with controls and reporting that directly answer corporate requirements around the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and other tightening data protection regulations.

  • Open Cars Kick-Off Conference

    Autonomous cars are coming. But how are we going to deal with keeping both the software and hardware up-to-date? Odds are, a three-year computer and software a few months old are going to be too old to drive autonomously, at least while the technology is in its infancy. And how do we train the guys in your local garage to maintain an AI?

    The automobile industry thinks they have a solution: lease rather than sell autonomous cars, lock the hood shut, and maintain them exclusively through their dealers.

    That works great for the 1%. But what about the rest of us? The folks who drive a dented, 10-year-old car? We should have the option to drive autonomous cars, and to participate in the same world as the more wealthy folks.

  • Web Browsers

    • Browsh – A Modern Text Browser That Supports Graphics And Video

      Browsh is a modern, text-based browser that supports graphics including video. Yes, you read that right! It supports HTML5, CSS3, JavaScript, photos, WebGL content and of course video as well. Technically speaking, it is not much of a browser, but some kind of terminal front-end of browser. It uses headless Firefox to render the web page and then converts it to ASCII art. According to the developer, Browsh significantly reduces the bandwidth and increases the browsing speed. Another cool feature of browsh is you can ssh from, for example an old laptop, to a regular computer where you have Browsh installed, and browse HTML5 webpages without much lag. Browsh is free, open source and cross-platform.

    • Mozilla

      • Mozilla B-Team: happy bmo push day!
      • Mozilla VR Blog: This week in Mixed Reality: Issue 12

        This week we landed a bunch of core features: in the browsers space, we landed WebVR support and immersive controllers; in the social area, added media tools to Hubs; and in the content ecosystem, we now have WebGL2 support on the WebGLRenderer in three.js.

      • Robert Kaiser: VR Map – A-Frame Demo using OpenStreetMap Data

        The prime driver for writing my first such demo was that I wanted to do something meaningful with A-Frame. Previously, I had only played around with the Hello WebVR example and some small alterations around the basic elements seen in that one, which is also pretty much what I taught to others in the WebVR workshops I held in Vienna last year. Now, it was time to go beyond that, and as I had recently bought a HTC Vive, I wanted something where the controllers could be used – but still something that would fall back nicely and be usable in 2D mode on a desktop browser or even mobile screens.

      • Firefox Test Pilot: The Evolution of Side View

        Side View is a new Firefox Test Pilot experiment which allows you to send any webpage to the Firefox sidebar, giving you an easy way to view two webpages side-by-side. It was released June 5 through the Test Pilot program, and we thought we would share with you some of the different approaches we tried while implementing this idea.

  • Pseudo-Open Source (Openwashing)

  • BSD

    • DragonFly BSD Lead Developer Preaches The Blessing Of SSDs

      DragonFlyBSD lead developer Matthew Dillon has provided an update on the open-source operating system project’s infrastructure and acknowledging the SSD upgrades that are noticeably beneficial over HDDs.

      DragonFlyBSD has recently been replacing various HDDs with SSDs in their build machines and other systems having an important presence in their infrastructure. Following these storage upgrades, things have been running great and ultimately should deliver a snappier experience for users and developers.

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • Revealing unknown DWG classes

      I implemented three major buzzwords today in some trivial ways.

      massive parallel processing
      asynchronous processing
      machine-learning: a self-improving program

      The problem is mostly trivial, and the solutions also. I need to
      reverse-engineer a binary closed file-format, but got some hints from
      a related ASCII file-format, DWG vs DXF.

    • Binutils 2.31 Offers Faster DLL Linking For Cygwin/Mingw, Freescale S12Z Support

      A new release of the Binutils collection of important tools is now available with a number of new features and improvements.

      Binutils 2.31 contains work like direct linking with DLLs for Cygwin/Mingw targets now being faster, AArch64 disassembler improvements, MIPS GINV and CRC extension support, Freescale S12Z architecture support, the x86 assembler now supports new command line options to enable alternative shorter instruction encodings, and the Gold linker now supports Intel Indirect Branch Tracking and Shadow Stack instructions.

    • GCC 8/9 Land Fix For “-march=native” Tuning On Modern Intel CPUs

      The other day we reported on a GCC 8 regression where Skylake and newer CPUs with “-march=native” haven’t been performance as optimally as they should be. Fortunately, that patch was quickly landed into the GCC SVN/Git code for GCC 9 as well as back-ported to GCC 8.

      In the GCC 8.1 release and mainline code since April, as the previous article outlined, when using “-march=native” as part of the compiler flags with GCC the full capabilities of the CPU haven’t been leveraged. This affects Intel Skylake CPUs and newer generations, including yet to be released hardware like Cannonlake and Icelake.

  • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

    • Open Hardware/Modding

      • ARM Kills Its RISC-V FUD Website After Staff Revolt

        ARM is under fire for the way it attempted to kneecap a fledgling open-source hardware project, and has retreated from its own line of attack after several days. ARM had launched a website, riscv-basics.com, which purported to offer “real” information on the rival ISA. As one might expect, the “information” on display was a bit less neutral than a visitor might hope for. Taking this kind of shot against an open-source hardware project also struck many in the OSS community as being in exceptionally poor taste, given how critical open source software has been to ARM’s overall success and visibility.

        First, a bit of background: RISC-V is an open-source ISA based on RISC principles and is intended to eventually provide flexible CPU cores for a wide variety of use-cases. By using the BSD license, the RISC-V teams hope to allow for a greater range of projects that support both open and proprietary CPU designs. RISC-V CPUs are already available today in a range of roles and capabilities. Despite some modest initial success, RISC-V, today, isn’t even a rounding error in CPU marketshare measurements. It’s certainly no threat to ARM, which enjoys the mother of all vendor lock-ins measured in per-device terms.

  • Programming/Development

    • Becoming a senior developer: 9 experiences you’ll encounter

      Being a developer—a good one—isn’t just about writing code. To be successful, you do a lot of planning, you deal with catastrophes, and you prevent catastrophes. Not to mention you spend plenty of time working with other humans about what your code should do.

    • Python and Its Community Enter a New Phase

      Python is an amazing programming language, there’s no doubt about it. >From humble beginnings in 1991, it’s now just about everywhere. Whether you’re doing web development, system administration, test automation, devops or data science, odds are good that Python is playing a role in your work.

      Even if you’re not using Python directly, odds are good that it is being used behind the scenes. Using OpenStack? Python plays an integral role in its development and configuration. Using Dropbox on your computer? Then you’ve got a copy of Python running on your computer. Using Linux? When I purchased Red Hat Linux back in 1995, the configuration was a breeze—thanks to visual tools developed in Python.

      And, of course, there are numerous schools and educational programs that are now teaching Python. MIT’s intro computer science course switched several years ago from Scheme to Python, and thousands of universities all over the world made a similar switch in its wake. My 15-year-old daughter participates in a program for technology and entrepreneurship—and she’s learning Python.

      There currently is an almost insatiable demand for Python developers. Indeed, Stack Overflow reported last year that Python is not only the most popular language on its site, but it’s also the fastest-growing language. I can attest to this popularity in my own job as a freelance Python trainer. Some of the largest computer companies in the world are now using Python on a regular basis, and their use of the language is growing, not shrinking.

    • Python boss Guido van Rossum steps down after 30 years

      He lays out a list of things that the users will need to consider going forwards like who has banning rights and who inducts noobs to the core developer team, but its laid out in a context of ‘do what you want but keep me out of it’.

      “I’ll still be here, but I’m trying to let you all figure something out for yourselves. I’m tired, and need a very long break.”

Leftovers

  • Science

    • Open offices are as bad as they seem—they reduce face-to-face time by 70%

      Before the study it was clear from employee surveys and media reports that workers are not fans of the open architecture trend. Employees complain of noise, distractions, lowered productivity, a loss of privacy, and a feeling of being “watched.” On top of that, studies have suggested that open offices can be bad for workers’ health.

      Still, Bernstein and Turban write that, up until now, there has been a dearth of data on how employee behaviors change in these boundless, despised work spaces. To come up with that data, they enlisted employees in two big companies as their employers embarked on remodeling office areas from traditional closed offices and cubicles to open, boundary-less space.

  • Health/Nutrition

    • HHS Plans to Delete 20 Years of Critical Medical Guidelines Next Week

      The Trump Administration is planning to eliminate a vast trove of medical guidelines that for nearly 20 years has been a critical resource for doctors, researchers and others in the medical community.

      Maintained by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality [AHRQ], part of the Department of Health and Human Services, the database is known as the National Guideline Clearinghouse [NGC], and it’s scheduled to “go dark,” in the words of an official there, on July 16.

      Medical guidelines like those compiled by AHRQ aren’t something laypeople spend much time thinking about, but experts like Valerie King, a professor in the Department of Family Medicine and Director of Research at the Center for Evidence-based Policy at Oregon Health & Science University, said the NGC is perhaps the most important repository of evidence-based research available.

  • Security

  • Defence/Aggression

    • Fish Out of Water: How the Military Is an Impossible Place for Hackers [sic], and What to Do About It

      For most hackers [sic], an ADCON job means one to two years away from mission doing a non-technical job they’ll probably detest. So, the military’s most talented hackers [sic] are caught squarely in an identity crisis: Buck the promotion system and continue being a contributor who is “50 to 100 times better than their peers” fighting adversaries in cyberspace or take a year or two off mission to collate push-up scores in Excel spreadsheets.

      It might seem that putting technical talent in ADCON command positions would help fix the problem, but it doesn’t for three reasons:

    • Should Your Company Help ICE? “Know Your Customer” Standards for Evaluating Domestic Sales of Surveillance Equipment

      Employees at Google, Microsoft, and Amazon have raised public concerns about those companies assisting U.S. military, law enforcement, and the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency (ICE) in deploying various kinds of surveillance technologies.

      These public calls from employees raise important questions: what steps should a company take to ensure that government entities who purchase or license their technologies don’t misuse them? When should they refuse to sell to a governmental entity?

      Tech companies must step up and ensure that they aren’t assisting governments in committing human rights abuses.

      While the specific context of U.S. law enforcement using new surveillance technologies is more recent, the underlying questions aren’t. In 2011, EFF proposed a basic Know Your Customer framework for these questions. The context then was foreign repressive governments’ use of the technology from U.S. and European companies to facilitate human rights abuses. EFF’s framework was cited favorably by the United Nations in its implementation guide for technology companies for its own Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.

      Now, those same basic ideas about investigation, auditing, and accountability can be, and should be, deployed domestically.

      Put simply, tech companies, especially those selling surveillance equipment, must step up and ensure that they aren’t assisting governments in committing human rights, civil rights and civil liberties abuses. This obligation applies whether those governments are foreign or domestic, federal or local.

      One way tech companies can navigate this difficult issue is by adopting a robust Know Your Customer program, modeled on requirements that companies already have to follow in the export control and anti-bribery context. Below, we outline our proposal for sales to foreign governments from 2011, with a few updates to reflect shifting from an international to domestic focus. Employees at companies that sell to government agencies, especially agencies with a record as troubling as ICE, may want to advocate for this as a process to protect against future corporate complicity.

    • The Media’s Brazen Dishonesty About North Korean Nuclear Violations

      In late June and early July, NBC News, CNN, and The Wall Street Journal published stories that appeared at first glance to shed a lurid light on Donald Trump’s flirtation with Kim Jong-un. They contained satellite imagery showing that North Korea was making rapid upgrades to its nuclear weapons complex at Yongbyon and expanding its missile production program just as Trump and Kim were getting chummy at their Singapore summit.

      In fact, those media outlets were selling journalistic snake oil. By misrepresenting the diplomatic context of the images they were hyping, the press launched a false narrative around the Trump-Kim summit and the negotiations therein.

      The headline of the June 27 NBC News story revealed the network’s political agenda on the Trump-Kim negotiations. “If North Korea is denuclearizing,” it asked, “why is it expanding a nuclear research center?” The piece warned that North Korea “continues to make improvements to a major nuclear facility, raising questions about President Donald Trump’s claim that Kim Jong Un has agreed to disarm, independent experts tell NBC News.”

      CNN’s coverage of the same story was even more sensationalist, declaring that there were “troubling signs” that North Korea was making “improvements” to its nuclear facilities, some of which it said had been carried out after the Trump-Kim summit. It pointed to a facility that had produced plutonium in the past and recently undergone an upgrade, despite Kim’s alleged promise to Trump to draw down his nuclear arsenal. CNN commentator Max Boot cleverly spelled out the supposed implication: “If you were about to demolish your house, would you be remodeling the kitchen?”

  • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

    • Inter-American Court Ruling Benefits Julian Assange

      The ruling was deemed a huge victory for the WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.
      The Inter-American Court of Human Rights ruled on Friday the right to seek asylum in embassies and other diplomatic compounds. The ruling includes a mandatory safe process, and the obligation of states to provide safe passage to those granted asylum. Without naming Julian Assange, the ruling was deemed a huge victory for the WikiLeaks founder who has been held up in the Ecuadorean embassy in London since 2012.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife/Nature

    • New Dutch study recommends optimal EVSE rollout strategy

      As the worldwide fleet of EVs expands, it’s becoming clear that governments around the world need to make significant investments in public charging infrastructure. However, there are few examples to follow in developing an effective rollout strategy.

      A new study, published in the journal Energy Policy, aims to guide policy makers in the deployment of future charging infrastructure. The study analyzes the use of 1,700 public charging points in the Netherlands over the first 4 years of EV adoption, representing more than 1.3 million charging sessions.

  • Finance

  • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • Social media platforms must police their sites better, says Ofcom

      White highlighted Ofcom research that demonstrated how little trust user have in what they read on social media. “Only 39% consider social media to be a trustworthy news source, compared with 63% for newspapers, and 70% for TV,” she wrote.

      “Many people admit they simply don’t have the time or inclination to think critically when engaging with news, which has important implications for our democracy.”

    • Ray McGovern: Strzok Hoisted on His Own Petard

      If FBI agent Peter Strzok were not so glib, it would have been easier to feel some sympathy for him during his tough grilling at the House oversight hearing on Thursday, even though his wounds are self-inflicted. The wounds, of course, ooze from the content of his own text message exchange with his lover and alleged co-conspirator, Lisa Page.

      Strzok was a top FBI counterintelligence official and Page an attorney working for then-FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe. The Attorney General fired McCabe in March and DOJ has criminally referred McCabe to federal prosecutors for lying to Justice Department investigators.

      On Thursday members of the House Judiciary and Oversight/Government Reform Committees questioned Strzok for eight hours on how he led the investigations of Hillary Clinton’s unauthorized emails and Donald Trump’s campaign’s ties with Russia, if any.

      [...]

      There were moments of high irony at Thursday’s hearing. For example, under questioning by Darrell Issa (R-CA), Strzok appealed, in essence, for the same kid-gloves treatment that his FBI and DOJ associates afforded Mrs. Clinton during the Strzok-led investigation of her emails.

    • Mueller indicts 12 Russians for DNC hacking
    • Russian Influence Campaign Sought To Exploit Americans’ Trust In Local News

      Russia’s information attack against the United States during the 2016 election cycle sought to take advantage of the greater trust that Americans tend to place in local news.

      The information operatives who worked out of the Internet Research Agency in St. Petersburg did not stop at posing as American social media users or spreading false information from purported news sources, according to new details.

      They also created a number of Twitter accounts that posed as sources for Americans’ hometown headlines.

    • Russian Dressing On Everything

      Reporting on the Russia investigation is not for the faint of heart. This week, a look at how a journalist became entangled in the investigation when she turned her source over to the FBI. Plus, how another reporter avoided common journalistic mistakes during the Iraq War and a conversation with the director of the new documentary The Other Side of Everything about the end of Yugoslavia.

    • Evidence Will Probably Never Be Produced in Indictments of ‘Russian Agents’

      The indictment of 12 Russian ‘agents,’ which included no collusion with Trump’s team, is essentially a political and not legal document because it is almost certain the U.S. government will never have to present any evidence in court, reports Joe Lauria.

    • 2016 US Elections: 12 Russian Spies Charged For Hacking
  • Censorship/Free Speech

    • EFF to Japan: Reject Website Blocking

      Website blocking to deal with alleged copyright infringement is like cutting off your hand to deal with a papercut. Sure, you don’t have a papercut anymore, but you’ve also lost a lot more than you’ve gained. The latest country to consider a website blocking proposal is Japan, and EFF has responded to the call for comment by sharing all the reasons that cutting off websites is a terrible solution for copyright violations.

      In response to infringement of copyrighted material, specifically citing a concern for manga, the government of Japan began work on a proposal that would make certain websites inaccessible in Japan. We’ve seen proposals like this before, most recently in the European Union’s Article 13.

      In response to Japan’s proposal, EFF explained that website blocking is not effective at the stated goal of protecting artists and their work. First, it can be easily circumvented. Second, it ends up capturing a lot of lawful expression. Blocking an entire website does not distinguish between legal and illegal content, punishing both equally. Blocking and filtering by governments has frequently been found to violate national and international principles of free expression [pdf].

      EFF also shared the research leading Internet engineers did in response to a potential U.S. law that would have enabled website blocking. They said that website blocking would lead to network errors and security problems.

    • Slipping past the censors

      During a panel discussion at the Odisha Literary Festival last year, actor Tillotama Shome remarked that a strict or even unreasonable censorship regime can, paradoxically, aid the cause of creativity—by forcing a film-maker to find more inventive ways of saying what he needs to say.

      Shome’s words were an echo of Orson Welles’ famous observation, “The absence of limitations is the enemy of art”, and had a similar subtext, which went something like: Yes, we all know these aren’t optimum conditions for creative work, but let’s make the best of a tough situation.

    • GOP candidates for KS governor don’t hold back in final debate before primary

      During the last debate before the August primary, the candidates for the Republican gubernatorial nominee were not pulling punches.

      One issue taking center stage — an American flag art project at the University of Kansas.

      “When somebody wants to use taxpayer funds and tax-payer institutions to desecrate our flag, I say not in Kansas and not on my watch,” said Governor Jeff Colyer.

    • The Flag and Free Expression

      An art piece at the University of Kansas featuring a U.S. flag with illustrations on it is stirring up a decades-old debate: Should the flag get special protection under the First Amendment? The Supreme Court says no and has affirmed the right to burn the flag, but the Kansas dispute is one of many in which colleges have been questioned for uses of the flag to make art and/or political points.

      “Untitled (Flag 2)” by German artist Josephine Meckseper was intended to serve as commentary on the deep divisions in the United States, according to a statement by the artist. Meckseper drip painted a rough illustration of the U.S. on the flag and a striped sock in the left-hand corner to symbolize children imprisoned on the border. Some are viewing the work as an affront to active military and veterans. Among them is Kansas governor Jeff Colyer, who called for the flag’s removal in a statement Wednesday.

    • Pledges of Allegiance
  • Privacy/Surveillance

    • ‘Data is a fingerprint’: why you aren’t as anonymous as you think online

      Names and other identifying features were removed from the records in an effort to protect individuals’ privacy, but a research team from the University of Melbourne soon discovered that it was simple to re-identify people, and learn about their entire medical history without their consent, by comparing the dataset to other publicly available information, such as reports of celebrities having babies or athletes having surgeries.

      The government pulled the data from its website, but not before it had been downloaded 1,500 times.

    • US: Government Has Planted Spy Phones With Suspects

      Human Rights Watch has identified two forms of this technique that the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has used or, evidence suggests, has contemplated using. One involved the undercover sale of BlackBerry devices whose individual encryption keys the DEA possessed, enabling the agency to decode messages sent and received by suspects. The second, as described in a previously unreported internal email belonging to the surveillance software company Hacking Team, may have entailed installing monitoring software on a significant number of phones before attempting to put them into suspects’ hands.

  • Civil Rights/Policing

    • Videos that incited lynchings in Maharashtra were manipulated: Police

      The videos were widely circulated on social media across the state following which seven offences were registered by the Malegaon Police in Nashik district.

      “During our investigation, we found these videos were manipulated and the clippings were also not of places as claimed by people on social media,” Malegon’s Additional Superintendent of Police Harsh Poddar told PTI.

    • Sex Jehad: The Religious Undertones In Viral Video Clips

      Social scientists feel this new brand of porn promotes “hate sex”, with revenge as the motive. Since the beginning of recorded history, men have been using sex as a weapon to demean rival men, showing them as weak and inferior by “having sex” with ‘their’ women. These vanquished men are stigmatised as cuckolds, and ridiculed. Porn, which can seriously distort male perspectives on women and intimate relationships, becomes a platform to broadcast such hatred and tag an intended target as a cuckold with videos running under titles such as “Desi Hindu girl f***s her Muslim cab driver” and such like. The tacitly offered subtext is that Hindu women have to be protected, and vice versa, Batabyal says.

    • Woman with biscuits thrashed in Tamil Nadu on suspicion of being child lifter

      The attack comes in the backdrop a spate of similar such incidents in several parts of the country when people were either beaten up or lynched on suspicion that they were child abductors, which prompted the government to ask social media operators such as WhatsApp to clamp down on rumours.

    • The Shadow of Torture Behind Trump’s Britain Visit

      The U.K. Was Complicit in America’s Torture. Neither Country Should Let It Happen Again.

      As President Trump visits the United Kingdom, the focus has been on strained trans-Atlantic relations, his intervention in domestic politics, and massive public protests.

      A different, diplomatically-couched protest has received less attention but sends a consequential signal about the so-called “special relationship” between the two countries: U.K. parliamentarians are concerned that under Trump, America could return to a policy of torture — and they are warning British intelligence agencies to guard against it.

      Parliament’s Intelligence and Security Committee released a pair of reports at the end of June providing extensive detail about U.K. complicity in torture, rendition, and other abuses of detainees by the U.S. military and the CIA during the George W. Bush administration. The reports by the committee, which oversees the U.K.’s intelligence agencies, also focus on policy changes needed to avoid a repeat of such abuses.

      The committee uncovered at least 166 instances in which British officials either directly witnessed or had credible information suggesting that torture and abuse were carried out by Americans. It also found 232 cases in which U.K. personnel continued to interrogate or provide intelligence about a U.S.-held detainee even after they knew or suspected that the detainee had been abused. And there were 192 cases in which the U.K. accepted intelligence information obtained by the U.S. from detainees the U.K. knew or should have suspected had been tortured or abused.

      The committee found dozens of instances in which the U.K. provided intelligence or financial support to illegal U.S. “renditions” — in which the U.S. essentially kidnapping people and transferring them to third countries where they were subjected to torture and degrading treatment.

    • Dear Brett Kavanaugh, Justices Do Make Law

      The Supreme Court nominee says judges ‘must interpret the law, not make’ it. He’s wrong. Here’s why.

      Judges “must interpret the law, not make the law,” observed Judge Brett Kavanaugh in accepting Donald Trump’s designation to fill Justice Anthony Kennedy’s seat on the Supreme Court. This oft-repeated assertion is an invention of conservatives who seek to criticize and curtail rights-enhancing decisions of the Supreme Court. But the assertion that judges should not make law rests upon a fundamental misunderstanding of the role of judges within our common law tradition.

      It is a hallmark of our common law system that judges not only resolve the controversies before them but, in doing so, write opinions that explain their decisions and identify the legal principles and factual conclusions upon which the decisions rest. These opinions are designed to persuade the litigants and the public that the case was decided fairly and in accordance with law. But the written opinions also serve as a source of law for future controversies. In this way, common law courts resolve individual disputes and, at the same time, issue opinions that create legal precedent which guides future behavior and informs subsequent adjudications.

      In writing opinions that will serve as precedent and in relying on precedent as a source of law, the Supreme Court functions as a common law court. The justices of the court who write these opinions are unquestionably engaged in making law, not merely in applying law.

      By way of example, the entire body of law regarding freedom of expression has been created by the Supreme Court. The First Amendment provision pertaining to freedom of speech and press reads: “Congress shall make no law abridging freedom of speech or of the press ….” The text seems clear. But reading the text alone fails to capture the scope of the provision. We know, because the Supreme Court has told us, that “no law” does not really mean “no law.” And the proscriptions of the First Amendment are not limited to “Congress.” They apply, as well, to the executive branch and to state and local governments. Moreover, the First Amendment extends its protective reach beyond “speech” and “press” as it also guards against government censorship of movies, artwork, the internet, and other forms of expression.

    • How Black Lives Matter Changed the Way Americans Fight for Freedom

      Five years after the founding of Black Lives Matter, the movement has transformed the nation’s approach to social justice.

      Freedom fighters around the globe commemorate July 13 as the day that three Black women gave birth to a movement. In the five short years since #Black LivesMatter arrived on the scene — thanks to the creative genius of Patrisse Cullors, Alicia Garza, and Opal Tometti — the push for Black liberation from state-inflicted violence has evolved into one of the most influential social movements of the post-civil rights era.

      Black Lives Matter has always been more of a human rights movement rather than a civil rights movement. BLM’s focus has been less about changing specific laws and more about fighting for a fundamental reordering of society wherein Black lives are free from systematic dehumanization. Still, the movement’s measurable impact on the political and legal landscape is undeniable.

      Since 2013, the organizing labor of BLM has led to the ousting of high-profile corrupt prosecutors. In Chicago, BLM pressure led Anita Alvarez — who had inexplicably failed to charge police officers who shot at least 68 people to death — to lose her re-election bid for Cook County prosecutor. And in Florida, BLM helped end Angela Corey’s reign as a state attorney. Corey remains infamous for failing to convict Trayvon Martin’s killer George Zimmerman while prosecuting Marissa Alexander, a Black woman who didn’t hurt anyone when firing a warning shot at her abusive ex-husband.

    • Jacinta Gonzalez on Immigration Rights, Jocelyn McCalla on Haiti Uprising

      Americans, many of them anyway, have been filled with outrage—and anger, and sadness—at the fact that immigrants escaping violence and deprivation (some of it visited on them by US policy and practice) are being treated as criminals at the US border. Children being literally pulled from their parents’ arms and locked up in pens—and it’s all in aid of, what, exactly? The truth is US “policy” on immigration has long veiled, thinly, an abject cruelty and racism. And so while outrage at family separation at the Mexican border is a fine starting point for a movement for change, it cannot be its end. We’ll talk about bigger, positive visions on immigration with Jacinta Gonzalez, senior campaign organizer at mijente, the national political hub for Latinx organizing.

    • ‘It Is Really Crucial That People Stand Up for What They Believe In’

      A Washington Post poll from July 2017 found that one out of every three Washington, DC, residents said they’d taken part in a protest against Donald Trump since his inauguration. That number included half of the district’s white residents, half of people making more than $100,000 a year, and a fifth of the respondents over the age of 65.

      As more and more people go out in the street, states are rushing to criminalize that resistance. This time last year, we talked about the right to protest and the role of law in a time of widespread dissent with activist attorney Mara Verheyden-Hilliard, executive of director of the Partnership for Civil Justice Fund. I started by asking about the J20, the group of people—including journalists—arrested for protesting at Trump’s January 20 inauguration. CounterSpin listeners got an update on the state of that case just a few weeks back on the show. Mara Verheyden-Hilliard explained the nature of the J20 case.

    • Stop-and-Frisk Settlement in Milwaukee Lawsuit Is a Wakeup Call for Police Nationwide

      Police must institute reforms to end biased policing and unlawful stops and frisks.

      In a banner day for police reform, the city of Milwaukee has entered into a settlement agreement to end practices amounting to a decade-long stop-and-frisk program that resulted in hundreds of thousands of baseless stops as well as racial and ethnic profiling of Black and Latino people citywide. The agreement provides a roadmap for how the Milwaukee Police Department and Fire and Police Commission must reform to protect the constitutional rights of the people they serve.

      The reforms are local, but the implications are national. This settlement sends a signal to police departments across the country about how to remedy stop-and-frisk practices that wrongfully criminalize people of color.

      The reforms in Milwaukee are the result of the settlement of Collins v. City of Milwaukee, a 2017 lawsuit brought by the ACLU and the law firm of Covington & Burling LLP on behalf of Black and Latino people, including a military veteran, a grandmother, students, and a state legislator. Each of the plaintiffs was stopped or stopped and frisked by Milwaukee police when doing nothing wrong.

      Our plaintiffs were not alone.

    • The Supreme Court’s Disingenuous Funeral Ceremony for Korematsu

      Instead of truly putting Korematsu to rest, the Muslim ban decision revived that shameful decision under another name.

      Over Independence Day weekend, I joined hundreds of fellow Japanese-Americans at the Tule Lake Pilgrimage. Held on the site of the Tule Lake Segregation Center, this pilgrimage offers a chance to remember how the U.S. government imprisoned our families without trial during World War II.

      President Franklin D. Roosevelt provided the legal authority for this incarceration by signing Executive Order 9066, which directed military officials to “prescribe military areas . . . from which any or all persons may be excluded.” The language of the order was facially neutral, in that it named no particular ethnic groups. However, everyone involved in its drafting and implementation knew it would target people of Japanese ancestry, both U.S.-born citizens and noncitizen immigrants.

      In the ensuing weeks and months, Lt. General John L. DeWitt — an avowed racist who famously declared that “a Jap’s a Jap” regardless of citizenship — designated large swaths of Arizona, California, Oregon, and Washington as “military areas” from which Japanese-Americans would be “excluded” by force. As a result, my grandmother Bette — a 23-year-old aspiring fashion designer from a small California town — was forced to interrupt her junior college education to be imprisoned with her parents and siblings at the Tule Lake prison camp. They were assigned to tarpaper barracks to live behind barbed wire under the watch of armed guards. Meanwhile, my grandfather Kuichi — who had actually been drafted into the U.S. Army before Pearl Harbor — was left in an uncomfortable limbo while military authorities decided what to do with this newly enlisted soldier who happened to be of an “enemy alien” race. Eventually, they ordered him to join the fight in Europe.

    • Watch the 6-Year-Old Salvadoran Girl Heard on a Secret Recording Out of a Border Patrol Detention Facility Finally Being Reunited With Her Mom

      Alison Jimena Valencia Madrid walked out of a Houston airport early this morning to cheers, holding her mother’s hand, one month after they were separated at a Border Patrol detention facility and the 6-year-old’s voice was captured in an audio recording, begging for a phone call. A van pulled up, and Jimena sat on her mother’s lap in the backseat. She looked out through a window and waved at a handful of reporters, beaming.

      It was a whirlwind government handoff as improvised and clandestine as their separation. Jimena was bundled out of a shelter in Phoenix on Thursday evening, loaded onto an airplane at supper time and flown three hours to Houston, where she kept herself awake all night in a passenger lounge in Terminal A with crayons and coloring books. Meanwhile her mother, Cindy Madrid, fresh out of a detention facility in south Texas, got word about the government’s plans too late to catch a flight, and barreled with her lawyer six hours down the highway to reach the little girl.

      Both were too exhausted to answer questions upon leaving the airport at 3 a.m. Madrid’s lawyer said that Jimena had a bit of an emotional meltdown at the first sight of her mother. When asked in an earlier interview what she’d feel once she had her daughter back in her arms, Madrid said, “I’ll be the happiest woman in the world. It’s been very painful to be apart.”

    • Congressman Introduces Legislation To Criminalize Protesting In A Mask

      Antifa, of course, being the favored bogeyman target from the political interests of those supporting the President, at least at the moment. And, sure, some protests where Antifa has participated in have gotten out of hand and criminal activities have taken place. We have laws for that. Using them as an excuse to specifically outlaw wearing a mask or face-covering while protesting is just plain stupid.

      And pretty plainly unconstitutional. I would guess Donovan knows that, too, and is actually using this bill purely as a, shall we say… “virtue signal” to his constituents without having any expectations that it will both pass into law and defeat the immediate First Amendment challenges that will surely be thrown at it from many places. And, in case it isn’t clear, playing those sorts of political games with free speech is about as scummy as it gets for a politician.

    • Guy Gets Tossed In Jail For Contempt Charges Because Cops Say They Need To Unlock His Phones To Get Evidence Of Drug Possession

      There’s a Fifth Amendment case developing in Tampa, Florida revolving around cellphones, passcodes, and contempt charges. (h/t Dissent Doe)

      William Montanez has just been jailed for 180 by a Florida judge for refusing to unlock two phones seized from him by police. This happened in an extremely unorthodox fashion. In court, the judge said “Unlock them,” and Montanez was handed both phones. He claimed he couldn’t remember the passcodes, saying they both had been recently purchased. No passcode, no freedom, the judge instantly ruled.

      The police have a warrant and claim that’s all they need to demand access to the phones’ contents. But that’s predicated on a string of events that seem constitutionally-dubious, to say the least.

      An emergency petition [PDF] (via Florida You Judge) to challenge the judge’s contempt ruling (and the warrant itself) has been filed by Montanez’s attorney, Patrick Leduc. The petition details the traffic stop and arrest of Montanez, which appears to contain a handful of constitutional violations.

      Montanez was pulled over for failure to yield. During this stop, a K-9 unit was brought to the scene to sniff Montanez’s car after he refused to consent to a search. This is already questionable. The Supreme Court’s ruling in Rodriguez makes it clear regular traffic stops aren’t supposed to be fishing expeditions. If no reasonable suspicion presents itself (and refusing consent isn’t suspicious activity), officers aren’t allowed to extend stops to further badger drivers into relinquishing consent or bring a dog to scene to ask its permission for a search.

    • Rogue CBP Agent Decided To ‘Drain The Swamp’ By Tracking Down A Journalist To Sniff Out Her Sources

      The DOJ has decided it can safely threaten First Amendment protections, so long as it’s done in the pursuit of leakers. The Trump Administration has leaked like no other, prompting AG Jeff Sessions to triple-up on former president Obama’s war on whistleblowers. Omelets/eggs broken, I suppose, if the end goal is dialing back leaks to only the ones the administration approves of.

      It’s cool to target journalists’ communications again. That’s the general mood of the DOJ, which slapped itself on the wrist during Eric Holder’s tenure for hoovering up AP journalists’ communications, only to reverse course when the desire to prosecute leakers surpassed its desire to not look like a thuggish force of government oppression.

      The indictment of Senate Intelligence Committee advisor James Wolfe contained a lot of journalists’ communications and metadata obtained from several sources, including service providers these journalists used. This was disturbing enough, suggesting the new normal for leak investigations is targeting members of the press to work backwards to their anonymous sources.

    • Islamic scholar detained in Saudi Arabia

      delete

      Sheikh Safar al-Hawali is known for his anti-American sentiments and wish for Islamic rule.

  • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

    • After AT&T Jacks Up Prices Post Merger, DOJ Decides To Appeal Court Loss

      AT&T recently defeated the DOJ’s challenge to their $86 billion merger with Time Warner thanks to a comically narrow reading of the markets by U.S. District Court Judge Richard Leon. At no point in his 172-page ruling (which approved the deal without a single condition) did Leon show the faintest understanding that AT&T intends to use vertical integration synergistically with the death of net neutrality to dominate smaller competitors. In fact, net neutrality was never even mentioned at the multi-week trial.

      The trial did a wonderful job showing how modern antitrust law does a dismal job policing companies that dominate both the conduit to the home (wireless, wired connection) and the content running over it. And shortly after Leon signed off on the deal, AT&T got right work… being AT&T.

      The company had made repeated promises before, during and after the trial that the merger would only result in price reductions and other wonderful things for consumers. But with the ink barely dry on the deal, AT&T quickly began raising rates on its streaming video services, eliminating promo offers providing free HBO to its wireless customers, jacking up the price of the company’s unlimited data wireless plans, and imposing bogus new fees on those same subscribers. Most of these moves were expected as AT&T tries to recoup some of the monumental debt incurred by its endless quest to grow ever larger.

      Initially, the DOJ stated it wouldn’t appeal its court loss, even though Leon’s myopic ruling opened the door to the idea. But the DOJ clearly sees something in AT&T’s recent moves that gives it additional ammunition for another shot at the merger, so it’s appealing the judge’s ruling to the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit according to a DOJ filing (pdf).

    • The Cable TV & Broadband Sector Has A Nasty Billing Fraud Problem

      As we’ve well discussed, the broadband and TV sector not only has some of the worst satisfaction scores in modern history. A lack of real competition has long allowed the industry to double down on all manner of bad behavior, whether that’s net neutrality and privacy violations, or just unprecedentedly-awful customer service. But in recent years the industry has developed another nasty habit: billing fraud involving everything from falsely signing customers up for services they never ordered to entirely bogus fees designed to let companies falsely advertise lower rates.

      T-Mobile was accused last year of signing users up for services they neither wanted nor ordered. Centurylink has similarly found itself in hot water for the same thing on a larger scale, the company now facing lawsuits in more than a dozen states for the practice. Washington State also recently sued Comcast, noting that the company not only routinely signs its customers up for a “Service Protection Plan” they never ordered, but consistently misrepresents what the plan actually does. You may or may not notice a pattern here.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • What to expect when JPO improves its machine translation system [Ed: When it comes to patents, automated translations are worse than useless. The patent extremists just try to cheapen the process while broadening their power.]

      When the JPO successfully improves accuracy of machine translation, I would suggest to the JPO to further consider not requiring overseas patent applicants to submit the Japanese translation of patent application documents. Because several people from overseas firms have told me that their clients hesitate or give up patent application filing in Japan, considering the cost of Japanese translation which they feel expensive. Alternatively, allowing the submission of English translation may work. Because the English translation can be used for patent application filing in other English-speaking countries and it would not bother so much. Anyway, I expect the JPO to create an environment where overseas clients who want to obtain patent rights in Japan don’t have to give up due to just translation cost.

    • Trademarks

      • Leaving Apple and Google: /e/ is the symbol for “my data is MY data”

        The “eelo” trademark we have been using so far has been filed by myself in the EU and in the USA. However, some companies have filed opposition to its registration, because they claim that there exists a likelihood of confusion between their prio similar marks and “eelo”.

        In some cases, we could arrange a coexistence agreement, by reducing the scope of our goods and services, that was somewhat too broad. For instance, it’s clear that our project is not about producing energy or developing human-resource management software.

        But one company that opposed our registration in the EU has refused to even discuss a peaceful coexistence agreement.

        This company is Meurs HRM B.V. and owns prior rights on the “eelloo” trademark, in several identical classes as the eelo trademark was filed for.

    • Copyrights

      • Anti-Piracy Group BREIN Plans to Target ‘Frequent’ Seeders

        Dutch anti-piracy group BREIN stresses that its plan to go after frequent seeders of pirated material is still on. The outfit will use its own tracking software to detect persistent infringers and hold them accountable. Movie distribution Dutch FilmWorks is working on a similar scheme, which is also yet to launch.

      • Russia Adopts Draft to Prohibit ‘Piracy-Enabling’ Software

        Russia’s State Duma has adopted a draft law that aims to tackle software applications through which pirated content is distributed. The proposals foresee the owner or operator of an application being warned that infringement is taking place while giving them time to remove the offending content. Failure to do so will result in the software application being blocked by ISPs.

      • Digimarc Fighting Piracy By Submitting Incomplete DMCA Notices Targeting Tons Of Non-Infringing URLs (Including Techdirt’s)

        There are bogus DMCA takedown requests — something we’ve covered frequently here — that try to use a copyright tool to make unflattering content disappear. Then there’s this form of bogus, the kind being engaged in by Digimarc. It appears to be the result of inadequate automation handling everything terribly.

        A July 3rd DMCA notice issued by Digimarc on behalf of AVID Center makes five copyright claims. For whatever reason, only two of the claims have allegedly infringing URLs appended. Where bare minimum competence should be, there’s only white space.

        [...]

        That’s not the only time Techdirt is targeted by Digimarc’s sudden burst of stupid DMCA takedowns. This one, sent on behalf of the American Psychological Association, demands the takedown of a completely unrelated webpage and every post Techdirt has published about Sci-Hub.

        Digimarc has dumped hundreds of DMCA notices into Google’s lap over the last few weeks, many of which are loaded with unvetted garbage.

      • Misleading Subscription Practices At The Financial Times

        We’ve spent years highlighting how ISPs especially tend to really screw customers over with things like hidden fees or (a personal least favorite) “low introductory prices” that hide the price jump you’ll face at the end of the term. Broadband providers can often get away with those practices thanks to absentee overseers at the FCC/FTC and importantly, the lack of competition. But it’s absolutely insane to see those in competitive or struggling organizations pulling the same kinds of stunts. Right now there’s all this concern out there about media business models, and lots of publications are pushing people to sign up for their subscription plans. There are lots to choose from, and playing stupid games is not a good idea. That’s why I was a bit flabbergasted by the following story, which comes from Hersh Reddy, who co-hosts the Techdirt Podcast. He shared with me this following chat he had with the Financial Times.

        You can read the whole insane thing below, in which it appears that FT’s policies are designed to trick people (i.e., it’s not at all the fault of the poor woman he’s speaking to). Specifically, it appears that FT has two “cheap” offers to try to get people: one that is $1 for the first 4 weeks, and another that says a full subscription is $144/year.

        [...]

        This is the kind of shady bait-and-switch practices that broadband companies try to get away with. It’s pretty shameful to see FT trying it as well. Especially in a time where newspapers are desperate for subscribers. It certainly seems like a damn good reason not to give any money to the FT. Their reporting may be good, but these practices are sketchy.

      • All the news that’s fit to share: Melody Kramer on CC and the power of media

        Melody Kramer is a media expert with a special gift for uplifting open knowledge and demonstrating the power of the Commons. Previously, she held roles in public media and government and currently works as the Senior Audience Development Manager at Wikimedia. A prolific content producer and media mover and shaker, Kramer is also the Reese News Lab Fellow at the UNC School of Media and Journalism, where she’s completing research to better understand the needs of journalists across North Carolina. She writes a weekly column on the future of news for the Poynter Institute and devoted that column to CC and its necessary role in journalism in 2016.

07.13.18

Links 13/7/2018: Kube 0.7.0, Trisquel 8.0 LTS Reviewed

Posted in News Roundup at 10:56 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Support increases for ETSI’s Open Source MANO

    Implementing NFV was always going to be a challenge for telcos and their vendor and integrator partners, more so with actually getting services into operation. Even if we leave aside the herculean task on onboarding VNFs, one of the biggest concerns has been orchestration. Constant network changes caused by the dynamic and agile architecture of NFV needs to be managed automatically by orchestrators.

    For telcos, there are two different initiatives that are driving the management of network orchestration – and whilst, at times, they have been viewed as competitive, current thinking tends to place them as complementary (it all depends to whom you talk).

    Back in 2016, ETSI created the Open Source MANO (management and network orchestration) industry standards group, built on the back of its ground-breaking efforts to develop a standards framework for telco NFV. Meanwhile, the Linux Foundation is investing huge amounts of time and resources on its ONAP project (open network automation platform), after AT&T released its ECOMP work to open source and it merged with the China-led OPEN-O.

  • News of Note—ZTE closing in on lifting U.S. ban; ETSI OSM tops century mark for membership and more
  • Desktop

    • Chromium OS for Raspberry Pi SBCs Is Making a Comeback Soon, Better Than Ever

      In July 2016, Callahan wrote to us that he is looking for new team members to join his project to continue full-scale work on Chromium OS for SBCs. Unfortunately, that didn’t happen as a few months after the announcement we published back then, Flint Innovations Limited informed us that Chromium OS for SBCs was forked into Flint OS.

      Flint Innovations had some big plans for Flint OS, supporting not only Raspberry Pi boards, but also x86 computers with Intel and Nvidia GPUs, and also promised to let users run Android apps, a Google initiative that’s now mainstream on Chrome OS and already supported by most Chromebooks out there. In March 2018, Flint OS was bought by Neverware.

  • Server

    • Greens ‘bewildered’ by kerfuffle over Microsoft’s Protected cloud status

      The Australian Greens say they are “bewildered” at the way the Australian Signals Directorate has handled Microsoft’s application for Protected cloud certification and the subsequent departure of a top female officer from the agency’s ranks.

      Protected cloud is the highest security classification for vendors and allows a company to apply for contracts to store top-secret Australian Government data.

      In response to queries from iTWire, Greens’ digital communications spokesperson Senator Jordon Steele-John said: “A staffer within the Australian Signals Directorate dared to refuse an application from foreign multinational company, Microsoft.

      “This application ensured secure cloud services receiving protected certification. Approving this certification meant that Microsoft overseas employees could access secure information for government departments.

      [...]

      Microsoft has been allowed to have staff based abroad handle systems on which top-secret data is stored. For the other four Australian companies, only staff vetted by the ASD can administer these systems.

      “It seems that there is one rule for multinational corporations, and another rule for Australian businesses, who are yet to get a look in to providing Protected cloud services to the Australian Public Service,” Senator Steele-John said.

      “Australians have a right to know that the corporate interest is not being put ahead of the the security of our data.”

    • Container Adoption Starts to Outpace DevOps

      A new survey finds the number of organizations using containers is poised to pass the number of organizations employing DevOps processes in the months ahead. Less clear, however, is the degree to which adoption of containers will force organizations to embrace DevOps.

      The survey of 601 IT decision-makers conducted by ClearPath Strategies on behalf of the Cloud Foundry Foundation (CFF) finds that 32 percent of respondents have adopted containers and are employing DevOps processes. But the number of respondents who plan to adopt or evaluate containers in the next 12 months is 25 percent, while 17 percent are planning to adopt or evaluate DevOps processes. Overall, the survey finds that within the next two years, 72 percent of respondents either already are or expect to be using containers. That compares to 66 percent who say the same for DevOps.

  • Kernel Space

    • Linux Foundation

      • The Linux Foundation Forms Open Source Energy Coalition

        The Linux Foundation formed a new open source coalition with support from European transmission power systems provider RTE, Vanderbilt University, the European Network of Transmission System Operators, and the Electric Power Research Institute.

        Called LF Energy, the coalition’s members seek to inform and expedite the energy transition, including the move to electric mobility as well as connected sensors and devices, while at the same time modernizing and protecting the grid, according to the Linux Foundation.

        The coalition intends to focus on reusable components, open APIs and interfaces through project communities that the energy sector can adopt into platforms and solutions, the foundation says.

        “LF Energy is an umbrella organization that will support and sustain multi-vendor collaboration and open source progress in the energy and electricity sectors to accelerate information and communication technologies (ICT) critical to balanced energy use and economic value,” says the Linux Foundation, which was founded in 2000 to accelerate open technology development and industry adoption.

      • The Linux Foundation Transforms the Energy Industry with New Initiative: LF Energy

        We are thrilled to introduce the new LF Energy initiative to support and promote open source in the energy and electricity sectors. LF Energy is focused on accelerating the energy transition, including the move to renewable energy, electric mobility, demand response and more.

        Open source has transformed industries as vast and different as telecommunications, financial services, automobiles, healthcare, and consumer products. Now we are excited to bring the same level of open collaboration and shared innovation to the power systems industry.

      • The Linux Foundation Launches LF ENERGY, New Open Source Coalition

        Just as open source software has transformed automobiles, telecommunications, financial services, and healthcare, The Linux Foundation today announces the formation of LF Energy with support from RTE, Europe’s biggest transmission power systems provider, and other organizations, to speed technological innovation and transform the energy mix across the world.

        LF Energy also welcomes four new projects to be hosted at The Linux Foundation as part of the initiative, which will advance everything from smart assistants for system operators to smart grid controls software.

      • 5 Reasons Open Source Certification Matters More Than Ever

        In today’s technology landscape, open source is the new normal, with open source components and platforms driving mission-critical processes and everyday tasks at organizations of all sizes. As open source has become more pervasive, it has also profoundly impacted the job market. Across industries the skills gap is widening, making it ever more difficult to hire people with much needed job skills. In response, the demand for training and certification is growing.

      • Developer Recruitment Drives Open Source Funding

        The latest 2018 Open Source Jobs Report points to several ways employers can help developers. For the study, the Linux Foundation and Dice surveyed over 750 hiring managers involved with recruiting open source professionals.

        Due to the survey’s subject, it is not surprising almost half of hiring managers (48 percent) say their company decided to financially support or contribute open source projects to help with recruitment. Although this sounds incredibly compelling, it is fair to question how much hiring managers actually know about open source management. Since 57 percent of hiring managers say their company contributes to open source projects, a back-of-the-envelope calculation says that 84 percent of companies that contribute to open source are doing so at least in part to get new employees.

        The New Stack and The Linux Foundation have teamed up to survey the community about ways to standardize and promote open source policies programmatically. We encourage readers to participate.

    • Graphics Stack

      • Vega 20 Support Added To RadeonSI Gallium3D Driver

        With the upcoming Linux 4.18 kernel release due out in August there is the AMDGPU kernel driver support for Vega 20, the yet-to-be-released Vega GPU said to be the 7nm part launching later this year in Radeon Instinct products and featuring 32GB of HBM2 and adding some new deep learning instructions. Now the RadeonSI Gallium3D user-space driver for OpenGL within Mesa has Vega 20 support.

      • NVIDIA 396.24.10 Linux Driver Brings Vulkan 8-Bit / Renderpass2 / Conditional Render

        NVIDIA developers today released the 396.24.10 driver, their latest beta driver for Linux focused on the latest Vulkan innovations and improvements and is joined by the Windows 398.58 driver.

        The NVIDIA 396.24.10 Linux driver (and 398.58 beta for Windows) are focused on delivering the functionality added with the recent Vulkan 1.1.80 specification update.

    • Benchmarks

      • Windows Server 2016 vs. FreeBSD 11.2 vs. 8 Linux Distributions Performance Benchmarks

        Given the recent releases of FreeBSD 11.2, Scientific Linux 6.10, openSUSE Leap 15, and other distribution updates in the past quarter, here are some fresh benchmarks of eight different Linux distributions compared to FreeBSD 11.2 and Microsoft Windows Server 2016. The tested Linux platforms for this go-around were CentOS 7.5, Clear Linux 23610, Debian 9.4, Fedora Server 28, openSUSE leap 15.0, Scientific Linux 6.10, Scientific Linux 7.5, and Ubuntu 18.04 LTS.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • Profiling memory usage on Linux with Qt Creator 4.7

        You may have heard about the Performance Analyzer (called “CPU Usage Analyzer” in Qt Creator 4.6 and earlier). It is all about profiling applications using the excellent “perf” tool on Linux. You can use it locally on a Linux-based desktop system or on various embedded devices. perf can record a variety of events that may occur in your application. Among these are cache misses, memory loads, context switches, or the most common one, CPU cycles, which periodically records a stack sample after a number of CPU cycles have passed. The resulting profile shows you what functions in your application take the most CPU cycles. This is the Performance Analyzer’s most prominent use case, at least so far.

      • KDE Applications 18.04 Reaches End of Life, KDE Apps 18.08 Coming August 16

        Coming about a five weeks after the release of the second maintenance update, the KDE Applications 18.04.3 point release is now available with a number of bug fixes, translation updates, and other improvements to make sure the open-source software suite offers users a stable and pleasant experience.

        About 20 bug fixes have been recorded for KDE Applications 18.04.3 to improve applications like Ark, Cantor, Dolphin, Gwenview, JuK, Kate, KFind, KGPG, KMag, KMail, KNotes, Konsole, Kontact, Marble, and Okular, as well as numerous other core components. A full changelog is available here for your reading pleasure.

      • Kube 0.7.0 is out!

        While we remain committed to building a first class email experience we’re starting to venture a little beyond that with calendaring, while keeping our eyes focused on the grander vision of a tool that isn’t just yet another email client, but an assistant that helps you manage communication, time and tasks.

      • Third Weekly Post

        I wonder if the palettes still need the tag system. All right, a question to ask in the next meeting.

        These 2 weeks have been great for me, because I had a change to really get myself familiarized with the Qt MVC system. I believe I’ll be confident when I need to use it in future projects.

        The next step is too make Krita store palettes used in a painting in its .kra file. There seems to be some annoying dependency stuff, but I should be able to handle.

      • I’m going to KDE Akademy 2018

        Less than a month left until KDE Akademy 2018. As part of the local organization team, this is going to be a busy time, but having Akademy in such a great city as Vienna is gonna be awesome.

        You will over the next weeks find many more “I’m going to Akademy” posts on Planet KDE detailing the Akademy plans of other people. So here in this post I don’t want to look forward, but back and tell you the story of the (in retrospect quite long) process of how a few people from Vienna decided to put in a bid to organize Akademy 2018.

      • I too am going to Akademy

        In about a month I’ll be in the beautiful city of Vienna, giving a talk on the weird stuff I make using ImageMagick, Kdenlive, Synfig and FFmpeg so I can construct videos so bad and campy you could almost confuse them for being ironic…

      • An update on KDE’s Streamlined Onboarding Goal, Akademy talk and first sprint

        As I described in the introductory post, KDE has been working towards a trinity of goals and I have been responsible for pushing forward the Streamlined onboarding of new contributors one.

        Half a year has passed since my initial blog post and with Akademy, KDE’s annual conference, coming up in a month this is a great time to post a quick update on related developments.

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

  • Distributions

    • Reviews

      • Trisquel 8.0 LTS Review: Successful Freedom of 2018

        Trisquel 8.0 is a success in reaching freedom goal (meaning: no proprietary at all) for overall computer users, especially desktop. It is a 100% free distro which is complete, user friendly, and instant. Compared to regular distros, it’s at least equally low in requirements but high in usability; compared to common free distros, it’s active (not dormant) and long-standing (since 2007). This operating system can be used by general computer users, produced in mass computers (i.e. sold in a PC/laptop), and especially software freedom people. This year, 2018, anybody wants the true free distro would be happy with Trisquel.

      • Clear Linux Makes a Strong Case for Your Next Cloud Platform

        There are so many Linux distributions available, some of which are all-purpose and some that have a more singular focus. Truth be told, you can take most general distributions and turn them into purpose-driven platforms. But, when it comes to things like cloud and IoT, most prefer distributions built with that specific use in mind. That’s where the likes of Clear Linux comes in. This particular flavor of Linux was designed for the cloud, and it lets you install either an incredibly bare OS or one with exactly what you need to start developing for cloud and/or IoT.

    • Red Hat Family

    • Debian Family

      • Taiwan Travel Blog – Day 4

        I had to take care of a few things this morning so I left the hostel a little bit later than I would have liked. I’ve already done quite a few trails and I’m slowly starting to exhaust the places I wanted to visit in the Taroko National Park, or at least the ones I can reach via public bus.

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Empowering Linux Developers for the New Wave of Innovation

            Machine learning and IoT in particular offer huge opportunities for developers, especially those facing the crowded markets of other platforms, to engage with a sizeable untapped audience.

            That Linux is open source makes it an amazing breeding ground for innovation. Developers aren’t constrained by closed ecosystems, meaning that Linux has long been the operating system of choice for developers. So by engaging with Linux, businesses can attract the best available developer skills.

            The Linux ecosystem has always strived for a high degree of quality. Historically it was the Linux community taking sole responsibility for packaging software, gating each application update with careful review to ensure it worked as advertised on each distribution of Linux. This proved difficult for all sides.

          • Flavours and Variants

            • A look at Ubuntu 18.04 Budgie

              I like this. I like this a lot. It’s exactly what I’d been hoping it would be, after the previous failures at a happy Budgie desktop. I haven’t used it for long enough to get as deep into messing with it as I probably will in the future, so maybe I’ll find issues at that time; but Ubuntu 18.04 Budgie is seeming to be a quite solid, attractive, and easy to use system for people who want even more eyecandy, or are sick of the usual environments.

  • Devices/Embedded

Free Software/Open Source

  • What’s the difference between a fork and a distribution?

    If you’ve been around open source software for any length of time, you’ll hear the terms fork and distribution thrown around casually in conversation. For many people, the distinction between the two isn’t clear, so here I’ll try to clear up the confusion.

  • Stordis and Barefoot Lead Open Source Networking in Europe

    The German company Stordis distributes telecom equipment in Europe. But Stordis is in the process of repositioning itself as the champion of open source networking hardware and software for European service providers. And it’s working closely with Barefoot Networks as part of its strategy.

    It plans to provide hardware from bare metal suppliers such as Edgecore and Delta. It will offer consultancy and support services to help European service providers adopt open source networking software. And the company is in the process of ramping the manufacturing of a 100 Gig switch that is based on Barefoot’s Tofino programmable chip.

    [...]

    But Stordis’ strategy of targeting broadcasters first will hopefully lead to a willingness for other service providers to try open source. And the company is involved with the Open Networking Foundation (ONF).

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Mozilla Addons Blog: Upcoming changes for themes

        Theming capabilities on addons.mozilla.org (AMO) will undergo significant changes in the coming weeks. We will be switching to a new theme technology that will give designers more flexibility to create their themes. It includes support for multiple background images, and styling of toolbars and tabs. We will migrate all existing themes to this new format, and their users should not notice any changes.

        [...]

        It’s only a matter of weeks before we release the new theme format on AMO. Keep following this blog for that announcement.

      • OverbiteNX is now available from Mozilla Add-Ons for beta testing

        OverbiteNX, a successor to OverbiteFF which allows Firefox to continue to access legacy resources in Gopher in the brave courageous new world of WebExtensions, is now in public beta. Unlike the alpha test, which required you to download the repo and install the extension using add-on debugging, OverbiteNX is now hosted on Mozilla Add-Ons.

        Because WebExtensions still doesn’t have a TCP sockets API, nor a spec, OverbiteNX uses its bespoke Onyx native component to do network operations. Onyx is written in open-source portable C with no dependencies and is available in pre-built binaries for macOS 10.12+ and Windows (or get the repo and build it yourself on almost any POSIX system).

  • SaaS/Back End

    • Talking mobile edge computing and open source software with Kontron Canada Inc.

      A crucial facilitator of Kontron Canada’s hardware-software evolution has been open source software.

      Integration of OpenStack in particular has proven a differentiator for the company, not least because it can tap into the expertise of a community of experts at an economical price. Open source software also enables flexibility for clients to build networks and data centres in their own way.

      However, while the perks of cloud adoption for organisations in industries such as telecoms are well-documented, deterrents such as higher than anticipated costs, start-up delays and being locked into a vendor’s specific approach do exist.

      Kontron’s OpenStack turnkey platform solution, fully integrated with the Canonical distribution of Ubuntu OpenStack, alleviates these concerns.

      Robert explains how Kontron’s hardware must keep aligned with updates from Canonical and the OpenStack community: “Canonical have their own releases of their distribution of OpenStack and our software team does all the work behind the scenes to make sure that it will be fully validated and integrated on our hardware.

  • Pseudo-Open Source (Openwashing)

    • ARM Takes Down Its Website That Attacked Open-Source Rival

      ARM, the incredibly successful developer of CPU designs, appears to be getting a little nervous about an open-source rival that’s gaining traction. At the end of June, ARM launched a website outlining why it’s better than its competitor’s offerings and it quickly blew up in its face. Realising the site was a bad look, ARM has now taken it down.

      For the uninitiated, ARM Holdings designs various architectures and cores that it licenses to major chipmakers around the world. Its tech can be found in over 100 billion chips manufactured by huge names like Apple and Nvidia as well as many other lesser-known players in the low-power market. If ARM is Windows, you can think of RISC-V as an early Linux. Like ARM, it’s an architecture based on reduced instruction set computing (RISC), but it’s free to use and open to anyone to contribute or modify. While ARM has been around since 1991, RISC-V just got started in 2010 but it’s gaining a lot of ground and ARM’s pitiful website could easily be seen as a legitimising moment for the tech.

    • Perspecta to Sponsor 7th Annual OSEHRA Open Source Summit; Mac Curtis Comments
  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • Introducing Alyssa Rosenzweig, intern with the FSF tech team

      Howdy there, fellow cyber denizens; ’tis I, Alyssa Rosenzweig, your friendly local biological life form! I’m a certified goofball, licensed to be silly under the GPLv3, but more importantly, I’m passionate about free software’s role in society. I’m excited to join the Free Software Foundation as an intern this summer to expand my understanding of our movement. Well, that, and purchasing my first propeller beanie in strict compliance with the FSF office dress code!

      Anywho, I hail from a family of engineers and was introduced to programming at an early age. As a miniature humanoid, I discovered that practice let me hit buttons on a keyboard and have my textual protagonist dance on my terminal — that was cool! Mimicking those around me, I hacked with an Apple laptop, running macOS, compiling in Xcode, and talking on Skype. I was vaguely aware of the free software ethos, so sometimes I liberated my code. Sometimes I did not. I was little more than a button masher with a flashing TTY; I wrote video games while inside a video game, my life firewalled from reality.

    • Sonali’s Progress on the Free Software Directory, weeks 1-2

      The last few weeks have been very enlightening. I learned about MediaWiki extensions, like MobileFrontend, CSS, vim, and other mobile extensions. I installed MobileFrontend, and resolved a few issues I faced regarding HeaderTabs and in-line view. It feels great to have been able to get the basic structure for mobile view by now.

      As a part of my project to make the Free Software Directory mobile friendly, I can add extensions, modify the code, and format the pages the way I like. I have complete freedom to experiment on their development site as much as I want. It’s wonderful to be able to work on something I really enjoy under the guidance of experienced mentors.

    • DataBasin + DataBasinKit 1.0 released

      DataBasin is a tool to access and work with SalesForce.com. It allows to perform queries remotely, export and import data, inspect single records and describe objects. DataBasinKit is its underlying framework which implements the APIs in Objective-C. Works on GNUstep (major Unix variants and MinGW on windows) and natively on macOS.

  • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

    • Open Data

      • Rethinking our approach to open-source data

        Open-source data is built on the foundation of long-term useability, authenticity and reliability. Its public nature means that it can be accessible anywhere with an internet connection.

        Yet when we talk about the government data that needs to be protected for national security reasons, classified information—related to defence and intelligence services—often takes precedence. But what about the protection of unclassified, open-source government data?

        Websites like data.gov.au, Trove and Parl Info Search host a broad range of data that collectively documents the political, social and cultural history of Australia. Over time, this data accumulates to paint a detailed picture of our country. It’s a high-value dataset given the trends big data analytics can reveal.

  • Programming/Development

    • ​Python language founder steps down

      After almost 30 years of overseeing the development of the world’s most popular language, Python, its founder and “Benevolent Dictator For Life” (BDFL), Guido van Rossum, has decided he would like to remove myself entirely from the decision process.

      Van Rossum isn’t leaving Python entirely. He said, “I’ll still be there for a while as an ordinary core dev, and I’ll still be available to mentor people — possibly more available.”

    • Guido van Rossum resigns as Python leader

      Python creator and Benevolent Leader for Life Guido van Rossum has decided, in the wake of the difficult PEP 572 discussion, to step down from his leadership of the project.

    • Locks versus channels in concurrent Go

      In this article, a short look at goroutines, threads, and race conditions sets the scene for a look at two Go programs. In the first program, goroutines communicate through synchronized shared memory, and the second uses channels for the same purpose. The code is available from my website in a .zip file with a README.

    • Pete Zaitcev: Guido van Rossum steps down
    • Guido van Rossum Stepping Down from Role as Python’s Benevolent Dictator For Life

      Python’s Benevolent Dictator For Life (BDFL) Guido van Rossum today announced he’s stepping down from the role.

      On the Python mailing list today, van Rossum said, “I would like to remove myself entirely from the decision process. I’ll still be there for a while as an ordinary core dev, and I’ll still be available to mentor people—possibly more available. But I’m basically giving myself a permanent vacation from being BDFL, and you all will be on your own.”

    • GCC 8 Hasn’t Been Performing As Fast As It Should For Skylake With “-march=native”

      It turns out that when using GCC 8 since April (or GCC 9 development code) if running on Intel Skylake (or newer architectures like the yet-to-be-out Cannonlake or Icelake) and compile your code with the “-march=native” flag for what should tune for your CPU microarchitecture’s full capabilities, that hasn’t entirely been the case. A fix is en route that can correct the performance by as much as 60%.

    • GCC 8.2 Compiler Will Be Releasing Soon

      Developers behind the GNU Compiler Collection intend to get release preparations underway soon for the GCC 8.2 compiler.

      GCC8 remains open for bug/regression fixes and documentation updates with GCC 8.2 due to be the first point release under the GCC versioning policy where the May release of GCC 8.1 marked the project’s first stable feature release of GCC8. New feature development meanwhile remains focused on GCC 9, which will be released initially as GCC 9.1 around early 2019.

      So to no surprise, GCC 8.2 is set to carry just various regression fixes primarily as more developers began trying out this annually updated compiler following the recent stable release.

    • Upcoming git-crecord release

      More than 1½ years since the first release of git-crecord, I’m preparing a big update. Not aware how exactly many people are using it, I neglected the maintenance for some time, but last month I’ve decided I need to take action and fix some issues I’ve known since the first release.

Leftovers

  • Health/Nutrition

    • North Dakota: Water Protector Red Fawn Fallis Sentenced to 57 Months

      In Bismarck, North Dakota, an indigenous water protector who was arrested during protests in 2016 against the Dakota Access pipeline has been sentenced to four years and nine months in federal prison. Prosecutors said Red Fawn Fallis fired three shots from a handgun as police in riot gear, wielding batons, surrounded her to make an arrest on October 27 amid mass protests against the pipeline. Fallis was one of 761 people arrested during indigenous-led resistance to the pipeline in 2016 and ’17.

    • Reflections on Drug Patents and the High Cost of Healthcare

      For this last example of drug-patent abuse, let us consider what may be the most-esoteric ploy for patent-term extension in patent-law history: Janssen’s attempt to surgically re-configure the lineage history of U.S. Patent No. 6,284,471(“the ‘471 patent”), to avoid a double-patenting rejection.

      The ‘471 patent covers Remicade, an antibody biologic drug for the treatment of autoimmune diseases, including arthritis and Crohn’s disease. It is marketed in the U.S. by Johnson & Johnson, with annual sales of around $4 billion.

  • Security

  • Defence/Aggression

    • The Holes in the Official Skripal Story

      The nub of the British government’s approach has been the shocking willingness of the corporate and state media to parrot repeatedly the lie that the nerve agent was Russian made, even after Porton Down said they could not tell where it was made and the OPCW confirmed that finding. In fact, while the Soviet Union did develop the “novichok” class of nerve agents, the programme involved scientists from all over the Soviet Union, especially Ukraine, Armenia and Georgia, as I myself learnt when I visited the newly decommissioned Nukus testing facility in Uzbekistan in 2002.

      Furthermore, it was the USA who decommissioned the facility and removed equipment back to the United States. At least two key scientists from the programme moved to the United States. Formulae for several novichok have been published for over a decade. The USA, UK and Iran have definitely synthesised a number of novichok formulae and almost certainly others have done so too. Dozens of states have the ability to produce novichok, as do many sophisticated non-state actors.

      As for motive, the Russian motive might be revenge, but whether that really outweighs the international opprobrium incurred just ahead of the World Cup, in which so much prestige has been invested, is unclear.

      What is certainly untrue is that only Russia has a motive. The obvious motive is to attempt to blame and discredit Russia. Those who might wish to do this include Ukraine and Georgia, with both of which Russia is in territorial dispute, and those states and jihadist groups with which Russia is in conflict in Syria. The NATO military industrial complex also obviously has a plain motive for fueling tension with Russia.

  • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

    • Why I Stand With Julian Assange

      This weekend I joined a number of people for an online vigil in support of Wikileaks’ Julian Assange. Some have asked why I did it: after all, Assange is at best an imperfect figure. But supporting Assange transcends just him, because the battle over his prosecution is about something greater: the future of free speech and a free press. Even if you think Assange doesn’t matter, those things do.

      Assange is challenging to even his staunchest supporters. In 2010, he was a hero to opponents of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, while others called him an enemy of the state for working with whistleblower Chelsea Manning. Now most of Assange’s former supporters see him as a traitor and a Putin tool for releasing emails from the Democratic National Committee. Even with the sexual assault inquiry against him having been dismissed, Assange is a #MeToo villain. He a traitor who hides from justice inside the Ecuadorian embassy in London, or a spy, or some web-made Frankenstein with elements of all the above. And while I’ve never met Assange, I’ve spoken to multiple people who know him well, and the words “generous,” “warm,” and “personable” are rarely included in their descriptions.

    • Julian Assange takes on ex-Labour MP and PR man Richard Hillgrove to seek ‘political solution’ to extradition impasse

      Julian Assange has taken on a new team to provide PR, parliamentary engagement and other services, as he attempts to secure a way for him to end his stay in the Ecuadorian embassy in London.

      [...]

      Hillgrove told PRWeek that the situation was currently at a “deadlock”, and pointed to a UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention statement in 2016, which said Assange should receive compensation from the UK authorities. “GWA is trying to create a political solution,” he continued.

      One aspect that may be emphasised in GWA and 6HillGrove’s campaigning is the high costs incurred by UK police since Assange’s initial arrest and release in 2010.

      Assange’s lawyer Jennifer Robinson has also used 6Hillgrove around other cases.

      Two other recently acquired joint clients of GWA and Hillgrove are Rose McGowan, the actress who has led accusations and outcry against Harvey Weinstein, and Dr Frank d’Ambrosio, a US medical cannabis practitioner.

    • NPR says I’m planning “global chaos.” This is a half-truth

      There are three quick-and-easy methods by which one may deduce that there is something seriously wrong with the story that NPR did on me and my non-profit organization Pursuance earlier this year, even if one is entirely unfamiliar with the subject matter.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife/Nature

  • Finance

    • Why is Germany siding with the tax havens against corporate transparency?

      Germany’s supposedly left-wing new finance minister, the Social Democratic Party’s Olaf Scholz, is in the process of sabotaging European efforts to make companies be more transparent about their financial affairs. Specifically, he has just indicated that he favours a procedural approach to Country-by-country reporting (CbCR, see below) that could be subject to veto by companies and by tax havens.

  • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

  • Censorship/Free Speech

    • Four Turkish Graduates Arrested Over Cartoon Mocking Erdogan

      Four recent graduates of a top Turkish university have been arrested for displaying a cartoon mocking Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan at their graduation ceremony, according to the state-run Anadolu agency.

      The Middle East Technical University students in the July 6 ceremony in Ankara made and carried a long banner printed with a cartoon of animals whose faces resembled Erdogan, entitled “The World of Tayyip.”

    • Egypt’s Draconian New Cybercrime Bill Will Only Increase Censorship

      The hope that filled Egypt’s Internet after the 2011 January 25 uprising has long since faded away. In recent years, the country’s military government has instead created a digital dystopia, pushing once-thriving political and journalism communities into closed spaces or offline, blocking dozens of websites, and arresting a large number of activists who once relied upon digital media for their work.

      In the past two years, we’ve witnessed the targeting of digital rights defenders, journalists, crusaders against sexual harassment, and even poets, often on trumped-up grounds of association with a terrorist organization or “spreading false news.” Now, the government has put forward a new law that will result in its ability to target and persecute just about anyone who uses digital technology.

      The new 45-article cybercrime law, named the Anti-Cyber and Information Technology Crimes law, is divided into two parts. The first part of the bill stipulates that service providers are obligated to retain user information (i.e. tracking data) in the event of a crime, whereas the second part of the bill covers a variety of cybercrimes under overly broad language (such as “threat to national security”).

      Article 7 of the law, in particular, grants the state the authority to shut down Egyptian or foreign-based websites that “incite against the Egyptian state” or “threaten national security” through the use of any digital content, media, or advertising. Article 2 of the law authorizes broad surveillance capabilities, requiring telecommunications companies to retain and store users’ data for 180 days. And Article 4 explicitly enables foreign governments to obtain access to information on Egyptian citizens and does not make mention of requirements that the requesting country have substantive data protection laws.

    • Bradley M. Kuhn: On Avoiding Conflation of Political Speech and Hate Speech

      If you’re one of the people in the software freedom community who is attending O’Reilly’s Open Source Software Convention (OSCON) next week here in Portland, you may have seen debate about O’Reilly and Associates (ORA)’s surreptitious Code of Conduct change (and quick revocation thereof) to name “political affiliation” as a protected class. If you’re going to OSCON or plan to go to an OSCON or ORA event in the future, I suggest that you familiarize yourself with this issue and the political historical context in which these events of the last few days take place.

      First, OSCON has always been political: software freedom is inherently a political struggle for the rights of computer users, so any conference including that topic is necessarily political. Additionally, O’Reilly himself had stated his political positions many times at OSCON, so it’s strange that, in his response this morning, O’Reilly admits that he and his staff tried to require via agreements that “speakers … refrain from all political speech”. OSCON can’t possibly be a software freedom community event if ORA’s “intent … [is] to make sure that conferences put on for the exchange of technical information aren’t politicized” (as O’Reilly stated today). OTOH, I’m not surprised by this tack, because O’Reilly, in large part via OSCON, often pushed forward political views that O’Reilly likes, and marginalize those he doesn’t.

      Second, I must strongly disagree with ORA’s new (as of this morning) position that Codes of Conduct should only include “protected classes” that the laws of a particular country currently recognize. Codes of Conduct exist in our community not only as mechanism to assure the rights of protected classes, but also to assure that everyone feels safe and free of harassment and hate speech. In fact, most Codes of Conduct in our community have “including but not limited to” language alongside any list of protected classes, and IMO all of them should.

      [...]

      And, not all political issues are equal. I follow copyleft politics because it’s my been my day job for two decades. But, I admit there are stakes even higher with other political topics, and having watched how ORA has handled the politics of copyleft for decades, I’m fearful that ORA is (at best) ill-equipped to handle political issues that can cause real harm — such as the current political climate that permits hate speech, and even racist speech (think of Trump calling Elizabeth Warren “Pocahontas”), as standard political fare. The stakes of contemporary politics now leave people feeling unsafe. Since OSCON is a political event, ORA should face this directly rather than pretending OSCON is merely a series of technical lectures.

    • State Appeals Court Tosses Defamation Suit Against Lawyer Who Wrote About Teen Driver Who Injured His Client

      An interesting sidebar to a case we’ve written about previously has surfaced via the ever-attentive Eric Goldman. Last month we covered a lawsuit against Snapchat brought by the victims of an car accident. The victims claim Snapchat is at least partially responsible for the injuries inflicted on Karen Maynard. The driver of the other vehicle, Christal McGee, was allegedly driving at over 100 mph when she hit Maynard’s vehicle. The suit also alleged — based on passenger statements, accident reconstruction, and police reports — McGee was using Snapchat’s “Speed” filter when the accident occurred.

      The Georgia state appeals court allowed the case to proceed, but not on Section 230 grounds. It was remanded to the lower court to allow for more exploration of the issues at hand, noting that Section 230 likely does not apply to software created by Snapchat itself. Of course, dismissal may still be the outcome as it’s going to be tough to prove Snapchat’s creation of a filter was either negligence or contributory to the accident caused by McGee’s unsafe driving.

      The sidebar is this: Christal McGee has racked up a loss in Georgia Appeals Court in a case tied to the accident she caused. McGee sued Michael Neff — the Maynards’ legal rep in the lawsuit against Snapchat — for defamation. According to McGee, Neff’s blog post detailing the Snapchat lawsuit was defamatory. The lower court allowed the case to proceed, slapping aside Neff’s anti-SLAPP motion.

    • SA film and publications bill amounts to ‘internet censorship’ says ISPA

      The Film and Publications Amendment Bill approved by the National Assembly in March 2018 is a classic example of good intentions gone bad and should be sent back and re-written, according to the Internet Service Providers’ Association of South Africa (ISPA).

      The draft legislation, which is now before the National Council of Provinces (NCOP), legislates for the rights and responsibilities of media producers and consumers, lays out what content is legal or illegal and how media can be classified with age ratings.

      However, the Act was initially drafted in 1996, before the spread of internet usage in South Africa, and ISPA says it needs redrafting for the internet and social media age.

    • Censorship, and an unexpected friendship

      Sari Braithwaite spent a year watching nearly two thousand film clips.

      They had all been secretly cut from international films by the Australian Censorship Board, and filed away until censorship laws changed in the late 1970s.

      Her film Censored screened at the 2018 Sydney Film Festival.

      Sari came across the collection in the Archives while she was hunting around for paperwork about another film she was working on, about Anne Deveson.

    • What Is Israel Hiding About Its Nuclear Program in the ’50s?

      Israel’s censors may indeed protect state security but they also conceal information that might embarrass public officials

    • KU flag removal ‘smacks of censorship’: ACLU, free speech advocates defend art piece
    • Kansas officials seek altered US flag’s removal from museum
    • Kansas Governor and Secretary of State Pressure University to Remove Artwork

      Kansas Governor Jeff Colyer and Secretary of State Kris Kobach separately pressured officials at the University of Kansas (KU) to remove an art display, threatening the free expression of the artist, curator and KU students. The National Coalition Against Censorship is calling on Colyer and Kobach to encourage KU to return the art to its original location and cease their attempts to chill free speech at a public university.

      The artwork, Untitled (Flag 2) by Josephine Meckseper, is part of an ongoing installation organized by Creative Time that included sixteen commissioned flags by different artists, simultaneously displayed at partner sites nationwide. Meckseper’s work is a collage of an American flag and an abstract painting of the contours of the United States divided in two, symbolizing current national polarization. Deeming the piece a “desecration” of the flag, Colyer and Kobach publicly called for its removal.

    • Russia: We want volunteers to help us censor the internet
  • Privacy/Surveillance

    • Summer of Code: Second evaluation phase

      Now smack-openpgp depends on pgpainless directly, which means that I don’t have to create duplicate code to get bundled information from pgpainless to smack-openpgp for instance. This change gave me a huge performance boost in the development process, as it makes the next steps much more clear for me due to less abstraction.

      I rewrote the whole storage backend of smack-openpgp, keeping everything as modular as possible. Now there are 3 different store types. One store is responsible for keys, another one for metadata and a third one for trust decisions. For all of those I created a file-based implementation which just writes information to files. An implementor can for example chose to write information to a database instead. For all those store classes I wrote a parametrized junit test, meaning new implementations can easily be tested by simply inserting an instance of the new store into an array.

      Unfortunately I stumbled across yet another bug in bouncycastle, which makes it necessary to implement a workaround in my project until a patched version of bouncycastle is released.
      The issue was, that a key ring which consists of a master key and some subkeys was not exported correctly. The subkeys would be exported as normal keys, which caused the constructor of the key ring to skip those, as it expected sub keys, not normal keys. That lead to the subkeys getting lost, which caused smack-openpgp to be unable to encrypt messages for contacts which use a master key and subkeys for OpenPGP.

    • Paul v. Kavanaugh?
    • The Cybersecurity 202: Privacy advocates blast Kavanaugh for government surveillance support
    • 2015 NSA opinion indicates Kavanaugh is a threat to Fourth Amendment
    • Amash Hits Kavanaugh on Surveillance Rulings
    • EFF Responds to Vigilant Solutions’ Accusations About EFF ALPR Report

      On Tuesday, we wrote a report about how the Irvine Company, a private real estate development company, has collected automated license plate reader (ALPR) data from patrons of several of its shopping centers, and is providing the collected data to Vigilant Solutions, a contractor notorious for its contracts with state and federal law enforcement agencies across the country.

      The Irvine Company initially declined to respond to EFF’s questions, but after we published our report, the company told the media that it only collects information at three malls in Orange County (Irvine Spectrum Center, Fashion Island, and The Marketplace) and that Vigilant Solutions only provides the data to three local police departments (the Irvine, Newport Beach, and Tustin police departments).

      The next day, Vigilant Solutions issued a press release claiming that the Irvine Company ALPR data actually had more restricted access (in particular, denying transfers to the U.S. Immigration & Customs Enforcement [ICE] agency), and demanding EFF retract the report and apologize. As we explain below, the EFF report is a fair read of the published ALPR policies of both the Irvine Company and Vigilant Solutions. Those policies continue to permit broad uses of the ALPR data, far beyond the limits that Vigilant now claims exist.

      Vigilant Solutions’ press release states that the Irvine Company’s ALPR data “is shared with select law enforcement agencies to ensure the security of mall patrons,” and that those agencies “do not have the ability in Vigilant Solutions’ system to electronically copy this data or share this data with other persons or agencies, such as ICE.”

    • The Trump Administration Is Hiding a Crucial Report on NSA Spying Practices

      Despite requests from a senator and the European Union, the Trump administration is refusing to make public an important report by a federal privacy watchdog about how the U.S. government handles personal information swept up by its surveillance.

      The public has a right to know what the government does with the vast troves of private data that American intelligence agencies collect in the course of their spying. On Thursday, we filed a Freedom of Information Act request demanding the release of the report, significant portions of which are unclassified.

      The report is from the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board, which was created by Congress to be an independent, bipartisan agency. Its mission is to help ensure that national security laws and programs don’t infringe on individual rights. As part of that mission, the board has issued several significant oversight reports addressing government surveillance. While we have not always agreed with the conclusions of these reports, they have played a vital role in the democratic process by educating the public about the powerful spying tools at the government’s disposal. In the wake of Edward Snowden’s revelations about the National Security Agency’s illegal mass surveillance programs, the board’s work informed the public debate by prompting the declassification of additional details about these secret programs.

      Recognizing the board’s importance as a mechanism for transparency, Congress required that it make its reports public to the greatest extent possible. But now the Trump administration is wrongly trying to keep its findings secret.

    • Facebook changes privacy settings after outing members of a closed medical support group
    • Usenet Users Have Privacy Rights, But Pirates Can’t be Anonymous

      Dutch anti-piracy group BREIN has scored a partial victory against Usenet provider Newsconnection. The Court of Appeal ruled that the company must ensure that it can identify potential infringers. Newsconnection is not required to implement the strict measures BREIN requested, but the court made it clear that pirates shouldn’t be anonymous.

  • Civil Rights/Policing

    • Don’t Give the DHS Free Rein to Shoot Down Private Drones

      When government agencies refuse to let the members of the public watch what they’re doing, drones can be a crucial journalistic tool. But now, some members of Congress want to give the federal government the power to destroy private drones it deems to be an undefined “threat.” Even worse, they’re trying to slip this new, expanded power into unrelated, must-pass legislation without a full public hearing. Worst of all, the power to shoot these drones down will be given to agencies notorious for their absence of transparency, denying access to journalists, and lack of oversight.

      Back in June, the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee held a hearing on the Preventing Emerging Threats Act of 2018 (S. 2836), which would give the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Justice the sweeping new authority to counter privately owned drones. Congress shouldn’t grant DHS and DOJ such broad, vague authorities that allow them to sidestep current surveillance law.

      Now, Chairman Ron Johnson is working to include language similar to this bill in the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). EFF is opposed to this idea, for many reasons.

      The NDAA is a complicated and complex annual bill to reauthorize military programs and is wholly unrelated to both DHS and DOJ. Hiding language in unrelated bills is rarely a good way to make public policy, especially when the whole Congress hasn’t had a chance to vet the policy.

    • Back Up, Motherfuckers,’ A Cop Yells at Kids With His Gun Drawn

      The video of a Texas police officer drawing his gun on kids is a perfect example of why police need de-escalation training.

      Over the past week, a Facebook video went viral, showing an El Paso police officer drawing his gun on a group of Latino kids outside a community center and handcuffing the person taking the video. The video has drawn outrage — and rightly so — as an illustration of the urgent need for robust police policies and training emphasizing de-escalation and how to interact with youth.

      The video cuts in when the officer has one of the kids detained on the ground. The other kids — upset about what’s going on — yell at the officer. In response, he draws his gun, points it at the group, and yells, “Back up, motherfuckers!” Another officer runs up, and they drag the detained kid to the roadside. While the second officer cuffs him, the first officer returns to the group with his nightstick out, yelling at the kids to “get back.”

      Seeing that the other kids are getting upset, the kid with the camera yells over, “It’s all good, wait, we’re going to put a report on these two fools. It’s all good.” The officer then approaches him and places him in handcuffs. After the kid’s mom takes the camera, the officer directs her to come over to him. When she runs away, he threatens, “I know where you live!”

    • Immigration Story Missing Context of Hunger and Freedom

      I teach journalism. So, of course, I follow journalism closely.

      On the immigration issue, many news outlets have been doing a great job covering the rallies and marches, the “baby jails” and rulings and (few) family reunifications.

      But they lack context.

      In the classroom, I emphasize that every news story—even a little one about a city sidewalk repair—must provide context. Why that sidewalk, why now? Who lives there and walks there? What sidewalks are not getting repaired? When was the sidewalk first built? What’s the budget? And so on.

      Recent news stories certainly provide some context and numbers. And many tell harrowing and important specific stories…but they mostly don’t get into the structural causes, the deep history. I worry that readers and viewers are not getting the whole story.

      What about specific references to international law, like to the UN Declaration of Human Rights (UNDHR) and its promise (in Article 14) that all people have “the right to seek and to enjoy in other countries asylum from persecution”? It was ratified by the US, and is thus “the supreme law of the land,” according to Article VI of the US Constitution.

      I’d argue that every single news story should remind that it is not illegal to cross a border and seek asylum.

    • Trump’s Supreme Court Pick: Not Great On The 4th Amendment, But His Take On The Third Party Doctrine Has Already Gone Out Of Style

      This perhaps suggests Kavanaugh will follow the other Trump appointee, Justice Gorsuch, in viewing Fourth Amendment issues dealing with tech advancements in a more traditional manner. Not necessarily a bad thing and definitely an interesting tack to take — terming records generated by devices (but stored by third parties) as “property” still at least partially owned by device users. This approach could continue to carve away at the Third Party Doctrine in the coming years if adopted in other cases.

      Other than that, Kavanaugh’s position in the DC Court of Appeals gave him the chance to handle a number of cases dealing with the Fourth Amendment, but there doesn’t appear to be many pertaining to issues the Supreme Court hasn’t already addressed. PoliceOne did hunt down a few of his takes on Terry stops. In both cases, Kavanaugh came down on the side of law enforcement.

    • SCOTUS Nominee Brett Kavanaugh Problematic Opinion On Anti-SLAPP Laws

      So Tim Cushing has just taken a peek at Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh’s 4th Amendment rulings and Karl already looked at his questionable opinion concerning net neutrality (in which he argued (bizarrely) that what blocking content and services on a network is a 1st Amendment “editorial” decision by broadband providers). Of course, that’s just one of his 1st Amendment cases. I wanted to look over some of Kavanaugh’s other free speech related opinions. Ken “Popehat” White has done a pretty good job covering most of them, noting that for the most part, Kavanaugh takes a fairly strong First Amendment approach in the cases that come to him, and seems unlikely to upset the apple cart on First Amendment law in any significant way (if you want to see more of his opinions, this is a good place to start).

      As Ken notes, there really isn’t that much to comment on on most of those decisions, and Karl already wrote about the weird net neutrality one, but I did want to focus in on another First Amendment-adjacent case where I think Kavanaugh was incorrect: on the question of whether or not state anti-SLAPP laws apply in federal court. To be clear, by itself, this is really not a First Amendment question on its own, it’s a question about what laws apply where. The case is Abbas v. Foreign Policy Group and Kavanaugh wrote the majority opinion which said that DC’s anti-SLAPP law can not be used in federal court.

      Ken is correct that this ruling does not suggest that Kavanaugh is not interested in protecting First Amendment rights. But, that still does not mean that Kavanaugh’s ruling is correct. Ken notes that some other judges have agreed with Kavanaugh, but it’s also worth pointing out that even more judges have disagreed with Kavanaugh. Indeed, most other circuits that have taken up this issue have ruled in the other way, and said that state anti-SLAPP laws can be used in federal court. The debate over this does not come down to a First Amendment issue, but rather the issue of whether or not an anti-SLAPP law is mainly “substantive” or “procedural.” Substantive state laws apply in federal court, while procedural ones do not. Anti-SLAPP laws have elements of both procedural and substantive laws, which is why there are arguments over this. But for a variety of reasons, it seems clear to us (and to many other judges) that the substantive aspects of most anti-SLAPP laws mean they’re perfectly valid in federal court.

    • Holding the Trump Administration Accountable for Missing Deadlines to Reunify Families

      We asked the court for some remedies to address the government’s non-compliance with court orders.

      During the last hearing in the ACLU’s family separation case on July 10, Judge Dana Sabrow asked the ACLU for suggestions as to what the court should do should the government fail to comply with the court-imposed deadlines to reunite the children with their parents.

      As has now been widely reported, and as we made clear in our brief to the court on Thursday evening, the government failed to heed the court’s deadlines. It reunited 58 of the 103 children under five who were separated from their parents, but not by the July 10 deadline – the vast majority or reunifications took place on July 11. The government claimed that 33 parents were ineligible to get their children back because they were in criminal custody, had criminal histories, may have abused their children, had communicable diseases or were not actually the parents – but it did not provide any specific information about most of those 33 parents, leaving us unable to verify whether or not the parents are truly ineligible.

      In addition, the government failed to address the plight of the 12 parents who were deported without their children, and did not provide us with specific time and place for each unification as they were ordered to so that the ACLU could arrange for non-governmental organizations to assist the families and verify that reunification did in fact take place.

    • Ex-CIA Contractor MVM Admits Children Held Overnight in AZ Office Building

      Meanwhile, the U.S. military and CIA contractor MVM has admitted it detained migrant children overnight inside a vacant Phoenix office building with dark windows, no kitchen and only a few toilets. An investigation by Reveal from the Center for Investigative Reporting uncovered what some are calling a “black site” for migrant children, after one local resident filmed children in sweatsuits being led into the building. The building was leased in March by MVM, a military contractor that Reveal reports has received nearly $250 million in contracts to transport immigrant children since 2014. A spokesperson for MVM, Inc. told Reveal that the company had indeed held children in the building overnight, calling the stays a “regrettable exception” to the company’s policy to find hotel rooms instead. Click here to see our full interview with Aura Bogado, who led the investigation.

    • Human Zoos in the Age of Trump

      When Donald Trump recently accused “illegal immigrants” of wanting to “pour into and infest our country,” there was an immediate outcry. After all, that verb, infest, had been used by the Nazis as a way of dehumanizing Jews and communists as rats, vermin, or insects that needed to be eradicated.

      Nobody, however, should have been surprised. The president has a long history of excoriating people of color as animal-like. In 1989, for instance, reacting to the rape of a white woman in New York’s Central Park, he took out full-page ads in four of the city’s major papers (total cost: $85,000) calling for the reinstatement of the death penalty and decrying “roving bands of wild criminals roaming our streets.” He was, of course, referring to the five black and Latino youngsters accused of that crime for which they were convicted — and, 10 years late, exonerated when a serial rapist and murderer finally confessed.

      Trump never apologized for his rush to judgment or his hate-filled opinions, which eventually became the template for his attacks on immigrants during the 2016 election campaign and for his presidency. He has declared many times that some people aren’t actually human beings at all but animals, pointing, in particular, to MS-13 gang members. At a rally in Tennessee at the end of May, he doubled down on this sort of invective, goading a frenzied crowd to enthusiastically shout that word — “Animals!” — back. In that way, he made those present accomplices to his bigotry. Nor are his insults and racial tirades mere rhetorical flourishes. They’ve had quite real consequences. It’s enough to look at the cages where undocumented children separated from their families at or near the U.S.-Mexico border have been held as if they were indeed animals — reporters and others regularly described one of those detention areas as being like a “zoo” or a “kennel” — not to mention their parents who are also trapped behind wire barriers, even if arousing far less attention and protest.

    • The Hammonds and the Origins of Rancher Terrorism in Burns, Oregon

      In the high desert of central Oregon, lies Harney County, a site of a long-festering and intense confrontation between federal officials and the militant property rights movement. Here federal Fish and Wildlife Service agents sought to fence off a wetland that had been trampled by a rancher’s cows on the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge about thirty miles south of the dust-caked town of Burns.

      In an affidavit, Earl M. Kisler, a Fish and Wildlife Service enforcement officer, said that rancher Dwight Hammond had repeatedly threatened refuge officials with violence over an eight year period. On one occasion Hammond told the manager of the federal refuge that “he was going to tear his head off and shit down his neck.”

      According to the affidavit, Hammond threated to kill refuge manager Forrest Cameron and assistant manager Dan Walsworth and claimed he was ready to die over a fence line that the refuge wanted to construct to keep his cows out of a marsh and wetland.

      The tensions between the Hammond family and the government started when the refuge, which was established as a haven for migrating birds, refused to renew a grazing permit for Hammond’s cattle operation. Then came the incident over the wetland, which Hammond had been using as a water hole for his cows.

      On August 3, 1994, a Fish and Wildlife Service crew turned up to complete the task of fencing off the marsh. They found the fence destroyed and a monkey-wrenched earthmover parked in the middle of the marsh. While the feds were waiting on a towing service to remove the Cat, Hammond’s son Steve showed up and began calling the government men “worthless cocksuckers” and “assholes.” Hammond then arrived at the scene, according to the government’s documents, and tried to disrupt the removal of the equipment. The rancher was arrested.

    • Appeals Court Says TSA Agents Are Beyond The Reach Of Federal Lawsuits

      Thanks, Judge Krause. I’m sure Congress will get right on that. Seeing as there’s no personal benefit to Congress members and ample opportunity to piss off fellow government employees with the power to make their travel experiences closely resemble an abduction by aliens, there’s little chance of this being pursued, no matter how many cases are shrugged into their lap.

      Here’s the background: the appellant (Nadine Pellegrino) was selected for additional screening. She demanded a private screening and things went from bad to worse quickly. Items were carelessly packed and unpacked. Personal belongings were damaged. TSA agents were unhelpful, rude, and apparently deliberately obstructive. Agents claimed Pellegrino “hit” them with her belongings while in the screening room. Not “hit” as in the endpoint of a swing, but “hit” as in things bumped into them while they were dealing with an unhappy traveler. Oh, and she called the two officers in the room “bitches.” This is how a bunch of government employees — starting with the TSA agents — chose to handle it.

  • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

    • It Just Got Easier for the FCC to Ignore Your Complaints

      Today, the agency approved changes to its complaint system that critics say will undermine the agency’s ability to review and act on the complaints it receives.

      On Wednesday, The Washington Post reported that the controversial changes had been dropped from the proposal, but the commission voted 3–1 along party lines to approve it with the changes intact.

    • The FCC’s Sneaky Plan To Make It Easier To Ignore ISP Complaints

      Whatever the outcome, it highlights how paying attention to often wonky policy really does matter. Pai, a telecom policy wonk since his days working at Verizon, has spent the last year building the agency he envisions: namely one that sits on its hands while giant ISPs dictate most major policies, leading us down the miraculous path to supposed telecom Utopia. Pai’s Title II repeal already gutted much of the FCC’s authority over ISPs, and it’s unclear how many other revisions and rule changes he’s shoveled through for similar effect. Whoever winds up replacing Pai will have their work cut out identifying and reversing many of these changes, if they’re reversed at all.

      Meanwhile, it should probably go without saying that an agency that has completely made up supporting data for its net neutrality repeal, and made up a DDOS attack in an incredibly bizarre attempt to downplay the “John Oliver effect,” probably shouldn’t be giving lectures on “fake news” (whatever the hell that means) anytime soon.

    • India advances globally leading net neutrality regulations

      India is now one step away from having some of the strongest net neutrality regulations in the world. This week, the Indian Telecom Commission’s approved the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India’s (TRAI) recommendations to introduce net neutrality conditions into all Telecom Service Provider (TSP) licenses. This means that any net neutrality violation could cause a TSP to lose its license, a uniquely powerful deterrent. Mozilla commends this vital action by the Telecom Commission, and we urge the Government of India to move swiftly to implement these additions to the license terms.

    • India sets the bar for net neutrality with ‘world’s strictest’ rules

      Whilst the US is still fumbling after FCC head Ajit ‘Pumpkin’ Pie deregulated the internet to please his cable pals, India has just past a whole chunk of recommendations from the Telecom Regulatory Association of India (TRAI) to ensure it will never go the same way.

    • India implements strong net neutrality rules

      The government has taken an “unambiguous stand” in making sure that certain types of content are not prioritized over others and that broadband providers will be unable to slow down or block websites at their choosing, India’s telecom regulatory body declared Thursday.

      Around two-thirds of the country’s 1.3 billion people still don’t have [I]nternet access, but the country is moving forward with its net neutrality plans as more and more people begin to use smartphones.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Qualcomm reigns in global WLAN patents but Marvell rules in the US and Nokia leads by SEP count

      A new study of the wireless LAN (WLAN) global patent landscape reveals that while Qualcomm is the dominant player in the space overall, it is beaten by Marvell in the United States by active portfolio size and conspicuously absent from the list of the top holders of standard essential patents (SEPs).

    • Trademarks

      • US Burger Chain Threatens To Sue Broke Aussie Rock Band ‘Ruby Tuesdays’ For $2 Million Over Name

        Ruby Tuesday, the US burger giant that ripped its name off a Rolling Stones song, is threatening to sue a broke Aussie rock band with a similar name for infringing on their trademark.

        To the tune of an eye-watering $2 million, no less.

        Ruby Tuesday the restaurant has served Ruby Tuesdays the band with a letter outlining their intent to sue. It reads: “While many artists pay tribute to other artists through imitation, when it comes to imitating famous trademarks, only Ruby Tuesday is entitled to the goodwill of its mark.”

      • How A US Burger Chain Brought ‘Ruby Tuesday’ Full Circle Through Trademark Bullying

        Circles are so zen. So jedi. So the force. “The circle is now complete,” Darth Vader says in A New Hope. Well, it turns out that the universe has a way of pulling this sort of dynamic out of the realm of the mystical and into the far more mundane realm of trademark bullying. You may be aware of the American burger chain Ruby Tuesday. The chain has locations all over the United States and internationally. Notably, the company’s website lists no locations in Australia. This is notable because the American chain has for some reason decided to try to bully an Australian rock band, Ruby Tuesdays, into changing its name over trademark concerns.

    • Copyrights

      • Deadline Next Week For Comments On New Clauses In South African Copyright Amendment Bill

        The window for the public submissions process was initially set for 9 July but the committee issued a notification to stakeholders that due to the high number of requests, the deadline for the submissions period has been extended to 18 July. The latest call for comments is here [pdf].

        Intellectual Property Watch has seen email correspondence from the committee informing stakeholders about the extension and that “stakeholders should note that public hearings were already held on the Bill which did not include these specific clauses.”

        The draft Copyright Amendment Bill was published in the Government Gazette by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTi) in July 2015. This opened a public submissions process into the bill which ran until September 2015. The Bill was then revised in 2017 and again further submissions were made by stakeholders and public hearings were held in Parliament by the Portfolio Committee on Trade and Industry in August 2017.

      • Court Won’t Rehear Blurred Lines Case, Bad News For Music Creativity

        Back in March we wrote about the terrible decision by the 9th Circuit to uphold the also awful lower court ruling that the Pharrell/Robin Thicke song “Blurred Lines” infringed on Marvin Gaye’s song “Got To Give It Up.” If they had actually copied any of the copyright-protected elements of the original, this case wouldn’t be a big deal. But what was astounding about this ruling is that nowhere is any copyright-protected expression of Gaye’s shown to have been copied in Blurred Lines. Instead, they are accused of making the song have a similar “feel.” That’s… bizarre. Because “feel” or “groove” is not protectable subject matter under copyright law. And yet both the lower court and the appeals court has upheld it. And now, the 9th Circuit has refused to rehear the case en banc, though it has issued a slightly amended opinion, removing a single paragraph concerning the “inverse ratio rule” of whether or not greater access to a song means you don’t have to show as much “substantial similarity.”

        Again, this is a ruling that should greatly concern all musicians (even those who normally disagree with us on copyright issues). This is not a case about copying a song. This is a ruling that now says you can’t pay homage to another artist. It’s a case saying that you can’t build off of another artist’s general “style” or to create a song “in the style” of an artist you appreciate. This is crazy. Paying homage to other artists, or writing a song in the style of another artist is how most musicians first learn to create songs. It does no harm to the original artist, and often introduces more people to their work.

        Pharrell and Thicke can (and perhaps will?) ask the Supreme Court to hear an appeal, but, as always, it’s pretty rare to get the Supreme Court to do so. And, on top of that, as long as Ruth Bader Ginsburg remains on the court, the court has a terrible record on getting copyright cases right (and, yes, it’s almost always Ginsburg writing the awful copyright rulings).

07.12.18

Links 12/7/2018: GTK+ 4.0 Plans, OpenBSD Gains Wi-Fi “Auto-Join”

Posted in News Roundup at 11:23 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • How developers can get involved with open source networking

    There have always been integration challenges with open source software, whether in pulling together Linux distributions or in mating program subsystems developed by geographically distributed communities. However, today we’re seeing those challenges writ large with the rise of large ecosystems of projects in areas such as networking and cloud-native computing.

    Integration was one topic of my conversation with Heather Kirksey, the VP of Community and Ecosystem Development at the Linux Foundation, recorded for the Cloudy Chat podcast. We also talked about modularity and how developers can get involved with open source networking. For the past three years, Kirksey has directed the Linux Foundation’s Open Platform for Network Functions Virtualization (OPNFV), which is now part of the LF Networking Fund that’s working to improve collaboration and efficiency across open source networking projects.

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Localization, Translation, and Machines

        Now that’s rule-based, and it’d be tedious to maintain these rules. Neural Machine Translation (NMT) has all the buzz now, and Machine Learning in general. There is plenty of research that improves how NMT systems learn about the context of the sentence they’re translating. But that’s all text.

        It’d be awesome if we could bring Software Analysis into the mix, and train NMT to localize software instead of translating fragments.

        For Firefox, could one train on English and localized DOM? For Android’s XML layout, a similar approach could work? For projects with automated screenshots, could one train on those? Is there enough software out there to successfully train a neural network?

      • New Features in Firefox Focus for iOS, Android – now also on the BlackBerry Key2

        Since the launch of Firefox Focus as a content blocker for iOS in December 2015, we’ve continuously improved the now standalone browser for Apple and Android while always being mindful of users’ requests and suggestions. We analyze app store reviews and evaluate regularly which new features make our privacy browser even more user-friendly, efficient and secure. Today’s update for iOS and Android adds functionality to further simplify accessing information on the web. And we are happy to make Focus for Android available to a new group: BlackBerry Key2 users.

      • Which email client do you prefer? [Ed: Thunderbird is probably still the best one around and it’s good that Mozilla hired people to maintain/develop it.]

        Email’s decentralized nature makes it a fundamental part of the free and open internet. And because of this, there are a ton of clients to choose from, including several great open source choices. We’ve compiled lists of some of our favorites.

  • Databases

    • Google Releases Open Source Tool That Checks Postgres Backup Integrity

      Google has released a new open-source tool for verifying PostgreSQL (Postgres) database backups.

      Enterprises using the PostgresSQL can use the tool to verify if any data corruption or data loss has occurred when backing up their database. Google is already using the tool for customers of Google Cloud SQL for Postgres. Starting this week, it is now also available as open source code.

      Brett Hesterberg, product manager at Google’s cloud unit and Alexis Guajardo, a senior software engineer at the company described the new feature as a command line tool that administrators can execute against a Postgres database.

  • BSD

    • OpenBSD gains Wi-Fi “auto-join”

      In a change which is bound to be welcomed widely, -current has gained “auto-join” for Wi-Fi networks. Peter Hessler (phessler@) has been working on this for quite some time and he wrote about it in his p2k18 hackathon report.

    • OpenBSD Finally Has The Ability To Auto-Join WiFi Networks

      Granted OpenBSD isn’t the most desktop focused BSD out there and that WiFi isn’t therefore the highest priority for this security-focused operating system, but with the latest code it can now finally auto-join WiFi networks.

  • Licensing/Legal

Leftovers

  • Health/Nutrition

    • Undercooked: An Expensive Push to Save Lives and Protect the Planet Falls Short

      For many decades, it was one of the globe’s most underappreciated health menaces: household pollution in developing countries, much of it smoke from cooking fires.

      The dangerous smoke — from wood, dung or charcoal fires used by 3 billion people in villages and slums across Africa, Central America and Asia — was estimated by health officials to shorten millions of lives every year. The World Health Organization in 2004 labeled household pollution, “The Killer in the Kitchen.” Women and children nearest the hearth paid the greatest price.

      If the health costs were not ominous enough, many environmental advocates worried that what was known as “biomass” cooking also had potentially grave consequences for the planet’s climate. Emissions from the fires were contributing to global warming, it was feared, and the harvesting of wood for cooking was helping to diminish forests, one of nature’s carbon-absorbing bulwarks against greenhouse gases.

    • Whose injera is it anyway?

      Injera, Ethiopia’s staple food, was invented by a Dutchman in 2003.

      That’s according to the European Patent Office, which lists the Netherlands’ Jans Roosjen as the “inventor” of teff flour and associated food products. Teff is a plant endemic to Ethiopia, and the grain is used to make the spongy fermented pancake that Ethiopians eat with their meals.

      Roosjen also has a patent for the “invention” in the United States — though he is patently not the inventor of a product that has been around for millennia.

      Ethiopians are nonplussed.

    • Around the IP blogs!

      Afro-IP picks up on a recent article in the South African Mail & Guardian claiming that the EPO has recognized a Dutchman as the inventor of Ethiopia’s ubiquitous sourdough flat bread, injera. The Mail & Guardian identified an EP patent EP1646287 for a method of processing teff flour, the key ingredient of injera. As Afro-IP points out, the patent is not directed to teff flour per se, but an improved form of teff flour, obtained by ripening the teff grains post-harvest before grinding. Given the simplicity of the method, Afro-IP is doubtful that prior to the priority date of 2003, no one in Ethiopia produced teff flour that would have fallen under the scope of the patent: Nuances of Patents and TK.

  • Security

    • A sysadmin’s guide to SELinux: 42 answers to the big questions

      Security. Hardening. Compliance. Policy. The Four Horsemen of the SysAdmin Apocalypse. In addition to our daily tasks—monitoring, backup, implementation, tuning, updating, and so forth—we are also in charge of securing our systems. Even those systems where the third-party provider tells us to disable the enhanced security. It seems like a job for Mission Impossible’s Ethan Hunt.

      Faced with this dilemma, some sysadmins decide to take the blue pill because they think they will never know the answer to the big question of life, the universe, and everything else. And, as we all know, that answer is 42.

    • Shutting down the BGP Hijack Factory

      It started with a lengthy email to the NANOG mailing list on 25 June 2018: independent security researcher Ronald Guilmette detailed the suspicious routing activities of a company called Bitcanal, whom he referred to as a “Hijack Factory.” In his post, Ronald detailed some of the Portuguese company’s most recent BGP hijacks and asked the question: why Bitcanal’s transit providers continue to carry its BGP hijacked routes on to the global [I]nternet?

      This email kicked off a discussion that led to a concerted effort to kick this bad actor, who has hijacked with impunity for many years, off the [I]nternet.

    • Malformed Internationalized Domain Name (IDN) Leads to Discovery of Vulnerability in IDN Libraries

      The Punycode decoder is an implementation of the algorithm described in section 6.2 of RFC 3492. As it walks the input string, the Punycode decoder fills the output array with decoded code point values. The output array itself is typed to hold unsigned 32-bit integers while the Unicode code point space fits within 21 bits. This leaves a remainder of 11 unused bits that can result in the production of invalid Unicode code points if accidentally set. The vulnerability is enabled by the lack of a sanity check to ensure decoded code points are less than the Unicode code point maximum of 0x10FFFF. As such, for offending input, unchecked decoded values are copied directly to the output array and returned to the caller.

    • GandCrab ransomware adds NSA tools for faster spreading

      “It no longer needs a C2 server (it can operate in airgapped environments, for example) and it now spreads via an SMB exploit – including on XP and Windows Server 2003 (along with modern operating systems),” Beaumont wrote in a blog post. “As far as I’m aware, this is the first ransomware true worm which spreads to XP and 2003 – you may remember much press coverage and speculation about WannaCry and XP, but the reality was the NSA SMB exploit (EternalBlue.exe) never worked against XP targets out of the box.”

    • Intel Discloses New Spectre Flaws, Pays Researchers $100K

      Intel disclosed a series of vulnerabilities on July 10, including new variants of the Spectre vulnerability the company has been dealing with since January.

      Two new Spectre variants were discovered by security researchers Vladimir Kiriansky and Carl Waldspurger, who detailed their findings in a publicly released research paper tilted, “Speculative Buffer Overflows: Attacks and Defenses.”

      “We introduce Spectre1.1, a new Spectre-v1 variant that leverages speculative stores to create speculative buffer over-flows,” the researchers wrote. “We also present Spectre 1.2 on CPUs that do not enforce read/write protections, speculative stores can overwrite read-only data and code pointers to breach sandboxes.”

    • Security updates for Thursday
    • Year-old router bug exploited to steal sensitive DOD drone, tank documents

      In May, a hacker perusing vulnerable systems with the Shodan search engine found a Netgear router with a known vulnerability—and came away with the contents of a US Air Force captain’s computer. The purloined files from the captain—the officer in charge (OIC) of the 432d Aircraft Maintenance Squadron’s MQ-9 Reaper Aircraft Maintenance Unit (AMU)at Creech Air Force Base, Nevada—included export-controlled information regarding Reaper drone maintenance.

    • Security Hardening Rules

      Many users of Red Hat Insights are familiar with the security rules we create to alert them about security vulnerabilities on their system, especially concerning high-profile issues such as Spectre/Meltdown or Heartbleed. In this post, I’d like to talk about the other category of security related rules, those related to security hardening.

      In all of the products we ship, we make a concerted effort to ship thoughtful, secure default settings to minimize the amount of configuration needed to do the work you want to do. With complex packages such as Apache httpd, however, every installation will require some degree of customization before it’s ready for deployment to production, and with more complex configurations, there’s a chance that a setting or the interaction between several settings can have security implications which aren’t immediately evident. Additionally, sometimes systems are configured in a manner that aids rapid development, but those configurations aren’t suitable for production environments.

      With our hardening rules, we detect some of the most common security-related configuration issues and provide context to help you understand the represented risks, as well as recommendations on how to remediate the issues.

  • Defence/Aggression

    • Trump’s Criticism of NATO Ignores the Real Questions

      The usual NATO summit begins and ends with U.S. and European leaders issuing platitudes about the unbreakable bonds between Western democracies. The two-day summit that began Wednesday is not the usual NATO summit. President Donald Trump came to Brussels armed with a barrage of insults and Twitter blasts against his ostensible allies.

      He gave a public tongue-lashing to NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg, saying it was unfair for the U.S. to pay the most for protecting Europe while Germany agreed to a new natural gas pipeline to import natural gas from Russia. “Germany, as far as I’m concerned, is captive to Russia,” Trump said. “Germany is totally controlled by Russia.” But Germany turned to Russia after the Trump administration threatened sanctions on Europeans who buy Iranian natural gas. The U.S. also wants to sell more expensive natural gas to Germany.

    • A 1955 CIA Document Reported Hitler Survived World War II

      A document on the Central Intelligence Agency’s website makes an explosive, if outlandish, claim: Adolf Hitler survived World War II.

      “CIMELODY-3 [a code name] was contacted on 29 September 1955 by a trusted friend who served under his command in Europe and who is presently residing in Maracaibo,” the acting intelligence chief in Caracas, Venezuela sent to his supervisor days later, on October 3, 1955. “CIMELODY-3′s friend stated that during the latter part of September 1955, Phillip CITROEN, former German SS trooper, stated to him confidentially that Adolph HITLER is still alive.” It continued, “CITROEN commented that inasmuch as ten years have passed since the end of World War II, the Allies could no longer prosecute HITLER as a criminal of war.”

      [...]

      In the declassified memo, the photo is attached, showing an “Adolf Schrittelmayor” in Tunga, Colombia in 1954, seated next to a companion. “The person on the left is alleged to be CITROEN and the person on the right is undoubtedly the person which CITROEN claims is HITLER. The back side of the photograph contained the following data: ‘Adolf Schrittelmayor, Tunga, Colombia,1954.’”

  • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

    • Ecuador’s government negotiating Julian Assange’s fate with the UK

      Within the last week, Ecuador’s President Lenín Moreno and Foreign Minister José Valencia have issued public statements indicating that they are in negotiations with the UK government of Prime Minister Theresa May regarding the fate of WikiLeaks editor Julian Assange, who has spent the last six years in the Ecuadorian embassy in London, where he sought asylum in June 2012.

      The Moreno government cut off Assange’s access to the Internet in March and denied him both phone calls and visitors, outside of his attorneys, leaving him effectively under incommunicado detention with less rights than a convict.

    • Prominent whistleblowers and journalists defend Julian Assange at online vigil

      Over the weekend, dozens of public figures, including prominent whistleblowers and journalists, took part in a 36-hour international online vigil in defence of WikiLeaks editor Julian Assange.

      The event was the third “Unity4J” vigil organised by independent journalist and New Zealand Internet Party leader, Suzie Dawson, since Assange’s communications were cut-off by Ecuadorian authorities at their London embassy last March.

      The vigil reflected the widespread public support for Assange, and opposition to the attempts to force him into British and US custody, where he faces possible espionage charges for exposing the war crimes and diplomatic intrigues of the major powers.

      The speakers included individuals who have been persecuted by governments for taking a courageous stand against war and authoritarianism.

      [...]

      Chris Hedges, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and author, said that within the US intelligence apparatus, there was a “maniacal hatred of Julian and WikiLeaks. In their eyes they have to get him and they have to make an example of him so there won’t be any more Julian Assanges.”

      Hedges placed the attacks on WikiLeaks in the context of the broader drive to end online freedom of speech. He referenced Google’s introduction of censorship algorithms last year, which he said were aimed at reducing traffic to the World Socialist Web Site, Truthdig and other “anti-capitalist” and “anti-imperialist” web sites.

      Hedges stated that governments were using “the classic method, which is to tar WikiLeaks, or dissenters like myself, as being agents of a foreign power.” He explained: “We have the whole Russia hysteria here, which is a smokescreen and fictitious, but which the corporate media can’t spend enough time hyperventilating about. Because the elites do not want to acknowledge that it’s social inequality which they engineered which has created this loss of faith in the ruling ideology of global capitalism.”

    • CIA World Tour: Northern, Southern, and Western Europe

      As part of our ongoing project to document Central Intelligence Agency activities around the planet, we’re compiling a curated list of links to records in the CIA archives, divided by country and presidential administration. Today we’re looking at Northern, Southern, and Western Europe.

    • CIA archives outline the pre-history of the infamous OPM hack

      The plot of John le Carré’s The Spy Who Came in from the Cold hinges on the bureaucratic details of retirement benefits for spies. Recently uncovered documents from the Central Intelligence Agency archives show that real-world spy stories sometimes do, too.

      The documents reveal a history of bureaucratic maneuvering in the three decades before the massive breach of Office of Personnel Management computer systems in 2015.

      The OPM hack was widely seen as an embarrassment for US government cybersecurity and intelligence. But what went largely unremarked on in the media is that for decades, intelligence officials had expressed concerned about working with civilian agencies. In fact, shortly following the creation of OPM in 1979, CIA began a lengthy process of negotiation with this new civilian agency. As usual, the Agency was highly protective of any and all personnel information.

    • Nixon and Johnson Pushed the CIA to Spy on U.S. Citizens, Declassified Documents Show

      What prompted the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency to spy on American citizens on U.S. soil in the 1960s—in violation of its own charter? Because two inhabitants of the White House suspected sinister foreign influence behind the decade’s growing civic unrest.

      For President Richard Nixon, the anti-war demonstrations that mired his presidency never made sense. During one conversation with his treasury secretary John Connally, he described the unrelenting protesters as “a wild orgasm of anarchists sweeping across the country like a prairie fire.”

      His confusion wasn’t entirely misplaced. More than a quarter-million Americans demonstrated against the conflict in Vietnam, a sustained and widespread effort that helped erode morale amongst servicemen overseas. It was a sharp break from the broad bipartisan support Americans had offered to the previous wars of the century.

    • How to Find Out About Hot Dogs, Puppy Names and Parking Tickets

      There are all sorts of unexpected, even fun, ways to use FOIA. WBEZ reporter Elliott Ramos found out which Chicago neighborhood had the most block parties. He requested applications for block parties from the Chicago Department of Transportation. Curious about the most popular dog names? Block Club Chicago took a look at the dogs of the Windy City, using pet application data from City Clerk’s office.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife/Nature

    • How Swiss software is helping drones survey wildlife in Namibia

      A new technique combining drones and automated image analysis is being used to help researchers count animals in Namibia’s huge nature reserves.

      The work being funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF) offers a more accurate and cheaper way of counting gnu, oryx and other large mammals in areas that can be half the size of Switzerland.

  • Finance

    • Uber laid off its self-driving car safety drivers in Pittsburgh

      The company convened a meeting on July 11th to inform around 100 safety drivers — employees who ride in Uber’s self-driving vehicles and monitor their operation — that their positions would be terminated, according to the report. The drivers had been kept on the payroll even though Uber suspended its self-driving tests in North America following the deadly March 19th crash in Arizona.

    • Uber has terminated its self-driving car operators in Pittsburgh

      Uber confirmed it laid off about 100 autonomous vehicle operators in Pittsburgh and eliminated the position. The company plans to replace these jobs with about 55 “mission specialists”—specialists who are trained in both on-road and more advanced test-track operations, and who are expected to provide more technical feedback to self-driving car developers. Uber said affected operators could apply for these positions.

    • Uber HR chief resigns in racism scandal

      Liane Hornsey, Uber’s HR chief, quit Tuesday after an investigation into racial discrimination found she “systematically dismissed internal complaints” about racism there.

  • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Won New York’s 15th District Reform Party Primary Even Though She Wasn’t Running

      Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has scored another unexpected ballot-box victory — in an election where she wasn’t running, the New York Daily News reported. The rising democratic socialist star just won the congressional primary for the Reform Party for New York’s 15th district, beating incumbent Democrat representative José Serrano, even though neither was running for the Reform ticket. Although Ocasio-Cortez is the democratic candidate for New York’s neighboring 14th district, voters in the 15th district wrote in her name on the ballot for the Reform Party, giving her a nine-vote lead over Serrano.

    • The special relationship once enriched Britain’s politics. No longer
    • Trump’s relationship with Merkel sinks even lower

      President Trump’s relationship with German Chancellor Angela Merkel seemingly couldn’t get any colder.

      The two have been at odds since before his presidency began.

      Trump ripped Merkel during the campaign and didn’t shake her hand the first time she visited Washington after his inauguration.

      Merkel, who enjoyed a strong relationship with President Obama, has responded in kind. Her office released a now-famous photo after the G-7 summit in Canada earlier this year that appeared to depict her staring down Trump. For many, the photo highlighted Trump’s isolation among western leaders.

      On policies, the two are far apart.

      Trump’s “America First” agenda has meant tariffs on German exports and a hard public line on taking in immigrants and refugees. Merkel has pressed for free trade and more open borders, though she faces resistance to some of those policies at home.

    • Twitter Removes Millions Of Fake Accounts | Trump Loses 100,000 Followers

      After Whatsapp’s efforts to curb fake news, it’s Twitter turn to put the kibosh on the number of fake accounts on the platform. As reported by the New York Times, Twitter will start deactivating “tens of millions” of fake accounts from today onwards.

      The move is targeted at restoring the trust of users on the platform after a rise has been seen in the number of fake followers obtained through unfair means. Many accounts have been ‘buying’ followers to increase their influence and social status.

    • Battling Fake Accounts, Twitter to Slash Millions of Followers

      Twitter will begin removing tens of millions of suspicious accounts from users’ followers on Thursday, signaling a major new effort to restore trust on the popular but embattled platform.

      The reform takes aim at a pervasive form of social media fraud. Many users have inflated their followers on Twitter or other services with automated or fake accounts, buying the appearance of social influence to bolster their political activism, business endeavors or entertainment careers.

      Twitter’s decision will have an immediate impact: Beginning on Thursday, many users, including those who have bought fake followers and any others who are followed by suspicious accounts, will see their follower numbers fall. While Twitter declined to provide an exact number of affected users, the company said it would strip tens of millions of questionable accounts from users’ followers. The move would reduce the total combined follower count on Twitter by about 6 percent — a substantial drop.

  • Censorship/Free Speech

    • Well-Meaning “Internet Censorship Bill” Should Be Sent Back

      The Film and Publications Amendment Bill approved by the National Assembly in March 2018 is a classic example of good intentions gone bad.

      The draft legislation now before the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) should be sent back to be re-written.

      The Internet Service Providers’ Association of South Africa (ISPA) believes there is a requirement for the Film and Publications Act to be redrafted for the Internet and social media age. The Act was drafted in 1996 – pre-Internet in SA – and a series of amendments over the years have done nothing to help the Board to pursue its mandate of providing information to consumers to allow them to choose the content they consume online.

    • Winthrop Incident Cited in Watchdog’s Art Censorship Report

      The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, a national watchdog group focused on civil liberties, is releasing a new report about art censorship on college campuses this week. The Rock Hill, S.C.-based Winthrop University is cited in the report for an incident that happened in November 2016. Outside of Tillman Hall on the school’s campus, student Samantha Valdez was one of the participants in an artist collective’s installation, hanging miniature figures from trees and adorning an existing sign for the hall reading “Tillman’s Legacy.” Benjamin Tillman, the South Carolina governor for whom the hall is named, was known for anti-African-American rhetoric and being a supporter of lynch mobs.

    • College watchdog group releases report on campus censorship

      The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education this week released a lengthy report on several decades’ worth of campus censorship, highlighting instances in which universities indulged in “the all-too-common impulse to hide upsetting artwork rather than grapple with its message.”

      The report, titled “One Man’s Vulgarity,” examines “just how far campus censors are willing to go to stifle artistic freedom instead of grappling with a work’s meaning,” the organization said in a news release.

    • In Their Decision to Abstain from Censorship, Valve Has Taken the Coward’s Way Out

      Those anxieties soon turned into a debate over the rules governing game makers and freedom of speech. While developers, the press and Steam customers were discussing the issue, Valve came up with their own solution.

    • V&A exhibition to put censorship of the arts in the spotlight

      An exhibition exploring freedom of expression in the arts has been launched to mark 50 years since state censorship of the British stage was abolished.

      Censored! Stage, Screen, Society at 50 has opened at the V&A to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the Theatres Act (1968) coming into force. This heralded the end of state censorship of British theatre.

      The exhibition will examine how censorship has affected the performing arts and considers its impact on society more generally.

      The V&A said the exhibition will look at how censorship has been “adapted to govern what we see and experience in the theatre”, and will explore whether the role of the state has been replaced by other factors.

    • SA’s ‘censorship bill’ must be rewritten, ISP body says

      The Films and Publications Amendment Bill raises serious freedom-of-speech concerns and should be rewritten, the Internet Service Providers’ Association said on Thursday.

      Describing the bill as a “classic example of good intentions gone bad”, the association, which represents many of South Africa’s ISPs, said that although the draft legislation “sets out a framework for classification of online content which could be useful, this is lost in vague definitions and ill-considered attempts to expand the role of the Film and Publication Board into an Internet policeman”.

      “Problematic definitions effectively turn all South African Internet users into online content distributors, directly regulated by the Film and Publication Board,” said the association’s regulatory advisor, Dominic Cull, in a statement.

    • A FOSTA Of One’s Own: UK Parliament Members Looking To Punish Websites, Push Traffickers Underground

      Our government decided to make the internet worse, endanger the lives of sex workers, and make it harder for law enforcement to hunt down sex traffickers. And it was all done in the name of fighting sex trafficking. SESTA/FOSTA’s passage immediately contributed to all three problems upon passage, throwing sex workers under the bus along with Section 230 immunity. The upside for the government was obvious: it could now target websites and site owners, rather than sex traffickers, for grandstanding prosecutions.

      Violet Blue reports for Engadget that the UK government — no stranger to terrible laws targeting the internet — is thinking about copy-pasting FOSTA for its own use. It would also like to do all the things listed above, only without the minimal restraint of the First Amendment.

      [...]

      It will be worse in the UK where a challenge along civil liberties lines is more likely to fail. UK speech laws are a mess and it’s unlikely opponents of the proposed law will find judicial relief from UK FOSTA knockoff. The lives the law endangers are of zero concern to a majority of politicians and the platform the law is built on — ending sex trafficking — is something very few feel comfortable taking a stand against.

    • Cuba imposes more taxes and controls on private sector and increases censorship on the arts

      The Cuban government issued new measures on Monday to limit the accumulation of wealth by Cubans who own private businesses on the island. The provisions stipulate that Cubans may own only one private enterprise, and impose higher taxes and restrictions on a spectrum of self-employment endeavors, including the arts.

      The government announced that it will start issuing licenses to open new businesses — frozen since last August — but established greater controls through a package of measures intended to prevent tax evasion, limit wealth and give state institutions direct control over the so-called cuentapropismo or self-employment sector.

      The measures will not be immediately implemented. There is a 150-day waiting period to “effectively implement” the new regulations, the official Granma newspaper reported.

    • Report: IDF Censorship of Israeli Press Averages One Redaction Every Four Hours

      In the “only democracy” in the Middle East, military censors are working overtime to control the content of reporting and keep certain stories hidden from the public. According to a recent report by Israeli journalist Haggai Matar for online magazine +972, Israel’s military censor has notably increased the percentage of articles it partially or fully redacted in the Israeli press over the past year, a trend unlikely to decline as Israel prepares for potential war with Gaza, Lebanon and Syria.

      The report, which used government figures obtained via freedom of information request, found that over the course of the past year 271 articles were prohibited by the military censor and an additional 2,358 were partially or fully redacted. On average, Israel’s military censor made a redaction in a story once every four hours and completely censored a story an average of five times a week.

    • Apple’s China-Friendly Censorship Caused an iPhone-Crashing Bug
    • Chinese Censorship Bug Caused iPhone Crashes when Receiving Taiwan Flag Emoji
    • Chinese Censorship Run Amuck Crashes iPhones With Taiwan Flag Emoji
    • Apple’s Chinese Censorship Features Caused iPhone Crashing Bug
    • How Is Internet Censorship Affecting Chinese Culture?
  • Privacy/Surveillance

    • Walmart Patents Technology to Eavesdrop on Workers

      In the latest piece of evidence that we’re living squarely in a dystopia, Walmart has won a patent for technology that will allow bosses to eavesdrop on their workers. The audio surveillance technology can measure workers’ performance and listen to their conversations with customers at checkout. The “listening to the frontend” technology, as its called, might never be used—it’s one of many patents the company has applied for in recent years—but shows that company bosses are thinking about how they can use tech to monitor their workers. Walmart said in a statement: “We’re always thinking about new concepts and ways that will help us further enhance how we serve customers, but we don’t have any further details to share on these patents at this time.” According to the patent, the surveillance system would use sensors in the cashier area to collect audio such as “beeps,” “rustling noises,” and “conversations between guests and an employee stationed at the terminal.” It would then analyze the information and use it to calculate “performance metric[s]” for the employee.

    • Facebook Gave “2-Week Special Access” To A Russian Tech Giant, Says Report

      Over a month ago, another news of Facebook giving data access to nearly 60 companies had surfaced. Among these companies, the Russian company Mail.Ru was also listed.

      Facebook told CNN that Mail.Ru developed “hundreds of Facebook apps,” out of which two apps were granted a two-week extension past the cut-off date in 2015.

    • Russian company had access to Facebook user data through apps
    • Privates on parade: fitness tracker app reveals sensitive user details
    • Polar Flow Fitness App Exposes Soldiers, Spies
    • Polar Flow app exposes location of security personal around the globe
    • Fitness App Polar Data Reveals Top Secret US Military Locations
    • The security of Polar users’ data could be comprised, in a big way
    • DARE: Trump’s Supreme Court Nominee Decided Against Net Neutrality and for NSA Surveillance
    • Brett Kavanaugh’s defense of NSA phone surveillance looms as confirmation question

      Judge Brett Kavanaugh, President Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, forcefully defended the National Security Agency’s dragnet collection of domestic call records, alarming privacy advocates who view the collection as unconstitutional.

      It’s not yet clear if Kavanaugh’s November 2015 concurrence while serving on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit will factor prominently in his confirmation proceedings. But before he was nominated, progressive and conservative advocates expressed concern.

      “I believe Judge Kavanaugh is an excellent judge, though certainly not a perfect one,” Ken Cuccinelli, president of the Senate Conservatives Fund, told the Washington Examiner last week. “His Fourth Amendment perspective is troubling.”

      “As someone who sued the NSA over their metadata gathering as a violation of the Fourth Amendment, he and I disagree on that point, and I think a lot of liberty-minded folks are going to have that as a major concern,” said Cuccinelli, a former Virginia attorney general.

    • European Parliament Turns Up The Pressure On US-EU Privacy Shield Data Transfer Deal A Little More

      Many stories on Techdirt seem to grind on forever, with new twists and turns constantly appearing, including unexpected developments — or small, incremental changes. The transatlantic data transfer saga has seen a bit of both. Back in 2015, the EU’s top court ruled that the existing legal framework for moving data across the Atlantic, Safe Harbor, was “invalid”. That sounds mild, but it isn’t. Safe Harbor was necessary in order for data transfers across the Atlantic to comply with EU data protection laws. A declaration that it was “invalid” meant that it could no longer be used to provide legal cover for huge numbers of commercial data flows that keep the Internet and e-commerce ticking over. The solution was to come up with a replacement, Privacy Shield, that supposedly addressed the shortcomings cited by the EU court.

      The problem is that a growing number of influential voices don’t believe that Privacy Shield does, in fact, solve the problems of the Safe Harbor deal. For example, in March last year, two leading civil liberties groups — the American Civil Liberties Union and Human Rights Watch — sent a joint letter to the EU’s Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality, and other leading members of the European Commission and Parliament, urging the EU to re-examine the Privacy Shield agreement. In December, an obscure but influential advisory group of EU data protection officials asked the US to fix problems of Privacy Shield or expect the EU’s top court to be asked to rule on its validity. In April of this year, the Irish High Court made just such a referral as a result of a complaint by the Austrian privacy expert Max Schrems. Since he was instrumental in getting Safe Harbor struck down, that’s not something to be taken lightly.

  • Civil Rights/Policing

    • Iran, Instagram and the case of dancing teen Maedeh Hojabri

      The case of a teenage girl who is believed to have been detained after posting videos on social media showing her dancing has stirred debate in Iran.

      The controversy arose after it was reported that 18-year-old Maedeh Hojabri was arrested after sharing her dance videos – one of which was viewed close to one million times – on Instagram.

      Some of the clips showed her dancing to Persian music in her room. In others, she can be seen with no headscarf swaying to songs by popular artists such as Justin Bieber and Shakira.

    • Marvel plans to introduce first Muslim superhero into the MCU

      And it seems it could very well be with Kamala Khan, otherwise known as Ms. Marvel, with Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige revealing to the BBC that her addition to the cinematic universe is “definitely sort of in the works”.

      “Captain Marvel’s shooting right now with Brie Larson,” Feige said. “Ms. Marvel, which is another character in the comic books, the Muslim hero who is inspired by Captain Marvel, is definitely sort of in the works. We have plans for that once we’ve introduced Captain Marvel to the world.”

    • Car Crash Brexit – How the UK is set to become a second-hand dealer in EU automotive regulation

      Regulation is too often seen as inherently boring. But today tens of thousands of people owe their lives to good European regulation imposed against the wishes of the motor industry in 1998. Regulation is the anvil of life and death outcomes. It is at least as important as ownership – its consequences more widely relevant across our entire social and economic experience.

      Anthony Barnett’s article for openDemocracy – on the significance of regulation as a fourth domain of power and authority alongside the executive, the legislature and the judiciary, and how Brexit will be shaped by it – is welcome. If ‘Take back control’ was Brexit’s major selling point, then voters will learn this applies to their chances of survival in road crashes and the quality of the air they breathe. Yet, outside the Single Market, Britain will become just a follower of European Union (EU) vehicle safety and emission standards. This is the reality.

      The irony is that one of the UK’s most successful unsung achievements has been the role the British played in advancing EU consumer protection and public health. The adoption twenty years ago of new crash test standards has halved the number of car occupant deaths. This dramatic improvement in road safety is a success story of UK engagement in the Single Market led by British research and campaigners. Their actions have significantly reduced road deaths not just in the UK but across the EU.

    • Revealed: Charity watchdog probes pro-Brexit anti-NHS think tank

      The Charity Commission is examining whether the Institute of Economic Affairs has breached charity regulations on political independence, openDemocracy can reveal. The watchdog is looking at the free market think tank after concerns were brought to the commission’s attention.

      The IEA is one of the UK’s most influential think tanks. IEA representatives regularly appear on the media, advocating everything from privatising the NHS to a hard Brexit, and it has strong links with a number of Conservative ministers, including new Brexit secretary Dominic Raab and health minister Matt Hancock.

      The IEA – which does not disclose its funders – is registered as an educational charity. The Charity Commission does not register charities that exist for a political purpose.

      The charity watchdog says that it will look at information provided about whether the IEA breached rules on political independence before deciding whether to take action against the think tank.

      Concerns about the IEA’s charitable status have been raised previously. Last year, the Charity Commission found that a hypothetical Conservative manifesto jointly written by the IEA and the Tax Payer’s Alliance calling for tax cuts and more privatisation breached charity guidance on political activity.

      Andrew Purkis, a former Charity Commission board member, called on the regulator to act against the IEA.

    • “Old, New, Orthodox” – CIA predicts a fragmented Europe

      Namely, the CIA sees the European continent as quite different to what it is today in the near future – divided in three parts: “new,” “old,” and “(Christian) Orthodox” – and Serbia would be a part of the third.

      At the same time, Stratfor has also predicted big changes – the strengthening of Poland and Romania through a strategic partnership with the US, the rise of Turkey as a regional power, and a decline in Germany’s influence.

      According to the CIA, by 2020, there will be a western bloc, “Old Europe,” made up of Germany, France, Austria, UK, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Sweden, Norway, Finland; “New Europe” would include Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Slovenia, and Croatia – and these, mostly former Warsaw Psct countries, would now form America’s main military bastion in Europe.

    • Bob Woodruff Foundation Acquires Veterans Org Got Your 6

      delete

      The Bob Woodruff Foundation, one of the United States’ largest veterans support foundations, has acquired Got Your 6, a coalition which seeks to to empower veterans by uniting nonprofit…

  • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

    • India Approves New Net Neutrality Rules, Signs off on New Telecom Policy

      Eight months after India’s telecom regulator came out swinging heavily in favour of the principle of net neutrality, the department of telecommunications (DoT) has finally agreed to adopt the same.

      The recommendations proposed by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) in November 2017 would prohibit Internet service providers (ISPs) from engaging in “any form of discrimination or interference” in the treatment of online content.

      ISPs will also not be able to engage in practices such as “blocking, degrading, slowing down or granting preferential speeds or treatment to any content”.

      The Telecom Commission (TC), the highest-decision making body within the DoT, on Wednesday approved the new neutrality rules, the new telecom policy and a host of other proposals that had come up for discussion.

    • India Has Agreed To Net Neutrality: A Big Win For Internet Users

      While web users in the States are still battling for open and fair Internet services, India has approved on what could be the world most progressive policy – free internet for all.

      In a major triumph for netizens across India, the Department of Telecommunications (DOT) has agreed to follow Telecom Regulatory Authority of India’s (TRAI) recommendations regarding net neutrality rules.

    • Guidelines for Brutalist Web Design

      A website’s materials aren’t HTML tags, CSS, or JavaScript code. Rather, they are its content and the context in which it’s consumed. A website is for a visitor, using a browser, running on a computer to read, watch, listen, or perhaps to interact. A website that embraces Brutalist Web Design is raw in its focus on content, and prioritization of the website visitor.

    • Guidelines for brutalist web design

      “Raw content true to its construction” — no hinky web frameworks, no broken javascript soiling itself at the first whiff of interaction the developer didn’t design for, no dark patterns, no performance-crushing superficial cleverness, no contempt for the user: guidelines for brutalist web design.

    • UK gov wants full fibre broadband across Blighty by 2033

      Those targets might be subject to change, but they’re arguably heady ambitions all the same as full fibre broadband connections, whereby fibre cables are run directly to a building rather than rely on copper wiring to take up the slack in what’s called the ‘last mile’, are rather slim in terms of coverage and adoption.

    • Ajit Pai’s Cure For The ‘Digital Divide’ Looks Suspiciously Like A Giant Middle Finger

      FCC boss Ajit Pai likes to repeatedly proclaim that one of his top priorities while chair of the FCC is to “close the digital divide.” Pai, who clearly harbors post-FCC political aspirations, can often be found touring the nation’s least-connected states proclaiming that he’s working tirelessly to shore up broadband connectivity and competition nationwide. More often than not, Pai can be found somewhere in flyover country “highlighting how expanding high-speed internet access and closing the digital divide can create jobs and increase digital opportunity.”

      And that would be great… if he was doing anything to actually accomplish that goal.

      While Pai’s best known for ignoring the public and making shit up to dismantle net neutrality, his other policies have proven to be less sexy but just as terrible. From neutering plans to improve cable box competition to a wide variety of what are often senseless attacks on smaller competitors, most of Pai’s policies are driving up costs for the rural Americans he so breathlessly pledges fealty to.

      For example, a guy that’s actually trying to improve competition wouldn’t be taking steps to hide that lack of competition by weakening broadband availability standards. Similarly, a politician actually focused on improving broadband connectivity to rural areas wouldn’t be actively dismantling programs specifically designed to accomplish that goal.

    • FCC proposes overhaul to comment filing system

      FCC Chairman Ajit Pai said in a letter to Sens. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) and Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) that the commission has put in a request with the House and Senate Appropriations committees to upgrade its Electronic Comment Filing System to crack down on comments from bots, noting that the FCC “inherited” this system from the Obama administration.

    • Ajit Pai finally gets around to fighting fraud in FCC comment system

      The Federal Communications Commission is planning to overhaul its public comments system to deter fraud and abuse, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai said in a letter to lawmakers last week.

      The FCC may institute a CAPTCHA system as part of a redesign that will “institute appropriate safeguards against abusive conduct,” Pai told Sens. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) and Pat Toomey (R-Penn.).

      “[T]he FCC is planning to rebuild and re-engineer ECFS [Electronic Comment Filing System] and has submitted a request to reprogram the funds necessary to undertake this project,” Pai wrote. “This reprogramming request is pending before the House and Senate Appropriations Committees, and we hope they will enable us to make important improvements by approving it soon.”

      The FCC comment system accepts public input on FCC proposals. The system allows anyone to comment and takes no significant steps to prevent spam or fraud.

    • FCC Retracts a Plan to Discourage Consumer Complaints

      The FCC offers two ways for people to complain about billing problems, privacy concerns, and other issues with telecom carriers. Formal complaints cost $225 to file and work a bit like court proceedings. But the commission also offers an informal complaint system, which is free.

      Critics said that the proposed change would have left the informal complaint system toothless, forcing consumers to spend the time and money of the formal review process if they wanted to the FCC to take action on their complaints.

    • Freedom and Fairness on the Web

      There is an ongoing debate about freedom and fairness on the web. I’m coming from the free and open source software community. From this perspective it’s very clear that the freedoms to use, share, and modify software are the cornerstones of sustainable software development. They create the common base on which we can all build and unleash the value of software which is said to eat the world. And the world seems to more and more agree to that.

      But how does this look like with software we don’t run ourselves, with software which is provided as a service? How does this apply to Facebook, to Google, to Salesforce, to all the others which run web services? The question of freedom becomes much more complicated there because software is not distributed so the means how free and open source software became successful don’t apply anymore.

      The scandal around data from Facebook being abused shows that there are new moral questions. The European General Data Protection Regulation has brought wide attention to the question of privacy in the context of web services. The sale of GitHub to Microsoft has stirred discussions in the open source community which relies a lot on GitHub as kind of a home for open source software. What does that mean to the freedoms of users, the freedoms of people?

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Dutch telecom’s SEP assertion against Xiaomi in Beijing comes up short

      Xiaomi has prevailed at the Beijing IP Court in an SEP case brought against it by KPN. The Dutch telecom’s action was being watched by some as a test case – one of just a few we know about where a foreign firm was seeking to enforce an SEP against a Chinese company in Chinese litigation. After three years, Xiaomi has seen off the suit at first instance in what statistics say is a very pro-plaintiff venue.

    • Japan considers expanding design protection to cover wider range of designs

      Japan is considering expanding design protection beyond the definition of ‘design’ in the Design Law.

    • Interpol Leads Massive Operation Against Counterfeit Goods

      The international police agency Interpol today announced that it coordinated a massive sweep of arrests and seizures of tons of fake goods across four continents in recent months.

      According to a release, more than 645 suspects have been identified or arrested so far, and more than 1,300 inquiries are underway, across Africa, Asia, the Middle East and South America.

    • Paris Court of Appeal refuses preliminary injunction in SPC dispute

      Court of Appeal upholds an interim order from the first instance court based on Articles 3C and 3D of the SPC Regulation and confirms the need for core inventive advance

      The Paris Court of Appeal refused to grant a preliminary injunction based on a combination product supplementary protection certificate (SPC) against a French pharmaceutical company last month.

    • Trademarks

      • USA: Cortes-Ramos v. Martin-Morales, United States Court of Appeals, First Circuit, No. 16-2456, 27 June 2018

        The federal district court in San Juan, Puerto Rico, erred in dismissing copyright infringement, trademark infringement, and state law claims brought by a music contestant against pop recording artist Enrique Martin-Morales (aka Ricky Martin) on the ground that the contest rules compelled arbitration of the claims, the U.S. Court of Appeals in Boston has ruled.

      • Federal Circuit expands generics – including ZERO for soft drinks

        The claimants were companies within the Dr Pepper Snapple Group which have been fighting the case for more than a decade. They asserted that ZERO is either generic for or highly descriptive of soft drinks and sports drinks which contain no calories. Therefore, disclaimers to the term should be required in registrations for the applicant’s ZERO-inclusive marks.

      • Warner Bros Presses Library to Rename ‘Harry Potter Festival’

        Following pressure from Warner Bros. lawyers, the yearly Harry Potter festival in Odense, Denmark, has changed its name. The movie studio condoned the non-profit event over the past years, but that’s no longer the case. All names and images referring to the young wizard’s movies are now off limits, which has far-reaching consequences.

    • Copyrights

      • ‘Pirate’ Kodi Boxes Breach Copyright But Seller Threatens to “Wipe Floor” With Sky

        A court in New Zealand has ruled that ‘Kodi’ boxes sold on the basis that they can receive otherwise premium channels breached both the Fair Trading and Copyright Acts. The decision was welcomed by Sky TV, which brought the case against device seller Fibre TV. In response, a spokesperson for the company threatened to “wipe the floor” with the broadcaster.

07.11.18

Links 12/7/2018: Mesa 18.1.4 RC, Curl 7.61.0

Posted in News Roundup at 11:28 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Desktop

    • Top 10 Reasons Why Desktop Linux Failed

      1) Linux isn’t pre-installed – No matter how much we may debate it, having Windows pre-installed on PCs means that’s what people are likely to end up using. In order for someone to move over to Linux on the desktop, there must be a clear reason to do so. There is the problem. The only time I’ve personally seen users make the switch over to Linux from Windows comes down to frustration with Windows or a desire to advance their skills into an IT field.

      My own Linux story, for example, was a mixture of the two examples above. First off, I was just done with Windows. I had already been dabbling with Linux at the time I completely switched, but I become disenfranchised with the Microsoft way of doing things. So for me, the switch to Linux was based out of frustration.

      Had I not experienced any frustrations with Windows, I might not have ever thought to jump ship over to an alternative. Even when I built my own PCs myself, the OS offered at computer stores was Windows only. This is a huge hurdle for Linux adoption on the desktop.

      2) Linux freedom vs convenience – It’s been my experience that people expect a user experience that’s consistent and convenience. How one defines this depends on the individual user. For some, it’s a matter of familiarity or perceived dependability. For more advanced PC users, a consistent convenience may mean a preferred workflow or specific applications.

      The greater takeaway is that when people are aware of other operating systems, they will usually stick with that they’ve used the longest. This presents a problem when getting people to try Linux. When using a desktop platform for a long time, you develop habits and expectations that don’t lend themselves well to change.

  • Server

  • Audiocasts/Shows

  • Kernel Space

    • Linux Kernel Port Revised To China’s C-SKY CPU Architecture

      In addition to the AMD-licensed Chengdu Haiguang x86 server processors and Zhaoxin x86-compatible CPUs from VIA Centaur lineage, another CPU effort within China has been C-SKY.

      C-SKY is a 32-bit embedded CPU core out of Hangzhou, China. C-SKY is working on RISC-V designs too, but this current C-SKY embedded processor appears to be an original CPU design. Back in March they posted the original C-SKY Linux kernel patches while this past week they sent out a revised version.

    • Another Big Pull Of Intel DRM Updates Submitted For Linux 4.19

      One month ago Intel was quick following the Linux 4.18 merge material to begin sending in new feature work for Linux 4.19 by means of the DRM-Next repository. They’ve already done a few rounds of updates while now another serving of Direct Rendering Manager patches were served up.

      Sent out on Tuesday is likely their last “big pull” targeting the Linux 4.19 kernel, but Intel developer Rodrigo Vivi commented that another one or two smaller pulls are still expected in the days or week ahead to DRM-Next for 4.19.

    • Xen Hypervisor 4.11 Released, New Browsh Text-Based Browser, Finney Cryptocurrency Phone, GNOME Hiring and More

      The Xen Hypervisor 4.11 was released yesterday. In this release “PVH Dom0 support is now available as experimental feature and support for running unmodified PV guests in a PVH Container has been added. In addition, significant chunks of the ARM port have been rewritten.” Xen 4.11 also contains mitigations for Meltdown and Spectre vulnerabilities. For detailed download and build instructions, go here.

    • Oracle wants to improve Linux load balancing and failover

      Oracle reckons Linux remote direct memory access (RDMA) implementations need features like high availability and load balancing, and hopes to sling code into the kernel to do exactly that.

      The problem, as Oracle Linux kernel developer Sudhakar Dindukurti explained in this post, is that performance and security considerations mean RDMA adapters tie hardware to a “specific port and path”.

      A standard network interface card, on the other hand, can choose which netdev (network device) to use to send a packet. Failover and load balancing is native.

    • Linux 4.17.6
    • Linux 4.14.55
    • Linux 4.9.112
    • Linux 4.4.140
    • Linux 3.18.115
    • The final step for huge-page swapping

      For many years, Linux system administrators have gone out of their way to avoid swapping. The advent of nonvolatile memory is changing the equation, though, and swapping is starting to look interesting again — if it can perform well enough. That is not the case in current kernels, but a longstanding project to allow the swapping of transparent huge pages promises to improve that situation considerably. That work is reaching its final stage and might just enter the mainline soon.

      The use of huge pages can improve the performance of the system significantly, so the kernel works hard to make them available. The transparent huge pages mechanism collects application data into huge pages behind the scenes, and the memory-management subsystem as a whole works hard to ensure that appropriately sized pages are available. When it comes time to swap out a process’s pages, though, all of that work is discarded, and a huge page is split back into hundreds of normal pages to be written out. When swapping was slow and generally avoided, that didn’t matter much, but it is a bigger problem if one wants to swap to a fast device and maintain performance.

    • Revisiting the MAP_SHARED_VALIDATE hack

      One of the the most commonly repeated mistakes in system-call design is a failure to check for unknown flags wherever flags are accepted. If there is ever a point where callers can get away with setting unknown flags, then adding new flags becomes a hazardous act. In the case of mmap(), though, developers found a clever way around this problem. A recent discussion has briefly called that approach into question, though, and raised the issue of what constitutes a kernel regression. No changes are forthcoming as a result, but the discussion does provide an opportunity to look at both the specific hack and how the kernel community decides whether a change is a regression or not.

      Back in 2017, several developers were trying to figure out a way to safely allow direct user-space access to files stored on nonvolatile memory devices. The hardware allows this memory to be addressed directly by the processor, but any changes could go astray if the filesystem were to move blocks around at the same time. The solution that arose was a new mmap() flag called MAP_SYNC. When a file is mapped with this flag set (and the file is stored on a nonvolatile memory device), the kernel will take extra care to ensure that access to the mapping and filesystem-level changes will not conflict with each other. As far as applications are concerned, using this flag solves the problem.

    • Linux Foundation/CloudNative

      • What are cloud-native applications?

        As cloud computing was starting to hit its stride six or seven years ago, one of the important questions people were struggling with was: “What do my apps have to look like if I want to run them in a public, private, or hybrid cloud?”

        There were a number of takes at answering this question at the time.

        One popular metaphor came from a presentation by Bill Baker, then at Microsoft. He contrasted traditional application “pets” with cloud apps “cattle.” In the first case, you name your pets and nurse them back to health if they get sick. In the latter case, you give them numbers and, if something happens to one of them, you eat hamburger and get a new one.

      • KubeCon + CloudNativeCon, Copenhagen

        I attended KubeCon + CloudNativeCon 2018, Europe that took place from 2nd to 4th of May. It was held in Copenhagen, Denmark. I know it’s quite late since I attended it, but still I wanted to share my motivating experiences at the conference, so here it is!

        I got scholarship from the Linux Foundation which gave me a wonderful opportunity to attend this conference. This was my first developer conference aboard and I was super-excited to attend it. I got the chance to learn more about containers, straight from the best people out there.

      • Certification Plays Big Role in Open Source Hiring

        Employers increasingly want vendor neutrality in their training providers, with 77 percent of hiring managers rating this as important, up from 68 percent last year and 63 percent in 2016. Almost all types of training have increased this year, with online/virtual courses being the most popular. Sixty-six percent of employers report offering this benefit, compared to 63 percent in 2017 and 49 percent in 2016. Forty percent of hiring managers say they are providing onsite training, up from 39 percent last year and 31 percent in 2016; and 49 percent provide individual training courses, the same as last year.

      • Take Our Survey on Open Source Programs

        Please take eight minutes to complete this survey. The results will be shared publicly on The New Stack, and The Linux Foundation’s GitHub page.

    • Graphics Stack

      • NVIDIA Jetson Xavier Development Kit: Under 30 Watts, 8-Core ARMv8.2, 512 Core Volta

        The NVIDIA Jetson Xavier Development Kit is pretty darn exciting with having eight ARMv8.2 cores, a 512-core Volta GPU, 16GB of LPDDR4, and under 30 Watt power use.

        Last month NVIDIA announced the Jetson Xavier with plans to ship in August at a $1,299 USD price-tag. More details on this NVIDIA Jetson Xavier Development Kit have now been announced.

      • Mesa 18.1.4 release candidate

        Mesa 18.1.4 is planned for release this Friday, July 13th, at or around 10 AM PDT.

      • Mesa 18.1.4 Being Prepared With Intel Fixes & A Couple For Radeon

        Another routine Mesa 18.1. point release is being prepared while waiting for the August debut of the Mesa 18.2 feature update.

        Dylan Baker, the Mesa 18.1 release manager and his first stab at the task, has announced the Mesa 18.1.4 release candidate today. In its current form, Mesa 18.1.4 is comprised of just over two dozen patches.

      • Pre-AMDGPU xf86-video-ati X.Org Driver Sees A Round Of Improvements

        It’s rare in recent years to have anything to report on xf86-video-ati, the X.Org driver for the display/2D experience for pre-GCN Radeon graphics cards. But this week has been a large batch of fixes and improvements for those using this DDX driver with pre-HD7000 series hardware.

        Longtime Radeon Linux driver developer Michel Dänzer has landed a number of commits already this week of various fixes/cleanups, some of which were inspired by the xf86-video-amdgpu DDX driver that is used for current-generation hardware with the AMDGPU kernel driver (unless using xf86-video-modesetting…).

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • Optimizing a Python application with C++ code

        I’ve been working lately in a command line application called Bard which is a music manager for your local music collection. Bard does an acoustic fingerprinting of your songs (using acoustid) and stores all song metadata in a sqlite database. With this, you can do queries and find song duplicates easily even if the songs are not correctly tagged. I’ll talk in another post more about Bard and its features, but here I wanted to talk about the algorithm to find song duplicates and how I optimized it to run around 8000 times faster.

        [...]

        An obvious improvement I didn’t do yet was replacing the map with a vector so I don’t have to convert it before each for_each call. Also, vectors allow to reserve space in advance, and since I know the final size the vector will have at the end of the whole algorithm, I changed to code to use reserve wisely.

        This commit gave the last increase of speed, to 7998x, 36680 songs/second and would fully process a music collection of 1000 songs in just 13 seconds..

      • How A KDE Developer Used C++17 & Boost.Python For About A 8,000x Speed-Up

        Open-source developer Antonio Larrosa who contributes to KDE and openSUSE has been developing a command-line music manager called Bard. He’s written an interesting post about how he sped up some of his operations by around eight-thousand times faster.

        In particular, Antonio was focused on speeding up the process of finding song/music duplicates in the user’s local music collection. What started out as Python code was morphed into optimized C++ code. Little surprise, the C++ code once tuned was immensely faster than Python — but the blog post is interesting for those curious about the impact of the various steps he took for tuning this implementation.

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

      • GUADEC 2018: BoF Days

        Monday went with engagement BoF. I worked with Rosanna to finalize the annual report. Please help us proofread it! I have also started collecting information for the GNOME 3.30 release video. If you are a developer and you have exciting features for GNOME 3.30, please add them to the wiki. The sooner you do it, the happier I am.

      • GNOME Foundation opens recruitment for further expansion

        Today, July 6th 2018, the GNOME Foundation has announced a number of positions it is recruiting for to help drive the GNOME project and Free Software on the desktop. As previously announced, this has been made possible thanks to a generous grant that the Foundation has received, enabling us to accelerate this expansion.

      • Emmanuele Bassi: News from GLib 2.58

        Next September, GLib will hit version 2.58. There have been a few changes during the past two development cycles, most notably the improvement of the Meson build, which in turn led to an improved portability of GLib to platforms such as Windows, macOS, and Android. It is time to take stock of the current status of GLib, and to highlight some of the changes that will impact GLib-based code.

      • GLib 2.58 Is Looking Good With Portability Improvements, Efficient Process Launching

        The GLib low-level GNOME library while being quite mature is seeing a significant update with its version 2.58 release due out this September for GNOME 3.30.

        Two of the biggest GLib 2.58 changes we have covered up to now on Phoronix has been the new generic reference counting API and more efficient app launching. The reference counting API has been in the works for 6+ years to help GLib’s bindings/integration with languages utilizing automatic memory management / garbage collection. The more efficient process launching via the use of posix_nspawn() is also exciting for better performance, particularly on systems suffering from memory pressure.

  • Distributions

    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat OpenStack Platform Adopted by Fujitsu for Fujitsu Cloud Service for OSS

        Red Hat, Inc. (NYSE: RHT), the world’s leading provider of open source solutions, today announced that Fujitsu Limited has adopted Red Hat OpenStack Platform as an Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) component of Fujitsu Cloud Service for OSS, its global hybrid cloud service offering. As a backbone for an open hybrid cloud, Fujitsu Cloud Service for OSS is designed to help enterprises more quickly develop cloud-native and traditional applications and services in an environment built from innovative, more reliable, and more secure open technologies.

      • Red Hat OpenStack platform adopted by Fujitsu

        Red Hat recently announced that Fujitsu has adopted Red Hat OpenStack Platform as an Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) component of Fujitsu Cloud Service for OSS, its global hybrid cloud service offering.

        As a backbone for an open hybrid cloud, Fujitsu Cloud Service for OSS is designed to help enterprises more quickly develop cloud-native and traditional applications and services in an environment built from innovative, more reliable, and more secure open technologies.

        This announcement shows the continued, long-standing collaboration between Red Hat and Fujitsu to offer hybrid cloud solutions based on open source.

      • Fujitsu Adopts Red Hat OpenStack Platform for Fujitsu Cloud Service for OSS
      • ISVs in APAC showcase increased Red Hat OpenShift adoption

        Red Hat recently showcased the uptake of Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform in Asia Pacific by many of the region’s leading independent software vendors (ISV).

        Red Hat director of ISV Balaji Swamy says, “Businesses in Asia Pacific are increasingly realising how a leading container platform such as Red Hat OpenShift can help them increase agility and accelerate innovation to be ahead of their competitors.

      • ISVs in APAC Showcase Increased Red Hat OpenShift Adoption Across Verticals

        Red Hat Partner Conference Asia Pacific — Red Hat, Inc. (NYSE: RHT), the world’s leading provider of open source solutions, today showcased the uptake of Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform in Asia Pacific by many of the region’s leading independent software vendors (ISV).

      • ORock’s Red Hat OpenStack-Based Cloud Platform Gets FedRAMP Authorization; David Egts Comments

        ORock Technologies has received a Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program certification for its Red Hat OpenStack-based cloud platform.

        A Defense Department agency granted the FedRAMP authorization to operate to ORockCloud at the moderate impact level for hybrid cloud deployments and platform-as-a-service and infrastructure-as-a-service models, ORock said Tuesday.

        ORockCloud is built on a private fiber optic network and works to provide users on-demand access to storage, computing, performance monitoring, networking, virtualization and applications through the company’s service catalog.

      • Spraoi and Red Hat seek volunteers

        Spraoi is recruiting volunteers from all walks of life for this year’s festival, August 3rd, 4th and 5th and the volunteering programme is being supported by software giant, Red Hat, whose offices are on the Cork Road.

        Red Hat’s Director of Software Engineering, James Mernin, says the partnership is a very natural fit: “Spraoi and Red Hat are both driven by creative people with a passion for communities and this association will allow our team to become involved in this year’s festival.

        We also have an international team here and it’s great for them to have access to artists from around the world at Spraoi.”

      • Entando Announces OEM Agreement with Red Hat on Modern Applications

        Entando, a leader in open source Digital Experience Platforms, today announced that Red Hat has agreed to include access to a set of Entando’s open source low-code tools as part of Red Hat’s newly launched Red Hat Process Automation Manager. Entando has optimized the tools to run effectively on Red Hat Process Automation Manager. Together, these technologies offer customers expanded next-generation business process automation capabilities native to Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform and a user experience (UX) designed to help them create cloud-native applications faster.

      • STT Connect builds webscale private cloud infrastructure on Red Hat

        To build its cloud on a flexible, supported open source platform, STT Connect partnered with Red Hat to deploy Red Hat OpenStack Platform, Red Hat Ansible Tower, and other enterprise Red Hat software.

        These solutions helped the company create an agile and efficient — yet secure — webscale cloud infrastructure. STT Connect became the first cloud company in Singapore to achieve the highest level Multi-Tier Cloud Security (MTCS) certification with an OpenStack private cloud.

      • The Final Build of Scientific Linux 6.10 Legacy Branch Released

        Scientific Linux has announced that the 6.10 release will be the final build of their legacy branch based on Red Hat 6.10. It will only receive security updates and major bug fixes and will be supported until November 2020.

        Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (Fermilab) and European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) co-develop Scientific Linux with the aim of creating a stable operating system that is supplied with packages and applications that support scientific research. They also list using “the free exchange of ideas, designs, and implementations to prepare a computing platform for the next generation of scientific computing” as one of their goals.

      • ISVs in APAC Showcase Increased Red Hat OpenShift Adoption Across Verticals
      • Finance

      • Fedora

        • Hiding the Fedora boot menu

          The venerable Linux boot menu has made its appearance at boot time since the days when LILO was the standard boot loader, through the days of GRUB, and onward to today’s GRUB 2 and others. It is sometimes configured out by distributions as something that will potentially confuse less-technical users, but it has been a mainstay of Fedora for many releases. A recent proposal to hide the menu, starting in Fedora 29, has met a mixed reaction, but those who are not in favor are also those most able to revert to the existing behavior.

          Hans de Goede raised the issue back at the end of May. He suggested that Fedora had at one time hidden the boot menu, but changed. As a longtime Fedora user, I don’t remember that switch, but my memory is faulty and that may be the case here. In any case, De Goede’s idea is to not have the distribution print any confusing messages at boot time: “the end goal being a user pressing the on button and then going to the graphical login manager without him seeing any text messages / menus filled with technical jargon.”

          The response was somewhat mixed, as might be expected. Stephen Gallagher was concerned about boots that failed and gave the user no alternatives to try. De Goede said that the plan was to detect failed boots and then show the boot menu on the next boot. He muddied the waters somewhat by mentioning a “fastboot” feature that he is planning for Fedora 30. It would effectively provide no way for a user sitting at the console to override the boot sequence (with a key press, say) and get the boot menu once the system has started booting.

        • Fedora tackles Southeast Linux Fest 2018
        • Fedora 29 Dropping GCC From Their Default Build Root Has Been Causing A Heated Debate

          One of the surprisingly controversial changes being implemented for Fedora 29 is dropping GCC and GCC-C++ from the default BuildRoot for assembling Fedora packages with Koji and Mock.

          Up to now it’s always just been implied that GCC (including the GCC C++ compiler) is there by default with every build-root. But these days with more packages being written in languages like Go, Rust, Python, Node.js, and other modern languages, the proportion of C/C++ applications is decreasing. As such, the GCC C/C++ support is no longer being implied with the default build environments in Koji/Mock, which in turn should help package build times for non-C/C++ packages as they will no longer need to pull in the gcc/gcc-c++ packages and in turn a cleaner buildroot environment too.

    • Debian Family

      • Taiwan Travel Blog – Day 2 & 3

        My Taiwan Travel blog continues! I was expecting the weather to go bad on July 10th, but the typhoon arrived late and the rain only started around 20:00. I’m pretty happy because that means I got to enjoy another beautiful day of hiking in Taroko National Park.

        I couldn’t find time on the 10th to sit down and blog about my trip, so this blog will also include what I did on the 11th.

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Ubuntu Local Authorization Bypass Bug Likely to Never Be Fixed? [Ed: Physical access = PC compromised; there are many other ways around it, including reboots with recovery mode, so...]

            It was just reported that a bug filed on Ubuntu Launchpad (dubbed Local authorization bypass by using suspend mode) about a month ago has been confirmed by several users. The bug allows an individual with physical access to a machine to evade the lock screen simply by removing its hard drive.

          • We shall call him Mini-U – Ubuntu reveals tiny cloudy server

            Canonical has released a new cut of Ubuntu it recommends for use in the cloud and containers.

            “Minimal Ubuntu” is based on either Ubuntu 16.04 LTS or 18.04 LTS. A Docker image of the latter weighs in at 29 megabytes. Images of the OS for the cloud are said to be “less than 50% the size of the standard Ubuntu server image, and boot up to 40% faster.” We think that makes them around 400MB.

          • Canonical Releases Minimal Ubuntu, Optimised for Multicloud

            Canonical, the company behind popular Linux system Ubuntu, has released Minimal Ubuntu, a pared-back, significantly faster iteration of its server operating system (OS).

  • Devices/Embedded

Free Software/Open Source

  • Open Source GraphQL Engine Launched

    An open source GraphQL Engine has been launched that can be used with applications based on Postgres without the need for backend GraphQL processing code.

    The new GraphQL as a service can be used by front-end developers to build scaleable GraphQL apps on Postgres.

    Hasura’s GraphQL Engine automates the implementation and linking of databases to the graph. The APIs can be used to choose tables from new or existing database for use with GraphQL and link those existing tables into a graph. The engine has built-in authorization and authentication with granular authentication and a dynamic access control system that integrates with existing authentication systems such as Auth0 or custom implementations. The engine is also lightweight, consuming only 50MB of RAM even while serving more than a thousand requests per second.

  • Hasura Launches Open Source GraphQL Engine That Provides Instant GraphQL-as-a-Service on Any Existing Postgres Application
  • R3 has commercially launched its open-source blockchain platform

    Blockchain consortium R3 has commercially rolled out its open-source blockchain platform, dubbed Corda Enterprise, which aims to enable more businesses to leverage blockchain technologies. This comes after R3 launched version 1.0 of the platform in October 2017.

  • Algo Development 2.0 Looks to Open Source, Cloud & Big Data

    While the financial services industry was an early adopter of open source software going back to the Linux operating system in 1991 and the FIX Protocol in the late 1990s, financial firms may have restrictions on contributing code back to the wider open source community.

    “When it comes to trading algorithms there is a secret sauce embedded there that I don’t think people ever want to open source,” said Bill Harts, senior advisor to the Modern Markets Initiative, who moderated the panel. Harts, who has been an early adopter of algorithmic trading at Citi, Goldman Sachs and Bank of America, said: “That’s how they make money. Where do you draw the line?” asked Harts.

  • 5 open source principles that help DevOps teams excel

    While open source has more than a decade head start on DevOps, the two have steadily converged over time. As a CIO, you can support the use of some key open source cultural values to empower your organization’s DevOps team and ensure maximum success.

  • Open source hasn’t made tech more open

    Democratic ideals have given way to governments and corporate giants.

  • Event management with Indico

    There are many things to love about the Linux Plumbers Conference (LPC), but the event’s web site has not often been considered one of them. This year, your editor took on the task of finding a new system to handle proposal submission, review, and scheduling, despite his own poor track record when it comes to creating attractive web sites. The search finally settled on a system called Indico; read on for some impressions of this interesting free event-management system.

    There are a number of free systems out there for handling the needs of conferences. Among the others that were considered are Symposion, which is used by linux.conf.au, and OSEM, the openSUSE event-management system. Both are capable systems, but neither seems to have been developed with the idea that others might want to pick it up and run it. In particular, every Symposion installation seems to require a fair amount of low-level customization. The installation documentation for both is, to put it charitably, a bit scant. Indico, instead, comes with a nice installation manual that makes the task something that is, if not actually easy, at least achievable without having to actually learn the entire code base first.

    [...]

    Events in Indico have most of the features needed to track their life cycle. Each event has a home page with a reasonable degree of customization; pages of information can be attached to the home page. There is an elaborate mechanism for proposal submission and review. Events can be split into tracks and sessions, with a different coordinator for each session; the schedule for the whole thing can be managed in a reasonably straightforward way. For those who need it, Indico also offers a registration system, though LPC is not using it.

  • Web Browsers

    • Chrome

      • Chrome 67 to Counter Spectre on Mac, Windows, Linux, Chrome OS via Site Isolation

        The Spectre and Meltdown vulnerabilities, discovered earlier this year, caught everyone off guard including hardware and software companies. Since then, several vendors have patched them, and today, Google Chrome implemented measures to protect the browser against Spectre. The exploit uses the a feature found in most CPUs to access parts of memory that should be off-limits to a piece of code and potentially discover the values stored in that memory. Effectively, this means that untrustworthy code may be able to read any memory in its process’s address space. In theory, a website could use such an attack to steal information from other websites via malicious JavaScript code. Google Chrome is implementing a technique known as site isolation to prevent any future Spectre-based attacks from leaking data.

      • Google Chrome is getting a Material Design revamp – here’s how to test the new features

        Google has been promising a Material Design revamp of its desktop Chrome web browser for quite some time – and now we have our first look.

        An update to the experimental Chrome Canary browser on Windows, Linux and Mac, offers a preview of what we can expect when Google builds the changes into the main browser later this year.

      • Google Chrome Gets A Big Material Design Makeover, Here’s How To Try It On Windows, Linux And macOS

        Google’s dominate Chrome web browser is set to receive a big Material Design makeover later this year. However, if you want to give a try right now, you can do so by downloading the latest build of Chrome Canary. For those not in the know, Canary is the developmental branch of Chrome where new features are tested before they roll out widely to the public.

        As you can see in the image below, this is a total revamp of the browser, with a completely new address bar and look for the tabs interface. Tabs have a more rounded shape and colors have been refreshed through the UI.

      • Chrome 67 features Site Isolation to counter Spectre on Mac, Windows, Linux, Chrome OS

        Following the disclosure of Spectre and Meltdown CPU vulnerabilities earlier this year, the entire tech industry has been working to secure devices. In the current stable version of Chrome, Google has widely rolled out a security feature called Site Isolation to protect desktop browsers against Spectre.

    • Mozilla

      • FTAPI SecuTransfer – the secure alternative to emails? Not quite…

        Emails aren’t private, so much should be known by now. When you communicate via email, the contents are not only visible to yours and the other side’s email providers, but potentially also to numerous others like the NSA who intercepted your email on the network. Encrypting emails is possible via PGP or S/MIME, but neither is particularly easy to deploy and use. Worse yet, both standard were found to have security deficits recently. So it is not surprising that people and especially companies look for better alternatives.

        It appears that the German company FTAPI gained a good standing in this market, at least in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. Their website continues to stress how simple and secure their solution is. And the list of references is impressive, featuring a number of known names that should have a very high standard when it comes to data security: Bavarian tax authorities, a bank, lawyers etc. A few years ago they even developed a “Secure E-Mail” service for Vodafone customers.

      • Mozilla Open Policy & Advocacy Blog: Searching for sustainable and progressive policy solutions for illegal content in Europe

        As we’ve previously blogged, lawmakers in the European Union are reflecting intensively on the problem of illegal and harmful content on the internet, and whether the mechanisms that exist to tackle those phenomena are working well. In that context, we’ve just filed comment with the European Commission, where we address some of the key issues around how to efficiently tackle illegal content online within a rights and ecosystem-protective framework.

      • Notes by Firefox Now Lets You Sync Notes Between Desktop and Android

        Mozilla has released a note taking app for Android that syncs with the Firefox browser on the desktop. Called (rather simply) ‘Notes by Firefox‘, the feature offers basic, encrypted note taking in the browser and via a standalone app for Android phones and tablets.

      • Mozilla applauds passage of Brazilian data protection law

        Mozilla’s previous statement supporting the Brazilian Data Protection Bill can be found here. The bill will now go to Brazilian President Michel Temer for his signature.

      • My Journey to Tech Speaking about WebVR/XR

        Ever since a close encounter with burning out (thankfully, I didn’t quite get there) forced me to leave my job with Mozilla more than two years ago, I have been looking for a place and role that feels good for me in the Mozilla community. I immediately signed up to join Tech Speakers as I always loved talking about Mozilla tech topics and after all breaking down complicated content and communicating it to different groups is probably my biggest strength – but finding the topics I want to present at conferences and other events has been a somewhat harder journey.

      • Mozilla Funds Top Research Projects

        We are very happy to announce the results of the 2018H1 Mozilla Research Grants. This was an extremely competitive process, with over 115 applicants. We selected a total of eight proposals, ranging from tools to fight online harassment to systems for generating speech. All these projects support Mozilla’s mission to make the Internet safer, more empowering, and more accessible.

        The Mozilla Research Grants program is part of Mozilla’s Emerging Technologies commitment to being a world-class example of inclusive innovation and impact culture-and reflects Mozilla’s commitment to open innovation, continuously exploring new possibilities with and for diverse communities. We will open the 2018H2 round in Fall of 2018: see our Research Grant webpage for more details and to sign up to be notified when applications open.

      • 4 add-ons to improve your privacy on Thunderbird

        Thunderbird is a popular free email client developed by Mozilla. Similar to Firefox, Thunderbird offers a large choice of add-ons for extra features and customization. This article focuses on four add-ons to improve your privacy.

      • Mozilla’s Test Pilot Program For Mobile Apps: Launches “Lockbox” and “Notes” App
  • Codecs and Patents

    • An Invisible Tax on the Web: Video Codecs

      Here’s a surprising fact: It costs money to watch video online, even on free sites like YouTube. That’s because about 4 in 5 videos on the web today rely on a patented technology called the H.264 video codec.

      A codec is a piece of software that lets engineers shrink large media files and transmit them quickly over the internet. In browsers, codecs decode video files so we can play them on our phones, tablets, computers, and TVs. As web users, we take this performance for granted. But the truth is, companies pay millions of dollars in licensing fees to bring us free video.

      It took years for companies to put this complex, global set of legal and business agreements in place, so H.264 web video works everywhere. Now, as the industry shifts to using more efficient video codecs, those businesses are picking and choosing which next-generation technologies they will support. The fragmentation in the market is raising concerns about whether our favorite web past-time, watching videos, will continue to be accessible and affordable to all.

    • AV1, Opportunity or Threat for POWER and ARM Servers?

      While I haven’t seen an official announcement, Phoronix reported that the AV1 git repository was tagged 1.0, so the launch announcement is imminent. If you haven’t heard about it already, AOMedia Video 1 (AV1) is an open, royalty-free video coding format by the Alliance for Open Media.

    • VP9 & AV1 Have More Room To Improve For POWER & ARM Architectures

      Luc Trudeau, a video compression wizard and co-author of the AV1 royalty-free video format, has written a piece about the optimization state for video formats like VP9 and AV1 on POWER and ARM CPU architectures.

  • Pseudo-Open Source (Openwashing)

  • Funding

    • Best Bug Bounty Programs On Internet

      ​The software revolution brought many opportunities for programmers. The modern software industry is not just limited to development. The developed software or service might have backdoors or glitches. These can cause vulnerabilities that hackers use to their benefit by exploiting such services.

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • Minimum GCC Version Likely to Jump from 3.2 to 4.8

      The question of the earliest GCC compiler version to support for building the Linux kernel comes up periodically. The ideal would be for Linux to compile under all GCC versions, because you never know what kind of system someone is running. Maybe their company’s security team has to approve all software upgrades for their highly sensitive devices, and GCC is low on that list. Maybe they need to save as much space as possible, and recent versions of GCC are too big. There are all sorts of reasons why someone might be stuck with old software. But, they may need the latest Linux kernel because it’s the foundation of their entire product, so they’re stuck trying to compile it with an old compiler.

      However, Linux can’t really support every single GCC version. Sometimes the GCC people and the kernel people have disagreed on the manner in which GCC should produce code. Sometimes this means that the kernel really doesn’t compile well on a particular version of GCC. So, there are the occasional project wars emerging from those conflicts. The GCC people will say the compiler is doing the best thing possible, and the kernel people will say the compiler is messing up their code. Sometimes the GCC people change the behavior in a later release, but that still leaves a particular GCC version that makes bad Linux code.

  • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

    • Open Hardware/Modding

      • ARM Takes Down Boneheaded Website Attacking Open-Source Rival

        ARM, the incredibly successful developer of CPU designs, appears to be getting a little nervous about an open-source rival that’s gaining traction. At the end of June, ARM launched a website outlining why it’s better than its competitor’s offerings and it quickly blew up in its face. Realizing the site was a bad look, ARM has now taken it down.

        For the uninitiated, ARM Holdings designs various architectures and cores that it licenses to major chipmakers around the world. Its tech can be found in over 100 billion chips manufactured by huge names like Apple and Nvidia as well as many other lesser-known players in the low-power market. If ARM is Windows, you can think of RISC-V as an early Linux. Like ARM, it’s an architecture based on reduced instruction set computing (RISC), but it’s free to use and open to anyone to contribute or modify. While ARM has been around since 1991, RISC-V just got started in 2010 but it’s gaining a lot of ground and ARM’s pitiful website could easily be seen as a legitimizing moment for the tech.

      • A Landmark Legal Shift Opens Pandora’s Box for DIY Guns

        Two months ago, the Department of Justice quietly offered Wilson a settlement to end a lawsuit he and a group of co-plaintiffs have pursued since 2015 against the United States government. Wilson and his team of lawyers focused their legal argument on a free speech claim: They pointed out that by forbidding Wilson from posting his 3-D-printable data, the State Department was not only violating his right to bear arms but his right to freely share information. By blurring the line between a gun and a digital file, Wilson had also successfully blurred the lines between the Second Amendment and the First.

        “If code is speech, the constitutional contradictions are evident,” Wilson explained to WIRED when he first launched the lawsuit in 2015. “So what if this code is a gun?”

  • Programming/Development

    • This Week in Rust 242

      Always wanted to contribute to open-source projects but didn’t know where to start? Every week we highlight some tasks from the Rust community for you to pick and get started!

    • Kindness and open-source projects

      Brett Cannon is a longtime Python core developer and member of the open-source community. He got to check off one of his bucket-list items when he gave a keynote [YouTube video] at PyCon 2018. That keynote was a rather personal look at what he sees as some problem areas in the expectations of the users of open-source software with respect to those who produce it. While there is lots to be happy for in the open-source world, there are some sharp edges (and worse) that need filing down.

      He started with his background as a way to show that he has the experience to give this talk. He is the development lead on the Python extension for Visual Studio Code, which is Microsoft’s cross-platform open-source code editor. He noted that the two qualifiers for the editor are probably shocking to some. It was originally a community open-source project; Microsoft hired the developer behind it and it is now “corporate open source”, Cannon said. That means there is a company backstopping the project; if the community fell away, the project would continue.

      He has been a Python core developer since April 2003; he got the commit bit shortly after attending the first PyCon (and he has attended every PyCon since as well). In contrast, Python is community open source; if the community disappeared, the project “would probably collapse within a month”. He has contributed to over 80 open-source projects along the way; many of those were simply typo fixes of various sorts, but it has given him exposure to a lot of different development processes. “I’ve been lucky enough to have a broad range of exposure to open source overall.”

    • Python and the web

      Dan Callahan is a developer advocate at Mozilla and no stranger to PyCon (we covered a talk of his at PyCon 2013). He was also the champion at Mozilla for the grant that helped revamp the Python Package Index (PyPI). At PyCon 2018, he gave a keynote talk [YouTube video] that focused on platforms of various sorts—and where Python fits into the platforms of the future.

      He began with a slide showing the IBM PCjr, which was the first computer IBM made for the home market. It was released in 1984 and immediately drew a bad reaction from the public and the press (Time magazine called it “one of the biggest flops in the history of computing”). Commercially and even objectively, the PCjr was a bad platform, he said.

      But when he was old enough to become interested in computers, that was the computer that was available to him—his father had bought one during the roughly one year they were available. He learned BASIC as his first language because the PCjr came with BASIC. He didn’t think about it at the time, but his first language was chosen for him; he didn’t get to consider what features he wanted or how the language’s community was. His platform had determined the tool he would use.

      Fast-forward a few years to when he was in high school and had his own computer; even though he had access to Linux, PHP, and Perl, he still found himself programming in BASIC. This was the pre-smartphone era, so when he was bored in class, he had to find some other way to distract himself; he and his friends turned to TI-82 graphing calculators. Those were programmable in BASIC, so even though he had more sophisticated tools available to him, if he wanted to share something with his friends, it would have to be written in BASIC for the TI-82. That platform also dictated the tool that he would use.

Leftovers

  • Security

    • D-Link security certificates are being used to sign industry espionage malware

      Two strains of Plead exist – one straightforward beastie, and one password stealer capable of lifting from Google Chrome, Microsoft Internet Explorer, Microsoft Outlook and Mozilla Firefox.

    • DOD seeks classification “Clippy” to help classify data, control access [iophk: "if they have Microsoft Office they have already failed security]
    • Malware Attack On Arch Linux AUR Repository; Three Packages Infected So Far
    • Arch Linux PDF reader package poisoned
    • Security updates for Wednesday
    • Another Linux distro poisoned with malware

      Last time it was Gentoo, a hard-core, source-based Linux distribution that is popular with techies who like to spend hours tweaking their entire operating sytem and rebuilding all their software from scratch to wring a few percentage points of performance out of it.

    • Arch Linux AUR packages found to be laced with malware

      Three Arch Linux packages have been pulled from AUR (Arch User Repository) after they were discovered to contain malware. The PDF viewer acroread and two other packages that are yet to be named were taken over by a malicious user after they were abandoned by their original authors.

    • ​The return of Spectre

      The return of Spectre sounds like the next James Bond movie, but it’s really the discovery of two new Spectre-style CPU attacks.

      Vladimir Kiriansky, a Ph.D. candidate at MIT, and independent researcher Carl Waldspurger found the latest two security holes. They have since published a MIT paper, Speculative Buffer Overflows: Attacks and Defenses, which go over these bugs in great detail. Together, these problems are called “speculative execution side-channel attacks.”

      These discoveries can’t really come as a surprise. Spectre and Meltdown are a new class of security holes. They’re deeply embedded in the fundamental design of recent generations of processors. To go faster, modern chips use a combination of pipelining, out-of-order execution, branch prediction, and speculative execution to run the next branch of a program before it’s called on. This way, no time is wasted if your application goes down that path. Unfortunately, Spectre and Meltdown has shown the chip makers’ implementations used to maximize performance have fundamental security flaws.

    • Mercury Security Introduces New Linux Intelligent Controller Line

      Mercury Security, a leader in OEM access control hardware and part of HID Global, announces the launch of its next-generation LP intelligent controller platform built on the Linux operating system.

      The new controllers are said to offer advanced security and performance, plus extensive support for third-party applications and integrations. The controllers are based on an identical form factor that enables seamless upgrades for existing Mercury-based deployments, according to the company.

  • Defence/Aggression

    • Engineer stashed Navy drone trade secrets in his personal Dropbox

      A Connecticut federal court has found electrical engineer Jared Sparks guilty of six trade secret theft and transmission charges after he took files relating to underwater drones built for the US Navy’s Office of Naval Research. When contemplating a switch of jobs from drone builder LBI to its software partner Charles River Analytics, he uploaded “thousands” of his then-current employer’s sensitive files to his personal Dropbox account, including accounting and engineering data as well as design-related photos and renders.

    • A Call to Ease Tensions Between the Nuclear Superpowers

      Many Americans remain deeply concerned about reports of Russian interference with the 2016 election. Meanwhile, relations between the United States and Russia are at their lowest and most dangerous point in several decades. For the sake of democracy at home and true national security, we must reach common ground to safeguard common interests—taking steps to protect the nation’s elections and to prevent war between the world’s two nuclear superpowers.

      Whatever the truth of varied charges that Russia interfered with the election, there should be no doubt that America’s digital-age infrastructure for the electoral process is in urgent need of protection. The overarching fact remains that the system is vulnerable to would-be hackers based anywhere. Solutions will require a much higher level of security for everything from voter-registration records to tabulation of ballots with verifiable paper trails. As a nation, we must fortify our election system against unlawful intrusions as well as official policies of voter suppression.

    • Mental Illness Serves as Easy Scapegoat in Mass Murder Accounts

      After the May 18 mass murder at a high school in Santa Fe, Texas, a local CBS station (5/18/18) published an article headlined, “Looking for Signs of Mental Illness in Wake of Recent Shootings.” It described the Santa Fe shooter, Dimitrios Pagourtzis, as a “person who kept to himself,” citing this trait as a possible warning sign of mental disorder.

      [...]

      A study that analyzed 235 mass killings in the US between 1913 and 2015 found 22 percent of perpetrators demonstrated signs of mental illness. An American Psychiatric Association study from 2013 notes only 1 percent of yearly gun-related homicides are carried out by people with mental illness (New York Times, 2/16/18).

      Stephen Paddock, who killed 59 people at a Las Vegas concert, had no history of mental illness. Even an autopsy of Paddock’s brain revealed nothing of note. But the Washington Post (10/2/17) quoted the Las Vegas Metropolitan sheriff saying, “I can’t get into the mind of a psychopath.”

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife/Nature

    • Drones survey African wildlife

      A new technique developed by Swiss researchers enables fast and accurate counting of gnu, oryx and other large mammals living in wildlife reserves. Drones are used to remotely photograph wilderness areas, and the images are then analysed using object recognition software and verified by humans. The work is reported in a paper published in the journal Remote Sensing of Environment. (*)

      The challenge is daunting: some African national parks extend over areas that are half the size of Switzerland, says Devis Tuia, an SNSF Professor now at the University of Wageningen (Netherlands) and a member of the team behind the Savmap project, launched in 2014 at EPFL. “Automating part of the animal counting makes it easier to collect more accurate and up-to-date information.”

  • Finance

  • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • In Wake of AMLO Victory, US Media Fear Chavismo and Hope for ‘Business-Friendly’ Change

      Neoliberal capitalist dogma pervades mainstream media. A case in point is coverage of Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s resounding victory in Mexico’s presidential election.

      [...]

      Another New York Times article (7/2/18), this one by Ahmed and Kirk Semple, said that López Obrador “must still convince investors that his policies will be business friendly.” Ensuring that “investors” are happy is apparently a nonnegotiable imperative.

      Revealingly, the authors failed to consider how this supposed essential can co-exist with another necessity they describe, which is that “Mr. López Obrador will also have to deliver on his promises to address widespread poverty and yawning inequality.” Ahmed and Semple decline to point out the contradiction here: “Investors” rarely deem policies that “address widespread poverty and yawning inequality”—say, a higher minimum wage and the redistribution of wealth through social programs—to be “business friendly.” By glossing over such inconsistencies, and proffering magical thinking according to which capital can be appeased while poverty and inequality are successfully fought, the authors performed a service for advocates of neoliberal capitalist scripture.

    • Democrats Reintroduce DISCLOSE Act to Combat Dark Money “Poison”

      On June 27, Democrats in both chambers of Congress reintroduced the DISCLOSE Act to provide what the lead Senate sponsor, Sheldon Whitehouse (RI-D), calls “a commonsense solution to restore transparency and accountability in our political system.”

      The DISCLOSE Act of 2018 is the most recent iteration of a bill that Democrats have pushed since the Supreme Court’s ruling in Citizens United v. FEC, which eliminated a century-old federal ban on political spending by corporations.

      The “Democracy Is Strengthened by Casting Light On Spending in Elections Act” (DISCLOSE) was first introduced in 2010 by Representative Chris Van Hollen and Senator Chuck Schumer. DISCLOSE passed in the House that year but a Republican filibuster threat doomed it in the Senate, despite support from 59 senators.

  • Censorship/Free Speech

    • German writer sues Random House

      A German author is taking Random House to court for declining to release his book Hostile Takeover: How Islam Hampers Progress and Threatens Society which it originally signed on the basis of a 10-page proposal.

  • Privacy/Surveillance

    • State Appeals Court Says Exigency Beats A Warrant Requirement If A Phone Has A Passcode

      The Supreme Court’s Riley decision made one thing clear: cellphones are not to be searched without a warrant. Somehow, the Georgia Court of Appeals has reached a different conclusion than the Supreme Court of the United States, even as it cites the ruling. [h/t Andrew Fleischman]

      It’s a decision [PDF] that’s decidedly law enforcement-friendly. And it’s one that will pair nicely with the FBI’s overblown “going dark” assertions. An arrested individual requested his phone so he could retrieve a phone number to give to the officers questioning him. Here’s what happened once he had retrieved that info.

    • How We Can ‘Free’ Our Facebook Friends

      In the wake of the recent privacy controversy over Facebook and Cambridge Analytica, internet users and policymakers have had a lot of questions on the topic of “data portability”: Is my social network data really mine? Can I take it with me to another platform if I’m unhappy with Facebook? What does the new European privacy law, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), demand in terms of my being able to export my data? What even counts as my data that I should be able to download or share, and as my friends’ data that I shouldn’t?

      There’s a growing consensus that being able to easily move your data between social platforms, and perhaps even being able to communicate between different platforms, is necessary to promote competition online and enable new services to emerge. But that raises some difficult technical and policy questions about how to balance such portability and interoperability with your and your friends’ privacy interests—and how to guarantee that new privacy efforts don’t have the unintended consequence of locking in current platforms’ dominance by locking down their control over your data.

      To investigate a potential path forward, New America’s Open Technology Institute partnered with Mozilla to host an event earlier this month, “A Deep Dive Into Data Portability: How Can We Enable Platform Competition and Protect Privacy at the Same Time.” It included a tutorial from OTI’s senior policy technologist Ross Schulman on the basic terminology and technologies at issue—for instance, distinguishing between “data portability” and “interoperability,” and explaining what the heck an “Application Programming Interface,” or “API,” is.

    • Post-Carpenter Ruling Says Call Records Aren’t Content Or Cell Site Location Info; Thus, No 4th Amendment Protection

      Judicial citations and applications of the recent Supreme Court decision in the Carpenter case continue to roll in. The narrow holding by the Supreme Court was that acquisition of cell site location info (CSLI) now requires a warrant, seeing as it can be used to effectively “track” someone over a period of days or months. Historical CSLI — especially large amounts of it — is far more revealing than many other records covered by the Third Party Doctrine. An “equilibrium shift” was needed and the court applied it.

      The shift is trickling down to lower courts, leading to some examinations of the Carpenter ruling in cases that don’t appear to call for it. The Supreme Court of California, ruling [PDF] on a case that originated 15 years ago, takes a brief moment to weigh the Carpenter ruling against the specifics of this appeal. (via FourthAmendment.com)

      At stake here — one of the several challenges raised by the defendant — are phone records gathered with an SCA court order. Phone records were left undisturbed by the Carpenter ruling, but here’s the court’s brief examination of the issue.

    • Facebook faces £500,000 fine from UK data watchdog
    • Facebook is slapped with first fine for Cambridge Analytica scandal
    • Facebook Slapped With “Maximum” U.K. Fine For Cambridge Analytica Scandal

      If you calculate Facebook’s estimated revenue for a period of just 7 minutes, it’ll turn out to be around $665,000. When you compare it to the fine imposed by the U.K. Information Commissioner for Facebook data leak of as many as 87 million users, you won’t notice much difference.

    • Facebook under fresh political pressure as UK watchdog calls for “ethical pause” of ad ops

      The UK’s privacy watchdog revealed yesterday that it intends to fine Facebook the maximum possible (£500k) under the country’s 1998 data protection regime for breaches related to the Cambridge Analytica data misuse scandal.

      But that’s just the tip of the regulatory missiles now being directed at the platform and its ad-targeting methods — and indeed, at the wider big data economy’s corrosive undermining of individuals’ rights.

      Alongside yesterday’s update on its investigation into the Facebook-Cambridge Analytica data scandal, the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has published a policy report — entitled Democracy Disrupted? Personal information and political influence — in which it sets out a series of policy recommendations related to how personal information is used in modern political campaigns.

    • How I Fully Quit Google (And You Can, Too)

      This guide is to show you how I quit the Googleverse, and the alternatives I choose based on my own research and personal needs. I’m not a technologist or a coder, but my work as a journalist requires me to be aware of security and privacy issues.

    • Polar disables activity map feature over privacy concerns

      The decision was made following a report that the data collected by the map feature can be accessed – relatively easily – by third parties to determine the addresses and other personal details of users, who include military and intelligence officers around the world.

      The report was published by Long Play, a Finnish collective of investigative journalists, De Correspondent, a Dutch news website, and Bellingcat, a British website for citizen journalist investigations. The vulnerability identified in the report is real, Marco Suvilaakso, the chief strategy officer at Polar, confirmed to Uusi Suomi on Monday.

  • Civil Rights/Policing

    • Journalist Held by ICE Speaks: ‘Without a Doubt’ I Was Targeted for My Work

      “ICE is targeting people who speak against them,” he said, “We see cases from all over the country where activists who speak out against ICE are being arrested.”

    • They Thought They’d Left The Surveillance State Behind. They Were Wrong.

      China is using its huge digital surveillance system, and the threat of sending family members to reeducation camps, to pressure minorities to spy on their fellow exiles.

    • Europe Shows a Polarized Supreme Court is Not Inevitable

      United States President Donald Trump has nominated Brett Kavanaugh to replace retiring Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy. His choice solidifies a conservative majority on the nation’s nine-member highest court.

      Trump’s conservative bench could overrule Roe v. Wade, eliminating women’s constitutional right to abortion. It also could condone political gerrymandering and put LGBTQ people at further risk for discrimination by employers, landlords and business owners.

      A politically polarizing court is not inevitable. In some European countries, the judicial appointment process is actually designed to ensure the court’s ideological balance, and justices work together to render consensus-based decisions.

    • Two Sides To Every Coin: When “Security Measures” Become Imprisonment

      The bad (and sadly ironic) part is that we the taxpayers are the source of funding for these unconstitutional measures: our taxes pay for the cages being constructed around us and before our very eyes. The masses are unaware and/or they do not care. A shift is being fostered: a “need” for more security [translation: more surveillance] and more accountability [translation: more control] are forced upon us.

      The public is being shaped and manipulated: having lost conscience, its consciousness is now being molded and made to feel as if there is a need for security, safety, and being led. By appealing to the hierarchy of needs, the powers that be are fostering a climate of fear and creating a need for increased government intervention and control in the interests of security.

    • Reality and the Espionage Act

      Winner’s only crime, literally, was to share information with journalists and the American people about a foreign government’s attempt to hack [sic] U.S. voting systems. State election boards reportedly appreciated Winner’s leak, which gave them the information needed to investigate Russian hacking [sic] attempts and better secure their electronic voting infrastructure.

    • Giants newcomer accuses TSA of spilling mom’s ashes

      There’s no recovering this fumble. New York Giants defensive lineman A.J. Francis is slamming Transportation Security Administration inspectors who he says spilled his dead mother’s ashes….

    • How the Fight Against Affirmative Action at Harvard Could Threaten Rich Whites

      Perpetually in jeopardy, the use of racial preferences in college admissions is under greater threat than ever.

      President Donald Trump has scrapped Obama-era guidelines that encouraged universities to consider race as a factor. He has proposed replacing Justice Anthony Kennedy, who wrote the majority opinion in a 2016 case upholding affirmative action by one vote, with the more conservative Brett Kavanaugh. Meanwhile, a lawsuit challenging Harvard’s preferences for Hispanics and African Americans has uncovered the university’s dubious pattern of rejecting academically outstanding Asian-American candidates — who don’t qualify for a race-related boost — by giving them low marks for personality. Either the Harvard case, or a similar lawsuit against the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, could put an end to affirmative action.

      If it is abolished, though, there will undoubtedly be increased pressure to also eliminate admissions criteria that favor a very different demographic — children of alumni and donors. Colleges are reluctant to drop these preferences of privilege for fear of hurting fundraising. But the political price of clinging to them could be significant.

    • Trump pardons Oregon ranchers who sparked 2016 militia standoff

      President Donald Trump has pardoned two Oregon cattle ranchers whose sentence for arson led armed militiamen to seize control of a wildlife refuge in 2016.

      Dwight Hammond, 76, and his son Steven Hammond, 49, were convicted in 2012 after a prescribed burn on their land spread to nearby public lands in 2001.

      The pair served time in jail, but a judge later ruled that they must serve their full five-year sentence.

      The ruling sparked anti-government protests that left one rancher dead.

      “The Hammonds are devoted family men, respected contributors to their local community and have widespread support from their neighbours, local law enforcement and farmers and ranchers across the West,” the White House said in statement on Tuesday announcing their full pardon.

      “Justice is overdue for Dwight and Steven Hammond, both of whom are entirely deserving of these Grants of Executive Clemency.”

    • The Supreme Court Doesn’t Have to Overturn Roe to Eviscerate Abortion Rights

      A new Supreme Court could effectively decimate women’s access to abortion, even without overturning Roe outright.

      Now that President Donald Trump has nominated Brett Kavanaugh to replace Justice Anthony Kennedy on the Supreme Court, it will be up to the Senate to fully vet him so that the American people can determine whether he will uphold the basic civil rights and liberties relied on by everyone in this country. This is particularly true when it comes to abortion rights, where Kavanaugh’s prior opinions on the subject, coupled with the fact that Donald Trump vowed to only nominate justices who would overturn Roe v. Wade, give rise to serious concern about women’s continued ability to access abortion if Kavanaugh is confirmed.

      The ACLU as a matter of policy does not endorse or oppose nominees to the Supreme Court. But we do think it’s essential, given Trump’s promise, that any nominee is questioned extensively and directly about their commitment to the 45-year-old precedent of Roe v. Wade.

      Some background is in order. Roe v. Wade made abortion legal in all 50 states by holding that politicians cannot constitutionally ban abortion — except after the point in pregnancy at which the fetus could survive outside the woman’s body. The 1973 decision nullified abortion bans across the country, but it provided imperfect protection for abortion access. Shortly after the decision, the Supreme Court held that politicians may exclude abortion coverage from Medicaid and may require parental or judicial involvement in a minor’s abortion decision. Those rulings cruelly placed abortion out of reach for many people — especially low-income women and, disproportionately, women of color.

    • Nevada Plans to Execute Prisoner Using a Risky and Experimental Drug Cocktail

      The state will use a controversial execution drug known to have played a part in numerous botched executions.

      On July 11, the state of Nevada will execute death-row prisoner Scott Dozier. To do so, the state has decided to use an experimental protocol that incorporates a drug — Midazolam — that has been associated with multiple botched executions across the United States. Allowing the government to execute a person using a protocol that risks torture would be a grave injustice. Nevadans must demand better.

      The road to this upcoming execution has been a tumultuous one.

      The state previously planned to execute Dozier in November of 2017 using an untested and unusual three-drug cocktail comprised of Diazepam, a sedative; Fentanyl, a narcotic; and Cisatracurium, a paralytic. Although Dozier volunteered for execution, he still recognized the state’s independent responsibility to act in a constitutional manner and brought a motion to determine the lawfulness of using a paralytic in his execution. Dozier argued that use of a paralytic needlessly risked inflicting death by suffocation, with physical abuse akin to waterboarding.

      The Nevada trial court agreed. It found that the use of a paralytic would carry a substantial and “objectively intolerable risk of harm” to Dozier in violation of his Eighth Amendment rights under the U.S. Constitution to be free of cruel and unusual punishment and corresponding rights under Article 1, Section 6 of the Nevada Constitution.

      The state of Nevada, however, refused to move forward without the paralytic and appealed to the Nevada Supreme Court. Although the Nevada Supreme Court eventually overturned the trial court decision on procedural grounds, it never ruled on the constitutionality of using a paralytic in connection with Dozier’s execution, leaving an open question of whether the state is acting within the bounds of the U.S. and Nevada Constitutions.

    • When Your Constitutional Rights Are Violated but You Lose Anyway

      The Supreme Court must close an unjust loophole it created, which allows constitutional misconduct to go unpunished.

      Beginning in 2010, a Connecticut man, Almighty Supreme Born Allah, spent over six months in solitary confinement. He was alone for 23 hours a day, allowed to shower just three times a week in underwear and leg shackles, and permitted only one 30-minute visit each week with a family member, whom he was not allowed to embrace, let alone touch. Studies have shown that this kind of isolation can result in clinical outcomes similar to those of physical torture, which is why numerous international human rights bodies have condemned the prolonged use of solitary confinement.

    • Federal Court Says Taking People’s Drivers Licenses Away For Failure To Pay Court Fees Is Unconstitutional

      Good news out of Tennessee, via Christian Farias: a federal court has struck down the state’s modern debtor’s prison system.

      In Tennessee, if you fail to pay court fines and other fees associated with an arrest or imprisonment for more than a year, your driver’s license is revoked. While it may not be as punitive as rounding up debtors and locking them up again (which obviously severely restricts their ability to pay off their debt), it basically serves the same purpose. Someone without a valid driver’s license will find their ability to earn income restricted. Driving to and from work with a revoked license just raises the risk of being fined or arrested, placing residents even further away from settling their debts with the government.

  • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

    • Charter Spectrum’s New ‘Unlimited’ Wireless Service Bans HD Video Entirely

      Last week we noted how Comcast had imposed new limits on its shiny new “unlimited” wireless plans. The company informed users of its Xfinity Wireless service that moving forward, all video on the service would be throttled back to 480p, with plans to begin charging you more if you want to watch your video in full HD quality. As we noted then, this was just a continuation of a theme already established by wireless carriers like T-Mobile and Sprint, which involved imposing arbitrary throttling thresholds for games, music and video, then charging you additional money to get around those bogus limitations.

      It shouldn’t be particularly hard to see how imposing arbitrary limits that impede your ability to experience content as the originators intended sets a terrible precedent. And should the FCC’s net neutrality repeal survive its looming legal challenge, you’re going to see wireless carriers and ISPs slowly embrace more and more of this sort of thing, at least once they know for sure that the government has zero interest in actually policing such “creative” abuse of a broken market. What we’re seeing now is just the orchestra getting warmed up.

  • DRM

    • Latest Denuvo Version Cracked Again By One Solo Hacker On A Personal Mission

      Denuvo is… look, just go read this trove of backlinks, because I’ve written far too many of these intros to be able to come up with one that is even remotely original. Rather than plagiarize myself, let me just assume that most of you know that Denuvo is a DRM that was once thought to be invincible but has since been broken in every iteration developed, with cracking times often now down to days and hours rather than weeks or months. Key in this post is that much if not most of the work cracking Denuvo has been done by a single person going by the handle Voksi. Voksi is notable not only for their nearly singlehandedly torpedoing the once-daunting Denuvo DRM, but also for their devotion to the gaming industry and developers that do things the right way, even going so far as to help them succeed.

      Well, Voksi is back in the news again, having once again defeated the latest build of Denuvo DRM.

    • Latest Denuvo Anti-Piracy Protection Falls, Cracker ‘Voksi’ On Fire

      The latest variant of the infamous Denuvo anti-piracy system has fallen. Rising crack star Voksi is again the man behind the wheel, defeating protection on both Puyo Puyo Tetris and Injustice 2. The Bulgarian coder doesn’t want to share too many of his secrets but informs TorrentFreak that he won’t stop until Denuvo is a thing of the past, which he hopes will be sooner rather than later.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Datamaran’s Non-financial Risk Management Patents have been Published

      Datamaran – the global leader in Software as a Service (SaaS) solutions for non-financial risk management – has announced today that three of its patent applications have been published with their approval pending. Through its technology, Datamaran enables a systematic and thorough monitoring and analysis of Environmental Social Governance (ESG) risks.

      The three patents Datamaran has applied for in 2016 have now been published and are available on the World Intellectual Property Organisation website – the United Nations’ agency that oversees and promotes the protection of intellectual property. The patents support the company software’s backbone as they cover its business intelligence, regulatory and data processing methods and systems. As a result of years of collaboration between the leading ESG and risk management experts as well as data scientists and technology professionals, these inventions protect Datamaran’s proprietary technology.

    • Study Reconsiders “Public Domain” In The Protection Of Traditional Knowledge

      The study, entitled, “Wandering footloose: Traditional knowledge and the ‘Public Domain’ revisited,” by University of Ottawa law professor Chidi Oguamanam, is available here.

      The idea of a public domain in intellectual property rights is that of limited term rights where such rights are seen as a trade-off as part of a social contract.

      “The state incentivises those who have made useful innovations or other creative works by way of a state sanctioned monopoly,” the paper states. “At the end of the monopoly, they are required to hands-off or take off tolls on the innovation so that it would be flushed into the sinkhole of the public domain for members of the public to freely access for various ends, including the creation of more useful innovation(s).”

      Regarding this public domain, the study highlights that the United States and its allies have been putting pressure on traditional knowledge stakeholders concerning the protection of traditional knowledge. These countries are of the view that effective protection of traditional knowledge will “undermine” the public domain, the study explains.

    • Artificial intelligence and the future of the patent system

      There are myriad issues facing the global patent system which, if not addressed, could lead to a decline in its use. Put simply, there is way too much data for humans to properly digest. In this month’s Clarivate Analytics guest piece, Ed White – director of IP analytics at the firm – argues that a closer focus on artificial intelligence could help to solve this existential problem.

    • Cantargia Receives Intention to Grant Notification From EPO for Expanded Patent Protection in Treatment of Solid Tumours [Ed: patents on cancer treatments are bad. What’s wrong with them? See [1, 2].]

      Cantargia AB announce that the European Patent Office (EPO) has issued an Intention to grant notification for the company’s divisional (second, follow-up) patent application regarding use of IL1RAP as a target for antibody therapy in solid tumours. The patent application has application number 15197139.7. Cantargia has previously received formal patent approval in Europe and other major territories for use of IL1RAP as target molecule for antibody therapy of several types of tumours.

    • WIPO Launches Coordinated Examination before Top Five Patent Offices

      The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) launched a pilot program on July 1st termed Collaborative Search and Examination (CS&E) that will enable an applicant to have searching performed by all five of the major global patent offices (the USPTO, European Patent Office (EPO), Chinese Patent Office (SIPO), Japan Patent Office (JPO), and Korean Intellectual Property Office (KIPO)).

      According to WIPO, the program has the following features: it is “applicant driven,” insofar as applicants must request searching under the pilot program. It envisions a “balanced workload distribution,” wherein each office will perform a search as a “main ISA” for 100 applications and perform “peer ISA” searches for another 400 applications for the two years of the pilot program. Finally, each ISA will use a “common set of quality and operational standards” in performing the searches. Initially, all applications accepted into the pilot program must be filed in the English language (although WIPO anticipates that it may accept applications in other languages later in the program).

    • Women in IP Global Network Interview: Gender inequality in Germany

      The Act on Equal Participation of Women and Men regarding Leadership Positions within the Sectors of Private Economy and Public Service is one piece of legislation that has been brought in to improve gender balance at work.

    • Spain: Rosuvastatina, Court of Appeal of Barcelona, Ruling no. 59/2018, 16 May 2018

      The influential Barcelona Court of Appeal corrected a finding of the Barcelona Patents Court, which – to great surprise – had lifted an injunction on finding that Swiss-type claims were affected by the Spanish Reservation to the European Patent Convention, and thereby ineffective in Spain. Although this decision arrived only after SPC expiry and thus much too late for this particular case, which concerned a top-selling blockbuster, it is nevertheless a welcome relief for Spanish patentees in similar situations.

    • Trading Partners Led By US, EU, Take China To Task In WTO Forum Over Weak Protection Of IP Rights

      Dennis Shea, the US ambassador to the WTO, cited “inadequate protection and enforcement of intellectual property rights” among a long list of alleged Chinese unfair trade measures that adversely affect the commercial interests of foreign competitors.

      On 10 July, US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer in announcing the initiation of a new batch of punitive measures (10% tariffs on an additional $200 billion of Chinese imports) under Section 301 of the Trade Act of 1974, said, “for many years, China has pursued abusive trading practices with regard to intellectual property and innovation.”

      However, Wang Shouwen, China’s vice minister of Commerce, called on WTO members attending a review of China’s trade regime in Geneva on 11 July “to firmly stand up to trade bully, protectionism and unilateralism… and to tackle the systemic threats posed by such unilateralism actions as Section 232 and 301 investigations to the WTO.”

    • Copyrights

      • UK copyright infringement falls among young consumers

        New research suggests young people are infringing less and indicates that more people are paying for content

      • We’ve Redesigned the CC License “Legal Code” Pages

        Last week, we launched a redesign of Creative Commons’ various license (aka “legal code”) pages. See one for yourself. In this post, I’ll spell out what the changes are and why we made them.

        The most obvious change we made is updating the overall look of the pages so that they resemble the rest of the Creative Commons website, which was redesigned back in September 2016, as well as the CC license “deed” pages (e.g. the CC BY 4.0 deed), which were redesigned in 2017. We’d always intended to pull the design of the license/legal code pages up in line with the deeds, but the deeds took precedence, since they are the most frequently viewed pages on our website. I’m happy to say that we’ve finished the project with this latest design update.

      • Shocker: DOJ’s Computer Crimes And Intellectual Property Section Supports Security Researchers DMCA Exemptions

        Well here’s a surprise for you. The DOJ’s Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section (CCIPS) has weighed in to support DMCA 1201 exemptions proposed by computer security researchers. This is… flabbergasting.

        In case you don’t know, Section 1201 of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) is the “anti-circumvention” part of the law. It’s the part of the law that makes it infringement to get around any “technological measure” to lock down copyright covered material, even if breaking those locks has nothing whatsoever to do with copyright infringement. It’s a horrible law that has created all sorts of negative consequences, including costly and ridiculous lawsuits about things having nothing to do with copyright — including garage door openers and printer ink cartridges. In fact, Congress knew the law was dumb from the beginning, but rather than dump it entirely as it should have done, a really silly “safety valve” was added in the form of the “triennial review” process.

        The triennial review is a process that happens every three years (obviously, per the name), in which anyone can basically beg the Copyright Office and the Librarian of Congress to create exemptions for cracking DRM for the next three years (an exemption — stupidly — only lasts those three years, meaning people have to keep reapplying). Over the years, this has resulted in lots of silliness, including the famous decision by the Librarian of Congress to not renew an exemption to unlock mobile phones a few years back. Many of the exemption requests come from security researchers who want to be able to crack systems without being accused of copyright infringement — which happens more frequently than you might think.

      • Google’s “View Image” Is Gone, Here Are 3 Alternatives To Get Your Favorite Images

        In early 2018, Google’s move of removing the “View Image” button from the image search results might have broken the hearts of many. Particularly those who rely on the platform to source images for their different needs.

        The change was the result of an agreement Google had with Getty Images over the display of copyrighted content in Google Images search results. In addition to it, the ‘Search by Image’ option has also been removed.

      • Swedish Court Sentences ‘Pirate’ IPTV Operators to Prison

        Three men connected to the IPTV operation ATN have been sentenced to prison and ordered to pay damages of $24 million. The company, which generated millions in profits and served over 70,000 customers at its height, has since gone bankrupt. The case was filed by the Qatari company beIN Sports, which is battling unauthorized broadcasts on several fronts.

      • The EU’s Controversial Digital Single Market Directive – Part I: Why the Proposed Internet Content Filtering Mandate Was So Controversial

        While it is certainly good news that the EU Parliament decided against giving a rubber stamp to the DSM proposal in its current form, the battle over Article 13 is far from over. The EU Parliament will be taking up further proceedings about it in the fall of 2018, but its proponents can be expected to mount a new campaign for its retention.

Links 11/7/2018: Xen 4.11, Ubuntu Infographics, Lockbox and Notes

Posted in News Roundup at 12:52 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Server

    • Shippable’s Software

      What’s interesting is that Shippable isn’t targeting developers for the Internet of Things or smartphones, ARM’s typical base, but is betting that the reduced instruction set architecture is on its way to having a big impact in data centers.

    • Cloud Computing in HPC Surges [Ed: No, it doesn't. They just came up with this buzzword. These are still just servers.]

      According to the two leading analyst firms covering the high performance computing market, the use of the cloud for HPC workloads is looking a lot more attractive to users these days.

    • Clear Linux Now Supports Kata Containers

      At the end of last year the Intel Clear Linux project’s Clear Containers initiative morphed into OpenStack’s Kata Containers. Clear Linux now supports the resulting Kata Containers.

      Clear Containers had been the Intel / Clear Linux project focused on providing performant Linux containers as well as greater security through Intel VT-d and other engineering improvements. Kata Containers took that foundation and has evolved it under the stewardship of OpenStack and participation from many different organizations.

  • Audiocasts/Shows

    • Episode 31 | This Week in Linux

      Linux Mint 19 “Tara” was Released. Elementary releases a Developer Preview for their new version called “Juno”. Kdenlive issues a request to the community for beta testing of the next generation of Kdenlive. We do a follow up on the EU’s Copyright Reform Directive, this time it’s good news, at least for now. We discuss the SUSE acquisition by EQT. Ubuntu Studio created a cool guide to Audio Production on Linux. Later in the show we look at what is coming for Xubuntu 18.10 and also the latest release from Redcore Linux. All that and much more.

  • Kernel Space

    • USB Type-C DisplayPort Alternate Mode Driver Coming To Linux 4.19

      The USB Type-C DisplayPort Alternate Mode driver will be coming to the Linux 4.19 kernel.

      Intel developers have been working on a USB Type-C DisplayPort Alternate Mode support for the mainline Linux kernel so it can play nicely with hardware supporting DP displays/adapters over the USB Type-C interface.

      That work is now ready for mainline with USB subsystem maintainer Greg Kroah-Hartman pulling the USB Type-C DisplayPort Alternate Mode support into his usb-next Git branch of material that will end up landing in Linux 4.19.

    • Linux Foundation

      • What’s New in the Xen Project Hypervisor 4.11

        I am pleased to announce the release of the Xen Project Hypervisor 4.11. One of our long-term development goals since the introduction of Xen Project Hypervisor 4.8 has been to create a cleaner architecture for core technology, less code and a smaller computing base for security and performance. The Xen 4.11 release has followed this approach by delivering more PVH related functionality: PVH Dom0 support is now available as experimental feature and support for running unmodified PV guests in a PVH Container has been added. In addition, significant chunks of the ARM port have been rewritten.

      • Xen Project Hypervisor: Virtualization and Power Management are Coalescing into an Energy-Aware Hypervisor

        Power management in the Xen Project Hypervisor historically targets server applications to improve power consumption and heat management in data centers reducing electricity and cooling costs. In the embedded space, the Xen Project Hypervisor faces very different applications, architectures and power-related requirements, which focus on battery life, heat, and size.

        Although the same fundamental principles of power management apply, the power management infrastructure in the Xen Project Hypervisor requires new interfaces, methods, and policies tailored to embedded architectures and applications. This post recaps Xen Project power management, how the requirements change in the embedded space, and how this change may unite the hypervisor and power manager functions.

      • Xen Hypervisor 4.11 Released With Many Core Improvements

        It’s one month late but the Xen Project Hypervisor 4.11 release is available today with great scads of new features.

      • Xen 4.11 Improves Server Virtualization with PVH

        The open source Xen Project, which is hosted as a Linux Foundation effort, issued its first major release of 2018 on July 10.

        The Xen Project Hypervisor 4.11 release comes after months of development, and follows the 4.10 update that became available at the end of 2017. Xen 4.10 included some initial support for PVH (Paravirtualization Hardware), which has been further extended in the 4.11 update.

      • ​Re-engineering Xen: The important open-source hypervisor gets remodeled

        Xen is open-source royalty. This hypervisor, which runs and manages virtual machines (VMs), powers some of the largest clouds. You know their names: Amazon Web Services (AWS), Tencent, Alibaba Cloud, Oracle Cloud, and IBM SoftLayer. It’s also the foundation for VM products from Citrix, Huawei, Inspur, and Oracle. But, with the release of its latest edition, Xen Project Hypervisor 4.11, there are major changes under the hood.

      • Xen 4.11 debuts new ‘PVH’ guest type, for the sake of security

        The Xen Project has released version 4.11 of its hypervisor.

        As we reported last week, it’s more than a month late, but the projects leaders thinks it is worth the wait because this release delivers on an ambition to “create a cleaner architecture for core technology, less code and a smaller computing base for security and performance.”

        A big part of delivering on that is increased use of PVH – a type of virtualization that Xen reckons blends the best of paravirtualization (PV) and Hardware Virtual Machines (HVM). PV virtualizes hardware so a guest can offer kit not found on its host, but doesn’t use virtualization extensions in silicon. HVM can use those extensions and therefore offers each VM isolated emulated hardware.

      • Last Chance to Speak at Hyperledger Global Forum | Deadline is This Friday

        Hyperledger Global Forum is the premier event showcasing the real uses of distributed ledger technologies for businesses and how these innovative technologies run live in production networks today. Hyperledger Global Forum unites the industry’s most respected thought leaders, domain experts, and key maintainers behind popular frameworks and tools like Hyperledger Fabric, Sawtooth, Indy, Iroha, Composer, Explorer, and more.

    • Graphics Stack

      • Linux 4.18 AMDGPU Tests: Vega Taking A Hit

        Being roughly mid-way through the Linux 4.18 kernel development cycle, I spent some time this weekend running benchmarks of the AMDGPU DRM driver on Linux 4.18 Git compared to Linux 4.17 stable on three different Radeon graphics cards while using the Mesa 18.1.3 based drivers.

      • Radeon ROCm 1.8.2 Compute Stack In Beta, Might Work Under Ubuntu 18.04 LTS

        A new beta of the Radeon Open Compute “ROCm” stack was quietly made available for v1.8.2.

        While ROCm 1.9 will officially support Ubuntu 18.04 LTS, it looks like the ROCm 1.8.2 beta might contain preliminary Ubuntu 18.04 LTS “Bionic Beaver” support. A ROCm 1.8.2 beta user has commented that he was able to get 1.8.2 working on Ubuntu 18.04 with the Linux 4.16 kernel with the AMDKFD kernel driver.

      • Vulkan-Virgl Continues Progressing For Getting Vulkan Within VMs

        One of the most exciting Google Summer of Code 2018 projects is Vulkan-Virgl for supporting this modern graphics/compute API within virtual machines.

        Vulkan-Virgl is based off the existing Virgl initiative that has been providing OpenGL hardware acceleration to guest VMs using VirtIO-GPU and paired with some Mesa code and the Virgl rendering library. The GSoC 2018 project is making Virgl work with both OpenGL and Vulkan APIs.

    • Benchmarks

      • A Look At The Windows 10 vs. Linux Power Consumption On A Dell XPS 13 Laptop

        With the current-generation Dell XPS 13 XPS9370-7002SLV currently being tested at Phoronix, one of the areas I was most anxious to benchmark was the power consumption… For years it has been a problem of Linux on laptops generally leading to less battery life than on Windows, but in the past ~2+ years there has been some nice improvements within the Linux kernel and a renewed effort by developers at Red Hat and elsewhere on improving the Linux laptop battery life. Here are some initial power consumption numbers for this Dell XPS 13 under Windows 10 and then various Linux distributions.

        The Dell XPS 13.3-inch laptop for testing features the Intel Core i7 8550U (quad-core + HT) CPU with UHD Graphics 620, 2 x 4GB RAM, 256GB PM961 NVMe Samsung SSD, and its panel is a 1920 x 1080 resolution. For some initial basic tests I ran Windows 10 out-of-the-box and compared that to fresh installs of Ubuntu 18.04 LTS, Fedora Workstation 28, openSUSE Tumbleweed, and Clear Linux.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • KDE Plasma 5.13.3 Desktop Environment Released with More Than 30 Improvements

        The fast release cycle of the short-lived KDE Plasma 5.13 desktop environment continues today with the KDE Plasma 5.13.3 maintenance update, which comes just two weeks after the KDE Plasma 5.13.2 point release and three weeks after the first one. KDE Plasma 5.13.3 continues to improve the stability and security of the desktop environment by fixing various issues.

        A total of 33 changes have been recorded for the KDE Plasma 5.13.3 point release, which will soon be available in the official repositories of various popular GNU/Linux distributions, across several components, including Plasma Discover, Plasma Desktop, Plasma Workspace, plasma-integration, plasma-browser-integration, KWin, Plasma Addons, KDE GTK Config, and others.

      • WikiToLearn web app course editor almost done

        Hi, it’s a bit of time that I didn’t write a blog post and many things on WikiToLearn ecosystem happened. Course editor mode is almost finished: now you can add, remove and edit chapter on a course, with new revamped Dialog and Modal components for confirming and editing views. You can see it below in action.

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

      • GUADEC 2018

        I’m feeling extremely grateful for the shot in the arm GUADEC provides by way of old friends, new friends, expert advice, enthusiasm, time-worn wisdom, and so many reminders of why we do this.

        I use FreeCAD for freelance work, and build the development version from git periodically. There is a copr nightly build for recent versions of Fedora, but not for Rawhide. The first person to whom I related this experience, David King, said the software would be ideal for the Flatpak treatment. Since then I’ve been getting a tutorial on building the YAML manifest, and after four days of hard work (thanks Dave!), it’s on the very brink of completion.

      • The GNOME Foundation Is Hiring

        Since its inception in 1997 by Miguel de Icaza and Federico Mena Quintero, who were university students at the time, GNOME has become one of the largest open source projects. It is best known for its desktop, which is a key part of the most popular GNU/Linux distributions, including Ubuntu, Debian, SuSE and Fedora. The project also has a long history of producing critical pieces of software infrastructure: common parts of countless open source systems and its software is found in televisions, e-book readers, in-vehicle infotainment systems, medical devices and much more.

        GNOME has also been a key player in the social evolution of the free software community. By founding the Outreach Program for Women (OPW), GNOME pioneered a program to help make its community more gender diverse. That program expanded its scope to encourage more types of diversity and has been adopted by many other open source projects and has evolved into the larger Outreachy program = run outside of GNOME.

  • Distributions

    • Arch Family

      • Arch Linux at FrOSCon

        Yet another shoutout for FrOSCon, which will be held 25th and 26th of August. Arch Linux will have a devroom with talks so far about Linux Pro Audio and our general Infrastructure / Reproducible build.

    • OpenSUSE/SUSE

      • Dolphin-Emu under openSUSE Leap 42.3

        A day after I formally announced my game console emulator repository, the Dolphin Emulator guys decided to merge a patch that makes Qt 5.9 mandatory. That means Dolphin is no longer compatible with openSUSE Leap 42.3 which comes with Qt 5.6.

        I take pride in myself for having a high-quality product, even if it’s just free video game stuff. Therefore my plan is this instead of simply disabling 42.3 and calling it a day:

        I’ll pick the last commit before that patch and build that Dolphin revision. Then I’ll disable the 42.3 target and build the most recent version for the other distributions. That way the last 42.3-compatible binaries stay on the download server until I remove the 42.3 target entirely which will be either when Leap 15.1 gets released or maybe even earlier.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat Security: Red Hat’s disclosure process

        Last week, a vulnerability (CVE-2018-10892) that affected CRI-O, Buildah, Podman, and Docker was made public before some affected upstream projects were notified. We regret that this was not handled in a way that lives up to our own standards around responsible disclosure. It has caused us to look back to see what went wrong so as to prevent this from happening in the future.

        Because of how important our relationships with the community and industry partners are and how seriously we treat non-public information irrespective of where it originates, we are taking this event as an opportunity to look internally at improvements and challenge assumptions we have held.

        We conducted a review and are using this to develop training around the handling of non-public information relating to security vulnerabilities, and ensuring that our relevant associates have a full understanding of the importance of engaging with upstreams as per their, and our, responsible disclosure guidelines. We are also clarifying communication mechanisms so that our associates are aware of the importance of and methods for notifying upstream of a vulnerability prior to public disclosure.

      • Celebrating Red Hat’s 25th anniversary: Red Hat partners have played an important role in our company journey

        As Red Hat celebrates 25 years, I would be remiss not to mention the role Red Hat partners have played in our company’s story. Partners have been an important multiplier for Red Hat and building our customer success. They are important to our future.

      • DH2i signs strategic-alignment agreement with Red Hat

        DH2i Co., a Fort Collins-based company that provides disaster-recovery solutions for Windows, Linux and Oracle databases, has signed a strategic-alignment agreement with Red Hat.

        After testing and validation, DH2i will become a Red Hat Technology Partner and has been certified on Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.

      • Red Hat targets regional system integrators through program launch

        Red Hat has launched an Asia Pacific (APAC) program targeted at helping system integrators (SIs) build and modernise applications for the cloud.

        The new initiative is designed to allow partners to deliver new services at a lower cost and accelerate development for faster return on investment.

        Specifically, the Red Hat OpenShift Practice Builder Program has been designed to do just that, using the vendor’s container application platform, Openshift, and a portfolio of enterprise-class application and integration middleware software products, JBoss Middleware.

      • Virtualize your OpenStack control plane with Red Hat Virtualization and Red Hat OpenStack Platform 13

        With the release of Red Hat OpenStack Platform 13 (Queens) we’ve added support to Red Hat OpenStack Platform director to deploy the overcloud controllers as virtual machines in a Red Hat Virtualization cluster. This allows you to have your controllers, along with other supporting services such as Red Hat Satellite, Red Hat CloudForms, Red Hat Ansible Tower, DNS servers, monitoring servers, and of course, the undercloud node (which hosts director), all within a Red Hat Virtualization cluster. This can reduce the physical server footprint of your architecture and provide an extra layer of availability.

        Please note: this is not using Red Hat Virtualization as an OpenStack hypervisor (i.e. the compute service, which is already nicely done with nova via libvirt and KVM) nor is this about hosting the OpenStack control plane on OpenStack compute nodes.

      • ORock Technologies Achieves FedRAMP Moderate Authorization for ORockCloud

        As a Red Hat Premier Certified Cloud and Service Provider (CCSP), ORock Technologies architected ORockCloud as a “pure-play” Red Hat cloud that incorporates a suite of Red Hat’s open source solutions for enhanced flexibility, security features and control. These include: Red Hat Enterprise Linux; Red Hat OpenStack Platform; Red Hat Virtualization; Red Hat Ceph Storage; Red Hat CloudForms; Red Hat Ansible Tower; Red Hat Satellite; and associated cloud APIs.

      • Finance

    • Debian Family

      • Derivatives

        • Debian LTS work, June 2018

          I was assigned 15 hours of work by Freexian’s Debian LTS initiative and worked 12 hours, so I have carried 3 hours over to July. Since Debian 7 “wheezy” LTS ended at the end of May, I prepared for Debian 8 “jessie” to enter LTS status.

          I prepared a stable update of Linux 3.16, sent it out for review, and then released it. I rebased jessie’s linux package on this, but didn’t yet upload it.

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Infographic: Ubuntu connects everything

            As highlighted in the Ubuntu is Everywhere infographic to coincide with the 16.04 LTS, Ubuntu is used by millions across every sector and technology imaginable. Two years on, and with 18.04 LTS now released, we take a new look at how Ubuntu has evolved and is at the heart of emerging technologies including AI, blockchain, robotics and more. We also share the growth of Ubuntu’s cloud presence and how Ubuntu continues to pervade multiple industries, devices and is used by millions globally.

          • Canonical launches Minimal Ubuntu for automated use at scale

            Canonical wants to optimize Ubuntu for scaled automated usage with the release of Minimal Ubuntu.

            According to the company, Minimal Ubuntu is the smallest base image of Ubuntu, with images less than half the size of the standard Ubuntu server image and a boot time that is 40 percent faster. Even with a small footprint, Canonical explained Minimal Ubuntu still preserves full compatibility with standard Ubuntu operations.

            It is designed for entirely automated operations and does not include the usual user-friendly utilities for interactive usage. The solution removes editors, documentation, locales, and other user-oriented features of Ubuntu Server, leaving only the vital parts of the boot sequence.

          • Canonical Releases Minimal Ubuntu, Mozilla Launches Two Mobile Test Pilot Experiments, Google Announces Jib for Java Developers, New Ubuntu Bug Discovered and Wine 3.12 Now Available

            Canonical released its new Minimal Ubuntu yesterday. According to the Ubuntu blog, Minimal Ubuntu is “optimized for automated use at scale, with a tiny package set and minimal security cross-section. Speed, performance and stability are primary concerns for cloud developers and ops.” The images are 50% smaller than the standard Ubuntu server images and they boot up to 40% faster. Minimal Ubuntu also is fully compatible with standard Ubuntu operations. You can download it here.

          • Graphical environments in the world of IoT

            The IoT promises to bring about a revolution in the way we interact with devices around us. While many IoT devices will be hidden away, from sensors that measure manufacturing tolerances in a factory to hubs that control lighting around the home, there are a class of devices that need to provide some sort of graphical output or display to the user. Some examples include digital signage, interactive kiosks, automotive in-car entertainment gateways, smart meters, and the plethora of display screens seen on everything from washing machines to smart thermostats. All of these examples need some way to output graphics to a screen display but in an embedded environment that is not always easy.

            Linux is one of the most popular OS choices for manufacturers and solution providers to use in IoT devices and with it there are a few options available for graphical environments. From custom software to drive the display, through direct frame buffer access with toolkits such as QT, to a full X windowing server. All of these options have their pros and cons and often it is a trade-off between custom software and off-the-shelf components to speed up development. Custom software takes time and requires developers to continue to maintain a code base for the lifetime of the device, while using a graphical toolkit such as QT requires less code but comes with commercial licencing. The open source X windowing server is a popular choice but, being over 30 years old, has some shortcomings. It has been well documented that the design of X windows, although revolutionary at the time, has some security risks especially around application isolation and privilege escalation which has led to efforts to replace it by redesigning the graphical server from the ground up. One such effort is Mir.

          • Canonical releases new infographic to show how Ubuntu Linux ‘connects everything’

            To highlight the ubiquitous nature of Ubuntu in particular, Canonical today releases an all-new infographic showing how this distribution “connects everything.” I urge you to give it a look, as it will open your eyes to just how important Ubuntu — and Linux overall — really is. Apparently, this is an update to a previous infographic released in 2016, refreshed for 2018 following the release of Ubuntu 18.04 Bionic Beaver.

          • This Infographic Reveals the Sheer Scale of Ubuntu’s Success

            Ever wondered just how widely used Ubuntu is? Well, wonder no more! Canonical has put together a new infographic to highlight the scale and success Ubuntu has achieved across an enviable assortment of computing sectors. And it’s compelling stuff.

          • Infographic: Ubuntu Linux Is Used by Millions Worldwide and Connects Everything

            Canonical has shared with us today a new infographic that shows how their Ubuntu Linux operating system is being used all over the world by big-name companies the offer their services to millions of consumers.

            More than two years ago, when Ubuntu 16.04 LTS (Xenial Xerus) was released, Canonical put together an infographic to show the world how many people use Ubuntu and on which devices. With Ubuntu 18.04 LTS (Bionic Beaver) out the door this year, they did it again and published a brand-new infographic to show the world that Ubuntu and Linux are everywhere.

          • Flavours and Variants

            • KDE Plasma bugfix release 5.12.6 is now available for Kubuntu 18.04 LTS

              The Kubuntu Community is please to announce that KDE Plasma 5.12.6, the latest bugfix release for Plasma 5.12 was made available for Kubuntu 18.04 LTS (the Bionic Beaver) users via normal updates.

              The full changelog for 5.12.6 contains scores of fixes, including fixes and polish for Discover and the desktop.

              These fixes should be immediately available through normal updates.

              The Kubuntu team wishes users a happy experience with the excellent 5.12 LTS desktop, and thanks the KDE/Plasma team for such a wonderful desktop to package.

            • Kubuntu 18.04 LTS Users Can Now Update to the KDE Plasma 5.12.6 LTS Desktop

              The Kubuntu team announced today the immediate availability of the latest KDE Plasma 5.12.6 LTS desktop environment for the Kubuntu 18.04 LTS (Bionic Beaver) operating system series.

              Released on April 26, 2018, Kubuntu 18.04 LTS (Bionic Beaver) operating system is supported for three years with software and security updates, which means that is ships with the long-term supported version of the KDE Plasma desktop environment, KDE Plasma 5.12 LTS.

  • Devices/Embedded

Free Software/Open Source

  • Alfresco Becomes First Open Source Vendor to Achieve DoD 5015.02 Chapter 3 Certification

    -Alfresco Software, a leading enterprise open source provider of process automation, content management, and information governance software, today announced that its Governance Services solution has been certified against the DoD 5015.02 CH3, the Department of Defense (DoD) standard for records management. The company is the first open source vendor to achieve this distinction.

  • Cavium CN81xx SoCs Now Supported By Upstream Coreboot

    Thanks to Facebook / Open Compute Project, the Octeon CN81xx SoCs are now supported by upstream Coreboot and happen to be the first Cavium ARM SoCs supported by this project.

    The Cavium Octeon CN81xx SoC family come in dual and quad-core ARMv8 designs and the intended use-case for these SoCs are within IoT, industrial control, networking equipment, and related fields.

  • Web Browsers

    • Browsh: A Modern, Text-Based Web Browser

      If the Lynx open-source text-based browser isn’t satisfying your needs with viewing modern web sites via the terminal, Browsh is a new entrant into the text-based web-browser space that seeks to support modern web standards.

      Phoronix reader Julius reports in this morning on the availability of Browsh, a text-based web browser that supports HTML5, CSS3, JavaScript, and even video and WebGL content. Granted, due to terminal limitations, the multimedia content becomes rather pixelated due to the low resolution.

    • Chrome

      • Are You a Fan of Google Chrome’s New Look?

        Perhaps it’s just me, but I don’t think the look of Google Chrome has altered all that much since it blinked into life in 2009.

        But that will shortly change.

        Rumour has it that Google plans to debut a new-look Google Chrome ahead of the browser’s 10th birthday in September.

        And if you’re a spoiler fan, the new look is already available for testing.

        Now, we’re not talking a revamp based on the old ‘boxy’ Material Design here. Oh no. The visual rejig Is based on the rounder, softer and more tactile Material Design 2 (on full display in Android P and arriving piecemeal to the Chrome OS desktop).

    • Mozilla

      • Notes is available on Android

        The mobile companion application supports the same multi-note and end-to-end encryption features as the WebExtension. After you sign in into the app, it will sync all your existing notes from Firefox desktop, so you can access them on the go. You can also use the app standalone, but we suggest you pair it with the WebExtension for maximum efficiency.

        Please provide any feedback and share your experience using the “Feedback” button in the app drawer. This is one of the first mobile Test Pilot experiments and we would like to hear from you and understand your expectations for future Test Pilot mobile applications.

      • Take your passwords everywhere with Firefox Lockbox

        Firefox users, you can now easily access the passwords you save in the browser in a lightweight iOS app!

        Download Firefox Lockbox from the App Store. Sign in with your Firefox Account, and your saved usernames and passwords will securely sync to your device using 256-bit encryption, giving you convenient access to your apps and websites, wherever you are. Find out more about the experiment on Firefox Test Pilot.

        We have so many online accounts, and it’s hard to keep track of them all. The browser can save them, but they’re not always easy to find or access later, especially when trying to get into the same account on mobile. The Firefox Lockbox iOS app is our first experiment to help you find and use your passwords everywhere.

      • Introducing Firefox’s First Mobile Test Pilot Experiments: Lockbox and Notes

        This summer, the Test Pilot team has been heads down working on experiments for our Firefox users. On the heels of our most recent and successful desktop Test Pilot experiments, Firefox Color and Side View, it was inevitable that the Test Pilot Program would expand to mobile.

        Today, we’re excited to announce the first Test Pilot experiments for your mobile devices. With these two experiences, we are pushing beyond the boundaries of the desktop browser and into mobile apps. We’re taking the first steps toward bringing Mozilla’s mission of privacy, security and control to mobile apps beyond the browser.

      • Review of Igalia’s Web Platform activities (H1 2018)

        Igalia has proposed and developed the specification for BigInt, enabling math on arbitrary-sized integers in JavaScript. Igalia has been developing implementations in SpiderMonkey and JSC, where core patches have landed. Chrome and Node.js shipped implementations of BigInt, and the proposal is at Stage 3 in TC39.

        Igalia is also continuing to develop several features for JavaScript classes, including class fields. We developed a prototype implementation of class fields in JSC. We have maintained Stage 3 in TC39 for our specification of class features, including static variants.

        We also participated to WebAssembly (now at First Public Working Draft) and internationalization features for new features such as Intl.RelativeTimeFormat (currently at Stage 3).

      • Firefox Lockbox: An iPhone App For All Your Passwords
      • Notes by Firefox is a simple Google Keep/Evernote alternative for Firefox users
      • Firefox Test Pilot Program Expands to Mobile With ‘Firefox Lockbox’ Password Storage iOS App
      • Mozilla tests a password manager for Firefox on iOS
      • With Lockbox and Notes, Mozilla launches its first set of mobile Test Pilot experiments
      • Firefox Launches a Password Manager for iPhone and Notes for Android
      • Firefox expands iOS footprint with new experimental ‘Lockbox’ password manager
      • Mozilla wants to make Firefox your iOS password manager
      • Mozilla Announces Firefox Lockbox, a Face ID-Compatible Password Manager for iOS

        After it made sure Firefox is one of the most popular web browsers on the desktop, Mozilla continues their quest to conquer the mobile world with new and innovative apps.

        Today, Mozilla announced that it had developed two new apps for Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android mobile operating systems, Firefox Lockbox for iOS and Notes by Firefox for Android. The two apps are currently available for testing through the company’s Mobile Test Pilot Experiments initiative.

        The Firefox Lockbox for iOS promises to be a password manager that you can take anywhere, so you won’t have to reset your new passwords when you forget them. While the app can sync passwords across devices, it’s only compatible with passwords save through the Firefox web browser via a Firefox Sync account.

      • New Site for Thunderbird and SeaMonkey Add-ons

        When Firefox Quantum (version 57) launched in November 2017, it exclusively supported add-ons built using WebExtensions APIs. addons.mozilla.org (AMO) has followed a parallel development path to Firefox and will soon only support WebExtensions-based add-ons.

        As Thunderbird and SeaMonkey do not plan to fully switch over to the WebExtensions API in the near future, the Thunderbird Council has agreed to host and manage a new site for Thunderbird and SeaMonkey add-ons. This new site, addons.thunderbird.net, will go live in July 2018.

        Starting on July 12th, all add-ons that support Thunderbird and SeaMonkey will be automatically ported to addons.thunderbird.net. The update URLs of these add-ons will be redirected from AMO to the new site and all users will continue to receive automatic updates. Developer accounts will also be ported and developers will be able to log in and manage their listings on the new site.

      • A Vision for Engineering Workflow at Mozilla (Part Three)

        This is the last post in a three-part series on A Vision for Engineering Workflow at Mozilla.

      • Why Isn’t Debugging Treated As A First-Class Activity?

        One thing developers spend a lot of time on is completely absent from both of these lists: debugging! Gitlab doesn’t even list anything debugging-related in its missing features. Why isn’t debugging treated as worthy of attention? I genuinely don’t know — I’d like to hear your theories!

        One of my theories is that debugging is ignored because people working on these systems aren’t aware of anything they could do to improve it. “If there’s no solution, there’s no problem.” With Pernosco we need to raise awareness that progress is possible and therefore debugging does demand investment. Not only is progress possible, but debugging solutions can deeply integrate into the increasingly cloud-based development workflows described above.

      • Bug futures: business models

        Recent question about futures markets on software bugs: what’s the business model?

        As far as I can tell, there are several available models, just as there are multiple kinds of companies that can participate in any securities or commodities market.

  • Databases

    • New CTIO at HIMSS is excited about big data streaming, open-source and noSQL databases

      HIMSS announced its first-ever chief technology and innovation officer this past month, with the hiring of Steve Wretling, a veteran CTO and CIO with deep experience in IT standards and specifications, enterprise architecture, mobile tech and more from his years in various positions at DaVita and Kaiser Permanente.

      Having been on the job for several weeks now, Wretling has some big ideas about the challenges healthcare is facing and the ways he can guide HIMSS in harnessing emerging technologies and innovative clinical and operational practices to help fix them.

      Wretling spoke to Healthcare IT News about his plans for improving stakeholder collaboration, homing in on more effective patient-centered care, tapping the potential of emerging data management technologies and more.

    • Call for Speakers Now Open for Percona Live Open Source Database Conference Europe 2018
  • Pseudo-Open Source (Openwashing)

  • BSD

  • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

  • Programming/Development

    • Announcing Rust 1.27.1

      The Rust team is happy to announce a new version of Rust, 1.27.1. Rust is a systems programming language focused on safety, speed, and concurrency.

    • 6 IDEs you need to know about

      Linux has long been a favourite platform with developers due to the rich array of languages and toolchains available. In this article we highlight 6 IDEs that can boost your productivity. Each IDE is just a Snap away so you can easily craft your complete development workstation in seconds. Here are six of the best IDEs every developer should know about and an additional 14 bonus IDEs mentioned throughout the article for you to discover.

Leftovers

  • Health/Nutrition

    • Monopolies: State And Corporate Interests Surrounding Access To Medicines

      Amongst the many issues faced by developing countries to ensure access to medicines, cost is a primary one. Proposals to tackle it include limiting the price and regulating competitive conditions. Monopolies created by patents are seen by many as an impediment to accessing basic healthcare. Meanwhile, countries have realised that imposing stringent criteria for granting patents and taking a long duration to process them could be detrimental to them as much as resisting the regime.

      [...]

      Carlos Correa, executive director elect of the South Centre, opened the discussion of monopoly being an obstacle to affordable medicines as it drives the prices up. Setting the price according to market rates does not work for medicines due to the inelasticity of demand, he explained. People who can afford it or those insured can pay what the pharmaceutical company deems fit while others continue to suffer despite the existence of a cure.

      Dr Tedros, in his brief address, referred to turning a blind eye to such suffering as ‘moral decay’ of the society.

      Echoing those sentiments, Brazilian Ambassador ‎Maria Azevêdo termed access to medicines a human rights issue touching upon the right to life and the right to health. As she pointed out, public health is now a political issue where governments ‘have to deliver.’

  • Security

    • Security updates for Tuesday
    • Why you might want to wrap your car key fob in foil

      Given that the best way to store your car keys at night is by putting them in a coffee can, what’s an ex-FBI agent’s advice to protect cars from theft during the day?

      Wrap car fobs in aluminum foil.

      [...]

      He held up his fob and said, “This should be something we don’t need to wrap with foil. It’s 2018. Car companies need to find a way so no one can replicate the messages and the communication between the key and the vehicle.”

      [...]

      While auto industry engineers know a lot about traditional safety, quality, compliance and reliability challenges, cyber is an “adaptive adversary,” said Faye Francy, executive director of the nonprofit Automotive Information Sharing and Analysis Center, which specializes in cybersecurity strategies. “Automakers are starting to implement security features in every stage of design and manufacturing. This includes the key fob.”

    • Crooks install skimmer on point-of-sale machine in 2 seconds
    • Facebook add-on TimeHop has been pwned by hackers [sic]

      The big problem doesn’t affect UK users, but will be making our US cousins sweat – phone numbers were leaked. TimeHop recommends adding a PIN to your phone account because if abused, this could be used for identity theft – starting with, but not limited to, porting the number without permission.`

    • Malware Found in Arch Linux AUR Package Repository

      Malware has been discovered in at least three Arch Linux packages available on AUR (Arch User Repository), the official Arch Linux repository of user-submitted packages.

      The malicious code has been removed thanks to the quick intervention of the AUR team.

    • Amateur bid to add code to Arch Linux packages found and squashed
    • Arch Linux AUR Repository Found to Contain Malware

      The Arch Linux user-maintained software repository called AUR has been found to host malware. The discovery was made after a change in one of the package installation instructions was made. This is yet another incident that showcases that Linux users should not explicitly trust user-controlled repositories.

    • Malware found in the Arch Linux AUR repository

      Here’s a report in Sensors Tech Forum on the discovery of a set of hostile packages in the Arch Linux AUR repository system. AUR contains user-contributed packages, of course; it’s not a part of the Arch distribution itself.

    • Fun with DAC_OVERRIDE and SELinux
    • Lukas Vrabec: Why do you see DAC_OVERRIDE SELinux denials?
    • With So Many Eyeballs, Is Open Source Security Better? [Ed: Ask a FOSS company. Not VMware. VMware puts back doors in its proprietary software blobs.]

      Back in 1999, Eric Raymond coined the term “Linus’ Law,” which stipulates that given enough eyeballs, all bugs are shallow.

      Linus’ Law, named in honor of Linux creator Linus Torvalds, has for nearly two decades been used by some as a doctrine to explain why open source software should have better security. In recent years, open source projects and code have experienced multiple security issues, but does that mean Linus’ Law isn’t valid?

      According to Dirk Hohndel, VP and Chief Open Source Officer at VMware, Linus’ Law still works, but there are larger software development issues that impact both open source as well as closed source code that are of equal or greater importance.

    • The aftermath of the Gentoo GitHub hack [Ed: What a bad choice of password leads to.]

      Late last month (June 28), the Gentoo GitHub repository was attacked after someone gained control of an admin account. All access to the repositories was soon removed from Gentoo developers. Repository and page content were altered. But within 10 minutes of the attacker gaining access, someone noticed something was going on, 7 minutes later a report was sent, and within 70 minutes the attack was over. Legitimate Gentoo developers were shut out for 5 days while the dust settled and repairs and analysis were completed.

    • New Variant of Spectre Security Flaw Discovered: Speculative Buffer Overflows

      Security researchers Vladimir Kiriansky (MIT) and Carl Waldspurger (Carl Waldspurger Consulting) have published a paper to disclose a new variant of the infamous Spectre security vulnerability, which creates speculative buffer overflows.

      In their paper, the two security researchers explain the attacks and defenses for the new Spectre variant they discover, which they call Spectre1.1 (CVE-2018-3693), a new variant of the first Spectre security vulnerability unearthed earlier this year and later discovered to have multiple other variants.

      The new Spectre flaw leverages speculative stores to create speculative buffer overflows. Similar to the classic buffer overflow security flaws, the new Spectre vulnerability is also known as “Bounds Check Bypass Store” or BCBS to distinguish it from the original speculative execution attack.

    • AT&T acquires open-source threat intelligence firm

      As AT&T continues down its network virtualization efforts using the open-source Open Networking Automation Platform (ONAP), the operator has acquired cybersecurity firm AlienVault, which uses open-source software to provide what the companies call “threat intelligence.” Financial details of the transaction were not disclosed; AT&T expects the deal to close in Q3 this year.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife/Nature

    • Nissan Falsifies Exhaust Emission Data in New Issue for Saikawa

      The data falsification, which occurred on 19 models across five plants in Japan, was found out when the company was carrying out an internal check about employees conducting final inspection of vehicles, Nissan said at its Yokohama headquarters Monday. The incident won’t lead to any recalls as the vehicles meet catalog specifications for fuel economy and emissions.

  • Finance

    • ‘They’ve Been Doing This Massive, Anti-Democratic Model of Education Reform’

      A new report from the RAND Corporation concludes that the multi-million-dollar teacher evaluation project, championed and partially bankrolled by Bill Gates, did not increase teachers’ effectiveness or improve students’ academic performance, including the low-income minority students that were presented as the initiative’s major beneficiaries.

      The Washington Post’s Valerie Strauss, a generally critical assessor of what’s called “education philanthropy,” covered this new report. But most corporate media appear uninterested in this challenge to a set of ideas about “failing public schools” and how to fix them, that they themselves play a notable role in promoting.

      Our next guest has critically engaged the Gates Foundation’s educational forays for years now. Wayne Au is professor at the University of Washington/Bothell Campus, and interim dean for diversity and equity on campus. He’s also editor at Rethinking Schools. He joins us now by phone from Seattle. Welcome back to CounterSpin, Wayne Au.

    • How to make the case for blockchain: 5 steps

      If you’re soliciting support for an early blockchain pilot test or project in your organization, you’ll need to explain both the underlying technology and how it can help the business.

      That’s true for any emerging technology, but this pair of tasks could be particularly tricky for IT leaders who want do a blockchain project. For starters, blockchain is tough to explain and understand, especially for non-technical people. Moreover, the hype surrounding Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies tends to create some misconceptions about the fundamental blockchain tech behind those digital currencies.

      [...]

      For starters, completely separate blockchain from Bitcoin and other digital currencies.

      “The key is to divorce the innovation of blockchain and its value to enterprise from the headlines people may have seen about Bitcoin speculation or cryptocurrency scams,” says Wes Levitt, head of strategy at Theta Labs, makers of a decentralized, blockchain-powered video delivery network, Theta Token.

    • Trump’s Mar-a-Lago Resort Seeks to Hire 61 Foreign Workers

      Meanwhile, the Trump Organization is seeking to hire 61 foreign guest workers through the H-2B visa program to cook and clean at Trump’s private Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Florida. While Trump has sought to crack down dramatically on nearly every form of immigration into the U.S. during his time in office, he has expanded the H-2B visa program, which benefits companies seeking to hire foreign workers for seasonal, low-wage work.

  • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • India: WhatsApp under pressure to prevent misuse after spate of mob lynchings

      At least 20 people have been killed in mostly rural villages in several Indian states in attacks by mobs that had been inflamed by social media. Victims were accused in the viral messages of belonging to gangs trying to abduct children. The brutal attacks, which began in early May, have also left dozens of people injured.

      Although Indian authorities have clarified that there was no truth to the rumors and the targeted people were innocent, the deadly and brutal attacks, often captured on cellphones and shared on social media, have spread across the country.

    • EU Android anti-trust fine delayed due to Trump visit

      But sources said that the meeting had now been postponed to 17 July. Wednesdays are the days on which the EU executive normally announces decisions taken at its weekly meetings.

      On 8 June, reports said that the fine was due to be announced in the second week of July.

    • How Silicon Valley Fuels an Informal Caste System

      San Francisco residents seem to be divided into four broad classes, or perhaps even castes:

      [...]

      Inequality rarely decreases, and when it does it’s often as the result of wars, revolutions, pandemics, or state collapse. If there’s any nonviolent political hope here, it’s probably to be found among the Outer Party. The Inner Party lives estranged from reality. But the Outer Party still has to teach their kids not to pick up street needles and occasionally feels the depredations of crime to person or property (our household has experienced both within the past few months). Though the Outer Party has little collective identity, they have common interests around street cleanliness, crime, schools, and transit. Those interests expressed themselves in the recent mayoral election, where pro-development, pro-techie London Breed, a favorite among the tech Outer Party, narrowly defeated two mutually endorsing candidates in an electoral nail-biter. Breed broke from typical San Francisco progressive politics, proposing to eliminate homeless camps via government conservatorship (essentially forced institutionalization).1 Perhaps a city founded in a literal gold rush can foster a newfound civic spirit, at least among the gold miners, while in the midst of a figurative gold rush.

    • How Trump is Reshaping US Foreign Policy

      Other states, whether friend or foe, will be less willing to bargain with the United States when it is governed by an administration that reneges on previous agreements and that, other governments believe, bargains in bad faith. Such mistrust impedes the reaching not only of the sort of multilateral agreements that Trump rejects but also the sort of bilateral agreements that he says he favors. To return to Kagan’s typology, Trump’s America is moving closer to isolationism—in diplomacy, if not in the use of military force—not because isolationism is part of any Trump Doctrine but because it is a byproduct of Trump’s way of doing business.

  • Censorship/Free Speech

    • The Dark Money Behind Campus Speech Wars

      But Speech First looks like something else: a highly professional astro-turfing campaign, with a board of former Bush administration lawyers and longtime affiliates of the Koch family. The group is new to the campus culture wars: It incorporated in December and launched in February. But it has already received endorsements from the Department of Justice, which filed a statement of interest supporting Speech First in the Michigan case, stating in a subsequent press release that “freedom of speech and expression on the American campus are under attack.”

    • Reddit CEO tells user, “we are not the thought police,” then suspends that user

      Reddit has confirmed to Ars Technica that Huffman’s conversation, as posted by user “whatllmyusernamebe” on Sunday, is legitimate. The conversation begins with Huffman responding to the question, “Why do you admins not just ban hate speech?”

    • YouTube is fighting conspiracy theories with ‘authoritative’ context and outside links

      YouTube is also funding a number of partnerships. It’s establishing a working group that will provide input on how it handles news, and it’s providing money for “sustainable” video operations across 20 markets across the world, in addition to expanding an internal support team for publishers. (Vox Media, The Verge’s parent company, is a member of the working group.) It’s previously invested money in digital literacy programs for teenagers, recruiting prominent YouTube creators to promote the cause.

    • The rise of ‘pseudo-AI’: how tech firms quietly use humans to do bots’ work

      “Using a human to do the job lets you skip over a load of technical and business development challenges. It doesn’t scale, obviously, but it allows you to build something and skip the hard part early on,” said Gregory Koberger, CEO of ReadMe, who says he has come across a lot of “pseudo-AIs”.

    • A Numerical Exploration Of How The EU’s Article 13 Will Lead To Massive Censorship

      One of the key talking points from those in favor of Article 13 in the EU Copyright Directive is that people who claim it will lead to widespread censorship are simply making it up. We’ve explained many times why this is untrue, and how any time you put in place a system for taking down content, tons of perfectly legitimate content gets caught up in it. Some of this is from malicious takedowns, but much of it is just because algorithms make mistakes. And when you make mistakes at scale, bad things happen. Most of you are familiar with the concept of “Type 1″ and “Type 2″ errors in statistics. These can be more simply described as false positives and false negatives. Over the weekend, Alec Muffett decided to put together a quick “false positive” emulator to show how much of an impact this would have at scale and tweeted out quite a thread, that has since been un-threaded into a webpage for easier reading. In short, at scale, the “false positive” problem is pretty intense. A ton of non-infringing content is likely to get swept up in the mess.

      [...]

      This is one of the major problems that people don’t seem to comprehend when they talk about filtering (or even human moderating) content at scale. Even at impossibly high accuracy rates, a “small” percentage of false positives leads to a massive amount of non-infringing content being taken offline.

      Perhaps some people feel that this is acceptable “collateral damage” to deal with the relatively small amount of infringement on various platforms, but to deny that it will create widespread censorship of legitimate and non-infringing content is to deny reality.

    • Prominent Texas Surgeon Sues ProPublica and the Houston Chronicle

      A Texas heart surgeon whose practices recently have been the subject of stories by ProPublica and the Houston Chronicle filed a lawsuit this week against the news organizations alleging defamation.

      Dr. O.H. “Bud” Frazier brought the suit in Harris County (Texas) District Court, challenging a May story that examined concerns with the doctor’s conduct, as well as one last month addressing criticism of the first article. The suit also names the stories’ authors, reporters Charles Ornstein of ProPublica and Mike Hixenbaugh of the Chronicle, as defendants.

      Frazier, a famed heart transplant surgeon at Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center and the Texas Heart Institute, asserts that the articles included errors and misleading statements “calculated to falsely portray Dr. Frazier as an inhumane physician.”

      “We have seen the complaint in this case, although we have not yet been served,” said Richard Tofel, president of ProPublica. “We think the lawsuit lacks merit, and we intend to defend it vigorously.”

    • Fake News Is A Meaningless Term, And Our Obsession Over It Continues To Harm Actual News

      Many people forget now, but in the wake of the 2016 election, it was mainly those opposed to Donald Trump who were screaming about “fake news.” They wanted an explanation for what they believed was impossible — and one thing that many, especially in the journalism field focused on, were the made up stories that got shared wildly on Facebook. At the time, we warned that nothing good would come from so many people blaming “fake news” for the election, and I think it’s fair to say we were correct on that. President Trump quickly co-opted the phrase and turned it into a mantra directed at any news story about him or his administration that he didn’t like.

      And, of course, the term was always meaningless. It encompassed such a broad spectrum of things — from completely made up stories, to stories with bad sourcing or an error, to stories that were spun in a way people didn’t like or found misleading, to stories with a minor mistake, to just stories someone didn’t like. But each of those is very, very different, and the way that different news organizations respond to these issues can be very different as well. For example, professional publications that make mistakes will publish corrections when they discover they’ve made an error. Sometimes they don’t do so well, and they don’t always do a very good job of publicizing the correction — but they do strive to get things right. That’s different than publications that simply put up purely fake stuff, just for the hell of it. And there really aren’t that many such sites. But by lumping them all in as fake news, people start to blur the distinctions, and think that basically everyone is just making shit up all the time.

    • ESPN Latest To Nix User Comments, Abdicate Its Responsibility For Fostering A Good Community

      Readers of this site will be aware of the trend over the past several years for news and media sites across the internet deciding to nix their respective comments sections. This wave of muzzles on the communities that previously participated in these sites has come with a variety of reasons or excuses, depending on your perspective. Some sites have noted that comments sections devolve into the worst humanity has to offer, with vile speech and spam-bots sucking up all of the digital oxygen. Other sites have suggested that some sort of liability comes along with any proper moderation of their comments sections. Still others have pointed towards social media platforms that can better take over the duties as some sort of 3rd party community gathering place, be it on Facebook or Twitter. All of these reasons are silly and false, or they simply abdicate the site’s responsibility for fostering a well-functioning community of commenters. Here at Techdirt, we love our own community and value the ever-living hell out of our comments, be they supporters of our positions or well-meaning dissenters. Trolls come along for the ride, of course, but we trust our own community to act as a moderating force against them.

  • Privacy/Surveillance

    • Proxies Vs. VPNs Vs. Tor Browser

      In a world where global transactions take place within seconds of initiation. Where Millions of cryptocurrency coins are exchanged across the framework of distributed systems. Internet security is and will always remain a major concern.
      It is estimated that a half of the world’s population will prioritize their network privacy more than their homeland security by the year 2025. This is accounted for the rapid shift from physical business to online digital business as well as increased social media activity.

      ​Proxies, VPNs, and TOR are all tool for ensuring internet security. They all share a common goal of ensuring the internet user anonymity while using the network. At least in this one respect, they are all look-alikes and therefore why most people find it difficult to differentiate them. In this article, we are going to take a look at three of them, their pros and cons and when to favour any of them against the rest. ​

    • FBI Decides To Ruin A Man’s Life Over Nude Photos Of His Legal Girlfriend He Took Seven Years Ago

      The relationship was completely legal. The pictures somehow aren’t, even though no one could legally call the relationship (as it existed seven years ago) “exploitation” or “enticement.” But they can call the photos illegal and they can retcon the consensual relationship into a predator/prey dynamic using federal child porn charges.

      The testimony referenced above wasn’t meant to incriminate Edward Marrero. He was testifying on behalf of another person facing child porn charges. When he detailed the pictures he took while in a consensual relationship with a 17-year-old, the feds decided to swear out an arrest warrant. While Marrero was informed of his Fifth Amendment rights, he most likely thought what he stated in court wasn’t incriminating (because the girlfriend was over the age of consent) or that the government would view his statements rationally and not immediately move to have him arrested.

      As Guy Hamilton-Smith pointed out on Twitter, the federal government is being as punitive as possible, as quickly as possible. Marrero’s initial appearance was greeted with immediate detention and he’s been placed in the custody of the US Marshals. All this is happening over photos taken seven years ago by people in a consensual relationship. The accused wasn’t producing child porn by any rational definition of the statute. But it can be read in irrational ways to ruin lives just because.

    • Grassroots Group Confronts Privacy-Invasive WiFi Kiosks in New York

      Free WiFi all across New York City? It might sound like a dream to many New Yorkers, until the public learned that it wasn’t “free” at all. LinkNYC, a communications network that is replacing public pay phones with WiFi kiosks across New York City, is paid for by advertising that tracks users, festooned with cameras and microphones, and has questionable processes for allowing the public to influence its data handling policies.

      These kiosks also gave birth to ReThink LinkNYC, a grassroots community group that’s uniting New Yorkers from different backgrounds in standing up for their privacy. In a recent interview with EFF, organizers Adsilla Amani and Mari Dej described the organization as a “hodgepodge of New Yorkers” who were shocked by the surveillance-fueled WiFi kiosks entering their neighborhoods. More importantly, they saw opportunity. As Dej described, “As we began scratching the surface, [we] saw that this was an opportunity as well to highlight some of the problems that are largely invisible with data brokers and surveillance capitalism.”

    • California Shopping Centers Are Spying for an ICE Contractor

      A company that operates 46 shopping centers up and down California has been providing sensitive information collected by automated license plate readers (ALPRs) to Vigilant Solutions, a surveillance technology vendor that in turn sells location data to Immigrations & Customs Enforcement.

      The Irvine Company—a real estate company that operates malls in Irvine, La Jolla, Newport Beach, Redwood City, San Jose, Santa Clara and Sunnyvale—has been conducting the ALPR surveillance since just before Christmas 2016, according to an ALPR Usage and Privacy Policy published on its website (archived version). The policy does not say which of its malls use the technology, only disclosing that the company and its contractors operates ALPRs at “one or more” of its locations.

      Automated license plate recognition is a form of mass surveillance in which cameras capture images of license plates, convert the plate into plaintext characters, and append a time, date, and GPS location. This data is usually fed into a database, allowing the operator to search for a particular vehicle’s travel patterns or identify visitors to a particular location. By adding certain vehicles to a “hot list,” an ALPR operator can receive near-real time alerts on a person’s whereabouts.

      EFF contacted the Irvine Company with a series of questions about the surveillance program, including which malls deploy ALPRs and how much data has been collected and shared about its customers and employees. After accepting the questions via phone, Irvine Company did not provide further response or answer questions.

    • NYT Sees ‘Dystopia’ in Chinese Surveillance—Which Looks a Lot Like US Surveillance

      The China piece does have a couple of acknowledgements that these issues are not totally foreign to the United States. At one point it notes: “Already, China has an estimated 200 million surveillance cameras — four times as many as the United States.” Not noted: China has a bit more than four times the population of the United States. At another point, it mentions that the US director of national intelligence held an “open contest for facial recognition algorithms” in 2017—which a Chinese company won. But you won’t likely see New York Times headlines about the “dystopian dreams” of the US surveillance state.

      In an indication that surveillance isn’t the only area where the Times has the ability to report on woes in other countries without recognizing that its own country has troubles that are similar or worse, the article describes the impetus behind China’s population-monitoring drive: “China’s economy isn’t growing at the same pace. It suffers from a severe wealth gap.”

      As it happens, by the standard measure of inequality, the GINI coefficient, the US and China are almost exactly as unequal—41 vs. 42.2, according to the World Bank—and China’s GDP is growing almost twice as fast. Would the New York Times ever cite the US’s wealth gap and slowing growth as an explanation for the expansion of the NSA’s powers?

    • How New Jersey keeps online gamblers from crossing digital state lines

      The last piece of technology used by New Jersey online casinos use to pinpoint your location is through your IP address (Internet Protocol). Any computer logged onto the web will show its IP address, which is a fairly accurate way to track the location of the network used to log online. Of course there are now plenty of highly sophisticated virtual private networks available which dedicated gamblers can use to divert their IP address, making it appear as though they are logging in from New Jersey when in fact they can be located at any other point around the globe. However, to get the most out of a VPN, one has to pay for it, which may be a bridge too far for most gamblers. Professional gamblers on the other hand, may be quite prepared to offset the cost of a good VPN with the winnings they can potentially make at New Jersey online casinos.

    • 3 charged in elaborate robberies using Snapchat
  • Civil Rights/Policing

    • DNA Collection is Not the Answer to Reuniting Families Split Apart by Trump’s “Zero Tolerance” Program

      The Trump Administration’s “zero tolerance” program of criminally prosecuting all undocumented adult immigrants who cross the U.S.-Mexico border has had the disastrous result of separating as many as 3,000 children—many no older than toddlers—from their parents and family members. The federal government doesn’t appear to have kept track of where each family member has ended up. Now politicians, agency officials, and private companies argue DNA collection is the way to bring these families back together. DNA is not the answer.

      Politicians argue DNA collection is the way to bring these families back together. DNA is not the answer.

      Two main DNA-related proposals appear to be on the table. First, in response to requests from U.S. Representative Jackie Speier, two private commercial DNA-collection companies proposed donating DNA sampling kits to verify familial relationships between children and their parents. Second, the federal Department of Health and Human Services has said it is either planning to or has already started collecting DNA from immigrants, also to verify kinship.

      Both of these proposals threaten not just the privacy, security, and liberty of undocumented immigrants swept up in Trump’s Zero Tolerance program but also the privacy, security, and liberty of everyone related to them.

    • Family Separation in Court: What You Need to Know

      Reunifications, government foot-dragging, and a federal judge determined to hold the administration accountable.

      On June 26, a federal judge issued a national injunction in the ACLU’s class action lawsuit against the Trump administration’s policy of separating children and parents at the border. He ordered the government to reunite all children under five with their parents by Tuesday, July 10, and all remaining children by July 26.

      Since then, the administration has been scrambling to create a plan and process to meet the court’s deadlines and reunite thousands of families.

    • It’s Not Just Roe: How the Future Supreme Court Could Gut Abortion Rights

      A new Supreme Court could effectively decimate women’s access to abortion, even without overturning Roe outright.

      Now that President Donald Trump has nominated Brett Kavanaugh to replace Justice Anthony Kennedy on the Supreme Court, it will be up to the Senate to fully vet him so that the American people can determine whether he will uphold the basic civil rights and liberties relied on by everyone in this country. This is particularly true when it comes to abortion rights, where Kavanaugh’s prior opinions on the subject, coupled with the fact that Donald Trump vowed to only nominate justices who would overturn Roe v. Wade, give rise to serious concern about women’s continued ability to access abortion if Kavanaugh is confirmed.

  • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

    • AT&T Is Very Excited To Try And Ruin HBO

      Ma bell isn’t much fun at parties. While traditional telcos desperately want to pivot from broadband and cable to video and online advertising, that transition has been challenging. Especially for a sector that has spent the last 30 years as government-pampered regional mono/duopolies. Many of these companies are good at running a network or lobbying government to stifle competition, but they’re simply not very good at things like creativity, innovation, or disruption. That was recently made abundantly clear by Verizon’s face plant after it tried to launch a sexy new Millennial-focused video platform dubbed Go90.

      AT&T suffers from the same disease, and it may soon manifest in abundance.

      You’ll recall that AT&T’s $86 billion acquisition of Time Warner was allowed to proceed after a comically narrow reading of the market by U.S. District Court Judge Richard Leon. At absolutely no point in his 172-page ruling, did Leon show the faintest awareness that AT&T wants to use the gutting of the FCC, the elimination of net neutrality rules, and vertical integration synergistically to behave anti-competitively in the broadband and streaming video space, something that’s obvious to anybody that has spent thirty seconds watching AT&T do business.

    • SCOTUS Nominee Kavanaugh Bought Verizon’s Silly Argument That Breaking Net Neutrality Is A 1st Amendment Right

      Telling Verizon that it can’t abuse a lack of broadband competition to hinder certain services from working online is not a free speech issue, full stop. That said, painting Verizon as the victim when it’s the company’s own anti-competitive actions that were threatening small businesses and legitimate expression gives you a pretty solid grasp of the hubris of large, incumbent telecom operators.

      Ultimately Verizon won the 2010 fight and had the rules scuttled due to FCC over reach (which is why Wheeler ultimately embraced Title II in 2015), but it had absolutely nothing to do with the ISP’s First Amendment argument. Still, that argument played a starring role when ISPs again sued to overturn the FCC’s tougher, 2015 rules. Comcast, AT&T, Verizon, and other major ISPs all again clung tightly to the flimsy First Amendment claim, despite even they knowing it was absurd and fundamentally unsound.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • YouTuber in row over copyright infringement of his own song

        “Just like probably all the music YouTubers out there,” he explained in a video to his 625,000 subscribers, “once in a while I get an email stating I’m infringing on someone’s copyrighted material.”

        [...]

        Paul had been accused of plagiarising his own music – and worse, all the money that video was earning would now be directed towards the person who copied his content.

        [...]

        At the heart of the controversy is YouTube’s Content ID system – the automatic process which decides whether a video contains copyright infringement.At the heart of the controversy is YouTube’s Content ID system – the automatic process which decides whether a video contains copyright infringement.

      • Two Men Sentenced to Jail For Selling ‘Ooberstick’ Kodi Devices

07.10.18

Links 10/7/2018: Wine 3.12, FreeNAS 11.2 Beta, GNU Helps Journalism

Posted in News Roundup at 10:00 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • Google Releases Open Source Tool to Containerize Java App Deployments

    Google wants to make it easier for Java developers to containerize their applications.

    The company this week announced Jib, an open-source Java tool that it says will enable developers to build Java containers more easily using tools with which they are already familiar.

    In a blog post July 9, Google software engineers Appu Goundan and Qingyang Chen described Jib as a container image builder designed to handle all the steps involved in packaging a Java application into a container.

    “Containerizing a Java application is no simple task,” Goundan and Chen wrote. “You have to write a Dockerfile, run a Docker daemon as root, wait for builds to complete, and finally push the image to a remote registry.”

  • How open source can transform the way a company’s developers work together

    Open source has been a tech mainstay for decades in large part, as Tilde co-founder and JavaScript veteran Yehuda Katz has argued, because it “gives engineers the power to collaborate across …companies without involving [business development].”

    “The benefits of this workaround are extraordinary and underappreciated,” Katz continued. But open source offers something just as extraordinary and even more underappreciated, something that edX community lead John Mark Walker recently pointed out on Twitter.

  • Why you really don’t want just one vendor running an open source project

    When someone calls out Linux and Hadoop as two multi-vendor open source communities that have “made commercialization of the technology extremely competitive and difficult,” it would be reasonable to wonder what planet they live on. After all, as MongoDB’s Henrik Ingo challenged, “Surely those are the two biggest and most successful ecosystems???”

    Joseph Jacks, who made the first statement, is active with the Cloud Native Computing Foundation. He’s not a newbie to open source. In arguing for single-vendor open source “communities” and their allegedly superior economics, he has perhaps unwittingly argued for (one) winner-takes-all when far more money is available in (many) winners-take-much markets.

    But first, here’s what we’re not talking about.

  • Privacy-Centric ‘Bob Wallet’ Adds Bitcoin Cash Support

    Privacy is important in the cryptocurrency ecosystem to a large number of individuals, and people believe private transactions are needed badly these days in a society watched by the ‘deep state.’ Because people find privacy to be extremely important, some developers have designed bitcoin mixers and tumblers that help obfuscate cryptocurrency transactions recorded on public blockchains. One specific project in the works called Bob Wallet offers a privacy-centric client that enables users to move BTC and BCH from a public wallet to a private wallet in a secretive fashion.

  • Private & Public Open Source Bob Wallet Adds Bitcoin Cash (BCH) Crypto Support

    Privacy-centric Bob Wallet recently added Bitcoin Cash (BCH) support so BCH users can use BCH Testnet coins and experiment with the mixing service. The Wallet was created to help preserve Bitcoins fungibility. Today it is easy to trace bitcoin transactions from address to address by simply using any public Block Explorer. Bob Wallet helps fix this.

    The open source project doesn’t allow you to make payments to others as its only purpose is to allow the movement of funds from your public wallet to a private wallet in an isolated manner. The project, which is currently in Beta should only be used in Testnet for now until the software is thoroughly tested. Users can visit the Bob Wallet website or drag and drop the ‘bobwallet.html’ into a browser to create a new Bob Wallet.

  • 6 open source cryptocurrency wallets

    Without crypto wallets, cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum would just be another pie-in-the-sky idea. These wallets are essential for keeping, sending, and receiving cryptocurrencies.

    The revolutionary growth of cryptocurrencies is attributed to the idea of decentralization, where a central authority is absent from the network and everyone has a level playing field. Open source technology is at the heart of cryptocurrencies and blockchain networks. It has enabled the vibrant, nascent industry to reap the benefits of decentralization—such as immutability, transparency, and security.

  • Windstream’s Nichols, Frane discuss why open source is important

    While the road to virtualization has included potholes and bad signage, open source can provide the right roadmap, according to Windstream executives.

    Although some service providers are still on the fence when it comes to using open source, Windstream Enterprise’s Arthur Nichols, vice president of network architecture and technology, and Mike Frane, vice president of product development and portal, are believers.

    Windstream is using open source technologies or applications from OpenStack, ONOS, Kafka, Message Bus and RabbitMQ, to name just a few. It’s also a member of the Open Network Automation Platform (ONAP) open source community.

  • Istio: The New Open Source Cloud Hotness

    Expect to hear a lot more about Istio, an emerging open source technology for orchestrating microservices networking. The buzz is already building, says Kip Compton, senior vice president of Cisco’s cloud platform and solutions group.

  • Mapping Open Source Governance Models

    If you would like to contribute some data about the governance on an open source project which is not listed there or you have more details about one which is already listed please don’t hesitate to contribute. Create a pull request or an open an issue and I’ll get the information added.

    This is a nice small fun project. SUSE Hack Week gives me a bit of time to work on it. If you would like to join, please get in touch.

  • Events

    • Early uses of blockchain will barely be visible, says Hyperledger’s Brian Behlendorf

      The blockchain revolution is coming, but you might not see it. That’s the view of Brian Behlendorf, executive director of the Linux Foundation’s Hyperledger Project.

      Speaking at the TC Sessions: Blockchain event in Zug, Switzerland, Behlendorf explained that much of the innovation that the introduction of blockchains are primed to happen behind this the scenes unbeknownst to most.

      “For a lot of consumers, you’re not going to realize when the bank or a web form at a government website or when you go to LinkedIn and start seeing green check marks against people’s claims that they attended this university — which are all behind-the-scenes that will likely involve blockchain,” Behlendorf told interviewer John Biggs.

    • Anniversary Schedule at OSCON

      The Open Source Initiative (OSI), in conjunction with OSCON, will be celebrating 20 years of Open Source next week at the Oregon Convention Center, Portland.

    • FSF Events: Conference – “SeaGL 2018″ (Seattle, WA)

      The Seattle GNU/Linux Conference (November 9–10) is this year again going to take place at Seattle Central College (Maps).

    • Taiwan Travel Blog – Day 1

      I’m going to DebConf18 later this month, and since I had some free time and I speak a somewhat understandable mandarin, I decided to take a full month of vacation in Taiwan.

      I’m not sure if I’ll keep blogging about this trip, but so far it’s been very interesting and I felt the urge to share the beauty I’ve seen with the world.

      This was the first proper day I spent in Taiwan. I arrived on the 8th during the afternoon, but the time I had left was all spent traveling to Hualien County (花蓮縣) were I intent to spend the rest of my time before DebConf.

    • Still not going to Debconf…. (100%)

      I was looking forward to this year’s Debconf in Taiwan, the first in Asia, and the perspective of attending it with no jet lag, but I happen to be moving to Okinawa and changing jobs on August 1st, right at the middle of it…

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Welcoming Sunil Abraham – Mozilla Foundation’s New VP, Leadership Programs

        I’m thrilled to welcome Sunil Abraham as Mozilla Foundation’s new VP, Leadership Programs. Sunil joins us from The Center for Internet and Society, the most recent chapter in a 20 year career of developing free and open source software and an open internet agenda.

      • Firefox now supports the macOS share menu

        Firefox now supports the macOS share menu. This means you can send the current page you are viewing to another application. For instance, you can add a link to your Things 3 or Omnifocus inbox, add a page to Apple Notes, send a link to Evernote, send a link to someone using messages, or share a link to a social network.

      • Notable moments in Firefox desktop pre-release UA string history

        I’m sure everyone remembers this super great blog post from 2010 about changes in the Firefox 4 user agent string. In terms of “blog posts about UA string changes”, it’s, well, one of them.

      • Firefox 62 Beta 8 Testday, July 13th

        We are happy to let you know that Friday, July 13th, we are organizing Firefox 62 Beta 8 Testday. We’ll be focusing our testing on 3-Pane Inspector and React animation inspector features.

  • CMS

    • Acquia CTO defines ‘decoupled’ Drupal

      Many open source enthusiasts (practitioners, paragons, partisans, preachers and protagonists) will have heard of Drupal.

      For those that haven’t, Drupal is an open source content management framework, as well as an extended community of developers, maintainers and business supporters.

  • Pseudo-Open Source (Openwashing)

    • Rainmeter 4.2 Build 3111 [Ed: GPL, but Windows only]

      Rainmeter is a free, open-source platform that enables skins to run on the desktop. Rainmeter allows you to display customizable skins on your desktop, from hardware usage meters to fully functional audio visualizers. You are only limited by your imagination and creativity.

      Rainmeter is the best known and most popular desktop customization program for Windows. Enhance your Windows computer at home or work with skins; handy, compact applets that float freely on your desktop. Rainmeter skins provide you with useful information at a glance. It’s easy to keep an eye on your system resources, like memory and battery power, or your online data streams, including email, RSS feeds, and weather forecasts.

    • 15 open source applications for MacOS
  • Funding

  • BSD

    • FreeNAS 11.2-BETA1

      We are pleased to announce the general availability of FreeNAS 11.2-BETA1. This initial version of the 11.2 series is considered to be feature-complete and ready for testing. Users, especially those who use Plugins, Jails, or VMs, are encouraged to update to this release in order to take advantage of the many improvements and bug fixes to those subsystems. Please report any bugs to https://redmine.ixsystems.com/projects/freenas/.

      To update to this release, select the 11.2-STABLE train in System → Update. Should you need to return to the 11.1 series after updating, reboot and select that boot environment from the boot menu.

    • FreeNAS 11.2 Beta Rolls Out With FreeBSD Bootloader, Self-Encrypting Drives

      The folks at iX Systems have announced their first public beta of FreeNAS 11.2, their downstream of FreeBSD 11.2 focused on supporting network-attached storage (NAS) systems.

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • GCC’s Conversion To Git Is Being Held Up By RAM, a.k.a. Crazy DDR4 Prices

      After converting the GNU Emacs repository to Git a few years back, Eric S Raymond has been working on the massive undertaking of transferring the GCC (GNU Compiler Collection) repository in full over to Git. But the transition to GCC Git is being hampered since due to the massive size of the repository, Raymond’s system is running under extreme memory pressure with 64GB of RAM.

      ESR provided an update on the GCC repository conversion process. He has managed to solve the only known remaining technical bug that’s been blocking the repository, but now he can’t get the process completed since he’s over-running memory capacity. His primary workstation has 64GB of DDR4 memory and that’s turned out to not be enough for the GNU Compiler Collection repository with more than a quarter million commits over the past three decades.

    • How ProPublica Illinois Uses GNU Make to Load 1.4GB of Data Every Day

      I avoided using GNU Make in my data journalism work for a long time, partly because the documentation was so obtuse that I couldn’t see how Make, one of many extract-transform-load (ETL) processes, could help my day-to-day data reporting. But this year, to build The Money Game, I needed to load 1.4GB of Illinois political contribution and spending data every day, and the ETL process was taking hours, so I gave Make another chance.

      Now the same process takes less than 30 minutes.

      Here’s how it all works, but if you want to skip directly to the code, we’ve open-sourced it here.

      [...]

      GNU Make is well-suited to this task. Make’s model is built around describing the output files your ETL process should produce and the operations required to go from a set of original source files to a set of output files.

      As with any ETL process, the goal is to preserve your original data, keep operations atomic and provide a simple and repeatable process that can be run over and over.

  • Public Services/Government

    • Why DOD Should Look Before Leaping into Open Source

      In February 2018, the Department of Defense (DOD) Defense Digital Service (DDS) relaunched Code.mil to expand the use of open source code. In short, Code.mil aims to enable the migration of some of the department’s custom-developed code into a central repository for other agency developers to reduce work redundancy and save costs in software development. This move to open source makes sense considering that much of the innovation and technological advancements we are seeing are happening in the open source space.

      Since its launch, Code.mil has, according to the DDS, helped spur many open source-enabled projects, including the creation of eMCM last March—an easily accessible web-based version of the Manual for Courts-Martial (MCM) that outlines the official conduct guide to the courts-martial in the U.S. military. Before the digital relaunch of MCM, the process for updating the Manual for Courts-Martial was tedious and involved approvals from a handful of government offices, resulting in delayed and outdated releases of guidance that occurred only once every several years. In its open version, the MCM is periodically updated allowing for a live version to be widely accessible across the U.S. military.

  • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

    • Open Access/Content

      • Elsevier Will Monitor Open Science In EU Using Measurement System That Favors Its Own Titles

        In other words, one of the core metrics that Elsevier will be applying as part of the Open Science Monitor appears to show bias in favor of Elsevier’s own titles. One result of that bias could be that when the Open Science Monitor publishes its results based on Elsevier’s metrics, the European Commission and other institutions will start using Elsevier’s academic journals in preference to its competitors. The use of CiteScore creates yet another conflict of interest for Elsevier.

    • Open Hardware/Modding

      • ARM Launches “Facts” Campaign Against RISC-V

        It looks like Arm Limited is going on the offensive against the RISC-V open-source processor instruction set architecture.

        ARM has launched RISCV-Basics.com as a site to “understanding the facts” about the RISC-V architecture.

        Their five points they try to make before designing a SoC is that the ISA accounts for only a small portion of the total investment to creating a commercial processor, RISC-V doesn’t yet have an a large developer ecosystem, there is the risk of fragmentation with this open-source ISA, RISC-V is new and thus not yet as mature in terms of being a proven architecture around security, and greater design costs with RISC-V due to potential re-validation if modifying the ISA.

Leftovers

  • Security

    • Malware Found On The Arch User Repository (AUR)

      On June 7, an AUR package was modified with some malicious code, reminding Arch Linux users (and Linux users in general) that all user-generated packages should be checked (when possible) before installation.

      AUR, or the Arch (Linux) User Repository contains package descriptions, also known as PKGBUILDs, which make compiling packages from source easier. While these packages are very useful, they should never be treated as safe, and users should always check their contents before using them, when possible. After all, the AUR webpage states in bold that “AUR packages are user produced content. Any use of the provided files is at your own risk.”

      The discovery of an AUR package containing malicious code proves this. acrored was modified on June 7 (it appears it was previously “orphaned”, meaning it had no maintainer) by an user named “xeactor” to include a curl command that downloaded a script from a pastebin. The script then downloaded another script and installed a systemd unit to run that script periodically.

    • Security updates for Monday
    • Claranet Buys NotSoSecure

      Claranet, a managed service provider with services focused on western Europe and Brazil, has purchased NotSoSecure, a firm specializing in penetration testing and ethical hacker training.

      The purchase follows Claranet’s 2017 acquisition of SEC-1, a security firm based in the United Kingdom. According to a Claranet statement announcing the purchase, the security acquisitions, together with the opening of a security operations center in Portugal, are part of the company’s intention to increase their overall security services capabilities.

    • Firefox, Security Keys, U2F, and Google Advanced Protection

      Advanced Protection for Google Accounts uses a legacy web technology that is only partially supported in Firefox. Here is how you get started with physical security keys and extra protections for your Google Account in Firefox.

      [...]

      Before you can enroll in the Google Advanced Protection program, you must have at least two security keys at the ready. You can use the same keys for multiple Google Accounts, and even reuse the same keys with different U2F-enabled web services.

      You should keep a record of which of your keys are registered with which websites. If you loose a key or want to decommission one, you’ll need this record to know all the accounts you’ll need to update.

      You can use any FIDO U2F security keys as long as they’re compatible with your devices. Google recommend you get one regular key with USB as your backup token, and one mobile-capable with wireless Bluetooth and NFC as the primary key you carry around with you. Specifically, Google recommends the YubiKey U2F (USB) and either the Feitan Multipass (Bluetooth/NFC/USB) or YubiKey Neo (NFC/USB). Bluetooth is more compatible with a wider range of devices, but the Bluetooth capabilities requires you to charge the key. NFC is less compatible with cheaper smartphones and other devices. However, neither NFC nor USB modes require you to charge the keys for them to operate.

    • Reproducible Builds: Weekly report #167
    • WellMess: This Go-based Malware Attacks Both Linux And Windows Machines [Ed: If the user actually needs to install it, then the threat is the user, not the program]
    • 6 Open Source Software Security Concerns Dispelled [Ed: White Source typically badmouths FOSS to sell its wares and services. Anat Richter, for a change, tries a more positive approach.]

      Used by developers around the world, open source components makes up 60%-80% of the codebase in modern applications. Open source components are downloaded thousands of times per day to create applications for organizations of varying sizes and across all industries.

      But despite the continuously growing adoption there are still myths to dispel and concerns to mitigate around the usage of open source components in commercial software. The following is a list of the top concerns associated with open source usage and how to overcome each one of these stumbling blocks:

  • Defence/Aggression

    • Russia Trolls CIA Over World Cup: ‘Congratulations Accepted’—Now Add Crimea to Our Map
    • From CIA-Backed Wars to Cartel Violence: Inside the Roots of the Refugee Crisis in Central America

      Across the United States, thousands of migrant children remain detained alone after the Trump administration forcibly separated them from their parents at the border. Yet, despite the news about the United States’ human rights abuses of migrants, asylum seekers keep risking the dangerous journey to the United States. Texas-based human rights lawyer Jennifer Harbury has lived in the Rio Grande Valley in Texas for more than 40 years and has long worked with people fleeing violence in Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras. She also knows intimately the U.S. roots of this conflict. Her husband, Efraín Bámaca Velásquez, was a Mayan comandante and guerrilla who was disappeared after he was captured by the U.S.-backed Guatemalan army in the 1980s. After a long campaign, she found there was U.S. involvement in the cover-up of her husband’s murder and torture. We speak with Jennifer Harbury in Brownsville, Texas, about this history and this U.S. involvement in today’s conflicts in Central America.

    • CIA-Linked Military Contractor Used Arizona “Black Site” to Secretly Jail Dozens of Migrant Children

      A major U.S. military and CIA contractor has been detaining dozens of migrant children inside a vacant Phoenix office building with dark windows, no kitchen and only a few toilets, according to a new investigation by Reveal from the Center for Investigative Reporting. Reveal learned about what some are calling the “black site” for migrant children after one local resident filmed children in sweatsuits being led into the building. The building was leased in March by MVM, a defense contractor that Reveal reports has received nearly $250 million in contracts to transport immigrant children since 2014. We speak with the lead reporter on this story, Aura Bogado, in Oakland, California. She is the immigration reporter for Reveal from the Center for Investigative Reporting.

    • Human Rights Lawyer Jennifer Harbury on How Trump Is Punishing Cartels’ Victims—Not Their Members

      A federal judge will hold a hearing today on whether to delay Tuesday’s deadline that mandated the reunification of all children under the age of 5 whom the Trump administration separated from their parents at the border. The Trump administration is claiming it needs more time to match children with their parents, including at least 19 parents who have already been deported. The American Civil Liberties Union says less than half of separated children under the age of 5 will be reunited by the Tuesday deadline. As Trump’s “zero tolerance” policy crackdown continues, we speak with human rights lawyer Jennifer Harbury about how U.S. foreign policy has led to the violence that Central Americans are fleeing, and what happens when people follow the U.S. government’s instructions and attempt to apply for political asylum at a legal port of entry. Jennifer Harbury has lived in the Rio Grande Valley in Texas for more than 40 years. She works with people fleeing violence in Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras, and has been active in the response to the Trump administration’s “zero tolerance” policy.

    • RAF running out of funds while government ‘bangs on’ about cyber threat, says former defence chief

      The RAF risks falling behind in the government’s obsession over the cyber threat, a former Chief of the Defence Staff warns.

      Defence cuts have left the RAF struggling to meet its operational commitments and as celebrations for the centenary year of the RAF continue, the government is once again pressed on funding for Britain’s armed forces.

  • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

    • Assange case affecting ties with Britain: Ecuador FM

      The ongoing case of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has affected the relationship between the United Kingdom and Ecuador, according to Ecuador’s Foreign Minister Jose Valencia.

      Assange, an Australian national, sought asylum in Ecuador’s embassy in London in 2012 and has been there ever since.

      “It would be unrealistic to say the Assange issue has not affected our relationship with the United Kingdom. It has been affected. However, it has not completely collapsed. We still have contact on a variety of issues,” Valencia told Ecuador’s Radio Sucesos.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife/Nature

    • China Weighs Further Cuts in Electric-Car Subsidies

      China is considering a further reduction in electric-vehicle subsidies next year as the government pushes automakers to innovate rather than rely on fiscal policy to spur demand for alternative-energy cars, people familiar with the plan said.

      The average purchase incentive per electric vehicle may be lowered by more than a third from the 2018 levels, said the people, who asked not to be identified disclosing information that isn’t public. Vehicles may be required to be able to go at least 200 kilometers (125 miles) on a single charge to be eligible for incentives, up from 150 kilometers currently, said the people. The plan is still under discussion and subject to changes, they said.

      Subsidies have been key to making plug-in hybrids and EVs of companies such as BYD Co., backed by Warren Buffett, more affordable to Chinese consumers and helping the country surpass the U.S. as the world’s biggest in 2015. The central government spent 6.64 billion yuan ($1 billion) last year funding consumers’ purchases of such autos. On top of what the federal government spends, Chinese cities and provinces separately offer incentives to make electric cars more appealing in a country where automakers from Volkswagen AG to Ford Motor Co. are planning to increase EV offerings.

    • China Rethinking EV Incentives To Promote New Technology Solutions

      Every government knows if you want people to do something, give them free money. Norway leads the world in the percentage of electric cars sold because it offers its citizens the highest EV incentives. China is not far behind. Last year it doled out over a billion dollars in EV incentives to encourage its citizens to buy electric cars. Local authorities also offer additional incentives. But its leaders are rethinking their priorities

  • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • Why Congress Should Not Honor One of the Most Notorious Doping Cheats of All Time

      Congress should look beyond the flawed New York Times coverage of alleged state-sponsored Russian Olympic doping, which relied on a discredited informant and then largely ignored a respectable court.

    • Putting a Face (Mine) to the Risks Posed by GOP Games on Mueller Investigation

      To protect the investigation, I will not disclose this person’s true identity or the identity and/or role I believe he played in the attack. Nor will I disclose when I went to the FBI. I did so on my own, without subpoena; I did that in an effort to protect people who have spoken to me in confidence and other journalists. Largely because this effort involved a number of last minute trips to other cities, I spent around $6K of my own money traveling to meet with lawyers and for the meeting with the FBI.

    • Inspector General: ICE Detention Facility Inspections Are A Joke

      With ICE doing increased business everywhere in the US, the need to place detainees somewhere has never been greater. The president may have rescinded his demand families be separated and tossed into “foster care or whatever,” but that just means detainee housing now has to cater to the needs of the young and old alike.

      The government has a duty of care for every person it locks up. The duty is still there. The care isn’t. The way prisoners are routinely treated shows the government thinks of arrestees and prisoners as something less than human. The way it treats people who aren’t even citizens is bound to be worse. The only mitigating factor is there are fewer immigrants to keep track of. But that shouldn’t be taken to mean the average amount of “care” is slightly higher.

  • Censorship/Free Speech

    • More Police Admitting That FOSTA/SESTA Has Made It Much More Difficult To Catch Pimps And Traffickers

      Prior to the passage of SESTA/FOSTA, we pointed out that — contrary to the claims of the bill’s suppporters — it would almost certainly make law enforcement’s job much more difficult, and thus actually would help human traffickers. The key: no matter what you thought of Backpage, it cooperated with law enforcement. And, law enforcement was able to use it to track down traffickers using online services like Backpage. Back in May we noted that police were starting to realize there was a problem here, and it appears that’s continuing.

      Over in Indianapolis, the police have just arrested their first pimp in 2018, and it involved an undercover cop being approached by the pimp.

    • Police in Pennsylvania Are Abusing the State’s Hate Crime Law to Punish Speech

      We rightly expect our police to be thick-skinned because their job is, by definition, dealing with people at their worst.

      When reporter Joshua Vaughn of The Appeal told me that some Pennsylvania police have charged people with “ethnic intimidation” — the state’s version of a hate crime — for saying offensive things to the officers who arrest them, I thought, “Not again!”

      No, really. This is another version of “contempt of cop,” the police practice of punishing people who defy them with criminal charges. So now, amidst a rising tide of actual hate crimes, we have police officers using hate crime laws to punish people who get angry when they are being arrested.

      In June, I reviewed the affidavits of probable cause that four officers used to justify hate crimes charges against four suspects in 2016. Two people were being arrested for minor crimes. The third was arrested for getting upset when the police would not take her complaint, and the fourth was being picked up for a psychiatric check.

      Yet, all of them ended up charged with hate crimes.

    • Blaming The Messenger (App): WhatsApp Takes The Blame In India Over Violence

      This has resulted in many, many calls for WhatsApp (and its parent company, Facebook) to “do something” about this. Indeed, the Indian government has more or less demanded that WhatsApp stop “false messages” from being spread on its app. Of course, that’s… not easy. It’s not easy for a variety of reasons, both technical and cultural. On the technical side, WhatsApp is (famously, and for very good and helpful reasons) using end-to-end encryption. So no one at WhatsApp/Facebook can see what’s in those messages. That’s a good thing (especially for everyone whining about how Facebook sucks up too much data about us). No one should want WhatsApp to backdoor that encryption in any way, because that just creates even more problems.

      And then of course, there’s the cultural side of this. Even if WhatsApp could read the messages, how could it possibly know what was legit and what was not. And how could it determine that fast enough to stop a mob from going nuts.

      WhatsApp has tried to explain all of this to the Indian government — and rather than understanding these issues, many people seem to be screaming about how this is Facebook/WhatsApp “ignoring” its responsibility.

    • Opinion: Little House on the Prairie and the retrospective censorship of books

      Were Enid Blyton and Roald Dahl racists and should we stop our children from reading their books?

      That may seem ridiculous and unthinkable, but if we follow in the footsteps of America we could find ourselves seriously asking those questions.

      On the other side of the pond a once highly respected children’s author has had her name removed from a literary prize more than 60 years after her death because of her ‘stereotypical attitudes’ towards African Americans and Native Americans.

    • Stripping Laura Ingalls Wilder’s name from literature award is censorship
    • Librarians censoring Wilder
    • Flowers: Straight-out censorship
    • Letter: Book censorship
    • Is Sam Gyimah right to be worried about safe-space policies?

      Universities visited by the higher education minister, Sam Gyimah, have denied that his recent comments about a “culture of censorship” could refer to them. Gyimah said: “At one institution when I turned up to speak to students they read the safe‑space policy and it took 20 minutes.”

      Yet all eight universities he had visited said this was not the case, according to the website Research Professional. A spokeswoman for the Department for Education explained: “I don’t believe he means someone actually read the policy out at one of the meetings, he means a student said it to him anecdotally.”

    • Report on Censorship of Art on Campus

      “One Man’s Vulgarity” is the name of a report being issued today by the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education on censorship of art on campus. The report documents numerous cases and urges those concerned with free expression in higher education to protect artistic freedom in higher education. “The artwork described here expresses a multitude of ideological viewpoints and depicts subjects ranging from critical illustrations of the Confederate flag to theater productions about Lenny Bruce to posters of beloved television characters. The one thing they all have in common is not the message they send, but the censorship their messages provoked,” the report says.

    • SLAV: Montreal Jazz Festival faces consequences, not censorship, over cancelled show
    • Eminem accused of censorship in Oslo
  • Privacy/Surveillance

    • Facebook’s Push for Facial Recognition Prompts Privacy Alarms

      When Facebook rolled out facial recognition tools in the European Union this year, it promoted the technology as a way to help people safeguard their online identities.

      “Face recognition technology allows us to help protect you from a stranger using your photo to impersonate you,” Facebook told its users in Europe.

      It was a risky move by the social network. Six years earlier, it had deactivated the technology in Europe after regulators there raised questions about its facial recognition consent system. Now, Facebook was reintroducing the service as part of an update of its user permission process in Europe.

    • Court Compares Car Crash Data To CSLI, Cellphone Contents; Tells Cops Best Bet Is To Always Get A Warrant

      The Supreme Court’s ruling in the Carpenter case came as something of a surprise. The nation’s courts seemed unwilling to start paring back the Third Party Doctrine, but the expansion of people’s digital footprints following the widespread adoption of smartphones proved to be too big to ignore. The ruling was narrow — finding only that the acquisition of historical cell site location info (CSLI) was a search under the Fourth Amendment — but it possibly contains broader applications.

      The way it stands now, law enforcement needs a warrant to collect CSLI from cell service providers — the first hole that’s been poked in the Third Party Doctrine since its inception almost 40 years ago. If not for the Riley decision — the one that recognized phones no longer resembled “containers” or “pockets,” but rather contained a detailed depiction of a person’s entire life — the Supreme Court may not have arrived at this conclusion. But it was that decision that first conjured up the image of the government happily discovering people were carrying around personal tracking devices loaded with info 24 hours a day. Grabbing large quantities of CSLI — 127 days in Carpenter’s case — turned cellphones into ad hoc ankle bracelets, allowing the government to reconstruct someone’s movements over a period of months using only a subpoena.

    • Yes, Privacy Is Important, But California’s New Privacy Bill Is An Unmitigated Disaster In The Making

      We’ve talked a little about the rush job to pass a California privacy bill — the California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018 (CCPA) — and a little about how California’s silly ballot initiatives effort forced this mad dash. But a few people have asked us about the law itself and whether or not it’s any good. Indeed, some people have assumed that so many lobbyists freaking out about the bill is actually a good sign. But, that is not the case. The bill is a disaster, and it’s unclear if the fixes that are expected over the next year and a half will be able to do much to improve it.

      First, let’s state the obvious: protecting our privacy is important. But that does not mean that any random “privacy regulation” will be good. In a future post, I’ll discuss why “regulating privacy” is a difficult task to tackle without massive negative consequences. Hell, over in the EU, they spent years debating the GDPR, and it’s still been a disaster that will have a huge negative impact for years to come. But in California they rushed through a massive bill in seven days. A big part of the problem is that people don’t really know what “privacy” is. What exactly do we need to keep private? Some stuff may be obvious, but much of it actually depends quite heavily on context.

    • Future Samsung phone might get face-scanning camera, like iPhone X [Ed: Convincing people that it's "cool" to carry out surveillance against themselves]
    • Fitness app Polar Flow exposed names and locations of thousands of military, NSA and FBI staff
    • Polar fitness app broadcasted sensitive details of intelligence and service members
    • Polar’s fitness app made it dangerously easy to track soldiers and secret agents worldwide
    • Here’s how we found the names and addresses of soldiers and secret agents using a simple fitness app

      Most of the activity takes place in Western countries. Elsewhere, where there are few Strava users, the map is largely empty. But here and there, sometimes smack dab in the middle of a desert or other inhospitable spot, there’s a burst of rich color.

      A few clever investigators soon discover the source of this activity: military bases, some of which are meant to stay hidden. Western military personnel using Strava have unwittingly drawn global attention to themselves and their colleagues.

  • Civil Rights/Policing

    • Who Is Brett Kavanaugh? A Supreme Court Reading Guide

      President Trump on Monday night nominated Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the seat on the U.S. Supreme Court that Justice Anthony Kennedy will vacate at the end of the month. Kavanaugh is a judge on the powerful U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. Below, we’ve gathered some of the best reporting on Kavanaugh.

    • With Supreme Court Vacancy, Congress Must Act To Prevent the Harms of Religious Exemptions

      But while the U.S. Senate braces for what is certain to be an all-consuming, months-long confirmation battle over a new justice, we must not lose sight of the fact that there are things Congress can and must do now to safeguard the rights and dignity of the most vulnerable, regardless of who sits on the highest court in the country. One major thing that Congress could do is pass the Do No Harm Act, which would prevent religion from being used as a license to discriminate.

      When it was signed into law 25 years ago, the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) was intended to protect religious freedom, especially for religious minorities. In recent years, however, individuals and businesses have worked to distort RFRA into a blank check to license discrimination or to impose their religious beliefs on others.

      The Supreme Court’s 2014 Hobby Lobby ruling marked the first time that the court said that business owners could use RFRA to deny their employees a benefit that they are guaranteed by law: insurance coverage for contraception. In her dissenting opinion, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg expressed concern that the decision could open the door for RFRA to be used to engage in a wide range of discrimination.

    • The 14th Amendment Was Intended to Achieve Racial Justice — And We Must Keep It That Way

      We cannot take the 14th Amendment guarantee of equal protection under the law for granted, especially today.

      Few times in recent memory have demanded a more careful examination of our nation’s history than now — the year we celebrate the 150th anniversary of the 14th Amendment’s passage. At a time when the Trump administration is throwing asylum seekers in jail without due process and undermining efforts to desegregate schools, it is critical to remember that the “pervading purpose” of the 14th Amendment was to eliminate the oppression of historically subjugated minorities and to provide equality of opportunity.

      The amendment’s ratification in 1868, shortly after African-Americans were emancipated from slavery, represented a turning point in the country’s history. Its passage was an effort to provide substance to the Declaration of Independence’s promises of freedom and equality, which from the beginning had not applied to significant parts of the population, including Black people and women. And though those promises were continually reneged upon, the 14th Amendment remained a source of aspiration and hope.

      Although the 14th Amendment is frequently invoked now, particularly by conservative judges and commentators, to attack affirmative action and efforts to desegregate schools under the guise of “colorblindness,” the Fourteenth Amendment was never a colorblind document. The amendment was enacted specifically for purposes of assisting newly freed Black people. Although the 13th Amendment ended slavery, it left uncertain the status of those who had been kept in bondage. The infamous Dred Scott case had held that Blacks had no rights that whites were bound to respect and denied them citizenship. The 14th Amendment was necessary to make clear that Black people, as well as anyone born in the country or naturalized, were American citizens.

    • Trump’s Supreme Court Nominee Brett Kavanaugh Is a Disaster for Net Neutrality, Great for the NSA
    • Trump’s Supreme Court nominee decided against net neutrality and for NSA surveillance
    • Trump’s Supreme Court nominee opposes net neutrality, supports NSA bulk collection
    • Brett Kavanaugh’s defense of NSA phone surveillance looms as confirmation question
    • Dem senator: Trump’s Supreme Court pick shows he’s ‘terrified of Robert Mueller’
    • Knox College graduate makes list for high court
    • Supreme Court candidates’ positions on cyber issues
  • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

    • Supporter update – July 2018

      From victory at the Supreme Court to success in the EU Parliament and the launching of a new data rights service, it has been a busy summer for Open Rights Group. We would like to thanks all our members and supporters who made these achievements possible.

    • Streaming Video Sees Wave Of Price Hikes In Apparent Bid To Mimic Cable & Embolden Piracy

      One of the major benefits of cutting the traditional TV cord and switching to streaming video services was supposed to be the lower cost of service. But because broadcasters dictate the licensing cost of content for both services, it was inevitable that the sector would increasingly mimic its traditional cable counterparts. As a result, numerous streaming video services used the July 4th holiday to obfuscate an industry wide price hike, driving up the monthly subscription costs of services like AT&T’s DirecTV Now, Sony’s Playstation Vue, and Dish Network’s Sling TV.

      AT&T’s price hike, a $5 bump for all of the company’s DirecTV Now streaming TV tiers, is likely getting the most attention because it’s the precise type of hike AT&T repeatedly stated wouldn’t be happening if regulators signed off on the company’s $86 billion merger with Time Warner.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • How autonomous vehicles will change IP strategies [Ed: Just more software patents; see this and that]

      Figure 4 shows that 65% of respondents see patent filings increasing, compared to 1% who believe they are decreasing. “The ecosystem is developing rapidly … Our patent portfolio is six times the size it was three years ago,” an in-house counsel for one tier one supplier says, adding: “If you have valuable patents early in development with broad application, then you are well positioned … Everybody entering the field is heavily engaged in patenting activity.” Another says: “Since 2015 we have dramatically increased patent applications and geographical coverage, and 50% of our filings are in new technical areas.”

    • Ireland: Re Boehringer Ingelheim Pharma GmbH & Co. KG & Patents Acts, High Court of Ireland, [2017] IEHC 495, 26 July 2017

      The applicant, Teva, sought an order for the revocation of the Irish designation of European Patent No. (IE) 1379220 entitled “Inhalation Capsules” (the “220 Patent”) on the grounds of (i) obviousness, (ii) an “AgrEvo” challenge and (iii) insufficiency. The Court ruled in Boehringer’s favour by upholding the validity of the 220 Patent and rejecting all of Teva’s grounds of challenge.

    • WIPO Publishes Guide To Tackling Issues In Access & Benefit-Sharing Agreements

      The World Intellectual Property Organization has published a guide to access and benefit-sharing agreements for use of genetic resources.

    • Copyrights

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