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09.20.18

Links 20/9/2018: 2018 Linux Audio Miniconference and Blackboard’s Openwashing

Posted in News Roundup at 8:10 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Desktop

  • Kernel Space

    • Moving Compiler Dependency Checks to Kconfig

      One reason became clear recently when Linus Torvalds asked developers to add an entirely new system of dependency checks to the Kconfig language, specifically testing the capabilities of the GCC compiler.

      It’s actually an important issue. The Linux kernel wants to support as many versions of GCC as possible—so long as doing so would not require too much insanity in the kernel code itself—but different versions of GCC support different features. The GCC developers always are tweaking and adjusting, and GCC releases also sometimes have bugs that need to be worked around. Some Linux kernel features can only be built using one version of the compiler or another. And, some features build better or faster if they can take advantage of various GCC features that exist only in certain versions.

      Up until this year, the kernel build system has had to check all those compiler features by hand, using many hacky methods. The art of probing a tool to find out if it supports a given feature dates back decades and is filled with insanity. Imagine giving a command that you know will fail, but giving it anyway because the specific manner of failure will tell you what you need to know for a future command to work. Now imagine hundreds of hacks like that in the Linux kernel build system.

    • Virtme: The kernel developers’ best friend

      When working on the Linux Kernel, testing via QEMU is pretty common. Many virtual drivers have been recently merged, useful either to test the kernel core code, or your application. These virtual drivers make QEMU even more attractive.

    • After Torvalds’ apology, the Linux community is adopting a new code of conduct
    • Linux programmer developing tools for new open source Code of Conduct
    • Chaos follows Linux dev community’s new code of conduct
    • Linux developers adopt proper Code of Conduct

      Linux leader Linus Torvalds’ admission of anti-social behavior, and his public promise not to do it any more, now has a sequel: a Code of Conduct for the Linux kernel development community.

      The new behavioural document is intended to replace the “Code of Conflict” that Torvalds created in 2015 .

      That 220-word Code did not describe unacceptable behavior and offered no guidance other than “Try to keep in mind the immortal words of Bill and Ted, ‘Be excellent to each other’.”

      The post announcing the new rules says “The Code of Conflict is not achieving its implicit goal of fostering civility” and adds that “Explicit guidelines have demonstrated success in other projects and other areas of the [Linux] kernel.”

    • Linux 4.18.9
    • Linux 4.14.71
    • Linux 4.9.128
    • Linux 4.4.157
    • After Years of Abusive E-mails, the Creator of Linux Steps Aside

      The e-mails of the celebrated programmer Linus Torvalds land like thunderbolts from on high onto public lists, full of invective, insults, and demeaning language. “Please just kill yourself now. The world will be a better place,” he wrote in one. “Guys, this is not a dick-sucking contest,” he observed in another. “SHUT THE FUCK UP!” he began in a third.

      Torvalds has publicly posted thousands of scathing messages targeting programmers who submit what he deems flawed code to the Linux computer-operating-system kernel, which he brought to life more than twenty-five years ago and now administers as a collaborative, open-source project. Today, the Linux kernel is famous, running the enormous computers of Google, PayPal, Amazon, and eBay, and the two billion mobile phones using the Android operating system. Torvalds, though, retains final say over each precious line of code, just as he did when he first started working on the system as a graduate student at the University of Helsinki. For years, he has been known as Linux’s “benevolent dictator for life.”

      On Sunday, the benevolent dictator announced that he would be stepping down temporarily, to “get some assistance on how to understand people’s emotions and respond appropriately.” Torvalds, who is forty-eight and lives with his family outside Portland, Oregon, made clear that he wasn’t burned out. “I very much do want to continue to do this project that I’ve been working on for almost three decades,” he wrote in a post to the Linux-kernel mailing list. “I need to take a break to get help on how to behave differently and fix some issues in my tooling and workflow.” Torvalds named a deputy, Gregory Kroah-Hartman, to run the project while he was away.

    • WireGuard Picks Up A Simpler Kconfig, Zinc Crypto Performance Fix

      WireGuard lead developer Jason Donenfeld sent out the fifth revision of the WireGuard and Zinc crypto library patches this week. They’ve been coming in frequently with a lot of changes with it looking like this “secure VPN tunnel” could reach the Linux 4.20~5.0 kernel.

      With the WireGuard v5 patches there are various low-level code improvements, a “saner” and simpler Kconfig build-time configuration options, a performance regression for tcrypt within the Zinc crypto code has been fixed and is now even faster than before, and there is also now a nosimd module parameter to disable the use of SIMD instructions.

    • Toward better handling of hardware vulnerabilities

      From the kernel development community’s point of view, hardware vulnerabilities are not much different from the software variety: either way, there is a bug that must be fixed in software. But hardware vendors tend to take a different view of things. This divergence has been reflected in the response to vulnerabilities like Meltdown and Spectre which was seen by many as being severely mismanaged. A recent discussion on the Kernel Summit discussion list has shed some more light on how things went wrong, and what the development community would like to see happen when the next hardware vulnerability comes around.

      The definitive story of the response to Meltdown and Spectre has not yet been written, but a fair amount of information has shown up in bits and pieces. Intel was first notified of the problem in July 2017, but didn’t get around to telling anybody in the the Linux community about it until the end of October. When that disclosure happened, Intel did not allow the community to work together to fix it; instead each distributor (or other vendor) was mostly left on its own and not allowed to talk to the others. Only at the end of December, right before the disclosure (and the year-end holidays), were members of the community allowed to talk to each other.

      The results of this approach were many, and few were good. The developers charged with responding to these problems were isolated and under heavy stress for two months; they still have not been adequately thanked for the effort they put in. Many important stakeholders, including distributions like Debian and the “tier-two” cloud providers, were not informed at all prior to the general disclosure and found themselves scrambling. Different distributors shipped different fixes, many of which had to be massively revised before entry into the mainline kernel. When the dust settled, there was a lot of anger left simmering in its wake.

    • Writing network flow dissectors in BPF

      Network packet headers contain a great deal of information, but the kernel often only needs a subset of that information to be able to perform filtering or associate any given packet with a flow. The piece of code that follows the different layers of packet encapsulation to find the important data is called a flow dissector. In current Linux kernels, the flow dissector is written in C. A patch set has been proposed recently to implement it in BPF with the clear goal of improving security, flexibility, and maybe even performance.

    • Coscheduling: simultaneous scheduling in control groups

      The kernel’s CPU scheduler must, as its primary task, determine which process should be executing in each of a system’s processors at any given time. Making an optimal decision involves juggling a number of factors, including the priority (and scheduling classes) of the runnable processes, NUMA locality, cache locality, latency minimization, control-group policies, power management, overall fairness, and more. One might think that throwing another variable into the mix — and a complex one at that — would not be something anybody would want to attempt. The recent coscheduling patch set from Jan Schönherr does exactly that, though, by introducing the concept of processes that should be run simultaneously.

      The core idea behind coscheduling is the marking of one or more control groups as containing processes that should be run together. If one process in a coscheduled group is running on a specific set of CPUs (more on that below), only processes from that group will be allowed to run on those CPUs. This rule holds even to the point of forcing some of the CPUs to go idle if the given control group lacks runnable processes, regardless of whether processes outside the group are runnable.

      Why might one want to do such a thing? Schönherr lists four motivations for this work, the first of which is virtualization. That may indeed be the primary motivation, given that Schönherr is posting from an Amazon address, and Amazon is rumored to be running a virtualized workload or two. A virtual machine usually contains multiple processes that interact with each other; these machines will run more efficiently (and with lower latencies) if those processes can run simultaneously. Coscheduling would ensure that all of a virtual machine’s processes are run together, maximizing locality and minimizing the latencies of the interactions between them.

    • Machine learning and stable kernels

      There are ways to get fixes into the stable kernel trees, but they require humans to identify which patches should go there. Sasha Levin and Julia Lawall have taken a different approach: use machine learning to distinguish patches that fix bugs from others. That way, all bug-fix patches could potentially make their way into the stable kernels. Levin and Lawall gave a talk describing their work at the 2018 Open Source Summit North America in Vancouver, Canada.

      Levin began with a quick introduction to the stable tree and how patches get into it. When a developer fixes a bug in a patch they can add a “stable tag” to the commit or send a mail to the stable mailing list; Greg Kroah-Hartman will then pick up the fix, evaluate it, and add it to the stable tree. But that means that the stable tree is only getting the fixes that are pointed out to the stable maintainers. No one has time to check all of the commits to the kernel for bug fixes but, in an ideal world, all of the bug fixes would go into the stable kernels. Missing out on some fixes means that the stable trees will have more security vulnerabilities because the fixes often close those holes—even if the fixer doesn’t realize it.

    • Trying to get STACKLEAK into the kernel

      The STACKLEAK kernel security feature has been in the works for quite some time now, but has not, as yet, made its way into the mainline. That is not for lack of trying, as Alexander Popov has posted 15 separate versions of the patch set since May 2017. He described STACKLEAK and its tortuous path toward the mainline in a talk [YouTube video] at the 2018 Linux Security Summit.

      STACKLEAK is “an awesome security feature” that was originally developed by The PaX Team as part of the PaX/grsecurity patches. The last public version of the patch set was released in April 2017 for the 4.9 kernel. Popov set himself on the goal of getting STACKLEAK into the kernel shortly after that; he thanked both his employer (Positive Technologies) and his family for giving him working and free time to push STACKLEAK.

      The first step was to extract STACKLEAK from the more than 200K lines of code in the grsecurity/PaX patch set. He then “carefully learned” about the patch and what it does “bit by bit”. He followed the usual path: post the patch, get feedback, update the patch based on the feedback, and then post it again. He has posted 15 versions and “it is still in progress”, he said.

    • Linux Foundation

      • 2018 Linux Audio Miniconference

        As in previous years we’re trying to organize an audio miniconference so we can get together and talk through issues, especially design decisons, face to face. This year’s event will be held on Sunday October 21st in Edinburgh, the day before ELC Europe starts there.

      • How Writing Can Expand Your Skills and Grow Your Career [Ed: Linux Foundation article]

        At the recent Open Source Summit in Vancouver, I participated in a panel discussion called How Writing can Change Your Career for the Better (Even if You don’t Identify as a Writer. The panel was moderated by Rikki Endsley, Community Manager and Editor for Opensource.com, and it included VM (Vicky) Brasseur, Open Source Strategy Consultant; Alex Williams, Founder, Editor in Chief, The New Stack; and Dawn Foster, Consultant, The Scale Factory.

      • At the Crossroads of Open Source and Open Standards [Ed: Another Linux Foundation article]

        A new crop of high-value open source software projects stands ready to make a big impact in enterprise production, but structural issues like governance, IPR, and long-term maintenance plague OSS communities at every turn. Meanwhile, facing significant pressures from open source software and the industry groups that support them, standards development organizations are fighting harder than ever to retain members and publish innovative standards. What can these two vastly different philosophies learn from each other, and can they do it in time to ensure they remain relevant for the next 10 years?

    • Graphics Stack

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • Multiboot Pinebook KDE neon

        Here’s a picture of my Pinebook running KDE neon — watching Panic! At the Disco’s High Hopes — sitting in front of my monitor that’s hooked up to one of my openSUSE systems. There are still some errata, and watching video sucks up battery, but for hacking on documentation from my hammock in the garden, or doing IRC meetings it’s a really nice machine.

        But one of the neat things about running KDE neon off of an SD card on the Pinebook is that it’s portable — that SD card can move around. So let’s talk about multiboot in the sense of “booting the same OS storage medium in different hardware units” rather than “booting different OS from a medium in a single hardware unit”. On these little ARM boards, u-boot does all the heavy lifting early in the boot process. So to re-use the KDE neon Pinebook image on another ARM board, the u-boot blocks need to be replaced.

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

      • Glade in Libre Application Summit

        As usual, it was a great opportunity to catch up with old friends and make new ones specially outside the GNOME community.

        This opportunity I talked about the plans I have to integrate Glade with Gnome Builder and other IDEs

  • Distributions

  • Devices/Embedded

Free Software/Open Source

  • Solving the storage dilemma with open source storage

    Business IT is facing storage growth that’s exceeding even the highest estimates, and there’s no sign of it slowing down anytime soon. Unstructured data in the form of audio, video, digital images and sensor data now makes up an increasingly large majority of business data and presents a new set of challenges that calls for a different approach to storage.

    For CIOs, storage systems that are able to provide greater flexibility and choice, as well as the capability to better identify unstructured data in order to categorise, utilise and automate the management of it throughout its lifecycle are seen as the ideal solution.

    One answer to solving the storage issue is software defined storage (SDS) which separates the physical storage hardware (data plane) from the data storage management logic or ‘intelligence’ (control plane). Needing no proprietary hardware components, SDS is the perfect cost-effective solution for enterprises as IT can use off-the-shelf, low-cost commodity hardware which is robust and flexible.

  • New Open Source Library Nyoka Aids AI, Data Science

    Software AG launches Nyoka, an open source library that eases transforming machine learning and AI models into standard Predictive Model Markup Language.

    Data scientists may breathe a little easier with Software AG’s launch of a new open source library that eases the transformation of machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) models into an industry-standard language.

    The Frankfurt-based company released its Nyoka library that enables data scientists to transform models for predictive analytics, AI and machine learning into the industry standard Predictive Model Markup Language (PMML). It unveiled Nyoka at the Big Data Conference in Santa Clara, CA, this week.

  • Deutsche Telekom and Aricent Create Open Source Edge Software Framework

    Deutsche Telekom and Aricent today announced the creation of an Open Source, Low Latency Edge Compute Platform available to operators, to enable them to develop and launch 5G mobile applications and services faster. The cost-effective Edge platform is built for software-defined data centers (SDDC) and is decentralized, to accelerate the deployment of ultra-low latency applications. The joint solution will include a software framework with key capabilities for developers, delivered as a platform-as-a-service (PaaS) and will incorporate cloud-native Multi-access edge computing (MEC) technologies.

  • A Deeper Look at Sigma Prime’s Lighthouse: An Open-Source Ethereum 2.0 Client
  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Notable moments in Firefox for Android UA string history
      • Dweb: Creating Decentralized Organizations with Aragon

        With Aragon, developers can create new apps, such as voting mechanisms, that use smart contracts to leverage decentralized governance and allow peers to control resources like funds, membership, and code repos.

        Aragon is built on Ethereum, which is a blockchain for smart contracts. Smart contracts are software that is executed in a trust-less and transparent way, without having to rely on a third-party server or any single point of failure.

        Aragon is at the intersection of social, app platform, and blockchain.

  • Databases

    • PostgreSQL 11: something for everyone

      PostgreSQL 11 had its third beta release on August 9; a fourth beta (or possibly a release candidate) is scheduled for mid-September. While the final release of the relational database-management system (currently slated for late September) will have something new for many users, its development cycle was notable for being a period when the community hit its stride in two strategic areas: partitioning and parallelism.

      Partitioning and parallelism are touchstones for major relational database systems. Proprietary database vendors manage to extract a premium from a minority of users by upselling features in these areas. While PostgreSQL has had some of these “high-tier” items for many years (e.g., CREATE INDEX CONCURRENTLY, advanced replication functionality), the upcoming release expands the number considerably. I may be biased as a PostgreSQL major contributor and committer, but it seems to me that the belief that community-run database system projects are not competitive with their proprietary cousins when it comes to scaling enterprise workloads has become just about untenable.

  • Pseudo-Open Source (Openwashing)

  • BSD

    • LLVM 7 improves performance analysis, linking

      The developers behind LLVM, the open-source framework for building cross-platform compilers, have unveiled LLVM 7. The new release arrives right on schedule as part of the project’s cadence of major releases every six months.

      LLVM underpins several modern language compilers including Apple’s Swift, the Rust language, and the Clang C/C++ compiler. LLVM 7 introduces revisions to both its native features and to companion tools that make it easier to build, debug, and analyze LLVM-generated software.

    • LLVM 7.0.0 released
  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

  • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

    • Open Hardware/Modding

      • Visual Schematic Diffs in KiCAD Help Find Changes

        In the high(er)-end world of EDA tools like OrCAD and Altium there is a tight integration between the version control system and the design tools, with the VCS is sold as a product to improve the design workflow. But KiCAD doesn’t try to force a version control system on the user so it doesn’t really make sense to bake VCS related tools in directly. You can manage changes in KiCAD projects with git but as [jean-noël] notes reading Git’s textual description of changed X/Y coordinates and paths to library files is much more useful for a computer than for a human. It basically sucks to use. What you really need is a diff tool that can show the user what changed between two versions instead of describe it. And that’s what plotgitsch provides.

  • Programming/Development

    • The best editor for PHP developers who work in Linux OS

      Every programmer knows that coding is fun! Don’t you agree with me? However, to be an absolutely professional PHP developer, we have to know a lot about all the specific details of coding.

      Selecting the editor you are going to use to happily code is not an easy decision and must be taken unhurriedly.

      If you are a beginner, you may try a great code editor with a rich functionality and very flexible customization which is known as Atom Editor, the editor of the XXI century. You may say that we have many pretty alternatives available. Read the explanation below, and the introduced information will knock you off!

Leftovers

  • eSports Milestone: Pro Gamer Ninja To Be The First Pro Gamer Featured On ESPN Magazine Cover

    We have been tracking milestones in the maturity of eSports as a real cultural pastime for several years now, given how eSports almost perfectly intersects two main topics here at Techdirt: technology and digital economies. While those that claimed eSports would become a real thing have long been the recipients of skeptical narrow eyes, pro gaming has already zoomed past a number of important checkpoints on its way to legitimacy. Tournaments were heavily viewed overseas at first, but pro gaming then became recognized by universities for athletic scholarships. Next came coverage of tournaments on ESPN, followed eSports leagues being created by some of the major professional sports leagues in America and abroad. Even the IOC kicked around the idea of including eSports in future Olympic Games.

    While the latest milestone perhaps isn’t as grand as the opening of leagues and new broadcast channels, it is still a notable development that the very first pro gamer will be featured on the cover of ESPN The Magazine this week. That honor will go to Tyler “Ninja” Blevins, who has amassed an enormous following on Twitch and elsewhere.

  • Hardware

    • The New iPhone XR Has A Critical Flaw And Why You Should Skip It

      This year Apple actually launched three phones, like last year. But we got two different lineups, the XS and XR. iPhones still have the best chips, the A12 Bionic, but they still lag behind in displays, specially when they are compared to the likes of Samsung.

      It was only last year that they moved to OLED displays with the iPhone X. Whereas Android flagships have them for quite sometime now. The new iPhone XS models actually have a OLED display with a resolution of 2436×1125 and a ppi of 458. These are fairly decent display specs for a flagship phone.

  • Health/Nutrition

    • UN Declaration On Noncommunicable Diseases Upholds Intellectual Property Flexibilities

      After weeks of uncertainty among civil society organisations as to whether or not the United Nations political declaration on noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) would uphold language on intellectual property flexibilities for affordable access to medicines, the document was finalised today with even stronger language affirming the use of these flexibilities.

  • Security

    • Security updates for Wednesday
    • State Department Still Sucks At Basic Cybersecurity And Senators Want To Know Why

      The senators are hoping the State Department will have answers to a handful of cybersecurity-related questions by October 12th, but given the agency’s progress to compliance with a law that’s been on the book for two years at this point, I wouldn’t expect responses to be delivered in a timelier fashion.

      The agency’s track record on security isn’t great and these recent developments only further cement its reputation as a government ripe for exploitation. The agency’s asset-tracking program only tracks Windows devices, its employees are routinely careless with their handling of classified info, and, lest we forget, its former boss ran her own email server, rather than use the agency’s. Of course, given this long list of security failures, there’s a good possibility an off-site server had more baked-in security than the agency’s homebrew.

    • EternalBlue Vulnerability Puts Pirated Windows Systems at Malware Risk [Ed: Microsoft's collusion with the NSA (for US-controlled back doors) continues to cost billions... paid by people who foolishly chose or accepted PCs with Windows.]

      A particular vulnerability that has been codenamed EternalBlue is to be blamed for this misfortune. The malware risk especially affects computers which use pirated Windows versions. This gap in security has its traces back in the legacies of US secret service NSA. Even after several years, many systems continue to be vulnerable. For more than three years, US intelligence was using it for performing hidden attacks on all kinds of targets. The agency finally had to leak the vulnerability to Microsoft due to the danger of hacking by a famous hacker group, Shadow Brokers. Microsoft then consequently had to abandon a patch day for the very first time in the company’s history for filling in the gap as quickly as possible.

    • Debian Outs Updated Intel Microcode to Mitigate Spectre V4 and V3a on More CPUs

      The Debian Project released an updated Intel microcode firmware for users of the Debian GNU/Linux 9 “Stretch” operating system series to mitigate two of the latest Spectre vulnerabilities on more Intel CPUs.

      Last month, on August 16, Debian’s Moritz Muehlenhoff announced the availability of an Intel microcode update that provided Speculative Store Bypass Disable (SSBD) support needed to address both the Spectre Variant 4 and Spectre Variant 3a security vulnerabilities.

      However, the Intel microcode update released last month was available only for some types of Intel CPUs, so now the Debian Project released an updated version that implements SSBD support for additional Intel CPU models to mitigate both Spectre V4 and V3a on Debian GNU/Linux 9 “Stretch” systems.

    • Announcing Extended Security Maintenance for Ubuntu 14.04 LTS – “Trusty Tahr” [Ed: Canonical looking to profit from security flaws in Ubuntu like Microsoft does in Windows.]

      Ubuntu is the basis for the majority of cloud-based workloads today. With over 450 million public cloud instances launched since the release of Ubuntu 16.04 LTS, a number that keeps accelerating on a day-per-day basis since, many of the largest web-scale deployments are using Ubuntu. This includes financial, big data, media, and many other workloads and use cases, which rely on the stability and continuity of the underlying operating system to provide the mission-critical service their customers rely on.

      Extended Security Maintenance (ESM) was introduced for Ubuntu 12.04 LTS as a way to extend the availability of critical and important security patches beyond the nominal End of Life date of Ubuntu 12.04. Organisations use ESM to address security compliance concerns while they manage the upgrade process to newer versions of Ubuntu under full support. The ability to plan application upgrades in a failsafe environment continues to be cited as the main value for adoption of ESM. With the End of Life of Ubuntu 14.04 LTS in April 2019, and to support the planning efforts of developers worldwide, Canonical is announcing the availability of ESM for Ubuntu 14.04.

    • Canonical Announces Ubuntu 14.04 LTS (Trusty Tahr) Extended Security Maintenance

      Canonical announced today that it would extend its commercial Extended Security Maintenance (ESM) offering to the Ubuntu 14.04 LTS (Trusty Tahr) operating system series starting May 2019.

      Last year on April 28, 2017, when the Ubuntu 12.04 LTS (Precise Pangolin) operating system series reached end of life, Canonical announced a new way for corporate users and enterprises to receive security updates if they wanted to keep their current Ubuntu 12.04 LTS installations and had no plans to upgrade to a newer LTS (Long Term Support) release. The offering was called Extended Security Maintenance (ESM) and had a great success among businesses.

    • Canonical reveals Ubuntu Linux 14.04 LTS ‘Trusty Tahr’ Extended Security Maintenance (ESM) plans
    • BlackArch Linux Ethical Hacking OS Now Has More Than 2000 Hacking Tools

      The BlackArch Linux penetration testing and ethical hacking computer operating system now has more than 2000 tools in its repositories, announced the project’s developers recently.

      Used by thousands of hundreds of hackers and security researchers all over the world, BlackArch Linux is one of the most acclaimed Linux-based operating systems for hacking and other security-related tasks. It has its own software repositories that contain thousands of tools.

      The OS is based on the famous Arch Linux operating system and follows a rolling release model, where users install once and receive updates forever, or at least until they do something that can’t be repaired and need to reinstall.

    • Video: Hackers To The Rescue – Defining Good Hacking

      Noci, the fictional city attacked by malevolent hackers during ICON2018, was saved and the challenge was won by a Swiss team. What is a hacker, how do they define themselves? Two members of ICON, a young non-governmental organisation in Geneva, answered that question for Intellectual Property Watch, with the same affirmation: a hacker is first and foremost a curious mind. View the IP-Watch video interviews below.

      ICON 2018, “The journey to digital trust” co-organised by ICON, the Geneva Centre for Security Policy (GCSP,) and the MCI group, took place on 13-14 September. The event held what the organisers qualified as the “World premiere cyber-attack simulation.”

      Participants came from France, Italy, Norway and Switzerland, selected after a qualifying competition at the global level, according to an ICON press release. In the end, the challenge was won by Swiss participants Team Sw1ss, it said.

  • Defence/Aggression

    • Trump is unshackling America’s drones thanks to Obama’s weakness

      For more than a decade, the worst-kept secret in the world has been the fact that the Central Intelligence Agency owns and operates lethal drones outside of recognized battlefields abroad. Newspapers blare it from their headlines. Legislators discuss it on television. Foreign governments protest it through press releases. And, of course, human beings witness it through the death and destruction foisted upon their communities.

      Still, according to the US government and the federal courts, the CIA’s operation of drones to hunt and kill terrorism suspects – a campaign that has killed thousands of people, including hundreds of children, in places like Pakistan, Yemen, and Somalia – remains an official secret.

      Toward the end of the Obama administration, the president moderately circumscribed the agency’s role in executing lethal strikes abroad, in part to increase public transparency. Compared to the US military (which also uses lethal force abroad), the CIA is relatively less accountable to policy makers, members of Congress, and the American public. With a diminished role in targeted killings, it appeared then that the CIA’s official secrecy was becoming less important to the overall drone program. But as critics warned could happen, President Trump quickly lifted many of the late-Obama-era limits while ramping up the government’s use of lethal drones abroad and reportedly putting the CIA back in the drone business.

    • Death Of Jon Burge: Commander Set Standard For Police Terror In Chicago

      Former Chicago police commander Jon Burge was involved with several officers in the torture of more than 110 black men. He was never held fully accountable for the trauma inflicted on black communities and died on September 19.

      At the trial for former Officer Jason Van Dyke, who is accused of murdering Laquan McDonald, former Fraternal Order of Police president Dean Angelo spoke about Burge.

      “Jon Burge put a lot of bad guys in prison,” Angelo stated. “You know, people picked a career apart that was considered for a long time to be an honorable career and a very effective career.”

      Angelo added, “And I don’t know that Jon Burge got a fair shake based on the years and years and years of service that he gave the city. But we’ll have to wait and see how that eventually plays out in history, I guess.”

      The FOP argued the “full story” of the Burge cases has never been told. They clearly plan to keep spreading propaganda about Burge’s actions, even after death, because the reality of his conduct left such a stain on the reputation of the Chicago Police Department.

      Burge and his “Midnight Crew” engaged in the torture of dozens of black men from 1972 to 1981. This came directly after the civil rights movement and rise of groups organizing for black power. In fact, Fred Hampton, chairman of the Illinois Black Panther Party, was assassinated by Chicago police in 1969 (along with fellow Black Panther Mark Clark).

  • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

    • WikiLeaks denies Julian Assange sought Russian visa

      WikiLeaks has denied publisher Julian Assange sought a visa from Russia, disputing a recently leaked letter written to Moscow’s consulate in London shortly after the website first started releasing classified U.S. diplomatic documents.

      The anti-secrecy organization pushed back on social media Monday after The Associated Press released a “letter of authority to the Russian consulate” from Mr. Assange dated Nov. 30, 2010, two days after WikiLeaks began releasing hundreds of thousands of sensitive U.S. Department of State cables.

      “I, Julian Assange, hereby grant full authority to my friend, Israel Shamir, to both drop off and collect my passport, in order to get a visa,” said the letter.

      WikiLeaks declined to comment for the AP’s reporting on the letter, instead taking to Twitter to dispute its authenticity in dozens of tweets.

      “Mr. Assange did not apply for such a visa at any time or author the document,” WikiLeaks said in a statement posted at least 35 times by its official Twitter account following publication of the AP’s report.

    • Tanzania Plans To Outlaw Fact-Checking Of Government Statistics

      As the iAfrikan article points out, the amendments will mean that statistics published by the Tanzanian government must be regarded as correct, however absurd or obviously erroneous they might be. Moreover, it will be illegal for independent researchers to publish any other figures that contradict, or even simply call into question, official statistics.

      This is presumably born of a thin-skinned government that wants to avoid even the mildest criticism of its policies or plans. But it seems certain to backfire badly. If statistics are wrong, but no one can correct them, there is the risk that Tanzanian businesses, organizations and citizens will make bad decisions based on this dodgy data. That could lead to harmful consequences for the economy and society, which the Tanzanian government might well be tempted to cover up by issuing yet more incorrect statistics. Without open and honest feedback to correct this behavior, there could be an ever-worsening cascade of misinformation and lies until public trust in the government collapses completely. Does President Magufuli really want that?

  • Privacy/Surveillance

    • Android Phones Now Share Precise Location Data With More 911 Call Centers

      More Android phones will share your precise location when you call 911 in the United States, thanks to a couple of new partnerships worked out by Google. The change will save lives.

      Most 911 calls come from cell phones, but until recently mobile devices didn’t share your precise location with emergency dispatchers. Phone companies can provide a rough location, but your phone’s GPS capabilities are a lot more accurate.

    • Google Home Hub Images Leaked; To Be Launched On October 9 With Pixel 3
    • [Exclusive] Google Home Hub To Be Launched On October 9; A Smart Speaker with 7-inch Display
    • Congress Fails To Include A Single Consumer Advocate In Upcoming Privacy Hearing

      As the U.S. ponders what meaningful privacy protections should look like in the Comcast & Cambridge Analytica era, it should probably go without saying that consumers should be part of that conversation. Unsurprisingly, that hasn’t really been the case so far. That was exemplified, in part, by the GOP’s decision to neuter FCC broadband privacy rules much the same way they dismantled net neutrality: by ignoring any consumer-oriented input that didn’t gel with their pre-existing beliefs: namely that all regulation is always bad and a nuanced conversation on the merits of each instance of regulation simply isn’t necessary.

      When a “conversation” does occur, it tends to be superficial at best, and consumers pretty consistently aren’t invited to the table. Case in point: on September 26, the Senate Commerce Committee will be holding a hearing entitled “Examining Safeguards for Consumer Data Privacy.” One of the motivating reasons for this hearing, at least according to Senator John Thune,

  • Civil Rights/Policing

    • I Came to the U.S. Fleeing Horrific Abuse in My Home Country. Jeff Sessions Wants to Send People Like Me Back.

      People like me come from countries where the justice system does not protect women and girls. To deny us refuge says our lives mean nothing.

      I don’t have a lot of memories of my childhood that don’t involve violence. My father beat my mother up all the time in our hometown a few hours outside of Mexico City. He hit her with his hands and with any object he could find. Several times he used a knife to cut her. I think my father’s sexual abuse of me started when I was 4 or 5.

      I lived in terror of this man who claimed my body as his and thought of me as disposable. He could hit me or touch my most private parts. He could threaten to hurt my mother to get me to do what he wanted. I often wanted to die — and several times I tried to. The authorities in Mexico did nothing to help me, and even when I was hospitalized after a suicide attempt, there were no questions and no follow-up.

      In June, Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced that immigrants fleeing domestic abuse and gang violence generally would no longer be eligible for asylum in the United States. Since then, asylum officers have been rejecting applicants who fear domestic and sexual violence in their home countries. It’s so hard for me to understand this new policy because the reason I am alive today is because I was granted asylum in the United States.

      People like me come from countries where the police and justice system do not protect women and girls. For the United States to deny us refuge says our lives mean nothing.

      The abuse I suffered is very difficult for me to recount. Even now, when I do, it gives me nightmares. My father would touch me inside my pants when my mother was in the kitchen cooking or when my two younger brothers were playing in the same room. He threatened to hurt me and my mom if I said no.

      It was a promise he kept.

    • ‘When Governments Fail to Take Action, They Step In’

      John Bolton, currently Trump’s national security advisor, savors violent imagery. The International Criminal Court, Bolton wrote last year—referring to the international body founded in 1998 to prosecute war crimes—should be “strangle[d]… in its cradle.” This week, in a speech to the Federalist Society, broadcast by C-SPAN, Bolton declared the ICC “the founders’ worst nightmare come to life” and “dead to us,” an “outright dangerous” entity from whom the US “will use any means necessary to protect its citizens.”

      Yes, this is bombast—typical “the US makes its own rules,” “if you aren’t for us you’re agin’ us,” “diplomacy is for suckers” chest-thumping. Reuters called it taking a “tough stance.” The New York Times chose “unyielding.” But what should those interested in peace and justice think? And what do others around the world think, when the US declares itself officially unaccountable when it comes to the worst kinds of crimes?

    • Private Trash Haulers Resist New Safety Measures

      On its face, the agenda for the Business Integrity Commission’s public hearing on Monday seemed uncontroversial enough: The agency that oversees New York City’s private garbage industry wanted to adopt new safety measures requiring trash companies to regularly report accidents, traffic violations and license suspensions involving their truck drivers.

      Turns out, the measures struck the private trash haulers as too much. Testifying before the BIC, industry members called the measures “onerous.” They said they were suspicious about what the oversight body would do with the information, although they did not spell out what they feared. They even sought to question what, exactly, constituted a “crash” worth reporting.

      “I start with the definition of crash in the proposed regulations,” Thomas Toscano, chief executive officer of Mr. T Carting, said. “In a highly populated area with millions of parked cars and over 100,000 customers picked up nightly, small property damage incidents are bound to happen. Cars suffer minor damages and carters pay to resolve these issues many times without going through insurance.”

    • Amid Accusations of Age Bias, IBM Winds Down a Push for Millennial Workers

      Faced with a mounting pile of lawsuits accusing it of age discrimination — the latest, a class action, was filed this week in federal district court in New York — tech giant IBM appears to be winding down its Millennial Corps, an internal network of young employees that’s been cited in several legal complaints as evidence of the company’s bias toward younger workers.

      ProPublica reported in March that IBM, which had annual revenue of $79 billion in 2017, had ousted an estimated 20,000 U.S. employees ages 40 or older in the past five years, in some instances using money saved from the departures to hire young replacements to, in the words of an internal company document, “correct seniority mix.”

      IBM deployed several strategies to attract younger workers, establishing a digital platform catering to millennials, a blog called “The Millennial Experience,” a Twitter account, @IBMillennial, as well as creating the Millennial Corps, whose members company executives pledged to consult about major business moves. The Corps was featured in a 2016 FastCompany piece titled “These Millennials Have Become the Top Decision Makers at IBM.”

    • Justice Department Inspector General to Investigate DEA Program Linked to Massacres in Mexico

      The Justice Department’s inspector general announced on Tuesday that his office would investigate a Drug Enforcement Administration program linked to violent drug cartel attacks in Mexico that have left dozens, possibly hundreds, of people dead or missing.

      In a letter to senior congressional Democrats, Inspector General Michael E. Horowitz said that an internal review had flagged the DEA’s Sensitive Investigative Units program as “an area of high risk.” His office, he wrote, would examine the drug agency’s management of the program and whether internal controls are in place to ensure that “DEA operations, information and personnel are protected from compromise.”

      Under the program, the DEA vets and trains teams of Mexican federal police officers, known as SIUs, that conduct DEA-led operations in Mexico. Last year, ProPublica and National Geographic reported that at least two such operations were compromised and triggered deadly spasms of violence, including one that occurred less than an hour’s drive away from the Mexican border with Texas. A June 2017 story revealed that an attack on the small ranching town of Allende in the Mexican state of Coahuila in 2011 was unleashed after sensitive information obtained during a DEA operation wound up in the hands of cartel leaders, who ordered a wave of retaliation against suspected traitors.

    • At Trial, Officers Undermine Notion Jason Van Dyke Feared For His Life When Killed Laquan McDonald

      Brandon Smith, who sued the city of Chicago to force the release of video of the shooting that killed Laquan McDonald, is covering CPD Officer Jason Van Dyke’s murder trial for Shadowproof.

      Please help us reach our $1400 to fund our reporting (learn more here).

      Often in cases where a police officer is charged with murder, the predictions of the most cynical observers turn out to be correct—the officer escapes the “justice system” into which they have processed so many others.

      But in this case, the murder trial of Jason Van Dyke, the former Chicago police officer who shot 17-year-old Laquan McDonald 16 times, the outcome truly seems up for grabs.

      It is the first time an on-duty Chicago police officer has been charged with murder since anyone in the city can remember. And it represents a small part of a system trying to attack its cancer. Someone from inside the department tipped off a journalist to bring the case to light. Plenty of officers have also fought against accountability, beginning with those who “shooed away” witnesses to the homicide, and according to a civil suit, took at least one witness into custody overnight to tell her something akin to “you didn’t see what you think you saw.”

      So far, in Van Dyke’s trial, two police officers have testified that they didn’t use lethal force (or indeed any force) because at the scene they decided it wasn’t necessary. Another officer, Joe Walsh, who was shift partner of the accused that night, stood by Van Dyke seemingly at every turn in his testimony—at one point standing in the middle of the courtroom to demonstrate how he remembered Laquan moving before the shooting.

    • New Bill Would Ensure No Woman Is Forced to Give Birth in Chains

      The practice of shackling pregnant women who are incarcerated is as shocking as it is widespread.

      When a woman becomes pregnant, the nature of her health care by necessity becomes tailored to her being pregnant. This is no less true when a pregnant woman is incarcerated. But corrections officials across the nation would often rather ignore the fact and needs of incarcerated pregnant women than address their health care needs or even their basic rights. For example, pregnant prisoners are often shackled during childbirth in this country as well as put in solitary confinement, practices that are as shocking as they are pervasive.

      When a woman goes to prison or jail, the criminal justice system is very likely to treat her not as a woman with needs particular to women, but as a smaller, more docile man. And they are treated that way even when they are in a hospital setting. This is flawed, and its consequences are great.

      Male prisoners are routinely shackled when taken to a hospital when they are considered a flight risk. The reason this rubric has extended to women is not because anyone has thought about the needs and realities of incarcerated women, but because male prisoners are the baseline for all criminal justice and corrections policies. This one-size-fits-all approach puts women at severe and unnecessary risk.

      Fortunately, there is now a bipartisan effort in Congress to begin eliminating dangerous and degrading practices for pregnant women. The Pregnant Women in Custody Act (PWCA) places strict limits on the use of shackles and solitary confinement on pregnant women in federal prison and in the custody of the United States Marshals Service. It also sets forth basic standards for pregnancy care.

    • State Cops Accidentally Out Their Surveillance Of Anti-Police Groups With Browser Screenshot

      A little opsec goes a long way. The Massachusetts State Police — one of the most secretive law enforcement agencies in the nation — gave readers of its Twitter feed a free look at the First Amendment-protected activities it keeps tabs on… by uploading a screenshot showing its browser bookmarks.

      Alex Press of Jacobin Magazine was one of the Twitter users to catch the inadvertent exposure of MSP operations.

    • The Disappeared

      Every few minutes, Miguel’s phone pinged with messages, distracting him. Carlota asked who kept texting him and he answered, with teenage vagueness, “Just a boy from school.”

      Carlota was just over 5 feet, with thick black hair that fell midway down her back. At 5-foot-10, Miguel towered over her. As he tried on clothes in the dressing room, he teased her, “Why did you make me so handsome?”

      The messages kept coming. They were from Alexander, a classmate of Miguel’s at Brentwood High on Long Island, and promised a taste of cool on a dull and frigid February afternoon. “Hey, let’s smoke up today,” Alexander wrote on Facebook Messenger.

      “No way. You’re so bad — what did you do?” Miguel responded.

      Miguel eventually agreed to join him, but not until later, and he wanted to bring a friend. “No, only us,” came the response. “We’ll get the blunts. That man Jairo is going to treat you. But just you, dog. I can pick you up and bring you here with us. But just us.”

      After lunch, Carlota dropped Miguel at a neighbor’s to play video games, calling out to be careful as he jumped out of the car and ran across the quiet street. A man had recently been found dead in the woods, and she was worried.

      Miguel and Alexander switched to Facebook voice messages. “Should I wait for you in the woods?” said Alexander, whose Facebook handle was Alexander Lokote, Spanish slang for “Homeboy.”

      “No, better at my house — I don’t like to go out there in the trees,” Miguel said, pressing the phone close to his mouth to be heard over the video game music.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Trademarks

      • Hollywood Chamber Of Commerce Trademark Bullies Kevin Smith’s Podcast Over Hollywood Sign

        The Hollywood Chamber of Commerce is somewhat infamous for its constant trademark bullying over the famed Hollywood sign (you know the one). Its latest target is apparently the Hollywood Babble-On podcast that is done as a live show each week by radio/podcast guy Ralph Garman and filmmaker/entertainer Kevin Smith. Before the show this past weekend, Garman had tweeted out that it might be the last Hollywood Babble-On ever. In the opening minutes of their latest episode, Garman explains that they’ve received a cease and desist letter from the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce “re: unauthorized use of Hollywood stylized mark and Hollywood Walk of Fame mark.”

        While I haven’t seen the full cease-and-desist letter, from what Garman said on the podcast, the issue is so ridiculous that the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce should be called out for blatant trademark bullying.

    • Copyrights

      • No Fair Use for Mu(sic)

        It’s an open secret that musicians will sometimes borrow portions of music or lyrics from prior works. But how much borrowing is too much? One would think that this is the province of fair use, but it turns out not to be the case – at least not in those cases that reach a decision. Edward Lee (Chicago-Kent) has gathered up the music infringement cases and shown that fair use (other than parody) is almost never a defense – not just that defendants lose, but that they don’t even raise it most of the time. His article Fair Use Avoidance in Music Cases is forthcoming in the Boston College Law Review, and a draft is available on SSRN.

        [...]

        This is an interesting article, and I certainly learned something I didn’t know before. Every “yeah but probably…” skeptical thought I had was answered, and that’s pretty rare. That said, my one critique is that the background section, which is supposed to be discussing why fair use is the type of thing that we should often see in music (see history of borrowing, above), often conflates a variety of other defenses to copying in the same discussion. For example, the article points to the ubiquitous YouTube video that shows how many songs are based on the same four chords. The use of those chords, though, isn’t really a fair use; it’s more of scenes a faire or other defense to copying. Those four chords, after all, lead to very different sounding songs, and where they do sound the same, they can be traced to a common source, not to each other. An empirical study that I would like to see is how many songs that fit the four chord mold have been accused of and/or held liable for infringement. Perhaps Professor Lee’s data has that, for reported decisions at least.

        The reason this conflation is problematic leads back to the study results. Perhaps it should not be surprising that so many defendants win outright on non-copying defenses because there are so many ways to win on non-copying defenses without having to resort to an admission of copying and reliance on fair use. It may be that despite a history of borrowing, musicians can tell the difference between illicit copying and either copying from the same source/methods or real fair use. After all, only an average about four cases per year went to decision.

      • The New Music Modernization Act Has a Major Fix: Older Recordings Will Belong to the Public, Orphan Recordings Will Be Heard Again

        The Senate passed a new version of the Music Modernization Act (MMA) as an amendment to another bill this week, a marked improvement over the version passed by the House of Representatives earlier in the year. This version contains a new compromise amendment that could preserve early sound recordings and increase public access to them.

        Until recently, the MMA (formerly known as the CLASSICS Act) was looking like the major record labels’ latest grab for perpetual control over twentieth-century culture. The House of Representatives passed a bill that would have given the major labels—the copyright holders for most recorded music before 1972—broad new rights in those recordings, ones lasting all the way until 2067. Copyright in these pre-1972 recordings, already set to last far longer than even the grossly extended copyright terms that apply to other creative works, would a) grow to include a new right to control public performances like digital streaming; b) be backed by copyright’s draconian penalty regime; and c) be without many of the user protections and limitations that apply to other works.

        Fundamentally, Congress should not be adding new rights in works created decades ago.

        The drafting process was also troubling. It seemed a return to the pattern of decades past, where copyright law was written behind closed doors by representatives from a few industries and then passed by Congress without considering the views of a broader public. Star power, in the form of famous musicians flown to Washington to shake hands with representatives, eased things along.

        Two things changed the narrative. First, a broad swath of affected groups spoke up and demanded to be heard. Tireless efforts by library groups, music libraries, archives, copyright scholars, entrepreneurs, and music fans made sure that the problems with MMA were made known, even after it sailed to near-unanimous passage in the House. You contacted your Senators to let them know the House bill was unacceptable to you, and that made a big difference.

09.19.18

Links 19/9/2018: Chromebooks Get More DEBs, LLVM 7.0.0 Released

Posted in News Roundup at 12:53 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • It’s time to pay the maintainers

    Earlier this year, Tidelift conducted a survey of over 1,200 professional software developers and open source maintainers. We found that 83% of professional software development teams would be willing to pay for better maintenance, security, and licensing assurances around the open source projects they use. Meanwhile, the same survey found that the majority of open source maintainers receive no external funding for their work, and thus struggle to find the time to maintain their open source projects.

  • Desktop

    • Chrome OS 69 Finally Brings Linux Apps to Some Chromebooks, Night Light Feature

      Chrome OS 69 is the first release of the Linux-based operating system that enables support for running Linux apps on Chromebooks. However, the Linux app support is still in development and it’s presented to users in a beta form, available only on select devices due to hardware restrains. A complete list with the Chromebooks supporting Linux apps is available here.

      “While we would like to be able to bring this work to all Chromebooks, the required kernel and hardware features limit where we can deploy this,” says Google in the blog announcement. “A lot of features we use had to be backported, and the further back we go, the more difficult & risky it is to do so. We don’t want to compromise system stability and security here.”

    • Chromebooks Are Getting Better Parental Controls

      Better parental controls are coming to Chromebooks, with the ability to set screen time limits and manage apps.

      We’ve shown you how manage your child’s Android phone with Google Family Link. The feature allowed parents to set up an account for a child under 13, giving parents control over how their kids can use the phone.

    • Linux Apps Are Now Available in Chrome OS Stable, But What Does That Mean?

      Chrome OS 69 just hit the stable channel and is currently rolling out to devices. This brings a handful of new features and changes, including Google’s Material theme, Night Light, an improved file manager, and most importantly: support for Linux apps.

      Linux Apps for Chromebooks?

      At Google I/O earlier this year, Google announced that it was going to bring support for Linux applications to Chrome OS, starting first with the Pixelbook. While Linux support has been available on the developer and beta channels for a while now, users who choose to stick with the stable channel (a wise choice for the most part) may now get their chance to check this out.

  • Kernel Space

    • ​Linus Torvalds is doing a good and brave thing

      Linus Torvalds is known for his “salty” language and take-no-prisoners approach to Linux developers. If you get things wrong, he’s not afraid to let you know — in no uncertain terms — that you’re an idiot. It gets results, but it also drives away many talented developers and leads to a development culture where harsh attacks are tolerated and even approved of by some.

      But Torvalds realized he was hurting both the development process and his fellow programmers. So, he announced he’s stepping away from the Linux developer community to change his personal behavior. Torvalds also approved a new “Code of Conduct” for Linux kernel developers. No one would have expected to see either of these changes.

    • Linux Patches Surface For Supporting The Creative Sound BlasterX AE-5

      Last year Creative Labs introduced the Sound BlasterX AE-5 PCI Express gaming sound card while finally there are some patches pending for supporting this high-end sound card in Linux.

      Connor McAdams who most recently got the Creative Recon3D support into good shape on Linux has now been working on getting the Sound BlasterX AE-5 working well on Linux.

    • Linux Has a Code of Conduct and Not Everyone is Happy With it

      The code of conduct was signed off by Linus Torvalds and Greg Kroah-Hartman (kind of second-in-command after Torvalds). Dan Williams of Intel and Chris Mason from Facebook were some of the other signees.

      If I have read through the timeline correctly, half an hour after signing this code of conduct, Torvalds sent a mail apologizing for his past behavior. He also announced taking a temporary break to improve upon his behavior.

    • Linux Foundation

      • Blockchain Training Takes Off

        Meanwhile, job postings related to blockchain and Hyperledger are taking off, and knowledge in these areas is translating into opportunity. Careers website Glassdoor lists thousands of job posts related to blockchain.

    • Graphics Stack

      • AMD Picasso Support Comes To The RadeonSI OpenGL Driver

        Last week AMD sent out initial support for yet-to-be-released “Picasso” APUs with the Linux AMDGPU kernel graphics driver. Today on the user-space side the support was merged for the OpenGL RadeonSI Gallium3D driver.

        Picasso details are still fairly light but they are expected to be similar to Raven Ridge and for the AM4 processor socket as well as an edition for notebooks. On the same day as publishing the Picasso AMDGPU kernel patches, AMD also went ahead and published the Linux patches for the “Raven 2″ APUs too.

      • The GeForce RTX 2080 Ti Arrives For Linux Benchmarking

        It looks like NVIDIA has their launch-day Linux support in order for the GeForce RTX 2080 “Turing” graphics cards slated to ship later this week as arriving today at Phoronix was the RTX 2080 Ti.

        The GeForce RTX 2080 Ti is NVIDIA’s new flagship desktop GPU with the Turing GPU architecture, 4352 CUDA cores, a 1635MHz boost clock speed rating for this Founder’s Edition model, 11GB of GDDR6 video memory yielding a 616 GB/s memory bandwidth rating, and designed to suit real-time ray-tracing workloads with their RTX technology. Pricing on the RTX 2080 Ti Founder’s Edition is $1,199 USD. Last week NVIDIA published more details on the Turing architecture for those interested as well as on the new mesh shader capability.

      • NVIDIA Vulkan Beta Adds New KHR_driver_properties & KHR_shader_atomic_int64

        Not to be confused with the new NVIDIA Linux/Windows drivers that should be out today for RTX 2070/2080 “Turing” support and also initial RTX ray-tracing support, there is also out a new Vulkan beta driver this morning.

        The NVIDIA 396.54.06 driver is this new Vulkan beta and as implied by the version number is still on the current stable branch and not in the Turing era. But this driver release is quite exciting as it does bring support for two new extensions… These extensions are very fresh and not yet in the official Vulkan specification: VK_KHR_driver_properties and VK_KHR_shader_atomic_int64.

      • GeForce RTX 2080 Ti Linux Benchmarks Coming Today, NVIDIA Driver Bringing Vulkan RTX

        NVIDIA’s review/performance embargo has now lifted on the GeForce RTX 2080 series ahead of the cards shipping tomorrow. I should have out initial Linux benchmarks later today, assuming Linux driver availability.

        As wrote about yesterday, just yesterday I ended up receiving the GeForce RTX 2080 Ti for Linux benchmarking. But, unfortunately, no Linux driver yet… But I am told it will be posted publicly soon with the Windows driver. Assuming that happens within the hours ahead, I’ll still have initial RTX 2080 Ti benchmarks on Ubuntu Linux out by today’s end — thanks to the Phoronix Test Suite and recently wrapping up other NVIDIA/AMD GPU comparison tests on the current drivers.

      • Intel’s New Iris Gallium3D Driver Picks Up Experimental Icelake Bits, GL Features

        One of the talks we are most interested in at XDC2018 is on the Intel “Iris” Gallium3D driver we discovered last month was in development.

        We stumbled across the Iris Gallium3D driver that’s been in development for months as a potential replacement to their “i965″ classic Mesa driver. But they haven’t really detailed their intentions in full, but we should learn more next week. This is particularly exciting the prospects of an official Intel Gallium3D driver as the company is also expected to introduce their discrete GPUs beginning in 2020 and this new driver could be part of that plan.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • New KDE.ru website

        Today, on September 18th, 2018, the Russian-speaking KDE community launches its updated website on KDE.ru.

        The new website serves as the main page for the Russian-speaking community. It provides localized information about the community, product download links and the list of social network pages we maintain. It is also meant to help new members get involved in KDE’s projects, particularly in our translation and promotion efforts.

        The website was created by me and Alexander Potashev on top of Jonah Brüchert‘s work for plasma-mobile.org. It uses Jekyll and is now hosted on official KDE servers. It replaces the old forum that has significantly lost its users in the past years.

      • Everything old is new again

        Just because KDE4-era software has been deprecated by the KDE-FreeBSD team in the official ports-repository, doesn’t mean we don’t care for it while we still need to. KDE4 was released on January 11th, 2008 — I still have the T-shirt — which was a very different C++ world than what we now live in. Much of the code pre-dates the availability of C++11 — certainly the availability of compilers with C++11 support. The language has changed a great deal in those ten years since the original release.

        The platforms we run KDE code on have, too — FreeBSD 12 is a long way from the FreeBSD 6 or 7 that were current at release (although at the time, I was more into OpenSolaris). In particular, since then the FreeBSD world has switched over to Clang, and FreeBSD current is experimenting with Clang 7. So we’re seeing KDE4-era code being built, and running, on FreeBSD 12 with Clang 7. That’s a platform with a very different idea of what constitutes correct code, than what the code was originally written for. (Not quite as big a difference as Helio’s KDE1 efforts, though)

      • Let’s take this bug, for example…

        Krita’s 2018 fund raiser is all about fixing bugs! And we’re fixing bugs already. So, let’s take a non-technical look at a bug Dmitry fixed yesterday. This is the bug: “key sequence ctrl+w ambiguous with photoshop compatible bindings set” And this is the fix.

      • Andrew Crouthamel: How I Got Involved in KDE

        Since this blog is starting after the beginning of my contributions to KDE, the first few regular posts will be explaining my prior contributions, before moving into the present.

      • Akademy 2018

        I had the awesome opportunity to attend Akademy in Vienna this year. First off, a big thank you to the organising team for pulling off this years Akademy without a hitch.

        This Akademy was a bit more special, since it was decided to switch up the format, which in my opinion worked quite well. There were training’s that ran alongside the talk’s and BoF’s, which I think was a great idea. I signed up to the Public Speaking Training and the Non Violent Communication training, which I think were run exceptionally. I hope that these training sessions are run again next Akademy because I found them exceptionally valuable.

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

      • GNOME.Asia 2018

        GNOME.Asia 2018 was co-hosted with COSCUP and openSUSE Asia this year in Taipei, Taiwan. It was a good success and I enjoyed it a lot. Besides, meeting old friends and making new ones are always great.

      • NetworkManager Merges An Initrd Generator For Early Boot Handling

        Days following the NetworkManager 1.14 release, feature activity on the next release is progressing and the newest addition is nm-initrd-generator.

        The NetworkManager Initrd Generator is used to generate an early-boot NetworkManager configuration. This new utility scans the command line for supported options and from there generates a network configuration and the necessary configuration files to handle an early instance of NetworkManager that runs from the initial ramdisk during the system’s early boot stage.

  • Distributions

    • The History of Various Linux Distros

      Linux has been around for almost 30 years. Yes, it’s that old, and it did make history. If you are interested in the history of some of the major Linux distros, here it is in a nutshell – the history of various Linux distros, like Ubuntu, Fedora, REHL, Linux Mint, Slackware, etc. The reasons for their creation and their philosophy will be briefly discussed.

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandriva Family

      • Mageia at fête de l’humanité 2018

        The booths were in a different place from previous years, and we had a lot more visitors. We gave out all the flyers we brought by Saturday evening – there was only one left for Sunday – so we gave out Mageia stickers instead. We did not sell any T-shirts, but we sold two USB sticks.

        Many people asked for general information; I spoke so much that I lost my voice! We had strong interest, coming from people already using a Linux distribution as well as from people wishing to turn to free software.

    • Red Hat Family

      • BU Spark! teams up with Red Hat, hosts software design workshop

        Students traveled across Boston to its Fort Point neighborhood to attend a BU Spark! workshop about interaction design Friday. There they delved into interaction design and explored how to develop user-friendly software.

        BU Spark! and Red Hat Inc. hosted the Interaction Design Bootcamp jointly at Red Hat’s Boston office. BU students and Spark! Interaction design fellows attended.

        Red Hat is a software company that specializes in information technology and has a research relationship with Boston University that includes educational elements. The programs taught by Red Hat focus on user experience design, one of Red Hat’s specializations, according to their website.

      • Open source can spark innovative business transformation in government, Red Hat leaders say

        The federal government, largely hamstrung by legacy systems, is in need of a major digital transformation. Open source technology can be the spark that sets off that revolution, leaders from open-source software company Red Hat said Tuesday.

        “The types of technologies that you choose matter,” said Mike Walker, global director of Open Innovation Labs at Red Hat. “It will influence the way your business operates and open new doors to new business process, and ultimately allow you to become a software company that can achieve some of those innovations and reductions in cost and time.”

      • Kubernetes Ingress vs OpenShift Route

        Although pods and services have their own IP addresses on Kubernetes, these IP addresses are only reachable within the Kubernetes cluster and not accessible to the outside clients. The Ingress object in Kubernetes, although still in beta, is designed to signal the Kubernetes platform that a certain service needs to be accessible to the outside world and it contains the configuration needed such as an externally-reachable URL, SSL, and more.

        Creating an ingress object should not have any effects on its own and requires an ingress controller on the Kubernetes platform in order to fulfill the configurations defined by the ingress object.

        Here at Red Hat, we saw the need for enabling external access to services before the introduction of ingress objects in Kubernetes, and created a concept called Route for the same purpose (with additional capabilities such as splitting traffic between multiple backends, sticky sessions, etc). Red Hat is one of the top contributors to the Kubernetes community and contributed the design principles behind Routes to the community which heavily influenced the Ingress design.

      • VirtualBox DRM/KMS Driver Proceeding With Atomic Mode-Setting Support

        The “vboxvideo” DRM/KMS driver for use by VirtualBox guest virtual machines that has been part of the mainline Linux kernel the past several cycles will soon see atomic mode-setting support.

        Hans de Goede of Red Hat, who has been stewarding this driver into the Linux kernel after Oracle has failed to do so, is tackling the atomic mode-setting as his latest advancement to this driver important for a VirtualBox desktop VM experience. Published today were initial patches preparing the move to atomic mode-setting but not yet the full migration to this modern display API that offers numerous benefits.

      • Troubleshooting FDB table wrapping in Open vSwitch

        When most people deploy an Open vSwitch configuration for virtual networking using the NORMAL rule, that is, using L2 learning, they do not think about configuring the size of the Forwarding DataBase (FDB).

      • Finance

      • Fedora

        • Test Day: Fedora Silverblue

          Fedora Silverblue is a new variant of Fedora Workstation with rpm-ostree at its core to provide fully atomic upgrades. Furthermore, Fedora Silverblue is immutable and upgrades as a whole, providing easy rollbacks from updates if something goes wrong. Fedora Silverblue is great for developers using Fedora with good support for container-focused workflows.

          Additionally, Fedora Silverblue delivers desktop applications as Flatpaks. This provides better isolation/sandboxing of applications, and streamlines updating applications — Flatpaks can be safely updated without reboot.

        • Understand Fedora memory usage with top

          Have you used the top utility in a terminal to see memory usage on your Fedora system? If so, you might be surprised to see some of the numbers there. It might look like a lot more memory is consumed than your system has available. This article will explain a little more about memory usage, and how to read these numbers.

          [...]

          Your system has another facility it uses to store information, which is swap. Typically this is an area of slower storage (like a hard disk). If the physical memory on the system fills up as needs increase, the OS looks for portions of memory that haven’t been needed in a while. It writes them out to the swap area, where they sit until needed later.

          Therefore, prolonged, high swap usage usually means a system is suffering from too little memory for its demands. Sometimes an errant application may be at fault. Or, if you see this often on your system, consider upgrading your machine’s memory, or restricting what you run.

    • Debian Family

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Flavours and Variants

            • What’s New in Ubuntu Budgie 18.04 LTS

              Ubuntu Budgie 18.04 LTS is the latest release of Ubuntu budgie. As part of Ubuntu 18.04 flavor this release ships with latest Budgie desktop 10.4 as default desktop environment. Powered by Linux 4.15 kernel and shipping with the same internals as Ubuntu 18.04 LTS (Bionic Beaver), the Ubuntu Budgie 18.04 LTS official flavor will be supported for 3 years, until April 2021.

              Prominent new features include support for adding OpenVNC connections through the NetworkManager applet, better font handling for Chinese and Korean languages, improved keyboard shortcuts, color emoji support for GNOME Characters and other GNOME apps, as well as window-shuffler capability.

              Ubuntu Budgie 18.04 LTS also ships with a new exciting GTK+ theme by default called Pocillo, support for dynamic workspaces, as well as a “minimal installation” option in the graphical installer that lets users install Ubuntu Budgie with only the Chromium web browser and a handful of basic system utilities.

            • Endless OS May Be the Best Linux Version for New Computer Users

              Linux appeals to a certain kind of computer user: if you like computers enough to read about or tinker with them in your free time, then there’s a good chance you’ll find something to like about Linux. Otherwise, you will probably consider it too much work to bother.

              Endless Computer’s Endless OS aims to provide a complete desktop experience that’s versatile enough to serve families. Is this the ideal way to introduce newcomers to Linux?

  • Devices/Embedded

Free Software/Open Source

  • Google AI Tool Can Distinguish Between Different Types of Lung Cancer
  • Artificial intelligence can determine lung cancer type
  • Scientists dig up cancer’s secrets buried in ‘gene deserts’
  • CloudBees Announces Availability of Support for Jenkins Open Source

    This marks the first-ever, support-only offering for Jenkins users.

  • New CloudBees Suite Addresses DevOps Gaps in Software Delivery

    CloudBees is bringing a set of products into a new CloudBees Suite that it said will help companies of all sizes streamline the software development process. The new software is set to be announced Sept. 18 at the company’s DevOps World / Jenkins World conference in San Francisco. Jenkins is the open-source version of CloudBees, which is a commercial offering.

    A central piece of the CloudBees Suite is the CloudBees Core for unified governance of continuous delivery operations and processes used in DevOps. Software pipelines can also use Core to run software pipelines more efficiently in a self-managed way in the cloud or on-premises.

  • First results of the ROSIN project: Robotics Open-Source Software for Industry

    Open-Source Software for robots is a de-facto standard in academia, and its advantages can benefit industrial applications as well. The worldwide ROS-Industrial initiative has been using ROS, the Robot Operating System, to this end.

    In order to consolidate Europe’s expertise in advanced manufacturing, the H2020 project ROSIN supports EU’s strong role within ROS-Industrial. It will achieve this goal through three main actions on ROS: ensuring industrial-grade software quality; promoting new business-relevant applications through so-called Focused Technical Projects (FTPs); supporting educational activities for students and industry professionals on the one side conducting ROS-I trainings as well as and MOOCs and on the other hand by supporting education at third parties via Education Projects (EPs).

  • Baidu To Launch World’s First Intelligent Vehicle Infrastructure Cooperative Systems Open Source Solution By End Of 2018

    Baidu Inc. has announced it will launch the Apollo Intelligent Vehicle Infrastructure Cooperative Systems (IVICS) open-source solution by the end of 2018, leveraging its capabilities in autonomous driving to bring together intelligent vehicles and infrastructure to form a “human-vehicle-roadway” interplay – an important step toward developing future intelligent transportation.

  • Versity Open Sources Next Generation Archiving Filesystem

    The ScoutFS project was started in 2016 to address the rapidly growing demand for larger POSIX namespaces and faster metadata processing. The design goal for ScoutFS includes the ability to store up to one trillion files in a single namespace by efficiently distributing metadata handling across a scale out cluster of commodity compute nodes.

  • IBM launches tool aimed at detecting AI bias

    The Fairness 360 Kit will also scan for signs of bias and recommend adjustments.

    There is increasing concern that algorithms used by both tech giants and other firms are not always fair in their decision-making.

  • IBM launches tools to detect AI fairness, bias and open sources some code

    IBM said it will launch cloud software designed to manage artificial intelligence deployments, detect bias in models and mitigate its impact and monitor decision across multiple frameworks.

    The move by IBM highlights how AI management is becoming more of an issue as companies deploy machine learning and various models to make decisions. Executives are likely to have trouble understanding models and the data science under the hood.

  • IBM Debuts Tools to Help Prevent Bias In Artificial Intelligence
  • IBM launches software to detect racist and sexist AI
  • IBM launches cloud tool to detect AI bias and explain automated decisions
  • IBM announces cloud service to help businesses detect and mitigate AI bias
  • Top 5 Open Source Data Integration Tools

    Businesses seeking to improve their data integration know that today’s data integration software perform complex tasks. They enable applications to access data associated with other applications, and also to migrate data from one platform to another, transforming it as necessary. Given this sophistication, selecting the best data integration tool is far from easy.

    Adding to the complexity of the selection process: early data integration tools focused on ETL – extract, transform, and load processes. However, most of today’s data integration products have much more advanced capabilities and can generally connect both on-premises and cloud-based data. Many also integrate with other data management products, such as business intelligence (BI), analytics, master data management (MDM), data governance and data quality solutions.

    To help sort through the complex options, the list below highlights five of the best open source data integration tools, based on vendor profile and completeness of their data integration tool set.

  • The Future of Open Source

    Linux and the open source business model are far different today than many of the early developers might have hoped. Neither can claim a rags-to-riches story. Rather, their growth cycles have been a series of hit-or-miss milestones.

    The Linux desktop has yet to find a home on the majority of consumer and enterprise computers. However, Linux-powered technology has long ruled the Internet and conquered the cloud and Internet of Things deployments. Both Linux and free open source licensing have dominated in other ways.

    Microsoft Windows 10 has experienced similar deployment struggles as proprietary developers have searched for better solutions to support consumers and enterprise users.

  • Web Browsers

    • Microsoft Windows U-turn removes warning about installing Chrome, Firefox [Ed: Microsoft showed us its true colours though]

      The feature raised some hackles and brought back memories of Microsoft’s strong-arm tactics promoting its old Internet Explorer browser in the first browser wars two decades ago. But Microsoft isn’t alone in such tactics: Google promotes its Chrome browser as faster and safer to people who visit its own websites with other browsers.

      Microsoft didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment about the change of direction.

    • Chrome

    • Mozilla

      • AutoFill your passwords with Firefox Lockbox in iOS

        Today Firefox Lockbox 1.3 gives you the ability to automatically fill your username and password into apps and websites. This is available to anyone running the latest iOS 12 operating system.

      • Streaming RNNs in TensorFlow

        The Machine Learning team at Mozilla Research continues to work on an automatic speech recognition engine as part of Project DeepSpeech, which aims to make speech technologies and trained models openly available to developers. We’re hard at work improving performance and ease-of-use for our open source speech-to-text engine. The upcoming 0.2 release will include a much-requested feature: the ability to do speech recognition live, as the audio is being recorded. This blog post describes how we changed the STT engine’s architecture to allow for this, achieving real-time transcription performance. Soon, you’ll be able to transcribe audio at least as fast as it’s coming in.

      • Mozilla Launches Firefox Reality Web Browser For Virtual Reality Headsets

        Mozilla is ready to take web browsing experience to the next level with its virtual reality web browser called Firefox Reality. It has been built exclusively to work with standalone VR and AR headsets.

        You can actually use Firefox Reality inside a virtual reality headset to search and browse websites just with your VR hand controller. This web browser makes use of voice search for searching while you step into an immersive computer-generated world.

      • Explore the immersive web with Firefox Reality. Now available for Viveport, Oculus, and Daydream

        Earlier this year, we shared that we are building a completely new browser called Firefox Reality. The mixed reality team at Mozilla set out to build a web browser that has been designed from the ground up to work on stand-alone virtual and augmented reality (or mixed reality) headsets. Today, we are pleased to announce that the first release of Firefox Reality is available in the Viveport, Oculus, and Daydream app stores.

        At a time when people are questioning the impact of technology on their lives and looking for leadership from independent organizations like Mozilla, Firefox Reality brings to the 3D web and immersive content experiences the level of ease of use, choice, control and privacy they’ve come to expect from Firefox.

        But for us, the ability to enjoy the 2D web is just table stakes for a VR browser. We built Firefox Reality to move seamlessly between the 2D web and the immersive web.

      • These Months In Servo 113

        In the past 1.5 months, we merged 439 PRs in the Servo organization’s repositories.

      • Things Gateway – Rules Rule

        A smart home is a lot more than just lights, switches and thermostats that you can control remotely from your phone. To truly make a Smart Home, the devices must be reactive and work together. This is generally done with a Rule System: a set of maxims that automate actions based on conditions. It is automation that makes a home smart.

        There are a couple options for a rule system with the Things Gateway from Mozilla. First, there is a rule system built into the Web GUI, accessed via the Rules option in the drop down menu. Second, there is the Web Things API that allows programs external to the Things Gateway to automate the devices that make up a smart home. Most people will gravitate to the former built-in system, as it is the most accessible to those without predilection to writing software. This blog post is going to focus on the this rules system native to the Things Gateway.

      • Lessons from Carpenter – Mozilla panel discussion at ICDPPC

        The US Supreme Court recently released a landmark ruling in Carpenter vs. United States, which held that law enforcement authorities must secure a warrant in order to access citizens’ cell-site location data. At the upcoming 40th Conference of Data Protection and Privacy Commissioners, we’re hosting a panel discussion to unpack what Carpenter means in a globalised world.

      • The future of online advertising – Mozilla panel discussion at ICDPPC

        At the upcoming 40th International Conference of Data Protection and Privacy Commissioners, we’re convening a timely high-level panel discussion on the future of advertising in an open and sustainable internet ecosystem.

  • CMS

  • Pseudo-Open Source (Openwashing)

  • BSD

    • LLVM 7.0.0 released

      The release contains the work on trunk up to SVN revision 338536 plus work on the release branch. It is the result of the community’s work over the past six months, including: function multiversioning in Clang with the ‘target’ attribute for ELF-based x86/x86_64 targets, improved PCH support in clang-cl, preliminary DWARF v5 support, basic support for OpenMP 4.5 offloading to NVPTX, OpenCL C++ support, MSan, X-Ray and libFuzzer support for FreeBSD, early UBSan, X-Ray and libFuzzer support for OpenBSD, UBSan checks for implicit conversions, many long-tail compatibility issues fixed in lld which is now production ready for ELF, COFF and MinGW, new tools llvm-exegesis, llvm-mca and diagtool. And as usual, many optimizations, improved diagnostics, and bug fixes.

    • LLVM 7.0 Released: Better CPU Support, AMDGPU Vega 20; Clang 7.0 Gets FMV & OpenCL C++

      As anticipated, LLVM release manager Hans Wennborg announced the official availability today of LLVM 7.0 compiler stack as well as associated sub-projects including the Clang 7.0 C/C++ compiler front-end, Compiler-RT, libc++, libunwind, LLDB, and others.

      There is a lot of LLVM improvements ranging from CPU improvements for many different architectures, Vega 20 support among many other AMDGPU back-end improvements, the new machine code analyzer utility, and more. The notable Clang C/C++ compiler has picked up support for function multi-versioning (FMV), initial OpenCL C++ support, and many other additions. See my LLVM 7.0 / Clang 7.0 feature overview for more details on the changes with this six-month open-source compiler stack update.

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • What’s happening this International Day Against DRM?

      We couldn’t be more excited about what’s happening today on the Web and around the world. Organizations, nonprofits, and companies have stepped up to take action, sharing their work to make the world DRM-free.

    • Digital Handcuffs

      This report examines issues arising from Digital Rights Management (DRM) technologies and the legislation protecting these technologies. The report looks at how the use of DRM can impact on users’ security, privacy and right of access, while also exploring how DRM stifles innovation and competition. Furthermore, the report looks into the phenomena of obsolescence and vendor lock-in facilitated by DRM.

    • Hill-Climbing Our Way to Defeating DRM

      Computer science has long grappled with the problem of unknowable terrain: how do you route a packet from A to E when B, C, and D are nodes that keep coming up and going down as they get flooded by traffic from other sources? How do you shard a database when uncontrollable third parties are shoving records into it all the time? What’s the best way to sort some data when spammers are always coming up with new tactics for re-sorting it in ways that suit them, but not you or your users?

      One way to address the problem is the very useful notion of “hill-climbing.” Hill-climbing is modeled on a metaphor of a many-legged insect, like an ant. The ant has forward-facing eyes and can’t look up to scout the terrain and spot the high ground, but it can still ascend towards a peak by checking to see which foot is highest and taking a step in that direction. Once it’s situated in that new place, it can repeat the process, climbing stepwise toward the highest peak that is available to it (of course, that might not be the highest peak on the terrain, so sometimes we ask our metaphorical ant to descend and try a different direction, to see if it gets somewhere higher).

    • No Netflix on my Smart TV

      When I went to the Conrad store in Altona, I saw that new Sony Smart TVs come with a Netflix button on the remote.
      Since I oppose DRM, I would never buy such a thing. I would only buy a Smart TV that Respects My Freedom, but such a thing does not exist.

    • W3C sells out the Web with EME – 1 year later

      Digital Restrictions Management exists all over the world in all sorts of technologies. In addition to media files, like music and film, we can find DRM on the Web and enshrined in Web standards. As a Web standard, its use is recommended by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), making it not only easier, but expected for all media files on the Web to be locked down with DRM.

      It’s been a year since the the W3C voted to bring Encrypted Media Extensions (EME) into Web standards. They claimed to want to “lead the Web to its full potential,” but in a secret vote, members of the W3C, with the blessing of Web creator Tim Berners-Lee, agreed to put “the copyright industry in control” of media access. The enshrinement of EME as an official recommendation is not how we envision the “full potential” of the Web at the Free Software Foundation (FSF).

      EME is an approach to DRM specifically for the Web. EME encrypts media files, requiring a license/key exchange managed by (almost always) proprietary software controlled by rights holders. While EME proponents claimed they were doing away with proprietary plugins like Adobe Flash, all they did was drive the proprietary software down even deeper. Instead of plugins, users now have to install proprietary Content Decryption Modules specific to various companies — including Adobe.

    • What is the relationship between FSF and FSFE?

      Ever since I started blogging about my role in FSFE as Fellowship representative, I’ve been receiving communications and queries from various people, both in public and in private, about the relationship between FSF and FSFE. I’ve written this post to try and document my own experiences of the issue, maybe some people will find this helpful. These comments have also been shared on the LibrePlanet mailing list for discussion (subscribe here)

      Being the elected Fellowship representative means I am both a member of FSFE e.V. and also possess a mandate to look out for the interests of the community of volunteers and donors (they are not members of FSFE e.V). In both capacities, I feel uncomfortable about the current situation due to the confusion it creates in the community and the risk that volunteers or donors may be confused.

      The FSF has a well known name associated with a distinctive philosophy. Whether people agree with that philosophy or not, they usually know what FSF believes in. That is the power of a brand.

      When people see the name FSFE, they often believe it is a subsidiary or group working within the FSF. The way that brands work, people associate the philosophy with the name, just as somebody buying a Ferrari in Berlin expects it to do the same things that a Ferrari does in Boston.

      To give an example, when I refer to “our president” in any conversation, people not knowledgeable about the politics believe I am referring to RMS. More specifically, if I say to somebody “would you like me to see if our president can speak at your event?”, some people think it is a reference to RMS. In fact, FSFE was set up as a completely independent organization with distinct membership and management and therefore a different president. When I try to explain this to people, they sometimes lose interest and the conversation can go cold very quickly.

  • Licensing/Legal

  • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

    • Open Hardware/Modding

      • Epic Clock Clocks The Unix Epoch

        Admit it: when you first heard of the concept of the Unix Epoch, you sat down with a calculator to see when exactly 2³¹-1 seconds would be from midnight UTC on January 1, 1970. Personally, I did that math right around the time my company hired contractors to put “Y2K Suspect” stickers on every piece of equipment that looked like it might have a computer in it, so the fact that the big day would come sometime in 2038 was both comforting and terrifying.

        [Forklift] is similarly entranced by the idea of the Unix Epoch and built a clock to display it, at least for the next 20 years or so. Accommodating the eventual maximum value of 2,147,483,647, plus the more practical ISO-8601 format, required a few more digits than the usual clock – sixteen to be exact. The blue seven-segment displays make an impression in the sleek wooden case, about which there is sadly no detail in the build log. But the internals are well documented, and include a GPS module and an RTC. The clock parses the NMEA time string from the satellites and syncs the RTC. There’s a brief video below of the clock in action.

  • Programming/Development

    • 3 top Python libraries for data science

      Python’s many attractions—such as efficiency, code readability, and speed—have made it the go-to programming language for data science enthusiasts. Python is usually the preferred choice for data scientists and machine learning experts who want to escalate the functionalities of their applications. (For example, Andrey Bulezyuk used the Python programming language to create an amazing machine learning application.)

      Because of its extensive usage, Python has a huge number of libraries that make it easier for data scientists to complete complicated tasks without many coding hassles. Here are the top 3 Python libraries for data science; check them out if you want to kickstart your career in the field.

    • This Week in Rust 252

      Hello and welcome to another issue of This Week in Rust! Rust is a systems language pursuing the trifecta: safety, concurrency, and speed. This is a weekly summary of its progress and community. Want something mentioned?

  • Standards/Consortia

    • PortableCL 1.2 Still Coming While POCL 1.3 Will Further Improve Open-Source OpenCL

      It’s been a number of months since last having any major news to report on POCL, the “PortableCL” project providing a portable OpenCL/compute implementation that can run on CPUs, select GPUs, and other accelerators.

      POCL 1.1 from March remains the current stable release while POCL 1.2 has been in the release candidate stage. The POCL 1.2 release candidates began last month with a few highlights like LLVM 7.0 support, device-side printf support, and HWLOC 2.0 library support.

Leftovers

  • Hardware

    • Ampere eMAG for Hyperscale Cloud Computing Now Available, LLVM 7.0.0 Released, AsparaDB RDS for MariaDB TX Announced, New Xbash Malware Discovered and Kong 1.0 Launched

      Ampere, in partnership with Lenovo, announced availability of the Ampere eMAG for hyperscale cloud computing. The first-generation Armv8-A 64-bit processors provide “high-performance compute, high memory capacity, and rich I/O to address cloud workloads including big data, web tier and in-memory databases”. Pricing is 32 cores at up to 3.3GHz Turbo for $850 or 16 cores at up to 3.3GHz Turbo for $550.

    • Ampere eMAG Processors Delivering 32 ARMv8-A Cores At Up To 3.3GHz
    • Why the Future of Data Storage is (Still) Magnetic Tape

      It should come as no surprise that recent advances in big-data analytics and artificial intelligence have created strong incentives for enterprises to amass information about every measurable aspect of their businesses. And financial regulations now require organizations to keep records for much longer periods than they had to in the past. So companies and institutions of all stripes are holding onto more and more.

      Studies show [PDF] that the amount of data being recorded is increasing at 30 to 40 percent per year. At the same time, the capacity of modern hard drives, which are used to store most of this, is increasing at less than half that rate. Fortunately, much of this information doesn’t need to be accessed instantly. And for such things, magnetic tape is the perfect solution.

  • Health/Nutrition

    • How We Compared Clinical Trial and Cancer Incidence Data

      An in-depth look at newly approved cancer drugs, who participates in their clinical trials and who is affected by those cancers.

      [...]

      In 2012, as part of the FDA Safety and Innovation Act, Congress asked the FDA to report clinical trial participation by demographic subgroup. In 2013, the agency found minorities were often underrepresented, noting that, for many of the drugs under consideration, “there were too few African American or Black patients in the trials to enable meaningful subset analysis.”

      For every new drug approved starting in 2015, the FDA published a “Drug Trials Snapshot,” which includes the demographic breakdown for the clinical trial participants by sex, race, and age subgroups. ProPublica has compiled this data for all FDA-approved drugs from January 2015 to mid-August 2018 into a single dataset. Download this dataset at ProPublica’s Data Store.

      Snapshots included clinical trials run in the United States and internationally, but did not begin until 2017 to report what percentage of trials were conducted in the U.S. Though Asians appear to be well-represented in most trials, many of these trials were likely based outside of the United States. Analysis of 2017 data shows that, for drugs with at least 70 percent of trials conducted within the U.S., Asians make up only 1.7 percent of participants. Furthermore, the “Asian” category does not say if participants are of East Asian, South Asian, Southeast Asian, or Pacific Islander descent.

      Reports did not include a Hispanic ethnicity category until 2017, and do not distinguish between white and non-white Hispanics, or between Hispanics of European or Latin American descent.

    • A Cancer Patient’s Guide to Clinical Trials

      Clinical trials are a crucial step in getting new treatments to market. Before a drug can be approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and released widely, manufacturers are required to carry out studies in humans to document that it is effective and to discover any side effects.

      Fewer than 5 percent of adult cancer patients enroll in clinical trials. ProPublica has found that the vast majority of participants in these studies are white, even when minorities have a similar or higher risk of getting the cancer that the drug treats.

      Most trials are run at academic medical centers and conducted by researchers there. Patients outside those centers often aren’t aware that clinical trials are an option, or they may wonder what joining a study entails. For patients who might consider a clinical trial, here are answers to some common questions.

    • Denied ‘life-extending opportunities’: Black patients are being left out of clinical trials amid wave of new cancer therapies

      It’s a promising new drug for multiple myeloma, one of the most savage blood cancers. Called Ninlaro, it can be taken as a pill, sparing patients painful injections or cumbersome IV treatments. In a video sponsored by the manufacturer, Takeda Pharmaceutical Co., one patient even hailed Ninlaro as “my savior.”

      The Food and Drug Administration approved it in 2015 after patients in a clinical trial gained an average of six months without their cancer spreading. That trial, though, had a major shortcoming: its racial composition. One out of five people diagnosed with multiple myeloma in the U.S. is black, and African-Americans are more than twice as likely as white Americans to be diagnosed with the cancer.

      Yet of the 722 participants in the trial, only 13 — or 1.8 percent — were black.

      The scarcity of black patients in Ninlaro’s testing left unanswered the vital question of whether the drug would work equally well for them. “Meaningful differences may exist” in how multiple myeloma affects black patients, what symptoms they experience, and how they respond to medications, FDA scientists wrote in a 2017 journal article.

  • Security

    • Linux and Open Source FAQs: Common Myths and Misconceptions Addressed

      LinuxSecurity debunks some common myths and misconceptions regarding open source and Linux by answering a few Linux-related frequently asked questions.

      Open source and Linux are becoming increasingly well-known and well-respected because of the myriad benefits they offer. Seventy-eight percent of businesses of all sizes across all industries are now choosing open source software over alternative proprietary solutions according to ZDNet (https://zd.net/2GCrTrk). Facebook, Twitter and Google are are among the many companies currently using, sponsoring and contributing to open source projects. Although Linux and open source are widely recognized for the advantages they provide, there are still many myths and misconceptions that surround these terms. Here are some answers to frequently asked questions about Linux and open source:

      Question: What are the advantages of the open source development model? How can using and contributing to open source software benefit my business?

      Answer: Open source offers an array of inherent advantages which include increased security, superior product quality, lower costs and greater freedom and flexibility compared to other models. It also is accompanied by strong community values and high standards, which encourage the highest levels of creativity and innovation in engineering.

    • Security updates for Tuesday
    • Reproducible Builds: Weekly report #177
    • Microsoft: Like the Borg, we want to absorb all the world’s biz computers [Ed: Microsoft wants to spy on and control every single thing. It (kick)started PRISM, so it was never serious about real security.]

      The technology allows Redmond to scan and monitor enrolled devices, and push out security patches, operating system upgrades, and software updates to the kit as necessary. It will also use machine-learning code and analytics to, in its own words, “manage the global MMD device population.”

    • Unit 42 Researchers Discover Xbash – Malware Which Destroys Linux and Windows Based Databases [Ed: See below; so basically it targets already-screwed systems...]

      Xbash mainly spreads by targeting any unpatched vulnerabilities and weak password

    • Windows, Linux Servers Beware: New Malware Encrypts Files Even After Ransom Is Paid

      Ransomware skyrocketed from obscurity to infamy in no time flat. Headline-grabbing campaigns like WannaCry, Petya and NotPetya preceded a substantial increase in the number of small attacks using similar techniques to extort unwary internet users. Now, researchers at Palo Alto Networks have revealed new malware that carries on NotPetya’s legacy while combining various types of threats into a single package.

      The researchers, dubbed Unit 42, named this new malware Xbash. It’s said to combines a bot net, ransomware and cryptocurrency mining software in a single worm and targets servers running Linux or Windows. The researchers blame an entity called the Iron Group for Xbash’s creation, which has been linked to other ransomware attacks. The malware is thought to have first seen use in May 2018.

    • Xbash Malware Deletes Databases on Linux, Mines for Coins on Windows
    • CCTV Cameras Are Susceptible To Hacks; Hackers Can Modify Video Footage

      A vulnerability has been discovered in video surveillance camera software that could allow hackers to view, delete or modify video footage.

      A research paper published by Tenable, a security firm, has revealed a vulnerability named Peekaboo in the video surveillance systems of NUUO. By exploiting the software flaw, hackers can acquire the admin privileges and can monitor, tamper and disable the footage.

    • Tenable Research Discovers “Peekaboo” Zero-Day Vulnerability in Global Video Surveillance Software

      Tenable®, Inc., the Cyber Exposure company, today announced that its research team has discovered a zero-day vulnerability which would allow cybercriminals to view and tamper with video surveillance recordings via a remote code execution vulnerability in NUUO software — one of the leading global video surveillance solution providers. The vulnerability, dubbed Peekaboo by Tenable Research, would allow cybercriminals to remotely view video surveillance feeds and tamper with recordings using administrator privileges. For example, they could replace the live feed with a static image of the surveilled area, allowing criminals to enter the premises undetected by the cameras.

    • 5 ways DevSecOps changes security

      There’s been an ongoing kerfuffle over whether we need to expand DevOps to explicitly bring in security. After all, the thinking goes, DevOps has always been something of a shorthand for a broad set of new practices, using new tools (often open source) and built on more collaborative cultures. Why not DevBizOps for better aligning with business needs? Or DevChatOps to emphasize better and faster communications?

      However, as John Willis wrote earlier this year on his coming around to the DevSecOps terminology, “Hopefully, someday we will have a world where we no longer have to use the word DevSecOps and security will be an inherent part of all service delivery discussions. Until that day, and at this point, my general conclusion is that it’s just three new characters. More importantly, the name really differentiates the problem statement in a world where we as an industry are not doing a great job on information security.”

    • Freexian’s report about Debian Long Term Support, August 2018
    • Linux 3.16~4.18.8 Affected By Another Potential Local Privilege Escalation Bug
    • Encryption bill endorsed by govt party room

      Barely one week of parliamentary sitting days after the date for comment ended, the Federal Government’s party room has endorsed the contentious encryption bill and it could be introduced into the House of Representatives as early as Thursday.

    • The IT Security Mistakes that Led to the Equifax Breach

      The Equifax data breach that exposed the sensitive personal information of more than 145 million consumers was one of the worst data breaches of recent years, both for the amount of information exposed and the ease with which hackers moved about the company’s systems.

      The breach was publicly disclosed on Sept. 7, 2017, and details on the breach slowly trickled out for months afterwards. Now a year later, the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) has released a 40-page report outlining what happened. The retrospective look at the breach provides insights into how the breach occurred and what types of controls and technologies might have helped prevent it.

  • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

    • Congressional Research Service Reports Now Officially Publicly Available

      For many, many years we’ve been writing about the ridiculousness of the Congressional Research Service’s reports being kept secret. If you don’t know, CRS is a sort of in-house think tank for Congress, that does, careful, thoughtful, non-partisan research on a variety of topics (sometimes tasked by members of Congress, sometimes of its own volition). The reports are usually quite thorough and free of political nonsense. Since the reports are created by the federal government, they are technically in the public domain, but many in Congress (including many who work at CRS itself) have long resisted requests to make those works public. Instead, we were left with relying on members of Congress themselves to occasionally (and selectively) share reports with the public, rather than giving everyone access to the reports.

      Every year or so, there were efforts made to make all of that research available to the public, and it kept getting rejected. Two years ago, two members of Congress agreed to share all of the reports they had access to with a private site put together by some activists and think tanks, creating EveryCRSReport.com, which was a useful step forward. At the very least, we’ve now had two years to show that, when these reports are made public, the world does not collapse (many people within CRS feared that making the reports public would lead to more political pressure).

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife/Nature

    • Congress Passes Measure to Protect Board that Monitors Nuclear Safety

      The Energy Department had taken steps to curtail the reach and authority of the Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board. New Mexico’s senators are fighting back.

      [...]

      The Energy Department has said the May order is simply intended to clarify roles and responsibilities and to decrease costs, and is a necessary update to a manual relied on to guide the relationship between the department and the safety board since 2001. Officials said these actions were taken as part as President Donald Trump’s 2017 executive order to trim regulations.

      But while the for-profit contractors that run the Energy Department’s nuclear sites were consulted on the changes, the board said they were given no formal input on them. Board members also have said the order would inhibit their ability to do key parts of their job, potentially violating the statute under which the board was created.

      The board said it had no comment on the move by Congress to stall the changes.

      In a joint statement, Heinrich and Udall said the provisions they had added to the appropriations bill demonstrated “that Congress shares the widespread concerns about DOE’s information sharing order,” adding that, in their view, the order should be halted.

      “We will continue to work to make sure that the DNFSB has the resources, support, and independence necessary to carry out the complex and extremely serious work that the board does,” they said.

  • Finance

    • US business groups lay out priorities to ensure their support for NAFTA

      Leaders of three of the nation’s most powerful business groups detailed six priorities they say need to be fulfilled to earn their support for an update of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) to get through Congress.

    • Apple repays €14B in “illegal aid” to Ireland, so EU drops court case

      European Commissioner for Competition Margrethe Vestager said Tuesday that the European Commission will finally close its legal investigation into Apple’s failure to pay back taxes to Ireland after the company paid €14 billion.

    • Apple pays over the €14.3bn due to Ireland – but the minister again denies that it’s owed

      APPLE HAS NOW paid the €14.3 billion in back taxes and interest that was due to Ireland following the landmark EU ruling in 2016.

      The EU Commission ruled in 2016 that Ireland gave multinational tech giant Apple illegal state aid worth up to €13 billion over a decade.

      The Department of Finance is appealing the decision because it denies that there was any sweetheart deal in place.

      Despite the appeal, Ireland is obliged to collect the funds and hold them in escrow until the appeal process is concluded.

    • Why Brexit is both exciting and not exciting at all

      Brexit is exciting to a follower of politics: every day it seems there is something new, and one can often swing from thinking there will be a deal or no deal, or even from thinking there will be Brexit or no Brexit.

      Brexit is a news event well suited to social media and rolling news.

      But from a “law and policy” perspective, following the ball rather than the political players, there is less excitement, more a sense of inevitability.

  • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • ‘The Rule Is Designed to Deter People From Reporting’

      Headlines can do a lot of work. Take the August 29 New York Times news story, for example, headed “New US Sexual Misconduct Rules Bolster Rights of Accused and Protect Colleges.” Readers are tipped, you might say, that previous to proposed rules by Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, those accused of rape, sexual assault or harassment on college campuses had weak or inadequate rights, and that colleges faced some sort of danger or vulnerability, presumably to being unfairly portrayed as places where such acts occur.

      What’s missing between the prevalent presentation of new rules on sexual assault in schools as a common-sense move towards fairness, and the fact that no sexual assault survivors’ representatives were on the guestlist when Betsy DeVos announced the new rules? Maybe what’s in between is real life?

      We’re joined now by Alyssa Peterson; she’s policy and advocacy coordinator with the group Know Your IX, a survivor- and youth-led project that aims to empower students to end sexual and dating violence in their schools. She joins us now by phone from Connecticut.

    • Donald Trump Is Actively Obstructing Justice

      Nixon faced impeachment for “interfering or endeavoring to interfere with the conduct of investigations.” That is what Trump is now doing.

    • Michael Moore: ‘We may not get to 2020′

      Michael Moore warns that the country might not survive as a democracy by 2020 if Democrats don’t make big gains in the midterm elections.

  • Censorship/Free Speech

    • How Regulating Platforms’ Content Moderation Means Regulating Speech – Even Yours.

      You have a Facebook page, on which you’ve posted some sort of status update. Maybe an update from your vacation. Maybe a political idea. Maybe a picture of your kids. And someone comes along and adds a really awful comment on your post. Maybe they insult you. Maybe they insult your politics. Maybe they insult your kids.

      Would you want to be legally obligated to keep their ugly comments on your post? Of course not. You’d probably be keen to delete them, and why shouldn’t you be able to?

      Meanwhile, what if it was the other way around: what if someone had actually posted a great comment, maybe with travel tips, support for your political views, or compliments on how cute your kids are. Would you ever want to be legally obligated to delete these comments? Of course not. If you like these comments, why shouldn’t you be able to keep sharing them with readers?

    • Some Schools Need a Lesson on Students’ Free Speech Rights

      An alarming number of schools improperly discipline students for their speech — especially students of color.

      School is back in session, and that means school administrators may be back to surveilling students on social media and unjustly disciplining them for what they say on it.

      We’ve seen both of these troubling trends before. And in today’s era of inspiring student activism, they may become all the more prevalent. Moreover, experience shows that discipline for student expression is not always applied evenhandedly, and can be invoked to silence youth of color and other marginalized students.

      Fortunately, the First Amendment protects student speech. While public schools can regulate student speech that substantially disrupts the functioning of the school, as the Supreme Court held in the landmark 1969 case Tinker v. Des Moines, students do not lose their First Amendment rights simply by virtue of walking into school. Nor do they give up their right to speak out outside of school simply by virtue of being a student. To the contrary, outside of school, students enjoy essentially the same rights to protest and speak out as anyone else.

      In the last five years, more than 100 public school districts and universities have hired companies to monitor the social media of their students. At least one district asked a surveillance company for alerts on any post mentioning “protest” or “walkout.” Another surveillance company offered to help public schools monitor “behavioral information” about specific individuals, including keeping tabs on their conversations with others.

  • Privacy/Surveillance

  • Civil Rights/Policing

    • State Legislator Says 11-Year-Old Tased By Cop Deserved It And Her Parents Probably Suck

      This is even worse than the police union’s take on the incident, which referred to the completely expected backlash as “kneejerk.” But, hey, I guess deciding to tase an 11-year-old in the back — one who reportedly was all of 4’11” and 90 pounds — couldn’t possibly be portrayed as a kneejerk reaction by a law enforcement officer. When force isn’t truly needed, we can be sure some cops will deploy it anyway.

      But Rep. John Becker’s take is the hottest take of all. Anyone tased by a cop — even an 11-year-old — is a person who brought that crackling, barbed punishment down on themselves. There’s no reason to question the wisdom or necessity of the Taser deployment. Rather, we should question ourselves. And perhaps society. But mostly ourselves.

      [...]

      “If I were to do the research…” Would this be research beyond the television watching that’s given Becker such keen insight into officer-involved shootings? Who knows? Becker’s certainly not going to do the research. He’s just going to stick by his electro-guns and blame victims of cop violence for being raised badly or otherwise being harmed by the disintegration of the nuclear family unit — the 2.5 children born to married heterosexuals who have managed to weather an escalating divorce rate, porn, video games, movies, television, the internet, social media, Satanism, multiple pagan-based holidays, postal rate hikes, alternate sexual orientations, public school indoctrination, Daylight Savings Time, mandatory vaccinations, HAARP projects (known and unknown), President Obama, Brown v. Board of Education, morning-after pills, weird Twitter, the removal of prayer from schools, the Simpsons, artistic expression in general, and whatever else has reduced the American way of life to a hideous nightmare where punk kids manage to live their whole lives without being deservedly tased by blameless, saintly police officers.

      Becker is an idiot, but let’s pretend the research he didn’t do actually says what he thinks it will say. Even if a majority of kids tased/killed by cops are raised by single and/or inattentive parents, that doesn’t justify force deployments that far exceed the danger presented by the developing situation. This 11-year-old was tased in the back by an officer who was taller, weighed more, and had the ability to summon any number of additional officers if it appeared this preteen was going to, I don’t know, grow a foot, add 100 pounds of weight, and produce an arsenal of weapons before the officer got the mild shoplifting situation under control.

    • ACLU accuses Facebook of allowing employers to exclude women from seeing jobs ads

      “Sex segregated job advertising has historically been used to shut women out of well-paying jobs and economic opportunities,” Galen Sherwin, an attorney with the ACLU Women’s Rights Project, said in a statement. “We can’t let gender-based ad targeting online give new life to a form of discrimination that should have been eradicated long ago.”

    • Facebook Accused Of Allowing Gender Discriminating Job Ads

      A group of female Facebook users has filed a gender discrimination complaint against Facebook and nine other companies for allowing gender biased job ads on the platform.

      The ACLU along with law firm Outten & Golden LLP and the Communications Workers of America have filed a class action suit filed on behalf of three female workers with the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

    • Facebook Is Letting Job Advertisers Target Only Men

      Hundreds of thousands of Americans drive for Uber. And the company is looking for many more. It runs ads on Facebook that say, for example: “Driving toward something? Make extra money when it works for you and get there faster.” Another touts: “Earn $1,100 in Nashville for your first 200 Trips. Limited time guarantee! Terms apply.”

      There’s just one catch: Many of those ads are not visible to women.

      A ProPublica review of Facebook ads found that many purchased by Drive with Uber, the company’s recruiting arm, targeted only men in more than a dozen cities across the U.S. Our survey of 91 Uber ads found just one targeting only women; three did not target a specific sex.

      They were all gathered as a part of our Facebook Political Ad Collector project, in which readers sign up to send us the ads they see in their News Feeds.

      [...]

      Targeting by sex is just one way Facebook and other tech companies let advertisers focus on certain users — and exclude others. Based on rich data provided by users and deduced from their web activity, that powerful targeting is key to Facebook’s massive popularity with advertisers and it accounts for much of its revenue. It lets advertisers spend only on those they want to reach.

    • In Guatemala, a Tireless Search for Parents Separated From Their Children

      Working with the ACLU, human rights defenders look for missing parents in villages and remote regions of the country.

      When Lesly Tayes, a Guatemala City-based tax lawyer, first saw images of children locked in cages inside immigration detention facilities near the southern U.S. border, she was stunned. “It made me very upset and sad,” she said. “Later I learned that Guatemala had the highest number of separated families and I felt even worse. I wanted to help.” Within weeks, she’d have her chance.

      Earlier this summer, the ACLU sued the Trump administration over its policy of separating parents from their children if they crossed the border between points of entry. A federal court issued a preliminary injunction in late June against this policy, ordering that the separated families be reunified within 30 days. But it quickly became clear that the administration didn’t have a plan to meet that deadline, particularly for the more than 400 cases in which the parent had already been deported back to their country of origin. In one court filing, lawyers for the Justice Department suggested that the ACLU should take on the responsibility of finding those missing parents.

      Because the government wasn’t willing to carry out the search itself, the ACLU, along with a small group of other organizations, has set out to do just that.

      One of those organizations is Justice in Motion, a Brooklyn-based non-profit founded to provide legal support for migrant workers. Tayes is a member of Justice in Motion’s “defender network,” a loosely affiliated group of lawyers and activists in Guatemala and Honduras formed in 2008 to gather evidence of migrant worker abuses. After the court ruling in June, the ACLU and Justice in Motion asked Tayes and her colleagues to take on the daunting task of tracking down a large number of the missing parents in the two countries.

  • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

    • Google Fiber’s ‘Failure’ Succeeded In Shining A Light On Pathetic Broadband Competition

      We’ve mentioned several times how Google Fiber’s promise to revolutionize the broadband sector never really materialized. There’s a long list of reasons for that, from incumbent ISPs suing to stop Google’s access to utility poles, to Alphabet executives suddenly getting bored with the high cost and slow pace of deploying fiber and battling entrenched monopolies.

      As it stands, Google Fiber’s expansions are largely on pause as company executives figure out how much money they’re willing to spend, what the wireless future looks like, and whether Alphabet really wants to participate. That said, while Google Fiber’s actual footprint pales in comparison to the hype, the service was a success in that it generated a quality, nationwide conversation about the sorry state of U.S. broadband competition, and spurred some otherwise apathetic incumbent ISPs to actually up their game, as countless cities nationwide decried the terrible state of existing service.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Gilead’s Truvada SPC revoked by English High Court

      The English High Court has ruled that Gilead’s SPC for an antiretroviral product does not comply with Article 3(a)

      Gilead’s supplementary protection (SPC) certificate for antiretroviral product Truvada has been revoked by the English High Court today.

    • Analysis: Move To Contain Global Challenge By Ascending China At Play In Escalating Trade War Between Washington And Beijing

      In the last three decades, political leaders in both Beijing and Washington have periodically miscalculated over the trade portfolio but eventually, tensions were ironed-out and two-way trade flows advanced. Many nervous executives and political leaders around the world hope that cooler heads prevail, again.

      When the Chinese leadership cracked down demonstrators on Tiananmen Square in June 1989, Washington put Beijing’s bid to re-join the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) – succeeded by the World Trade Organization (WTO) in 1995 – on ice until early 1991 before they picked up again.

      Similarly, when the administration of President Bill Clinton in May 1994 de-linked the renewal of China’s Most-Favoured-Nation (MFN) status from its human rights record Beijing misread the move and tried to bluff its way into joining the WTO by putting an end of 1994 ultimatum. However, China’s chief trade negotiator, Long Yongtu, was sent back to his capital empty-handed. But during the heated exchanges in Geneva, top western diplomats recall, he put them on notice that when China one day became number one in world trade it would write the rules “in this house.”

    • Trademarks

      • BMW Opposes Marvel’s Trademark of Ghost-Spider

        Ghost-Spider is the new name for Spider-Gwen, the parallel dimension version of Gwen Stacy who, in that world, goes by the name of Spider-Woman. Lots of names for one person. The latest may raise the eyebrows of a certain car manufacturer. But why?

      • For Some Reason, BMW Is Asking For More Time To Oppose The Latest Gwen Stacey Character Trademark

        If you feel like you’re about to get a silly trademark story, your spidey-sense is working. We’ll keep this short and sweet, but this whole thing centers around Gwen Stacy, otherwise known as Spider-Woman. But because this is Marvel we’re talking about, there is also something of an alternate universe version of Gwen Stacy, in which she went by the name Spider-Gwen, but has more recently had that character rebooted as Ghost-Spider.

        [...]

        Two different brands under two different makes of car does not customer confusion make. If that really is the story here, it would be much better if the folks at BMW didn’t waste everyone’s time, because that’s the kind of opposition that will get tossed immediately.

        Meanwhile, maybe the folks at Marvel can dream up a few more alternate realities, including one where trademark law wasn’t so completely busted.

    • Copyrights

      • Compromise Music Modernization Act Will Bring Old Sound Recordings into The Public Domain, Tiptoe Towards Orphan Works Solution

        Earlier this year we wrote about the significant concerns we had with the CLASSICS Act, that sought to create a brand new performance right for pre-1972 sound recordings, requiring various internet platforms to pay for that additional right to stream such music. As we’ve discussed for years, pre-1972 sound recordings are kind of a mess in the copyright world. That’s because they weren’t covered by federal copyright law — but rather a mess of state laws (some statutes, some common law). Historically, none of that included a performance right, but some courts have recently interpreted one to exist (while others have said it doesn’t). On top of that, some of those state laws mean that certain works will remain covered by copyright for many decades after they would have gone into the public domain under federal copyright law.

        Many people have advocated for “full federalization” of those pre-1972 works, taking them away from those state copyright laws, and putting them on an even playing field with all other copyright-covered works. There is an argument against this, which is that doing so also creates brand new rights for works that are decades old, which clearly goes against the purpose and intent of copyright law (incentivizing the creation of new works for the public), but given what a mess having two (very different) systems entailed, it seemed like full federalization was the most sensible way forward.

      • Evolving concepts of work and sustainability of copyright: the curious case of curated fireworks displays
      • Music Group Celebrates Millions of ‘Pointless’ Piracy Takedown Notices

        The Association of Independent Music has teamed up with anti-piracy outfit MUSO to help its members remove infringing links from the Internet. The early results are promising, with five million takedown requests in a few months. However, on close inspection, it appears that they’re all excited about nothing.

        [...]

        Not only are most of the reported links missing from Google’s search results, they don’t always link to anything infringing on the pirate sites either.

09.18.18

Links 18/9/2018: Qt 5.12 Alpha , MAAS 2.5.0 Beta, PostgreSQL CoC

Posted in News Roundup at 1:33 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • NYU applies open source Google AI to diagnose lung cancer

    If recent research is any indication, artificial intelligence (AI) has a bright future in medicine. Nvidia developed an AI system that can generate synthetic scans of brain cancer. Google subsidiary DeepMind has demonstrated a machine learning algorithm that can recommend treatment for more than 50 eye diseases with 94 percent accuracy. And in newly published research, New York University (NYU) showed how AI might aid in lung cancer diagnosis.

    A paper today published in the journal Nature Medicine (“Classification and mutation prediction from non-small cell lung cancer histopathology images using deep learning”) describes how a team of NYU researchers retrained Google’s Inception v3, an open source convolutional neural network architected for object identification, to detect certain forms of lung cancers with 97 percent accuracy.

  • Google AI Tool Identifies a Tumor’s Mutations From an Image
  • Announcing Heritage: An Open Source, Public Blockchain Project

    Heritage is a project of A​3​ by Airbus, the advanced projects outpost of Airbus in Silicon Valley. Airbus Foundation is the first strategic partner within Airbus to utilize blockchain technology developed by Heritage.

    Heritage is a decentralized application for the Airbus Foundation to hold charity fundraising campaigns internal to Airbus. Through open sourcing Heritage, Airbus Foundation will help charities onboard cryptocurrency and smart contracts, opening them to a new class of donor. Heritage hopes to set a standard non-profits can replicate to continue to grow the ecosystem while aiding an underserved market.

  • Versity announces next generation open source archiving filesystem

    Versity Software has announced that it has released ScoutFS under GPLv2. “ScoutFS is the first GPL archiving file system ever released, creating an inherently safer and more user friendly option for storing archival data where accessibility over very large time scales, and the removal of vendor specific risk is a key consideration.”

  • Web Browsers

    • Chrome

    • Mozilla

      • Fedora Firefox – GCC/CLANG dilemma

        After reading Mike’s blog post about official Mozilla Firefox switch to LLVM Clang, I was wondering if we should also use that setup for official Fedora Firefox binaries.

        The numbers look strong but as Honza Hubicka mentioned, Mozilla uses pretty ancient GCC6 to create binaries and it’s not very fair to compare it with up-to date LLVM Clang 6.

        Also if I’m reading the mozilla bug correctly the PGO/LTO is not yet enabled for Linux, only plain optimized builds are used for now…which means the transition at Mozilla is not so far than I expected.

      • September 2018 CA Communication

        Mozilla has sent a CA Communication to inform Certification Authorities (CAs) who have root certificates included in Mozilla’s program about current events relevant to their membership in our program and to remind them of upcoming deadlines. This CA Communication has been emailed to the Primary Point of Contact (POC) and an email alias for each CA in Mozilla’s program, and they have been asked to respond to the following 7 action items:

      • Emily Dunham: CFP tricks 1

        Some strategies I’ve recommended in the past for dealing with this include looking at the conference’s marketing materials to imagine who they would interest, and examining the abstracts of past years’ talks.

      • Thunderbird 60 with title bar hidden

        Many users like hidden system titlebar as Firefox feature although it’s not finished yet. But we’re very close and I hope to have Firefox 64 in shape that the title bar can be disabled by default at least on Gnome and matches Firefox outfit at Windows and Mac.

        Thunderbird 60 was finally released for Fedora and comes with a basic version of the feature as it was introduced at Firefox 60 ESR. There’s a simple checkbox at “Customize” page at Firefox but Thunderbird is missing an easy switch.

  • Databases

  • Pseudo-Open Source (Openwashing)

  • Funding

  • BSD

    • OpenBSD/NetBSD on FreeBSD using grub2-bhyve

      When I was writing a blog post about the process title, I needed a couple of virtual machines with OpenBSD, NetBSD, and Ubuntu. Before that day I mainly used FreeBSD and Windows with bhyve. I spent some time trying to set up an OpenBSD using bhyve and UEFI as described here. I had numerous problems trying to use it, and this was the day I discovered the grub2-bhyve tool, and I love it!

      The grub2-bhyve allows you to load a kernel using GRUB bootloader. GRUB supports most of the operating systems with a standard configuration, so exactly the same method can be used to install NetBSD or Ubuntu. [...]

    • OpenZFS Developer Summit 2018

      The sixth annual OpenZFS Developer Summit took place September 10th and 11th in San Francisco, California with an expanded focus on non-technical topics like community development and cross-project coordination. It also marked the “light at the end of the tunnel” status of several long-term OpenZFS features, notably dRAID, the distributed spare technology originally developed by Intel. [...]

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • Washington State Electronic Notary Public endorsements

      [...] This all seemed to me to be something that GnuPG is designed to do and does
      quite well. So I sent an email on Friday night to the sender of the letter
      requesting specific issues that my provider did not comply with. This
      morning I received a call from the DoL, and was able to successfully argue
      for GnuPG’s qualification as an electronic records notary public technology
      provider for the State of Washington.

      In short, GnuPG can now be used to perform notarial acts
      <http://app.leg.wa.gov/RCW/default.aspx?cite=42.45.140> in the State of
      Washington!

  • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

    • Hindawi Limited Launches Open-Source Peer Review System Built on the PubSweet Framework

      Hindawi Limited is pleased to announce the launch of a new peer review platform built using the Collaborative Knowledge Foundation’s (Coko) open source PubSweet framework.

      This is the first complete open-source peer review system to come out of the Coko community, a group of like-minded organizations, including eLife, the European Bioinformatics Institute, and the University of California Press, keen on working collaboratively towards the advancement of openness in scholarly communications software.

    • Open Access/Content

      • Surprise: Bill Introduced To Finally Make PACER Free To All

        This would be… amazing. We’ve spent years highlighting the massive problems with PACER, the federal court system that charges insane amounts for basically everything you do, just to access public records, and which functions very much like it was designed around 1995. There are a few court cases arguing that PACER fees are illegal and a recent ruling in one of those cases agreed. As we noted at the time, that was hardly the final word on the matter. A bill like the ones Collins introduced would be an amazing leap forward in giving public access to court documents.

      • Collins introduces bill to increase transparency and access to federal court documents

        Rep. Doug Collins (R-Ga.) today introduced a bill to reform both parts of the federal courts’ electronic records system.

        “Americans deserve a justice system that is transparent and accessible. I introduced the Electronic Court Records Reform Act to modernize the judicial records systems and remove fee-for-access barriers that technology has rendered unnecessary,” said Collins.

        “As an attorney and the son of a law enforcement officer, I understand how crucial it is that this legislation ensures access to a freer, fairer and more accountable judiciary.”

    • Open Hardware/Modding

      • Learn To Code Games With The DevBoy Modular Open Source System

        Developer Nicolai Shlapunov has created a new modular open source system specifically created for learning how to program and develop games. The DevBoy has this week launched via Kickstarter with the aim of raising $100,000 over the next 30 days to make the jump into production. Watch the demonstration video below to learn more about the modular hardware kit can help you learn to dove games and allows you to configure different gaming systems depending on your needs. “Ever wanted to build your own game console? Robot remote control? May be an oscilloscope? DevBoy is what you need!”

      • RISC-V microconference accepted for Linux Plumbers Conference

        The open nature of the RISC-V ecosystem has allowed contributions from both academia and industry to lead to an unprecedented number of new hardware design proposals in a very short time span. Linux support is the key to enabling these new hardware options.

      • A $1, Linux-Capable, Hand-Solderable Processor

        Over on the EEVblog, someone noticed an interesting chip that’s been apparently flying under our radar for a while. This is an ARM processor capable of running Linux. It’s hand-solderable in a TQFP package, has a built-in Mali GPU, support for a touch panel, and has support for 512MB of DDR3. If you do it right, this will get you into the territory of a BeagleBone or a Raspberry Pi Zero, on a board that’s whatever form factor you can imagine. Here’s the best part: you can get this part for $1 USD in large-ish quantities. A cursory glance at the usual online retailers tells me you can get this part in quantity one for under $3. This is interesting, to say the least.

      • Open Source Paramotor Using Quadcopter Tech

        But not always. The OpenPPG project aims to create a low-cost paramotor with electronics and motors intended for heavyweight multicopters. It provides thrust comparable to gas paramotors for 20 to 40 minutes of flight time, all while being cheaper and easier to maintain. The whole project is open source, so if you don’t want to buy one of their kits or assembled versions, you’re free to use and remix the design into a personal aircraft of your own creation.

        It’s still going to cost for a few thousand USD to get a complete paraglider going, but at least you won’t need to pay hangar fees. Thanks to the design which utilizes carbon fiber plates and some clever hinges, the whole thing folds up into a easier to transport and store shape than traditional paramotors with one large propeller. Plus it doesn’t hurt that it looks a lot cooler.

  • Programming/Development

    • TNS Context: The CNCF Open Source Survey and the Ballerina Programming Language

      Today on The New Stack Context podcast, we talk with Chris Aniszczyk, co-founder of the TODO Group and Chief Technology Officer of the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF) about the results of our recent open source program management survey. We also talk about WS02‘s new cloud native programming language, Ballerina.

      Joining Context host TNS editorial director Libby Clark for this episode is TNS founder Alex Williams and TNS managing editor Joab Jackson.

    • The D Language Front-End Is Trying Now To Get Into GCC 9

      Going on for a while now have been D language front-end patches for GCC to allow this programming language to be supported by the GNU Compiler Collection. It’s been a long battle getting to this state but it looks like it soon might be mainlined.

      Last June was the approval by the GCC Steering Committee to allow D support in GCC. While the committee approved of its addition, the D language front-end didn’t end up getting merged in time for the GCC 8 stable release that took place earlier this year.

Leftovers

  • Science

    • Being nice to your employees pays off: Research

      Researchers surveyed nearly 1,000 members of the Taiwanese military and almost 200 adults working full-time in the US, and looked at the subordinate performance that resulted from three different leadership styles.

      They found that authoritarianism-dominant leaders — who assert absolute authority and control, focused mostly on completing tasks at all costs with little consideration of the well-being of subordinates — almost always had negative results on job performance.

      On the other hand, benevolence-dominant leadership — where primary concern is the personal or familial well-being of subordinates — almost always had a positive impact on job performance.

  • Health/Nutrition

    • What The U.S. Could Do If So Much Money Wasn’t Wasted On Health Care

      The United States spends 7.2 percent points more of our gross domestic product (GDP) on health care than several industrialized countries. That is $1.3 trillion the country effectively wastes on health care without getting better health outcomes.

      This is such a large amount of money it is almost impossible to wrap one’s head around. But it’s important to highlight just what could be done with that much money.

    • Negotiated Deal Stands For UN Tuberculosis Declaration

      The final text of the declaration can be found here [pdf], and the letter from the President of the UN General Assembly marking the end of the “silence period,” during which member states have an opportunity to break consensus, can be found here [pdf].

      “In accordance with paragraph 6 of General Assembly resolution 72/268, the political declaration shall be approved by the high-level meeting on the fight against tuberculosis on 26 September 2018 and subsequently adopted by the General Assembly,” the letter states.

      The final version of the text could be stronger on intellectual property flexibilities that promote access to medicines, but it is important that a deal has been reached, and there is room for improvement, according to civil society groups.

  • Security

    • Quantum Computing and Cryptography

      Quantum computing is a new way of computing — one that could allow humankind to perform computations that are simply impossible using today’s computing technologies. It allows for very fast searching, something that would break some of the encryption algorithms we use today. And it allows us to easily factor large numbers, something that would break the RSA cryptosystem for any key length.

      This is why cryptographers are hard at work designing and analyzing “quantum-resistant” public-key algorithms. Currently, quantum computing is too nascent for cryptographers to be sure of what is secure and what isn’t. But even assuming aliens have developed the technology to its full potential, quantum computing doesn’t spell the end of the world for cryptography. Symmetric cryptography is easy to make quantum-resistant, and we’re working on quantum-resistant public-key algorithms. If public-key cryptography ends up being a temporary anomaly based on our mathematical knowledge and computational ability, we’ll still survive. And if some inconceivable alien technology can break all of cryptography, we still can have secrecy based on information theory — albeit with significant loss of capability.

      At its core, cryptography relies on the mathematical quirk that some things are easier to do than to undo. Just as it’s easier to smash a plate than to glue all the pieces back together, it’s much easier to multiply two prime numbers together to obtain one large number than it is to factor that large number back into two prime numbers. Asymmetries of this kind — one-way functions and trap-door one-way functions — underlie all of cryptography.

    • This New CSS Attack Restarts iPhones & Freezes Macs
    • Time to Rebuild Alpine Linux Docker Containers After Package Manager Patch
    • GrrCon 2018 Augusta15 Automation and Open Source Turning the Tide on Attackers John Grigg
    • Software Patch Claimed To Allow Aadhaar’s Security To Be Bypassed, Calling Into Question Biometric Database’s Integrity

      As the Huffington Post article explains, creating a patch that is able to circumvent the main security features in this way was possible thanks to design choices made early on in the project. The unprecedented scale of the Aadhaar enrollment process — so far around 1.2 billion people have been given an Aadhaar number and added to the database — meant that a large number of private agencies and village-level computer kiosks were used for registration. Since connectivity was often poor, the main software was installed on local computers, rather than being run in the cloud. The patch can be used by anyone with local access to the computer system, and simply involves replacing a folder of Java libraries with versions lacking the security checks.

      The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), the government body responsible for the Aadhaar project, has responded to the Huffington Post article, but in a rather odd way: as a Donald Trump-like stream of tweets. The Huffington Post points out: “[the UIDAI] has simply stated that its systems are completely secure without any supporting evidence.”

    • New CAS BACnet Wireshark Report Tool Helps User to Quickly Locate Intermittent Issues
    • Hackers For Good, Working To Gather Stakeholders To Find Answers To Cyberspace Challenges

      For a number of people, the word hacker means bad news. However, if some hackers have malevolent intentions, there are also hackers for good, and their skills were put to the challenge last week as they tried to save a fictitious city fallen into the hands of a group of cyber terrorists. The challenge was part of a two-day event organised by a young Geneva-based non-governmental organisation seeking to raise awareness about digital trust and bring accountability to cyberspace.

  • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife/Nature

  • Finance

    • I worked in an Amazon warehouse. Bernie Sanders is right to target them

      Sanders has also been highlighting some of the 19th-century working practices used by Amazon to control and discipline its workforce inside of its fulfilment centres. Sanders’ bill – the Stop Bad Employers by Zeroing Out Subsidies Act, or the ‘Stop Bezos Act’ – would tax employers like Amazon when their employees require federal benefits.

      [...]

      Yet what I found while working for Amazon shocked me. I had done warehouse work previously when I was younger, along with a range of other poorly paid, manual jobs. In other words, my shock at the way workers were treated by Amazon was not a product of some wet-behind-the-ears naivety: I fully expected warehouse work to be tough. Yet what I witnessed at Amazon went far beyond that. This was a workplace environment in which decency, respect and dignity were absent.

  • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • US power couple purchase Time Magazine for $190 million

      Time Magazine is being sold by Meredith Corp to Marc Benioff, a co-founder of Salesforce, and his wife.

      The Wall Street Journal reported that the iconic news magazine is being sold for USD 190 million to Benioff, one of four co-founders of Salesforce, a cloud computing pioneer.

    • Morning Edition’s Think Tank Sources Lean to the Right

      When it comes to seeking “expert” opinions on events for its reports, NPR often looks to a trusted roster of think-tank sources. In a study of NPR’s Morning Edition from February to July 2018, FAIR found that sources from left-of-center think tanks were underrepresented, with right-leaning think tank sources appearing almost twice as often.

      Out of 129 episodes aired Monday through Friday over the course of six months, researchers and fellows representing think tanks were quoted 144 times. Centrist think tanks were most commonly heard on Morning Edition, with 63 interview (44 percent of citations). Fifty-one (35 percent) of the show’s interviews were with conservative or center-right groups, while 28 (19 percent) involved progressive or center-left groups.

      Representatives from two think tanks—the pro-seafood Lobster Institute and the Rich Earth Institute, which promotes turning urine into fertilizer—could not be placed on the political spectrum.

    • The Election DataBot: Now Even Easier

      We launched the Election DataBot in 2016 with the idea that it would help reporters, researchers and concerned citizens more easily find and tell some of the thousand stories in every political campaign. Now we’re making it even easier.

      Just as before, the DataBot is a continuously updating feed of campaign data, including campaign finance filings, changes in race ratings and deleted tweets. You can watch the data come in in real time or sign up to be notified by email when there’s new data about races you care about.

      DataBot’s new homepage dashboard of campaign activity now includes easy-to-understand summaries so that users can quickly see where races are heating up. We’ve added a nationwide map that shows you where a variety of campaign activity is occurring every week.

      For example, the map shows that both leading candidates in Iowa’s 1st District saw spikes in Google searches in the week ending on Sept. 16 (we track data from Monday to Sunday). The Cook Political Report, which rates House and Senate races, changed its rating of that race from “Tossup” to “Lean Democratic” on Sept. 6.

  • Censorship/Free Speech

    • Google’s Chinese Search Engine Will Censor Results, Provide Gov’t-Approved Pollution Data

      Google’s Chinese search engine also contains a blacklist of terms like “human rights,” “student protest,” and “Nobel Prize,” showing the government has a deep interest in using the custom-built search engine to deter and punish dissent. None of this is surprising, other than Google’s willingness to participate in government censorship. Google does pretty much the same thing with Android phones here in the US, where everything in the ecosystem is tied to the originating phone. There are ways to prevent that, but most phone users won’t take those steps. In China, however, the phones are also registered with the government, removing the third-party hop needed to tie internet activity to a person.

      Even Google’s seeming embrace of censorship and dissent deterrence may not be as surprising as it should be, as any number of social media platforms have made considerable concessions to authoritarian governments in recent years, rather than face losing market share in these countries.

      [...]

      Companies make bad decisions when faced with doing the right thing or doing the most profitable thing. Google premised its existence on not being evil. Pulling out of China lived up to that ideal. This does not. Concessions will always be made, but if these leaked documents are accurate, what Google is doing in China is far more than making small compromises to provide Chinese citizens with platforms not entirely controlled by their government. For all intents and purposes, Dragonfly is the government’s toy, built on tech underpinnings and expertise Google has apparently offered willingly.

    • Google’s search engine for China censors results for ‘democracy,’ ‘human rights,’ or ‘free speech’

      Early in August, a report from The Intercept claimed that Google was working to make a China-friendly version of its search engine that would censor results to make the government happy. A number of Google engineers quit the company after learning about this particularly egregious breach of Google’s “don’t be evil” policy, and now yet another report from The Intercept reveals exactly what Google was willing to censor.

      [...]

      More than anything, the report — which is well worth reading in full — shows the extent that even the biggest tech companies will go to in order to capture a share in a major emerging market. It’s easy to argue that if Google doesn’t acquiesce, a local firm will just do so anyway, but clearly Google’s own employees think it’s worth keeping the moral high ground.

  • Privacy/Surveillance

    • Revealed: The Justice Dept’s secret rules for targeting journalists with FISA court orders

      Today, we are revealing—for the first time—the Justice Department’s rules for targeting journalists with secret FISA court orders. The documents were obtained as part of a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit brought by Freedom of the Press Foundation and Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University.

      While civil liberties advocates have long suspected secret FISA court orders may be used (and abused) to conduct surveillance on journalists, the government—to our knowledge—has never acknowledged they have ever even contemplated doing so before the release of these documents today.

      The FISA court rules below are entirely separate from—and much less stringent—than the rules for obtaining subpoenas, court orders, and warrants against journalists as laid out in the Justice Department’s “media guidelines,” which former Attorney General Eric Holder strengthened in 2015 after several scandals involving surveillance of journalists during the Obama era.

      When using the legal authorities named in the “media guidelines,” the Justice Department (DOJ) must go through a fairly stringent multi-part test (e.g. certifying that the information is critical to an investigation, that it can’t be obtained by other means, and that the DOJ exhausted all other avenues before doing so) before targeting a journalist with surveillance. They must also get approval from the Attorney General.

    • Federal Court Says NSA PRISM Surveillance Good And Legal Because The Gov’t Said It Was Good And Legal

      Three years after its inception, a prosecution involving possibly unlawful FISA-authorized surveillance, hints of parallel construction, and a very rare DOJ notification of Section 702 evidence has reached a (temporary) dead end. The defendants challenged the evidence on multiple grounds — many of which weren’t possible before the Snowden leaks exposed the breadth and depth of the NSA’s domestic surveillance.

      The federal judge presiding over the case — which involved material support for terrorism charges — has declared there’s nothing wrong with anything the NSA or FISA Court did, so long as the surveillance was authorized and possibly had something to do with national security. (via FourthAmendment.com)

      First, the defendants — all accused of providing material support to Al Qaeda (remember them?) — asserted the constitutionality of the NSA’s upstream collections should be revisited in light of the Snowden leaks. The court [PDF] says these more-recent exposures are no reason to upset the precedential apple cart.

    • Congress Is Poised to Give Trump Administration Powerful New Spying Powers

      Congress is once again using “national security” as magic words to increase the government’s surveillance powers in dangerous and unaccountable ways.

      The Trump administration wants more spying power — and Congress appears poised to give it to them.

      Touting national security to justify spying powers that jeopardize our constitutional rights is a strategy that we have seen before. It happened with the Patriot Act after 9/11, and members of Congress and government officials are now employing similar arguments again. This time it involves a drone bill that some in Congress are pressing to be sneakily inserted into a larger piece of legislation that could be considered this month.

      According to news reports, members of Congress are lobbying to add the Preventing Emerging Threats Act of 2018 to the Federal Aviation Agency Reauthorization Act. Proponents of the bill claim that it will make our country safer. But, in reality, the drone legislation will give new surveillance powers to the Trump administration to spy on journalists, activists, and other Americans without a warrant.

      According to bill sponsors, the bill’s intent is to arm the “Department of Homeland Security and the Justice Department with the ability to act quickly and effectively when a drone poses a risk to large-scale events and government facilities.” This goal may be admirable, but the bill does not achieve it.

      Instead, the bill empowers these agencies to warrantlessly spy on Americans without complying with existing US laws — including the Wiretap Act, Stored Communications Act, and the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act. Generally, these laws require the government to get a warrant if they want to wiretap or access other types of stored communications.

      The drone bill, however, exempts DHS and DOJ from these restrictions anytime it deems a drone a “threat” to certain covered areas. The bill defined covered areas so broadly — including areas where there may be emergency responses or federal investigations— that it will inevitably sweep in areas where media organizations have a legitimate interest in reporting.

  • Civil Rights/Policing

    • ‘This Is an Unprecedented Level of Secrecy and Non-Transparency’

      Media are certainly reporting the confirmation hearings of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. But there’s a case to be made that stories that just get views from various folks about what it would be like with Kavanaugh on the court, but sidestep serious questions about the process that would put him there, are doing less covering than covering up.

      Media get things wrong all the time, but among the deepest damage they do is invisibilizing possibilities, making it seem that things they don’t consider can’t happen. It’s a sort of implicit passivity that permeates corporate reporting, of which the air of “oh well, what’s next” fatalism wafting off of much coverage of Kavanaugh is just one example.

    • California Law Could be a Big Step Forward for Police Transparency
    • A Full Investigation Is Needed Into the Sexual Assault Allegations Against Brett Kavanaugh

      Both Kavanaugh and his accuser, Christine Blasey Ford, should testify under oath before the Senate Judiciary Committee.

      Over the weekend, details of serious charges of sexual assault alleged to have been committed by Judge Brett Kavanaugh became public, as did the name of the woman raising these allegations. In a letter to Sen. Diane Feinstein and in an interview with The Washington Post, Dr. Christine Blasey Ford described an incident in high school when she says Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her at a party.

      Judge Kavanaugh has denied the allegations. “I have never done anything like what the accuser describes — to her or to anyone,” he said in a statement on Monday.

      These allegations, like all allegations of sexual misconduct, deserve to be taken seriously.

      Initially, Dr. Ford did not want her story to become public. She was afraid that doing so would “upend her life.” This is the reality women face, within a culture that too often vilifies people who come forward. Already, she has reportedly received threatening emails and is the subject of vicious online trolls, cruel tweets, and mocking Instagram posts, including one by Donald Trump Jr. But according to her lawyer, Debra Katz, “She’s willing to do whatever it takes to get her story forth.”

      It is critical that the confirmation hearings be delayed so that a thorough and transparent investigation can be conducted, including a hearing at which both Ford and Kavanaugh have an opportunity to testify under oath. The Senate cannot move forward with this lifetime appointment to the highest court in the land without considering the results of a fair, non-partisan, and complete process. If Judge Kavanaugh is confirmed, he could sit on the Supreme Court for the next 40 years. This confirmation process is the only process he will ever go through. Now is the time for the allegations to be investigated and testimony to be heard.

    • Blood-Spatter Expert in Joe Bryan Case Says “My Conclusions Were Wrong”

      A hearing to determine whether Joe Bryan should be granted a new trial came to a dramatic conclusion on Monday with a surprise, eleventh-hour admission from the expert witness whose testimony had proved critical in convicting the former high school principal of the 1985 murder of his wife, Mickey.

      “My conclusions were wrong,” retired police Detective Robert Thorman wrote in an affidavit introduced by the defense of the bloodstain-pattern analysis he performed. “Some of the techniques and methodology were incorrect. Therefore, some of my testimony was not correct.”

      Bloodstain-pattern analysis is a forensic discipline whose practitioners regard the drops, spatters and trails of blood at a crime scene as clues, which can sometimes be used to reverse-engineer the crime itself. Thorman had only 40 hours of training in the discipline when he was called in to work on the Bryan case. His testimony about a blood-speckled flashlight that Mickey’s brother found in the trunk of Bryan’s car four days after the murder made the state’s tenuous theory of the crime seem plausible.

      At Bryan’s trial in 1986 and then again at his 1989 retrial, Thorman testified that tiny flecks of blood on the flashlight could only be “back spatter” — a pattern that indicated a close-range shooting. What connection the flashlight had to the crime, if any, was never clear; in 1985, a crime lab chemist found that the blood on it was type O, which corresponded not only to Mickey but to nearly half the population. But Thorman effectively tied the flashlight to the crime scene, going so far as to say that the killer had likely held the flashlight in one hand while firing a pistol with the other.

      Bryan had been attending a principals’ convention in Austin, 120 miles from where the murder occurred in Clifton, Texas, in the days surrounding the murder. He has always maintained that he was in Austin, asleep in his hotel room, at the time of the crime.

    • How Facebook Is Giving Sex Discrimination in Employment Ads a New Life

      We’re taking on Facebook and 10 companies for using the social platform to direct job ads toward men, excluding others.

      In 1967, the newly formed National Organization for Women staged a weeklong protest of The New York Times and other newspapers. Their demonstration targeted the long-standing practice of printing classified listings in two separate columns: “Help wanted: Male” and “Help wanted: Female,” which of course resulted in the exclusion of women from high-paying jobs and industries. As a result of NOW’s advocacy campaign, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the federal agency charged with enforcing Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act prohibiting race and sex discrimination in employment, finally made clear — over the strong objection of newspapers — that limiting job postings to one sex was unlawful. Sex-segregated classified ads subsequently became a thing of the past.

      Or so we thought.

      Today, five decades later, sex-segregated job listings are roaring back to life. Enabled by social media platforms like Facebook, advertisers are increasingly using users’ personal data to direct their ads — including for jobs — to individual users based on characteristics such as sex, race, and age, thus excluding users outside of the selected groups from learning about these opportunities.

      We can’t let this archaic form of discrimination continue to take hold. That’s why on Tuesday, the ACLU, along with the Communications Workers of America and the employment law firm Outten & Golden LLP, filed charges with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission against Facebook and 10 companies that targeted ads for jobs in male-dominated fields to younger male Facebook users only, excluding all women and non-binary individuals, as well as older male users. The case is brought on behalf of three job seekers and the Communications Workers of America on behalf of a proposed class of millions of job applicants. It alleges that these job advertising practices violate federal civil rights laws prohibiting sex and age discrimination in employment.

    • Court: Trump’s ‘Get ‘Em Out’ Order Directed At Campaign Rally Protesters Is Protected Speech

      The Sixth Circuit Appeals Court has taken a look at some of President Trump’s campaign trail trash talk and decided urging fans to remove protesters wasn’t incitement, even if the phrasing was a bit graceless. (h/t Elizabeth Joh)

      The plaintiffs — Kashiya Nwanguma, Molly Shah, and Henry Brosseau — attended a Trump campaign rally for the express purpose of protesting it. There’s nothing wrong with that. It’s the sort of thing that happens all the time, even if Trump tends to draw more detractors than most. During his speech, Trump had his critics ejected, telling attendees to “get ‘em out of here.”

      The plaintiffs, having been unceremoniously ejected (with some extra jostling from Trump supporters), sued, claiming Trump’s “get ‘em out of here” directly caused them harm and violated the state of Kentucky’s riot incitement law.

      The Appeals Court disagrees [PDF] with this assessment, using the plaintiffs’ own statements to undo their assertions. But it’s not happy with the lower court’s decision to apply a less strict standard to Trump’s wording to give the plaintiffs a better shot at hitting the mark with their state claims (“incitement to riot”). Applying the plausibility standard — that Trump’s “get ‘em out of here” could have conceivably incited a riot — makes no sense if the lower court wasn’t willing to apply that same standard to words Trump said directly after that.

    • Beyond Prisons — Episode 28: Prison Strike 2018

      Recorded in the midst of the strike on August 30, co-hosts Brian Sonenstein and Kim Wilson have a conversation with Ware about the strike’s progress, as well as the challenges of organizing and why the press is woefully unprepared to report on the action.

  • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

    • Ajit Pai Whines About California’s Net Neutrality Effort, Calls It ‘Radical,’ ‘Illegal’

      Much like the giant ISPs he’s clearly beholden to, Ajit Pai isn’t particularly happy about California’s efforts to pass meaningful net neutrality rules. The state’s shiny new law recently passed the state assembly and senate, and is awaiting the signature of California Governor Jerry Brown. ISPs recently met with Brown in a last-minute bid to get him to veto the bill (a very real possibility) despite widespread, majority public support.

      Pai last week took some time to whine about California’s bill at the Maine Heritage Policy Center, a “free market” think tank supported by (shockingly) major ISPs.

    • Ajit Pai: California net neutrality law is “illegal”

      During the Obama years, when Pai was a mere FCC commissioner, he argued that states had the right to overrule federal telcoms rules. But he was arguing in favor of states’ rights to overrule federal regulations that said states couldn’t stop cities from building municipal internet services that competed with the telcos that Pai formerly served in an executive capacity.

    • Ajit Pai calls California’s net neutrality rules “illegal”

      California’s attempt to enforce net neutrality rules is “illegal” and “poses a risk to the rest of the country,” Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai said in a speech on Friday.

      Pai’s remarks drew an immediate rebuke from California Senator Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco), who authored the net neutrality bill that passed California’s legislature and now awaits the signature of Governor Jerry Brown.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Economic Analysis of Intellectual Property Notice and Disclosure

      Notice of intellectual property content, ownership, boundaries, scope of rights (and limitations), enforcement institutions, and remedial consequences plays a central role in resource planning and other economic and social functions. This chapter examines the function, design, and economic effects of intellectual property notice and disclosure rules and institutions. Based on this analysis, the chapter offers a comprehensive set of policy, institutional, and litigation reforms.

    • India: Patents Excluded

      Later, in 2012, Mr. Patel (Bharat Bhogilal Patel) filed a complaint against LG Electronics and multiple other importers for infringement. A circular was released by the govt. in 2009, which helped in the implementation of the IPR Rules, 2007. This circular addressed the issue of a Customs Officer not having the pre-requisite knowledge on Patents, Geographical Indication Infringements and design compared to Trademark and Copyrights. In order to deal with the infringements of the former kind, they should have been pronounced as offences by the court of law making the application by the Customs Officer simpler.

      In order to deal with this, vide notification no. 56/2018, the Central Government introduced amendments to the IPR Enforcement Rules, 2007 and introduced the Intellectual Property Rights (Imported Goods) Amendment Rules, 2018.

    • Germany: Abdichtsystem, Federal Court of Justice of Germany, X ZR 120/15, 16 May 2017

      This case concerns the question of whether, and under what conditions, a supplier of infringing products who is located abroad can be held liable for infringement of the German patent for acts committed abroad. The FCJ held that the supplier may be liable if he was aware or should have been aware of the fact that the products he was supplying would eventually also reach the German market through his customers. Where the supplier does not market the products directly to Germany, there is no general obligation to monitor the activities of his customers.

    • Trademarks

      • Cai v. Diamond Hong, Inc. (Fed. Cir. 2018)

        Zheng Cai DBA Tai Chi Green Tea Inc. appealed an opinion of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) cancelling registration of his mark “WU DANG TAI CHI GREEN TEA” due to a likelihood of confusion with Diamond Hong, Inc.’s registered mark, “TAI CHI,” pursuant to 15 U.S.C. § 1052(d) (2012).

        The Federal Circuit affirmed the decision, and despite the two marks (shown below) looking substantially different in appearance at first glance, other factors weighed in favor of the cancellation.

    • Copyrights

      • Traditional Knowledge and the Commons: The Open Movement, Listening, and Learning

        CC licenses and public domain tools help individuals, organisations, and public institutions better disseminate digital resources and data, breaking down the typical barriers associated with traditional “all rights reserved” copyright. At the same time, CC licenses can’t do everything for everyone. First, the licenses operate in the sphere of copyright and similar rights. They do not attempt to license, say, personality rights, trademark, or patent rights. Also, the CC community recognizes that voluntary licensing schemes will never be a comprehensive solution for access to and reuse of knowledge and creativity around the world. This is one reason why CC works on international copyright reform issues, including the protection and expansion of user rights.

        Another dimension of openness that could be better understood from the perspective of the “open” community is the sharing of cultural works related to indigenous communities. This has been talked about with terms such as “traditional knowledge”. Traditional knowledge consists of a wide range of skills, cultural works, and practices that have been sustained and developed over generations by indigenous communities around the world. These communities hold entitlement over this knowledge as well as responsibility for the preservation of their knowledge, but haven’t always had the autonomy to decide what can be done with their knowledge. International and national instruments have attempted to codify the value of traditional knowledge and rights of indigenous peoples, but the place of such knowledge within conventional intellectual property structures remains deeply contested and uncertain.

        These issues and more were brought up at the 2018 Creative Commons Global Summit as well, and has since started an important conversation within the CC community. I’m an attorney and doctoral candidate at UC-Berkeley Law, and over the summer I worked as a research fellow for Creative Commons to conduct an investigation into the current issues regarding traditional knowledge and its intersection with the open movement. A draft of the paper is complete, and we welcome your thoughts and suggestions to it.

      • Thanks To ISP Bahnhof, We Know Just How Crazy Copyright Trolling In Sweeden Is Getting

        For some time, Swedish ISP Bahnhof has been sounding the alarm over copyright trolling practices in its home country. While cynics will note that Bahnhof has absolutely made its refusal to hand over customer data a central part of its marketing messaging, the ISP has also made a point to publicly track copyright trolling court cases, threat letters, and pretty much everything else related to copyright trolling in Sweden. And, frankly, it’s due pretty much solely to Bahnhof’s tracking efforts that we now know just how insanely worse copyright trolling in Sweden has gotten in just the last year or so.

      • Apple Didn’t Delete That Guys iTunes Movies, But What Happened Still Shows The Insanity Of Copyright

        Last week we, like many others, wrote about the story of Anders G da Silva, who had complained on Twitter about how Apple had disappeared three movies he had purchased, and its customer service seemed to do little more than offer him some rental credits. There was lots of discussion about the ridiculousness — and potential deceptive practices — of offering a “buy” button if you couldn’t actually back up the “purchase” promise.

        Some more details are coming out about the situation with da Silva, and some are arguing that everyone got the original story wrong and it was incorrect to blame Apple here. However, looking over the details, what actually happened may be slightly different, but it’s still totally messed up. Apple didn’t just stop offering the films. What happened was that da Silva moved from Australia to Canada, and apparently then wished to redownload the movies he had purchased. It was that region change that evidently caused the problem. Because copyright holders get ridiculously overprotective of regional licenses, Apple can only offer some content in some regions — and it warns you that if you move you may not be able to re-download films that you “purchased” in another region (even though it promises you can hang onto anything you’ve already downloaded).

        [...]

        But, alas, we’re left with yet another example of the insanity driven by excessive copyright, in which copyright holders get so overly focused on the notion of “control” that they feel the need to control absolutely everything — including making sure that no wayward Canadians might (GASP!) purchase and download a movie meant for Australians. It’s this overwhelming, obsessive desire to “control” each and every use that messes with so many people’s lives — including da Silva’s — and makes sure that the public has almost no respect at all for copyright. Give up a little control, and let the edge cases go, and maybe people wouldn’t be so quick to condemn copyright for removing their own rights so frequently.

09.17.18

Links 17/9/2018: Torvalds Takes a Break, SQLite 3.25.0 Released

Posted in News Roundup at 2:24 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • Apache SpamAssassin 3.4.2 released

    On behalf of the Apache SpamAssassin Project Management Committee, I am
    very pleased to announce the release of Apache SpamAssassin v3.4.2.
    This release contains security bug fixes. A security announcement will
    follow within the next 24 hours.

    Apache SpamAssassin can be downloaded from
    https://spamassassin.apache.org/downloads.cgi and via cpan
    (Mail::SpamAssassin).

    Our project website is https://spamassassin.apache.org/

    Our DOAP is available at https://spamassassin.apache.org/doap.rdf

  • Valve Prepares Open-Source Moondust Repository

    Back in June, Valve announced “Moondust” as a new VR technical demo to showcase their hardware efforts (primarily with the Knuckles EV2 VR controllers) and consists of some mini games. It looks like this tech demo might be soon open-sourced.

    If you missed Valve’s original announcement of Moondust, you can find it on SteamCommunity.com granted this tech demo is primarily aimed at VR-enabling game developers.

  • Zinc Launches UK’s First Open Source Blockchain-Based Hiring Software

    London: Zinc, a UK based start-up, today launches its blockchain based hiring software, which promises to eliminate many of the inefficiencies associated with recruitment within the technology sector. Available to the public from today, Zinc has been successfully tested in beta with customers including GoCardless and Booking.com.

  • Lumina Networks Expands Engineering Management to Drive Product Innovation and Open Source Leadership

    Open source networking leader Lumina Networks today announced the addition of three industry leaders to their engineering team. Avinash Parwaney joins Lumina’s executive team as VP of Engineering. Parwaney is formerly from Cisco where he was Senior Director of Engineering. Prem Sankar Gopannan has joined Lumina as Director of Engineering and Iyappa Swaminathan has joined as Director of Technical Product Management.

    “I am pleased to welcome Avinash to lead the Lumina engineering team. He brings a wealth of real-world experience in large scale service provider networking,” said Andrew Coward, CEO of Lumina Networks. “Avinash will help Lumina accelerate our open source-based networking platforms and applications from proof of concept trials into production deployment. The addition of Prem and Iyappa to the team will further strengthen our ability to help lead the open source networking community, driving innovation and productization.”

  • Databases

  • Pseudo-Open Source (Openwashing)

    • Initial Flatpak support arrives for Windows Subsystem for Linux
    • Aussie banks dragged into the ‘open source’ era via GitHub

      The open banking Data Standards Body, which is being run by the CSIRO’s Data61 unit, is using the online service to manage feedback and comments for the technical standards that will govern the movement of data in the new economy. All decision proposals and final decisions for the open banking standards will be published on GitHub.

    • eBay Replatforming to Kubernetes, Envoy and Kafka: Intending to Open Source Hardware and Software

      eBay have discussed how they are conducting a replatforming initiative across their entire technology stack, which includes building and releasing as open source both the new hardware and software created. Open source is “fueling the transformation” of eBay’s infrastructure, and they intend to use cloud native technologies like Kubernetes, Envoy, MongoDB, Docker and Apache Kafka.

      As part of a three-year effort to replatform and modernise their backend infrastructure, eBay has recently announced that they are building their own custom-designed servers “built by eBay, for eBay”. The plan also includes making eBay’s servers available to the public via open source in the fourth quarter of this year. Although many large scale technical organisations and cloud vendors custom build their own hardware, including Google, AWS and Azure, they do not typically release this as open source. eBay have stated that they “are using servers and hardware that we designed, reducing our dependence on third parties”.

    • EU antitrust ruling on Microsoft buy of GitHub due by October 19
  • BSD

    • [llvm-dev] [7.0.0 Release] The final tag is in

      The final version of 7.0.0 has been tagged from the branch at r342370. It is identical to rc3 modulo release notes and docs changes.

    • LLVM 7.0 Is Ready For Release

      The LLVM/Clang 7.0 release had been running a bit behind schedule and warranted a third release candidate, but this week LLVM 7.0.0 is now ready to ship.

      Release manager Hans Wennborg announced minutes ago on the mailing list that the 7.0.0 release has been tagged in their source tree. This ends up being the same as last week’s 7.0-RC3 except for release notes and documentation updates.

    • LLVM Developers Still Discussing SPIR-V Support Within Clang

      One of the features that didn’t materialize for LLVM / Clang 7.0 is the SPIR-V support within the compiler toolchain.

      While there has been a SPIR-V / LLVM translator out-of-tree and various developers at different vendors have been discussing for months the prospects of adding SPIR-V intermediate representation support to LLVM/Clang, it has yet to materialize.

      The latest developer discussion is to have a roundtable talk on the SPIR-V integration at the 2018 LLVM Developers’ Meeting. This year the LLVM Developers’ Meeting is happening at the San Jose Convention Center from 17 to 18 October.

  • Public Services/Government

    • Bulgaria prepares to build its own central code repository

      In November, Bulgaria’s state eGovernment agency SEGA (Държавната агенция „Електронно управление“ ДАЕУ) will award a contract for building the country’s open source code repository. SEGA began studying submitted proposals this Tuesday. The repository, to be based on Git, will be hosting source all software newly developed by or for Bulgaria’s public services.

      [...]

      Published under the European Union Public Licence (EUPL) the Data-Gov-BG provides custom code for Bulgaria’s open data portal, including documentation about access and reuse of public sector information. The portal uses CKAN – open source software for data repositories.

  • Programming/Development

    • An “obsessive,” “anti-imperialist” Turing Complete computer language with only one command

      Daniel writes, “An obsessive programmer, frustrated with not only the inefficiencies of mainstream OSes like Windows, but what he sees as their ‘imperialistic oppression,’ built an entire operating system using a subleq architecture. Subleq is a OISC, a language with only a single command. It lacks the most basic features of programming languages, and yet is Turing Complete.

    • PHP 7.3-RC1 Released, Benchmarks Looking Good For This Next PHP7 Update

      Released this week was the first RC milestone for the PHP 7.3 feature update due out before year’s end. This weekend I ran some fresh PHP benchmarks looking at its performance.

      The PHP 7.3 release candidate is made up of many fixes ranging from memory corruption and segmentation faults to undefined symbols and other problems. The list of changes can be found via the NEWS entry.

Leftovers

  • How traveling abroad with kids showed me how to fix U.S. transit

    Ridership is down on nearly every major public transit system in the country. The argument is that agencies have failed to invest in basic upgrades which would have improved service and frequency. But on the other hand, these agencies can’t be effective when governments continue to prioritize cars—both financially and physically.

    Sweden, for example, subsidizes infrastructure improvements meant to eliminate the need for cars as part of a nationwide strategy to eliminate traffic deaths. The U.S. subsidizes widening highways.

    But what most Americans don’t know is that, in most cases, riding public transit is the best way to get public transit back on track. Especially if it helps get a car off the road during rush hour.

  • Fortnite helped cause 5% of UK divorces this year

    The company did not specify how Fortnite contributed to the separations, though its highly addictive, time-consuming nature is a sure contender. Addiction to drugs, alcohol, and gambling are often cited as reasons for relationships ending, and as digital technology increasingly takes over our lives, many argue that social media is as addicting as drugs.

  • Fortnite Battle Royal Game Cited As Cause For Divorce

    I seriously feel games are going to take over this world real soon. Earlier, it was Fortnite coaching where parents paid up to $20 for their kids to get better in the game, now this!

    According to a recent report by U.K divorce resource site Divorce Online, over 200 couples have filed divorce citing Fortnite game addiction as the root of their split.

  • Is fortnite becoming a relationship wrecker?

    Fortnite is all over the news right now as one of the most addictive digital games ever played.

    It’s not only teenagers that are being affected by its drug like qualities.

  • Pornhub traffic took a beating during iPhone XS and Apple Watch reveals

    The iPhone reveal saw Pornhub traffic drop a staggering 11.3 per cent on Apple devices and 4.4 per cent on Android. The Apple Watch Series 4 was also briefly popular (down 9.9 per cent and 3.7 per cent) before talk moved onto the health benefits, at which point viewers were inspired to have a brief 20-minute workout back on Pornhub.

  • Science

  • Security

    • Cryptocurrency mining attacks using leaked NSA hacking tools are still highly active a year later

      Yet, more than a year since Microsoft released patches that slammed the backdoor shut, almost a million computers and networks are still unpatched and vulnerable to attack.

    • Leaked NSA exploits are still used to infect at least 919K servers with cryptojacking malware [Ed: Microsoft gave the NSA back doors. It was inevitable that crackers who do not work for the US government would get in too.]

      Although Microsoft indicated that they have closed the backdoor used by this ransomware, more computers globally are not fully secured to prevent the infection by the malware. Interestingly, the hackers have shifted their game from asking for ransom and are now infecting new computers with cryptojacking malware.

    • Cybersecurity Is Only 1 Part of Election Security

      The DEF CON 2018 Voting Machine Hacking Village aimed to raise awareness in voting security through a full day of speakers and panel discussions along with a challenge for attendees to hack more than 30 pieces of voting equipment. A partnership with rOOtz Asylum offered youths between 8 and 16 years old an opportunity to hack replicas of the websites of secretaries of state to demonstrate that even hackers with limited years of experience can easily compromise critical systems. The goal was to break as many voting machine pieces as possible in order to draw attention to the vulnerabilities that will be present in the upcoming 2018 elections.

      The focus on election equipment, however, ignores the greater danger caused by hacking into the diverse collection of sensitive information that flows through political campaigns and the electoral process, and using that to influence and sow distrust among voters. While changing a vote or voting results can be traced back to a particular stakeholder, changing people’s understanding of facts is far more insidious.

    • Open Source Security Podcast: Episode 114 – Review of “Click Here to Kill Everybody”

      Josh and Kurt review Bruce Schneier’s new book Click Here to Kill Everybody. It’s a book everyone could benefit from reading. It does a nice job explaining many existing security problems in a simple manner.

    • Security updates for Monday
    • PAM HaveIBeenPwned module
    • Remote code exec found in Alpine Linux

      Users of Alpine Linux are advised to update their installations – especially those used for Docker production environments – after a researcher found a remotely exploitable bug in the distribution’s package manager.

      Alpine Linux is popular with Docker users due to its small size and package repository.

      Crowdfunded bug bounty program BountyGraph co-founder Max Justicz managed to exploit Alpine .apk package files to create arbitrary files which could be turned into code execution.

    • What is Wireshark? What this essential troubleshooting tool does and how to use it

      Wireshark is the world’s leading network traffic analyzer, and an essential tool for any security professional or systems administrator. This free software lets you analyze network traffic in real time, and is often the best tool for troubleshooting issues on your network.

      Common problems that Wireshark can help troubleshoot include dropped packets, latency issues, and malicious activity on your network. It lets you put your network traffic under a microscope, and provides tools to filter and drill down into that traffic, zooming in on the root cause of the problem. Administrators use it to identify faulty network appliances that are dropping packets, latency issues caused by machines routing traffic halfway around the world, and data exfiltration or even hacking attempts against your organization.

      [...]

      While Wireshark supports more than two thousand network protocols, many of them esoteric, uncommon, or old, the modern security professional will find analyzing IP packets to be of most immediate usefulness. The majority of the packets on your network are likely to be TCP, UDP, and ICMP.

      Given the large volume of traffic that crosses a typical business network, Wireshark’s tools to help you filter that traffic are what make it especially useful. Capture filters will collect only the types of traffic you’re interested in, and display filters will help you zoom in on the traffic you want to inspect. The network protocol analyzer provides search tools, including regular expressions and colored highlighting, to make it easy to find what you’re looking for.

  • Defence/Aggression

    • Drone assassins are cheap, deadly and available in your local store

      Aug. 5, 2018. In the heart of Venezuela’s capital, Caracas, Nicolás Maduro was delivering of a rousing speech. He stood high on a podium, speaking to a parade of military troops. The event was broadcast live on national TV. An hour in, the Venezuelan president flinched. His eyes widened. An unexpected object flew by.

      It was a drone, carrying explosives along the city’s historic Bolívar Avenue. Allegedly, this was an assassination attempt using a remote-controlled unmanned aerial vehicle — the kind of drone you can buy from any electronics store — fitted with explosives.

      Jai Galliott, a nonresident fellow of the Modern War Institute calls the event in Caracas a “modern form of assassination.”

    • CIA drone program expands across Africa

      The US Central Intelligence Agency’s drone program in Africa is expanding, the New York Times said on September 10.

      Just south of the Libyan border, a covert military base in Dirkou, Niger has been deploying fleets of drones on surveillance missions for several months, a Defense Department spokeswoman, Major Sheryll Klinkel told the NYT.

    • The US expand their drone base in Djibouti in spite of rising local ‘anti-American sentiment’.

      The United States have built another large hangar to house unmanned aircraft at Camp Chabelley in Djibouti, despite Defense Secretary James Mattis announcing in August that he would wind down special operations on the African continent a year after four US troops were killed in Niger.

    • U.S. Spies Rush to Protect Defectors After Skripal Poisoning

      When a suspected hit man for Russian intelligence arrived in Florida about four years ago, F.B.I. surveillance teams were alarmed.

      The man approached the home of one of the C.I.A.’s most important informants, a fellow Russian, who had been secretly resettled along the sunny coast. The suspected hit man also traveled to another city where one of the informant’s relatives lived, raising even more concerns that the Kremlin had authorized revenge on American soil.

      At F.B.I. headquarters, some agents voiced concern that President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia, himself a former intelligence officer known to reserve scorn for defectors from their ranks, had sent an assassin to kill one he viewed as a turncoat. Others said he would not be so brazen as to kill a former Russian spy on American soil.

  • Finance

    • Time Magazine Acquired by the Benioffs, Founders of Salesforce.com

      Salesforce.com Inc. founder Marc Benioff and his wife Lynne agreed to acquire Time magazine from Meredith Corp. for $190 million in cash, joining Jeff Bezos among tech billionaires buying venerable print publications.

      The move thrusts the brash 53-year-old entrepreneur, who helped lead the shift of software to an on-demand model, into a new role: media baron.

  • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • Former CIA officer blasts Devin Nunes for ‘enabling our indecent president’

      Rep. Devin Nunes’ (R-CA) campaign to retain his House seat took another blow Thursday, when former CIA officer Evan McMullin endorsed Democrat Andrew Janz — and slammed Nunes in the process.

      McMullin, who is also a former House Republican staffer, wrote on Twitter that “Andrew Janz is an honorable man who has made a career of upholding the law.”

      He added that Janz will “do a much better job” for the district than Nunes, whom McMullin said “ignores the district, while promoting himself and enabling our indecent president.”

    • From assassinations to CIA mind control: new show investigates how artists tackle conspiracy theories

      “When you don’t have all the information, you’re left to fill in the blanks, and so people come up with these crazy theories,” says Doug Eklund, the co-curator of possibly the first ever exhibition to tackle art and conspiracy theories. “The way that I look at the subject of conspiracy is, it’s about aspects of history that are hidden,” Eklund says. “I think of it as almost a political occult.”

      Everything Is Connected: Art and Conspiracy at the Met Breuer includes around 70 works by 30 artists, made between 1969 and 2016 (up to, but not including, the last presidential election), looking at covert power and the ways governments and citizens interact.

    • Retired admiral resigned from Pentagon advisory committee after writing open letter to Trump

      Retired Adm. William McRaven, former head of Special Operations Command, resigned from the Pentagon’s Defense Innovation Board last month after asking President Trump to revoke his security clearance.

      Defense News first reported McRaven’s exit Thursday and the Pentagon confirmed to CNN that he resigned four days after publishing his op-ed.

      In his editorial for The Washington Post, McRaven tore into the president for revoking the security clearance of former CIA Director John Brennan, calling Brennan “one of the finest public servants I have ever known.”

    • Reports: Bill McRaven resigns from Pentagon board after op-ed criticizing Trump

      Bill McRaven, former chancellor of the University of Texas System and a current UT-Austin professor, resigned on Aug. 20 from the Pentagon’s technology advisory board, multiple news outlets reported Thursday.

      His resignation came four days after The Washington Post published an opinion piece he wrote that criticized President Donald Trump’s decision to revoke the security clearance of former CIA director John Brennan.

      “Through your actions, you have embarrassed us in the eyes of our children, humiliated us on the world stage and, worst of all, divided us as a nation,” McRaven wrote. “If you think for a moment that your McCarthy-era tactics will suppress the voices of criticism, you are sadly mistaken.”

    • Curbing politicization, returning now to espionage

      Former CIA Director John Brennan recently lost his top secret security clearance, a move that will negatively impact his ability to make money in the lucrative world of U.S. government contracting.

      Mr. Brennan complained bitterly that his First Amendment free speech rights were violated by the action — a ridiculous argument since Mr. Brennan remains a paid commentator and speaks his mind freely on NBC and MSNBC national news networks seemingly at will. In fact, the lack of a clearance will enhance Mr. Brennan’s ability to speak out on issues he thinks are important.

      Not being read in to current intelligence means Mr. Brennan needs to worry less about mixing classified information with his on-air remarks or tweets and thus lowers the risk of breaking the law.

    • Enough Gossip. Where are the Trump Whistleblowers?

      I served 24 years in such a system, joining the State Department under Ronald Reagan and leaving during the Obama era. That splay of political ideologies had plenty of things in it to disagree with or even believe dangerous. Same for people in the military and the intelligence agencies, who, for example, were sent to train Afghan mujaheddin under one president and then kill them under another, more significant than wonky disagreement over a trade deal. An amoral president, in Anonymous’ words? How about one who set Americans to torturing prisoners to death?

      In the run-up to the invasion of Iraq in 2003, some inside government were privy to information about the non-presence of weapons of mass destruction, and understood the president was exaggerating the case for war if not lying about it. Three senior officials resigned from the State Department and left a clear marker in the history books the policy was wrong. Another State Department official, a former Marine, resigned in protest over the war in Afghanistan. He stated in the New York Times (a signed letter, not an anonymous Op-Ed) “[I] tried and failed to reconcile my conscience with my ability to represent the current administration. I have confidence that our democratic process is ultimately self-correcting, and hope that in a small way I can contribute from outside.” More than a decade earlier, four State Department officials quit over the Bosnian conflict, also via public letters of resignation.

  • Censorship/Free Speech

    • Bozell Warns Rep. Jordan: Social Media Perpetrating ‘Greatest Worldwide Censorship’ in ‘History of Man’ [Ed: Social Control Media was always about policing speech online; it is wrong to allege, however, that the censorship there only muzzles so-called 'Conservatives' as it's far broader than this.]

      In a conversation with Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) on Facebook Live on Wednesday, Media Research Center (MRC) President Brent Bozell declared the recent censorship of conservatives “the greatest worldwide censorship” of free speech in “the history of man.”

      “In recent months, there has been a debate that has now exploded on the national scene dealing with the subject of censorship and the power of a handful of tech companies,” Bozell said. “When you consider that Twitter and Facebook have over a billion of an audience – NBC News has four million, Twitter and Facebook have a billion – it’s worldwide.”

    • Illinois Prisons ban Pulitzer Prize-Winning Book on Attica
    • Pulitzer Prize-Winning Book Censored In Illinois Prisons

      Attorneys filed a lawsuit Thursday on behalf of historian Heather Thompson, whose Pulitzer Prize-winning book Blood in the Water: The Attica Prison Uprising of 1971 and Its Legacy was censored by Illinois prison officials.

      Attorneys from Uptown People’s Law Center and Sidley Austin filed the lawsuit. It alleges that this censorship is “arbitrarily applied,” as the book was sent to three different prisons and censored only at Pontiac and Logan Correctional Centers. It argues this censorship is a violation of Thompson’s First Amendment right to communicate with incarcerated people, as such communication should only be restricted when there is a legitimate penological interest. The lawsuit also claims that Thompson’s Fourteenth Amendment right to due process was violated because she did not receive notice of this restriction, and as such was not provided an opportunity to challenge it.

    • Lawsuit Challenges Censorship of Book on Attica Prison Uprising

      Two Illinois prisons have censored Blood in the Water, the Pulitzer Prize-winning book by historian Heather Ann Thompson about the 1971 Attica prison uprising. Today, the Chicago-based Uptown People’s Law Center where I work is filing a lawsuit to challenge this unconstitutional and unethical censorship.

      Communication with prisoners is vital to ensure they know what is occurring on the outside — as well as to ensure that those on the outside know what is happening inside prisons. If injustices inside prisons are not brought to light, they won’t be corrected.

      By their very nature, prisons isolate those they lock up. It is difficult for the press, let alone the general public, to learn what is going on inside prisons, and it is equally hard for people in prison to learn what is happening beyond the prison walls. This was most recently made apparent by the difficulty reporters had covering the recent nationwide prison strike, timed by prisoners to commemorate the 1971 uprising by prisoners at Attica prison, which lasted from September 9 to 13.

    • Don’t Miss: ‘Banned Together: A Censorship Cabaret’

      The Dramatists Legal Defense Fund (DLDF) in partnership with PEN America will present the third annual Banned Together: A Censorship Cabaret in 13 cities as a part of Banned Books Week (September 23-29), the annual celebration of the freedom to read.

    • Literature and the prison system: art for change and justice

      “The Section of Disapproved Books” grapples with prison system censorship through collaborative processes

    • Lisa Loomis & Justin Silverman: High School Censorship
    • Did BHS break the law by censoring student newspaper?

      The student newspaper at Burlington High School, the BHS Register, broke a story Monday about school guidance director Mario Macias being charged with unprofessional conduct by the Agency of Education.

      But Tuesday, school administrators censored the article, according to paper staff.

      “The BHS Register is like very, very accessible to the students. So I think it, like, shouldn’t be taken down. It makes sense that they would report it and the students would hear about it first,” said McKenna Weston, a BHS student.

    • Student journalists slam censorship, call for administration to respect the law

      Burlington School Board members heard from livid student journalists, former employees and parents on Thursday, who took the district to task for keeping a director of guidance on staff after the Agency of Education filed misconduct charges with the state’s licensing board.

      Three student editors of the high school’s paper, the Register, which on Monday night broke the story regarding the Agency’s charges against Mario Macias, were first to speak during the public comment portion of the meeting.

    • VT school to adopt new policy after accused of censorship
    • School to Adopt New Policy After Accused of Censorship

      A Vermont school district says it will adopt a new policy in line with a state law aimed at protecting student journalists after students accused the Burlington High School of censoring a recent school newspaper article.

      Last week the principal asked the students to take down a story they broke on the student newspaper website about a school employee facing unprofessional conduct charges.

      They took the story down on Tuesday and later vowed to fight the school’s action based on the new law. The principal said Thursday that the students could repost the story since the story had appeared in other media.

    • Eminem’s Most Ruthless Lines on Machine Gun Kelly Diss “Killshot”

      The devil is back, my God! Nothing fully charges the battery in Slim Shady’s back quite like a good ol’-fashioned street fight. Eminem courts more smoke than a firefighter. He likes his beef red, rare, and bloody, and anyone who dares get in the kitchen with him better not bring too many napkins. Machine Gun Kelly did just that last week, when he dropped “Rap Devil,” a song and accompanying video made in response to a shot Em fired at MGK on his new album.

      MGK ran right in with a fully loaded clip and a song that was honestly better than anyone who hasn’t paid money for an MGK show expected it to be. But Eminem isn’t Drake—there was never any question of whether he’d respond. It was just a matter of when, and how viciously, on a scale from “The Warning” to one of those Benzino drone strikes.

    • Calls for protest in Kuwait as banned book list reveals extent of censorship

      Kuwaiti liberals are calling for demonstrations on Saturday against what they describe as staggering levels of book censorship which has blocked an estimated 4,400 titles from reaching the state’s bookshops and libraries during the past five years.

      #Banned_In_Kuwait and #Don’t_Decide_For_Me have trended on Twitter as authors and followers of literature protested against the authorities’ decision to ban works including One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Marquez as well as books by Palestinian Mourid AlBarghouti and Egypt’s Radwa Ashour.

    • ‘FREADom’ banned book distribution celebrates free speech

      As part of its 23rd annual celebration of reading, free speech, and artistic expression, the Greater Pittsburgh Chapter of the ACLU of Pennsylvania will distribute banned and challenged books around the city Sept. 23-29.

      The ACLU has teamed with Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh and the Book Fairies for “F READ om,” a series of free events in honor of national Banned Books Week.

      “Self-expression is an essential part of the human condition and an essential part of the American experiment. We as Americans honor freedom of speech and encourage it in the broadest possible terms. It serves our political, artistic, religious souls. Any attempt by government to curtail speech is a denial of human dignity,” Marshall Dayan, ACLU Greater Pittsburgh Chapter president, says in a release.

    • Banned Book Read-Out: CCBC event focuses on right to read
    • Casting a spell on censorship
    • China Makes Significant Censorship Decision on Hip-Hop Culture

      While Justin Bieber might be a worldwide sensation, there’s at least one country where he is no longer welcome: the People’s Republic of China, whose government recently released a shocking set of standards regarding what media is morally fit for public consumption. As part of an overreaching crackdown on “low taste content,” the country has recently banned most references to hip-hop culture as well as musicians, celebrities, actors, and other performers with tattoos, or whose lifestyle is considered to be out of line with the ruling party’s standards of morality.

      According to Gao Changli, the publicity department director at the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television of the People’s Republic of China (SAPPRFT), there are four major”absolutes” (or rules) that outline the Chinese state-run media’s standards for decency as stated to The Independent: “Absolutely do not use actors whose heart and morality are not aligned with the party and whose morality is not noble. Absolutely do not use actors who are tasteless, vulgar and obscene. Absolutely do not use actors whose ideological level is low and have no class. Absolutely do not use actors with stains, scandals and problematic moral integrity.” Furthermore, in an interview, the Chinese state-run news media outlet Sina reported that the regulator now “specifically requires that programs should not feature actors with tattoos [or depict] hip hop culture, sub-culture and dispirited culture.”

    • Decline in violence coincides with unprecedented censorship: CPJ report

      The media in Pakistan is not showing an accurate picture of critical issues facing the country. The reason, according to a special report published by the Committee to Protect Journalists, is increasing instances of self censorship by journalists.

      The report, released earlier this week, also finds that the number of red lines that ought not to be crossed is higher than expected. These include not just the usual suspects: national security policies, civil-military ties, enforced disappearances, insurgency in Balochistan, Pashtun activism for basic rights and civil liberties and religious extremism, etc, but also issues with no apparent bearing on the high politics of state institutions. In this latter category, the CPJ report includes reporting on labour rights and peasants’ struggle for land ownership. It refers to the threats received by a Karachi-based journalist for covering labour-related malpractices of foreign brands. The journalist was told that reporting on labour rights is anti-state, the report says. Similarly, it documents the case of an Okara-based correspondent who was wrongly implicated in multiple terrorism cases for covering peasant protests in support of their claim over vast tracts of agrarian land held by the armed forces.

      While the report finds a drop in instances of violence against journalists, including murders, it correlates the finding to i) security agencies’ crackdown on terrorist outfits in western provinces and on militant wings of parties like the Muttahhida Qaumi Movement (MQM), and, ii) an unprecedented suppression of editorial autonomy across newspapers and private TV channels allegedly by elements within the security establishment.

    • ‘Impotent silence’, a Chinese priest and censorship of Catholic sites

      Vatican News sites, Ucan, AsiaNews.it all blocked. Yet the Chinese constitution defends religious freedom. The considerations of a priest, whose personal blog has been taken down.

    • Help release the FBI’s files on its wartime “Postal Censorship” program

      Back in August, MuckRock user Paul Galante requested the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s files on its wartime “Postal Censorship” program. This week, the Bureau responded, having located approximately 83,000 pages. Despite the fact that the files will be released electronically through the FBI’s supposedly cost-saving portal, the Bureau is insisting Galante pay $2,485 in duplication fees.

    • Student editors: BHS administration to restore article review policy

      The editors of the Burlington High School student newspaper say that Principal Noel Green is reinstating a student media policy which requires administrative review of stories they plan to publish.

      But the editors and press advocates say the policy, which was in place for the student newspaper before the passage of so-called “New Voices” legislation in 2017, violates the Vermont law.

      Green has not responded to a request for comment. Nor has Burlington Superintendent Yaw Obeng.

    • Our Opinion: Censorship in Burlington

      On Monday, four student journalists at The Register, the Burlington High School student newspaper, broke the news that the Vermont Agency of Education had filed six counts of unprofessional misconduct charges against BHS guidance director Mario Macias.

    • Chinese Star Fan Bingbing Has Disappeared

      The latest clue emerged Tuesday after a state-affiliated think tank and Beijing university ranked Fan dead last in their annual “Social Responsibility Report,” citing her “negative social impact.”

    • Has China’s most famous actress been disappeared by the Communist Party?

      Imagine if one day Jennifer Lawrence was walking the red carpet in Los Angeles and the next she vanished completely with no word about where she was.

      It might sound ludicrous, or terrifying, but it’s the reality in China, where one of the country’s most famous actresses has disappeared without a trace amid an uproar over tax evasion by celebrities.

      Fan Bingbing, one of China’s highest-paid and most bankable stars, has appeared in both Chinese and Western films, including the multimillion-dollar X-Men franchise.

    • Censorship? Chinese movie star disappears
    • Chinese Actress Fan Bingbing Has Gone Missing
    • Chinese actress vanished following tax evasion rumors
    • Actress vanishes amid China culture crackdown
    • Google queried by House members over reentering Chinese market, complying with censorship regime
    • Bipartisan House group presses Google over China censorship
    • Google Under Fire: Centralization, Censorship, Crypto Startup Complaint and Resignations
    • Google China Prototype Links Searches to Phone Numbers
    • Google’s prototype Chinese search engine connects users’ activity to their phone numbers, report claims
    • US Congress Grill Google On China Censorship Plans
    • Google employees quit over controversial China search engine project, report says
    • Senior Google Scientist Resigns Over “Forfeiture of Our Values” in China
    • Google Cloud’s new AI head comes with his own ties to the Pentagon’s Project Maven
    • Google Scientist Resigns Over Censored Search App for China
    • Frank Vernuccio, Substituting Censorship and Lies for Debate
    • Let’s Be Very Clear About What Breitbart’s Leaked Google Video Shows
    • The Real Google Censorship Scandal

      This week on the right-wing site Breitbart News, a video surfaced of one of Google’s weekly “T.G.I.F.” meetings, where employees and the leadership engage in heated debates over everything from healthier snack stations to the election of Donald Trump.

      Breitbart News described the 2016 video as a “smoking gun” because it showed Sergey Brin, the Google co-founder, telling everyone how he felt about the new leader of the free world.

      Spoiler: Not good.

      “Myself, as an immigrant, as a refugee, I certainly find this election deeply offensive, and I know many of you do, too,” he said in his flat, nasal voice. He was obviously rattled, as were the other top Google executives on stage with him. “I think it’s a very stressful time, and it conflicts with many of our values.”

    • Leaked Google video adds fuel to censorship fire

      Some of Google‘s top executives made critical remarks of President Donald Trump shortly after his election in 2016, according to a leaked video published by Breitbart.

      In the video, which was the company’s first all-hands staff meeting following Trump’s election, Google co-founder Sergey Brin said he found Trump’s victory “deeply offensive” and added that the election “conflicts with many of our values.”

      “There are two dominant reasons to be upset,” Brin says in the video. “One is because so many people apparently don’t share many of the values that we have. I guess we’ve known that for many months now… and secondly confronting the reality of an administration that’s now forming and, look, we have no idea what it’s going to do.”

      [...]

      In response to Breitbart leaking the video, a Google spokesperson said people were expressing personal views, and that nothing in the video suggested “any political bias ever influences the way we build or operate our products,” according to Bloomberg.

    • Google Denies Bias After Video Shows Sergey Brin ‘Upset’ Over Trump’s Election

      A right-wing news site published an internal video from 2016 showing top Alphabet Inc. executives expressing disappointment about the election of U.S. President Donald Trump, potentially giving conservative lawmakers and activists new fuel for their allegations that the internet-search giant is politically biased.

      Website Breitbart published a more than hour-long video of an all-hands meeting at Alphabet’s Google that happened soon after the election. Google co-founder Sergey Brin says “most people here are pretty upset,” and “myself as an immigrant and refugee I certainly find this election deeply offensive.”

    • On internet censorship, China can tell the US: told you so

      Maybe China’s authoritarian leaders were on to something after all.

      In 2011 and 2012, the Chinese government began imposing a series of tough new restrictions designed to rein in what was then the country’s most popular and freewheeling social media platform, Sina Weibo.

      It began with new rules making all weibo (microblogging) account users register with their real names and identity numbers, aiming to end one of microblogging’s most popular features – its anonymity. It made internet companies liable for content spread on its platforms. Individuals and groups were prohibited from using the internet to spread rumours, disrupt social stability, subvert state power or to organise or incite illegal gatherings. Scores of websites were shut, weibo accounts closed and microbloggers jailed.

    • Bebe Neuwirth, Noma Dumezweni, And More Join BANNED TOGETHER: A CENSORSHIP CABARET

      Banned Together is a celebration of songs and scenes from shows that have been censored or challenged on America’s stages, created to raise awareness around issues of censorship and free expression in the theater. The performances will feature selections from Cabaret, Chicago, Almost, Maine, Rent and Angels in America, among other notable works, with a libretto by John Weidman (Assassins, Pacific Overtures) and JT Rogers (Oslo, Blood and Gifts) directed by Ari Edelson (Building The Wall, 24 Hour Plays) Banned Together: A Censorship Cabaret will be performed in thirteen cities across the U.S. as a part of Banned Books Week (September 23rd-29th), the annual celebration of the freedom to read.

  • Privacy/Surveillance

    • Lenovo CEO: ‘We’re not a Chinese company’

      We took the opportunity to ask the global CEO of the company, Yang Yuanqing, affectionately known around the office as ‘YY’ a question that has been bugging us for a while.

      After ZTE was brought to its knees recently by accusations of privacy violations and with Huawei facing bans from supplying sensitive areas in the US, Lenovo, the other really big Chinese player in the space, has had a fraction of the flack from certain quarters.

      Why? They’re all Chinese companies, aren’t they?

    • Here come connected vehicles and urban analytics: what do they mean for privacy?

      As sensors on connected cars become more sophisticated, and the data they provide more fine-grained, so the usefulness of that information will increase, and with it applications in everyday life. For example, insurance companies are already offering reduced premiums for those willing to install so-called “black box” systems in their vehicles. These are essentially specialized versions of the connected vehicle tracking devices discussed above, and contain similarly personal data. The danger is that what are undoubtedly useful systems that can improve our cities and save us money could also become yet another way to undermine our privacy.

    • UK spy agency that violated human rights to launch startup accelerator in Manchester

      Britain’s spy agency GCHQ is found to have violated human rights just three days after announcing an open call for startups to join its accelerator in the Greater Manchester area in 2019.

    • Top Euro court: UK’s former snooping regime breached human rights

      The UK government breached human rights rules by failing to ensure proper oversight of its mass surveillance programmes, according to the European Court of Human Rights.

      In a judgment handed down today, the court said the safeguards within the government’s system for bulk interception of communication were not robust enough to provide guarantees against abuse.

      The court said this violated the right to privacy under the European convention – as did the way in which GCHQ obtained communications data from service providers.

    • UK guilty of human rights abuse, ECHR finds in groundbreaking surveillance case

      GCHQ, the British government’s intelligence and security organisation, has breached human rights in its mass surveillance programme, the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) said in a landmark ruling on Thursday (13 September).

      The ECHR found that Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights, the respect for one’s private and family life, was violated as the UK did not take out the necessary measures to ensure that only individuals relevant to the government’s security operation were watched.

      The court also observed that of the data under surveillance, no safeguards were put in place to ensure the protection of confidential material that was obtained, breaching Article 10, freedom of expression. The judges found that the data retrieved by GCHQ’s surveillance program “could reveal a great deal about a person’s habit and contacts.”

    • Big Win: Britain’s GCHQ Spygrid Violates Right to Privacy, ECHR Rules

      A major court ruling on Thursday said that the UK had violated European law, serving as a victory to privacy advocates worldwide. The news comes days after five nations charged with global surveillance released a memo urging tech companies to use workarounds to internet encryption.

      The Strasbourg-based European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) ruled Thursday that Britain’s Cheltenham-based surveillance bureau, the Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ), had violated personal privacy laws.

      The Big Brother Watch and Others v. the United Kingdom case concerned complaints lodged against GCHQ on the bulk interception of communications, intelligence sharing with foreign governments, and obtaining communications data from communications service providers, a press statement said.

    • “Bulk interception” by GCHQ (and NSA) violated human rights structure, European court docket suggestions

      The swimsuit change into brought by Gargantuan Brother Survey, Amnesty Worldwide, the American Civil Liberties Union, and a quantity of different civil liberties organizations from Europe and North The United States, as successfully because the Bureau of Investigative Journalism and others. “The resolution sends a transparent message that the same surveillance packages, equivalent to those performed by the NSA, are also incompatible with human rights,” claimed ACLU legal educated Patrick Toomey. “Governments in Europe and the United States alike have to seize steps to rein in mass spying and undertake prolonged-past due reforms that the truth is safeguard our privacy.”

    • UK mass surveillance violates right to privacy, rules European court
    • UK GCHQ violated human rights

      GCHQ’s methods in carrying out bulk interception of online communications violated privacy and failed to provide enough surveillance safeguards, the European court of human rights (ECHR) has ruled in a test case judgment.

      But the Strasbourg court found that GCHQ’s regime for sharing sensitive digital intelligence with foreign governments was not illegal. It is the first major challenge to the legality of UK intelligence agencies intercepting private communications in bulk, following Edward Snowden’s whistleblowing revelations.

      The long awaited ruling is one of the most comprehensive assessments by the ECHR of the legality of the interception operations operated by UK intelligence agencies.

    • GCHQ Found To Be In Breach Of Privacy Rules

      “If these invasions of privacy go unchecked, we risk setting the path for a tomorrow that apes China, a country where the government is using cyber-surveillance to remove all privacy from an individual’s life.”

    • Man charged with fraudulently billing NSA for contract work
    • Orlando man accused of fraudulently billing NSA for at least $250,000

      A Florida man who worked for a National Security Agency contractor in Maryland has been charged with submitting fraudulent timesheets that billed the federal government at least $250,000 for work he didn’t perform.

      U.S. Attorney Robert Hur’s office on Thursday charged Todd Andrew Leasure with making false statements.

      A court filing says Leasure submitted false timesheets in which he claimed to have worked on a services contract more than 1,500 hours more than he actually did between 2014 and 2017.

    • Police: Florida Man Fraudulently Billed NSA For Contract Work

      A Florida man who worked for a National Security Agency contractor in Maryland has been charged with submitting fraudulent timesheets that billed the federal government at least $250,000 for work he didn’t perform.

      U.S. Attorney Robert Hur’s office on Thursday charged Todd Andrew Leasure with making false statements.

  • Civil Rights/Policing

    • Reader addresses issue of security clearance for former CIA officials
    • US Sanctions Against Venezuela Force Abby Martin’s “Empire Files” to Shut Down

      Recent sanctions imposed on Venezuela by the Trump administration have forced the Empire Files program, hosted by American investigative journalist Abby Martin, to shut down. The decision to officially announce the show’s end came after blocks on wire transfers originating in Venezuela and sent to the U.S. were recently imposed, thereby cutting off the show’s primary source of funding. Issues with funding caused by the U.S.’ Venezuela policy had, however, been a problem for some time, leading Martin and her staff to halt production in late May. While Martin and her team had hoped conditions would improve, the recent sanctions make that such a distant possibility that the decision to shut down the show was made on Wednesday.

    • Qualified Immunity Contradicts Congressional Intent. It’s Time To Kill It Off.

      The doctrine of qualified immunity was conjured up by the US Supreme Court in 1982 and victims of rights violations have been paying the price for more than three decades. The doctrine was created by the Court, not by Congress. This is an important distinction, especially since qualified immunity directly contradicts the liability Congress created as an avenue of redress for citizens.

      Congress specifically said anyone who uses governmental power to deprive others of rights can be sued.

      [...]

      The arguments for keeping the qualified immunity intact are weak. Holes have been poked in these by multiple lawyers and law profs, but the doctrine lives on, propped up by the parade of litigation that would certainly result if government employees were held directly responsible for their actions.

      One of the weakest of the arguments is that the removal of qualified immunity would result in long stream of impoverished cops. As this amicus brief submitted for a QI-centric Supreme Court case points out, government employees are rarely, if ever, held directly accountable for their actions. It’s almost always taxpayers paying other taxpayers for rights the government violated.

    • Is there a myth of free speech on social media?

      Apple, Facebook, Spotify and Youtube banded together this week in a decision to stop hosting audio and video content from Alex Jones, a controversial conspiracy theorist and founder of Infowars.

      Denounced by some as censorship and supported by others as a reasonable enforcement of company policies, the move has again raised questions about the control a small handful of social media companies have over what constitutes acceptable speech online.

  • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

    • The Nation’s Second Biggest Cable Company Probably Won’t Get Kicked Out Of New York State After All

      Back in July, New York State took the historically-unprecedented step of voting to kick Charter Communications (aka Spectrum) out of New York State. Regulators say the company misled them about why the company repeatedly failed to adhere to merger conditions affixed to the company’s $86 billion acquisition of Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks, going so far as to falsify (according to the NY PUC) the number of homes the company expanded service to. The state has also sued the company for failing to deliver advertised broadband speeds, for its shoddy service, and for its terrible customer support.

      But the threat to kick Charter out of the state appears largely to have been a negotiation tactic, as the two sides are now purportedly making progress and engaging in “productive dialogue” as they attempt to hash out their differences.

  • DRM

    • International Day Against DRM takes action for a Day Without DRM on September 18th

      DRM is the practice of imposing technological restrictions that control what users can do with digital media. DRM creates a damaged good: it prevents you from doing what would be possible without it. This concentrates control over production and distribution of media, giving DRM peddlers the power to carry out massive digital book-burnings and conduct large-scale surveillance over people’s media viewing habits.

      Organized by the Defective by Design team, IDAD has occurred annually since 2006. Each year, participants take action through protests, rallies, and the sharing of DRM-free media and materials. Participating nonprofits, activist groups, and companies from around the world include the Electronic Frontier Foundation, Open Rights Group, Public Knowledge, the Document Foundation, and others (for a complete list, see: https://dayagainstdrm.org). These groups will share the message by writing about why DRM is harmful, organizing events, and offering discounts on DRM-free media.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Trademarks

      • Guest Professor: Arguing the Scandalous Clause

        The arguments against the scandalous clause are several. Trademark law, it is argued, should concern itself with consumer efficiencies and commercial goodwill—not the psychological protection of children or the majoritarian morality. Consumers choose whether they will view a mark; so by trademarking a scandalous image, no one is forcing anything on anyone. Besides, it’s inevitable that children will hear and see much worse in schools and on the internet. Furthermore, given the diverse moral views in society, a moral-based criterion seems very subjective to enforce. Trademark eligibility, it is argued, should not reflect the moral code of the PTO, a judge, or anyone else for that matter. It should reflect laissez-faire ideals: if there is demand, let the market supply it. So go the arguments.

        [...]

        As already stated, these reasons do not necessarily imply that Congress should have enacted the scandalous clause. Indeed, the clause may be criticized for various reasons. The clause certainly calls for subjectivity in its enforcement—as much subjectivity as enforcing the distinction between descriptive and suggestive marks; assessing the presence of secondary meaning; or determining that a mark has become generic. The clause certainly does not represent a laissez-faire approach—much like the regulation of public television and airwaves (restricting pornographic and vulgar content), or the very trademark system itself (creating an artificial monopoly). The clause certainly does not further source identification—just like the clauses that prevent registration of government flags or insignia, portrayals of deceased presidents, portrayals of living individuals, and surnames. The clause may even result in market inefficiency—although not as much inefficiency as results from trademark’s dilution rights. All these problems with the scandalous clause may be lamented and bemoaned, but they do not suggest that Congress has abused its discretion by abridging the freedom of speech. These problems are relevant to a much different discussion—a discussion about whether we—through Congress—should change this law. They do not inform the discussion about whether the Constitution gives courts power to reject our will.

    • Copyrights

      • South Africa: Copyright Amendment Bill Could Be Finished Next Month

        The committee is still deliberating on the public submissions received after it published specific clauses of the Copyright Amendment Bill for comment, committee secretary Andre Hermans told Intellectual Property Watch in a recent phone interview.

        “Our intention is to finalise in the month of October,” Hermans said.

        The Copyright Amendment Bill was tabled in Parliament in May 2017.

        The Portfolio Committee of Trade and Industry has met several times since last month, sifting through and debating the merits and practicalities of the submissions it has received. During this process, the committee again identified clauses of the Copyright Amendment Bill to be re-advertised and as a result, specific clauses dealing with the accreditation of collecting societies have been published for comment.

      • U.S. Wants Prison Sentence for Facebook User Who Pirated ‘Deadpool’

        The US Government is recommending a six-month prison sentence for a California man who uploaded a pirated version of the movie Deadpool to Facebook. In just a few days the copy was viewed 6,386,456 times. A strong sentence is needed to deter the defendant, other Facebook users, and the public at large, the US argues.

09.16.18

Links 16/9/2018: Windows Plays ‘Nice’ Again, Elisa Music Player 0.3 Beta and Latte Dock 0.8.1

Posted in News Roundup at 8:01 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Desktop

    • Windows derails Chrome, Firefox installation, promotes Microsoft Edge instead [iophk: "Where are the Microsoft apologists on this? They sure have been quiet."]

      Microsoft is trying a new tactic to get people to use its Edge browser: a warning dialog box that interrupts the installation of other browsers like Mozilla Firefox or Google Chrome.

    • Microsoft tests ‘warning’ Windows 10 users not to install Chrome or Firefox

      While the prompts can be turned off, they’re yet another example of Microsoft infesting Windows 10 with annoying ads and pop-ups. Some similar prompts already appear and attempt to push Chrome or Firefox users to use Edge, but this latest one steps up Microsoft’s war against Chrome even further. It’s not clear why Microsoft thinks it’s a good idea to include these irritating prompts, as all they’re likely to do is anger Windows 10 users rather than convince them to switch to Edge.

    • Microsoft Tests Warning Windows 10 Users About Installing Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox [iophk: "yeah, Microsoft "loves" FOSS"]

      While the warning does not block the installation, it is a blatant move from Microsoft to try and stop users from downloading a rival’s Web browser. As per a CNET report, test was confirmed in Windows 10 version 1809, build 17758.1. It is worth noting that it is a preview release, which will not be available to the general public for another month or so. In a statement to CNET, Microsoft referred to its Windows test programme, and said, “We’re currently testing this functionality with insiders only. The Windows Insider Program enables Microsoft to test different features, functionality and garner feedback before rolling out broadly. Customers remain in control and can choose the browser of their choice.” The Verge, on the other hand, cites its sources to say the warning will not make its way to the Windows 10 October 2018 Update.

    • Microsoft Rethinks Decision: Windows No Longer Shows A Warning When Trying To Install Other Browsers In Latest Insider Update

      Strong arm tactics like this don’t help anyone, people at this day and age won’t use an inferior product, specially ones that are free.

  • Kernel Space

    • It’s Looking Like WireGuard Could Be Ready In Time For Linux 4.20~5.0

      The latest revised patches were sent out on Friday evening for WireGuard, the very promising secure VPN tunnel technology developed over the past few years by Jason Donenfeld.

      This marks the fourth time these patches have been revised with this latest series fixing various issues discovered during earlier rounds of review, porting more crypto code to the new Zinc crypto library, documentation improvements, and other code improvements.

    • Graphics Stack

      • Igalia Sends Out Another 26 Patches Chipping Away On Intel ARB_gl_spirv Support

        OpenGL 4.6 has been out for more than a year but the Mesa-based drivers (namely RadeonSI and Intel) remain blocked from officially advertising this latest GL revision due to not yet supporting the ARB_gl_spirv extension and related ARB_spirv_extensions.

        Intel Open-Source Technology Center developers and consulting firm Igalia have been working on this key component to OpenGL 4.6 for allowing SPIR-V ingestion (the now common IR to OpenGL / Vulkan / OpenCL) but it’s a tall order and even with many patch series still isn’t quite to the finish line yet.

      • AMD Contributes 8.5x More Code To The Linux Kernel Than NVIDIA, But Intel Still Leads

        Given all the new hardware enablement work going into the Linux kernel recently, I was curious how the code contributions were stacking up by some of the leading hardware vendors… Here are those interesting numbers.

        As of this morning’s Linux 4.19 Git kernel state, I ran some Git statistics for some weekend numbers fun primarily to see how AMD vs. NVIDIA vs. Intel is doing for code contributions.

      • AMD Preps For A Big Linux 4.20 Kernel With Vega 20, Picasso, Raven 2, xGMI, Better DC

        It was a busy Friday for the open-source AMD folks as in addition to releasing AMDGPU DDX 18.1 and the big ROCm 1.9 release, their latest batch of feature changes were also submitted to DRM-Next ahead of the Linux 4.20~5.0 kernel cycle. This is going to be another exciting release for Radeon Linux users.

    • Benchmarks

      • Multi-threaded Linux Performance: AMD’s Threadripper 2990WX vs. Intel’s Core i9-7980XE

        To deliver a full-featured article for launch, my look at AMD’s Ryzen Threadripper 2990WX and 2950X combined Windows and Linux performance in the same article. As it turns out, that was a mistake, since few people noticed we even had Linux benchmarks, despite there being an obvious demand for them.

        Before publication, I debated on whether or not I should break Linux performance into its own article, but in this particular case, I opted for the combo because I felt the bigger picture was needed. That’s because in Windows, performance scaling on such a big CPU is hit-or-miss, whereas the Linux kernel seems to support AMD’s biggest no problem.

        I am not going to stand here (or sit) and pretend to understand why the 2990WX doesn’t perform so well in all Windows tests, because getting a clear answer out of anyone is tough. No one wants to pass around the blame, but by all appearances, it looks like a bulk of the problem is Windows. This article exists to not only draw attention to that, but also highlight a bit better what the 2990WX is capable of – if the software in question can take advantage of it.

  • Applications

    • Release of Foundry (previously known as rlife) 0.2.0

      These past weeks, I’ve been working a lot on my side project and I’ve made a new release of it. First of all, the project has been renamed “Foundry” (instead of “rlife”). I wanted to find a better name for this project and as this project is now actually based on Vulkan (that was my primary objective when I started it), I thought it would be a good idea to give a name related to it. Plus, there was no crates already named “Foundry”.

    • Ducktype parser extensions

      When designing Ducktype, I wanted people to be able to extend the syntax, but I wanted extensions to be declared and defined, so we don’t end up with something like the mess of Markdown flavors. So a Ducktype file can start with a @ducktype/ declaration that declares the version of the Ducktype syntax and any extensions in use. For example:

    • Proprietary

      • AION Blockchain System Releases Desktop Wallets With Windows, Mac & Linux Compatibility

        AION has finally released its Desktop wallets; the product is Linux, Wndows and Mac compatible. The AION wallet underwent thorough tests and audits both internally and externally to have this milestone released for users. AION’s wallet is built for storing the AION altcoin as is the move by most of its peer competitors within the crypto space.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • How to Reconfigure Installed Package in Ubuntu and Debian
      • How to Access Microsoft Exchange in Linux
      • Plasma desktop & HD scaling tutorial

        Say you have a small form-factor device with a high-resolution display. Case in point, my Slimbook Pro2 laptop, which comes with fourteen inches of equity and 1920×1080 pixel grid. This means things are rendered rather small, and if you wish to read or interact with the desktop environment and the applications in a meaningful way, you will strain your eyes – unless you’re twenty and a developer, in which case you have bionic eyes.

        Prompted by this serious ergonomic need, I started fiddling with different options and settings, to see if I could adjust the viewability in KDE, and make the small screen shows things in a slightly enlarged manner. This turned out to be a rather long and non-trivial exercise. In this guide, I will show you how to properly and elegantly scale the KDE desktop, GTK applications (both 2.0 and 3.0 editions), Firefox and Chrome browsers with tips that also apply to all operating systems and use cases, and then some. After me.

      • Backup Installed Packages And Restore Them On Freshly Installed Ubuntu System
      • Getting started with Tmux
      • Troubleshooting With Git – Git Series Part 3

        From time to time, you will encounter problems while using Git. The most common of these is a merge conflict. Fortunately, git will provide solutions to many problems for you. Sometimes, though, there are certain problems that do require the assistance of more experienced people. Most of these problems that I will describe are what I have encountered personally in my line of work.

    • Wine or Emulation

      • Wine-Staging 3.16 Released With ~880 Patches Still Atop Wine

        Busy since Friday’s release of Wine 3.16, the volunteers maintaining the Wine-Staging tree with the various experimental/testing patches atop upstream Wine are out with their adjoining update that continues with just under 900 patches being re-based.

    • Games

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • KDE’s Elisa Music Player 0.3 Enters Beta

        Elisa is one of several options when it comes to music players for the KDE desktop. Elisa 0.3 entered beta this week as another step forward for this relatively young project.

      • The Krita 2018 Fundraiser Starts: Squash the Bugs!

        It’s time for a new Krita fundraiser! Our goal this year is to make it possible for the team to focus on one thing only: stability. Our previous fundraisers were all about features: adding new features, extending existing features. Thanks to your help, Krita has grown at breakneck speed!

        [...]

        As an experiment, Dmitry has just spent about a month on area of Krita: selections. And now there are only a few issues left with selection handling: the whole area has been enormously improved. And now we want to ask you to make it possible for us to do the same with some other important areas in krita, ranging from papercuts to brush engines, from color management to resource management. We’ve dug through the bugs database, grouped some things together and arrived at a list of ten areas where we feel we can improve Krita a lot.

        The list is order of number of reports, but if you support Krita in this fundraiser, you’ll be able to vote for what you think is important! Voting is fun, after all, and we love to hear from you all what you find the most important things.

      • KDE Itinerary – Static Knowledge

        In the previous post on writing custom data extractors for the KItinerary framework, I mentioned we are augmenting extracted data with knowledge from Wikidata. This post will cover this aspect in more detail.

        Static knowledge refers to information that with near certainty don’t change for the duration of your trip, or during a release cycle of our software. That’s things like name, location and timezone of an airport, or the country it belongs to, as opposed to dynamic knowledge like departure gates or platforms, delays, etc.

      • KMail Now Supports A Unified Inbox While KDE Keeps Getting Polished

        Come KDE Applications 18.12 in time for the holidays, the KMail KDE email client will finally offer a unified inbox.

        The unified mailbox support for KMail allows for a single “inbox” folder of emails from all of your accounts as well as unified sent/draft folders and other folders.

      • This week in Usability & Productivity, part 36

        Greetings, KDE-loving humans! This week’s Usability & Productivity is a heavy one in terms of importance. We scored awesome fixes and improvements through the KDE software stack for subjects as varied as Libinput mouse and touchpad device handling, Task Manager icon sorting for LibreOffice, and a snazzy new unified mailbox in KMail.

      • Latte bug fix release v0.8.1

        Latte Dock v0.8.1 has been released containing important fixes and improvements!

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

      • Behind the GNOME 3.30 Release Video

        With each video I experiment with new workflows. Traditionally I have been involved in every step of the production apart from the voice-over with very few opportunities for others to step in and contribute. With Gitlab’s powerful issue tracking system, this no longer needs to be the case. This has meant that I can spend more time on production in Blender and spread out the other aspects of production to the GNOME community.

  • Distributions

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandriva Family

      • Summer’s End Roundup 2018

        Although it looked from the outside as if Mageians were sleeping through August, it wasn’t so! And now that it’s Autumn – fall for you folks in the North Americas – we’ll be more communicative, we promise.

    • Gentoo Family

      • Overriding misreported screen dimensions with KMS-backed drivers

        With Qt5 gaining support for high-DPI displays, and applications starting to exercise that support, it’s easy for applications to suddenly become unusable with some screens. For example, my old Samsung TV reported itself as 7″ screen. While this used not to really matter with websites forcing you to force the resolution of 96 DPI, the high-DPI applications started scaling themselves to occupy most of my screen, with elements becoming really huge (and ugly, apparently due to some poor scaling).

        It turns out that it is really hard to find a solution for this. Most of the guides and tips are focused either on proprietary drivers or on getting custom resolutions. The DisplaySize specification in xorg.conf apparently did not change anything either. Finally, I was able to resolve the issue by overriding the EDID data for my screen. This guide explains how I did it.

    • Red Hat Family

    • Debian Family

      • Derivatives

        • A Summary of deepin 15.6 and 15.7

          Both deepin 15.6 and 15.7 were released at June and August 2018. Here’s a short summary of them showing the new features and improvements. You will find new Welcome Intro, new Dark Theme, new Power Saving Mode, reduced RAM usage and smaller ISO size, improvements in System Settings, and new ability of File Manager (renaming partition by right-click, for example). You will see them in this article with GIF animations and screenshots. This article also shows in brief why 15.7 is far better than 15.6 so you can choose it to start deepin for your first time. Enjoy!

  • Devices/Embedded

Free Software/Open Source

  • Technology streamlines computational science projects

    Researchers use ICE to study topics in fields including nuclear energy, astrophysics, additive manufacturing, advanced materials, neutron science and quantum computing, answering questions such as how batteries behave and how some 3-D-printed parts deform when exposed to heat.

    Several factors differentiate ICE from other workflow management systems. For example, because ICE exists on an open-source software framework called the Eclipse Rich Client Platform, anyone can access, download and use it. Users also can create custom combinations of reusable resources and deploy simulation environments tailored to tackle specific research challenges.

  • Web Browsers

    • Chrome

      • Google Chrome 69 gives worldwide web a stay of execution in URL box

        Google Chrome 70 arrived as a beta release on Thursday, bringing with it a handful of meaningful improvements and some more esoteric features of interest to developers.

        Available on the Chrome Beta channel for Android, Chrome OS, Linux, macOS, and Windows – the iOS beta requires participation in Apple’s TestFlight program – Chrome 70 implements a Shape Detection API that allows web apps to do things like detect faces in images, read barcodes and parse text in images.

        The API is particularly promising for mobile web apps, which can now return the location of facial features within an image, turn barcodes and QR codes into strings and read Latin alphabet text found in pictures.

  • Databases

    • PostgreSQL 11 Won’t Ship With Its Faster JIT Support Enabled By Default

      One of the coolest innovations landing this year in PostgreSQL was LLVM-based JIT support to speed up database queries. But it’s not going to be enabled by default in the upcoming PostgreSQL 11 release.

      This functionality relies upon LLVM for JIT compiling SQL queries rather than passing those queries to the PostgreSQL interpreter. These LLVM JIT’ed queries have led to more efficient code being generated and particularly help with more complex queries.

  • BSD

  • Licensing/Legal

    • Stop using GitHub as a measure of open source contributions

      It should go without saying, but apparently doesn’t, that GitHub hosts only a fraction of open source projects and activity.

      GitHub launched about 10 years ago. Open source and free software development predates GitHub’s existence by twenty years or so. A lot of projects have picked up and moved from their previous homes to GitHub, but many haven’t. GNU projects, for example, aren’t hosted there. Canonical’s Launchpad repository hosts a lot of projects that aren’t on GitHub. Fedora has Pagure, the Eclipse project has its own source control for its projects, as well as the Apache Software Foundation, etc.

      Some of those may mirror projects on GitHub, but it’s unclear to me how people who don’t have GitHub accounts are counted when people survey GitHub. I’m skeptical that using GitHub APIs to pull user data to see “what company does so-and-so work for?” is effective when that person hasn’t created a GitHub account.

      GitHub metrics are biased towards newer projects, corporate-founded projects, and projects that have a bent towards non-reciprocal licenses.

  • Programming/Development

    • Redis does a Python, crushes ‘offensive’ master, slave code terms

      The open-source Redis database, like the Python programming language, is moving away from using the technical terms “master” and “slave” in its documentation and API – to the extent that’s possible without breaking things.

      For Python, the decision this week to replace the words “master” and “slave”, prompted by undisclosed complaints that they’re offensive, led to a backlash.

      Meanwhile, those overseeing Python’s CPython repo on Github today locked a pull request purging the words, and deleted several comments. But not before one developer highlighted the irony of executing the word change using the Git version-control software, which still relies heavily on “master” – for example, merging commits in the master branch. (Barely any instances of “slave” appear in Git code, though.)

      The Register asked Python developer Victor Stinner, author of the pull requests and Python bug report at the heart of the issue, whether he would like to discuss the controversy, but he declined. In previous comments, he justified his proposals to strip “master” and “slave” from the widely used programming language by saying some people object to the terms.

    • Backing the wrong horse?

      I started using the Ruby programming in around 2003 or 2004, but stopped at some point later, perhaps around 2008. At the time I was frustrated with the approach the Ruby community took for managing packages of Ruby software: Ruby Gems. They interact really badly with distribution packaging and made the jobs of organisations like Debian more difficult. This was around the time that Ruby on Rails was making a big splash for web application development (I think version 2.0 had just come out). I did fork out for the predominant Ruby on Rails book to try it out. Unfortunately the software was evolving so quickly that the very first examples in the book no longer worked with the latest versions of Rails. I wasn’t doing a lot of web development that at the time anyway, so I put the book, Rails and Ruby itself on the shelf and moved on to looking at the Python programming language instead.

      Since then I’ve written lots of Python, both professionally and personally. Whenever it looked like a job was best solved with scripting, I’d pick up Python. I hadn’t stopped to reflect on the experience much at all, beyond being glad I wasn’t writing Perl any more (the first language I had any real traction with, 20 years ago).

    • Google’s Dataset Search, Julia programming language, and more news

      TechRepublic described this programming language, originating from 2012 and just released as version 1.0, as follows: “designed to combine the speed of C with the usability of Python, the dynamism of Ruby, the mathematical prowess of MatLab, and the statistical chops of R.”

      Liked by data scientists and mathematicians, Julia is also used in industries, such as the automotive industry for self-driving cars, and for 3-D printing.

      Julia is open source, counts 700 active contributors, 1,900 registered packages and two-million downloads. Details, download, and documentation can be found on julialang.org.

Leftovers

  • Where in the World Is Larry Page?
  • Health/Nutrition

    • Are Aging Americans Too Old to Work?
    • The ‘Liquidators’ Who Risked It All to Clean Up Chernobyl

      It was, obviously, not an easy task. Remote-controlled bulldozers and other robots proved too weak for the job, their circuitry fried by radiation. So the Soviet Union sent in humans—600,000 of them. These brave firefighters, soldiers, janitors, and miners—the so-called “liquidators”—did everything from hosing down streets to felling trees to building a concrete sarcophagus around the exposed reactor … all the while charged subatomic particles ravaged their cells and shortened their life spans.

      “No personal sacrifice was too much for these men and women,” says photographer Tom Skipp. Moved by their story, he visited Slavutych, Ukraine in April to photograph survivors, now in their golden years. The portraits make up his haunting series The Liquidators.

    • Mega-rich family behind opioid crisis has second, secret opioid company

      The Sacklers own the infamous drug company Purdue Pharma, which in 2007 pleaded guilty to federal criminal charges for misleading doctors, regulators, and patients about the addictiveness of its branded oxycodone opioid drug, OxyContin. Yet the guilty plea seemed to do little to reform the company’s ethics or curb sales, according to a new report in the FT. Purdue continued to recklessly push the drugs on doctors, insiders told the outlet, and in 2010, it was raking in more than $3 billion in OxyContin sales.

    • Arkansas scraps Medicaid coverage for thousands of individuals

      A total of 4,353 individuals have been booted from the program for not reporting to the state how they’re meeting the requirements or for not working enough hours. Under the new program, those who are out of compliance three months in one year become ineligible for coverage the remainder of the year.

    • New research suggests possible link between sudden infant death syndrome and air pollution

      The research, published in BMJ Open and carried out in collaboration with the University of Oulu in Finland and the Medical Research Council Unit The Gambia in Africa, examines the relationship between the effects of short-term variations in air pollution and the onset of cot death or Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).

      [...]

      The research found an increased risk for SIDS two days after exposure to NO2, while exposure to PM10 was shown to have an effect for up to five days after exposure.

    • Michael Moore’s Flint water movie claims county faked kids’ lead blood tests

      Cook-Hawkins repeated her allegations during the “All In With Chris Hayes” show that was taped in Flint and broadcast Wednesday, Sept. 12, on MSNBC.

      The former health department secretary told The Journal that other witnesses and documents will support her story if it is tested and said she will share what she knows with Flint water investigators working for Attorney General Bill Schuette.

    • Lead in US school water “disturbing”—Detroit just shut off all fountains

      Students returning to school in Detroit next week will find their water fountains entirely shut off over concerns of elevated lead and copper levels—something that federal lawmakers say is part of a “disturbing and unacceptable” nationwide issue.

      The decision to shut off the drinking water in Detroit was based on a first round of results from testing that the school district carried out in its 106 schools earlier this year. The results from just 24 schools so far surfaced 16 that had water sources tainted with excessive levels of lead, copper, or both. For instance, tests at the district’s Academy of the Americas Elementary school found a kitchen and drinking faucet in a basement cafeteria that had lead levels of 182 micrograms per liter (ug/L) and 154 ug/L, respectively. Those are more than ten times the Environmental Protection Agency’s recommended limit of 15 ug/L. The full testing results can be found here.

    • Detroit schools shutting off drinking water because of lead, copper

      The Detroit school district is shutting off drinking water to all of its schools after test results found elevated levels of lead or copper in 16 out of 24 schools that were recently tested.

    • Sitting is being considered the new smoking, your desk job is to blame

      The rat race of modern life is making bad back a lifestyle disorder, with most people complaining of a catch or a longer period of pain that may keep recurring. Lower back pain can emerge abruptly due to an exercise injury, if you’ve lifted anything heavy or it may just be an age-related disintegration in the body. However, if you have a desk job and spend over 4-5 hours sitting constantly in the incorrect posture, you are prime candidate for recurrent lower backache. Newer scientific studies also point out that sitting is perhaps the new smoking.

    • About Half of Clinical Trials Go Unreported in EU

      Approximately half of all clinical trials registered in the European Union have not reported results on the European Union Clinical Trials Register as required by the European Commission, according to a study published September 12 in The BMJ. While 68 percent of pharmaceutical companies disclosed their trial data, only 11 percent of academic institutions including hospitals and universities had done so.

      “This problem strikes to the heart of evidence based medicine. We cannot make informed choices about which treatments work best, as doctors and patients, unless all results are reported,” coauthor Ben Goldacre of the University of Oxford says in a statement. A new tracker was launched along with the study to help keep a check on clinical trial reporting in the European Union (EU).

    • Emirates flight with dozens of sick passengers lands at JFK

      An Emirates flight from Dubai was quarantined Wednesday morning at JFK Airport, where it landed with about 100 of its 521 passengers feeling sick, according to reports.

  • Security

    • Course Review: Software Defined Radio with HackRF

      Over the past two days, I had the opportunity to attend Michael Ossman’s course “Software Defined Radio with HackRF” at Toorcon XX. This is a course I’ve wanted to take for several years, and I’m extremely happy that I finally had the chance. I wanted to write up a short review for others considering taking the course.

    • WPScan – A Black Box WordPress Vulnerability Scanner

      WordPress is all over the web; it’s the most popular and most used content management system (CMS) out there. Is your website or blog is powered by WordPress? Did you know that malicious hackers are always attacking WordPress sites every minute? If you didn’t, now you know.

      The first step towards securing your website or blog is to perform a vulnerability assessment. This is simply an operation to identify common security loopholes (known to the public), within your site or its underlying architecture.

    • Are BGPs security features working yet?

      This post is a textual version of a talk I gave at NLNOG 2018, You can watch the talk below if that’s your preferred medium: [...]

      BGP has had a problem for quite a while, most of the time when we hear about this in the news outside of the networking word it is referred to as a “BGP Hijack”. Which can be better phrased as “someone routed someone else’s addresses to them”.

    • Illegally Released NSA Hacker Tool EternalBlue Being Used to Mine Cryptocurrency [Ed: Microsoft’s collusion with NSA for back doors continues to serve crackers well, enriching them.]

      One Year After Their Illegal Release, the NSA’s Classified Exploits Are Still Being Used to Mine Crypto

      One year ago, the National Security Agency suffered one of the worst leaks in its history: a series of classified exploits built by the NSA were stolen and published online. Today, those exploits continue to be used to attack cryptocurrency miners worldwide.

      One of the exploits, called EternalBlue, is a particularly effective backdoor exploit. EternalBlue can be used to silently break into virtually any Windows machine in the world.

      Hackers have used EternalBlue to install ransomware on thousands of computers worldwide. Government organizations, corporations, and even entire towns have ground to a halt due to EternalBlue ransomware attacks.

    • Kodi users fall victim to malware due to malicious add-on
    • x86 finds its way into your iPhone

      The baseband cpu is a standalone core that lives in your phone and is responsible for managing 2g/3g/4g/cdma/5g wireless communications. Given the absurd complexity of these standards, today a baseband cpu must be very powerful and enough general purpose, so the days of custom FPGA based IPs are long gone, at least for the main part. A lot has been said and written about basebands on modern smartphones, so I won’t repeat it. For our purpose, you just need to know that usually basebands are implemented using embedded friendly CPUs, like for example ARM (Cortex-M, Cortex-R or something inbetween), Qualcomm Hexagon (a kind of general purpose, VLIW dsp) or other more or less known architectures.

      Apple is nothing special in this regard, up until the iPhone8/iPhoneX, they used to have two different basebands, one for CDMA markets and one for everything else. The CDMA one was based on Qualcomm Hexagon dsp, while the GSM one was based on Intel XMMxxxx architecture. For those that like to play around with iPhone firmwares, you might have seen MAVxxx and ICExxx files in the ipsw, well those two files contain the firmware respectively for Qualcomm based devices (MAV) and Intel based ones (ICE).

      As you may know, Apple decided to drop Qualcomm and now they’re using exclusively Intel based basebands, so we will concentrate on this.

  • Defence/Aggression

    • Colombian activists face ‘extermination’ by criminal gangs

      Since the beginning of 2016 – the year that a peace agreement was signed with Colombia’s largest leftist rebel group, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (or Farc) – some 311 activists, community leaders, and human rights defenders have been murdered, according to the national human rights office.

      At least 123 of those killings took place in the first six months of this year, in what the country’s human rights ombudsman described as “an extermination”.

    • ‘Only bones remain’: shattered Yazidis fear returning home

      Her village is Kocho, only a short drive away. In the vast catalogue of Isis’s war crimes, Kocho set a new bar for brutality. About 400 men, the entire male population, were rounded up, shot or beheaded. Old women were killed and dumped in mass graves, younger ones sold in markets as sex slaves, boys turned into child soldiers.

    • The NRA’s Catch-22 for Black Men Shot by Police

      A National Rifle Association spokesperson says Botham Jean would still be alive if he’d had a firearm. But when African Americans legally bearing arms are shot by police, the organization’s media outlet doesn’t defend them.

    • US military to cancel $300m in Pakistan aid over terror groups

      The Haqqani network is a militant group that focuses most of its activities on neighbouring Afghanistan, which has complained for years that Pakistan allows it to operate unimpeded from its soil across the border.

      The group is linked to the Afghan Taliban – a hardline Islamist movement that poses a major threat to the Afghan government. Pakistani Taliban groups, while associated with the Afghan Taliban, focus on attacks within Pakistan.

    • 5 Bizarre Problems Modern Militaries Are Facing

      The challenges facing modern militaries are very real … and very stupid.

    • With New Niger Drone Base, Trump’s CIA Poised for Expanded African Footprint: NYT

      The CIA under President Donald Trump has expanded its drone program in Africa with a recently built-up airbase in northeastern Niger the likely launchpad for surveillance and bombings across the region, the New York Times reported Sunday.

      The expansion reflects the agency’s reclaimed authority to conduct covert lethal drone strikes—a capacity President Barack Obama curtailed but which Trump returned to the CIA soon after taking office.

    • CIA broadening drone strike operations in Africa: report

      The CIA is broadening its drone strike operations in Africa, reversing an Obama-era decision to significantly scale back attacks, according to The New York Times.

      The intelligence agency is reportedly moving aircraft to Niger in order to conduct drone strikes against al Qaeda and Islamic State fighters in Libya.

      Nigerien and American officials told the Times that the CIA has been conducting surveillance missions with drones for several months, and will soon be using the drones in lethal missions.

      A CIA spokesman declined to comment for the report while a Defense Department spokeswoman, Maj. Sheryll Klinkel, insisted the military does not launch drone missions from the Dirkou airport, the alleged base of the recent surveillance missions.

    • How a C.I.A. drone base grew in the desert

      Officials from the U.S. and Niger have confirmed the location of a new C.i.A. drone base to The New York Times. They’ve analyzed its construction and location.

    • Marines are on Sweden’s coast preparing for largest NATO exercise as Russia grumbles

      Marines are also training with Sweden’s Carl Gustaf recoilless rifle.

    • Saudis Created ‘Little Crucible’ for 9/11 Hijackers, CIA Never Told FBI

      On the 17th anniversary of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks that destroyed the World Trade Towers and damaged the Pentagon, Radio Sputnik spoke with the authors of a new book that hit shelves last month about the failures of the US intelligence community and heretofore unknown connection the hijackers had with the Saudi monarchy.

      On Radio Sputnik’s Loud & Clear Tuesday, hosts Brian Becker and John Kiriakou spoke with Ray Nowosielski and John Duffy, about their new book: “The Watchdogs Didn’t Bark: The CIA, NSA, and the Crimes of the War on Terror,” and some of the shocking facts it brings to light about how competition between intelligence agencies for information overlapped with the creation of “a little crucible” in California for two key 9/11 hijackers by figures with high-up connections in the Saudi state in the year before the attacks, and that those same people were allowed to keep their jobs and advance in the CIA.

    • Abbas Threatens to Terminate CIA Intelligence Briefings

      The Palestinian Authority (PA) is threatening to terminate security and intelligence coordination with the American Intelligence Central (CIA) following the Trump Administration’s decision to close the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) office in Washington. In a report on Israeli state-run Kan radio, a senior PLO official said the Ramallah government is reconsidering their ties with the United States and is considering severing security ties with the United States.

      Relations between the Palestinian intelligence apparatus, under Majad Farah’s command, and the CIA had been in good standing until now; despite the tense political relations between the White House and the Muqata (the headquarters of the Palestinian government in Ramallah). Security cooperation includes constant meetings between representatives of the CIA and Palestinian intelligence officials, as well as the exchange of information.

    • CIA Veterans Get Chance to Fly Restored Makasi Plane

      In the mid-1960s, the CIA financed a clandestine air force in the congo. The mission: drive Russian and Chinese communists and Che Guevera’s Cuban troops out of the mineral-rich country.

      Who flew those planes? Cuban exiles, many of them veteran pilots from the Bay of Pigs.

      [...]

      The plane looks a lot different almost 55 years later. It’s the same plane, restored in U.S. Navy markings but carrying the logo of the Makasi, the nickname for the secret CIA air force.

      “This airplane is part of my life,” said Dario Filpes, a Makasi pilot. “Today I am 80. I feel good but I can’t fly anymore.”

    • Jordan’s Salt Cell Planned Drone Bomb Attack

      Members of a terrorist cell, who carried out a bombing in the town of Fuheis near the capital Amman on August 9, have admitted to planning for bigger attacks, including attempts to target a military base with a drone.

      The country’s General Intelligence Department (GID) said Friday that during confessions, the terrorists who were arrested in a joint gendarmerie and police raid in the city of Salt, northwest of Amman, admitted to having had the intention to carry out a series of operations across the Kingdom just after the Fuheis attack with a homemade explosive device planted near a police van, which killed a policeman and injured six others.

  • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

    • Mystery of missing Dutch cyber-security expert linked to WikiLeaks whose belongings were found in sea off Norway… before his phones were switched on 1,000 miles away

      The belongings of a leading Dutch cyber-security expert who went missing in August have been discovered floating in the sea around 30 miles from Bodø, Norway.

      This has led to speculation over the fate of Arjen Kamphuis who was last seen in the Arctic Circle after checking out of a hotel in Bodø, with plans to travel to Trondheim by train, which is ten hours away.

      Mr Kamphuis, an associate of Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, never boarded the train or the connecting flight to Amsterdam.

      A thorough search led by Norwegian police has failed to locate Mr Kamphuis, however a kayak believed to belong to him has been recovered from the sea.

    • Mysterious Disappearance of WikiLeaks Associate Takes New Turn

      The man disappeared in Norway three weeks ago, but police still haven’t come up with an official version of what happened with the cyber security expert and tech guru.

      A new piece of evidence has surfaced in the case of tech expert and WikiLeaks associate Arjen Kamphuis, who disappeared on August 20 after leaving his hotel room in the northern Norwegian town of Bodo. According to SBS News, local police found his kayak, which he had recently bought. The boat was found roughly at the same spot as some of Kamphuis’ other belongings, which were spotted by a fisherman floating in the water 50 kilometers away from Bodo on September 12.

    • Julian Assange was involved in Melbourne’s rave scene in the 1990s, Techno Shuffle book reveals

      In early ’90s Melbourne it was difficult to find electronic dance music on the radio or at the record store.

      But almost every weekend, somewhere in the city, a dancefloor would be filled with ravers wearing brightly-coloured home-made costumes.

      “If you wanted to hear this music — you know, techno music, acid house, house music — you could only really hear it in a club, at a party or at a rave,” says Paul Fleckney, author of Techno Shuffle: Rave Culture and the Melbourne Underground.

      These events were put on by English expats and local DJs, supported by rave devotees who looked after the lights, décor and chill-out zones.

      One of these devotees, according to Fleckney, was WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife/Nature

    • No more BBC platform for climate change deniers? It’d be about time

      The other major factor behind the BBC’s occasional troubles on climate change is lobbying. The newspaper commentariat is amply stocked with columnists who routinely lambast the corporation for bias; and the weight of rhetoric has had an impact.

    • Wildlife group details growing illicit animal trade on Facebook
    • Facebook animal trade exposed in Thailand

      The anti-trafficking body analysed membership of the Facebook groups in 2016 and then again two years later. It found that, while two groups had ceased to exist, total membership had almost doubled – up from 106,111 in 2016 to 203,445 in 2018.

    • Hey, Army Corps of Engineers—Show Us Your Work in Your DAPL Report

      So what’s the Corps hiding? Its reassessment of the potential environmental impacts of the Dakota Access oil pipeline, or DAPL, ordered by a federal judge in 2017. (You probably recall the massive demonstrations and international outcry that took place beforehand.) Under the terms of the court order, the Corps was instructed to reexamine whether a leak in the pipeline would pose a disproportionately high risk to the Standing Rock Sioux’s “distinct cultural practices”—which, in this case, include the ability of its 8,000 members to obtain food and water from the Missouri River and Lake Oahe.

    • Trump and Friends Cash In

      Members and backers of the Trump administration are profiting from DAPL while scheming to make even bigger bucks shipping oil and petrochemicals overseas.

    • Trump’s Disregard of Puerto Rico’s Death Toll Is Putting Lives at Risk

      I’m not laying those two studies out to re-report their conclusions but to indicate that claims have to be delivered with evidence and methods. That’s how scientists talk to each other and give policymakers tools to make decisions. In this case, both studies also contained information and recommendations of what could be improved the next time a hurricane comes to Puerto Rico—which could be any week now.

    • The Fight to Stop the Dakota Access Pipeline Continues—in the Bayous of Louisiana

      This Labor Day weekend, L’Eau Est La Vie put out a national call for reinforcements for a new wave of actions. It offered newcomers training in using ropes and climbing gear to scale a cypress tree and then establish and defend a tree sit, and led lessons in boat-based resistance, in which “kayaktivists” row up to remote swamp construction zones. Hands were also needed for ongoing construction projects: compost toilets, showers, and a library. I came down to learn why they are so determined. I also wondered why their fight has been almost completely ignored.

    • Australian Youth Activists Are Trying to Shut Down the World’s Largest Coal Port
    • Scientist who thinks more CO₂ is great joins National Security Council

      In the end, Happer was not tapped as Science Advisor by the Trump administration, but E&E News reported Tuesday that he is now a member of the National Security Council.

      Happer was previously listed as the director of a group called the “CO2 Coalition,” which has a website that claims that CO2 released from fossil fuels is just good news for global plant growth while having no real effect on Earth’s climate. (These claims are false.) He has also taken to referring to the field of climate science as a “cult movement.”

    • Sick salmon at Scottish fish farm revealed on film

      A video shot underwater on 27 August 2018 inside a cage at Vacasay fish farm in Loch Roag showed hundreds of sea lice feeding on salmon with open wounds and damaged tails and fins.

      The video has been passed to the Scottish Government and Scottish Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SSPCA), both of which have launched investigations. Campaigners said that lice from the fish farm have spread to wild salmon in a nearby river, and killed them.

    • Campaigners claim fish farms are to blame for wild salmon deaths

      Campaigners claim wild salmon returning to a river in the Isle of Lewis are infested with sea lice originating from local fish farms.

    • Scottish Salmon : Silent, contagious and deadly… the sea lice devastating Scotland’s wild salmon

      Shocking images from Loch Roag on the Isle of Lewis show fish covered in hundreds of deadly sea lice, which campaigners claim are being spread by salmon farms.

      They say the farm parasites are having “devastating consequences” on Scotland’s wild salmon and have called for legislation to be introduced to protect the species.

    • Dozens of elephants killed near Botswana wildlife sanctuary

      Carcases of nearly 90 elephants have been found near a famous wildlife sanctuary in Botswana, conservationists say.

      [...]

      With 130,000 elephants, Botswana has been described as their last sanctuary in Africa as poaching for ivory continues to wipe out herds across the rest of the continent.

    • If you want to save the world, veganism isn’t the answer

      So there’s a huge responsibility here: unless you’re sourcing your vegan products specifically from organic, “no-dig” systems, you are actively participating in the destruction of soil biota, promoting a system that deprives other species, including small mammals, birds and reptiles, of the conditions for life, and significantly contributing to climate change.

      Our ecology evolved with large herbivores – with free-roaming herds of aurochs (the ancestral cow), tarpan (the original horse), elk, bear, bison, red deer, roe deer, wild boar and millions of beavers. They are species whose interactions with the environment sustain and promote life. Using herbivores as part of the farming cycle can go a long way towards making agriculture sustainable.

    • Tropical Forests Are Flipping From Storing Carbon to Releasing It

      Apart from the human toll, the violence in the Amazon is also driving an ominous trend in the earth’s climate system. Last October, Science published one of the most important—and least noticed—climate studies in years. Tropical forests in the Amazon and around the world have been so degraded by logging, burning, and agriculture that they have started to release more carbon than they store, according to scientists from the Woods Hole Research Center and Boston University. In the parlance of climate change, these forests are flipping from carbon sinks to carbon sources.

      [...]

      “We’re dangerously approaching a point where the convergence of all these drivers might reach irreversibility,” Nobre says. Cross that threshold, and much of the Amazon rain forest will begin to die. The Amazon could reach that tipping point if 20 to 25 percent of its original forest cover is destroyed, Nobre estimates. In that case, more than half the Amazon would transition from rain forest to savannah, releasing massive amounts of CO2 into the atmosphere as the trees die and burn. Such a “dieback” is one of the scenarios that could trigger runaway global warming, according to the “hothouse Earth” study published by the Potsdam Climate Impacts Institute in August.

    • To Prevent ‘Major Extinction Crisis,’ Scientist Call for Designating Half of Planet as Protected Areas by 2050

      The demand comes in the form of an editorial published in the journal Science on Friday by chief scientist of the National Geographic Society Jonathan Baillie and Chinese Academy of Sciences biologist Ya-Ping Zhang.

      In their piece, Baillie and Zhang argue, “If we truly want to protect biodiversity and secure critical ecosystem benefits, the world’s governments must set a much more ambitious protected area agenda and ensure it is resourced.”

      “Given the evidence to date and the implications of an underestimate,” the editorial urges policymakers “to set minimum targets of 30 percent of the oceans and land protected by 2030, with a focus on areas of high biodiversity and/or productivity, and to aim to secure 50 percent by 2050.”

      “This will be extremely challenging, but it is possible,” the editorial asserts, “and anything less will likely result in a major extinction crisis and jeopardize the health and well-being of future generations.”

      The scientists concede that “estimating how much space is required to protect current levels of biodiversity and secure existing ecosystem benefits is challenging because of limited knowledge of the number of species on this planet, poor understanding of how ecosystems function or the benefits they provide, and growing threats such as climate change.”

    • Pope urges action on plastic in the ocean

      The Pope addressed about 100 business leaders invited to the Vatican for the occasion, saying that “each of us has to be responsible for others and for the future of our planet”.

      United Nations figures show eight million tonnes of plastic – bottles, packaging and other waste – enter the ocean each year, killing marine life and entering the human food chain.

      Scientists have urged tougher restrictions on plastic waste.

    • U.N. Chief Warns of a Dangerous Tipping Point on Climate Change

      One of the big tests at those talks, which start Dec. 3 in Katowice, will be whether countries, especially industrialized countries that produce a large share of global emissions, will set higher targets for reducing their emissions.

    • Here’s how climate change is fueling Hurricane Florence

      Reed talked with Science News about what a forecast attribution study is, how the new study suggests climate change may have altered Florence’s rainfall and size, and the future of real-time attribution. His responses are edited for space and clarity.

  • Finance

    • Women suffering more than men from austerity policies, finds gov’t report

      The report concluded that changes to taxation and social programmes benefitted 61 percent of men compared to 54 percent of women. As a result women’s disposable incomes have seen a greater decrease compared to men’s during the period under review.

      One finding was that government policies have resulted in roughly half a million people losing more than 50 euros in income every year. Some 55 percent of these economic underdogs have been women, whose disposable income declined by 0.41 percent more than their male peers’, the report said.

    • Zambia’s looming debt crisis is a warning for the rest of Africa
    • Why PayPal’s crackdown on ASMR creators should worry you

      In June, China banned and excised videos of sound effects while claiming to cleanse its internet of pornography. YouTube had already demonetized the genre in a sex panic; now PayPal is banning people for life and holding individuals’ funds, ignorant of the facts and marching lockstep to the tune of 8chan trolls enacting a campaign to punish “whores.”

      The most bitter punchline in all this? A tiny percentage of the entire video genre is even remotely sexual, and those suffering — female creators — aren’t even making sex content.

      This past week, nonsexual ASMR video creators Sharon DuBois (ASMR Glow), Scottish Murmurs, Creative Cal, and Rose ASMR have been permanently banned from PayPal and had their funds frozen for 180 days.

      [...]

      Capitalizing on entrenched and easily exploitable anti-sex policies by internet giant payment processors and a new internet sex panic ushered in by FOSTA, 8chan trolls have started a campaign to mass-report attractive women who make ASMR videos. Listing names of women making these sound-effect videos in a forum thread called “PayPal lowering the hammer on ASMRtits” they’ve declared war by posting links to report pages for PayPal, and called upon fellow haters to get the women kicked off YouTube and Patreon as well. They’re laughing at the women’s anguish over creating nonsexual content and losing their revenue streams, saying things like “another whore for the deep-freeze” — in between posting anti-Semitic and Pepe the frog images, of course.

      If you’re unfamiliar with ASMR, it’s essentially a genre of videos where the creator makes sound effects in a variety of scenarios that are geared toward evoking a sense-memory of tingling sensations from the back of the head. If anyone ever played with your hair and you felt a funny but calming shiver, you get the idea. The performance artists in these videos do things to create sounds like playing with hair, brushing microphones with makeup brushes, chewing ice and lots of other things that evoke a feeling for viewers. Not everyone tunes into the sensations, but those who do find it very beneficial.

    • Bitcoin [BTC]’s censorship resistance will propel it towards mass adoption, says mining firm Argo’s head

      On Friday, 14th September, Jonathan Bixby, the Chief Executive Officer of Argo, a mining company stated that the demand for cryptocurrency has actually suffered from the bearish market but there is still hope for mass market adoption.

      He stated that the affiliation of normal market users to cryptocurrencies is still in the early stages with a majority of them being early adopters. The CEO went on to say that the main problem that affects the industry is misconceptions with cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology. People just need to simplify and understand what the fintech industry is really about and that will solve almost all the insecurities related to cryptocurrencies, he said.

  • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

  • Censorship/Free Speech

    • Google a cult of censorship, fear and discrimination

      In the past days, weeks, months, and years the mask has come off Google, the company that was once considered cool and benevolent, to reveal a festering, pus-filled pit of hypocrisy and corrupt values.

    • Don’t Force Google to Export Other Countries’ Laws

      We’ve come a long way from the 1990s, when the internet evangelist John Perry Barlow, in his “Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace,” asserted that governments “have no sovereignty” online. These days, many critics call for more state intervention online, to curb the spread of disinformation and other internet-borne harms, and to limit the power of platforms like Google and Facebook to shape political discourse. Those are legitimate concerns, and rightly the subject of debate.

      We should be equally worried, however, about the prospect of platforms like Google and Facebook, with their international reach and pervasive role in our lives, doing the bidding of governments around the world.

    • Blasphemy: Pakistan’s curse
    • How Chinese influence in US universities relies on self-censorship

      A research project looking into Chinese influence in US universities has found that it is far more nuanced than many China critics have suggested.

      The Asia Society study identifies self-censorship by academics and students as the biggest impediment to independent research on China.

      The author is Senior Fellow at the Asia Society’s Centre on US-China Relations in New York, Isaac Stone Fish and he joined The World Today from New York.

    • China scholars agree ‘self-censorship is a problem in the China field.’ But whose problem?

      The conservative National Association of Scholars and the liberal American Association of University Professors have both warned about the influence of Chinese-funded Confucius Institutes on American college campuses.

      A recent research paper by University of Missouri and Princeton University political scientists probes a related issue: how Chinese pressure on scholars of China studies has affected their research.

      Sheena Chestnut Greitens and Rory Truex conducted a survey of more than 500 China scholars to collect the first “systematic data on how common it actually is for China scholars to have their work affected by PRC [Chinese government] repression,” they write in the paper.

    • Amazon opposes voluntary censorship code move mooted by industry

      Amazon is opposing a move by its peers in the video-on-demand industry in India to consider adopting an industry-wide voluntary censorship code, fearing that it will alienate viewers.

      [...]

      ET reported last week that top VOD companies were exploring the adoption of a voluntary code in anticipation of the Indian government coming up with its own rules, which some players expect will be onerous. AltBalaji, the VOD arm of Balaji Telefilms, opposes such a move and has stayed away from these discussions.

    • Amazon India Says ‘No’ To Self-Censorship, Urges Other OTT Players To Follow

      The Seattle-based company is reportedly trying to dissuade other players to drop the idea, fearing that it will alienate viewers in India.

      It was earlier reported that OTT players in India, including Amazon, allegedly met in New Delhi to discuss the possibility of censorship codes and what they would look like.

    • I don’t believe in song censorship – M.anifest

      Ghanaian rapper, M.anifest says he doesn’t believe in censoring lyrics of songs.

      According to him, just like a writer or poet is allowed to use any diction to express a concept, he believes rappers must have the same privilege.

      “I don’t believe in censorship. I don’t go into a song saying ABC, its like any writer. Just like Ama Atta Aidoo, she uses whatever she wants to use. Its not something done for short value but if needs be. We have to be real. People have grown to know authenticity so for me to censor myself, it will be a big fail…

      He, however, added that, he adheres to the censorship rules when writing his songs.

      “We do the radio and clean versions, we master all of these. I always have a radio edit…” he said.

    • Burlington school district rescinds principal’s article review policy

      Editors at the Burlington High Register, the student paper, said Friday that principal Noel Green was re-instituting a policy that required all articles be reviewed by administrators 48 hours prior to publication.

      The students and their allies immediately criticized the move as a violation of the ‘New Voices’ legislation passed by the Vermont legislature in 2017 to protect student journalists from censorship.

    • Burlington School Officials Seek to Quell Censorship Controversy

      The Burlington School Board and Superintendent of Schools Yaw Obeng on Saturday attempted to quell the controversy over censorship of the city high school’s newspaper, saying that a new policy will be developed.

      The board and Obeng announced that guidelines for material to be published in the Burlington High School Register are no longer in effect. Instead, the board and administration will develop a policy that is consistent with the free speech and student journalist protections under Vermont’s New Voices law, the announcement said.

    • Pulitzer Prize-winning photojournalist Nick Ut on his Napalm Girl shot, censorship and taking it slow

      I kept thinking that I had a bad picture. I kept thinking if it was any good at all,” says Nick Ut, Pulitzer Prize-winning photojournalist, whose iconic photograph — The Terror Of War or Napalm Girl — taken in 1972 is one of the most hard-hitting images of the Vietnam War. “We — there were other media personnel as well — used to travel with the soldiers, in the helicopters, everywhere. The Viet Cong and the North Vietnamese (Army) troops were at a stand-off and the highway was shut. We were walking just outside a village in Trang Bang, it was early in the morning, there was random bombing happening, and we were taking pictures. And then we saw this huge airplane fly low, then came a second one that dropped the napalm, and everyone screamed and started running,” says Nick Ut at a Networking India Series event in Delhi’s Unesco auditorium, organised by Yes Arts and Culture Institute and Leica.

      It’s a tale that he has recounted innumerable times, to the likes of actors Warren Beatty and Joan Collins. Even the reclusive actor Marlon Brando, who did not like to be photographed, gave Ut an audience because of the defining photograph. “I think seconds later, after the bomb dropped, I saw this deluge of children and women running on the road towards us. I started shooting. First, I saw a woman, she had a baby in her arms. Then on the periphery of my lens I saw this small girl, she was naked. She was crying. I started running towards her, but I kept shooting,” says Ut, who was born Huynh Công Út, in a village just outside of Saigon, Vietnam. After having shot eight rolls of film, Ut piled on as many children and women as possible in a van, including the nine-year-old napalm girl — he first wrapped her up in a raincoat — and drove them to a hospital, after having used his media card at check points to drive unhindered all the way to Saigon. “I kept thinking she would die. She had torn off her clothes because she was burning,” says Ut in heavily-accented English.

      Clicked on June 8, 1972, The Napalm Girl — which the 21-year-old thought was a bad picture — and other pictures were sent to the Associated Press in the US, after being routed through Tokyo. “The photo was a subject of debate. Associated Press (AP) had a strict policy on nudity. Horst Faas, the editor and senior journalist, argued that the photo rose above the clauses of nudity. It got published on June 12, 1972, in The New York Times and then everything changed for me,” says Ut, 67. The photo won the Pulitzer Prize in 1973, and was also the World Press Photo of the year. The napalm girl, Phan Thi Kim Phuc, survived severe third-degree burns that affected her deeper tissues. Fourteen months after multiple surgeries, she returned home. Kim, now 55, lives in Canada and is a grandmother. She speaks to Ut every week till date. He even attended her son’s wedding.

    • Hong Kong airport accused of censorship after Taiwanese airline’s logo disappears from photo

      Hong Kong International Airport has been accused of censorship after it removed the logo of a Taiwanese airline in a photo posted to Facebook.

      HKIA’s Facebook page was posting about the iconic Boeing 747, which is often nicknamed the “Queen of the Skies.”

      “Have you ever come across her at the airport?” the post on Tuesday read.

    • CPJ: Pakistan’s Press Freedom Climate Fraying

      A global media monitoring group said the climate for press freedom in Pakistan is deteriorating and accused the country’s powerful military of “quietly, but effectively” encouraging “self-censorship.”

      In a report released Wednesday, the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), said its findings are based on interviews with journalists during a mission to Pakistan this year. They “painted a picture of a media under siege,” CPJ noted.

      The research, however, noted a drop in murders and violence against journalists in Pakistan, which, until recently, had been condemned as one of the deadliest for reporters.

    • Freedom of press on the decline in Pakistan: Committee to Protect Journalists
    • Press freedom in Pakistan under pressure by military: Report
    • Pakistan military ‘quietly’ stifles press with intimidation: group
    • CPJ: Pakistan’s Military Curbing Press Freedoms Using Fear, Intimidation
    • How Pakistan’s military intimidates journalists and silences dissent, according to press watchdog
    • Acts of Intimidation: In Pakistan, journalists’ fear and censorship grow even as fatal violence declines
    • Target is reportedly censoring words like “Nazi” and “queer” from book descriptions
    • Allison Varnes writes a cautionary tale about censorship for young readers
    • This Vietnamese singer tried to battle state censorship. Now she only performs in secret.
    • Constitution After-Dark: Obscenity, Censorship, and Speech Rights in the Digital Age
    • EDITORIAL: The latest examples of academic censorship

      There are many valid reasons for an academic journal to reject a scientific paper, but concerns over the political implications of its findings aren’t among them.

      Yet that’s what happened to Theodore Hill, a professor emeritus of mathematics at Georgia Tech. He chronicled his saga at Quillette.com earlier this month. It started last year with a paper on the “greater male variability hypothesis,” which contends that men are more likely to be both geniuses and dolts. This isn’t a new idea. Charles Darwin studied this back in the 19th century, finding a greater variability among males, compared to females, in many animal species.

      Hill was interested in why this was and worked on “a simple intuitive mathematical argument based on biological and evolutionary principles.” Mathematical Intelligencer, a research journal, decided to publish a paper by Hill detailing his work. That’s when the backlash started.

  • Privacy/Surveillance

    • Chinese tech firm fights GCHQ warning

      A Chinese state-backed technology giant is recruiting MPs and peers for a campaign to overturn GCHQ advice that its equipment may be a threat to national security.

      ZTE, which makes network gear and is owned by the Chinese state, is ­battling advice issued in April by GCHQ’s National Cyber ­Security Centre (NCSC) that use of its “equipment or services within ­existing ­telecommunications infra- structure would present a risk to UK national ­security that could not be mitigated effectively or practicably”.

    • UK mass surveillance broke human rights convention, European court rules

      The UK’s mass surveillance program is in violation of human rights, the European Court of Human Rights has declared. The challenge was instigated following the revelations from US whistle-blower Edward Snowden.

      The court stated there is “insufficient oversight” and “inadequate safeguards” over the government’s ‘bulk interception’ of communications. Furthermore, it found the UK “was not in accordance with the law” over it’s obtaining of communications data from service providers.

    • UK Surveillance Programs Violated Privacy Rights, Court Says

      The European Court of Human Rights said that some U.K. surveillance programs, including the bulk interception of communications exposed by whistleblower Edward Snowden, violate rules that protect privacy and family life.

      The seven judges at the Strasbourg, France-based court said in a 5-2 ruling that such interceptions violated Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights, which also deals with the privacy of communications. There was insufficient oversight of how information in the bulk scoop of data was intercepted and filtered, and the safeguards governing the selection of “related communications data” for examination were inadequate, the judges said in a statement published Thursday following their decision.

    • Top European Court Says British Spies Broke Human Rights Rules With Their Mass Surveillance Tactics
    • “Bulk interception” by GCHQ (and NSA) violated human rights charter, European court rules

      The Court found that sharing intelligence information gathered from bulk surveillance—as GCHQ does with the NSA and other members of the “Five Eyes” intelligence and security alliance—does not violate the human rights charter. But the judges did warn that using such intelligence sharing to bypass restrictions on surveillance of a member state’s own citizens would be a violation of the charter.

      In the ruling, the judges found that there was insufficient oversight through the UK’s Investigatory Powers Tribunal (the UK equivalent of the US’ Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court) over the UK’s bulk interception, filtering, and search of communications by the GCHQ. The judges also found that there were insufficient safeguards put in place to govern access to communications data. While the case has no direct impact on US intelligence gathering, the case could have a ripple effect because of the close connections between US and UK intelligence and law enforcement organizations.

    • British spies broke law in GCHQ mass surveillance, says European Court of Human Rights

      Britain broke human rights law when the GCHQ intelligence agency carried out the mass snooping operation that was exposed by Edward Snowden, a European court has ruled.

      The European Court of Human Rights said spies broke the right to privacy and ignored surveillance safeguards when they carried out the data harvesting and intercepted private online conversations in bulk. Judges ruled that UK intelligence agencies sharing the data with foreign governments, such as the US, was not illegal.

    • AT&T Users Lack Standing In NSA Spying Suit, Court Told

      The National Security Agency is pressing a California federal judge to ax a long-running putative class action accusing the agency of illegal spying, arguing that the AT&T customers leading the dispute lack standing because they have failed to offer any “competent evidence” that their communications were scooped up by the challenged surveillance.

      A group of American citizens who are AT&T telephone subscribers first sued the NSA and several high-ranking government officials in 2008, claiming that several NSA intelligence-gathering programs that involve the collection of noncontent data about…

    • Tech Firms Push Gov’t For Limits In Hoarding Security Flaws [Ed: Microsoft is a company of liars. They actively collude with the NSA to make back doors, based on leaks. Publicly they pretend to oppose it.]

      Members of the Cybersecurity Tech Accord, which includes Microsoft Corp., Facebook Inc., HP, Cisco Systems Inc. and Dell, called Monday for the U.S. government and other major powers to develop criteria for deciding whether to disclose software and hardware vulnerabilities to the public.

    • Bay Area transit system approves new surveillance-oversight policy

      On Thursday, the Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) Board of Directors voted to approve a new policy that requires that it be notified if the local police department wishes to acquire new surveillance equipment.

      BART is one of the largest mass transit agencies in northern California, with a system that stretches from the San Francisco International Airport, through San Francisco itself, across to Oakland, north to Antioch and south to Fremont—adjacent to Silicon Valley. This new policy puts it in line with a number of other regional cities that impose community oversight on the acquisition and use of surveillance technology. It is believed to be one of the first, if not the first, such policies for a transportation agency in the nation.

    • Edward Snowden Reconsidered

      The Snowden phenomenon was far larger than the man himself, larger even than the documents he leaked. It showed us the first glimmerings of an emerging ideological realignment—a convergence, not for the first time, of the far left and the far right, and of libertarianism with authoritarianism. It was also a powerful intervention in information wars we didn’t yet realize we were engaged in, but which we now need to understand. To this day, Snowden speaks often, and uses his platform. So whether we trust him matters. And it certainly matters if we conclude that he is a well-intentioned whistleblower who has shown bad judgment or has allowed himself to become an unwitting pawn of the Russians.

    • U.S. Mobile Giants Want to be Your Online Identity

      Tentatively dubbed “Project Verify” and still in the private beta testing phase, the new authentication initiative is being pitched as a way to give consumers both a more streamlined method of proving one’s identity when creating a new account at a given Web site, as well as replacing passwords and one-time codes for logging in to existing accounts at participating sites.

      [...]

      All four major mobile providers currently are struggling to protect customers against scams designed to seize control over a target’s mobile phone number. In an increasingly common scenario, attackers impersonate the customer over the phone or in mobile retail stores in a bid to get the target’s number transferred to a device they control. When successful, these attacks — known as SIM swaps and mobile number port-out scams — allow thieves to intercept one-time authentication codes sent to a customer’s mobile device via text message or automated phone-call.

  • Civil Rights/Policing

    • Ending Child Marriage in the United Kingdom

      In allowing some children to marry the UK is out of step with the international standards it claims to support. The UN Committee on the Rights of the Child supports a global minimum of 18 years for marriage, without exceptions, and recommended in 2016 that the UK raises the minimum marriage age to 18, including in its overseas territories.

    • Criminalizing Childhood: School Safety Measures Aren’t Making the Schools Any Safer

      By the time the average young person in America finishes their public school education, nearly one out of every three of them will have been arrested.

      More than 3 million students are suspended or expelled from schools every year, often for minor misbehavior, such as “disruptive behavior” or “insubordination.”

      Black students are three times more likely than white students to face suspension and expulsion.

      Zero tolerance policies that were intended to make schools safer by discouraging the use of actual drugs and weapons by students have turned students into suspects to be treated as criminals by school officials and law enforcement alike, while criminalizing childish behavior.

    • Dallas cop faces homicide charge after killing neighbor in his [own] apartment
    • Dallas officer who shot man in his own apartment was involved in 2017 shooting of a suspect
    • Texas officer charged with manslaughter over ‘wrong flat’ killing
    • Dallas Cop Claims Botham Jean Ignored Her ‘Verbal Commands’
    • Hate preacher Anjem Choudary, to be freed in weeks, is ‘still a threat’

      Around 25 Muslim chaplains are to receive a week’s training on how to deal with prisoners with Islamist extremist ideologies as part of a pilot to be launched before the end of the year, the Ministry of Justice confirmed.

      [...]

      There are already about 300 Muslim chaplains working in prisons. Stewart’s proposal would lead to one or two specially-trained chaplains assigned to prisons on a regional basis.

    • Pope Francis summons his bishops to discuss sexual abuse
    • When Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women Hits Home

      Sadly, Olivia is one of many Native women who have gone missing in the United States. Native Americans and Alaska Natives represent only 0.8% of the U.S. population, but in 2017, they made up 1.8% of missing persons cases in the FBI’s National Crime Information Center database.

    • “It Was Us Against Those Guys”: The Women Who Transformed Rolling Stone in the Mid-70s

      “Some of it was about drugs, and some of it was about sex,” recalls Sarah Lazin, who went from editorial assistant to director of Rolling Stone Press over the course of a decade. “But it was really about doing challenging work, and being on the cutting edge of journalism and history.”

    • Labor Day 2018: How the Ongoing Prison Strike is Connected to the Labor Movement

      The striking prisoners of today have released a list of ten demands, which calls for improvements to the current living conditions in prisons, increased rehabilitation programs, educational opportunities, and specific policy goals. This essentially articulates the idea of non-reformist reforms, a central plank of prison abolition. By illuminating the barbarity of the current prison system and calling for its abolishment while advocating for an improvement in current conditions, they are—to paraphrase French socialist André Gorz—asking not for what can be achieved within a current system, but for what should be possible.

      [...]

      The prison strike was organized by workers both inside and outside detention facilities, spearheaded by Jailhouse Lawyers Speak (JLS), and supported by the Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee (IWOC) and the Free Alabama Movement (FAM), and sparked by [deadly uprisings at Lee Correctional Institution in South Carolina earlier this year that cost seven prisoners’ lives. The strike began on August 21 and ends on September 9, dates that reflect the legacy of rebellion in American prisons: on August 21, 1971, George Jackson was killed by prison guards in San Quentin, and his death was met by protests from other prisoners across the country, culminating in the famed September 9 uprising at the Attica Correctional Facility in upstate New York. By choosing these dates, participants in the prison strike of 2018 are drawing a direct line between their current struggle and the struggles of those who have come before, emphasizing the stark fact that very little has changed in terms of conditions or opportunities for those who are locked up and held by the state since the birth of the modern prison system.

    • US inmates claim retaliation by prison officials as result of multi-state strike

      As a multi-state prison strike continues through a second week, many participants have been hit by prison officials with swift and vicious reprisals, advocates, prisoners and their families said.

      It is claimed that inmates – especially those seen as organizers – have been subject to solitary confinement, revocation of communication privileges and long-distance transfers, in attempts to weaken the effects of work stoppages and to chill dissent.

    • Woman lay dead in Nevada jail cell for hours after deputy found her unresponsive

      Locked away in a Nevada county jail for failing to take care of her traffic tickets, 27-year-old Kelly Coltrain asked to go to the hospital. Instead, as her condition worsened, she was handed a mop and told to clean up her own vomit. She died in her jail cell less than an hour later.

      Despite being in a video-monitored cell, Mineral County Sheriff’s deputies did not recognize that Coltrain had suffered an apparent seizure and had not moved for more than six hours. When a deputy finally entered her cell and couldn’t wake her, he did not call for medical assistance or attempt to resuscitate her. Coltrain lay dead in her cell until the next morning when state officials arrived to investigate.

      [...]

      According to the investigation report, the 20-minute section of video depicting Gulcynski entering her cell was missing entirely from the files the state obtained for its investigation from the sheriff’s office. But a Reno Gazette Journal reporter found the video in files provided by Keyser-Cooper.

    • Vigilantes With A Badge: Warrior Cops Endanger Our Lives And Freedoms

      So when I say that warrior cops—hyped up on their own authority and the power of the badge—have not made America any safer or freer, I am not disrespecting any of the fine, decent, lawful police officers who take seriously their oath of office to serve and protect their fellow citizens, uphold the Constitution, and maintain the peace.

      My beef is with the growing squads of warrior cops who have been given the green light to kill, shoot, taser, abuse and steal from American citizens in the so-called name of law and order.

      These cops are little more than vigilantes with a badge.

    • Duterte Jokes About Rape, Again. Philippine Women Aren’t Laughing.

      “Instead of seriously addressing the problem, the misogynist Duterte has added insult to the scars of rape survivors,” a coalition of a women’s groups called #BabaeAko (I Am Woman), said in a statement.

    • US envoy denies CIA hand in coup plot

      United States Ambassador to the Philippines Sung Kim has denied accusations that the US Central Intelligence is involved in the alleged destabilization plot against President Rodrigo Duterte.

      “I can assure you with great confidence and conviction that there is actually no effort in the US government, including the CIA, to come up with some effort to undermine President Duterte’s administration,” Kim said in a rountable discussion with journalists.

    • Ambassador Kim denies CIA kill plot against Duterte: President’s fears have no impact on US-PH ties
    • US envoy on ‘CIA slay plot’: No efforts to undermine Duterte admin
    • No CIA destab effort vs. Duterte: US envoy
    • Why sex assault survivors are fuming over DeVos proposal

      The proposed changes — from the federal Department of Education led by Michigan’s Betsy DeVos — would limit colleges to investigating only those sex assaults that happen on campus. Assaults that occur just off campus, in places like fraternity houses or off-campus housing, wouldn’t be investigated by the institutions.

    • Stephon Clark-inspired bill to limit police killings in California shelved for the year

      AB 931 would have raised the state standard for using lethal force from “reasonable” — when a reasonable officer in similar circumstances would have acted the same way — to “necessary,” when there are no alternatives for police to consider in that situation.

    • Met police sergeant cleared over strip search of academic

      “They are effectively saying: ‘This is our policy; Met police policy is to strip search anyone who stands up for their rights or the rights of somebody else.’

      “This makes very clear that we are not dealing with one bad apple, they are closing ranks and saying this is Met police policy. That’s my sense of what this judgment means.

    • The Trajectory Of The Restriction Of Privacy And Freedom

      Recently, the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority announced a plan to begin deploying full-body scanners in the LA subway system.

    • Man who bought sex doll online ends up in court because it was child-sized

      He added that pictures of the doll on the website showed it set against a white background and that there was no way to compare its height and he had cohosen than particular model because it was on sale.

      Ayelen Tunon, defending, told jurors that while it may be a short version it had an adult face and breasts, which a child would not have.

    • Women caned in Malaysia for attempting to have lesbian sex

      Rare punishment was carried out in a courtroom and witnessed by up to 100 people

    • Christian girl attacked for refusing to marry and convert to Islam

      Binish Paul, a high school student, was being stalked by a Muslim man who was her friend, and when she said no to his petition, he got angry and after beating her, he took her to the second floor of a building and pushed her from there.

      The Pakistani girl survived, but has suffered severe fractures in her spine and legs, and she will no longer be able to walk.

    • Vision and strategy: on solidarity, multiculturalism, identity politics, Muslims, Islamists and the Western Left

      The problem occurs when multiculturalism becomes social policy. There is more emphasis on differences then similarities. This leads to communities living separate, but unequal lives. For example, in Britain we have faith-based schools and faith-based services as if we can’t go see a doctor that doesn’t have the same beliefs as we do. We also have faith-based courts such as Jewish courts or Sharia courts where there is discrimination against women. You have citizens in this country who don’t have the same access to the same rights, services and education as the rest of the country. You have children from Muslim parents that are going to Islamic schools where they are taught that they need to be veiled, they can’t listen to music, they can’t take pictures of themselves and they can’t mix with boys. This is happening to children from a very young age. These are not prescriptions for a multicultural, plural society as people envision it to be, but a society that is completely segregated, separated and unequal.

    • Indonesia: Ban on Unmarried Couples Dining Together Spawns Criticism

      However, the head of Bireuen’s sharia office, Jufliwan, said the guidelines were intended to protect the honor of women.

    • Saudi Arabia arrests man who filmed video of himself eating breakfast with female colleague

      The owner of the hotel has also been summoned for questioning, according to the ministry.

      The footage, which has been shared widely on social media, shows a woman dressed in a burqa eating breakfast with a man and, at one point, feeding him some food.

    • Muslims ‘proselytizing’ at U.S. school assemblies

      However, both the California and U.S. Constitutions prohibit the government from aiding religious sects or favoring one religious organization over another. The legal team explained courts repeatedly have ruled students suffer spiritual and psychological harm if they are exposed to religious indoctrination in a compulsive educational environment.

    • Two sisters die after undergoing FGM in Somalia, campaigner says

      “Unfortunately, they never made it to the hospital as they all died on the way,” said Aden Mohamed, who has been calling for legislation banning the practice commonly done on young girls in Somalia.

    • UK schoolgirls have been pressured by peers to have FGM, campaigner says

      She is frustrated that there have been no convictions in the UK to date, although FGM has been illegal since 1985. Hussein ascribed that failure partly to a lack of evidence available to the police, PA said.

    • U.S., U.K. authorities to work more closely on ending female genital mutilation

      “FGM is an international issue. No one country can deal with it on its own,” Ivan Balhatchet, Commander in the London Metropolitan Police and the National Police Chiefs’ Council lead for FGM, told CBS News.

    • Factbox: Female genital mutilation around the world: a fine, jail or no crime?

      World leaders have pledged to eliminate FGM, which affects an estimated 200 million girls and women worldwide. But a report launched in London by campaign group 28 Too Many says there are major gaps in legislation across countries in Africa where FGM is prevalent.

  • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

    • Starting an Internet Service Provider – Part 2 – Deploying Fiber

      Nearly 2 years ago I wrote Starting an Internet Service Provider. When I sat down to write that post I initially intended it to be a weekly or monthly log of events to look back on, but it turned into one long blog post about the struggles of starting an ISP. That post ended up receiving over 20,000 visits in one day while at the top of Hacker News and roughly 40,000 total. I obviously haven’t written weekly or monthly since then; mainly due to lack of time.

    • Here’s why you can’t use dual SIM iPhones in India

      Moving on to the network part, the type of carrier you are using decides if you can use two SIMs simultaneously in your iPhone. Notably, amongst the two SIM cards you’ll be integrating, one of them needs to support the eSIM standard. Only then can you use two carriers together. Not all companies provide cards with the support for eSIM standard and in India, Airtel and Reliance Jio are the only two providers.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Trademarks

      • Time for a break – catching up with KitKat

        By now, the fate of the four fingered KitKat shape mark is old news – Joined Cases C‑84/17 P, C‑85/17 P and C‑95/17 P

        Rumours of the mark’s death have been greatly exaggerated – it is now for the EUIPO to reconsider the evidence in light of the CJEU’s ruling and reach a decision as to whether or not the mark is valid.

        Whilst the press may have put the cart before the horse, the CJEU’s decision does suggest that the mark will not remain registered long term.

      • The Most Significant Unresolved Legal Issue In Trademark Licensing
    • Copyrights

      • You Don’t Really ‘Own’ That Movie You Bought, But Pirates…

        In this day and age ownership of digital media is often an illusion. When you buy a book or movie there are severe restrictions on what you can do with these files. In some cases, purchased content can simply disappear overnight. These limitations keep copyright holders in control, but they breed pirates at the same time.

      • ISP Can Charge Money to Expose Pirates, Canadian Supreme Court Rules

        The Canadian Supreme Court has ruled that ISPs are entitled to compensation for looking up the details of alleged copyright infringers. This is the result of a dispute between Rogers and movie company Voltage Pictures, which demanded details of tens of thousands of alleged pirates. The scale of compensation is yet to be determined.

09.15.18

Links 15/9/2018: Wine 3.16, Overwatch’s GNU/Linux (Wine) ‘Ban’, New Fedora 28 Build, and Fedora 29 Beta Delay

Posted in News Roundup at 1:50 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Desktop

    • Microsoft intercepting Firefox and Chrome installation on Windows 10

      The intercepting of installers on Windows is a new low, however. A user who initiates the installation of a browser does so on purpose. The prompt that Microsoft displays claims that Edge is safer and faster, and it puts the Open Microsoft Edge button on focus and not the “install anyway” button.

    • Slimbook Kymera Aqua is a Powerful Water-Cooled Linux PC

      A pair of powerful new Linux PCs have gone on sale from Spanish company Slimbook, including a high-end liquid-cooled illuminated rig.

      Best known for its range of Linux laptops, like the KDE-branded KDE Slimbook, the new The Slimbook Kymera is the first proper desktop Linux PC line the company has offered – assuming we discount its curved-screen all-in-one PC and low-power Intel NUC offerings as not being proper desktop PCs which, oops, we just did.

      And to celebrate they’ve really gone to town, making not one but two distinct versions: the versatile Slimbook Kymera Ventus and the awesome Slimbook Kymera Aqua.

    • SD Times Open Source Project of the Week: freedesktop.org

      Freshly migrated from its self-managed services to GitLab, this week’s highlighted open-source project is freedesktop.org (f.do), the umbrella project encompassing many open-source software packages for running Linux on desktop.

      In development since 2000, fd.o is designed to provide developers of desktop Linux distributions easy-to-access packages for getting their desktop environment up and running quickly and completely.

      freedesktop.org project administrator Daniel Stone described the project’s goal in a Q&A with GitLab about the migration as “providing a database of available applications and preferred MIME type handlers, network device management, inter-process communication, a PDF renderer; in general, all the things we can do well in one place, to enable people who want to write desktop environments to focus on the thing that matters to them: building the actual desktop!”

    • Microsoft Abandons Plan to Troll Windows 10 Users With Browser Warnings

      While this Microsoft spokesman calls this a “feature,” it’s worth nothing exactly what it was: A literal “warning” not to install Chrome or Firefox once you’ve downloaded it, interrupting the installation process. As we pointed out, this would train Windows users to ignore real security warnings.

      Of course, the only reason this “test” was unsuccessful is because it enraged Windows 10 users more than usual. If this browser warning was just a feature that generated a normal amount of rage, like automatically installing Candy Crush Saga on Windows 10 Professional, Microsoft wouldn’t have backed off.

      But today, let’s celebrate. We all stopped Microsoft from doing something dumb! The battle is won.

    • Linux vs Mac: 7 Reasons Why Linux is a Better Choice than Mac

      If you’re already using a Mac or planning to get one, we recommend you to thoroughly analyze the reasons to decide whether you need to switch/keep using Linux or continue using Mac.

  • Server

    • How Kubernetes’ Founder is Building an Un-Distribution at Heptio

      Unlike other software vendors that are part of the Kubernetes community, Heptio doesn’t want to build a software distribution of Kubernetes. Rather, the Heptio Kubernetes Service (HKS) is about support and services to help organizations deploy and manage upstream Kubernetes. It’s an approach that Heptio has referred to as being an Un-Distribution.

      “Our goal with the whole idea of the un-distribution is we want to provide the best parts of a distribution without necessarily some of the downsides that come along with that,” Beda said.

      Beda said that generally what happens with a distribution of an open source project is that a software vendor takes the upstream code, cleans it up so it’s fit for enterprise consumption and then shipping a combination of tools that are prove to work well together.

      “Upstream Kubernetes doesn’t need a lot of clean up, because the community is so strong and we want to keep it that way,” he said.

      As such, a lot of the work that Heptio is involved with is all upstream with effort to make Kubernetes easier to install and use. Beda said that Heptio is putting a lot of effort into the kubeadm installer effort from the upstream project as well as the cluster API effort. As part of HKS, Beda said that Heptio is developing a set of validated designs, which integrate best practices for deployment.

  • Audiocasts/Shows

    • Ubuntu Podcast S11E27 – Twenty-Seven Bones

      This week we’ve been moonlighting on other podcasts and started using DuckDuckGo. Trend Micro get booted from the Apple Store, Intel adopts an AMD display standard, a cheesy history of Linux gaming is published, Amazon Echo now Looks at you and we round up the community news.

  • Kernel Space

    • VKMS Driver Getting Cursor Support In The Next Kernel Cycle

      One of the notable additions to the Linux 4.19 kernel is the initial VKMS driver for “virtual kernel mode-setting” that in the long run should be significant for headless Wayland/X.Org systems. The driver is still in its early stages but continuing to be improved.

      The VKMS DRM driver came around this summer thanks to GSoC and Outreachy students working on this virtual KMS driver. The driver isn’t feature complete yet, but Haneen Mohammed of Outreachy has landed some more of her patches that will come during the next kernel merge window.

    • Linux Foundation

      • Lights, Camera, Open Source: Hollywood Turns to Linux for New Code Sharing Initiative

        In looking to code smarter, faster and more efficiently, developers across the globe and industries are turning to open-source components that allow them to add powerful features to their work without having to write everything from scratch themselves. One of the latest groups to embrace the Open Source movement is the entertainment industry.

        Similar to many other initiatives that have come together in recent years to support the sharing of code between companies, a number of key players under the umbrella of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) have teamed up with The Linux Foundation to establish the Academy Software Foundation (ASWF). Members include companies like Disney, Google, Dreamworks, Epic Games and Intel, just to name a few.

      • Open Source Networking Days Returning This Fall

        As we gear up the for the first ever Open Networking Summit Europe event, Amsterdam, September 25-27, it’s becoming clear to me just how far we’ve come this year since the formation of LF Networking. With new major operators joining, like Deutsche Telekom, and others requiring open source project automation tools in their RFPs, like Orange, it’s inspiring to witness just how much the networking industry is rallying around open source and incorporating it as a key element of their business strategies. It’s great to see LF Networking recognized for its role in bringing the ecosystem together, and to see open source community contribution increasingly recognized as driving increased business value.

    • Graphics Stack

      • RADV Vulkan Driver Finally Picking Up 16-Bit Integer Support In Shaders

        Samuel Pitoiset working for Valve’s Linux GPU driver team has now sent out shaderInt16 support for the RADV driver.

        Following 9 patches hitting the Mesa mailing list on Friday, Samuel wired up shaderInt16 support for this Mesa-based open-source Radeon Vulkan driver. The shaderInt16 capability indicates whether 16-bit signed/unsigned integers are supported in the shader code for the Vulkan driver.

      • AMD Sends Out Initial Vega 20 Support For AMDKFD Compute Kernel Driver

        While AMD has been sending out Linux enablement patches for the yet-to-be-released Vega 20 for months now, what didn’t see any work until today was for the AMDKFD driver support so this expected 7nm Vega GPU can work with their ROCm/OpenCL compute stack.

      • AMDGPU X.Org 18.1 Driver Released With RandR Leasing, Updates For DC Functionality

        AMD has issued rare updates today to their xf86-video-ati and xf86-video-amdgpu DDX drivers for use with the X.Org Server.

        These DDX drivers see seldom updates due to all of the interesting work these days happening in kernel space (DRM) or Mesa and friends, plus a lot of users running the generic xf86-video-modesetting DDX.

      • AMD ROCm 1.9 Available WIth Vega 20 Support & Upstream Kernel Compatibility

        For months we have been looking forward to ROCm 1.9 as the latest feature update to the Radeon Open Compute stack while on Friday that big release finally took place. This ROCm update for GPU compute purposes has a lot of new features.

        Initially we were looking forward to ROCm 1.9 for Ubuntu 18.04 LTS support, which ended up being back-ported to the 1.8 series. But other headlining features of ROCm 1.9 include Vega 20 “Vega 7nm” support, a ROCm System Management Interface (ROCm SMI) library, HIP/HPCC improvements, rocprof for ROCm profling, compatibility with the upstream AMDKFD support now found in the mainline Linux kernel (Linux 4.17+), and various other improvements.

      • NVIDIA Publishes An In-Depth Look At Turing

        Next week is when the GeForce RTX 2080 “Turing” graphics cards will begin to ship while today is when NVIDIA lifted the embargo on “unboxing” videos/pictures and talking more about this new GPU microarchitecture.

        NVIDIA has posted their own in-depth Turing architecture look. Go check it out if you want to learn more about Turing’s quite fascinating design and improvements over particularly the GeForce GTX 1000 “Pascal” series.

        Unfortunately no unboxing/reports on our end today… NVIDIA still appears to be not too interested in Linux gamers for the GeForce RTX 2080 series. While they have sent out hardware for many of the past launches, for Turing I am having a difficult time even getting them to respond to my inquiries. I am told by at least one NVIDIA’ian though that there will be Linux drivers in time for launch-day… We’ll see.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • New Life to KDE – Edu

        Some seeds take a while to grow, and what a while. I’v met Karina Mochetti five years ago when I moved to Campinas, back then I had just started working at Intel and I had finished one of my most glorious software developer tasks, good subversive terrorist that I’m, I made Linus Torvalds program in C++ and talking with a friend that lives in Rio de Janeiro I heard “I have a programmer friend in Campinas, wanna meet?”, well, yes, always.

      • API Changes in Clang

        I’ve started contributing to Clang, in the hope that I can improve the API for tooling. This will eventually mean changes to the C++ API of Clang, the CMake buildsystem, and new features in the tooling. Hopefully I’ll remember to blog about changes I make.

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

      • NetworkManager 1.14 Officially Released With A Lot Of Networking Goodies

        Following the release candidate last week, NetworkManager 1.14 is now officially available as the latest feature release to this widely-used Linux networking software component.

        The NetworkManager 1.14 release is a biggie and includes LLMNR configuration support (Link-Local Multicast Name Resolution), IEEE 804.15.4 / 6LoWPAN low-power personal wireless network device support, Ethtool offloading support, it can now detect WireGuard interfaces, and SR-IOV network devices can now be configured, among other fixes and improvements.

  • Distributions

    • Reviews

      • Freespire Linux: A Great Desktop for the Open Source Purist

        Quick. Click on your Linux desktop menu and scan through the list of installed software. How much of that software is strictly open source? To make matters a bit more complicated, have you installed closed source media codecs (to play the likes of MP3 files perhaps)? Is everything fully open, or do you have a mixture of open and closed source tools?

        If you’re a purist, you probably strive to only use open source tools on your desktop. But how do you know, for certain, that your distribution only includes open source software? Fortunately, a few distributions go out of their way to only include applications that are 100% open. One such distro is Freespire.

        Does that name sound familiar? It should, as it is closely related to Linspire. Now we’re talking familiarity. Remember back in the early 2000s, when Walmart sold Linux desktop computers? Those computers were powered by the Linspire operating system. Linspire went above and beyond to create an experience that would be similar to that of Windows—even including the tools to install Windows apps on Linux. That experiment failed, mostly because consumers thought they were getting a Windows desktop machine for a dirt cheap price. After that debacle, Linspire went away for a while. It’s now back, thanks to PC/OpenSystems LLC. Their goal isn’t to recreate the past but to offer two different flavors of Linux…

    • OpenSUSE/SUSE

      • Latest Tumbleweed Snapshot Brings Major Versions of Flatpak, qemu, Thunderbird, Nano

        Since the last openSUSE Tumbleweed update, three snapshots have been released and the latest snapshot has brought two new major versions of both Flatpak and qemu.

        On the heels of the Libre Application Summit last week, which is a conference focusing on sandboxing and application distribution, a new major version of Flatpak was released in Snapshot 20180911. Flatpak 1.0 marks a significant improvement in performance and reliability, and includes a big collection of bug fixes with a collection of new features. Naturally, libostree 2018.8 was updated with Flatpak and added a new feature that provides an auto-update-summary config option for repositories. Full-system emulation with qemu 3.0.0 isn’t necessarily significant. The changelog states not to “read anything into the major version number update. It’s been decided to increase the major version number each year.” Yet there is improved support for nested Kernel-based Virtual Machine (KVM) guests running on Hyper-V. The project did emphasized that ongoing feature deprecation is tracked at both http://wiki.qemu-project.org/Features/LegacyRemoval and in Appendix B of the qemu-doc.* files installed with the qemu package. Mesa 18.1.7 had a handful of fixes and once again added wayland to egl_platforms. The Linux Kernel 4.18.7 added support for Intel Ice Lake microarchitecture in the snapshot. There were several other minor updates in the snapshot, but the nodejs10 update to version 10.9.0 brought a few Common Vulnerability and Exposure (CVE) fixes and upgraded dependencies to OpenSSL 1.0.2.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Containers key for Hortonworks alliance on big data hybrid

        Hortonworks is joining with Red Hat and IBM to work together on a hybrid big data architecture format that will run using containers both on the cloud and on premises.

      • Hortonworks, IBM and Red Hat Announce Open Hybrid Architecture Initiative
      • Hortonworks, IBM and Red Hat Team Up for Hybrid Containerized Big Data
      • New Initiative Reimagines Data Architectures with Hybrid Model
      • IBM expands data science’s reach

        As companies accumulate data, they need new ways to store it, manage it, innovate off it, and scale services based on it. Earlier this year, IBM announced the IBM Cloud Private (ICP) for Data solution, and today the company is expanding it to provide new ways to uncover hidden insights from data.

        The company has revealed it is collaborating with Red Hat to certify the AI-focused data platform to run on Red Hat’s open source container application platform OpenShift.

      • ​Ansible Tower 3.3 arrives to make DevOps easier than ever

        Ansible makes it easier to move your resources and applications from platform to platform as needed. In a world where your data and applications are running simultaneously on containers, virtual machines, private and public clouds, this is a must.

        As Joe Fitzgerald, Red Hat VP, said in a statement, “As more organizations move toward modernizing their infrastructure, tools that can work seamlessly across environments become a critical part of that equation. Red Hat Ansible Tower can already run anywhere it’s needed across hybrid environments and now with the Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform functionality available in Ansible Tower 3.3 we take that a step further by making the platform consumable in more ways for even easier automation across infrastructures.”

      • Finance

      • Fedora

        • Give Fedora Silverblue a test drive

          Fedora Silverblue is a new variant of Fedora Workstation with rpm-ostree at its core to provide fully atomic upgrades. Furthermore, Fedora Silverblue is immutable and upgrades as a whole, providing easy rollbacks from updates if something goes wrong. Fedora Silverblue is great for developers using Fedora with good support for container-focused workflows.

          Additionally, Fedora Silverblue delivers desktop applications as Flatpaks. This provides better isolation / sandboxing of applications, and streamlines updating applications — Flatpaks can be safely updated without reboot.

          The Fedora Workstation team is running a Test Day for Silverblue next week, so if you want to try it out, and help out the development effort at the same time, keep reading.

        • F28-20180914 updated Live isos Released

          The Fedora Respins SIG is pleased to announce the latest release of Updated F28-20180914 Live ISOs, carrying the 4.18.5-200 kernel.
          This set of updated isos will save about 1GB of updates after install. (for new installs.)

        • Fedora 29 Beta Has Been Delayed

          As happens almost every Fedora Linux release cycle, the initial development release has been pushed back.

          Fedora stakeholders determined on Thursday that Fedora 29 Beta isn’t ready to ship yet as had been scheduled. Developers/QA are still testing beta release candidates and open blocker bugs remain. Rather than shipping next week, they will now try to have the beta out on 25 September.

        • FPgM report: 2018-37
    • Debian Family

      • Recommendations for software?

        Secondly the excellent Have I Been Pwned site provides an API which allows you to test if a password has been previously included in a leak. This is great, and I’ve integrated their API in a couple of my own applications, but I was thinking on the bus home tonight it might be worth tying into PAM.

        Sure in the interests of security people should use key-based authentication for SSH, but .. most people don’t. Even so, if keys are used exclusively, a PAM module would allow you to validate the password which is used for sudo hasn’t previously been leaked.

        So it seems like there is value in a PAM module to do a lookup at authentication-time, via libcurl.

      • Derivatives

        • Liberado MiniNo Queiles 3.1 LTS
        • The Blue Bird Effect: Scanning with an Epson XP 231 multifunction printer on Elive 3

          Mamerto Menapace, an Argentinian monk, wrote a story entitled “El Pajaro Azul” (“The Blue Bird”). In this story, a prince gradually falls very sick and no doctor can determine the source of his disease. A hermit is brought from his mountain as the last hope, and this wise man tells everyone that the prince is dying of nostalgia. To get cured, the prince must start a journey looking for a rare blue bird.

          [...]

          In Elive, one has to basically use SciTE as root to open the files dll.conf (to add the line example-backend), epson.conf, and epson2.conf (to add the values that one gets with the comand sane-find-scanner in Terminology). In my case, I had to uncomment, in both files, the line usb 0x01aa 0×0001 and modify it to read:

          usb 0x04b8 0×1102

          That was it.

          Now I can both print and scan on Elive 3.0

  • Devices/Embedded

Free Software/Open Source

  • The Featureful Release of Nextcloud 14 Has Two New Security Features

    Nextcloud has announced the release of version 14 of their software. The update brought improved security, collaboration features, and more. Take a look at the new features in detail.

  • Fedora Silverblue Test Day Next Week, Nextcloud 14 Released, Plasma 5.4 Beta Now Available, openSUSE’s Recent Snapshots and Ansible Tower 3.3 Is Out

    Nextcloud announced the release of version 14 this week. This new version introduces two big security improvements: video verification and signal/telegram/SMS 2FA support. Version 14 also includes many collaboration improvements as well as a Data Protection Confirmation app in compliance with the GDPR. Go here to install.

  • Top 3 Open Source Trading Bots With Binance Implications

    Some cryptocurrency traders may be familiar with the Blackbird bot. It is primarily designed for arbitrage purposes and is coded n a language most people can get familiar with. That latter aspect is not unimportant when dealing with open source trading bot solutions. It also means users can change the features of this bot as they see fit, assuming they possess the necessary coding knowledge.

    At this current stage, Binance is not officially supported by the bot. Unlike what people assume, the developers are working on implementing access to this trading platform, at least to open long positions through Blackbird. Anyone with the necessary knowledge can implement this feature as well, thus it will be interesting to see what the future holds for this bot accordingly.

  • The new developer role centers on open source technology

    At the same time, the network core is providing developers with massive compute capabilities that were unheard of not too long ago. That core can power compute-intensive applications such as machine learning and blockchain.

    Many of these improved capabilities, and the potential for innovation, have been fed by open source development. Now, we’ve got major enterprise initiatives built upon a foundation of open source, developed organically from community-driven products and accessible to anyone, anywhere.

    The result is a whirlwind of creative growth and, not incidentally, a new developer role. Developers are becoming the leading forces for creative development within organizations and a competitive advantage for businesses that are trying to move into the digital age.

  • Web Browsers

    • Chrome

      • Change UI theme in Google Chrome 69

        Say what you will about Chrome, but over the years, it has maintained a rather consistent look & feel. The changes are mostly done under the hood and they do not interfere with how the user interacts with the browser. But occasionally, mostly guided by their wider influence in the OS space, especially the mobile world, Google has made some stylistic changes. Most notably, they introduced Material Design to the Chrome UI, and now, there’s another facelift.

        I noticed the new looks in the freshly updated Chrome 69 in Kubuntu Beaver, and I wasn’t too happy. The font is gray and pale, ergo contrast isn’t as good as it should be, and the new round design feels odd. So I decided to change this back to the older style. Let me show you how you can do this.

        [...]

        There you go. If you don’t like the aesthetically pleasing but ergonomically dubious change to the Chrome’s UI look in version 69 onwards, then you can change (we don’t know for how long) the layout back to what it was, or try one of the several available themes. The goal is to retain maximum visual clarity and efficiency. The old looks offer that. The new ones hamper that.

        I am quite alarmed by this trend. The only solace I get is the knowledge that a few Google shares in me possession are generating profit, which I shall use to heal my soul of all this sub-IQ100 touch-led destruction of the desktop and fast productivity, a crusade that started worldwide around 2011 or so.

      • Chrome 70 beta: shape detection, web authentication, and more

        Unless otherwise noted, changes described below apply to the newest Chrome Beta channel release for Android, Chrome OS, Linux, macOS, and Windows. View a complete list of the features in Chrome 70 on ChromeStatus.com. Chrome 70 is beta as of September 13, 2018.

      • Chrome 70 In Beta With TLS 1.3, Opus Support In MP4 & AV1 Decode

        Following last week’s Chrome 69 release, Chrome 70 is now in beta as the latest feature-update to Google’s browser.

    • Mozilla

      • MDN Changelog for August 2018

        A lot of these were migration PRs, and the migration is now 95% complete, with 10,000 features over 6,300 pages. Some of the remaining migration work will be straightforward. Other data sources will require strategy and format discussions, such as Event support and summary pages. These discussions will be easier with the experience of migrating thousands of simpler features.

        Existing data also got some love. Contributors fixed incorrect data, clarified if and when a browser supported a feature, and celebrated support in new browser releases. We expect a steady stream of maintenance PRs as the project transitions from migration to ongoing maintenance.

        Florian Scholz has worked to make this a community project, organizing the effort with spreadsheets and transitioning to issues as the remaining work becomes manageable. This has been a successful effort, and GitHub insights shows that most contributions were not from MDN staff.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • FLOSS Weekly 497: LibreOfficeOnline

      Michael Meeks is the General Manager of Collabora Productivity, leading Collabora Office and Online products, supporting customers and consulting on development alongside an extremely talented team. He serves as a Director of the The Document Foundation, and on the LibreOffice Engineering Steering Committee. Prior to Collabora he was a Novell/SUSE Distinguished Engineer working on various pieces of Free Software infrastructure across the Linux stack to MeeGo, GNOME, CORBA, Nautilus, Evolution and Open Source accessibility, among others.

    • Updated LibreOffice growth infographic (2018)

      Numbers are growing and the Collabora Online Development Edition (CODE) is very popular now, with currently over 7.5 million Docker image pulls! Also, this year we are the top code contributors to LibreOffice with 5302 code commits.

  • Healthcare

    • Microscope add-on could be a game-changer for 2D, 3D brain imaging

      Researchers have developed an add-on for laser-scanning microscopes that can improve the quality of 2D and 3D imaging of the brain, according to a new study published in Optica.

      The add-on, called PySight, includes both hardware and open-source software. A laser-based imaging technique called multiphoton microscopy is often used to capture high-quality 2D and 3D images of neurons, blood vessels and other parts of a patient’s brain, the authors observed, but it can be difficult because the images must be taken quickly. This results in fewer photons being visible in the final image.

  • Pseudo-Open Source (Openwashing)

  • BSD

    • Intel Releases New BSD-Licensed Open-Source Firmware Implementation

      At the European Open-Source Firmware Conference happening this week in Erlangen, Intel announced the open-source “Slimbootloader” (also referred to as Slim Bootloader) project that is quite exciting.

      [...]

      Still digging through the limited information that’s public so far after being tipped off on the news from the OSFC conference, but for now those interested can check out the documentation and code.

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • IceCat 60.2.0 Pre-release

      GNUzilla is the GNU version of the Mozilla suite, and GNU IceCat is the GNU version of the Firefox browser. Its main advantage is an ethical one: it is entirely free software. While the Firefox source code from the Mozilla project is free software, they distribute and recommend non-free software as plug-ins and addons. Also their trademark license restricts distribution in ways that hinder freedom 0.

      GNU IceCat has multiple practical advantages as well, such as better privacy and security settings, extensive blocking of sites that may track the user’s browsing habits, or the inclusion of LibreJS and other extensions that help browse without running non-free javascript.

  • Licensing/Legal

    • The Commons Clause causes open-source disruption

      Redis Labs tried to legally stop cloud providers from abusing its trademark, but found it difficult because of the legal resources and budgets these giant companies have.

      So the company took another route and decided to change the licenses of certain open-source Redis add-ons with the Commons Clause. This change sparked huge controversy within the community with many stating that Redis was no longer open source.

      “We were the first significant company to adopt this and announce it in such a way that we got most of the heat from the community on this one,” said Bengal.

      The reason for the uproar is because the Commons Clause is meant to add “restrictions” that limit or prevent the selling of open-source software to the Open Source Initiative’s approved open-source licenses.

      “ … ‘Sell’ means practicing any or all of the rights granted to you under the License to provide to third parties, for a fee or other consideration (including without limitation fees for hosting or consulting/ support services related to the Software), a product or service whose value derives, entirely or substantially, from the functionality of the Software. Any license notice or attribution required by the License must also include this Commons Clause License Condition notice,” the Commons Clause website states.

      According to the OSI, this directly violates item six of its open-source definition in which it states no discrimination against fields of endeavor. “The license must not restrict anyone from making use of the program in a specific field of endeavor. For example, it may not restrict the program from being used in a business, or from being used for genetic research,” the definition explains.

  • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

    • Open Data

      • Scale and nuTonomy open-source massive AI dataset for self-driving cars

        Scale Inc. and Aptiv PLC’s nuTonomy group, two influential players in the autonomous vehicle ecosystem, today open-sourced a massive research dataset designed to aid self-driving car initiatives.

        Autonomous vehicles rely on artificial intelligence models to make navigation decisions. Those AI models, in turn, must be trained with large amounts of sample information to achieve the necessary accuracy, which is where the new dataset comes into the picture.

      • Open Source Multi-Sensor Self-Driving Dataset Available To Public

        Scale has released what it believes to be the largest open source multi-sensor (LIDAR, RADAR, and camera) self-driving dataset published by nuTonomy (acquired by Aptiv in 2017), with annotations by Scale. Academic researchers and autonomous vehicle innovators can access the open-sourced dataset, nuScenes.

        The nuScenes open source dataset is based on LIDAR point cloud, camera sensor, and RADAR data sourced from nuTonomy and then labeled through Scale’s sophisticated and thorough processing to deliver data ideal for training autonomous vehicle perception algorithms. It provides the full dataset that includes 1,000 twenty-second scenes, nearly 1.4 million camera images, 400,000 LIDAR sweeps, and 1.1 million 3D boxes.

    • Open Access/Content

    • Open Hardware/Modding

      • Coreboot Improvements For FU540 Land Following SiFive’s Open-Source Boot Code

        Last week SiFive published their HiFive Unleashed open-source boot-loader code for this first RISC-V SoC on their Linux-friendly development board. This code being open-sourced has already helped improve the support for the FU540 SoC within Coreboot.

        The code open-sourced last week by SiFive allows for a fully open-source boot process after this first RISC-V developer board received some criticism for some of its initialization code being closed-source, namely around the SDRAM start-up code.

  • Programming/Development

    • Firefox Reality Developers Guide

      Firefox Reality, Mozilla’s VR web browser, is getting closer to release; so let’s talk about how to make your experiences work well in this new browser.

    • PHP version 5.6.38, 7.0.32, 7.1.22 and 7.2.10
    • Xonsh – A Python-Powered Shell Language and Command Prompt

      Xonsh (pronounced “Konk“,) is a cross-platform, Python-powered, Unix shell language and command prompt designed for the use of experts and novices alike.

      The Xonsh language is a Python 3.4+ superset and it features additional shell primitives that make it familiar to working from IPython and Bash.

      Xonsh is easily scriptable and it allows you to mix both command prompt and python syntax coupled with a rich standard library, man-page completion, typed variables, and syntax highlighting, among other features.

    • Python Programming Language Ditches ‘Master-Slave’ Terms, Pissing Off Some

      A quiet debate has been brewing in the coding community for years that’s forced programmers to ask if using the terms “master” and “slave” are insensitive. Now, Python, one of the most popular high-level programming languages in the world, has ditched the terminology—and not everyone is happy about it.

      Master/Slave is generally used in hardware, architecture, and coding to refer to one device, database, or process controlling another. For more than a decade, there’s been some concern that the terms are offensive because of their relationship to the institution of slavery. Last week, a developer named Victo Stinner published four pull requests asking the Python community to consider changing the Master/Slave terms to something like Parent/Worker. “For diversity reasons, it would be nice to try to avoid ‘master’ and ‘slave’ terminology which can be associated to slavery,” he wrote to explain his thinking.

    • EuroPython 2018

      In July I took the train up to beautiful Edinburgh to attend the EuroPython 2018 conference. Despite using Python professionally for almost 8 years, this was my first experience of a Python conference. The schedule was packed, and it was challenging deciding what talks to attend, but I had a great time and enjoyed the strong community feeling of the event. We even went for a group run around Holyrood Park and Arthur’s Seat, which I hope is included in the schedule for future years.

      Now that the videos of the talks have all been published, I wanted to share my personal highlights, and list the talks I saw during and since the conference. I still haven’t caught up on everything I wanted to see, so I’ve also included my watch list.

    • ​Cloud Foundry survey finds top enterprise languages

      That said, the CFF also found that, “More and more, businesses are employing a polyglot and a multi-platform strategy to meet their exact needs.” The CFF discovered 77 percent of enterprises are using or evaluating Platforms-as-a-Service (PaaS); 72 percent are using or considering containers; and 46 percent are using or thinking about serverless computing. Simultaneously, more than a third (39 percent) are using all three technologies together.

      For companies this “flexibility of cloud-native practices enables [companies to move] away from a monolithic approach and towards a world of computing that is flexible, portable and interoperable.” That means, while Java and JavaScript are only growing ever more popular, the larger the company, the more languages are used.

Leftovers

  • Inbox is signing off: find your favorite features in the new Gmail [Ed: Google says their shareholders no longer saw "value("profit), so they’re giving the middle fingers to so-called ‘customers’ who were actually “products” they sought to ‘monetise’]

    Inbox by Gmail has been a great place to experiment with new ideas like snoozing emails to later, as well as try the latest AI-powered experiences like Smart Reply, Nudges and high-priority notifications to help you stay productive.

  • Google Inbox Is Shutting Down; Switch to Gmail Before March 2019 [Ed: "The cloud" - we don't just change things ('upgrade') without your approval but we also remotely 'delete' things when we feel like it]

    After months of the noticeable slow progress of Inbox, Google has decided to shut down the Inbox project altogether. The Inbox by Gmail is going off the air by March 2019 so fans have about less than 7 months to move over to the everlasting Gmail.

  • The ‘Gmail Offline’ App is Shutting Down, Here’s What to Use Instead

    Do you use Chrome’s Gmail Offline app to access your email offline? That app is shutting down on December 3, but you can still access Gmail offline on your computer.

    For years using Gmail offline meant using a Chrome app with its own user interface. It wasn’t great, but it worked. It’s also no longer necessary: one of the best features in the new Gmail is the ability to use the full Gmail interface offline, without any app to install. It’s a pretty big improvement, and it doesn’t take long to enable.

  • Hardware

    • What Does Data “Durability” Mean?

      Friend may be right that these are the top 5 causes of data loss, but over the timescale of preservation as opposed to storage they are far from the only ones. In Requirements for Digital Preservation Systems: A Bottom-Up Approach we listed 13 of them. Below the fold, some discussion of the meaning and usefulness of durability claims.

  • Security

    • Cryptomalware Hits Windows & Linux Kodi Users; 4,700+ Users Affected [Ed: It is a little worrying that CBS hired Catalin Cimpanu to write for ZDNet because he's well known for sensationalisation of security issues. He's quite the 'drama queen' and often misleads for mere traffic/hits. Not good. Hit-based 'journalism'.]

      A large number of people who have been enjoying streaming movies and live TV using Kodi on their Windows and Linux devices have been hit by a Monero cryptomalware, as reported by ZDNet.

    • Security updates for Friday
    • OPINION: Latest Research Shows Your Android Apps Aren’t As Secure As You Think [Ed: One wonders why Steve Pociask, aka "American Consumer Institute", is so eager to make Android look bad and attribute holes in PROPRIETARY software to "open source".]
    • Dem introduces bill to create federal cybersecurity apprenticeship program

      Under the bill, the programs would be required to offer certain cybersecurity certifications and help connect participants with local businesses or other entities for apprenticeships in hopes to boost the number of qualified workers for federal cyber jobs.

    • The Overlooked Weak Link in Election Security

      More than one-third of counties that are overseeing elections in some of the most contested congressional races this November run email systems that could make it easy for hackers to log in and steal potentially sensitive information.

      A ProPublica survey found that official email accounts used by 11 county election offices, which are in charge of tallying votes in 12 key U.S. House of Representatives races from California to Ohio, could be breached with only a user name and password — potentially allowing hackers to vacuum up confidential communications or impersonate election administrators. Cybersecurity experts recommend having a second means of verifying a user’s identity, such as typing in an additional code from a smartphone or card, to thwart intruders who have gained someone’s login credentials through trickery or theft. This system, known as two-factor verification, is available on many commercial email services.

      “Humans are horrific at creating passwords, which is why ‘password’ is the most commonly used password,” said Joseph Lorenzo Hall, the chief technologist at the Center for Democracy and Technology in Washington, D.C., who has pushed for security fixes in the voting process. This means increasingly we need something other than passwords to secure access to our accounts, especially email, which tends to undergird all our other accounts.”

      The email vulnerabilities emerged in ProPublica’s survey of election security in 27 counties encompassing all or part of roughly 40 congressional districts that the Cook Political Report has said are toss-ups. These contests could determine if Democrats take control the U.S. House of Representatives, where the party needs to pick up about two dozen seats to flip the current Republican majority. Of the 12 districts in counties with less protected email systems, Republicans are seeking re-election in 10. The other two are open seats where incumbents are stepping down.

    • Open Source Security Research Group gets a new office [Ed: “Open Source Security Research Group” = anti-Open Source FUD group connected to Microsoft]
    • Docker fave Alpine Linux suffers bug miscreants can exploit to poison containers

      An infosec bod has documented a remote-code execution flaw in Alpine Linux, a distro that pops up a lot in Docker containers.

      Max Justicz, researcher and creator of crowd-sourced bug bounty system Bountygraph, said on Thursday that the vulnerability could be exploited by someone with man-in-the-middle (MITM) network access, or operating a malicious package mirror, to inject arbitrary code via apk, Alpine’s default package manager.

      Justicz said that the vulnerability is particularly dangerous because, first, Alpine is commonly used for Docker images thanks to its small footprint, and second, most of the packages apk handles are not served via secure TLS connections, making them more susceptible to tampering.

      In the worst-case scenario, the attacker could intercept apk’s package requests during Docker image building, inject them with malicious code, and pass them along to the target machines that would unpack and run the code within their Docker container.

    • Kodi users on Windows and Linux infected with cryptomining malware [Ed: 1) not many affected. 2) it's due to add-ons, not Kodi. 3) the severity is low because it's mining, not blackmail or destruction of data.]

      What just happened? Unofficial repositories serving third-party add-ons for open source media player Kodi have been serving malicious cryptocurrency mining malware for several months. Fewer than 5,000 victims are estimated but that number could grow as the malware spreads.

    • Securonix Threat Research: KRONOS/Osiris Banking Trojan Attack

      The KRONOS malware was first discovered in June 2014 as a Banker Trojan available for purchase in a Russian underground forum for $7,000 [1]. After staying dormant for few years, a new variant of KRONOS, known as Osiris, was discovered in July 2018, with three distinct campaigns targeting Germany, Japan, and Poland [2]. The new variant contains features like TOR network command and control (C2), keylogging, and remote control via VNC along with older features like form grabbing and web-injection [3].

      [...]

      Infiltration vector(s): The primary infiltration vector used by KRONOS/Osiris malware is phishing email campaigns containing specially crafted Microsoft Word documents/RTF attachments with macro/OLE content that cause malicious obfuscated VB stagers to be dropped and executed. In many scenarios the malware is distributed using exploit kits like RIG EK.

      The malicious document exploits a well-known buffer overflow vulnerability in Microsoft Office Equation Editor Component—CVE-2017-11882—which allows the attacker to perform arbitrary code execution [4][5].

    • KRONOS Trojan, Known For Hacking Bank Accounts, Gets A New Update [Ed: targets Windows]
  • Defence/Aggression

    • As Trump Commits to Endless War, Corporate Media Obsess Over Anonymous Op-Ed

      The anonymous New York Times op-ed (9/5/18), purportedly written by a senior Trump administration official, coupled with the release of Bob Woodward’s new book, Fear—itself full of White House back-stabbing and anonymous quotes—unleashed a veritable tsunami of breathless press speculation last week. But lost amidst the deluge was a Trump administration story that will have deadly, far-reaching consequences long after the Times op-ed is forgotten and Woodward’s book hits the discount pile. That’s because Trump effectively endorsed endless US war in Syria last week, and almost no one in the press noticed.

      [...]

      The Associated Press (9/6/18) also covered the story, but its effort left much to be desired. Its ponderous headline, “US Plays Down Talk of Imminent Pullout of Forces From Syria,” entirely missed the point of what this president had just committed to. Likewise, the article’s lead was a jumble of disingenuous and contradictory official statements that the reporter never bothered to deconstruct or challenge.

      Instead, the AP allowed Trump’s special representative for Syria, James Jeffrey, to spin away, demanding an “enduring defeat” of ISIS while also casually claiming that “means we’re not in a hurry to get out,” and then adding that this didn’t necessarily require a long-term military presence in the country. All this in the first two paragraphs. Readers who weren’t already dizzy from hearing the press dutifully pass along the same shopworn clichés used to justify our multi-decade wars in Iraq and Afghanistan could be forgiven for having a case of journalistic whiplash as well.

    • ‘Nothing Will End if the US Continues to Support Saudi Arabia’

      It is disheartening that with tens of thousands of people killed, millions in need of assistance, at least a million affected by the largest cholera outbreak in history, and no clear end in sight to the violence behind it all, that the Washington Post would feel a need to run a piece headed “Five Reasons the Crisis in Yemen Matters.”

      Coverage is better than silence, of course, but as the war on Yemen is in its third year now, one would hope that US media would be in the business of regularly illustrating why the crisis matters, and specifically why it should matter to people in the US, whose government continues to play an active, central role in the war.

  • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

    • Speculation over fate of missing Dutchman linked to WikiLeaks

      A kayak believed to belong to Kamphuis, who advised governments, corporations, journalists and activists on information security, was pulled from the sea about 50km from Bodø on Thursday, police said, the day after an amateur fisherman found some of his belongings – reportedly including an ID card – floating in the water.

      But mobile phone records show that 10 days after the Dutchman was seen leaving his hotel, both his work and personal mobile phones were briefly switched on – with German SIM cards inserted – more than 1,700km from the small northern town, at Vikeså near Stavanger.

      Police said on Thursday they were “holding all possibilities open in respect to what might have happened” to Kamphuis and pursuing three distinct lines of inquiry: a “voluntary disappearance” including a possible suicide; an accident; or foul play.

    • Norwegian police finds belongings of WikiLeaks man missing since August

      Wikileaks acknowedged the finding of the missing man’s belongings in a tweet, indicating police believed his phone had been used for 20 minutes 10 days after he disappeared, 1500 kilometres away in southern Norway.

    • European analyst: the death of Assange will destroy the image of the leaders of several countries of the world

      Death in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, the founder of the portal WikiLeaks (WL) Julian Assange will lead to public condemnation of the international community policies a number of countries and even the resignation of their leaders.

      The correspondent of ГолосUA said the European expert Knut Berg.

      According to the analyst, currently George. Assange, who for the last six years hiding in the Embassy of Ecuador in the British capital, is seriously ill, and the procrastination of the West in solving its fate is threatened by scandalous journalist of “imminent death”. “Quito official already admitted their failure to guarantee Assange financial and medical assistance, and if that person will be given America, he will be executed – said, in particular, the expert. On the other hand, Sweden, which is also seeking the extradition of the head of the WL, is unable to protect him from deportation in the United States. If Assange dies, the image of the leaders of those countries which for a long time subjected to harassment of a journalist, would be virtually destroyed. And Ecuador, and Sweden, and America, and even the UK will have to answer for this development”. As the expert stressed, the only way out of this situation may be a complete withdrawal from John. Assange charges against him and giving founder of the WL full freedom of movement.

    • Norway police find missing WikiLeaks associate’s kayak

      Norwegian police on Thursday said they have found a kayak they believe belonged to a missing WikiLeaks associate who disappeared in mysterious circumstances three weeks ago.

      The police released a photo of a white foldable kayak they believe Dutch cyber security expert Arjen Kamphuis bought just before going on a holiday in Norway.

      Kamphuis, 47, has not been seen since leaving his hotel in the northern
      Norwegian town of Bodø on August 20th.

      [...]

      Police have not clarified what the objects are due to the ongoing investigation, but Norwegian broadcaster TV2 reported that they include Kamphuis’ identification papers.

    • A WikiLeaks associate has been missing for weeks, now his kayak has turned up

      A phone linked to Kamphuis was briefly switched on in an area near the southwestern city of Stavanger, located 1,600 kilometres from Bodo, on August 30, police said, but could not confirm who was using it.

      His friend Ancilla van de Leest told AFP on Wednesday that Kamphuis showed no signs of being suicidal and that his links with WikiLeaks were “strongly overblown in the press”.

    • Belongings of missing WikiLeaks associate Kamphuis found in Norway: police

      Investigators searched the area with assistance from local Red Cross and a rescue vessel.

    • The police were looking for was found by a fisherman

      In Norway found items belonging to the missing member of the “Wikileaks” Arjen Kamphuis. It is reported that the discovery in one of the fjords were made by the fisherman. What kind of things the police in the interests of the investigation does not disclose. And the fact of detection does not bring clarity. Kampas now looking for in Norway and in Denmark.

    • Halla Norwegian Police Boat of a Missing WikiLeaks Collaborator

      Arjen Kamphuis disappeared after leaving his hotel in Bodø (northern Norway) on August 20, a disappearance that spawned a multitude of conspiracy theories on social media.

      Famous for having published compromising documents of the American diplomacy and the army, WikiLeaks assures that Kamphuis is a partner of the founder of the organization, the Australian Julian Assange, a refugee in the embassy of Ecuador in London to escape of the American justice.

      The organization describes the disappearance as “strange”, and the police assure that it is exploring all the options: a voluntary disappearance, including a possible suicide, an accident or a criminal act.

    • Julian Assange and Antonio Trillanes: A Political Prisoner And a Fugitive From Justice

      Julian Assange is the most globally famous political prisoner of the 21st century. He has been trapped in Ecuador’s London Embassy since August of 2012 and earlier this year had all of his communications with the outside world cut off as part of an agreement between the new Ecuadorian administration and Assange’s western persecutors. Meanwhile, medical professionals who have visited Assange in the Embassy have stated that his physical and mental health are rapidly deteriorating and that his life is in danger unless he is allowed to safely receive full medical attention.

      Julian Assange’s only “crime” was exposing the war criminality of major western regimes including that of the United States under both George W. Bush and Barack Obama. Additionally, Assange is known for publishing materials on government corruption, dishonesty and systematic fraud throughout the world but primarily in the US and Europe. Assange was initially sought by police and prosecutors for rape allegations relating to a deeply controversial piece of Swedish legislation which defines rape as that which would otherwise be a legal act in most other nations including Assange’s native Australia, his last place of residence in Britain or the United States for that matter. Ultimately, Swedish prosecutors dropped the case against Assange but the Wikileaks founder is still not a free man as British authorities seek his arrest on a minor issue of skipping out on his bail while the wider worry is that London would rapidly turn Assange over to the US where many prominent politicians including Hillary Clinton have called for his execution.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife/Nature

    • This terrifying graphic from The Weather Channel shows the power and danger of Hurricane Florence

      The National Hurricane Center is predicting storm surges anywhere from two to more than 11 feet high. But it’s hard to visualize what those numbers actually mean for someone near the water. The National Hurricane Center tried to make it clear with a cartoon graphic that shows rainbow colored water levels rising over the heads of a family in a house.

    • Potential Insurance Bill From Hurricane Florence Could Take Toll on Wallets Far From North Carolina’s Coast

      For years, North Carolina has bet against a storm like Hurricane Florence.

      Even as nationally known insurance companies pulled out of the state’s coastal communities, development boomed along the shore, despite the threat from a megastorm like Harvey or Maria.

      In the face of warnings that climate change was making such storms more common, the state-created “insurer of last resort” has written policies for thousands of coastal properties worth tens of billions of dollars.

      With Hurricane Florence headed straight for North Carolina, the state faces not only a natural disaster but a financial reckoning.

      According to the most recent totals available, from 2017, the state-created insurance plan had access to about $3 billion in reserves, reinsurance and contributions from insurance companies to repair and rebuild damaged homes and properties. It could need a lot more than that if it were to be hit by a storm comparable to Harvey, which devastated Houston last year. Insurers estimate that the total payout from claims related to Harvey will reach $19.4 billion, according to the Texas Department of Insurance.

    • Hurricane Florence’s Surge Is Expected to Hit Homes That Already Cost the Government Millions

      Though the flooding from Hurricane Florence is predicted to be unprecedented, residents of the coastal North Carolina towns threatened by the storm surge know what it’s like to take on water. Some homes in these areas have been repeatedly flooded — and repeatedly bailed out by federal flood insurance.

      ProPublica examined storm surge predictions by the National Hurricane Center, layering a map of areas expected to be affected by Florence over a map of the most flood-prone properties tracked by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, which provides most of the flood insurance for U.S. homeowners.

      Critics have long argued that the program subsidizes risky development, but efforts at reform inevitably stall because raising premiums would make flood insurance unaffordable for lower-income residents. The insurance is required for federally backed mortgages of homes in flood-prone areas. The program is more than $20 billion in debt.

      Looking at some of the towns, it’s easy to see why.

  • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      Who Gets Their News From Which Social Media Sites?

      The survey also confirms what we’ve known for a long time about which social media sites have news delivery at the core of their services. Facebook is by far the most common social media “news gateway” in the US, with nearly half of respondents saying they rely on the site for news. YouTube came in second (21 percent) and Twitter a distant third, with 12 percent of respondents saying they use that site for news. Twitter’s standing is no surprise, given its much smaller user base than Facebook or YouTube. Those two networks have been jockeying for the most popular social media site in the US, but Twitter is fifth, according to a different Pew survey from January of this year.

    • More NYC Primary Voters Find Their Names Missing From Voter Rolls

      An untold number of primary voters are arriving at polling sites today only to find that their names are mysteriously missing from the voter rolls. Others have found that their registration has been quietly transferred to new election/assembly districts, or assigned to new parties without their knowledge. Attorneys with the NYCLU say they are currently receiving reports from numerous voters who are shocked to find their names missing from the voting rolls.

    • Lynch Mob Mentality

      I was caught in a twitterstorm of hatred yesterday, much of it led by mainstream media journalists like David Aaronovitch and Dan Hodges, for daring to suggest that the basic elements of Boshirov and Petrov’s story do in fact stack up. What became very plain quite quickly was that none of these people had any grasp of the detail of the suspects’ full twenty minute interview, but had just seen the short clips or quotes as presented by British corporate and state media.

      As I explained in my last post, what first gave me some sympathy for the Russians’ story and drew me to look at it closer, was the raft of social media claims that there was no snow in Salisbury that weekend and Stonehenge had not been closed. In fact, Stonehenge was indeed closed on 3 March by heavy snow, as confirmed by English Heritage. So the story that they came to Salisbury on 3 March but could not go to Stonehenge because of heavy snow did stand up, contrary to almost the entire twittersphere.

      Once there was some pushback of truth about this on social media, people started triumphantly posting the CCTV images from 4 March to prove that there was no snow lying in Central Salisbury on 4 March. But nobody ever said there was snow on 4 March – in fact Borisov and Petrov specifically stated that they learnt there was a thaw so they went back. However when they got there, they encountered heavy sleet and got drenched through. That accords precisely with the photographic evidence in which they are plainly drenched through.

      Another extraordinary meme that causes hilarity on twitter is that Russians might be deterred by snow or cold weather.

    • Crossing the Divide: The Challenges and Rewards of Working in Spanish-Language Media

      A conversation with Chicago journalist Jackie Serrato about bottom-up reporting, building trust and covering local arrests by ICE.

      [...]

      I saw there was a disconnect [between] what mainstream outlets covered and the things we found important as immigrant communities. So I started a Facebook page for my neighborhood, La Villita Chicago, which now has over 125,000 likes. I just wanted a space on the web for Mexican-Americans and Latinos in Chicago.

      I realized this was a very much-needed space. We were talking about gang violence, ward politics, threat of gentrification and what people were witnessing on their blocks. When I shared links to news stories [from mainstream outlets] in this group, I could tell these articles were very hard to relate to. They were number-heavy, harsh and included very few interviews with locals. Perspectives in the stories seem one-sided.

      My focus at Hoy is to cover immigrants and Mexican-Americans in Chicago. I do it to alert people of what’s going on. This process is the essence of journalism.

    • Richard Kim on Brett Kavanaugh, Jamil Dakwar on John Bolton

      This week on CounterSpin: The elite media takeaway on the nomination to the Supreme Court of arch-conservative Brett Kavanaugh—despite allegations of perjury, and an unprecedented lack of access to his work—would seem to be reflected by CNN, which ran two items on the same day: a poll showing more Americans oppose Kavanaugh’s confirmation than support it, and an analysis that took his confirmation as a given. “Americans don’t want it, but it’s happening anyway; next!” seems to be corporate media’s approach to many things these days. Others take democratic dysfunction less sanguinely. We speak with Richard Kim, executive editor of The Nation magazine, about that.

    • Why Mnangagwa ‘won’, but lost the 2018 election

      PRESIDENT Mnangagwa won the 2018 election on one hand, but lost it on the other. First, while the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) and Mnangagwa celebrated their vindication by the Constitutional Court (ConCourt), the upshot was that Zec, Mnangagwa, and the ConCourt got tainted.

      While the MDC Alliance lost the ConCourt challenge, it exposed the degree to which the entire system is defective.

      Second, there is an entrenched perception that Mnangagwa is a ruthless man who played a role in the commission of grave human rights violations, including Gukurahundi. Mnangagwa has rejected these claims, claiming that he is “as soft as wool”.

    • I Sorta Know Who Wrote That Anonymous NYT Op-Ed

      But the only way for America to function credibly was for us to work on her behalf, and that meant following the boss, the system created by the Constitution, and remembering you weren’t the one elected, and that you ultimately worked for those who did the electing. There were ways to honorably dissent, such as resigning, or writing a book with your name on the cover (my choice) and taking your lumps.

      But acting as a wrench inside the gears of government to disaffect policy (the Washington Post warned “sleeper cells have awoken”) is what foreign intelligence officers recruit American officials to do, and that doesn’t make you a hero acting on conscience, just a traitor. It seems odd someone labeled a senior official by the New York Times would not understand the difference before defining themselves forever by writing such an article.

      So don’t be too surprised if the author turns out to be a junior official not in a position to know what they claim to know, a political appointee in a first government job reporting second- or third-hand rumors, maybe an ex-Bushie in over their head. That will raise important questions about the Times’ exaggerating the official’s importance, and thus credibility, and whether anonymity was being used to buff up the narrative by encouraging speculation.

    • Not even Republicans trust Trump on Russia
    • Trump ‘Often’ Told His Former NSA Chief He’s ‘In a Different Place’ Than Experts on Russia Hacking

      While President Donald Trump has on a handful of occasions been forced to publicly state he believes Russia attacked the U.S. election that placed him in the White House, no one actually thinks he believes that. Trump countless times has made very clear he believes the very idea of Russia hacking the U.S. is a “hoax,” and the investigation into Russian interference is a “witch hunt!”

      One of the few people who would know first hand exactly how Trump thinks about Russia and its attacks on America is the president’s own former Director of the National Security Agency, retired Admiral Mike Rogers.

  • Censorship/Free Speech

    • Remove terror content or be fined millions, EU tells social media firms

      The European commission is proposing legislation to ensure all member states bring in sanctions against those who repeatedly fail to respond to the new removal orders within an hour of them being issued, with platforms facing penalties of up to 4% of their global revenue.

    • A Benchmark Of Sorts: Steam’s First Fully Uncensored Adult Novel-Game To Be Released In Coming Weeks

      So, it’s been nearly three months since Valve announced that it was going with a new policy for the Steam gaming platform that was supposed to basically be hands off, with only “illegal” and “trolling” games being disallowed from the Steam store. As with all things Steam, the end result of what was supposed to be a transparent and simple policy turned into a shitshow, with developers having no idea whether once-banned games would suddenly be allowed, and some developers that were contacting Valve to get their games included were being told that their bans were still in place. There must have been a fair amount of frustration in the developer community, because Steam last week attempted to clear up its vague language in its policy. This attempt to clear things up, of course, cleared up basically nothing.

    • That Racist Serena Williams Cartoon Is So Very Australian

      By now, you have probably seen the Australian newspaper cartoon about the U.S. Open final, in which the cartoonist depicted tennis icon Serena Williams as a hulking, hissy-fitting child. You might have seen that the paper, the Herald Sun, doubled down on the depiction and defended the cartoonist, equating the uproar to censorship and suppression.

    • The Serena cartoon debate: calling out racism is not ‘censorship’

      If there is one thing more damning than the racist cartoon of Serena Williams published in Melbourne’s Herald Sun earlier this week, it’s the paper’s response to accusations of racism. And that’s saying something. Because the cartoon is bad. It’s Hattie McDaniel in Gone With the Wind, Mammy Two Shoes from Tom and Jerry, going out in the cotton fields with Topsy to eat watermelon, Aunt Jemima’s pancakes bad. It’s Donald Trump, Boris Johnson, Pauline Hanson, Jeremy Clarkson after a bottle of scotch and a screening of Katie Hopkins’ documentary on white South African farmers bad.

      In the cartoon, Williams’ hair provides a bulbous, bloated, outsized frame for an enormous lolling tongue that’s bigger than her knee; nostril to nostril, her flat, expansive nose is roughly the size of her shoulder. It is not a caricature of Williams, whose lips, nose and tongue are not particularly pronounced and are rarely, if ever, remarked upon. It is a caricature of black people – and more specifically black women – that went straight through the editing process as though the 20th century had never happened. (Never mind the fact that Naomi Osaka, Williams’ Haitian-Japanese opponent, is portrayed as a white woman). When a furore broke out on social media, the cartoonist, Mark Knight, said: “The world has just gone crazy.”

    • Cartoonist defends his racist depiction of Serena Williams and fails

      The Herald Sun, the Australian newspaper whose racist caricature of Serena Williams set off shockwaves around the world, insists that not only is the clearly racist drawing is not racist, but that people pointing out the obvious historical connections between that drawing and the Little Black Sambo cartoons from a century ago, are simply “making it up.”

      Mark Knight, the cartoonist who drew the racist cartoon, said the online hate he received was “unfair” and claims that as the cartoon was about Williams’ argument with the line umpire during her the U.S. Open final loss to Naomi Osaka.

    • A racist Serena Williams cartoon went viral. Here’s how to caricature her the right way.
    • EFF Helps Launch Anti-SLAPP Task Force ‘Protect the Protest’

      Aboard the Arctic Sunrise, a working icebreaker that has sailed to the Arctic Circle, the Congo, and the Amazon Rivers under Greenpeace’s stead, EFF joined several civil liberties and environmental rights groups to send a message: no longer will we be bullied by malicious lawsuits that threaten our freedom of speech.

      “We have the Constitution, we have our rights, and now, we have each other,” said Greenpeace executive director Annie Leonard.

      On September 5, EFF helped launch Protect the Protest, a coalition of nearly 20 organizations committed to fighting back against Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation, also known as SLAPPs. The coalition includes EFF, ACLU, Greenpeace, Freedom of the Press Foundation, Amnesty International, and Human Rights Watch.

    • Crackdown on online terror content not censorship, says EU [Ed: Corruptible politicians, who work for Hollywood it seems, cannot win the debate, so they pretend it’s actually about “terrorism”]

      Plans to fine online platforms for failing to act within an hour to take down terrorist-related material is not a case of censorship, EU security commissioner Julian King said.

      Mr King was elaborating on proposals to journalists set out in Wednesday’s state of the union speech in Strasbourg by commission president Jean Claude Juncker.

      Every internet platform that wants to offer its services in the European Union will be subject to clear rules to prevent their services from being misused to disseminate terrorist content, the commission says.

    • White House Potentially Exploring Executive Order On ‘Social Media Bias’

      The White House may be preparing an executive order for the President, pushing for investigations of “bias” at social media companies. It is not definite, but someone has leaked us a draft two page executive order. We’re not releasing the draft because, despite it coming directly from someone in the White House, others have insisted it’s not an accurate document, even as the approach to some extent mirrors the announced plans of the DOJ to investigate bias. Another reason we’re not releasing the document itself is that we’re quite aware of reports saying that there are attempts to find “leakers” in the White House, and one common method of doing so is to put small indicators in documents. We cannot guarantee that this document is not such a document and thus will be reporting on the basic concept of what’s in this draft, without revealing the full document.

      But, to be clear, if this document is accurate, it would almost certainly lead to a huge First Amendment fight, which it seems likely the companies would win.

      Obviously the issue of social media and supposed political bias has been a big topic in DC lately — including with the President — despite the near total lack of actual evidence to support these claims. Yes, there is evidence of people being kicked off these platforms… but there is no evidence that the reasons have anything to do with political bias (people of all political stripes have been removed from these platforms). And, yes, there is also evidence that employees at many internet companies may lean one way politically, but that too is overstated and says nothing about how the platforms actually work.

      Recently, we noted that the DOJ and various state Attorneys General were talking about using antitrust law against social media companies over bias, and explained in fairly great detail why that would almost certainly run afoul of the First Amendment and a whole long list of Supreme Court cases detailing how the government cannot compel speech of this nature.

    • Cuban activists issue manifesto against artistic censorship

      The growing movement of artists against Cuba’s restrictive new law Decree 349 has issued a manifesto in Havana denouncing government censorship.

      The document, the San Isidro Manifesto, released on Wednesday (12 September) sets out principles defining a movement for artistic freedom in Cuba that has been gaining momentum since the law was published in July. The decree has met with opposition from journalists and cultural figures in Cuba and around the world and has become pivotal to an ongoing public debate about constitutional change.

      The law was among the first signed by the Cuban president, Miguel Díaz-Canel, who took office in April, and it is due to go into effect on 7 December.

    • Ibsen Play Is Canceled in China After Audience Criticizes Government

      A German theater production that invited audiences in China to voice their complaints about society has been canceled over fears of what they might say.

      The Schaubühne Berlin company was due to perform “An Enemy of the People,” a 19th-century play by the Norwegian playwright Henrik Ibsen, in Nanjing on Thursday and Friday. But the shows were abruptly canceled after members of the audience in Beijing last week shouted criticisms of their authoritarian government.

      The theater in Nanjing that was to host the play cited “technical problems,” including a hole in the stage, Tobias Veit, the Schaubühne’s executive director, said in a telephone interview.

      But Mr. Veit said the real reason for the cancellation appeared to be that the theater managers deemed the play, first performed in 1883, too risky given the audience comments in Beijing.

    • China Cancels Ibsen’s ‘An Enemy of the People’ Amid Ever-Widening Censorship
    • Chinese censors bring down the curtain on Ibsen play
    • Facebook accused of censorship by liberal site after Weekly Standard fact checks article
  • Privacy/Surveillance

    • Microsoft Clears the Air About Fighting CLOUD Act Abuses [Ed: EFF playing along with one of the biggest and worst spies out there. Shame.]
    • The Game is Rigged: Congress Invites No Consumer Privacy Advocates to its Consumer Privacy Hearing

      The Senate Commerce Committee is getting ready to host a much-anticipated hearing on consumer privacy—and consumer privacy groups don’t get a seat at the table. Instead, the Committee is seeking only the testimony of big tech and Internet access corporations: Amazon, Apple, AT&T, Charter Communications, Google, and Twitter. Some of these companies have spent heavily to oppose consumer privacy legislation and have never supported consumer privacy laws. They know policymakers are considering new privacy protections, and are likely to view this hearing as a chance to encourage Congress to adopt the weakest privacy protections possible – and eviscerate stronger state protections at the same time.

      The upcoming hearing at the Senate Commerce Committee may be the launch pad for this strategy of undoing stronger state laws.

      It is no coincidence that, in the past week, two leading industry groups (the Chamber of Commerce and the Internet Association) have called for federal preemption of state data privacy laws in exchange for weaker federal protections. For example, laws in California and Illinois require companies to have user consent to certain uses of their personal information (Nevada and Minnesota have these requirements for Internet access providers), while the industry proposals would only require transparency. That means that companies would be allowed to collect information without your permission as long as they tell you they’re doing it. The upcoming hearing at the Senate Commerce Committee may be the launch pad for this strategy of undoing stronger state laws.

      Since we can’t be there to say this ourselves, we’ll say it here: EFF will oppose any federal legislation that weakens today’s hard-fought privacy protections or destroys the states’ ability to protect their citizens’ personal information. EFF has had a long and continuous battle with some of the testifying companies, such as Google and AT&T, regarding your right to data privacy, and we’re not going to give up now.

      To be clear, we would look closely at a sensible federal legislation that offers meaningful protections for data privacy. Uniform laws offer predictability, making life easier for smaller companies, nonprofits and others that may struggle to meet the rules of different states. But a uniform law is only a good alternative if it’s actually a good law—not a weak placeholder designed only to block something stronger.

    • More Bay Area Jurisdictions Adopt Civilian Control of Police Spy Tech

      This week, two California jurisdictions joined the growing movement to subject government surveillance technology to democratic transparency and civilian control. Each culminated a local process spearheaded by concerned residents who campaigned for years.

      First, on Monday, the City of Palo Alto voted 8-1 to adopt an ordinance to “Establish Criteria and Procedures for Protecting Personal Privacy When Considering the Acquisition and Use of Surveillance Technologies, and Provide for Ongoing Monitoring and Reporting.” Like a handful of similar ordinances adopted across the Bay Area over the past two years, it includes several requirements.

    • Google, Apple, Amazon Summoned To Testify On Consumer Data Protection Techniques

      Six big companies including Google, Apple, Twitter, Amazon, AT&T, and Charter have been summoned by the US government to testify before the Senate about the consumer data and privacy mechanisms adopted by them.

      The hearing called “Examining Safeguards for Consumer Data Privacy” is scheduled for September 26 where the representatives from the companies will answer questions on Commerce, Transportation, and Science.

    • AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile & Sprint Want Even Broader Access To Your Personal Data

      We’ve noted repeatedly that however bad Facebook has been on privacy (pretty clearly terrible), the broadband industry has traditionally been much, much worse. From AT&T’s efforts to charge consumers more just to protect their privacy, to Verizon getting busted for covertly tracking users around the internet without telling them (or letting users opt out), this is not an industry that respects you or your privacy. That’s before we even get to their cozy, often mindlessly-loyal relationship with intelligence and law enforcement.

      As such, it’s kind of amusing to note that these are the same companies now trying to position themselves as the gatekeepers of all of your private data online. As security expert Brian Krebs notes, AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile and Sprint (the latter two of which will likely soon be one company) are cooking up something dubbed “Project Verify,” which would let end users eschew traditional website passwords — instead authenticating visitors by leveraging data elements unique to each customer’s phone and mobile subscriber account, including location, “customer reputation”, and device hardware specs.

    • Another Batch Of FISA Court Docs Confirms The NSA Frequently Abuses Its Collection Powers

      More evidence of the NSA’s abuse of its surveillance powers has surfaced, thanks to a FOIA lawsuit by the EFF. To date, the EFF has secured 73 FISC opinions as the result of this lawsuit and is still fighting for the release of six opinions the government has chosen to withhold entirely.

      One of the opinions released to the EFF shows the NSA’s frequent assertions about proper minimization, careful deployment of surveillance techniques, and supposedly robust oversight are mostly false. The NSA abuses its powers and withholds evidence of its abuses from the FISA court, undermining the system of checks and balances meant to keep the agency in line.

    • European court rules against Britain over mass surveillance
    • GCHQ mass surveillance breached human rights on privacy, EU court rules
    • GCHQ’s mass surveillance violates citizens’ right to privacy, ECHR rules
    • GCHQ mass surveillance regime was in breach of human rights law, European court rules
    • An SEO Expert Has Shown How Chrome’s Back Button can be Hijacked to Spy on Users

      This allowed Petrovic to spy on users’ traffic to impersonated versions of his competitors’ websites. He was able to record mouse movement, clicks and typing, among other things.

    • How pervasive real-time bidding for online ads silently undermines your privacy

      This result suggests that real-time bidding is causing almost all information about our movements around the Web to be shared with major advertisers and advertising exchanges. Many people use ad blockers in an attempt to protect their privacy from this kind of information leakage. The researchers examined to what extent these browser add-ons reduce the sharing of personal information. Here’s what they found with the most popular of these, AdBlock Plus:

  • Civil Rights/Policing

    • French Soldiers Tortured Algerians, Macron Admits 6 Decades Later

      One of the ugliest unsolved crimes of France’s long-ago, quasi-colonial war in Algeria was finally laid to rest on Thursday, as President Emmanuel Macron recognized that the French Army had tortured and killed a youthful antiwar intellectual in 1957.

      The death in custody of Maurice Audin, a 25-year-old mathematician, has for decades been a symbol of the French Army’s brutality during the Algerian War, much as the My Lai massacre became for the United States’ war in Vietnam. But unlike My Lai, which led to prosecutions, the Audin affair was never investigated.

    • ‘Attica Is Every Prison; and Every Prison Is Attica’

      Forty-seven years later, the uprising that shocked the world continues through the demands of prisoners for human rights.

      On Sept. 9, 1971, prisoners at Attica Correctional Facility in upstate New York rebelled over extreme crowding, racism, and brutal living conditions. They took control of the prison and sought to negotiate with state officials over their demands. Four days later — and 47 years ago this week — the uprising was crushed in a massive assault by the state police, National Guard, and corrections officers. Forty-three people lost their lives, most of them during the retaking of the prison.

      The Attica rebellion and its bloody suppression shocked the nation and world, and shone a much-needed light on the grim reality of American prisons.

      Yet there was nothing particularly unusual about conditions at Attica at that time. America’s prisons were hellish by any standard. In its 1972 report, the New York State Special Commission on Attica, which was formed to investigate the rebellion, concluded that “the elements of replication are all around us. Attica is every prison; and every prison is Attica.”

      The echoes of Attica can be heard today in the voices of people in prisons struggling against the injustices they experience. So it is no surprise that the organizers of the Nationwide Prison Strike that began on August 21 chose the anniversary of the Attica uprising as the final day of the strike.

    • Trump’s New Attack on Immigrant Children

      The government has proposed new regulations which are a roadmap for keeping immigrant children and families locked up indefinitely.

      Last Thursday, two federal agencies announced new regulations concerning the detention of immigrant children. They are nothing less than a roadmap for keeping children and families locked up indefinitely.

      The proposed regulations have a very clear goal, which is to terminate a longstanding federal consent decree — known as the Flores Settlement Agreement — that sets nationwide standards concerning “the detention, release, and treatment of minors” in immigration custody. The 1997 agreement arose out of litigation challenging the government’s practice of detaining children for lengthy periods of time in inhumane conditions.

      The American Academy of Pediatrics and numerous child-welfare experts have warned that jailing children and parents can severely damage their physical and mental health, often irreversibly. For decades, Flores has stood as a critical check against government efforts to needlessly jail children and families and prevented abuse of children in custody.

      The government has often chafed under these legal obligations, but Flores has now come under direct assault by the Trump administration. The White House is characterizing Flores’ protections as a “loophole” and has even falsely claimed that the agreement justified its brutal family separation policy. Its allies in Congress have introduced several bills seeking to eliminate Flores protections and echoed the Trump administration’s anti-Flores rhetoric.

    • Off-Duty Cop Tasing an 11-Year-Old Should Provoke a Clear Wakeup Call for Police Reform

      How young is too young for a person to be tased? In Cincinnati, the answer disturbingly seems to be 7 years old. This is as shocking as it is unacceptable.

      The city is purportedly reviewing its policy on the use of force, specifically the use of tasers, after an off-duty Cincinnati police officer working as a security guard deployed his stun gun against an 11-year-old girl who allegedly stole about $50 of goods from a grocery store. According to media reports, the officer’s bodycam video shows the girl crying as firefighters removed the taser barbs from her back.

      The child was not a threat to law enforcement, and the officer is clearly guilty of using excessive force. After the incident, he even conceded that she was not a threat to him, to others, or to herself. Make no mistake, tasers are weapons, and they can not only hurt but kill.

      The American Heart Association confirms that misuse of a taser can cause sudden cardiac arrest and death. Tasers emit a 50,000-volt initial shock followed by 100 microsecond pulses of 1,200 volts. Since 2000, more than 1000 people in the United States have died from police-inflicted stun gun encounters. While intended, theoretically, to be a “non-lethal” method of control by law enforcement, there is too much evidence to the contrary.

    • Cop: Screwdrivers And Wrenches Are Drug Dealer Things; Appeals Court: WTF

      Some things most of us keep in our vehicles is considered by at least one police officer to be tools of the drug trade. Literal tools. Of the literal drug trade. I guess. The bad news is even more of us keep these items at home. We’re drowning in contraband, it appears. Those of us with attached garages should just brace ourselves for early morning no-knock raids.

      [....]

      If you don’t want extra police attention, you keep your driving stuff in order. That’s why police so often claim clean vehicles and drivers with no records are also tools of the drug trade — because drug dealers don’t want to give officers any reason to perform a pretextual stop. This claim goes the other direction, ensuring drivers are damned either way, and turning a nation of non-criminal drivers into erstwhile drug dealers.

    • Member Newsletter: Why South Carolina Abandoned Prisoners During Hurricane Florence

      South Carolina corrections officials refused to evacuate prisoners held in mandatory evacuation zones in the path of Hurricane Florence. Their decision should be placed in the context of this year’s prison strike, the call for which originated in that state.

      While around one million people in South Carolina were ordered to flee, the state had no such plans for the few thousand prisoners who are also in danger.

      State officials argued that weathering the storm in prison would be safer than evacuations. Meanwhile, they forced prisoners to fill over 35,000 sand bags before it hit.

      To figure out whether this a good idea, one only needs to reflect on the experience of prisoners in Louisiana who were abandoned to the floods of Hurricane Katrina. Locked in their prisons, inmates had to survive for days in water up to their chests. Hundreds of people were never accounted for. Texas prisoners survived similar experiences during Hurricane Rita and Harvey.

    • Trump’s Border Wall Obsession Is a Threat to the Southwest Border Region

      To save lives, preserve habitats, and ensure thriving border communities, Congress should stop funding President Trump’s border wall.

      Given all the false rhetoric and rage that drive President Trump’s fixation on building his border wall, it’s critically important to step back from that noise and think about people and places that would be jeopardized if his wall obsession continues to be funded by Congress.

      Take, for instance, Fred Cavazos, a property owner on the Rio Grande in Texas.

      Mr. Cavazos traces his family’s 77 acres of ranchland in South Texas back to Spanish land grants in the 1760s. As The Washington Post recently reported, he was notified by the federal government that the border wall’s potential path would cut “through the Cavazos family barn, through their rental house, and through a field where they grazed a small herd of longhorn cattle.” The map sent to Mr. Cavazos showed that the wall would sever his property in half and make it hard to access the riverfront.

      Indeed, despite being criticized for abusive and still uncompensated land seizures a decade ago, the possibility of private property seizures by the Department of Homeland Security is again looming over hundreds of more landowners. Moreover, with the passage of the REAL ID Act of 2005, the secretary of homeland security has the authority to waive any and all laws to speed up the construction of patrol roads and border walls. Barrier construction has disturbed or destroyed indigenous graves and cultural sites, which have particularly affected the Tohono O’odham Nation in Arizona, because laws that protect Native American rights are waived. No one else in the government, not even the president, has this kind of authority.

      The border wall, however, wouldn’t just violate landowners’ property rights.

  • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

    • Free roaming ‘could no longer be guaranteed’ with a no-deal Brexit

      Thanks to the Digital Single Market, Brits travelling in Europe have not had to pay roaming charges since June 2017, after changes to regulation meant that UK mobile phone users could use their regular allowance of calls, texts and data for no extra cost from anywhere in the EU.

      This could all change in March next year, though, as the government has confirmed warned that Brexit – which was recently been blamed for Panasonic shifting its European HQ from the UK to Amsterdam – could see the re-introduction of pesky roaming charges.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Trademarks

      • US government likely to be disappointed in Brunetti review quest

        The USPTO has appealed to the Supreme Court to allow it to control immoral and scandalous trade mark registrations. Review and reversal of In re Brunetti seems unlikely because a similar issue was addressed in Tam

      • That Bizarre Trademark Suit Between Music Promoters Over An ‘Ultra’ Trademark Nobody Owned Is Still Going On

        I’ll forgive the average reader here if they cannot recall the post we did nearly a year and a half ago about a trademark dispute between Worldwide Entertainment Group Inc. of Florida and Adria MM Productions Ltd. of Croatia. It’s by far my favorite trademark story ever. It has all the hallmarks of a typical trademark bullying story that we would cover: from a fairly generic term (“Ultra”) in a really broad industry (music festivals) being licensed for use overseas in Europe by Worldwide to Adria, only to have the former ratchet up its licensing fee and control demands over the trademark it had on the term “Ultra.” Pretty standard fare, even when we get to the part where Worldwide sends Adria notice that it is in breach of the licensing agreement and demanding the stoppage of all use of the term “Ultra.”

    • Copyrights

      • Canadian Supreme Court rules ISPs can charge some costs of identifying illegal downloaders

        ISPs’ obligations in tackling illegal downloading have been clarified in Rogers Communications v Voltage Pictures. They can charge copyright holders for some steps in identifying suspected customers but not those costs incurred under the notice and notice regime

      • Plagiarists Or Innovators? The Led Zeppelin Paradox Endures

        Fifty years ago – in September 1968 – the legendary rock band Led Zeppelin first performed together, kicking off a Scandinavian tour billed as the New Yardbirds.

        The new, better name would come later that fall, while drummer John Bonham’s death in 1980 effectively ended their decade-defining reign. But to this day, the band retains the same iconic status it held back in the 1970s: It ranks as one of the best-selling music acts of all time and continues to shape the sounds of new and emerging groups young enough to be the band members’ grandchildren.

        Yet, even after all this time – when every note, riff and growl of Zeppelin’s nine-album catalog has been pored over by fans, cover artists and musicologists – a dark paradox still lurks at the heart of its mystique. How can a band so slavishly derivative – and sometimes downright plagiaristic – be simultaneously considered so innovative and influential?

        How, in other words, did it get to have its custard pie and eat it, too?

        As a scholar who researches the subtle complexities of musical style and originality as well as the legal mechanisms that police and enforce them, such as copyright law, I find this a particularly devilish conundrum. The fact that I’m also a bassist in a band that fuses multiple styles of music makes it personal.

        [...]

        Led Zeppelin was also accused of lifting from white artists such as Bredon and the band Spirit, the aggrieved party in a recent lawsuit over the rights to Zeppelin’s signature song “Stairway to Heaven.” Even in these cases, the power dynamics were iffy.

        Bredon and Spirit are lesser-known composers with lower profiles and shallower pockets. Neither has benefited from the glow of Zeppelin’s glory, which has only grown over the decades despite the accusations and lawsuits leveled against them.

      • Guy In Charge Of EU Copyright Directive Claims He Didn’t Know What He Voted On, Needs To Fix Things

        Following the decision earlier this week of the EU Parliament to vote for the destruction of the open web by putting in place some pretty awful copyright proposals, people began highlighting more and more problems with the bill. Most of the focus before the vote had been on two particular articles, Article 11 and Article 13. But there are many other problems in the Directive as well — it was just getting to be overwhelming to get into the weeds on all of them. One area of concern was in Article 12, which included a special new form of copyright for sporting events. Specifically, with no debate or discussion the legal affairs committee of the EU Parliament added in text saying that sporting event organizers would gain absolute control over recording, sharing and presenting any film clips — even those that would otherwise be deemed legal in other copyright contexts. And yes, the law implies that if you’re at a sports event, you can’t even film anything from your own seat as that is reserved solely to the event organizers.

        Incredibly, after the vote approving the directive, reporter Emanuel Karisten of the Swedish publication Breakit, asked Voss about this and Voss gave a fairly astounding answer, stating that “this was kind of a mistake” and that “no one had been aware of this.”

        [...]

        There are a few possibilities here, none of which make Voss look any good. He either voted for an amendment he hadn’t read and/or didn’t understand, or he’s lying to this reporter. It also suggests that rather than taking the concerns of critics like Reda seriously, Voss just tuned them out and happily voted away for such horrible proposals.

      • EU Continues To Kill The Open Web: Massive Fines For Sites That Don’t Censor Within An Hour

        The EU really seems quite hellbent on absolutely destroying the open internet. Just as the EU Parliament was voting to approve the EU Copyright Directive, requiring that much of the internet be licensed and curated, rather than open for anyone, the EU Commission decided to move forward with an awful idea that it had first proposed earlier this year: that social media companies must disappear “terrorist content’ within one hour.

        [...]

        It is literally insane that anyone could possibly think this is a good idea.

        Activists are already pointing out that this proposal has simply ignored its obligation to review how such a law would impact human rights, because apparently if you just wave your hands in the air screaming “terrorists’ the EU will toss basic human rights out the window.

        At some point you have to wonder if the EU really just wants the internet shut off completely.

      • Europol Operation Targets Pirate IPTV Providers, Four More Arrested

        After two people were arrested in the UK this week, a Europol-led investigation into pirate IPTV services has led to four more arrests in Southern Ireland. Two men and two women were detained under suspicion of copyright and money laundering offenses. Major TV companies and the MPA provided assistance to the authorities.

      • Copyright Cop? ISP Willingly Kept Pirates On Board, Labels Say

        The legal battle between Texas-based Internet provider Grande Communications and the major record labels is heating up again. After Grande discredited the labels’ lawsuit as an attempt to turn ISPs into their private copyright police, the music companies now fire back with several damning allegations.

09.13.18

Links 13/9/2018: Compiz Comeback, ‘Life is Strange: Before the Storm’

Posted in News Roundup at 10:02 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Desktop

    • Windows 10 Tries to Push Firefox and Chrome Over the Edge

      Windows 10 now “warns” you not to install Chrome or Firefox when you download them. It’s just one of the many annoying ways Microsoft pushes Edge, which only has 4% market share despite Microsoft’s increasing desperation.

      Microsoft will probably start using this “app recommendations” feature to push other apps in the future, too. Imagine Windows warning you not to install LibreOffice because you could pay for Office 365 instead.

    • Microsoft: You don’t want to use Edge? Are you sure? Really sure?

      Microsoft really wants you to use Edge in the latest Windows Insider builds, and the software giant is not afraid to let you know it.

      Windows Insider Sean Hoffman took to Twitter last night to express his displeasure at a pop-up shown by Windows 10 when he attempted to install an alternative browser. When he ran the Firefox installer, a pop-up showed up suggesting perhaps he’d like to stick with Edge. It is safer and faster, after all (according to Microsoft).

      Hoffman, running build 17744.1004, the current slow ring version of the next release of Windows 10, pulled no punches in his reaction.

    • Chromebooks gain faff-free access to Windows file shares via Samba

      Google’s Chrome OS tanks crept a little further onto Microsoft’s manicured enterprise lawns with hints that Windows file-share support will arrive out-of-the-box in an upcoming version of Chrome OS.

      Those brave enough to be on the Canary version of Chrome 70 already have the functionality, assuming the preview software stays upright long enough to connect. The code uses the Samba project’s libsmbclient to access the file shares.

      Veteran Windows blogger Paul Thurrott spotted a posting on Google+ by “Chromium Evangelist” François Beaufort indicating that the functionality was inbound. In the post, Beaufort linked to a Chromium code commit with the text: “Set NativeSmb flag to enabled by default – Network File Shares for ChromeOS will be available by default starting in M70.”

  • Audiocasts/Shows

    • Linux Academy Announces Acquisition of Jupiter Broadcasting

      Linux Academy, a leading provider of hands-on online training in Linux and cloud technologies, today announced it has acquired Jupiter Broadcasting, a podcasting network covering Linux, security, privacy, community and other open source content, to further strengthen its contributions to the open source and free software industry. Linux Academy will acquire Jupiter Broadcasting’s shows, assets, and employees.

  • Kernel Space

    • Linux Foundation

      • Going to Hyperledger school

        Hyperledger (or the Hyperledger project) is an umbrella project of open source blockchains and related tools.

        The project was founded by the Linux Foundation at the end of 2015 with the intention of encouraging the collaborative development of blockchain-based distributed ledgers.

      • Linux Foundation’s OpenDaylight Fluorine Release Brings Streamlined Support for Cloud, Edge and WAN Solutions

        The OpenDaylight Project, the leading open source platform for programmable, software-defined networks, today announced its ninth release, OpenDaylight Fluorine. The latest version brings major advancements for solution providers through key enhancements to the platform, including simplified packaging to speed solution development and enhanced capabilities for key use cases.

      • OpenDaylight Advances Open Source Software Defined Networking in Fluorine Release

        OpenDaylight is made up of a collection of different networking capabilities that can be combined into an architecture to enable a complete SDN platform. Among the new features in OpenDaylight Fluorine, the Service Function Chaining (SFC) project supports Network Service Headers (NSH) for accelerated service delivery. The BGP and Path Computation Element Protocol (BGPCEP) for IP Transport has been improved to enable better SD-WAN use cases for inter-data center connectivity.

        Optical transport also gets a boost in the OpenDaylight Fluorine release, with the debut of the TransportPCE project, which is a reference implementation of Open ROADM (Reconfigurable Optical Add-Drop Multiplexer). The TransportPCE project enables network operators to configure their WDM (Wavelength-Division Multiplexing) equipment such that it can handle requests coming from an SDN controller.

    • Graphics Stack

      • Khronos Talks Up The New Vulkan Memory Model

        Released this past weekend was Vulkan 1.1.84 and one of the newly introduced extensions was
        VK_KHR_vulkan_memory_model.

        This extension for the Vulkan Memory Model deals with memory synchronization and other traits when dealing with memory accesses by shaders in GLSL or SPIR-V.

      • NVIDIA Rolls Out Tesla T4 GPUs, DRIVE AGX Xavier & Clara Platform

        NVIDIA used their GPU Technology Conference (GTC) in Japan that’s happening this week to announce a slew of new offerings and technology advancements.

      • RADV Finally Picking Up Support For Conservative Rasterization

        The RADV Mesa-based Radeon Vulkan driver is picking up support for another extension.

        Back in January with the Vulkan 1.0.67 release one of the new extensions introduced was VK_EXT_conservative_rasterization. The Vulkan conservative rasterization mode allows for over-estimation or under-estimation in limiting the rasterization process and providing more certainty over the expected rendering behavior.

    • Benchmarks

  • Applications

    • Wallapatta – A Beautiful Markdown Editor with Layout Support

      If you have been following our posts then it must be clear to you by now that there is no shortage of note-taking apps in the open-source community and the note-taking app category includes Markdown editors.

      We have written about a couple already and today, it is with pleasure that we introduce to you such an app with a layout inspired by the design handouts of Edward R. Tufte Wallapatta.

      Wallapatta is a modern open-source and cross-platform Markdown editor with an emphasis on design and clear writing.

    • Curlew: Still Great Multimedia Converter That Uses FFmpeg for Ubuntu/Linux Mint

      Right now there are handful of multimedia converters available for Linux. It is an free and open-source application that converts to plenty of formats using FFMpeg and avconv. It is written using Python programming language and GTK3 for GUI. Currently has ability to convert more than 100 different formats.
      Curlew multimedia converter is around from quite sometime and known to have some extra features such as: ability to show file information(duration, progress, approx size, duration etc.), preview file before conversion, convert part of specified file, attach subtitles to videos, show errors in details if occurs, allow to skip files or remove during conversion process, and fairly simple user interface. It is available for all currently supported Ubuntu 18.04/16.04/14.04/Linux Mint 19/18/17 and other Ubuntu based distributions.

    • Happy birthday Kiwi TCMS
    • ScreenCloud: The Screenshot++ App

      ScreenCloud is an amazing little app, that you don’t even know you need. The default screenshot procedure on desktop Linux is great (Prt Scr Button) and we even have some powerful screenshot utilities like Shutter. But ScreenCloud brings one more really simple yet really convenient feature that I just fell in love with. But before we get into it, let’s catch a little backstory.

      I take a lot of screenshots. A lot more than average. Receipts, registration details, development work, screenshots of applications for articles, and lot more. The next thing I do is open a browser, browse to my favorite cloud storage and dump the important ones there so that I can access them on my phone and also across multiple operating systems on my PC. This also allows me to easily share screenshots of the apps that I’m working on with my team.

      I had no complaints with this standard procedure of taking screenshots, opening a browser and logging into my cloud and then uploading the screenshots manually, until I came across ScreenCloud.

    • Proprietary

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Wine or Emulation

      • Wine Announcement

        The Wine maintenance release 3.0.3 is now available.

      • Wine 3.0.3 Ships With 50+ Bug Fixes

        If you are a user of the Wine stable releases rather than the bi-weekly Wine development releases or Wine-Staging (or now Proton too), Wine 3.0.3 is out today as the latest version.

      • Wine’s VKD3D Lands An Initial Vulkan Pipeline Cache

        The Wine project’s Direct3D 12 to Vulkan API translation layer has implemented a basic Vulkan pipeline cache that may help with performance.

        Józef Kucia of CodeWeavers who has been leading much of the VKD3D development landed this initial pipeline cache. Earlier today he posted the initial patch series on the Wine mailing list and already has merged the patches laying out this inline caching implementation.

      • Valve have now pushed out all the recent beta changes in Steam Play’s Proton to everyone

        For those of you sticking with the stable channel of Steam Play’s Proton system, Valve have today rolled out all the recent beta changes for everyone.

        Previously, you had access to Proton 3.7-3 which was what everyone used by default and you could also use the “Compatibility tool” dropdown in the Steam Play options section to switch to a beta to have the latest updates. Valve must now consider all the changes stable enough, as Proton 3.7-6 is now the default. There’s another beta channel now, which is still currently at 3.7-6 but it should remain where the latest changes go.

        There’s quite a lot of improvements included since the initial release, like: automatic mouse capturing in fullscreen windows by default, performance improvements, certain game compatibility improvements, an updated build of DXVK, more display resolution support and so on. You can see the full changelog here.

      • Some Linux Gamers Using Wine/DXVK To Play Blizzard’s Overwatch Reportedly Banned

        Multiple individuals are reporting that they have been just recently banned by Blizzard for playing their games — seemingly Overwatch is the main title — when using Wine with the DXVK D3D11-over-Vulkan translation layer.

        Blizzard support has said they are not banning Linux gamers for using these “emulation” techniques but not officially supported.

        However, per this Reddit thread with one of the users writing into Phoronix, there have been recent bans to Linux gamers and the only expressed common denominator seems to be the use of Wine and DXVK.

    • Games

      • Life is Strange: Before the Storm is now officially available on Linux

        Life is Strange: Before the Storm, the three-part prequel to the original Life is Strange ported to Linux by Feral Interactive is now available. After very much enjoying the first game, I can’t wait to dive into this!

        While the original was made by DONTNOD Entertainment, this time around it was developed by Deck Nine and published by Square Enix.

      • Life is Strange: Before the Storm Is Out Now for Linux and macOS

        UK-based video games publisher Feral Interactive announced today the availability of the Life is Strange: Before the Storm adventure video game for the Linux and macOS platforms.

        Developed by Deck Nine and published by Square Enix, Life is Strange: Before the Storm was launched on August 31, 2017, as the second installment in the BAFTA award-winning franchise. The all-new three-part standalone story features new and beautiful artwork set three years before the events of the first Life is Strange game.

      • Life Is Strange: Before The Storm Is Now Out For Linux

        Feral Interactive released today Life is Strange: Before the Storm for Linux and macOS.

        Life is Strange: Before the Storm is the latest in this episodic game series from Deck Nine and ported to macOS and Linux by Feral Interactive. Before the Storm was released for Windows in late 2017.

      • Forsaken Remastered adds Vulkan support to the Linux version

        For those who love testing out games with Vulkan, do take a look at Forsaken Remastered which was updated last night for Linux to add in Vulkan support. To enable it, simply load the game and go into the video options where it will now let you pick your graphics API.

      • Build the aquarium you always wanted in Megaquarium, out now for Linux

        Megaquarium is like theme park for those who love fish and it’s now officially available with same-day Linux support. Developed by Twice Circled, who were responsible for the rather good Big Pharma which also has a Linux version. Note: Key provided by the developer.

        As someone who is fascinated by ocean life, I often visit our local aquarium to learn a little and take it all in. This is probably why Megaquarium speaks to me on a level other such tycoon builders don’t.

      • Nimbatus – The Space Drone Constructor has come a long way since the Kickstarter, Early Access soon

        Nimbatus – The Space Drone Constructor, as the name might suggest, has you building drones, which you can directly control or give them some autonomous features. The closed alpha is extremely promising and a lot of fun to play with.

      • Puzzle game BFF or Die is out with Linux support, interesting in both singleplayer and local co-op

        BFF or Die is an interesting puzzle game from ASA Studio that I was testing before release (key provided by the developer), one that offers a decent experience if you’re alone or if you have friends around for some local co-op.

        [...]

        The design is pretty good, while the early levels are naturally as easy as breathing, the later levels certainly get a lot more interesting when many more gameplay elements start coming together. Especially tricky when you think you’ve mapped out the level in your brain and new enemies appear to throw a spanner in the works, even more so in single-player when you’re controlling a light to see what’s around independently of your movement.

      • Unity 2018.3 Beta Promotes Vulkan Editor No Longer Experimental, Various Linux Fixes

        The first public beta of the Unity 2018.3 game engine is now available for testing and evaluation.

        Unity 2018.3 beta is shipping today with various workflow improvements, improvements to the Shader Graph, drops their legacy particle system, and other changes. From their overview there isn’t all that much to get excited about by Linux gamers…

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • A Look at KDE’s KAlgebra

        Many of the programs I’ve covered in the past have have been desktop-environment-agnostic—all they required was some sort of graphical display running. This article looks at one of the programs available in the KDE desktop environment, KAlgebra.

        You can use your distribution’s package management system to install it, or you can use Discover, KDE’s package manager. After it’s installed, you can start it from the command line or the launch menu.

        When you first start KAlgebra, you get a blank slate to start doing calculations.

      • KDE Plasma 5.13 Desktop Reaches End of Life, KDE Plasma 5.14 Arrives October 9

        KDE Plasma 5.13.5 arrived a week ago, on September 4, 2018, as the last point release for the short-lived KDE Plasma 5.13 desktop environment series, which won’t receive further updates or security fixes. It brought a total of 35 changes across various core components and apps.

        “Plasma 5.13 was released in June with many feature refinements and new modules to complete the desktop experience. This release adds a month’s worth of new translations and fixes from KDE’s contributors. The bugfixes are typically small but important,” reads the announcement.

      • Plasma 5.14 Beta Updates Discover, KWin and Adds New Widgets

        Thursday, 13 September 2018. Today KDE launches the beta release of Plasma 5.14.

        Plasma is KDE’s lightweight and full featured Linux desktop. For the last three months we have been adding features and fixing bugs and now invite you to test the beta pre-release of Plasma 5.14.

        A lot of work has gone into improving Discover, Plasma’s software manager, and, among other things, we have added a Firmware Update feature and many subtle user interface improvements to give it a smoother feel. We have also rewritten many effects in our window manager KWin and improved it for slicker animations in your work day. Other improvements we have made include a new Display Configuration widget which is useful when giving presentations.

      • KDE Plasma 5.14 Desktop Environment Enters Beta with New Features, Improvements
      • KDE Plasma 5.14 Beta Brings Many Improvements, Especially Wayland Polishing

        The KDE community has released the beta of the upcoming Plasma 5.14 desktop update.

      • KStars on Microsoft Store

        I’m glad to announce that KStars is now available on Microsoft Store in over 60 languages! It is the first official KDE App to be published by KDE e.V on the MS Store.

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

      • Google Code-in 2018 and Wikimedia: Mentors and smaller tasks wanted!

        Google Code-in will take place again soon (from October 23 to December 13). GCI is an annual contest for 13-17 year old students to start contributing to free and open projects. It is not only about coding: We also need tasks about design, documentation, outreach/research, and quality assurance. And you can mentor them!

      • Give Your Ubuntu a Fresh Look Using Canta Theme and Icons

        We have seen some cool themes earlier, like Paper, Arc themes which comes with Dark and light version. However none of them having the Green as base color.

        Canta theme is a Green color based GTK theme which is available for GTK 2 and GTK 3 based desktop environments. You can install in in latest Ubuntu GNOME Shell along with all distributions which supports GTK 2 and 3.

        This theme comes with 11 variants classifying in base, light, dark, round, square and compact version for each.

      • Former Compiz Developer Creating New Window Animation Library

        Sam Spilsbury who was the former Compiz lead developer at Canonical and involved in the Unity desktop shell development is creating a new library spun out of Compiz.

        Since leaving Canonical six years, he’s spent a good portion of that time since working for Endless Computer on their GNOME Shell driven Linux desktop environment. Initially he wrote a “libwobbly” library at Endless for implementing support for “wobbly windows” and other animation logic spun out of the former Compiz code.

      • libanimation for everyone

        Something I worked on when I first started at Endless was the rather interesting task of “making Wobbly Windows from Compiz work on GNOME-Shell”.

        This task is interesting in the sense that GNOME-Shell doesn’t really work in the way that the wobbly plugin for Compiz wanted it to. There is the “Wobbly Windows” extension for the shell, but that was sort of out for Endless, since we didn’t want to rely on the extensions mechanism and that extension also didn’t quite work the way I had come to know and love.

        What I really wanted to do with this project was replicate the same smooth wobbly windows from Compiz in the shell itself.

        Where do you even start on such a project? The first hard part is trying to get the math to work and knowing that you have the math working. Thus, libwobbly was born – a library that reimplements the same math that Compiz itself used, allowing callers to create a 3×3 mesh of springs representing the physical effect of “wobbly” windows and providing functions to interpolate into that 3×3 mesh. Then, we used libwobbly in our fork of GNOME-Shell along with ClutterDeformEffect and a bridge to get the same, buttery smooth wobbly windows in GNOME-Shell.

      • Wobbly Windows Are Making a Comeback

        Wobbly windows and other desktop effects might be making their way BACK to the Ubuntu desktop, all thanks to a new project by a former Compiz developer.

        If your first formative steps with Linux took place in the latter part of the last decade then a) you have my mutual sympathy on being old (sucks, doesn’t it?) and b) there’s a good chance you used wobbly windows and other OTT effects on your own Ubuntu desktop.

        This particular superfluous desktop effect even made my list of five things we all miss about Ubuntu.

      • Remember Linux’s Wobbly Window Animation? It Might Come Back!

        Remember playing around with wobbly windows in Linux? That animation, and a few more, might be coming back soon.

        Linux users loved playing with Compiz, a window manager that added all kinds of animations to the Linux desktop. Perhaps the most famous were the wobbly windows, which brought a tactile feel to moving windows around. It was great fun.

      • Fractal contribution report: improvements for the context menu

        These past weeks, I’ve been mainly working on my side project (rlife) but I’ve also done some small improvements for the context menu in Fractal.

        [...]

        I also have an open MR for hiding the option to delete messages in the context menu when the user doesn’t have the right to do so (i.e. for the user’s own messages or when it has the right to do so in the room (e.g. for moderators or owners)). It’s pending for now because there are work done to reliably calculate the power level of a user given a certain room.

  • Distributions

    • Gentoo Family

      • We mostly protect against script kiddie attacks

        The recent efforts on improving the security of different areas of Gentoo have brought some arguments. Some time ago one of the developers has considered whether he would withstand physical violence if an attacker would use it in order to compromise Gentoo. A few days later another developer has suggested that an attacker could pay Gentoo developers to compromise the distribution. Is this a real threat to Gentoo? Are we all doomed?

        Before I answer this question, let me make an important presumption. Gentoo is a community-driven open source project. As such, it has certain inherent weaknesses and there is no way around them without changing what Gentoo fundamentally is. Those weaknesses are common to all projects of the same nature.

    • Red Hat Family

    • Debian Family

      • Ben Hutchings: Debian LTS work, August 2018

        I was assigned 15 hours of work by Freexian’s Debian LTS initiative and carried over 8 hours from July. I worked only 5 hours and therefore carried over 18 hours to September.

      • TeX Live contrib updates

        It is now more than a year that I took over tlcontrib from Taco and provide it at the TeX Live contrib repository. It does now serve old TeX Live 2017 as well as the current TeX Live 2018, and since last year the number of packages has increased from 52 to 70.

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Robots that run Ubuntu

            The home for innovators, Ubuntu is a place where developers can create what previously lived solely in the realms of fiction. The internet of things, the cloud, and robots are world changing technologies and they’re all running Ubuntu.

            With an estimated worldwide spending figure of $103bn by 2020, according to IDC, the field of robotics is one of those transformative industries that is really gaining traction, and it’s not just the manufacturing industry that’s using them, robots are everywhere.

            From collecting tennis balls, to social robots, agriculture and retail. Robots are making our lives easier and it turns out that a large amount of them are an Ubuntu robot.

            Don’t just take my word for it though, below is a list of of just some of the cool and brilliant ways Ubuntu is being used in the field of robotics.

          • Key considerations when choosing a robot’s operating system

            Whether it be down to technological advances, rising market demand or just the ‘cool’ factor, the increase in robotics is happening and across numerous industries from healthcare, industrial to retail. According to IDC, worldwide robotic spending, encompassing hardware, software and related services, is set to reach US$230.7bn by 2021.

            Much like the wider internet of things (IoT) industry, this trend has inevitably seen an increase in the amount of robots being produced from both new start-ups and more established organisations.

            Any robotics manufacturer needs to consider how their OS will influence both the speed and efficiency of development and then how that performs in production to provide a stable yet supportable product in the long run. These considerations are even more important in such a fast-moving and competitive market.

          • Fresh Snaps from August 2018

            Another month passes and we’ve got a collection of applications which crossed our “desk” (Twitter feed) during August 2018. We have a mix of social tools, music creation and curation software, password storage systems, developer tools and some fun too. Take a look down the list, and discover something new today.

          • Financial services: escaping the burning platform

            The financial services industry is standing on a burning platform, it’s time to jump to safety or suffer the consequences.

            The platform in this picture is the legacy infrastructure that dominates their IT organisations. From ageing servers and a dwindling workforce that’s even capable of running these monoliths, the pressure to change, for many, would have already forced a leap to safety.

            Unfortunately for banks, that’s not the only pressure they are under. Challengers have emerged where there were none before and changes in regulation are forcing a dramatic rethink of how infrastructure can be approached and what technologies are available for them to use. Compounded by a growing demand from customers for services that are modern, always-on, safe, and simple to use, and you’ve got a perfect storm that FS is having to navigate.

          • Leading the Vanilla design system

            We currently have 47 websites from marketing to cloud applications under our suite of products here at Canonical, the Vanilla squad are working through migrating these sites to our latest release.

            We’ve completed 60% of the migration and are making good headway. Once complete, our codebase will be unified across our sites making it easier for our front-end developers to jump between projects. And from a design perspective we will have a consistent look and feel.

          • Flavours and Variants

            • Lubuntu Switching To VLC, KDE 5 LibreOffice Frontend

              Lots of changes are happening in the Lubuntu camp.

              It’s been busy in the Lubuntu space recently, the Ubuntu derivative that’s historically shipped with the LXDE desktop environment. Most notably, Lubuntu 18.10 switching to LXQt by default over LXDE, while the LXQt spin has been experimental up to this point.

              Lubuntu is also planning to switch to Wayland and as part of that to port Openbox to run on the Mir-Wayland code. But this work isn’t happening overnight but rather is a goal to have done by Lubuntu 20.10 in 2020.

  • Devices/Embedded

Free Software/Open Source

  • Create and publish video with open source Kaltura editor

    Video has long been an integral part of education—back in the day, movies shown on huge reel-to-reel projectors were wheeled into classrooms to supplement teaching. Today, even the youngest students demonstrate their knowledge with multimedia video presentations recorded and edited on smartphones or Chromebooks, the “flipped classroom” (where students watch video lectures for homework and do assignments in class) is taking hold in K-12 schools, and professors make live video recordings of their classes available online for motivated students who want to review a lecture they attended (or for lazy learners who can’t quite make it to their morning biology class).

    Video software-as-a-service provider Kaltura offers a platform that helps businesses, cloud TV providers, and—increasingly—educators make video available to their audiences. The company started in 2006 as a business-to-consumer (B2C) platform for open video collaboration. Of the company’s beginnings, Zohar Babin, Kaltura’s vice president of platform and growth, says, “we built a platform where people from all around the world could collaborate to create online video shows. The platform would enable anyone to integrate video into their show and have the ability to edit and publish episodes all via the browser.”

  • The (awesome) economics of open source

    The more things change, the more they stay the same. Consider how changed a world we live in today when The Economist openly questions the bulk behavior of capitalists as evil bureaucratic rent-seekers and suggests that perhaps Karl Marx has something to teach after all. But the world remains stubbornly the same, as expert after supposed expert attempts to argue that open source software makes no economic sense and that a company like Red Hat cannot, therefore, exist (the latest example being this article on Medium.com).

    Arrgh!

    W. Edwards Deming said “experience teaches nothing without theory,” so I’m going to explain the theory that I believe underlies the 30+ years of experience I’ve witnessed in the world of successful open source software. A disclaimer: I didn’t develop this theory. Credit goes to Ronald Coase (Nobel Prize in Economics, 1991), Oliver Williamson (Nobel Prize in Economics, 2009), and others. And indeed, I was unaware of this theory when I started Cygnus Support, the world’s first company to provide commercial support for free software back in 1989. But I did joke, in all seriousness, that someday an economist would win the Nobel Prize in Economics for explaining the theoretical basis of that company. Open source exceeded expectations yet again when not one, but two economists were so honored. And so I begin with a lengthy paraphrase of Coase’s Nobel Prize lecture to set up the theory.

  • 5 Open-Source Trends to Watch

    Open-source software use in business has come a long way since the first LinuxWorld Conference & Expo was held in San Jose, California, in March 1999. Linux had been around as an operating system since its invention in 1991 by Finnish-American developer Linus Torvalds, but its use in business computing was just beginning to germinate by the early 2000s.

    Fast-forward to 2018. Open-source software powers the internet, much of the world’s cloud computing infrastructure, thousands of companies around the globe and a wide range of technologies, including software used in motor vehicles, consumer devices, in-home systems and more. Channel partners are increasingly involved in open source today, selling services, offering advice and helping clients use open source effectively.

    And despite that phenomenal growth, millions of developers continue to devote countless hours to projects. By the end of 2017, more than 24 million developers in more than 200 countries had contributed to some 67 million GitHub project repositories. Many more projects are also used by more developers on code repositories offered by GitLab, Bitbucket, SourceForge and others.

    For almost every customer software need, there is likely an open-source project working on the problem.

    With all of this activity around the world, some open-source trends could become even more important to partners in the future.

  • YouTube Begins Rolling Out AV1 Support In Beta

    YouTube has begun transcoding videos into the new royalty-free AV1 video codec.

    So far just a handful of videos are available with this AV1 beta support on YouTube. The Google company is supporting AV1 in MP4 within the Media Source for Chrome 70+ and the newest Firefox Nightly builds as of today. The Firefox Nightly support also requires media.av1.enabled and media.mediasource.experimental.enabled preferences enabled.

  • Events

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Firefox Focus with GeckoView

        Firefox Focus is private browsing as an app: It automatically blocks ads and trackers, so you can surf the web in peace. When you’re done, a single tap completely erases your history, cookies, and other local data.

      • Mozilla Future Releases Blog: DNS over HTTPS (DoH) – Testing on Beta

        DNS is a critical part of the Internet, but unfortunately has bad security and privacy properties, as described in this excellent explainer by Lin Clark. In June, Mozilla started experimenting with DNS over HTTPS, a new protocol which uses encryption to protect DNS requests and responses. As we reported at the end of August, our experiments in the Nightly channel look very good: the slowest users show a huge improvement, anywhere up to hundreds of milliseconds, and most users see only a small performance slowdown of around 6 milliseconds, which is acceptable given the improved security.

      • WebRender newsletter #22

        The closer we get to shipping WebRender, the harder it is for me to take the time to go through commit logs and write the newsletter. But this time is special.

        Yesterday we enabled WebRender by default on Firefox Nightly for a subset of the users: Desktop Nvidia GPUs on Windows 10. This represents 17% of the nightly population. We chose to first target this very specific configuration in order to avoid getting flooded with driver bugs, and we’ll gradually add more as things stabilize.

      • Mozilla Begins Slowly Enabling WebRender For Some Users

        One of the Mozilla technologies we have been most excited about in recent years is WebRender, the Rust-written restructuring of the graphics/GPU code.

        WebRender was developed with Servo in mind but was developed externally and as a GPU-based renderer for web content. Those unfamiliar with WebRender can see their existing project Wiki.

  • Databases

    • Brisbane open-source database specialist Open Query acquired by Catalyst IT Australia

      Queensland-based open-source database expert Open Query has been acquired by Catalyst IT Australia, the local arm of New Zealand-born open-source technology integrator.

      Open Query delivers training and support for MySQL, MariaDB, Percona XtraDB and related open source technologies, and offers system administration and security services.

      Open Query’s flagship service offering is the support and maintenance of databases on the aforementioned open-source platforms, with offerings spanning initial health checks and ad-hoc consulting, to subscription-based proactive support and remote database monitoring.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • LibreOffice 6.1 Gets First Point Release with More Than 120 Bug Fixes

      Coming more than a month after the launch of the major LibreOffice 6.1 series, which introduced a revamped and much faster image handling feature, a new Page menu and reorganized Draw menus, a new icon theme for Windows users, new Online Help pages, and a much-improved LibreOffice Online, LibreOffice 6.1.1 adds more than 120 bug and regression fixes.

      “LibreOffice 6.1.1 represents the bleeding edge in term of features for open source office suites, and as such is targeted at technology enthusiasts, early adopters and power users,” said The Document Foundation. “For any enterprise class deployment, TDF maintains the more mature LibreOffice 6.0.6, which should be sourced from a company providing a Long Term Supported version of the suite.”

  • Healthcare

    • Open-source software may aid brain imaging to find disease treatments

      Researchers say the open-source software, called PySight, acts as a photon counting add-on for laser scanning microscopes. Because it can image deep into tissue, a laser-based technique known as multiphoton microscopy is often used to study the rapid activity of neurons, blood vessels and other cells at high resolution over time. The method uses laser pulses that excite fluorescent probes, eliciting the emission of photons, some of which are detected and used to form 2D and 3D images.

  • Pseudo-Open Source (Openwashing)

  • BSD

    • NetBSD 7.2 comes with Security & Stability Enhancements as well as USB 3.0 Support

      NetBSD has come out with a new release for the 7.x series. The second feature update of NetBSD 7, NetBSD version 7.2, comes with a few new features and enhancements including, most prominently, the support of the USB 3.0 device as well as improvements for the Linux emulation. The latest release also supports the Raspberry Pi 3 computer range, adapting the release to be compatible for running on those devices, and the release ramps up updates for several drivers to make all of this possible.

      The release announcement for the NetBSD 7.2 states that this update incorporates substantial bug fixes and enhancements for overall improvement of the stability and security of NetBSD. The update also introduces new features such as the few mentioned above and other fixes in binary compatibility for ancient NetBSD executables. The iwm(4) driver for Intel Wireless 726x, 316x, 826x, and 416x has also been incorporated and a legacy network adapter has been improved to resolve a setup interruption found in the Hyper-V VMs.

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • LibreJS 7.17 released

      GNU LibreJS aims to address the JavaScript problem described in Richard Stallman’s article The JavaScript Trap*. LibreJS is a free add-on for GNU IceCat and other Mozilla-based browsers. It blocks nonfree nontrivial JavaScript while allowing JavaScript that is free and/or trivial.

  • Public Services/Government

    • How to save 11 million Euros by switching to open-source software

      In 2003, Microsoft stopped supporting the Windows NT4 desktop operating system. As a result, Munich’s city government had to migrate over 15,000 personal computers (PCs) to a new operating system. This made the disadvantages of dependence on big proprietary software providers obvious to local policy makers.

      In 2004, the City Council decided to migrate its PCs to Linux, a free and open-source operating system, to achieve more independence and stimulate the local economy by using local developers for the migration. The choice for Linux was made despite the fact that Microsoft’s CEO personally offered Munich a 90 percent discount on new software. The project, called LiMux, took seven years to complete and saved Munich over 11 million euros ($12.3 million). Other advantages include more flexibility in software management, better security, and a lower number of support calls.

  • Licensing/Legal

    • Evaluating Open Source Software to Build a Connected Autonomous Vehicle [Ed: Muckraking as usual, lawyers from Mayer Brown LLP (Marjorie H. Loeb, Richard M. Assmus, Linda L. Rhodes and Paul A. Chandler) make FOSS sound scary, dangerous legally. It wasn’t so long ago that Black Duck, Microsoft’s anti-copyleft front, told the media that if automobiles adopted FOSS, vehicles would start crashing. CBS/ZDNet posted that crap for them.]

      The varying OSS licenses may conflict with each other, which can frustrate an automaker’s license compliance. To comprehensively assess the risk that any combination of OSS blocks may infringe or violate the license terms, one must first identify and trace the use of OSS throughout, which may involve analyzing thousands of files or lines of code contributed from numerous sources. To maintain compliance, significant due diligence is required both at the outset and each time code is changed or altered. To complicate matters further, the use of automated software development tools, which pull pieces of OSS from the Internet, may make it difficult to identify applicable license requirements before those pieces become an integral part of the code base. While scanning software and solutions may help identify embedded OSS, significant analysis is still required to evaluate the provenance of the OSS and whether its intended use raises license compliance or related concerns.

  • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

    • Data

      • What We Mean When We Say “Data Portability”

        “Data portability” is a feature that lets a user take their data from a service and transfer or “port” it elsewhere. This often comes up in discussions about leaving a particular social media platform and taking your data with you to a rival service. But bringing data to a competing service is just one use for data portability; other, just-as-important goals include analyzing your data to better understand your relationship with a service, building something new out of your data, self-publishing what you learn, and generally achieving greater transparency.

        Regardless of whether you are “porting” your data to a different service or to a personal spreadsheet, data that is “portable” should be easy to download, organized, tagged, and machine-parsable.

        EFF supports users’ legal right to obtain a copy of the data they have provided to an online service provider. Once you move beyond that, however, the situation gets more complicated. Data portability interacts, and sometimes even conflicts, with other digital rights priorities, including privacy and security, transparency, interoperability, and competition. Here are some of the considerations EFF keeps in mind when looking at the dynamics of data portability.

      • Hortonworks plans to revamp Hadoop and its big data tools with cloud best practices in mind

        One big disadvantage that comes with a hybrid cloud strategy is forcing your developers to learn and understand the different techniques required by cloud providers and on-premises software vendors for lots of applications. Hortonworks, the company behind several tools for big-data darling Hadoop, plans to revamp its software over the next few years in order to make modern cloud-native development practices part of its on-premises tools, giving hybrid cloud developers one less thing to worry about.

        Hortonworks plans to announce the Open Hybrid Architecture Initiative Monday, kicking off the project that will allow customers running Hadoop and Hortonworks tools on their own servers to take advantage of newer infrastructure ideas that have become popular since the big-data analysis software was created, said Arun Murthy, co-founder and chief technical officer of Hortonworks. It’s yet another sign that while self-managed servers aren’t disappearing as fast as people once thought they might, the infrastructure concepts of the cloud-native era are going to eventually become de facto standards.

  • Programming/Development

    • Bugs Ahoy: The Next Generation

      Bugs Ahoy’s time is over, and I would like to introduce the new Codetribute site. This is the result of Fienny Angelina’s hard work, with Dustin Mitchell, Hassan Ali, and Eli Perelman contributing as well. It is the spiritual successor to Bugs Ahoy, built to address limitations of the previous system by people who know what they’re doing. I was thrilled by the discussions I had with the team while Codetribute was being built, and I’m excited to watch as the project evolves to address future needs.

    • Announcing Rust 1.29

      The Rust team is happy to announce a new version of Rust, 1.29.0. Rust is a systems programming language focused on safety, speed, and concurrency.

    • HHVM ending support for PHP

      The HHVM project has announced that the Hack language and PHP will truly be going separate ways. The HHVM v3.30 release, due by the end of the year, will be the last to support code written in PHP.

    • Why Python is so popular with developers: 3 reasons the language has exploded

      Python is the fastest-growing programming language in the world, as it increasingly becomes used in a wide range of developer job roles and data science positions across industries. But how did it become the go-to coding language for so many tasks?

      “Python is very popular because of its set of robust libraries that make it such a dynamic and a fast programming language,” said Kristen Sosulski, clinical associate professor of information, operations, and management sciences in the Leonard N. Stern School of Business at New York University, and author of Data Visualization Made Simple. “It’s object-oriented, and it really allows for everything from creating a website, to app development, to creating different types of data models.”

Leftovers

  • Health/Nutrition

    • Top Official at Memorial Sloan Kettering Resigns After Failing to Disclose Industry Ties

      Dr. José Baselga, the chief medical officer of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, resigned on Thursday amid reports that he had failed to disclose millions of dollars in payments from health care companies in dozens of research articles.

      The hospital’s chief executive, Dr. Craig B. Thompson, confirmed the resignation.

      The revelations about Baselga’s disclosure lapses, reported by The New York Times and ProPublica last weekend, have rocked Memorial Sloan Kettering, one of the nation’s leading cancer centers, in recent days. Its top executives scrambled to contain the fallout, including urgent meetings of physician leaders and the executive committee of its board of directors.

    • Brazilian Supreme Court Refuses To Judge Its Biggest Case On IP And Access To Medicines, And Benefits Big Pharma With Undue Monopolies

      The Brazilian Supreme Court (STF) has mysteriously cancelled the judgment of the most important case regarding intellectual property and health ever to be decided by the court. On 28 June, the date of the judgment was set for 6 September. The cancellation occurred on the eve of the judgment, something very rare in the practice of the Court. The lack of decision on the case only benefits the transnational companies awarded with hundreds of undue monopolies. Just a few days before, the President of the STF – judge Carmem Lucia – had a meeting with Interfarma, the association of multinational pharmaceutical companies in Brazil .

      [...]

      The direct action of unconstitutionality (ADI) questions the validity of a mechanism (known as “pipeline”) of the Brazilian patent law which allowed for the revalidation of patents granted in other countries that were already in the public domain in Brazil. Those were patents covering alimentary or chemical-pharmaceutical substances, which were excluded from patentability in the country prior to 1996.

      The main argument for invalidation is that those patents are not promoting the social interest and the technological and economic development of the country, as determined by the Brazilian Constitution when it talks about the grant of temporary privilege of use for industrial creations (article 5, XXIX). There are patents whose priority date goes back as far as 1977, and all of them were already part of the public domain, as national legislation of the time did not allow for their private appropriation by the granting of patents.

  • Security

  • Defence/Aggression

    • ‘Destabilization’ is a CIA euphemism for ‘overthrow’

      THE situation has suddenly gotten more complex and menacing, not because President Duterte says so, but because our political vocabulary has suddenly morphed from “amnesty” to “destabilization.”

      In a wink, we have been transported to the world of the spooks, the intelligence community. The language or lingo here is “CIA-ese,” says William Safire, the language maven. (See list of CIA-ese below.)

      If you know a fraction of what I have learned (from books, reports, DVDS, etc.) about the world of intelligence and the games that spooks play, you will sit up straight when you hear President Duterte declare that there is a destabilization plot against his government that is targeted to unfold on September 21, 2018, the anniversary of Martial Law.

      You will listen and you will study the mountain of information before you. Then you will watch the calendar and become enraged.

    • In City That Once Banned Drones, Evanston Police Crafted A Secret Drone Policy

      Evanston police quietly maintained an unreleased internal policy regarding the use of drones, according to a document obtained by Lucy Parsons Labs.

      The document [PDF], entitled “Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) Operations” and dated July 25, 2018, lays out departmental guidelines for the use of drones. It is included in the department’s standard policy manual.

      The Evanston Police Department’s policy was created without public knowledge or debate in a community that was an early leader in preventing the rush to drones by law enforcement.

      In May 2013, the Evanston City council passed a resolution banning drones for two years. That ban specifically included police, stating, “Police departments have begun to deploy drone technology absent any regulation on the appropriate use of such technology, although the Evanston Police Department has not.” That moratorium expired in 2015.

      Since the lapse of Evanston’s drone ban, police use of drones has become a major concern among civil rights and police accountability activists. Outgoing Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel recently pushed to give the Chicago Police Department drones.

      Emanuel’s plan would have allowed police to fly military-style surveillance technology over any gathering of more than 100 people. The legislation stalled but only after a concerted effort by advocates and activists.

      Yet, in Evanston, police use of drones largely faded from local politics.

    • Trump Asked Saudi Arabia for $4 Billion to Fund Anti-Assad CIA Op in Syria, New Book Reveals

      According to journalist Bob Woodward’s book “Fear”, one of Trump’s biggest goals is to acquire foreign funds to finance CIA operations in foreign nations.

      U.S. investigative journalist Bob Woodward’s new book “Fear: Trump in White House”, a White House tell-all, amidst other shocking revelations, enlightens its readers about Trump administration’s negotiation with Saudi Arabia regarding funding a CIA operation in Syria.

  • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

    • Belongings of WikiLeaks associate found in Norway
    • The CIA had a SECRET report on Soviet superstitions

      The report, classified for 60 years, details familiar fears such as black cats and more involved customs, such as road bucket etiquette

    • Norwegian police find canoe belonging to missing Dutch cyber security expert

      Police in Norway say they have found a collapsible canoe which belongs to missing Dutch cyber security expert Arjen Kamphuis.

      The canoe was found a day after several other items owned by Kamphuis turned up on the coast, east of Bodo where he was staying when he disappeared. He is known to have bought a canoe to use in the Norwegian fjords.

      Norwegian television station TV2 also claims that a fisherman found Kamphuis’ identity papers close to where the canoe was found. Police have declined to comment on the other findings.

      Kamphuis was last seen in Bodo on August 20 and should have returned to the Netherlands on August 22. On September 6 a witness told police he had spotted the missing man in Denmark.

    • Norway police find missing WikiLeaks associate’s kayak

      Norwegian police on Thursday said they have found a kayak they believe belonged to a missing WikiLeaks associate who disappeared in mysterious circumstances three weeks ago.

      The police released a photo of a white foldable kayak they believe Dutch cyber security expert Arjen Kamphuis bought just before going on a holiday in Norway.

      Kamphuis, 47, has not been seen since leaving his hotel in the northern Norwegian town of Bodo August 20.

      His disappearance has triggered a wave of conspiracy theories on social media, ranging from CIA and Russian involvement to a mission to carry out a secret project for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.

      However police said they were examining three theories: a voluntary disappearance including a possible suicide, an accident or a crime.

    • Norway police find missing WikiLeaks associate’s kayak
  • Finance

    • Video: Dayton and the America Left Behind

      The many woes of the Rust Belt and the industrial heartland have been frequently dissected since the election of Donald Trump (and less often, before it). Even as large portions of the country thrive, unemployment, poverty and opiate addiction continue to ravage huge swaths of the nation, including Dayton, Ohio.

      Once a backbone of the U.S. auto industry, the city has never recovered from the loss of its stalwart employers. Dayton is the laboratory through which reporter Alec MacGillis, as part of a collaboration between ProPublica and Frontline, examined an America that is suffering even as the nation’s economy booms. In addition to showing the searing human cost of a long-term economic collapse, MacGillis reveals a divide that is rarely acknowledged. Beyond the often chronicled gap between urban and rural in the U.S., there is a growing chasm between cities — those that have soared in a winner-take-all society, and those that have been left behind.

  • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • Breitbart leaks video of Google executives’ candid reaction to Trump victory

      But the bombastic responses ignored the substance and true tenor of the meeting, which was more measured and less partisan than Breitbart implied.

    • That Time CNN Staged A Fake Interview With A Syrian Child For War Propaganda

      Now imagine one of your friends says he can see everything in the room perfectly, and starts describing the different things that he sees in a confident, assertive tone of voice. You know for a fact that there’s no light in the room, so you are doubtful that your friend is able to see any better than you are, but one by one your other friends start talking about the objects in the room as though what he is saying is true. After a while your group starts telling you you’re crazy and evil because you remain skeptical of your first friend’s ability to see the room in pitch darkness, despite his assertive tone of voice and despite the fact that everyone else believes it.

    • Idlib, Youtube and the War on Information

      San Bruno-based video sharing website YouTube shut down multiple Syria-based accounts last Saturday in attempts to enforce media blackouts against Syrian state and their allied forces.

      [...]

      The termination came as Syria, with Russian assistance, waged a campaign to liberate Idlib, destroying rebel military equipment and bases, and incurring heavy losses from the terrorists. A day prior, SANA reported on the collaboration between militants from the Turkistan Islamic Party (TIP) and Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) and the White Helmets to identify key locations, where sarin and chlorine gas has been shipped, to launch a potential chemical weapons attack.

      Meeting on Thursday in Jisr al-Shughour, the groups contended between al-Najia, a countryside region of Jisr al-Shughour, al-Hamawsh, and Kafr Nubbul as potential sites to launch a chemical attack from, according to the sources.

      The account terminations have been carried out allegedly to muddle footage and coverage of another chemical attack waged by rebels, with the intent of framing Damascus and thus providing the justification for the US and its allies to strike Syria. Conveniently enough, YouTube’s media blackout came as Syria, with Russian assistance, launched strikes against over 100 opposition military targets.

    • ‘We are stuck with (vote rigging) ED junta, make it work’ argue Cross – how, GNU fog has never cleared

      Zimbabwe is in a serious economic and political mess with unemployment a nauseating 90% and political paralysis as neither the ruling party, Zanu PF, nor the whole opposition camp led by MDC have a clue what to do. The root cause of the mess is the country’s failure to hold free, fair and credible elections.

      Zanu PF has created a de facto one-party dictatorship that has stifles all public debate and democratic competition forcing all the competent individuals to shy away from politics leaving the space to be filled with corrupt, incompetent and murderous thugs. Where one expected quality fish all we get is frogs, crocodiles and, at best, mudskippers!

    • Ex-NSA chief wishes Trump had pressed Putin on Russian election attacks

      The former Director of the National Security Agency, retired Admiral Mike Rogers, said Tuesday that he thought President Donald Trump should have taken the opportunity to confront Russian President Vladimir Putin publicly in Helsinki, Finland over Russia’s election meddling.
      “I thought there was an opportunity there that I wish we would have taken advantage of,” Rogers said at an event at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia, on the relationship between the presidency and the intelligence community.
      In July, Trump met one-on-one with Putin, a meeting he did not ask his top intelligence officials — including Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats — for advice on, Coats later revealed.

      During a press conference with the Russian leader, Trump undermined the US intelligence community’s universal conclusion that Russia had made attempts to attack the 2016 US presidential election, through digital interference and other methods.

    • Trump supporter demanded to see a list of impeachable offenses; someone happily obliged
    • ProPublica’s User’s Guide to Democracy: Political Advertising

      To help us both out, I tapped ProPublica’s reporters who cover election security, voting access, political ads, online misinformation, campaign cash flows and Congress; asked them a ton of questions; and stripped down what I learned to the most essential parts. Over the next few weeks, I’ll share these lessons with you, one step at a time.

      You can follow along here, on our website, or you can sign up to receive this info by email. One reason you might want to get the emails: I worked with our data team to pick out specific information that is relevant to each voter who signs up. In each email, we’ll give you a closer look at your specific state or representatives. (Plus, we’ll send you reminders about Election Day and give you tips on working with your newly elected representatives after the big day!)

    • The Strange Russian Alibi

      Like many, my first thought at the interview of Boshirov and Petrov – which apparently are indeed their names – is that they were very unconvincing. The interview itself seemed to be set up around a cramped table with a poor camera and lighting, and the interviewer seemed pretty hopeless at asking probing questions that would shed any real light.

      I had in fact decided that their story was highly improbable, until I started seeing the storm of twitter posting, much of it from mainstream media journalists, which stated that individual things were impossible which were, in fact, not impossible at all.

      The first and most obvious regards the weather on 3 and 4 March. It is in fact absolutely true that, if the two had gone down to Salisbury on 3 March with the intention of going to Stonehenge, they would have been unable to get there because of the snow. It is therefore perfectly possible that they went back the next day to try again; and public transport out of Salisbury was still severely disrupted, and many roads closed, on 4 March. Proof of this is not at all difficult to find.

    • Agency Takes Back Instructions to Residents in Brooklyn Housing Project to Stay Home on Primary Day

      Hundreds of residents of the Marlboro Houses near Coney Island in Brooklyn received notices from the New York City Housing Authority telling them to remain home on Thursday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. for a routine lead inspection. That left residents scrambling for a way to comply with NYCHA’s directive and to vote in the New York state primary election, which runs from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m.

      But according to Jasmine Blake, a spokesperson for NYCHA, the agency scheduled inspections on primary day by mistake, and residents should go vote.

      [...]

      Jones said residents in his mother’s complex, who are largely people of color, improvised after receiving the notices, offering to watch one another’s apartments while they went out to vote. Still, the entire situation struck Jones as “a problem that shouldn’t have been there in the first place.”

      Blake said the agency will not schedule inspections for November’s general election.

  • Censorship/Free Speech

    • Spanish actor detained after ridiculing ‘God and the Virgin Mary’
    • Censorship of Burlington School Newspaper May Have Violated Law

      Burlington High School principal Noel Green may have violated state law when he ordered student journalists to take down a story posted to the school newspaper’s website.

      Monday night the Register broke the news that the state has been investigating school guidance director Mario Macias, who is accused of unprofessional conduct and could lose his educators license for nearly a year.

    • Burlington HS student journalists say school censored them

      Student journalists at Burlington High School say their school principal censored them by ordering their news article be taken down from their website.

      This week, the Burlington High School Register, a student newspaper, broke news that the Secretary of Education recommended the high school’s director of guidance, Mario Macias, have his license suspended for 364 days.

    • Why libraries are standing up against censorship
    • Offline: Activists and Technologist Still Face Grave Threats for Expression

      A decade ago, before social media was a widespread phenomenon and blogging was still a nascent activity, it was nearly unthinkable outside of a handful of countries—namely China, Tunisia, Syria, and Iran—to detain citizens for their online activity. Ten years later, the practice has become all too common, and remains on the rise in dozens of countries. In 2017, the Committee to Protect Journalists found that more than seventy percent of imprisoned journalists were arrested for online activity, while Reporters Without Borders’ 2018 press freedom barometer cited 143 imprisoned citizen journalists globally, and ten citizen journalists killed. While Tunisia has inched toward democracy, releasing large numbers of political prisoners following the 2011 revolution, China, Syria, and Iran remain major offenders, and are now joined by several countries, including the Philippines, Saudi Arabia, and Egypt.

    • Actual Research On Political Bias In Search Results Would Be Useful, But So Far It Doesn’t Show Anything

      A few weeks back, we explained why claims of political bias in moderation by tech companies was not accurate at all. I recognize this has upset people who seem to have staked their personal identity on the idea that big internet companies are clearly out to get them, but we like to deal in facts around here. Of course, soon after that post went up, PJ Media editor Paula Bolyard put out an article — using what she admits isn’t anything close to a scientific study — to make dubious claims of bias in Google searches for Trump news.

      There were all sorts of problems with her methodology (including using Google search, rather than Google News, and using an extraordinarily sketchy ranking of how liberal or conservative certain publications were). But the bigger issue, as we noted in another post this week was that it showed a fundamental misunderstanding of how search engines work. It was not — as some commenters who clearly did not read the article claimed — that algorithms are perfect and show no bias (because they obviously do). But that the search algorithm boosts sites that are more popular, and if you looked at the sites that Bolyard’s test showed as appearing in her search results were… larger sites. And those included typically “conservative” news sites such as the Wall Street Journal and Fox News. In other words, Google wasn’t biasing based on political viewpoint, but on popularity of the news site itself. Which… is how Google has worked since basically the beginning.

      Unfortunately, our President did what our President does, and took Bolyard’s confusing mess (as amplified by Lou Dobbs on Fox News) and claimed that it was now proven that Google biases its search results against conservatives. He’s since posted a video claiming that Google didn’t link to a live stream of his state of the union address — a claim that has already been proven to be 100% false.

    • Manafort’s Daughter’s Lawyer Wants Twitter To Vanish Tweets Linking To Text Message Database

      The leak of text messages sent and received by Paul Manafort’s daughter might be old news, but new wrinkles keep appearing. Originally obtained by hackers, the texts have been perused by journalists, resulting in articles discussing Manafort’s apparent complicity in violence in Ukraine. The full set of texts has been around since at least early 2017, but no searchable database of the texts themselves existed publicly.

      Apparently, Wikileaks had the full dataset in searchable form but refused to release it. FOIA/transparency activist Emma Best decided to call out Wikileaks on its perceived duplicity (the dumping of the Podesta/DNC emails but not the release of the Manafort text messages) and made the database publicly available. As she wrote then, the likelihood of the text message dump leading to further issues for Manafort’s daughter was minimal, given that it had been more than a year since it became public knowledge their phones had been hacked.

    • Google Fights In EU Court Against Ability Of One Country To Censor The Global Internet

      Where one can be at least marginally sympathetic to the French regulator’s argument, it is in the issue of circumvention. If Google is only required to suppress information in France, then if someone really wants to, they can still find that information by presenting themselves as surfing from somewhere else. Which is true. But that limited risk — which would likely only occur in the very narrowest of circumstances in which someone already knew that some information was being hidden and then went on a quest to search it out — is a minimal “risk” compared to the very, very real risk of lots of truthful, historical information completely being disappeared into nothingness. And that is dangerous.

      The broader impact of such global censorship demands can easily be understood if you just recognize that it won’t just be the French looking to memory hole content they don’t like. Other governments — such as Russia, China, Turkey, and Iran — certainly wouldn’t mind making some information disappear. And if you think that various internet platforms will be able to say “well, we abide by French demands to disappear content, but ignore Russian ones,” well, how does that work in actual practice? Not only that, but such rules could clearly violate the US First Amendment. Ordering companies to take down content that is perfectly legal in the US would have significant ramifications.

      But, it also means that we’re likely moving to a more fragmented internet — in which the very nature of the global communications network is less and less global, because to allow that to happen means allowing the most aggressive censor and the most sensitive dictator to make the rules concerning which content is allowed. And, as much as people rightfully worry about Mark Zuckerberg or Jack Dorsey deciding whose speech should be allowed online, we should be much, much, much more concerned when its people like Vladimir Putin or Recep Erdogan.

    • Illinois Department Of Corrections Sued For Censoring Book On Attica Uprising

      The Illinois Department of Corrections (IDOC) was sued by a Pulitzer Prize-winning author for allegedly censoring her nonfiction book, “Blood In The Water: The Attica Prison Uprising of 1971 and Its Legacy.”

      Heather Thompson ordered her book from Amazon and had it sent to three inmates. One inmate received the book while the other two inmates received censorship notices without any explanation.

      By coincidence, the lawsuit was filed by Sidley Austin LLP and the Uptown People’s Law Center on the anniversary of the massacre at Attica Prison.

    • Daniel Pocock: What is the difference between moderation and censorship?

      Some people complained that my last blog didn’t provide evidence to justify my concerns about censorship. I’d like to thank FSFE management for helping me respond to that concern so conclusively with these heavy-handed actions against the community over the last 48 hours.

      The collapse of the fellowship described in my earlier blog has been caused by FSFE management decisions. The solutions need to come from the grass roots. A totalitarian crackdown on all communications is a great way to make sure that never happens.

      FSFE claims to be a representative of the free software community in Europe. Does this behaviour reflect how other communities operate? How successful would other communities be if they suffocated ideas in this manner?

    • Facebook Expands Fact-Checking to Include Photos and Videos in a Bid to Fight Misinformation

      Facebook has always placed a priority on fighting misinformation and since the last two years, efforts in this area have become extensive. In order to achieve this, Facebook administration works with independent, third-party fact-checkers that rate and reviews the accuracy of content on the website. Up until now these fact-checkers focused on articles only. Today Facebook announced that it is expanding its fact-checking to include photos and videos as well for all of their 27 partners around the world. This move is aimed at identification of misinformation faster than before.

    • The Weekly Standard’s Kavanaugh Fact Check Was Correct
    • Liberal Media Whine After Facebook Fact Checks Them: ‘Censorship!’
    • Facebook blocked the spread of a liberal article because a conservative told it to
  • Privacy/Surveillance

    • FDA approves heart monitor in new Apple Watch

      Apple on Wednesday unveiled its latest Apple Watch, which includes an FDA-approved electrocardiogram (ECG) app that will allow users to record and monitor their heart activity.

    • UK mass surveillance ruled unlawful in landmark judgment

      The European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) today ruled that the UK’s mass interception programmes have breached the European Convention on Human Rights.

    • GCHQ can access ‘the web browsing histories of every visible user of the internet’, says civil liberties director

      Silkie Carlo has said that GCHQ have programmes that can collate “the web browsing histories of every visible user of the internet” as the European Court found the Government’s mass surveillance violated human rights.

      Ms Carlo, the Director of Big Brother Watch told talkRADIO’s Matthew Wright: “GCHQ, which is a UK intelligence agency, have a programme called Karma Police that is effectively a catalogue of the web browsing histories of every visible user of the internet.

      “That includes us domestically in the UK as well.

      “They also had a programme called Black Hole which was a repository of over one trillion events including internet histories, email messenger records, search engine queries and social media activity.

    • GCHQ data collection violated human rights, Strasbourg court rules

      GCHQ’s methods in carrying out bulk interception of online communications violated privacy and failed to provide sufficient surveillance safeguards, the European court of human rights has ruled in a test case judgment.

      But the Strasbourg court found that GCHQ’s regime for sharing sensitive digital intelligence with foreign governments was not illegal.

      It is the first major challenge to the legality of UK intelligence agencies intercepting private communications in bulk, following Edward Snowden’s whistleblowing revelations.

      The long-awaited ruling is one of the most comprehensive assessments by the ECHR of the legality of the interception operations operated by UK intelligence agencies.

      The claims, which had already been heard by the UK’s investigatory powers tribunal, were brought by a coalition of 14 human rights groups, privacy organisations and journalists, including Amnesty International, Liberty, Privacy International and Big Brother Watch.

    • European Court Of Human Rights: UK Surveillance Revealed By Snowden Violates Human Rights

      Yet another vindication of Ed Snowden. Soon after some of the documents he leaked as a whistleblower revealed that the UK’s GCHQ was conducting mass surveillance, a variety of human rights groups filed complaints with the European Court of Human Rights. It’s taken quite some time, but earlier today the court ruled that the surveillance violated human rights, though perhaps in a more limited way than many people had hoped.

      At issue were three specific types of surveillance: bulk interception of communications, sharing what was collected with foreign intelligence agencies, and obtaining communications data (metadata) from telcos. The key part of the ruling was to find that the bulk interception of communications violated Article 8 of the Human Rights Act (roughly, but not exactly, analogous to the US 4th Amendment). It was not a complete victory, as the court didn’t say that bulk interception by itself violated human rights, but that the lack of oversight over how this was done made the surveillance “inadequate.” The court also rejected any claims around GCHQ sharing the data with foreign intelligence agencies.

    • After many opsec fails, Russia seeks to ban soldier social media spoilers

      The draft bill states that “servicemen are prohibited to place in mass media, and the Internet information (including photos, video, geolocation data and other information) about yourself and other servicemen disclosing the department they belong to, information about their official activities or service activities of other military personnel, the activities of military units, organizations and units in which they perform military service, and their place of deployment, except for cases provided for by regulatory legal acts of the Russian Federation.

  • Civil Rights/Policing

    • Pussy Riot activist hospitalized, band members suspect poisoning

      A member of Russian feminist punk band and activist group Pussy Riot has been hospitalized in Moscow, according to band members, who suspect he has been poisoned.

    • Pussy Riot member who invaded pitch during World Cup has been hospitalised: Russian reports

      Ekho Moskvy radio and online news portal Meduza reported on Wednesday that Pyotr Verzilov has been in emergency care since late Tuesday.

    • Tech Firms Face Hefty Fines Under New EU Terror Rules

      Alphabet Inc.’s Google, Twitter Inc., Facebook Inc. and other tech firms could be slapped with fines as high as 4 percent of annual revenue if they fail to remove terror propaganda from their sites quickly enough under new European Union legislative proposals unveiled Wednesday.

    • EU considers fining tech companies over extremist content

      “One hour is the decisive time window, when the greatest damage can take place,” European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker told the European Parliament during his state of the union address Wednesday.

      Under the proposed rules, companies that don’t remove content within the one-hour timeframe face steep fines rising to as much as 4 percent of their global revenue for the previous year.

    • Corporate Sovereignty On The Wane, As Governments Realize It’s More Trouble Than It’s Worth

      As with NAFTA and CETA, it seems that the nations involved in RCEP no longer regard corporate sovereignty as a priority, and are willing to weaken its powers in order to reach agreement on other areas. Once the principle has been established that ISDS can be watered down, there’s nothing to stop nations proposing that it should be dropped altogether. Given the astonishing awards and abuses that corporate sovereignty has led to in the past, that’s a welcome development.

    • The Anonymous Anti-Trump Op-Ed Inadvertently(?) Exposes Real Danger

      On September 5, the New York Times published an op-ed supposedly written by an anonymous official within president Donald Trump’s administration. The snobbish and self-serving hit piece paints Trump himself as dangerously immature, incompetent, and unstable, while reassuring us that “adults in the room” are working tirelessly to keep his worst impulses in check and save the republic without tedious formalities like invoking the 25th Amendment and removing him from power.

      The op-ed itself was a jejeune and mediocre example of a time-honored American pastime, talking smack about one’s boss behind his back. On its own terms, it deserved at most a brief period of public mockery before fading away to something less than an historical footnote.

      But then Trump responded swiftly and decisively from his favorite bully pulpit, Twitter.

      “TREASON?” he thundered. “If the GUTLESS anonymous person does indeed exist, the Times must, for National Security purposes, turn him/her over to government at once!”

      In a few short outbursts, Trump managed to confirm all the op-ed’s worst characterizations of his temperament and mental state.

    • UK MP Thinks Secret Online Groups Are The Root Of All Evil Online, Promises To Regulate ‘Large Online Groups’

      It’s always fascinating to me when people try to condense the complex and varied reasons why people sometimes behave badly into a single factor for blame. This is especially true online. A commonly misdiagnosed “problem” is anonymity, despite the fact that studies show anonymous online users tend to be better behaved in online flame wars, than those using their real names.

      British Member of Parliament Lucy Powell has come up with her own simplistic and ridiculous explanation for why people are bad online and has a plan to do something about it. In her mind, the real problem is… “large secret online groups.” She’s written a whole Guardian opinion piece on it, as well as given a Parliamentary speech on it, not to mention making the rounds to snippet of the actual proposal (the full bill hasn’t been placed online as far as I can tell as I type this), it appears that she wants to ban secret groups over 500 members, requiring that for any online group that has more than 500 members, the moderators and administrators would be legally required to publish public information about the group (she insists not the members), but also “to remove certain content.” What kind of content isn’t explicitly stated, which should set off all sorts of censorship alarm bells.

      In her speech to Parliament, she mentions racism, revenge porn, jokes about the holocaust, and conspiracy theories as the types of content she’s concerned about. Also… um… bad advice for autistic parents? It seems kind of all over the map. Which is why most people find this all so ridiculous. First off, you can’t stop people from saying stupid stuff. That’s just asking for the impossible. But it’s even more ridiculous to argue that non-public groups of over 500 individuals now suddenly are going to be legally liable for censorship of amorphous “bad content.”

    • The War on Raspberries

      On a recent visit to the National Mining Museum in Newtongrange, I was taken slightly aback by the questions from young adults who knew nothing at all about Thatcher’s destruction of the coal mining industry or its motives. It is hard to realise that for an 18 year old today the miners’ strike is as chronologically distant an event as Dunkirk was to me.

      My whole adult life has been defined by the changes initiated by Thatcher and continued by Tories and New Labour. It is hard to remember now the world where your employer could not, by law, sack you just because they wanted to, and where you could get state protection from rapacious landlords charging unfair rents. The destruction of heavy industry in order to destroy the strength of organised labour, and the privatisation of the monopoly utilities for the profit of the rich, was a transformation that is at the root of the mass misery we live amongst today.

      There was one small and forgotten part of Thatcher’s attack on traditional working class lifestyle that you probably had to be in Dundee to remember. The war on berry pickers. The soft fruit of the Carse of Gowrie and the Tay Valley is an important part of the Scottish economy. There is currently much concern as to how, post-Brexit, labour is to be found to pick the fruit. Government proposals to issue visas for the purpose are an order of magnitude below what is needed, and local labour remains difficult to attract.

      It did not used to be difficult, until around 1980 the Tories launched an extraordinary campaign to drive pickers out of the fields. Berry pickers, they decided, were an unacceptable part of the informal economy and were not declaring their income on benefits claims. Suddenly teams of besuited benefits inspectors started appearing among the raspberry canes demanding social security numbers. People signing on for the broo had to produce their hands for inspection for berry stains. There was a campaign in the rabidly Tory Courier newspaper which even alleged that Tayside berry pickers were a major source of funding to the IRA!

    • A Smith College Employee Called the Police on Me for Eating Lunch While Black

      A student opens up about experiencing racial profiling at Smith College and what she expects Smith to do to address it.

      Enrolling in Smith College a year ago was a dream come true. But rarely has a dream so swiftly turned into a nightmare. As I begin my sophomore year, I’m returning to a new slate of classes and to unsettling memories that I wish I could shake.

      This summer, I was racially profiled — an all-too-common experience for Black people in America. But unlike most people who are targeted for simply existing in their skin, my story of harassment went viral.

      It happened on July 31, when I was working on campus for a program that encourages high school girls to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). I was proud to remain on school grounds instead of taking a full summer vacation like many of my peers. As the first person in my family to attend college, every moment at a prestigious institution like Smith was a reminder that my mother’s hard work had paid off.

    • A Second Chance for Separated Families

      The Trump administration agrees to allow separated families to apply for asylum under proper procedures.

      The fight over the asylum rights of families who had been separated by the Trump administration took what could be a critical turn late last night. Following weeks of negotiation, parties in three lawsuits — including the ACLU’s class-action lawsuit, which first blocked the family separation policy and forced the government to reunite families — brokered an agreement that, if approved by the judge, will allow hundreds of parents to re-apply again for asylum in the U.S. after being turned down previously.

    • Police Officers At A Tactical Disadvantage Bravely Tase 87-Year-Old Woman Into Submission

      I understand the only way out of this debacle is going straight through it, but it’s astounding the chief is actually trying to present this as a dynamic situation in which officers were at a tactical disadvantage. It was two (2) officers against a 5’2″ 87-year-old woman who didn’t speak English. It seems they could have regained the high ground by walking at a normal rate of speed around her. And if it looked like she might charge them, they could have walked slightly faster. (And it’s your own damn fault you “contained” her on the high ground.)

      But we’re supposed to be grateful she was only tased. Chief Etheridge twice suggests she could have been shot. First, she might have been “accidentally” shot because an officer might have pulled a gun for god knows what reason…

    • ‘What happened to Mayberry?’ asks relative of 87-year-old Georgia woman police used stun gun on

      The police chief of a small Georgia town is defending an officer who deployed a stun gun on a “smiling” 87-year-old woman, saying she refused to comply with numerous commands to put down a kitchen knife she was using to cut dandelions.

      But relatives of the octogenarian, Martha al-Bishara, say police failed to use good common sense to prevent the incident from quickly escalating to a use-of-force confrontation in Chatsworth that landed their diminutive matriarch in handcuffs.

      “We have nothing but love for this county, but within that context, we think that what happened is absolutely ridiculous,” al-Bishara’s grandson, Timothy Douhne, a 24-year-old medical student, told ABC News on Wednesday. “If they had calmed down, deescalated the situation, listened a little bit, we wouldn’t be having this issue right now. Unfortunately, that’s not what happened.

  • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

  • DRM

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Nine No-Nos of Patent Licensing (1970)

      I’m thinking about the USDOJ’s “Nine No-Nos” of Patent Licensing. These were the subject of an important set of remarks in 1970 by then Bruce Wilson (USDOJ) on antitrust considerations for patent and know-how license agreements. At the time, the DOJ considered these all per-se antitrust violations. US Antitrust Law has really relaxed since then, and for the most part these are no longer per-se violations. That said, they still represent cautionary signs of potential antitrust trouble — especially if coupled with actual market power.

    • One year after telling judge its house was on fire, Qualcomm spends tens of billions on stock buybacks

      Today Qualcomm proudly “announced that it has entered into accelerated share repurchase agreements (ASR Agreements) with each of Bank of America, N.A., Citibank, N.A. and Morgan Stanley & Co. LLC to repurchase an aggregate of $16 billion of Qualcomm’s common stock, with an initial delivery to Qualcomm of approximately 178 million shares in the aggregate”. Qualcomm CEO Steve Mollenkopf notes that the company is “continue to execute on [its] previously announced $30 billion stock repurchase program.”

      A few days ago, Qualcomm’s stock hit $70 for the first time in three years.

      It’s just that all this good news is in stark contrast to what Qualcomm’s lead counsel, Cravath’s Evan Chesler, told Judge Gonzalo Curiel of the United States District Court for the Southern District of California about a year ago when Qualcomm was seeking a preliminary injunction requiring four Apple contract manufacturers to make royalty payments prior to a final ruling on the Apple v. Qualcomm dispute. Judge Curiel didn’t buy Qualcomm’s “irreparable harm” theory and denied the motion. The course of events since–showcased by this week’s news on Qualcomm’s stock price and the share repurchase programm–clearly has validated the judge’s decision. It means Qualcomm has tens of billions to distribute, but claimed that Apple, through its contract manufacturers, withholding half a billion a quarter would put the whole company in jeopardy.

    • How a Global Patent Market Could Spur Growth

      If developed and developing countries’ national patent systems were integrated into the trade system, the result would be greater specialization among inventors and, with it, faster technological innovation and productivity growth. Yet under current arrangements, World Trade Organization member states do not honor foreign inventors’ claims to their own innovations. More than ever, the world needs a new framework of trade rules to facilitate the exchange of ideas across borders.

      Economic growth is essentially driven by growth in productivity, which, in turn, is driven by the creation of new technologies. In today’s world, such innovations will increasingly be developed as a result of coordination among inventors across companies and countries. Yet productivity growth has been sluggish for more than 50 years, owing significantly to gaps in trade rules, intellectual-property mercantilism through “forced technology transfer,” and the weakening of national patent systems. These factors have shut out grassroots inventors.

    • Lobbying in an Autocracy: Intellectual Property and Medical Equipment Firms in China

      As a direct consequence of the globalization the willingness of foreign investments massively increased. Businesses see opportunities to gain sustainable competitive advantages by expanding and outsourcing sub-divisions into other countries (Pei, 2005). But this also implies that businesses not only need to meet and deal with the existing market conditions, but also often need to deal with a different political environment. Policies, legislation and legal forces differ from country to country, and become one of the key concerns for international acting firms. This is especially true for intellectual property protection. Since decades, and as globalization of industry continues, intellectual Property Rights (IPRs) emerged as the key issue of global innovation policy (Archibugi and Filippetti, 2010). With the international development of economies and growing trade opportunities, the protection of IPR is getting more and more important (Wang, 2004). To establish a worldwide IPR standard have become one of the core businesses of the World Trade Organization (WTO). The WTO supports country authorities to design effective and appropriate IPR regimes (Maskus, 2000). As IPR can be used as policy tool to ensure adequate return on investment, firms are eager to take a stand in this process (Greenhalgh and Rogers, 2007), but this will not be as easy as originally thought, at least not in an totalitarian state like China. Doing business in a totalitarian state significantly differs from running business in a democracy. Business law seems to be rather vague in totalitarian states, and businesses tend to be rather excluded from policy shaping and decision-making processes (Weil, 2016). In order to succeed and survive, firms need to build allies and find business partner (Kazmi et al., 2013).

    • Copyrights

      • Sony Finally Admits It Doesn’t Own Bach and It Only Took Public Pressure

        Here’s the thing about different people playing the same piece of music: sometimes, they’re going to sound similar. And when music is by a composer who died 268 years ago, putting his music in the public domain, a bunch of people might record it and some of them might put it online. In this situation, a combination of copyright bots and corporate intransigence led to a Kafkaesque attack on music.

        Musician James Rhodes put a video of himself playing Bach on Facebook. Sony Music Entertainment claimed that 47 seconds of that performance belonged to them. Facebook muted the video as a result.

        So far, this is stupid but not unusually stupid in the world of takedowns. It’s what happened after Rhodes got Sony’s notice that earned it a place in the Hall of Shame.

        One argument in favor of this process is that there are supposed to be checks and balances. Takedown notices are supposed to only be sent by someone who owns the copyright in the material and actually believes that copyright’s been infringed. And if a takedown notice is wrong, a counter-notice can be sent by someone explaining that they own the work or that it’s not infringement.

      • European Parliament backs copyright changes

        MEPs voted on a series of changes to the original directive, the most controversial parts are known as Article 13 and Article 11.

        Article 13 puts the onus on web giants to take measures to ensure that agreements with rights holders for the use of their work are working.

        Critics say that would require all internet platforms to filter content put online by users, which many believe would be an excessive restriction on free speech.

        Article 11 is also controversial because it forces online platforms to pay news organisations for the use of their content.

      • German Supreme Court refers questions to CJEU in YouTube copyright case

        The questions to the CJEU concern whether YouTube has primary liability for videos uploaded without the permission of right holders, with the German judges also suggesting the platform acts as a neutral intermediary for the purposes of copyright

        The German Supreme Court has released a statement on the YouTube copyright case, suspending proceedings and referring a number of questions to the CJEU.

      • BREAKING: FCJ refers case regarding YouTube’s liability for damages to the CJEU

        A lawsuit between music producer Frank Peterson and YouTube (and Google) that has been ongoing since 2009 did not come to an end today. The German Federal Court of Justice (FCJ) decided to stay the proceedings and refer several questions to the CJEU, regarding (once again) the question of platform liability and the right of communication to the public.

      • Conan O‘Brien’s complete late-night TV archive will be posted online in January

        The announcement does not include clarification of exactly where this video archive will be hosted, which could prove slightly complicated since that 25-year span includes work for both NBC (a wholly owned subsidiary of Comcast) and TBS (a wholly owned subsidiary of Turner). Whether that means the full archive will land on a network-specific video hub, on YouTube, or on O’Brien’s own Team Coco site remains to be seen, as the announcement didn’t include further details.

      • EU Parliament Adopts Controversial ‘Upload Filter’ Proposal

        In a plenary vote, the European Parliament backed a slightly amended version of the original Article 13 proposal, one that would still result in an indirect upload filter requirement for many Internet services. Pirate Party MEP Julia Reda regrets the outcome of the votes. However, the opposition’s fight is not over yet.

      • EU approves controversial Copyright Directive, including internet ‘link tax’ and ‘upload filter’

        The fallout from this decision will be far-reaching, and take a long time to settle. The directive itself still faces a final vote in January 2019 (although experts say it’s unlikely it will be rejected). After that it will need to be implemented by individual EU member states, who could very well vary significantly in how they choose to interpret the directive’s text.

      • EU adopts automatic censorship filters to thunderous applause
      • What’s in the sweeping copyright bill just passed by the European Parliament

        Today’s vote was not the end of Europe’s copyright fight. Under the European Union’s convoluted process for approving legislation, the proposal will now become the subject of a three-way negotiation involving the European Parliament, the Council of the Europe Union (representing national governments), and the European Commission (the EU’s executive branch). If those three bodies agree to a final directive, then it will be sent to each of the 28 EU member countries (or more likely 27 thanks to Brexit) for implementation in national laws.

        That means that European voters who are concerned—or excited—about this legislation still have a few more months to contact their representatives, both within their national governments and in the European Parliament.

      • Abstraction, Filtration, and Comparison in Patent Law

        This essay explores how copyright’s doctrine of abstraction, filtration, and comparison is being used in patent law, and how that use could be improved. This test, which finds its roots in the 1930′s but wasn’t fully developed until the 1990′s, is one that defines scope for determining infringement. The copyrighted work is abstracted into parts, from ideas at the highest level to literal expression at the lowest. Then, unprotected elements are filtered out. Finally what remains of the original work is compared to the accused work to determine if the copying was illicit.

        This sounds far removed from patent law, but there is a kinship, though perhaps one that is not so historic and a bit hidden. The essence of the test is determining protectable subject matter. These same needs permeate patent law as well. This essay explores how the test is implicitly used and should be explicitly used.

        With design patents, the test might apply as it does in copyright, with functional elements being filtered out during infringement. Current precedent allows for this filtering, but not clearly or consistently. With utility patents, the abstraction, filtration, and comparison happen earlier, during the test for patentable subject matter. Here, the comparison is with what is conventional or well known. The essay concludes by discussing why the application is different for design and utility patents.

Links 13/9/2018: Parrot 4.2.2, Sailfish OS Nurmonjoki, Eelo Beta

Posted in News Roundup at 1:55 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • Tips to adopt open source enterprise architecture tools

    If you’re a CTO and your head of engineering asks, “Can we say that Docker is production-ready now?” your answer would undoubtedly be: “Yes.” If you weren’t using Docker already, you would be eager to adopt the technology that now forms the basis of many companies’ application architecture.

  • Inside Alfresco’s open source faction: the Order of the Bee

    When Thomas H Lee Partners moved to acquire information management business Alfresco, many of its open source contributors inside and outside the company were concerned the new leadership might not appreciate the open DNA of the firm. Enter the Order of the Bee.

    While those fears ultimately were not realised – to the relief of Alfresco employees and the wider open source ecosystem that contributes – the faction of open source advocates with their DIY philosophy is an independent symbol of the company’s open source core.

    The Order of the Bee is a group separate to Alfresco that is concerned chiefly about the open source Community Edition and advocacy of this in the open source and wider technical community.

  • Sauce Labs coding lead: how open source contribution should work

    Sauce Labs is known for its Continuous Testing (CT) technology and the company is a devoted adherent to open source — it provides a continuous testing cloud that allows developers to verify that their web and mobile native apps work correctly across a variety of devices using the open source testing protocols Selenium and Appium.

    [...]

    As an end note here, Sauce Labs says it’s also about culture and the firm insists that contributions comes all the way from Charles Ramsay, the CEO, down.

    Murchie has said that this also highlights that open source is not just about lines of code. Every expertise that is useful within a company is also useful in the open source community.

  • Open Source Eases AT&T’s Technical Burden

    AT&T’s embrace of the open source community was echoed by Wheelus’ colleague Catherine Lefèvre, associate vice president for Network Cloud and infrastructure at AT&T Labs, who said the carrier’s work with that ecosystem is very collaborative. AT&T has been central to a number of telecom-focused open source projects housed with the Linux Foundation, including the Open Network Automation Project (ONAP), the Akraino Edge Stack project, and the Acumos artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning platform.

    “It’s not just thinking about yourself, but what needs to be developed beyond just your own needs,” Lefèvre said of working in the open source community.

  • Events

    • linuxdev-br: a Linux international conference in Brazil

      linuxdev-br second edition just happened end of last month in Campinas, Brazil. We have put a nice write-up about the conference on the link below. Soon we will start planning next year’s event. Come and join our community!

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Looking at Firefox performance 57 vs 63

        Last November we released Firefox v.57, otherwise known as Firefox Quantum. Quantum was in many ways a whole new browser with the focus on speed as compared to previous versions of Firefox.

        As I write about many topics on my blog which are typically related to my current work at Mozilla, I haven’t written about measuring or monitoring Performance in a while. Now that we are almost a year out I thought it would be nice to look at a few of the key performance tests that were important for tracking in the Quantum release and what they look like today.

        First I will look at the benchmark Speedometer which was used to track browser performance primarily of the JS engine and DOM.

  • Pseudo-Open Source (Openwashing)

    • Altair Introduces Open Source and Free Basic Editions for Model-Based Development Offerings

      Altair (Nasdaq: ALTR) announces the release and immediate availability of free Basic Editions of its Model-Based Development suite and its open matrix language (OML) source code. To help innovators everywhere accelerate the time-to-benefits from Model-Based Development (MBD) and to make MBD more open and accessible, Altair is taking the following steps:

      Building upon its strong reputation of providing open-architecture simulation solutions by open-sourcing its open-source computational programming language, OML. Interested users and contributors can download the source code from the OpenMatrix website.

      Introducing Basic Editions of its MBD suite of software products – Altair Compose™, Altair Activate™, and Altair Embed™ – available to everybody at no cost, with free training videos available online via Altair’s open Learning Center. There are no license fees, nor any subscription or maintenance fees.

    • GitHub Foreshadows Big Open Source Announcements at GitHub Universe
    • Ending PHP Support, and The Future Of Hack [Ed: Facebook EEE]
    • Facebook’s Last HHVM Release With PHP Support Set For December

      HHVM that started out as Facebook’s project for a high-performance PHP implementation and morphed into the basis of their Hack programming language will cease to support PHP.

      As was decided months ago, Facebook developers will be working on HHVM just for Hack and no longer for PHP compatibility. That’s being done in part since PHP7, the official PHP implementation has gotten a lot faster and Facebook has meanwhile migrated more of their internal code to be Hack-based.

    • FreeYourGIS: Open Source or Commercial GIS, or both [Ed: Promoting the fiction (FUD) that "Open Source" and "Commercial" are opposites. They should say proprietary, i.e. secret and untrustworthy.]

      I’m a big fan of open source software, including geospatial software, such as QGIS and GeoServer, and it’s not just because it can be used without paying a license fee. The best thing about open source is the community of users that share their code and support one another through shared applications, documentation, tips, and tricks. This is the same spirit that exists in the Pitney Bowes user community (Li360), ESRI’s GeoNET, and the countless other software communities of practice.

  • Funding

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • Slides From The GNU Tools Cauldron 2018 Conference

      Taking place last weekend over in Manchester was the annual GNU Tools Cauldron conference where toolchain developers spent a few days discussing the latest open-source compiler work.

      Talks this year included the state of C++ modules, libgccjit for GCC JIT’ing, the state of RISC-V, using the GCC regression suite suite for LLVM, GDB, the GNU C Library, and much more. It was also at the GNU Tools Cauldron where we learned more about the AMD GCN back-end.

    • New release of FisicaLab for Windows

      Due to some problems reported by Windows users, I decide to release a new Windows installer of FisicaLab with the alternative interface using IUP. This version is the number 0.3.5.1 and you can download it here. I will add some new features before release the version 0.4.0. If you have some problem with this new installer please write me.

  • Public Services/Government

  • Licensing/Legal

    • Is the ‘commons clause’ a threat to open source?

      There are discussions on various forums regarding this clause with conflicting views. So, I will try to give my views on this.

      Opposers of the clause believe a software becomes propriety on applying commons clause. This means that any service created from the original software remains the intellectual property of the original company to sell.

      The fear is that this would discourage the community from contributing to open-source projects with a commons clause attached since the new products made will remain with the company. Only they will be able to monetize it if they choose to do so.

      On the one hand, companies that make millions of dollars from open source software and giving anything back is not in line with the ethos of open source software. But on the other hand, smaller startups and individual contributors get penalized by this clause too.

      What if small companies contribute to a large open source project and want to use the derived product for their growth? They can’t anymore if the commons clause is applied to the project they contributed to. It is also not right to think that a contributor deserves 50% of the profits if a company makes millions of dollars using their open source project.

  • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

    • Open Hardware/Modding

      • Bixel, An Open Source 16×16 Interactive LED Array

        The phrase “Go big or go home” is clearly not lost on [Adam Haile] and [Dan Ternes] of Maniacal Labs. For years they’ve been thinking of creating a giant LED matrix where each “pixel” doubled as a physical push button. Now that they’ve built up experience working on other LED projects, they finally decided it was time to take the plunge and create their masterpiece: the Bixel.

        [...]

        In the end, they cut the individual LEDs out of RGB strips, and soldered them down to their custom designed 500mmx500mm PCB. To the sides of each section of strip are two tactile switches, and above is a “sandwich” made of laser cut acrylic. The sheet closest to the LEDs has a 25mm hole, the top sheet has a 20mm hole, and between them is a circle of acrylic that acts as the “button”. Once it’s all screwed together, the button can’t fall out of the front or move from side to side, but it can be pushed down to contact the tactile switches.

  • Programming/Development

    • Firefox is now built with clang LTO on all* platforms

      You might have read that Mozilla recently switched Windows builds to clang-cl. More recently, those Windows builds have seen both PGO and LTO enabled.

      As of next nightly (as of writing, obviously), all tier-1 platforms are now built with clang with LTO enabled. Yes, this means Linux, Mac and Android arm, aarch64 and x86. Linux builds also have PGO enabled.

      Mac and Android builds were already using clang, so the only difference is LTO being enabled, which brought some performance improvements.

    • Firefox Is Now Built With Clang+LTO Everywhere, Sizable Performance Wins For Linux

      Firefox nightly builds are now built with the LLVM Clang compiler on all major platforms and the Linux build in particular is also now utilizing PGO optimizations too. Faster Firefox is coming thanks to this compiler work.

      All of Mozilla’s tier-one platforms are now building the newest Firefox browser code under the Clang compiler and having LTO (Link Time Optimizations) enabled. That includes Linux, Mac, Android, Windows across ARM / AArch64 / x86 relying upon this open-source compiler. For now only the Linux builds also have PGO (Profile Guided Optimizations) enabled.

    • Rust office hours

      …I’m going to start an experiment that I call Rust office hours. The idea is simple: I’ve set aside a few slots per week to help people work through problems they are having learning or using Rust. My goal here is both to be of service but also to gain more insight into the kinds of things people have trouble with. No problem is too big or too small!

    • This Week in Rust 251

      Hello and welcome to another issue of This Week in Rust! Rust is a systems language pursuing the trifecta: safety, concurrency, and speed. This is a weekly summary of its progress and community.

    • Return to Limbo

      When the time came to pack up and return to Norway I considered whether I wanted to continue writing small examples in Go and porting some of my Python modules. It didn’t feel all that comfortable or intuitive to write in Go, though I realise that it simply takes practice to gain familiarity. Despite this, it was worth taking some time to get an overview of the basics of Go for reasons that I’ll get to later.

      [...]

      As mentioned earlier, I was interested in setting up Inferno on an old netbook – an Efika MX Smartbook – and had already experimented with running the system in its hosted form on top of Debian GNU/Linux. Running hosted Inferno is a nice way to get some experience using the system and seems to be the main way it is used these days. Running the system natively requires porting it to the specific hardware in use, and I knew that I could use the existing code for U-Boot, FreeBSD and Linux as a reference at the very least. So, the task would be to take hardware-specific code for the i.MX51 platform and adapt it to use the conventions of the Inferno porting layer. Building from the ground up, there are a few ports of Inferno to other ARM devices that could be used as foundations for a new port.

    • An introduction to the Julia language, part 2

      Part 1 of this series introduced the Julia project’s goals and development process, along with the language syntax, including the basics of control flow, data types, and, in more detail, how to work with arrays. In this part, user-defined functions and the central concept of multiple dispatch are described. It will also survey Julia’s module and package system, cover some syntax features, show how to make plots, and briefly dip into macros and distributed computing.

    • Learning about Go internals at GopherCon

      GopherCon is the major conference for the Go language, attended by 1600 dedicated “gophers”, as the members of its community like to call themselves. Held for the last five years in Denver, it attracts programmers, open-source contributors, and technical managers from all over North America and the world. GopherCon’s highly-technical program is an intense mix of Go internals and programming tutorials, a few of which we will explore in this article.

      Internals talks included one on the scheduler and one on memory allocation; programming talks included why not to base your authorization strategy on hash-based message authentication codes (HMACs). But first, here’s a little about upcoming changes to Go itself.

    • How subroutine signatures work in Perl 6

      In the first article in this series comparing Perl 5 to Perl 6, we looked into some of the issues you might encounter when migrating code into Perl 6. In the second article, we examined how garbage collection works in Perl 6, and in the third article, we looked at how containers replaced references in Perl 6. Here in the fourth article, we will focus on (subroutine) signatures in Perl 6 and how they differ from those in Perl 5.

Leftovers

  • Fab Lab-enabled Humanitarian Aid in India

    Since June 2018 the state of Kerala in India has endured massive floodings, as you may have read in the news. This article contains a brief summary what the international Fab Lab Community has been doing until now (early September 2018) to help the people recovering.

  • Security

    • It’s September 2018, and Windows VMs can pwn their host servers by launching an evil app

      Admins will again be working overtime as Microsoft and Adobe have posted their monthly scheduled security updates for September.

      This month’s Patch Tuesday bundle includes critical fixes for Windows, SQL Server, and Hyper V, as well as Flash and Cold Fusion.

    • Windows Task Scheduler Micropatch Released by 0patch
    • Dell EMC VPlex GeoSynchrony Users Requested to Upgrade to v6.1 to Avoid Insecure File Permissions Vulnerability
    • Apache Struts 2.3.25 and 2.5.17 resolve Cryptojacking Exploit Vulnerability
    • TOR Browser Zero Day Vulnerability Revealed On Twitter; Patched Immediately

      A zero-day vulnerability for Tor browser was revealed yesterday on Twitter by Zerodium — a company that buys and sells exploits in software.

      [...]

      Even though NoScript is supposed to block all JavaScript at its “safest” security level, but there is a backdoor that can be exploited by attackers to suppress NoScript and run malicious codes anyway.

      However, this bug can be exploited in Tor Browser 7.x only and the recently released Tor Browser 8.x is unaffected by this bug.

    • Protecting files with fs-verity

      The developers of the Android system have, among their many goals, the wish to better protect Android devices against persistent compromise. It is bad if a device is taken over by an attacker; it’s worse if it remains compromised even after a reboot. Numerous mechanisms for ensuring the integrity of installed system files have been proposed and implemented over the years. But it seems there is always room for one more; to fill that space, the fs-verity mechanism is being proposed as a way to protect individual files from malicious modification.

      The core idea behind fs-verity is the generation of a Merkle tree containing hashes of the blocks of a file to be protected. Whenever a page of that file is read from storage, the kernel ensures that the hash of the page in question matches the hash in the tree. Checking hashes this way has a number of advantages. Opening a file is fast, since the entire contents of the file need not be hashed at open time. If only a small portion of the file is read, the kernel never has to bother reading and checking the rest. It is also possible to catch modifications made to the file after it has been opened, which will not be caught if the hash is checked at open time.

    • Strengthening user-space Spectre v2 protection

      The Spectre variant 2 vulnerability allows the speculative execution of incorrect (in an attacker-controllable way) indirect branch predictions, resulting in the ability to exfiltrate information via side channels. The kernel has been reasonably well protected against this variant since shortly after its disclosure in January. It is, however, possible for user-space processes to use Spectre v2 to attack each other; thus far, the mainline kernel has offered relatively little protection against such attacks. A recent proposal from Jiri Kosina may change that situation, but there are still some disagreements around the details.

      On relatively recent processors (or those with suitably patched microcode), the “indirect branch prediction barrier” (IBPB) operation can be used to flush the branch-prediction buffer, removing any poisoning that an attacker might have put there. Doing an IBPB whenever the kernel switches execution from one process to another would defeat most Spectre v2 attacks, but IBPB is seen as being expensive, so this does not happen. Instead, the kernel looks to see whether the incoming process has marked itself as being non-dumpable, which is typically only done by specialized processes that want to prevent secrets from showing up in core dumps. In such cases, the process is deemed to be worth protecting and the IBPB is performed.

      Kosina notes that only a “negligible minority” of the code running on Linux systems marks itself as non-dumpable, so user space on Linux systems is essentially unprotected against Spectre v2. The solution he proposes is to use IBPB more often. In particular, the new code checks whether the outgoing process would be able to call ptrace() on the incoming process. If so, the new process can keep no secrets from the old one in any case, so there is no point in executing an IBPB operation. In cases where ptrace() would not succeed, though, the IBPB will happen.

    • Life behind the tinfoil curtain

      Security and convenience rarely go hand-in-hand, but if your job (or life) requires extraordinary care against potentially targeted attacks, the security side of that tradeoff may win out. If so, running a system like Qubes OS on your desktop or CopperheadOS on your phone might make sense, which is just what Konstantin Ryabitsev, Linux Foundation (LF) director of IT security, has done. He reported on the experience in a talk [YouTube video] entitled “Life Behind the Tinfoil Curtain” at the 2018 Linux Security Summit North America.

      He described himself as a “professional Russian hacker” from before it became popular, he said with a chuckle. He started running Linux on the desktop in 1998 (perhaps on Corel Linux, which he does not think particularly highly of) and has been a member of the LF staff since 2011. He has been running Qubes OS on his main workstation since August 2016 and CopperheadOS since September 2017. He stopped running CopperheadOS in June 2018 due to the upheaval at the company, but he hopes to go back to it at some point—”maybe”.

    • Security updates for Wednesday
    • 4 Practical Measures to Improve Election Security Now

      It’s more critical than ever for states to protect our democratic system and voting infrastructure from foreign cyber espionage.

      In the past, a midterm election season would pass without much fanfare. These have been torpid affairs with low voter turnout and few big-ticket issues, which historically has meant incumbents rather predictably hold their seats.

      If midterms made for few headlines then, they’re making up for it now. At the recent Black Hat and DEF CON conferences, election security was a foremost concern.

      I was able to visit the DEF CON Voting Village, where actual voting machines were being hacked. But more importantly, there were independent experts and state government voting officials that you could talk to about the voting process.

    • Injecting chaos experiments into security log pipelines

      Security teams depend on high-quality logs for most preventative security efforts. Preventing an incident from occurring requires observable insight into where the failure might come from, and logs are one important source for such insights. When an incident occurs, organizations must be able to respond and contain them as quickly as possible. Logs are not only essential to find the source of a problem, but they also help identify appropriate countermeasures.

      But what happens when an organization doesn’t have the right log data? When an unknown or unforeseeable event occurs, how can we gain insights into why we didn’t see it coming?

      Consider this scenario: You go to work as a security incident response engineer one fine Monday morning. As soon as you walk into your office, you are informed that the HR department has suddenly lost access to the content, which includes some highly sensitive data, on their shared network drives. Further examination shows that all of the files and directories on the drive have been renamed to .exe. At this point, you are almost certain that it is the result of some kind of a malware and you have a security incident on your hands.

    • Top 10 Ubuntu Network Tools

      Ubuntu is the most popular choice for underlying Operating System due to its ease of use and powerful shell system. Due to more and more network access needed in most of the distributed applications today, the restrictions which need to be applied for network access and monitoring has only increased. In this lesson, we will study the ten most popular Network Tools for Ubuntu OS which can be used to monitor network usage with visualization as well.

  • Defence/Aggression

    • 1953: The CIA and Iran’s stolen democracy

      Almost 65 years ago, the CIA overthrew Iran’s first democratically elected prime minister, Mohammed Mossadegh. Recently the U.S. State Department published documents showing the full extent of U.S. involvement in the coup. By Thomas Latschan

    • CIA Likely to Launch Drone Strikes in Libya – Report

      These attacks are in addition to the strikes expected to be launched by the U.S. military against Sahel militants from new facilities being built by the U.S. Air Force in Agadez in central Niger. This news comes after word that the U.S. Air Force is months away from completing the construction of an air base in Niger for armed drones that will target militant groups operating in the region.

    • How a C.I.A. drone base grew in the African desert
    • Militarized Drones Take Africa in Counterterrorism Tactic: CIA

      Reports said the U.S. presence in the region has grown from 100 military personnel to 800 people.

      The U.S. Central Intelligence Agency’s drone program in Africa is expanding and will target concentrations of al-Qaeda and ISIS in the Nigerian desert, the New York Times said Monday.

    • US threatens to arrest ICC judges who probe war crimes

      The United States threatened Monday to arrest and sanction judges and other officials of the International Criminal Court if it moves to charge any American who served in Afghanistan with war crimes.

      White House National Security Advisor John Bolton called the Hague-based rights body “unaccountable” and “outright dangerous” to the United States, Israel and other allies, and said any probe of US service members would be “an utterly unfounded, unjustifiable investigation.”

      “If the court comes after us, Israel or other US allies, we will not sit quietly,” Bolton said.

    • A Trumpian War on Terror That Just Keeps Getting Bigger

      On August 29, U.S. forces carried out their 21st confirmed air strike in Somalia this year. The short U.S. Africa Command (Africom) press release announcing the strike on al-Shabaab, the al-Qaeda–linked insurgency that has sought to implement a hard-line Islamic state in Somalia, resembled those that had come before it: It did not specify the kind of aircraft used, the exact location of the strike, or the identities of those killed. As with past press statements, this one also claimed that no civilians had been killed or injured in the strike.

      Though America’s drone war in Somalia has been shrouded in secrecy, in the past year and a half the number of American air strikes in Somalia have notably increased. According to multiple foreign analysts, Somali officials, and several al-Shabaab defectors, these strikes have become one of the most effective tools in confronting the group. The air campaign has hindered al-Shabaab’s ability to communicate, sown widespread mistrust among its members, and restricted its leaders’ mobility.

  • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

    • Belongings of missing WikiLeaks associate Kamphuis found in Norway: police

      Norwegian police have found belongings of missing WikiLeaks associate Arjen Kamphuis at sea in northern Norway more than three weeks after he disappeared.

      [...]

      WikiLeaks was launched in 2006 as a web-based outlet for would-be leakers. In July 2010, it released more than 90,000 classified U.S. military documents on the war in Afghanistan and before publishing 400,000 more secret U.S. files on the Iraq war. The two leaks represented the largest security breaches of their kind in U.S. military history.

      It followed these up with the release of 250,000 secret diplomatic cables from U.S. embassies around the world, angering U.S. politicians and military officials, who said the unauthorized dissemination would put lives at risk.

      The discovery of Kamphuis’ belongings was being investigated and the police are asking the public for any information about his movements in the area.

      Investigators searched the area with assistance from local Red Cross and a rescue vessel.

    • Arjen Kamphuis: Belongings of missing WikiLeaks associate found in sea off Norway

      The personal belongings of a WikiLeaks associate who has been missing for three weeks have been found at sea.

      Arjen Kamphuis left his hotel in Bodoe, Norway, where he was on holiday, on 20 August and has not been seen since.

      His belongings were found by a fisherman on 11 September, in an area east of the town.

      Police and the Red Cross are now searching the area where the belongings were found with a rescue vessel.

    • Missing WikiLeaks associate’s belongings found in Norway fjord
    • Belongings of missing WikiLeaks associate Kamphuis found in Norway – police

      The Dutch cybersecurity expert has been missing since Aug. 20, when he left his hotel in the northern Norwegian town of Bodoe, where he had been on holiday. The belongings were found by a man out fishing on Tuesday in an area to the east of Bodoe.

    • Missing WikiLeaks associate Arjen Kamphuis’ belongings found in sea – three weeks after he disappeared

      Kamphuis, 47, from Amsterdam, has not been seen since August 20 after leaving his hotel in Norway to reportedly go hiking.

      The Dutch cybersecurity expert had been on holiday in the northern Norwegian town of Bodoe but checked out of his hotel on the day he went missing.

      Police believe he then caught a train to Rognan more than 50 miles away.

      The discovery was made by a fisherman on Tuesday who found the items floating in the sea near the shoreline in an area to the east of Bodoe.

    • Belongings of missing WikiLeaks associate found by fisherman in Norway

      Norwegian police have found the belongings of Julian Assange’s associate, cyber security expert Arjen Kamphuis, who mysteriously went missing in late August.

      The 47-year-old co-author of a handbook for investigative journalists on how to keep themselves and their work safe from government spying, has been missing since August 20. At that time, Kamphuis checked out of a hotel in the town of Bodo in northern Norway and hasn’t been seen since.

    • Fisherman Finds Assets of Assange’s Missing Associate off Norway Coast – Reports

      Kamphuis was last seen checking out of a hotel in the northern Norwegian town of Bodo on August 20. Police believe that he could have taken a train to the town of Rognan. This comes as the only development in the ongoing two-week investigation into the missing cybersecurity expert.

      On Tuesday night, a Norwegian fisherman found the personal belongings of Arjen Kamphuis, WikiLeaks founder Assange’s associate, who went missing three weeks ago. They were found in the sea between the towns of Fauske and Rognan in Nordland county, the local newspaper VG reported on Wednesday.

      Officials didn’t reveal what belongings had been found for the sake of the ongoing investigation. But police suggested that Kamphuis, who was last seen in the northern city of Bodo on August 20, took a local train to Rognan that day, departing at 16:05 and arriving at 17:29.

    • Belongings of missing associate of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange are found in the sea off of Norway

      Investigators searched the area with assistance from local Red Cross and a rescue vessel.

    • Items of missing WikiLeaks man found
    • Items of missing WikiLeaks man found near Norway
    • Missing WikiLeaks associate’s items found in Norway fjord

      A fisherman found the objects floating in the water late yesterday, said police in a statement, confirming that the items “belong to the missing person”, but providing no details about them due to the ongoing investigation.

    • Missing WikiLeaks associate’s belongings found in Norway fjord

      The objects were found near Kvaenflaget, some 50 kilometres (30 miles) east of Bodo, in the waters of a fjord. Police and emergency crews have now begun searching the water and land in the area.

    • WikiLeaks Associate Kamphuis’ Belongings Found Floating in Sea, Sparking Homicide Fears

      BODØ, NORWAY — The belongings of Arjen Kamphuis, a Dutch cybersecurity expert closely associated with the transparency organization WikiLeaks and its founder Julian Assange, have been found in Norway, sparking fears that Kamphuis was the victim of a criminal act.

      Kamphuis’ belongings were found on Tuesday floating in the sea east of the Norwegian town of Bodø, where Kamphuis was last seen on August 20 by a local fisherman.

      The discovery is the first concrete lead in an intensive, weeks-long search that was conducted in part by Norway’s elite missing-persons and organized-crime unit, Kripos.

    • Greg O’Connor to accept petition asking New Zealand to give Julian Assange asylum

      A support group campaigning for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange to get political asylum New Zealand will present a petition to Parliament.

      MP Greg O’Connor will receive the petition from Free Assange NZ at Parliament due to a request from a constituent in his electorate Ohariu.

  • Finance

    • History’s solutions to runaway inequality: warfare, revolution, state collapse and plague

      In Walter Scheidel’s new book The Great Leveler: Violence and the History of Inequality from the Stone Age to the Twenty-First Century, the Stanford classics prof traces the rise and fall of inequality from humanity’s history, showing how over time, the rich get richer and richer, creating an ever-more-unstable situation, until, basically, the world melts down or the people start building guillotines on their doorsteps.

    • Can inequality only be fixed by war, revolution or plague?

      So are liberal democracies doomed to a repeat of the pattern that saw the gilded age give way to a breakdown of society? Or can they legislate a way out of the ominous cycle of brutal inequality and potential violence?

    • Bitmain, Goldcoins and Delphy Under Censorship: WeChat Limits Crypto Accounts Again

      The Messenger WeChat continues to block accounts related to cryptocurrency. If in August these were media accounts, this time the messenger decided to ban Bitmain and crypto analysts Goldcoins and Delphy.

      The official sales account of Bitmain (WeChat ID: antminersale) was limited for using on September 10, when searching for this page, a statement appeared proving the inconsistency of publications with the rules of the messenger.

  • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • Facebook has empowered a conservative magazine to suppress liberal viewpoints.
    • Judge Says Trump ‘Witch Hunt’ Tweets Can’t Beat DOJ’s Glomar Response On FBI Investigation Documents

      A federal court has decided public statements — including a handful of tweets — from President Trump aren’t enough to undercut the DOJ’s Glomar response about the existence of investigation documents. The James Madison Project, along with journalist Josh Gerstein, have been seeking documents confirming (or denying) President Trump himself has been or is currently the target of a DOJ investigation. (h/t Mike Scarcella)

      The DOJ has refused to answer the question or provide documents asserting anything one way or the other. Instead, it has told the plaintiffs it can neither confirm nor deny these documents exist. The DOJ is using FOIA Exemption 7(a) to support its Glomar, which covers documents whose release could “reasonably be expected to interfere with law enforcement proceedings.”

      One would think the use of any FOIA exemption would indicate sought documents exist. But the DOJ continues to insist it can’t even verify the existence (or nonexistence) of these documents without undermining an investigation it is or isn’t engaged in.

    • Shedding Some Light on Dark Money Political Donors

      On Wednesday we added details to our FEC Itemizer database on nearly $763 million in contributions to the political nonprofit organizations — also known as 501(c)(4) groups — that have spent the most money on federal elections during the past eight years. The data is courtesy of Issue One, a nonpartisan, nonprofit advocacy organization that is dedicated to political reform and government ethics.

      These contributions often are called “dark money” because political nonprofits are not required to disclose their donors and can spend money supporting or opposing political candidates. By using government records and other publicly available sources, Issue One has compiled the most comprehensive accounting of such contributions to date.

      To compile the data, Issue One identified the 15 political nonprofits that reported spending the most money in federal elections since the Supreme Court decision in Citizens United v. FEC in early 2010. It then found contributions using corporate filings, nonprofit reports and documents from the Internal Revenue Service, Department of Labor and Federal Election Commission. One of the top-spending political nonprofits, the National Association of Realtors, is almost entirely funded by its membership and has no records in this data.

  • Censorship/Free Speech

    • Valve Clears Up Nothing With Its Latest Explanation Of What Games It Will Ban As ‘Troll Games’

      You will recall that several months back, Valve released a statement outlining what it considered to be sweeping changes to its game curation duties. While the company made a great deal of forthcoming tools on the Steam store for filtering game searches, pretty much everyone focused on the platform’s claim that it would no longer keep any game off its platform unless it was “illegal or a troll game.” That, of course, still left all kinds of ambiguity as to what is and is not allowed on the platform and it provided a wide avenue through which Steam could still drive its oversight truck. This led to our having a podcast discussion in which I pointed out repeatedly that this was every bit as opaque a policy as the one that proceeded it, which was followed by the real-world example of developers across the spectrum pointing out that they in fact had no idea what the policy actually meant. In other words, the whole thing has generally been an unproductive mess.

      A mess which Valve tried to clean up this past week in an extensive blog post on its site which attempted to define what it meant by “troll games.” As the folks at Ars point out, this attempt at clarity is anything but. Much of what Valve lays out as “troll games” makes sense: scam games that work Steam’s inventory system, or try to manipulate developer Steam keys, or games that are simply broken due to a lack of seriousness on the part of the developer. But then it also said the definition included what most people thought of in the original announcement: games that “just try to incite and sow discord.”

    • Letter: Censorship ‘boils my blood’
    • Can Mark Zuckerberg Fix Facebook Before It Breaks Democracy?
    • We won’t find out if Mark Zuckerberg can fix Facebook by asking him

      Can Mark Zuckerberg fix Facebook before it breaks democracy? That’s the headline on Evan Osnos’ 14,000-word profile of the Facebook CEO, after two years’ worth of scandals, in the New Yorker. That question is maybe unanswerable — what would it mean to fix Facebook, or democracy? — but the article does a better-than-average job at exploring its contours.

    • Facebook punishes liberal news site after fact check by right-wing site

      The article in question, published by ThinkProgress, was titled, “Brett Kavanaugh said he would kill Roe v. Wade last week and almost no one noticed.” While Supreme Court nominee Kavanaugh didn’t literally say that he would vote to overturn the abortion ruling from 1973, ThinkProgress writer Ian Millhiser made a reasonable argument that Judge Kavanaugh’s statements show that he believes Roe v. Wade was decided incorrectly.

    • Brett Kavanaugh said he would kill Roe v. Wade last week and almost no one noticed [Ed: The article in question]
    • ThinkProgress Accuses Facebook of Censorship After Conservative Factchecker Correctly Points Out an Error

      But the claim made by the article’s headline—”Brett Kavanaugh said he would kill Roe v. Wade last week and almost no one noticed”—is at the very least quite misleading.

      ThinkProgress is a left-of-center news site published by the Center for American Progress. Its writers have previously expressed concerns that Facebook would award an explicitly conservative media outlet factchecker status, a privilege enjoyed by just four other organizations: the Associated Press, Factcheck.org, Politifact, and Snopes.com. Articles tagged as false will lose “80 percent of future traffic,” according to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, and thus the stakes are indeed quite high for media organizations.

    • Facebook’s idea of ‘fact-checking’: Censoring ThinkProgress because conservative site told them to

      Last year, Facebook announced that it would partner with The Weekly Standard, a conservative magazine, to “fact check” news articles that are shared on Facebook. At the time, ThinkProgress expressed alarm at this decision.

      The Weekly Standard has a history of placing right-wing ideology before accurate reporting. Among other things, it labeled the Iraq War “A War to Be Proud Of” in 2005, and it ran an article in 2017 labeling climate science “Dadaist Science,” and promoted that article with the phrase “look under the hood on climate change ‘science’ and what you see isn’t pretty.”

    • The Way Forward: Bypassing Big Tech Censorship

      Obviously, corporate silencing of dissent is not the only troubling element of the Big Tech giants. At the top of concerns for users is privacy. And with new scandals about abuses of privacy emerging on a continual basis, a growing number of people are voting with their digital devices and using alternatives. In late July, Facebook lost $120 billion in value in one day — about 20 percent of the company’s market capitalization — setting a new record in stock-market history. And that incredible sell-off was caused, in part at least, by “reduced use,” with users spending less time on the platform and user growth slowing dramatically. In early 2018, Facebook announced its first-ever decline in daily U.S. users. With the company making a deliberate decision to purge conservatives, there may be more downside still to come.

    • Google Fights Global Expansion Of EU’s ‘Right To Be Forgotten’ Law

      Google is fighting back against an expansion of the European Union’s “Right to Be Forgotten” law, and on Tuesday, the EU’s executive arm joined it.

      The EU’s “Right to Be Forgotten” rule says that citizens have the right to have “inaccurate, inadequate, irrelevant or excessive” links about themselves removed from EU search results. In practice, that includes embarrassing information.

      In the European Court of Justice Tuesday, France’s privacy regulator argued that the information should also be removed in global searches. It said by not doing so, Google isn’t respecting citizens’ right to privacy.

      But the European Commission and countries including Ireland and Greece say that would extend privacy protection laws beyond their original scope.

    • Google is fighting a big, messy battle over whether expanding the ‘right to be forgotten’ amounts to censorship

      Most people outside Europe don’t know much about the digital “right to be forgotten,” the idea that private citizens can ask search engines to scrub certain results about them.

      It’s a comparatively new idea, but a landmark ruling in 2014 from the European Court of Justice set the initial parameters of how it might apply. That ruling said search engines like Google could be forced to delete results.

      That ruling is at the center of a thorny battle between Google and France’s data-protection agency, CNIL, which is arguing that the right to be forgotten should apply to search-engine results globally, not just within the EU.

      According to CNIL’s complaint, Google does delete, or “delist,” some results from private citizens when requested. But its main bone of contention is that Google isn’t delisting the results everywhere. Some delisted information, CNIL said, was still visible on non-EU versions of Google.

    • Activists warn about ‘right to be forgotten’ being transformed into censorship

      The “right to be forgotten” or stopping certain web search results from appearing under searches for people’s names is once again up for scrutiny. Some free speech organisations are warning that the right to be forgotten may be in danger of being transformed into a tool of global censorship.

      As reported by The Guardian, a new test case at the European court of