Links 23/7/2017: Wine 2.13, Krita 3.2.0 Second Beta, KDE Applications 17.08 Beta, GNOME 3.25.4, Debian 9.1 and 8.9

Posted in News Roundup at 1:59 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Software from the Source

    In this article, I am outlining an idea for an improved process of deploying software to Linux systems. It combined advantages of traditional, package mangement based systems with containerized software through systems such as Flatpak, Snap, or AppImage. An improved process allows us to make software deployment more efficient across the whole Free software community, have better supported software on users systems and allow for better quality at the same time.

  • Desktop

    • System76 to Collaborate with elementary OS Devs on the New Installer for Pop!_OS

      A week ago, we reported on the progress System76 has made for their upcoming Ubuntu-based Pop!_OS GNU/Linux distribution, as well as some of the things that they’re planning to implement soon.

      Pop!_OS is developed on top of Canonical’s Ubuntu 17.10 (Artful Aardvark) operating system, due for release on October 19, 2017, which means that it’s of Alpha quality, so some things might not work as expected or are missing, including the installer, which System76 now wants to develop in collaboration with the elementary OS devs.

  • Server

    • Top five virtualization trends of 2017

      July marks the second half of the year, making it an ideal time to reflect upon what the journey through 2017 has been like and where it is going. With respect to virtualization, developers have played an increasingly important role in how companies deal with network agility, flexibility and security. While the direction data centers will head over the next six months remains open, a handful of virtualization trends are shaping the path forward.

    • GoDaddy Terminates Its OpenStack Cloud Server Business

      Hosting vendor GoDaddy first debuted its own OpenStack-powered cloud service in March 2016, with high hopes of success. Those hopes have been dashed, as GoDaddy sent out notices to its customers this week advising them that the service will be shut down.

  • Kernel Space

    • Linux 4.12.3
    • Linux 4.11.12
    • Linux 4.9.39
    • Linux 4.4.78
    • Linux 3.18.62
    • New stable kernels released
    • Linux Foundation Blockchain Group Debuts Hyperledger Fabric 1.0

      The Hyperledger open source group, which works on blockchain code, issued its first release.

      The Hyperledger Fabric 1.0 release is the culmination of work by 159 engineers from 28 organizations that have contributed to the Hyperledger group hosted by the Linux Foundation.

    • Kernel 4.13 RC1 Has Been Released

      The final version of Kernel 4.13 RC1 has been finally released, bringing various changes and tweaks.

    • Graphics Stack

      • Vulkan 1.0.56 Brings One New Extension, Fixes

        Khronos’ SIGGRAPH announcements are coming up in just over one week but today we have the Vulkan 1.0.56 release.

      • Nouveau Gets Thermal Throttling, One Step Closer For GTX 900 Re-Clocking

        Nouveau re-clocking/power expert Karol Herbst has published a set of patches today implementing thermal throttling support for this open-source NVIDIA DRM driver.

      • Mesa 17.2 Merge Window Extended To Sunday, RADV Shared Semaphores Lands

        The merging fun for Mesa 17.2 will continue through the weekend.

        Mesa release manager Emil Velikov has shared rather than going into feature freeze today, he’s planning to extend it by a few days. In particular, he’s planning to branch now by Sunday evening to allow for some remaining patches to be merged.

      • A small Update

        I planned on writing about the Present extension this week, but I’ll postpone this since I’m currently strongly absorbed into finding the last rough edges of a first patch I can show off. I then hope to get some feedback on this from other developers in the xorg-devel mailing list.

        Another reason is that I stalled my work on the Present extension for now and try to get first my Xwayland code working. My mentor Daniel recommended that to me since the approach I pursued in my work on Present might be more difficult than I first assessed. At least it is something similar to what other way more experienced developers than myself tried in the past and weren’t able to do according to Daniel. My idea was to make Present flip per CRTC only, but this would clash with Pixmaps being linked to the whole screen only. There are no Pixmaps only for CRTCs in X.

      • Revised DRI3 v1.1 Modifiers Support For Mesa

        Daniel Stone of Collabora has published a new set of 14 patches implementing DRI3 v1.1′s modifiers support inside Mesa with support for EGL X11 and Vulkan X11/Wayland.

      • D3D9 Shaders To SPIR-V For Vulkan Is Being Worked On By VK9
      • Clover OpenCL Gallium3D Sees Some Patches, Closer To OpenCL 1.2

        Community developer and Phoronix reader Aaron Watry has continued providing some much needed attention to Clover, the Gallium3D state tracker implementing OpenCL, notably for R600g/RadeonSI hardware not receiving ROCm OpenCL support.

        Watry has been working on improving the OpenCL compliance of Clover via Khronos’ recently-opened OpenCL Conformance Test Suite (CTS). Five patches sent out today fix at least one CTS test while the other patches work on version handling changes. He’s also begun experimenting with exposing OpenCL 1.2, but with the patches OpenCL 1.1 remains set.

      • Skylake & Newer Could Still See Faster Linux Graphics Performance

        With my recent tests of Intel Kabylake graphics on Linux 4.13 showing no change in performance, it was asked whether the Intel Linux graphics driver has plateaued for reaching maximum performance. It hasn’t.

    • Benchmarks

      • Linux Full Disk Encryption Performance With AMD Ryzen 5 + SATA 3.0 SSD

        Similar to our past disk encryption benchmarks, a clean install of Fedora Linux (26, with Linux 4.11) was done without any encryption and then again when opting for the full-disk encryption setup via the Anaconda installer. EXT4 was the file-system in use with its default mount options and no other changes were made between the installations or during the benchmarking process.

  • Applications

    • A look at the nano text editor in GNU/Linux

      Given that I have been writing the odd article here and there about server work, hosting, VPS and the like, I thought that perhaps an article about editing configuration files / text documents in a command line scenario might be a good idea.

      There are a few major text editors out there, some more user-friendly while some are more complex but bring extra power and configuration (I’m looking at you Vim.)

      The editor that most users who are new to the world of working with text only will likely start with, is called Nano.

    • QupZilla, the Qt Web Browser, Finally Adds a Session Manager

      Qupzilla, the Qt-based cross-platform web browser, now has a session manager. A bug requesting this feature was first opened in 2013.

    • A look at I-Nex – a CPU-Z like Application for GNU/Linux

      When I was running Windows one of the first pieces of software I’d install after I’d grabbed all my necessities, was CPU-Z.

      It was useful for looking at temperatures, specs, generating reports, and just overall gathering of information. In GNU/Linux we can do all of this via the terminal, but not everyone likes to use consoles, and some may not even know how to. Thankfully, I-Nex exists, and it serves many of the same purposes.

    • Seriously Folks, Electron Apps Aren’t That Bad…

      Do you like Electron apps? Chances are you don’t. In this post I list reasons why I don’t think Electron apps are bad, and why haters should chill.

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Wine or Emulation

      • Wine Announcement

        The Wine development release 2.13 is now available.

      • Wine 2.13 Released: Unicode 10.0, Better Mouse Cursors

        If Wine 2.0.2 with 60+ bug fixes doesn’t interest you, perhaps the Wine 2.13 development update will get you more excited.

        Wine 2.13 is now available as the latest bi-weekly development release leading up to the eventual release of Wine 3.0 around year’s end. Changes with Wine 2.13 include updating Unicode data to Unicode 10.0, nicer looking default mouse cursors are now used, support for persistent connections in WinHTTP, WebServices message framing protocol support, improved metafile support in GDI Plus, debug register support in x86-64 exception handling, and DirectWrite anti-aliasing improvements.

      • Wine 2.13 has been released with a few noteworthy changes, including fixes for The Witcher 3

        Another Wine development release is now available! Just today Wine 2.13 has released and features a few noteworthy changes.

      • Wine 2.13 Has Improvements for Grand Theft Auto V, The Witcher 3, and Eve Online

        The Wine development team announced the release and immediate availability for download of the Wine 2.13 development release, which brings some new features and improves support for various Windows apps and games.

        Coming only one day after the Wine 2.0.2 stable release, which only brought a bunch of bug fixes, the Wine 2.13 development release is here to introduce support for Unicode 10.0.0, revamp the default mouse cursors, improve anti-aliasing in DirectWrite, and add Message Framing protocol support in WebServices.

    • Games

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • Krita 3.2.0: Second Beta Available

        We’re releasing the second beta for Krita 3.2.0 today! These beta builds contain the following fixes, compared to the first 3.2.0 beta release. Keep in mind that this is a beta: you’re supposed to help the development team out by testing it, and reporting issues on bugs.kde.org.

      • KDE Arrives in Almería for Akademy 2017

        We have travelled from across the globe to meet for our annual gathering where we plan and discuss the next year’s activities creating free software to share with the world. Almería is in the south east of Spain, a country which has long been a supporter of free software and collaboration with its creators. The sun here is hot but the water is also warm for those who make it to the beach to discuss their work with a pina colada and a swim. Over the last year KDE has run conferences in Brazil, India, Spain, Germany and sprints in Randa in Switzerland, Krita in the Netherlands, Marble in Germany, GSoC in the US, WikiToLearn in India, Plasma in Germany, Kontact in France, and sent representatives to OSCAL in Albania, FOSSASIA in Singapore, FUDCON in Cambodia, HKOSCon in Hong Kong and more.

      • Guest Post: Retired From KDE, by Paul Adams

        Long time no see, huh? Yes, I neglected my blog and as such didn’t post anything since Akademy 2014… Interestingly this is the last one where my dear Paul Adams held a famous talk.

        […]

        During my PhD I was studying Free Software community productivity metrics. I was also working on research into software quality funded by the European Commission. KDE eV (the governance body1 for KDE) was also taking part in that project. At this time KDE was almost ready to release KDE 4. It was an exciting time to get involved.

      • KDE Ships Beta of KDE Applications 17.08

        Today KDE released the beta of the new versions of KDE Applications. With dependency and feature freezes in place, the KDE team’s focus is now on fixing bugs and further polishing.

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

      • MOBO Gtk Theme: Give Your Desktop A Grayish Look

        MOBO theme is designed to make your desktop grayish, it is designed to work well with Gnome desktop. This theme has modern colors and animations, left pane is a little bit transparent to make theme look unique. It is currently compatible with Gtk 3.20/3.22/3.24 versions and only works fine in Gnome Desktop, it is pretty simple and elegant. If you find any issues with this theme then report it to developer and hopefully it will get fixed in the next update. If you are using other distribution you can directly download theme from its page and install it manually in ~/.themes folder or /usr/share/themes/. You can use Gnome-tweak-tool to change themes.

      • Maxim: A Kind Of Bright And Fresh Theme For Gnome Shell

        If you are using Gnome Shell environment then Maxim theme is for you. It looks bright, fresh, spacious and easy on the eye. This theme is forked from Axiom theme which was created by the same creator. This theme is fairly new and its initial release was in the beginning of this July and is in active development, we added this theme to our PPA, so you can get updates easily and keep your theme up-to-date. If you encounter any issues with this theme then report it to developer and hopefully it will get fixed in the next update. If you are using other distribution you can directly download theme from its page and install it manually in ~/.themes folder or /usr/share/themes/. You can use Gnome-tweak-tool to change Gnome Shell themes and you also need to enable user theme extension.

      • ‘GNOME Tweak Tool’ Has Been Renamed

        GNOME Tweak Tool, the handy advanced settings utility for the GNOME desktop, has changed its name to the shortened title of ‘GNOME Tweaks’.

      • Sending the Ingredient List to Todoist
      • GNOME 3.25.4 RELEASED

        The fourth snapshot of GNOME 3.25 is now available!

        In this release several modules have continue the migration to meson
        [1], which is great as its saving compilation time (thank you!)

        BUT, at the same time some modules are still not including the meson
        files in the tarball, so we are unable to build them; please be sure
        you include them!

      • GNOME 3.25.4 Released
      • GNOME Shell to Finally Show an OSD Pop-up When Changing Volume with Mouse Wheel

        The GNOME Shell user interface component of the popular GNOME desktop environment was updated recently with both a stable and a development release for the GNOME 3.24 and upcoming GNOME 3.26 series.

        GNOME Shell 3.24.3 and 3.25.4 releases are now available, and while the first should soon make its way into the stable repositories of your favorite GNU/Linux distribution, that if you’re using the GNOME desktop environment, the latter is a development version published as part of the upcoming GNOME 3.26 release.

      • The Road to GTK+ 4 Toolkit Continues with Native File Chooser Support for OS X

        The road to the major GTK+ 4 open-source and multi-platform toolkit for creating graphical user interfaces or GUIs continues with the GTK+ 3.91.1 development release, which adds a significant number of improvements.

        GTK+ 3.91.1 has been released nearly two months after the 3.90.0 version, which introduced initial support for Apple’s OS X operating system, along with initial support for the Meson build system. GTK+ 3.91.1 is here now to add native file chooser support for OS X.

      • GNOME 3.26 Desktop Environment Continues Its Migration to the Meson Build System

        GNOME developer Javier Jardón announced the release and immediate availability of the fourth development milestone of the upcoming GNOME 3.26 desktop environment.

        After a two-day delay, the GNOME 3.25.4 development snapshot is here, and it’s the last before GNOME 3.26 enters Beta, which will happen right after the GUADEC (GNOME Users And Developers European Conference) 2017 event, which will take place in Manchester, United Kingdom, from Friday, July 28 until Wednesday, August 2.

  • Distributions

    • Red Hat Family

      • MITS signs MoU with Redhat Academy

        Madanapalle Institute of Technology and Science (MITS) signed Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Redhat Academy to bring awareness among students on Red Hat operating system.

        The academy offers training to the students of MITS. The students can take up a project by registering their names with Red Hat licence operating system. After registration, students will get an ID and they will be trained at the college itself. They can also collaborate with the one who has involved in project development, across the world.

      • Lynne Chamberlain: Open Source Tech Key to Red Hat’s Market Growth
      • News Bits: Samsung, Cavium, HPE, Datrium, Red Hat, Scale Computing, SUSE, & Supermicro
      • Finance

      • Fedora

        • 7 Flatpak Apps You Can Install Right Now from Flathub

          Distro-agnostic app distribution and management tools like Snappy, Flatpak and AppImage are trend du jour right now.

          But I often wonder how many people out there are actually using these next-gen formats compared to existing ones, like PPAs and regular repositories.

          Snaps seem super popular, and there are AppImages for just about everything we mention on this site. But what of Flatpak?

        • [Video] Fedora 26 Workstation – See What’s New
        • What Is DNF Package Manager And How To Use It

          A package file is an archive which contains the binaries and other resources that make software and the pre and post installation scripts. They also provide the information regarding dependencies and other packages required for the installation and running of the software.
          In the Linux world, there are two main types of packaging formats, .deb for those in the Debian and Ubuntu world and the .rpm for the Fedora, RHEL and CentOS. These formats also have their own tools for package management. The .debs use apt or aptitude and dpkg while the .rpms have been using YUM, at least until recently. Fedora recently replaced YUM with their new package manager, DNF. Yup, they built from the ground up a new package manager, the Dandified YUM (DNF), to replace it. ​

        • Fedora 27 Approves More Features: Flatpaks, NSS, RPM 4.14, Installer

          At Friday’s Fedora Engineering and Steering Committee (FESCo) there were yet more features approved for the current Fedora Linux development cycle.

        • The little bit different Fedora 26 Release Party – Part 1

          Since Fedora 21 we had not really a Fedora Release Party here in Phnom Penh, Fedora 21 we did at Development Innovations which was wonderful supported by Greta Greathouse the head of this US AID driven institution. But well in Asia an not to mention non-foss oriented company showed a behavior like in Europe 25 years ago. So DI has a new boss, which is lesser FOSS oriented. So we had to find a new place. For Fedora 24 the time frame was to short for me to organize something and Fedora 25 was an epic fail on the Royal University Phnom Penh, which cancelled the party, an hour before it.

          So this time I going with Passerelles Numerique as partner, which will not just provide the room and helps eqipement and this is what makes this Release Party a bit different from the “normal” ones.

        • What is happening in Fedora?

          The last week we had a Fedora Activity Day for LATAM Ambassadors, it was in Cusco – Perú, so, why was celebrated this event?

          I can tell you why in some words, new Fedora people (people, not fedorapeople.org) don’t know how to do things inside the community, how to collaborate, how to request sponsorship, how to be aware when spending Fedora resources… etc, and… the old people are busy now and can’t spend much time in Fedora.

          It was an Alex Oviedo’s (alexove) initiative and we had six representatives for LATAM countries x3mboy from Chile, asoliard from Argentina, josereyesjdi from Panama, itamarjp from Brazil, searchsam from Nicaragua, me (tonet666p) from Perú and bexelbie from Czech Republic (yes, is not LATAM but he was helping us).

        • FAD Latam 2017: x3mboy’s Event report
    • Debian Family

  • Devices/Embedded

Free Software/Open Source

  • 5 open source tools for developing IoT applications

    The internet of things is growing at a staggeringly fast pace, and is quickly coming to revolutionize virtually every aspect of modern life. Aspiring developers hoping to hop on board and profit off the growing phenomenon are constantly looking for the right tools to use. So what are the open source tools best suited for working with the IoT, and where can developers find them?

    A plethora of open source tools lay at the disposal of any would-be developer eager and wise enough to use them. By utilizing these five, you’ll find yourself tackling challenges and developing successful applications in no time.

  • FossHub Forced to Pull Google Ads From qBitTorrent Downloads

    FossHub, a download site that hosts free and open-source software, has pulled Google advertising from the whole of its file-sharing software section. The difficult decision was taken after Google persistently flagged the download page of the popular qBitTorrent client as “unauthorized file sharing” and went on to ban the entire FossHub site.

  • Lucasfilm goes open source, DIY lab equipment, and more news
  • Assume Good Faith

    A recent exchange on a user forum caught my eye, one that’s typical of many user interactions with open source communities. Someone with a technical question had apparently had the answer they needed and to help others in the same situation had posted a summary of the resolution, complete with sample code. When they came back later, the summary was gone.

    I’ve no idea why this happened. It may have been a system issue, or an administrative error, or the user himself may have accidentally deleted it without realising. It’s even remotely possible an intentionally malicious act took place. Without more information there is no way to know. For the self-aware mind, responding to this situation is a matter of choice.

    So how did the user in question respond? Well, he decided the only possible explanation was malicious deletion. He posted an angry demand that his account be deleted and assumed more malice when this was “ignored” (after 3 days, including a weekend, having posted the demand at the end of a comment in a user forum…)

  • ProtonMail reassures us that its Android app will be open sourced

    It looks as though the secure email provider, ProtonMail, will open source its Android app in the future at least according to their Twitter account. Reaching out to ProtonMail, we asked whether they would open source their Android app and even work with the maintainers of F-Droid to get the client on the FOSS app store.

  • Scality Launches Zenko, Open Source Software To Assure Data Control In A Multi-Cloud World

    Scality, a leader in object and cloud storage, announced the open source launch of its Scality Zenko, a Multi-Cloud Data Controller. The new solution is free to use and embed into developer applications, opening a new world of multi-cloud storage for developers.

  • Web Browsers

    • Chrome

    • Mozilla

      • Firefox’s Accessibility Preferences

        Cursor browsing and search while you type, are still available under the Browsing section, as these options offer convenience for everybody, regardless of disability. Users should now be able to find an option under an appropriate feature section, or search for it in the far upper corner. This is a positive trend, that I hope will continue as we imagine our users more broadly with a diverse set of use-cases, that include, but are not exclusive to disability.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

  • Pseudo-Open Source (Openwashing)

  • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

    • Open Access/Content

      • Campus launches new research support website

        The campus library launched a new website July 13 which compiles resources for campus researchers.

        The website includes resources on affordable course content, copyright laws and open access publishing, among others.

    • Open Hardware/Modding

  • Programming/Development

    • Q. What’s today’s top language? A. Python… no, wait, Java… no, C

      Among developers, Python is the most popular programming language, followed by C, Java, C++, and JavaScript; among employers, Java is the most sought after, followed by C, Python, C++, and JavaScript.

      Or so says the 2017 IEEE Spectrum ranking, published this week.

      IEEE Spectrum, a publication of the The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, a technical advocacy organization, says it evaluated 12 metrics from 10 sources to arrive at this conclusion.

    • Benchmarks Of PHP 7.2 Beta: PHP Is Still Getting Faster

      PHP 7.2 Beta 1 was released yesterday as the next step towards this next refinement to PHP7 that is expected to be officially released in November. I couldn’t help but to run some initial benchmarks.

      PHP 7.2 Beta 1 presents the Sodium extension for modern and easy-to-use cryptography, opcache improvements, better JSON decoding of invalid UTF-8 data, and many bug fixes among other improvements since PHP 7.1. The latest release and more details can be found via PHP.net.

Leftovers

  • Security

    • Apollo Server 1.0, GitHub’s Internet Bug Bounty donation, and the Google Cloud Platform — SD Times news digest: July 21, 2017
    • Facebook, GitHub, and the Ford Foundation donate $300,000 to bug bounty program for internet infrastructure
    • Internet Bug Bounty Receives New Funding to Expand Internet Safety Program
    • Internet Bug Bounty Raises New Funding to Improve Open-Source Security

      The Internet Bug Bounty (IBB) has raised new funding, in an effort to help reward and encourage security researchers to responsibly disclose vulnerabilities in open-source software. The IBB is backed by Facebook, the Ford Foundation and GitHub, who are now donating a total of $300,000 to help secure the internet with an open-source bug bounty program.

      The IBB was started back in 2013 with the help of bug bounty platform provider HackerOne, which still helps to operate the platform.

    • [Older] GHOSTHOOK ATTACK BYPASSES WINDOWS 10 PATCHGUARD

      A bypass of PatchGuard kernel protection in Windows 10 has been developed that brings rootkits for the latest version of the OS within reach of attackers.

      Since the introduction of PatchGuard and DeviceGuard, very few 64-bit Windows rootkits have been observed; Windows 10’s security, in particular its mitigations against memory-based attacks, are well regarded. Researchers at CyberArk, however, found a way around PatchGuard through a relatively new feature in Intel processors called Processor Trace (Intel PT).

    • [Slackware] OpenJDK 8 security round-up for July ’17

      Sooner than I anticipated, there is an update for OpenJDK 8. Andrew Hughes (aka GNU/Andrew) announced the release of IcedTea 3.5.0. The new icedtea framework compiles OpenJDK 8 Update 141 Build 15 (8u141_b15). This release includes the official July 2017 security fixes.

    • ROI (Not Security) the Most Immediate IoT Challenge

      According to Defining IoT Business Models, a new report from Canonical, the software company behind the Ubuntu Linux distribution, device security and privacy (45 percent) falls behind quantifying the return of investment (ROI) of their IoT projects (53 percent) as an immediate challenge. Canonical drew its conclusions from a survey of 361 IoT professionals conducted by IoTNow on behalf of the company.

    • Apply the STIG to even more operating systems with ansible-hardening

      Tons of improvements made their way into the ansible-hardening role in preparation for the OpenStack Pike release next month. The role has a new name, new documentation and extra tests.

      The role uses the Security Technical Implementation Guide (STIG) produced by the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) and applies the guidelines to Linux hosts using Ansible. Every control is configurable via simple Ansible variables and each control is thoroughly documented.

    • Open Source Flaw ‘Devil’s Ivy’ Puts Millions of IoT Devices at Risk

      Millions of IoT devices are vulnerable to cybersecurity attacks due to a vulnerability initially discovered in remote security cameras, Senrio reported this week.

    • SECURITY FOR THE SECURITY GODS! SANDBOXING FOR THE SANDBOXING THRONE

      Last year, probably as a distraction from doing anything else, or maybe because I was asked, I started reviewing bugs filed as a result of automated flaw discovery tools (from Coverity to UBSan via fuzzers) being run on gdk-pixbuf.

      Apart from the security implications of a good number of those problems, there was also the annoyance of having a busted image file bring down your file manager, your desktop, or even an app that opened a file chooser either because it was broken, or because the image loader for that format didn’t check for the sanity of memory allocations.

    • Microsoft’s secret weapon in ongoing struggle against Fancy Bear? Trademark law [Ed: Microsoft should make a start by stopping the addition of back doors to all its software]

      The idea of the lawsuit, which was filed in August 2016, is to use various federal laws—including the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA), the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA), and American trademark law—as a way to seize command-and-control domain names used by the group, which goes by various monikers, including APT28 and Strontium. Many of the domain names used by Fancy Bear contain Microsoft trademarks, like microsoftinfo365.com and hundreds of others.

    • Putin’s Hackers {sic} Now Under Attack—From Microsoft

      Since August, Microsoft has used the lawsuit to wrest control of 70 different command-and-control points from Fancy Bear. The company’s approach is indirect, but effective. Rather than getting physical custody of the servers, which Fancy Bear rents from data centers around the world, Microsoft has been taking over the Internet domain names that route to them. These are addresses like “livemicrosoft[.]net” or “rsshotmail[.]com” that Fancy Bear registers under aliases for about $10 each. Once under Microsoft’s control, the domains get redirected from Russia’s servers to the company’s, cutting off the hackers {sic} from their victims, and giving Microsoft a omniscient view of that servers’ network of automated spies.

    • NHS Trusts are spending £158,000 a day on new PCs

      NHS TRUSTS are splashing £158,000 per day on new PCs and laptops at an average cost of £678 per device, a Freedom of Information (FoI) request has revealed.

    • Twistlock 2.1 Container Security Suite Released

      Twistlock announced the general availability of version 2.1 of their container security product. Highlights of the release include an integrated firewall that understands application traffic, vulnerability detection, secrets management via integration with third party tools, and compliance alerting and enforcement.

    • Security and privacy are the same thing

      It got me thinking about security and privacy. There’s not really a difference between the two. They are two faces of the same coin but why isn’t always obvious in today’s information universe. If a site like Facebook or Google knows everything about you it doesn’t mean you don’t care about privacy, it means you’re putting your trust in those sites. The same sort of trust that makes passwords private.

      The first thing we need to grasp is what I’m going to call a trust boundary. I trust you understand trust already (har har har). But a trust boundary is less obvious sometimes. A security (or privacy) incident happens when there is a breach of the trust boundary. Let’s just dive into some examples to better understand this.

  • Defence/Aggression

    • Why We Published the Name of a Covert C.I.A. Official

      In this case, editors decided to publish the name because Mr. D’Andrea is a senior official who runs operations from the agency’s headquarters outside Washington, not in the field. He is also the architect of the C.I.A.’s program to use drones to kill high-ranking militants, one of the government’s most significant paramilitary programs. We believe that the American public has a right to know who is making life-or-death decisions in its name.

      It was also not the first time that Mr. D’Andrea’s name has been mentioned in our newspaper. After his identity was disclosed in a 2015 article, The Times’s executive editor, Dean Baquet, discussed the rationale in an interview with Lawfare, a website that covers national security law, and gave more insight into editors’ decision-making.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife/Nature

    • Paying people to preserve forests really seems to work

      We’re trashing the world not because it’s fun, but because it pays to do so. People respond to financial incentives. So, how do you provide an incentive to stop trashing the world? One idea is to use cold, hard cash. If people earn more by not trashing, the thinking goes, the incentive flips: it suddenly pays to conserve. Based on this idea, a trial program in Uganda paid landowners to preserve the forest on their land and tracked the results.

      It turned out not to be so simple—people don’t always neatly do what they’re supposed to. What if these landowners were already concerned about deforestation and were already preserving their land? You’ve just forked out quite a bit to pay for something that was already going to happen. Or what if they just cut down trees elsewhere instead? Figuring out whether the benefits of the program are worth the cost requires collecting a lot of data.

      A paper in Science this week reports on the results, which are encouraging: deforestation slowed to about half the previous rate, and it looks as though people didn’t just shift their forest clearing elsewhere. The program benefits seem to have outweighed the costs, whichever way you slice it. In other words, money provides a great incentive to preserve habitats, which is great news for climate change efforts.

    • German energy company wants to build flow batteries in old natural gas caverns

      The technology that the project is based on should be familiar to Ars readers. Two years ago, Ars wrote about an academic paper published in Nature that described “a recipe for an affordable, safe, and scalable flow battery.” German researchers had developed better components for a large, stationary battery that used negatively and positively charged liquid electrolyte pools to exchange electrons through a reasonably priced membrane. These so-called “flow batteries” are particularly interesting for grid use—they have low energy-density, so they don’t work for portable energy storage. But as receptacles for utility-scale electricity storage, their capacity is limited only by the amount of space you have.

  • Finance

    • Understanding Bitcoin’s Scaling Debate: Politics Comes First

      Software programmers are usually collegial and collaborative, but parts of the bitcoin developer community are currently displaying the kind of acrimony familiar to political capitols like Washington, D.C.

      Understanding the nature of the scaling debate then might help the bitcoin community better iterate on the protocol and software in the future. But, what’s behind the strife when amendments to bitcoin’s rules – or stasis – become so controversial? What unrecognized dimensions of the debate allowed it to become so divisive and debased?

    • Corbyn ally warns Labour leadership over party’s Brexit stance

      A key ally of Jeremy Corbyn has warned the Labour leadership not to take the party’s new wave of voters for granted over Brexit.

      Clive Lewis, the former shadow business secretary who was one of the first MPs to back Corbyn to be leader of the Labour Party in 2015, told POLITICO his party could lose support if it is seen to be “too closely aligned to a policy which will see us coming crashing out of Europe.”

      The Norwich South MP, who resigned his position on the Labour front bench in February over Corbyn’s three-line whip on backing the triggering of Article 50, said it would become “more urgent” for Labour to develop “clear positions” and “red lines” on the detail of Brexit negotiations.

  • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • John McCain has brain cancer, his office says

      Veteran US Republican Senator John McCain has been diagnosed with brain cancer and is reviewing treatment options, according to his office.

      The options may include chemotherapy and radiation, his doctors said. The 80-year-old politician is in “good spirits” recovering at home.

    • The media’s war on Trump is destined to fail. Why can’t it see that?

      The people of the respectable east coast press loathe the president with an amazing unanimity. They are obsessed with documenting his bad taste, with finding faults in his stupid tweets, with nailing him and his associates for this Russian scandal and that one. They outwit the simple-minded billionaire. They find the devastating scoops. The op-ed pages come to resemble Democratic fundraising pitches. The news sections are all Trump all the time. They have gone ballistic so many times the public now yawns when it sees their rockets lifting off.

      A recent Alternet article I read was composed of nothing but mean quotes about Trump, some of them literary and high-flown, some of them low-down and cruel, most of them drawn from the mainstream media and all of them hilarious. As I write this, four of the five most-read stories on the Washington Post website are about Trump; indeed (if memory serves), he has dominated this particular metric for at least a year.

      And why not? Trump certainly has it coming. He is obviously incompetent, innocent of the most basic knowledge about how government functions. His views are repugnant. His advisers are fools. He appears to be dallying with obviously dangerous forces. And thanks to the wipeout of the Democratic party, there is no really powerful institutional check on the president’s power, which means that the press must step up.

    • Making fun of Trump – thanks France

      I mean, it is easy to make fun of Trump, he is just too stupid and incapable and uneducated. But what the French president Emmanuel Macron did on Bastille Day, in presence of the usual Trumpies, was just above the usual level of making fun of Trump. The French made Trump watch a French band playing a medley of Daft Punk. And as we know – Trump seemed to be very unimpressed, most probably because he doesn’t have a clue.

  • Censorship/Free Speech

  • Privacy/Surveillance

  • Civil Rights/Policing

    • Court Rejects Cell Site RF Signal Map In Murder Trial Because It’s Evidence Of Nothing

      The Maryland Court of Special Appeals has handed down a ruling [PDF] on quasi-cell site location info. The evidence offered by the state isn’t being so much suppressed as it is being rejected. The information wasn’t obtained illegally and no rights were violated. Rather, the court finds the evidence to be questionable, as in “evidence of what, exactly?” [via EvidenceProf Blog]

      The defendant in the case is charged with murder. Bashunn Phillips filed a motion to exclude the evidence, which was granted by the lower court. The state appealed. But there’s nothing in it for the state.

    • Family of dead AlphaBay suspect says he was a “good boy”

      “We always thought his wealth was because of his investments in cryptocurrency and not with a dark market,” she said. “And we don’t understand how he could be how the FBI describes him; it’s totally not the personality of Alexandre Cazes!”

    • You still cannot vape on US inbound, outbound flights

      A divided federal appeals court is upholding a President Barack Obama-era regulation that barred e-cigarette smoking—also known as vaping—on both inbound and outbound US flights.

      The US Department of Transportation officially banned electronic cigarettes on flights in March of 2016 to clear up any confusion as to whether they were also outlawed like traditional tobacco cigarettes.

  • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

    • Senator blasts FCC for refusing to provide DDoS analysis

      US Senator Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) criticized the Federal Communications Commission for failing to turn over its internal analysis of the DDoS attacks that hit the FCC’s public comment system.

      The FCC declined to provide its analysis of the attacks to Gizmodo, which had filed a Freedom of Information Act (FoIA) request for a copy of all records related to the FCC analysis “that concluded a DDoS attack had taken place.” The FCC declined the request, saying that its initial analysis on the day of the attack “did not result in written documentation.”

    • Verizon accused of throttling Netflix and YouTube, admits to “video optimization”

      Verizon Wireless customers this week noticed that Netflix’s speed test tool appears to be capped at 10Mbps, raising fears that the carrier is throttling video streaming on its mobile network.

      When contacted by Ars this morning, Verizon acknowledged using a new video optimization system but said it is part of a temporary test and that it did not affect the actual quality of video. The video optimization appears to apply both to unlimited and limited mobile plans.

      But some YouTube users are reporting degraded video, saying that using a VPN service can bypass the Verizon throttling. The Federal Communications Commission generally allows mobile carriers to limit video quality as long as the limitations are imposed equally across different video services despite net neutrality rules that outlaw throttling. The net neutrality rules have exceptions for network management.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Trademarks

      • MLB Mulls Over Opposing Trademark For New Overwatch League Logo

        It’s no secret that Major League Baseball has proven themselves to be happy bullies regarding its trademarks. Between thinking it owns the letter ‘W’, forgetting that fair use exists, and its decision to bully amateur baseball leagues, the legal staff for MLB has shown that they can produce some really head-scratching moments.

      • Olive Garden Asks Olive Garden Reviewer Not To Refer To Olive Garden Due To Trademarks

        At some point, even the dimmest of lawyers will understand that parody and fair use are not infringement. There may be all sorts of reasons why big companies send dubious cease-and-desist letters over protected speech. Sometimes it’s because lawyers are misinformed. Sometimes it’s to silence criticism.

    • Copyrights

      • What can the possible implications of the CJEU Pirate Bay decision be? A new paper

        The CJEU judgment builds upon the earlier Opinion of Advocate General (AG) Szpunar in the same case [reported here], yet goes beyond it. This is notably so with regard to the consideration of the subjective element (knowledge) of the operators of an online platform making available copyright content. Unlike AG Szpunar, the Court did not refer liability only to situations in which the operators of an online platform have acquired actual knowledge of third-party infringements, but also included situations of constructive knowledge (‘could not be unaware’) and, possibly, even more.

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    Yesterday, Dr. Ingve Björn Stjerna revealed serious Constitutional issues with the campaign for the Unified Patent Court, which resembles an aggressive Battistelli-esque coup, not a democratic process by any stretch of imagination



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  • Software Patents Lobbying at IAM Strives to Reinforce the Positions of Patent Maximalists

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  • UPC Puff Piece in the Scottish Media is Just an Advertisement by Marks & Clerk

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  • From East to West and Even Down South at the Eastern District of Texas Patent Trolls Are Losing Everything

    Patent trolls that are accustomed to friendly judges, typically in the Eastern District of Texas, will be circling down the drain if the trend of “fee award” (to the vindicated defendant) continues



  • Those Who Endlessly Attacked Michelle Lee Now Attack Supporters of PTAB, Not Just PTAB

    Watchtroll, which combats patent progress by character assassination of instrumental figures, continues in its warpath today



  • In the Face of Malicious Lobbying, High Tech Inventors Alliance (HTIA) and Computer and Communications Industry Association (CCIA) Protect PTAB

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  • Weakening of Patents Assigned to Google and Another New Patent Lawsuit Against Uber

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  • http://techrights.org/2017/07/23/kde-applications-17-08-beta/