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Free Software Sentry – watching and reporting maneuvers of those threatened by software freedom
Updated: 3 hours 39 min ago

Links 19/10/2018: OpenBSD 6.4 and OpenSSH 7.9 Released

Friday 19th of October 2018 05:42:44 PM

Contents GNU/Linux
  • Suddenly Linux runs in Android

    Yes, Android is based on a modified version of the Linux kernel. But once you’ve got Android running, you can utilize this app to get Linux running inside Android. But why, you might be asking – why would you want to do that? If you have to ask, you might just want to turn back now. With this app, users are able to run Debian or Ubuntu, games like Adventure or Zork, and Math systems like Gnuplot, Octave, and R.

    UserLand allows one Session at a time and can also monitor filesystems. If you’re looking for a graphical interface, and not just a command line system, you might want to take a peek at the operating system Android. In other words: This is mostly just for fun, and a sort of proof of concept – but it has so much potential!

  • Desktop
    • Love Microsoft Teams? Love Linux? Then you won’t love this

      Microsoft loves Linux. Unless you are a Linux user who happens to want to use Teams. In that case, you probably aren’t feeling the love quite so much.

    • Chrome OS Linux support to gain folder sharing, Google Drive, more

      Chrome OS has been shaping up to be the all-in-one system, combining the best of Google’s ecosystem, including Android apps, with the power of Linux apps. The latter is still in beta phase with improvements and new features in every update. Today we take a look at some of the features coming soon to Chrome OS Linux apps.

      Chrome OS first gained its Linux app support, also known as Crostini, with version 69. While it’s certainly not flawless, the support has been groundbreaking, enabling everything from full photo editors to Android Studio on Chrome OS. With upcoming versions of Chrome OS, Google is working to smoothen the rough edges of Crostini to make it easier to use.

  • Server
    • Google Cloud CTO Brian Stevens on using open source for competitive advantage in the public cloud

      As all three continue to vie for the affections of CIOs, how they market their respective public cloud propositions to enterprise IT buyers has subtly shifted over time.

      For evidence of this, one only has to look at how little fuss the big three now make about rolling out price cuts for their services compared to several years ago, when one provider announcing a price drop would not only make headlines, but prompt its competitors to publicly follow suit too.

      This in itself is indicative of the fact enterprises expect more from providers than just access to cheap commodity IT services these days, and that ongoing cost reductions are simply an accepted part of using cloud, Google Cloud CTO Brian Stevens, tells Computer Weekly.

  • Kernel Space
    • KUnit: A new unit testing framework for Linux Kernel

      On Tuesday, Google engineer Brendan Higgins announced an experimental set of 31 patches by introducing KUnit as a new Linux kernel unit testing framework to help preserve and improve the quality of the kernel’s code.

      KUnit is a lightweight unit testing and mocking framework designed for the Linux kernel. Unit tests necessarily have finer granularity, they are able to test all code paths easily solving the classic problem of difficulty in exercising error handling code.

    • Graphics Stack
      • Mesa 18.2.3 Coming This Week With Fixes/Workarounds For Several Steam Play Games

        Igalia’s Juan Suarez Romero as the Mesa 18.2 series release manager is putting the finishing touches on the 18.2.3 point release to benefit Steam Play / Proton / Wine games.

        This latest bi-weekly point release to the Mesa 18.2 stable series has over three dozen patches queued so far and several of them are for fixes/workarounds to different games. Those affected games include Rage, Yakuza, The Evil Within, Wolfenstein: The Old Blood, ARMA 3, and No Man’s Sky.

    • Benchmarks
      • NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 OpenCL, CUDA, TensorFlow GPU Compute Benchmarks

        Here are the first of our benchmarks for the GeForce RTX 2070 graphics card that launched this week. In our inaugural Ubuntu Linux benchmarking with the GeForce RTX 2070 is a look at the OpenCL / CUDA GPU computing performance including with TensorFlow and various models being tested on the GPU. The benchmarks are compared to an assortment of available graphics cards and also include metrics for power consumption, performance-per-Watt, and performance-per-dollar.

      • Intel Core i9 9900K Linux Benchmarks – 15-Way Intel/AMD Comparison On Ubuntu 18.10

        Intel sent over the Core i9 9900K as their first 9th Gen Coffeelake-S CPU hitting store shelves today. With the embargo on that now expired, let’s have a look at how well this eight-core / sixteen-thread processor performs under Linux.

        The Core i9 9900K is Intel’s new answer for competing with the likes of the AMD Ryzen 7 2700X, but does come at a higher price point of $499 USD. While the Core i9 9900K is a Coffeelake refresh, rather than being six cores / twelve threads, they are matching AMD’s precedent set by the Ryzen 7 processors in having eight cores / sixteen threads. This 14nm 8C / 16T processor has a base clock frequency of 3.6GHz with a turbo frequency at 5.0GHz, a 16MB L3 cache and supports dual-channel DDR4-2666 memory.

      • Intel Core i9 9900K vs. AMD Ryzen 7 2700X Linux Gaming Benchmarks

        Complementing the just-published Intel Core i9 9900K Linux benchmarks with the launch-day embargo lift are the Linux gaming benchmarks… This article is looking at the Linux performance between the Core i9 9900K and AMD’s Ryzen 7 2700X in a variety of native Linux games as well as comparing the performance-per-Watt. So if you are a Linux gamer and deciding between these sub-$500 processors, this article is for you.

        If you didn’t yet read the main article that features a 15-way CPU comparison on Ubuntu 18.10 with the Linux 4.19 kernel, here is a recap of this new Coffeelake refresh CPU. The Core i9 9900K is an eight-core / sixteen-thread processor with 3.6GHz base frequency and 5.0GHz turbo frequency. This 14nm CPU has a 16MB L3 cache, dual channel DDR4-2666 support, and a 95 Watt TDP. There is also the onboard UHD Graphics 630, but if you’re a gamer, that isn’t going to cut it. The Core i9 9900K is launching at $499 USD.

  • Applications
  • Desktop Environments/WMs
    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt
      • Kraft Version 0.82

        A new release of Kraft, the Qt- and KDE based software to help to organize business docs in small companies, has arrived.

        A couple of days ago version 0.82 was released. It mainly is a bugfix release, but it also comes with a few new features. Users were asking for some new functions that they needed to switch to Kraft with their business communication, and I am always trying to make that a priority.

        The most visible feature is a light rework of the calculation dialog that allows users to do price calculations for templates. It was cleared up, superflous elements were finally removed and the remaining ones now work as expected. The distinction between manual price and calculated price should be even more clear now. Time calculations can now not only done in the granularity of minutes, as this was to coarse for certain usecases. The unit for a time slice can now be either seconds, minutes or hours.

      • Working on QML Book

        Do you remember QML Book? It started as a project between me and Jürgen Bocklage-Ryannel where we tried to fix the problem that there is no QML book out there.

        Back in the Qt 5.2 days, we spent wrote about a year. Unfortunately, the project has mainly been sitting idle since then. I’ve poked at issues every now and then, and Jürgen has done various fixes as well.

        Thanks to The Qt Company, this is changing. This autumn, it sponsors me to work on the project. The current plan is to add a chapter to Qt Quick Controls 2, and to update the entire contents to Qt 5.12 and Qt Creator 4.8. By doing so, many of the remaining bug reports will be resolved.

      • Cleaning up the KDE Store

        In August of last year, i wrote a blog entry about my experience at Akademy 2017 in the amazing Almería, and in that blog entry, amongst many other things, i wrote about an effort which had been slowly brewing, conceptually, for about a year by then: Tagging support in the Open Collaboration Services API. Now, what does that have to do with the KDE Store, you might say? Well, that is the API used by the KNewStuff framework to interface with the store, and that in turn is what is used in the many various places in our software which show shiny, new content for downloading (or to put it in a different way: used by our software to let users Get Hot New Stuff).

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK
      • Android Integration Extension For Gnome GSConnect v13 Stable Released

        The latest GSConnect v13, released today, is a rewrite with with changes to the architecture, settings and default behavior, and it requires Gnome Shell 3.28 or 3.30. The new version includes redesigned settings, Do Not Disturb mode, quick reply from notifications, and other features and improvements.

        GSConnect is a complete KDE Connect protocol implementation written in GJS for Gnome Shell, which integrates Android devices with your Gnome desktop. Using it, you can easily send files between your Gnome desktop and Android smartphone, sync the clipboard or notifications between the two devices, browse files wirelessly on your Android device from your desktop, and much more.

  • Distributions
    • IPFire Hardened Linux Firewall Distribution Is Now Available on Amazon Cloud

      IPFire maintainer Michael Tremer announced the availability of a new version of the open-source hardened Linux firewall distribution and intrusion detection and prevention system.

      IPFire 2.21 Core Update 124 is now available with Linux kernel, OpenSSH, and Unbound hardening. It ships with Linux kernel 4.14.72 LTS, a release that improves support for network adapters and enables built-in kernel security features to further harden IPFire against various attack vectors, and Unbound 1.8 DNS proxy hardened to reduce the load on DNS servers.

      This is also the first release of IPFire to add support for booting in EFI (UEFI) mode on x86_64 computers that support the standard. However, the developers noted the fact that to benefit of EFI support, users will have to reinstall IPFire.

    • OpenSUSE/SUSE
      • Tumbleweed Gets New Versions of KDE Applications, Krita, Apache Subversion

        Since last week’s openSUSE Tumbleweed update, there were two snapshots released that brought KDE users a newer version of Applications 18.08.2 and all Tumbleweed users could update to Linux Kernel 4.18.13.

        Last week brought newer versions of KDE’s Plasma 5.14 and Frameworks 5.50.0, and this week the arrival of Applications 18.08.2 came in snapshot 20181015. Applications 18.08.2 contained only bug fixes and translation updates. Among the key bug fixes was the dragging of a file in Dolphin that no longer accidentally triggers inline renaming; KCalc again allows both ‘dot’ and ‘comma’ keys when entering decimals and a visual glitch in the Paris card deck for KDE’s card games was fixed. Snapshot 20181015 had a few other updated packages like the open source painting program krita 4.1.5, which fixed a missing shortcut from the Fill Tool tooltip and a change of importing SVG files as vector layers instead of pixel layers. The ibus-table 1.9.21 update, which is an engine framework for table-based input methods, migrated IBusConfig to GSettings; non-gnome users have a Draw InputMode text instead of icon into panel. The 4.18.13 Linux Kernel was also included in the snapshot and fixed an unexpected failure of nocow buffered writes for Btrfs after snapshoting when a user is low on space; the newer kernel also added support for Apple Magic Keyboards. Python-jedi 0.13.1 removed Python 3.3 support. The Apache version-control package subversion 1.10.3 fixed conflict resolver crashes and endless scan in some cases.

    • Red Hat Family
    • Debian Family
      • Debian GSoC 2018 report

        One of my major contributions to Debian in 2018 has been participation as a mentor and admin for Debian in Google Summer of Code (GSoC).

        Here are a few observations about what happened this year, from my personal perspective in those roles.

        Making a full report of everything that happens in GSoC is close to impossible. Here I consider issues that span multiple projects and the mentoring team. For details on individual projects completed by the students, please see their final reports posted in August on the mailing list.

        [...]

        Google encourages organizations to put project ideas up for discussion and also encourages students to spontaneously propose their own ideas. This latter concept is a significant difference between GSoC and Outreachy that has caused unintended confusion for some mentors in the past. I have frequently put teasers on my blog, without full specifications, to see how students would try to respond. Some mentors are much more precise, telling students exactly what needs to be delivered and how to go about it. Both approaches are valid early in the program.

      • Derivatives
        • Canonical/Ubuntu
          • Ubuntu 18.10 (Cosmic Cuttlefish) released

            Codenamed “Cosmic Cuttlefish”, 18.10 continues Ubuntu’s proud tradition
            of integrating the latest and greatest open source technologies into a
            high-quality, easy-to-use Linux distribution. The team has been hard at
            work through this cycle, introducing new features and fixing bugs.

            The Ubuntu kernel has been updated to the 4.18 based Linux kernel,
            our default toolchain has moved to gcc 8.2 with glibc 2.28, and we’ve
            also updated to openssl 1.1.1 and gnutls 3.6.4 with TLS1.3 support.

            Ubuntu Desktop 18.04 LTS brings a fresh look with the community-driven
            Yaru theme replacing our long-serving Ambiance and Radiance themes. We
            are shipping the latest GNOME 3.30, Firefox 63, LibreOffice 6.1.2, and
            many others.

            Ubuntu Server 18.10 includes the Rocky release of OpenStack including
            the clustering enabled LXD 3.0, new network configuration via netplan.io,
            and iteration on the next-generation fast server installer. Ubuntu Server
            brings major updates to industry standard packages available on private
            clouds, public clouds, containers or bare metal in your datacentre.

          • Ubuntu 18.10 Officially Released

            It should come as no surprise, but the official release of Ubuntu 18.10 “Cosmic Cuttlefish” is now available with the announcement just hitting the wire.

          • Infographic: Snaps in numbers

            Coinciding with the release of Ubuntu 18.10 today, we have celebrated the exceptional adoption of snaps by sharing the infographic below. From popular snaps to daily installs, this infographic demonstrates where, when and why users are installing and adopting the secure, Linux application format. For more commentary around these numbers, check out this recent blog. Alternatively, start installing your chosen snaps.

          • Ubuntu 18.10:Multi-cloud,new desktop theme & enhanced snap integration

            Canonical today announced the release of Ubuntu 18.10, focused on multi-cloud deployments, AI software development, a new community desktop theme and richer snap desktop integration.

            “Ubuntu is now the world’s reference platform for AI engineering and analytics” said Mark Shuttleworth, CEO of Canonical. “We accelerate developer productivity and help enterprises operate at speed and at scale, across multiple clouds and diverse edge appliances.”

            This year, the financial services industry has engaged significantly with Canonical and Ubuntu for infrastructure efficiency on-premise and to accelerate their move to the cloud. The push for machine learning analytics and of fintech efforts around blockchain, distributed ledger applications and cryptocurrencies are current drivers of Ubuntu investments and deployments.

          • Ubuntu Podcast from the UK LoCo: S11E32 – Thirty-Two Going on Spinster

            This week we interview Daniel Foré about the final release of elementary 5.0 (Juno), bring you some Android love and go over all your feedback.

            It’s Season 11 Episode 32 of the Ubuntu Podcast! Alan Pope and Martin Wimpress are connected and speaking to your brain.

          • Canonical have released some statistics from the Ubuntu installer survey

            When installing Ubuntu 18.04, Canonical’s installer will offer to send some statistics to them. Canonical have now released some of this. One thing to note, is that this data does not include Ubuntu Server, Ubuntu Core, cloud images or and any other Ubuntu derivatives that don’t include the report in their own installer.

            They’ve had some good results from it, with 66% of people sending them their data. It’s a nice start, but I think they really need to do some separation of physical and virtual machines, since it seems they’re merged together which will skew a bunch of the data I would imagine.

          • Ubuntu “User Statistics” Published, But It’s A Letdown To Data Junkies

            Canonical managed to announced on the same-day as the Ubuntu 18.10 “Cosmic Cuttlefish” debut their goal for this cycle of opening up their software/hardware survey results that began with Ubuntu 18.04 LTS desktop installations. Those initial results are now available but the available data and analytic capabilities are rather underwhelming.

          • Canonical Launch Ubuntu User Statistics Website

            Canonical has launched an official webpage to relay Ubuntu user statistics collected by the Ubuntu report tool.

            The company had shared a few early findings from its data collection tool earlier in the year, but we’ve had to wait until now to get the full set via a fancy-pants website.

            And they were worth the wait.

            All of the info that makes up the Ubuntu user statistics report was collated from non-identifiable system data that users who installed Ubuntu 18.04 LTS explicitly opted in to share.

          • Ubuntu 18.10 Cosmic Cuttlefish is now ready to download
          • 18 Things To Do After Installing Ubuntu 18.10 ‘Cosmic Cuttlefish’
          • Ubuntu 18.10 released, here’s our review of changes it brings
          • Ubuntu 18.10 released (new default theme, performance improvements)
          • Ubuntu Linux 18.10 Cosmic Cuttlefish is finally available for download!
          • Is this cuttlefish really all that cosmic? Ubuntu 18.10 arrives with extra spit, polish, 4.18 kernel
          • Ubuntu 18.10 Is Out With a New Theme and Snappier Desktop Performance

            Ubuntu 18.10 “Cosmic Cuttlefish” is now available. This releases features a shiny new theme named “Yaru,” which was originally scheduled for Ubuntu 18.04 LTS. The new GNOME 3.30 improves desktop performance, too.

            Most of the improvements in Cosmic Cuttlefish are low-level things you can’t see. As usual, this means a lot of package upgrades. Ubuntu 18.10 features the Linux kernel 4.18, GNOME 3.30 desktop, and LibreOffice 6.1.2. Under the hood, this new release boasts a “state of the art toolchain” featuring various new versions of system software, from glibc 2.28 to GCC 8.2 and OpenSSL 1.1.1.

          • Ubuntu 18.10 (Cosmic Cuttlefish) Released, Includes Gnome 3.30 And New Default Yaru Theme

            Ubuntu 18.10, codenamed Cosmic Cuttlefish, is available for download. This release will be supported for 9 months (after which you’ll have to upgrade), and brings improvements ranging from updated Gnome to version 3.30 to a new default Gtk and icon theme called Yaru.

          • Ubuntu 18.10 “Cosmic Cuttlefish” Due Out Today, Arm Launches IoT-Focused Mbed Linux, GitHub’s New Security Features, MongoDB Announces New Server Side License and Google to Charge for Apps on Android Handsets Sold in Europe

            Ubuntu 18.10 “Cosmic Cuttlefish” expected to be released today. According to Phoronix, the biggest change for users will be the revised default theme for the GNOME Shell experience, now known as “Yaru”. Ubuntu 18.10 will also have the Linux 4.18 kernel, “which means better hardware support, various performance improvements, and other optimizations compared to Ubuntu 18.04′s Linux 4.15″.

          • New Things on Ubuntu 18.10: GNOME 3.30, More RAM Friendly, Yaru Theme, and More

            Ubuntu 18.10 “Cosmic Cuttlefish” released today Thursday, 18 October 2018 with the new user experience and latest desktop technology, including, GNOME 3.30, GTK+3.30, and Yaru Theme. The most shocking, but pleasing thing is it got reduced in RAM usage down to only ~800MiB after freshly installed (already lower than 1GiB)! It brings the latest Snappy with the rapidly increasing and growing Snapcraft.io App Store platform. It comes as the most user friendly operating system for PC and laptop with 9-month support lifespan (October ’18-July ’19). This traditional welcome article sums up some details and information in brief about this latest version. Download, install, give it a try, and enjoy 18.10!

          • Ubuntu 18.10 (Cosmic Cuttlefish) Officially Released, Here’s What’s New

            Canonical announced today the general availability of Ubuntu 18.10 (Cosmic Cuttlefish), the most recent version of the Linux-based operating system featuring all the latest GNU/Linux technologies and Open Source software products.

            Dubbed Cosmic Cuttlefish, Ubuntu 18.10 has been in development during the past six months, during which it received numerous improvements over previous releases. Ubuntu 18.10 features the latest GNOME 3.30 desktop environment and it’s powered by the most recent and advanced kernel, Linux 4.18.

            Ubuntu 18.10 (Cosmic Cuttlefish) will be supported by Canonical for the next nine months with software updates and security patches. It’s now available to download as Ubuntu Desktop, Ubuntu Server, Kubuntu, Xubuntu, Lubuntu, Ubuntu MATE, Ubuntu Budgie, Ubuntu Kylin, and Ubuntu Studio flavors.

          • Ubuntu 18.10 is Released. Here’s What’s New

            The Latest installment of Ubuntu – Cosmic Cuttlefish – 18.10 is released and available for download.

            Ubuntu 18.10 code named ‘Cosmic Cuttlefish’ is released after 6 months of development efforts. The latest release of Ubuntu comes with some major feature updates and latest software. This release is a short term release and would be receiving updates and security fixes till July 2019.

          • Snaps for Linux are a massive success

            One of the big knocks against Linux-based operating systems is lack of software. The truth is, there are countless excellent programs for both productivity and fun. One fair criticism, however, is fragmentation between distributions. For end users, it can be difficult installing an app that isn’t designed for their distro. And yeah, that has been a pain point for years.

            Thankfully, Canonical — maker of Ubuntu — aimed to alleviate that problem with Snaps. These containerized packages can be installed on pretty much any Linux distribution, making things easier for both users and developers. But has the organization’s standard been a success? Apparently, very much so. As a way to celebrate yesterday’s release of Cosmic Cuttlefish, Canonical shares the following infographic.

          • Canonical releases statistics showing “exceptional adoption of snaps”

            Canonical has revealed some statistics pertaining to its relatively new snap packages. The firm stated that there are now more than 4,100 snaps available, several of which we’ve reported on, they include the Opera web browser, PowerShell Core, Slack, the Kotlin programming language, Plex, Firefox Quantum, Microsoft’s VoIP client – Skype, the popular music streaming service – Spotify, and Visual Studio Code.

            Impressively, snaps are seeing 100,000 installs every day on cloud, server, container, desktop and on IoT devices, which works out to around three million installs each month. Of course, these statistics don’t only take into account snap installs on Ubuntu, but other distributions too. Canonical said that snaps are supported on 41 Linux distributions including Ubuntu, Debian, Linux Mint, Arch Linux, Fedora, and many more.

          • Ubuntu 18.10 Released: All Flavors Download Links, Torrents, and Checksums

            Ubuntu 18.10 “Cosmic Cuttlefish” just released yesterday 18 October 2018. I wrote the short welcome review here, and now this article lists all download links of Ubuntu and 7 Official Flavors including torrents. I include a brief how to download below as well just in case it’s your first experience with Ubuntu. Last but not least, I list all MD5SUM values of them in the end so you can verify your downloads. Happy downloading, happy installing, and happy running with Ubuntu. Good luck!

          • Ubuntu 18.10 released with new desktop theme

            Canonical released a new version of the organization’s Ubuntu GNU/Linux distribution; Ubuntu 18.10, called Cosmic Cuttlefish, comes with a new community desktop theme, improved snap desktop integration, multi-cloud computing optimizations and other improvements.

            Ubuntu 18.10 will be supported for nine months; organizations and users who require long term support should stay with Ubuntu 18.04 LTS instead which is supported for five years.

          • Ubuntu 18.10 ‘Cosmic Cuttlefish’ releases with focus on AI development, multi-cloud and edge deployments, and much more!

            Yesterday (on 18th October), Canonical announced the release of Ubuntu 18.10 termed as ‘Cosmic Cuttlefish’. This new release is focussed on multi-cloud deployments, AI software development, a new community desktop theme, and richer snap desktop integration.

            According to Mark, the new release will help accelerate developer productivity and help enterprises operate at a better speed whilst being scalable across multiple clouds and diverse edge appliances.

          • Flavours and Variants
            • Ubuntu Studio 18.10 Released

              The Ubuntu Studio team is pleased to announce the release of Ubuntu Studio 18.10 “Cosmic Cuttlefish”. As a regular release, this version of Ubuntu Studio will be supported for 9 months.

              Since it’s just out, you may experience some issues, so you might want to wait a bit before upgrading. Please see the release notes for a complete list of changes and known issues.

            • Ubuntu MATE: Ubuntu MATE 18.10 Final Release

              Ubuntu MATE 18.10 is a modest, yet strategic, upgrade over our 18.04 release. If you want bug fixes and improved hardware support then 18.10 is for you. For those who prefer staying on the LTS then everything in this 18.10 release is also important for the upcoming 18.04.2 release. Oh yeah, we’ve also made a bespoke Ubuntu MATE 18.10 image for the GPD Pocket and GPD Pocket 2.

            • Ubuntu MATE 18.10 is Now Available for the GPD Pocket Laptop

              Announced alongside the standard Ubuntu MATE 18.10 release, project lead Martin WImpress has unveiled a set of bespoke images built specifically for use with the GPD Pocket machines, in both their first and second-gen guises.

              The 7-inch crowdfunded portables have proven a big hit thanks to their canny combination of decent specs, high-res touch-screen, and intimately sized proportions.

            • Ubuntu 18.10 Flavors Released, Ready to Download

              Ubuntu 18.10 Cosmic Cuttlefish, the latest version of Ubuntu, is now available to download and so too are freshly spun images for it crop of community-based flavors.

              New stable versions of Ubuntu MATE, Ubuntu Budgie, Xubuntu and Kubuntu are ready to download, all based on Ubuntu 18.10.

              Read on to learn about the biggest changes these updates bring and to snag a download of them to try for yourself.

            • Kubuntu 18.10 is released today

              Kubuntu 18.10 has been released, featuring the beautiful Plasma 5.13 desktop from KDE.

              Codenamed “Cosmic Cuttlefish”, Kubuntu 18.10 continues our proud tradition of integrating the latest and greatest open source technologies into a high-quality, easy-to-use Linux distribution.

              The team has been hard at work through this cycle, introducing new features and fixing bugs.

              Under the hood, there have been updates to many core packages, including a new 4.18-based kernel, Qt 5.11, KDE Frameworks 5.50, Plasma 5.13.5 and KDE Applications 18.04.3

            • Kubuntu 18.10 Released with Snap Integration in Plasma Discover, KDE Plasma 5.13

              Kubuntu developer Rik Mills informs us on the general availability of the Kubuntu 18.10 release as part of the Ubuntu 18.10 (Cosmic Cuttlefish) operating system series launch by Canonical the other day.

              Continuing the project’s tradition to offer users the latest KDE technologies with every new major release, Kubuntu 18.10 ships with the KDE Plasma 5.13.5 desktop environment by default, along with the latest KDE Applications 18.04.3 software suite, KDE Frameworks 5.50 software suite, and Qt 5.11 software development framework.

              Just like Ubuntu 18.10, the Kubuntu 18.10 operating system is powered by the latest Linux 4.18 kernel by default, which provides better hardware support, especially for AMD users. Furthermore, Kubuntu 18.10 comes with Snap integration in the Plasma Discover graphical package manager.

            • Xubuntu 18.10 released!

              The Xubuntu team is happy to announce the immediate release of Xubuntu 18.10!

              Xubuntu 18.10 is a regular release and will be supported for 9 months, until July 2019. If you need a stable environment with longer support time, we recommend that you use Xubuntu 18.04 LTS instead.

  • Devices/Embedded
Free Software/Open Source
  • Braiins OS: An Open Source Alternative to Bitcoin Mining Firmware

    The company behind Slush Pool recently rolled out the initial release of its ASIC miner firmware: Braiins OS. The operating system is advertised as “the very first fully open-source, Linux-based system for cryptocurrency embedded devices,” an alternative to the factory-default firmware that comes with most popular mining hardware.

    Upon visiting the project’s website, visitors are greeted with a clear message, a mantra that resonates with its related industry’s ethos: “Take back control.”

  • Cryptoexchange Coinbase open sources its security scanner tool Salus

    The renowned United States-based cryptocurrency exchange, Coinbase always focuses on the security of its platform. Moreover, it has developed novel solutions to implementing security protocols to further strengthen their security. Furthermore, just recently, they announced that they are listing their security scanner execution tool, Salus as open source.

  • Crypto Exchange Coinbase Open-Sources Its Security Scaling Tool

    U.S.-based cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase is making a recently developed automated security scaling tool available to the public.

    Called Salus, after the Roman the goddess of safety and well-being, the program can automatically choose to run and configure different security scanners and issue a report on the results, according to a Thursday blog post from Coinbase developer Julian Borrey.

    Available as an open-source tool on GitHub from today, Salus is said to offer the advantage of being able to centrally coordinate security scans across a large number of software storage repositories, avoiding having to configure a scanner for each different project.

  • Announce: dnsmasq-2.80

    I just published dnsmasq-2.80, available at

    http://www.thekelleys.org.uk/dnsmasq/dnsmasq-2.80.tar.gz

    Changelog attached below.[...]

  • To BeOS or not to BeOS, that is the Haiku

    Back in 2001, a new operating system arrived that promised to change the way users worked with their computers. That platform was BeOS and I remember it well. What I remember most about it was the desktop, and how much it looked and felt like my favorite window manager (at the time) AfterStep. I also remember how awkward and overly complicated BeOS was to install and use. In fact, upon installation, it was never all too clear how to make the platform function well enough to use on a daily basis. That was fine, however, because BeOS seemed to live in a perpetual state of “alpha release.”

  • HarfBuzz 2.0 Released For Advancing Open-Source Text Shaping

    The HarfBuzz open-source text shaping library that is used by GNOME, KDE, Firefox, LibreOffice, Chrome OS, Java, and countless other desktop applications has reached version 2.0.

  • 5 open source intrusion detection tools that are too good to ignore

    As cybersecurity professionals, we try to prevent attackers from gaining access to our networks but protecting perimeters that have grown exponentially with the rise of mobile devices, distributed teams, and the internet of things (IoT) is not easy. The unpalatable truth is that sometimes the attackers are going to get through and the cost of a data breach grows the longer it takes you to uncover the attack.

    By employing a solid intrusion detection system (IDS) backed up by a robust incident response plan, you can reduce the potential damage of a breach.

  • How Open Source Marketers Can Leverage Community For Success

    If you’re an open source marketer, you have some unique challenges to overcome. Not only does one of your primary audiences — developers — shy away from marketing, despite the fact open source needs it (as I wrote about previously), but you must let go of the traditional mindset that your job is to differentiate the product from its competitors. Products built on open source differentiate themselves, of course, but when you’re talking about the open core, that’s just not how it works.

  • Petter Reinholdtsen: Release 0.2 of free software archive system Nikita announced

    This morning, the new release of the Nikita Noark 5 core project was announced on the project mailing list. The free software solution is an implementation of the Norwegian archive standard Noark 5 used by government offices in Norway.

  • Events
    • Take Our Cloud Providers Survey and Enter to Win a Maker Kit

      The Linux Foundation has been commissioned to survey FOSS developers and users about their opinions, perceptions, and experiences with 6 top cloud solution and service providers that deploy open source software. The survey examines respondents’ views of reputation, levels of project engagement, contribution, community citizenship and project sponsorship by six major cloud product and services providers.

    • The top 13 Linux and open source conferences in 2019

      No matter how small your budget, there’s a Linux or open source conference you can afford—and should attend.

      By the end of 2018, I’ll have spent nine weeks at one open source conference or another. Now, you don’t need to spend that much time on the road learning about Linux and open source software. But you can learn a lot and perhaps find a new job by cherry-picking from the many 2019 conferences you could attend.

      Sometimes, a single how-to presentation can save you a week of work. A panel discussion can help you formulate an element of your corporate open source strategy. Sure, you can learn from books or GitHub how-tos. But nothing is better than listening to the people who’ve done the work explain how they’ve solved the same problems you’re facing. With the way open source projects work, and the frequency with which they weave together to create great projects (such as cloud-native computing), you never know when a technology you may not have even heard of today can help you tomorrow.

  • Web Browsers
    • Mozilla
      • WebRender newsletter #26

        Here comes the 26th issue of WebRender’s newsletter.

      • Getting serious about political ad transparency with Ad Analysis for Facebook

        Do you know who is trying to influence your vote online? The votes of your friends and neighbors? Would you even know how to find out? Despite all the talk of election security, the tech industry still falls short on political ad transparency. With the U.S. midterm elections mere weeks away, this is a big problem.

        We can’t solve this problem alone, but we can help by making it more visible and easier to understand. Today we are announcing the release of our experimental extension, Ad Analysis for Facebook, to give you greater transparency into the online advertisements, including political ads, you see on Facebook.

      • Introducing Spoke: Make your own custom 3D social scenes

        Today we’re thrilled to announce the beta release of Spoke: the easiest way to create your own custom social 3D scenes you can use with Hubs.

        Over the last year, our Social Mixed Reality team has been developing Hubs, a WebVR-based social experience that runs right in your browser. In Hubs, you can communicate naturally in VR or on your phone or PC by simply sharing a link.

        Along the way, we’ve added features that enable social presence, self-expression, and content sharing. We’ve also offered a variety of scenes to choose from, like a castle space, an atrium, and even a wide open space high in the sky.

      • Encrypted SNI Comes to Firefox Nightly

        Firefox Nightly now supports encrypting the TLS Server Name Indication (SNI) extension, which helps prevent attackers on your network from learning your browsing history. You can enable encrypted SNI today and it will automatically work with any site that supports it. Currently, that means any site hosted by Cloudflare, but we’re hoping other providers will add ESNI support soon.

      • If you build it (together), they will come…

        Mozilla and the Khronos Group collaborate to bring glTF capabilities to Blender

        Mozilla is committed to the next wave of creativity in the open Web, in which people can access, create and share immersive VR and AR experiences across platforms and devices. What it takes though is an enthusiastic, skilled and growing community of creators, artists, and also businesses forming a healthy ecosystem, as well as tool support for web developers who build content for it. To overcome a fragmented environment and to allow for broad adoption, we need the leading content format to be open, and frameworks and toolsets to be efficient and interoperable. Ensuring that tools for creation, modification and viewing are open to the entire community and that there aren’t gatekeepers to creativity is one of the main working areas for Mozilla’s Mixed Reality (WebXR) Team. Building on its “Open by Design” strategy Open Innovation partnered with that team around Lars Bergstrom to find neat, yet impactful ways to stimulate external collaboration, co-development and co-funding of technology.

      • Mozilla Productivity Tip: Managing try pushes

        I tend to do a lot of try pushes for testing changes to Gecko and other stuff, and by using one of TreeHerder’s (apparently) lesser-known features, managing these pushes to see their results is really easy. If you have trouble managing your try pushes, consider this:

        Open a tab with an author filter for yourself. You can do this by clicking on your email address on any of your try pushes (see highlighted area in screenshot below). Keep this tab open, forever. By default it shows you the last 10 try pushes you did, and if you leave it open, it will auto-update to show newer try pushes that you do.

      • Opus 1.3 Released – One Of The Leading Lossy Open-Source Audio Codecs

        Opus 1.3 features improvements to allow using SILK with bitrates down to around 5kb/s, wideband encoding down to 9kb/s, improved Ambisonics support, better security hardening, a new speech/music detector, and more.

      • Introducing Opus 1.3

        The Opus Audio Codec gets another major update with the release of version 1.3 (demo).

        Opus is a totally open, royalty-free audio codec that can be used for all audio applications, from music streaming and storage to high-quality video-conferencing and VoIP. Six years after its standardization by the IETF, Opus is now included in all major browsers and mobile operating systems. It has been adopted for a wide range of applications, and is the default WebRTC codec.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice
    • LibreOffice 6.2 Launches February 2019, May Drop Support for 32-bit Linux Builds

      The second major update to the LibreOffice 6 series, LibreOffice 6.2, is expected to arrive next year, in early February, and it may be the first release of the acclaimed and free office suite to drop support for 32-bit Linux builds. This means that 32-bit LibreOffice releases won’t be available on the Linux platform anymore.

      While The Document Foundation assures Linux users in the preliminary release notes for LibreOffice 6.2 that Linux x86 (32-bit) compatibility will not be removed from existing LibreOffice versions, the company noted the fact that no new builds will be produced for the Linux x86 platform starting with a future version.

  • Pseudo-Open Source (Openwashing)
  • BSD
    • MidnightBSD Hits 1.0! Checkout What’s New

      A couple days ago, Lucas Holt announced the release of MidnightBSD 1.0. Let’s take a quick look at what is included in this new release.

    • OpenBSD 6.4 Released – Disables SMT/HT By Default, Updates Radeon DRM

      Adding to the exciting release day is Theo de Raadt releasing OpenBSD 6.4 as the newest version of this BSD operating system known for its security mindfulness.

      Exciting us from a technical standpoint and for anyone using OpenBSD on the desktop is a newer Radeon DRM display driver, but it’s still very dated compared to what is found in the mainline Linux kernel. Their Radeon DRM driver is now synced against the Linux 4.4.155 LTS upstream state that then provides mode-setting support for various GCN 1.0/1.1 graphics cards as a new feature to OpenBSD… But newer GPUs and the many other open-source AMD improvements past Linux 4.4 haven’t made their way into the OpenBSD world yet. Even still, Radeon graphics remain among the best supported options for what is available to OpenBSD users. The Radeon DRM code is also now available for 64-bit ARM OpenBSD users.

    • OpenBSD 6.4
    • OpenBSD 6.4
    • OpenBSD 6.4 Released

      Rather than reproducing the full list of new features here, we refer readers to the official OpenBSD 6.4 page.

      [...]

      Security enhancements include unveil(2), MAP_STACK, and RETGUARD. Meltdown/Spectre mitigations have been extended further, and SMT is disabled by default.

    • OpenBSD Foundation gets a second Iridium donation from Handshake!
    • Announce: OpenSSH 7.9 released

      OpenSSH 7.9 has just been released. It will be available from the
      mirrors listed at http://www.openssh.com/ shortly.

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC
  • Licensing/Legal
    • MongoDB introduces the Server Side Public License for open source

      Recently, a group of disgruntled developers and companies took to the Commons Clause as a way to protect their open-source work. However, this caused great controversy within the open-source industry because the clause added restrictions to open-source licenses, therefore violating the accepted definition of open source as well as the guidelines for the Open Source Initiative’s (OSI) approved open-source licenses, according to Vicky Brasseur, vice president of the OSI.

  • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration
    • Open Access/Content
      • UTSA creates web-based open source dashboard of North Pole

        UTSA professors Hongjie Xie and Alberto Mestas-Nuñez examine images of sea ice in the Arctic Ocean.

        Xie along with Xin Miao at Missouri State University started working on the project five years ago. Now the National Science Foundation has given the green light in the way of funding to develop the online system which uses high resolution imaging either obtained on-site, via satellites, or via airborne monitoring.

        The system will allow the scientific community the ability to readily extract detailed information of various ice properties including submerged ice, ice concentration, melt ponds or ice edge—the boundary between an area of ice and the open sea. The on-demand database will be dynamic and allowed to include new algorithms as well as additional datasets as they become available. Currently, the cloud-based system holds about a terabyte of images but that number will surely grow. The earliest dataset is from 1998 from the Sheba expedition which conducted 13 flights over the Beaufort Sea. Now researchers will include close to 1760 declassified images.

      • Open Access Is the Law in California

        Governor Jerry Brown recently signed A.B. 2192, a law requiring that all peer-reviewed, scientific research funded by the state of California be made available to the public no later than one year after publication.

        EFF applauds Governor Brown for signing A.B. 2192 and the legislature for unanimously passing it—particularly Assemblymember Mark Stone, who introduced the bill and championed it at every step. To our knowledge, no other state has adopted an open access bill this comprehensive.

        As we’ve explained before, it’s a problem when cutting-edge scientific research is available only to people who can afford expensive journal subscriptions and academic databases. It insulates scientific research from a broader field of innovators: if the latest research is only available to people with the most resources, then the next breakthroughs will only come from that group.

        A.B. 2192 doesn’t solve that problem entirely, but it does limit it. Under the new law, researchers can still publish their papers in subscription-based journals so long as they upload them to public open access repositories no later than one year after publication.

  • Programming/Development
    • How to use Pandoc to produce a research paper

      This article takes a deep dive into how to produce a research paper using (mostly) Markdown syntax. We’ll cover how to create and reference sections, figures (in Markdown and LaTeX) and bibliographies. We’ll also discuss troublesome cases and why writing them in LaTeX is the right approach.

    • LLVM Continues Working On Its Transition From SVN To Git

      In addition to LLVM’s multi-year effort on re-licensing their code, some developers also remain hard at work on officially migrating the project from an SVN development workflow to Git.

      For the past few years LLVM has been wanting to move from SVN to Git. While there are read-only Git copies of the LLVM repositories already and it’s been that way for a while, officially moving over their code-bases to Git has proven to be a challenge for preserving all of the branches, keeping accurate commit messages, etc, for a sane transfer process. This is just like the complex process of moving the GCC compiler over to Git as well.

    • Enterprise Java caretakers float new rules of engagement for future feature updates

      The Eclipse Foundation, saddled with oversight of Java EE last year after Oracle washed its hands of the thankless business of community governance, wants to revise the process by which enterprise Java – rechristened Jakarta EE when Oracle declined to grant use of its Java trademark – gets improved.

      Mike Milinkovich, executive director of the Eclipse Foundation, on Tuesday posted a draft of the Eclipse Foundation Specification Process (EFSP), seeking community review and comment. The intent is to replace the Java Community Process (JCP), the current system for evolving the technical specifications related to Java technology, as least as it applies to the enterprise flavored brew of Java.

      The need to replace the JCP for Jakarta EE arises from intellectual property concerns. As software developer Richard Monson-Haefel observed over the summer, “Unfortunately, Oracle was not able to donate all of the Java EE 8 specification documents (e.g. JMS, EJB, Servlet) because these specifications were developed under the Java Community Process and included the efforts of hundreds of people, many of who are not Oracle employees.”

Leftovers
  • Did I Make a Mistake Selling My Social-Media Darling to Yahoo?

    I was working a day job at Morgan Stanley, so I couldn’t fix Del.icio.us during the day. I would go home to the Upper West Side, eat dinner, and then work on the site. I’d build a feature, think, That seems to work, and fall asleep and wake up, and I’d have rolled out a broken feature, so no one could save anything. It was very haphazard. I moved the site from one server to two servers over New Year’s Eve, when I figured there would be the lowest traffic. On New Year’s Eve, I was at my mother’s house and porting the site to new hardware. Good times.

    I went to Union Square Ventures in the beginning of 2005 to raise money. The site was coming apart at the seams. It was down for something like two out of every five minutes. I could not keep up with keeping it alive, and I had an inkling that I maybe had something bigger on my hands.

    We raised $1 million on $3 million in early 2005, and we just kept building. We were in a closet-size office in Union Square Ventures because landlords didn’t want to talk to us. We started to try to raise money again toward the end of the year, but it didn’t go well. People say VC is pattern matching, and we were so far out of the pattern that no one could really evaluate us. We got one or two term sheets, but they were small.

  • Science
    • ‘Our minds can be hijacked’: the tech insiders who fear a smartphone dystopia

      There is growing concern that as well as addicting users, technology is contributing toward so-called “continuous partial attention”, severely limiting people’s ability to focus, and possibly lowering IQ. One recent study showed that the mere presence of smartphones damages cognitive capacity – even when the device is turned off. “Everyone is distracted,” Rosenstein says. “All of the time.”

      But those concerns are trivial compared with the devastating impact upon the political system that some of Rosenstein’s peers believe can be attributed to the rise of social media and the attention-based market that drives it.

  • Health/Nutrition
    • New US Law Requires Reporting Of Biologic, Biosimilar “Pay-for-Delay” Pacts

      The Patient Right to Know Drug Prices Act became effective in the United States on 10 October. Among other things, it extends to biologic and biosimilar products a 2003 law requiring drug manufacturers to notify US antitrust authorities of patent settlement agreements. The idea is to cut down on so-called “pay-for delay” tactics which can slow the introduction of cheaper medicines into the market.

  • Security
    • Open source web hosting software compromised with DDoS malware [Ed: CBS hired Catalin Cimpanu for him to have a broader platform with which to associate "Open Source" with security issues (does he say "proprietary" when it's proprietary, too?). Microsoft has long financed efforts to associate FOSS/copyleft with security issues and stigmatise it with licensing terror.]
    • Commission tried to hide details of ‘WiFi4EU’ glitch

      The European Commission has tried to hide information related to technical problems its free wifi fund portal suffered, by claiming that it was “out of scope”.

      It released documents to EUobserver following an access to documents request – but heavily redacted some of the key papers.

      However, one of the documents has been leaked and published online. A comparison between the leaked version and the one released by the commission clearly shows that the commission went too far with its redactions.

    • The Flawed System Behind the Krack Wi-Fi .Meltdown

      “If there is one thing to learn from this, it’s that standards can’t be closed off from security researchers,” says Robert Graham, an analyst for the cybersecurity firm Erratasec. “The bug here is actually pretty easy to prevent, and pretty obvious. It’s the fact that security researchers couldn’t get their hands on the standards that meant that it was able to hide.”

      The WPA2 protocol was developed by the Wi-Fi Alliance and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), which acts as a standards body for numerous technical industries, including wireless security. But unlike, say, Transport Layer Security, the popular cryptographic protocol used in web encryption, WPA2 doesn’t make its specifications widely available. IEEE wireless security standards carry a retail cost of hundreds of dollars to access, and costs to review multiple interoperable standards can quickly add up to thousands of dollars.

    • Security updates for Friday
  • Transparency/Investigative Reporting
    • WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange sues Ecuador for ‘violating his rights’

      Julian Assange is launching legal action against Ecuador, accusing its government of violating his “fundamental rights and freedoms”.

      It comes after Ecuador cut off communications for Mr Assange, who has been living inside the country’s London embassy for more than six years.

      Baltasar Garzon, a lawyer for WikiLeaks, has arrived in Ecuador to launch the case, which is expected to be heard next week in a domestic court.

      WikiLeaks claims Mr Assange’s access to the outside world has been “summarily cut off” and says Ecuador has threatened to remove the protection he has had since being given political asylum.

      The site said Ecuador’s government has refused to allow a visit by Human Rights Watch general counsel Dinah PoKempner and prevented several meetings with Mr Assange’s lawyers.

  • Finance
    • Trump’s Tax Law Failed to Kill Off Corporate America’s Prized Dodge

      U.S. corporations have largely abandoned the contentious deals that allowed them to shift their addresses abroad for a lower tax rate. Yet a key part of the transactions is continuing quietly even after President Donald Trump’s tax overhaul.

      The 2017 tax law was designed to stop traditional inversions, which had brought scrutiny and negative publicity for companies that moved their headquarters overseas, as well as to halt the flow of valuable intellectual property to low-tax countries. For companies that invert, the address change is generally the final step so they can more easily access the cash they’ve generated after years of shifting IP overseas.

      Most firms are continuing with business as usual when it comes to their IP since the law’s provisions aren’t enticing enough for them to keep it at home, according to interviews with eight tax experts who advise large public corporations. They disclosed the details of the conversations they’re having with companies, but declined to identify the specific clients.

  • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics
    • The Secretive Organization Quietly Spending Millions on Facebook Political Ads

      Over just two weeks in September, a limited-liability company calling itself News for Democracy spent almost $400,000 on more than 16 million impressions for a network of 14 Facebook pages that hadn’t existed until August. This represented the second-largest political ad buy on Facebook for the period, trailing only Beto O’Rourke’s Texas Senate campaign and substantially overshadowing the third-place spender, the National Republican Congressional Committee, according to an analysis by a team at New York University’s Tandon School of Engineering, led by Damon McCoy.

    • A new kind of dark money on Facebook is influencing elections

      How unknown parties are exploiting loopholes in Facebook’s ad archive

    • Twitter’s Dated Data Dump Doesn’t Tell Us About Future Meddling

      Twitter dropped an almost unfathomably large archive of tweets connected to two alleged influence campaigns on Wednesday. The trove included over 9 million tweets associated with 3,841 accounts connected to Russia’s notorious Internet Research Agency, or IRA, as well as more than a million tweets attributed to a network of 770 Iranian propaganda-pushing accounts. Twitter has never before released an archive of this size. But researchers tell WIRED that it says more about the past than it does about present or future threats Twitter should be wary of with important midterm elections less than three weeks away.

    • The Decline Of Congressional Expertise Explained In 10 Charts

      When Mark Zuckerberg was called to testify earlier this year, the world was shocked by Congress’s evident lack of basic technological literacy. For many, this performance illustrates the institution’s incompetence. After all, if our elected representatives have trouble understanding how Facebook works, how capable are they of understanding the complexities of the federal government, or crafting legislation across a range of technical subjects?

      For those of us who live and work in the “swamp,” the Zuckerberg hearings were no great surprise. Just this year, we’ve seen Congress struggle with technology issues such as quantum computing, cryptocurrencies, and the governance of online platforms. Indeed, it seems effectively incapable of tackling major technology policy issues such as the debate over online privacy, election cybersecurity, or artificial intelligence.

      This state of affairs is the product of decades of institutional deterioration, sometimes referred to as the “big lobotomy.” While scholars of American government may offer various books or white papers chronicling this decline, the pattern is evident from a few trends that this post will highlight.

    • Twitter Trolling Becomes Harder With This Change of Policy

      Social media is full of trolls but Twitter is a cesspool of toxic insects that attack anything and everything, It is a safe haven for toxic people but trolling on Twitter will be harder to do now when Twitter is changing some of its policy.

      Over the years Twitter has been highly criticized for the way it handles trolls, and other people who spread hate, harass. But since the start of 2017, Twitter has made efforts to deal with such issues. Through the policy update, rules changes, and better enforcement, the company is trying to create a safer space for all of its users.

    • Trump’s Tangled Relationship With Saudi Arabia — “Trump, Inc.” Podcast Extra

      The disappearance of Washington Post contributor Jamal Khashoggi at a Saudi consulate has brought renewed attention to what’s been true for years: The United States — and its president — has an important, and extremely complicated, relationship with Saudi Arabia.

      Trump has been doing business with Saudis for years, even bragging during his presidential campaign about the large amount of money Saudi buyers paid for his apartments.

      [...]

      In this “Trump, Inc.” podcast extra, WNYC’s Charlie Herman talks with The Washington Post’s David Fahrenthold and Joe Nocera from Bloomberg Opinion about all the ways Saudi Arabia is intertwined with U.S. business interests, including those of the president himself.

  • Censorship/Free Speech
    • Why we should all hate the hate-crime laws

      If a hate crime is about how hurt somebody feels, then how can the subjective reaction of one group be considered more important than another? It is surely not for you or I to deny the personal feelings of any man or woman, goth or grandmother. Equality demands that all must be protected from whatever they deem offensive or hateful.

    • [Old] Saudi Arabia bans journalist for criticising Donald Trump

      After Mr Khashoggi criticised Mr Trump’s Middle East policies at a Washington think-tank on 10 November, an official Saudi spokesman said he did not represent the Kingdom in a statement to the Saudi Press Agency.

    • [Old] Saudi journalist banned from media after criticising Trump

      Khashoggi’s weekly column in Al Hayat newspaper was not published this week, although it has appeared every Saturday for almost five years. His last tweet appeared on 18 November.

    • Journalist’s tweets caused irreparable loss to MJ Akbar’s reputation: Lawyer

      During the hearing, senior advocate Geeta Luthra, who represented Akbar in the court, referred to tweets of Priya Ramani and said the journalist’s tweets caused irreparable loss to MJ Akbar’s reputation built over 40 years.

      “Articles in international and national media quoted these defamatory tweets. Tweets are defamatory unless Ramani proves anything,” Luthra told the court adding “Priya Ramani has tweeted defamatory tweets against complainant. Her second tweet was clearly defamatory and liked by 1200 people. “

    • UK porn law’s latest guidelines fail to answer critics

      “The policy is completely full of holes,” Jim Killock, executive director of the UK’s Open Rights Group, told The Verge. “It puts too much power in the hands of companies, [and] if teenagers in particular have any incentive to get around these controls, they will.”

    • Big Tech Snuffing Free Speech; Google’s Poisonous ‘Dragonfly’

      If the big social media companies choose what to publish and what not to publish, they should be subject to the same licensing and requirements as media organizations.

    • As Predicted, Australian Government Looks To Creep Site Censorship Into Search Censorship

      Earlier this year, we discussed Australia’s Department of Communications asking for feedback on the effectiveness of its site-blocking policy after it had been in place for several years. The copyright industries both local and foreign leapt at the chance, making two divergent claims. Claim one: site-blocking is working really, really well and should be continued. Claim two: site-blocking is being vastly undermined by, you guessed it, Google, and the government should extend site-blocking into search-blocking as a result. We made the point at the time that this type of thing occurs like clockwork: you open the door to some censorship and those cheering it on will attempt to expand it further.

      Well, after collecting its feedback, the Australian Department of Communications has come out with proposed amendments to Australian copyright law that would, you guessed it again, force search engines to censor links to so-called “pirate sites.”

  • Privacy/Surveillance
  • Civil Rights/Policing
    • ‘The Media Continue to Promote a Narrative of Dependency’ – CounterSpin interview with Teresa Basilio on Puerto Rico communications

      Advocates and activists are calling on FCC chair Ajit Pai to appoint an independent commission to examine the causes for communications failures in Puerto Rico following Hurricane Maria, just over a year ago. Over 95 percent of cell sites were knocked out of service, hindering rescue and recovery efforts. Days after the storm, no TV and only a handful of radio stations could function. And the restoration has been painfully slow.

      The coalition of groups also urged the agency to convene public hearings in Puerto Rico, so that commissioners could “hear directly from Puerto Ricans on how their lives were impacted” by the lack of a resilient communications infrastructure.

    • Meet Edward Blum, the Man Who Wants to Kill Affirmation Action in Higher Education

      Activist Edward Blum has been trying to destroy race-conscious college admissions for a long time.

      In a federal lawsuit that went to trial this week, the organization Students for Fair Admissions is challenging Harvard University’s admissions practices, arguing that the consideration of race in the process violates the Equal Protection Clause.

      So what’s at stake in this case? A lot.

      Just two years ago, in Fisher v. the University of Texas, the Supreme Court reaffirmed that the consideration of race as part of a holistic admissions process, a practice known as affirmative action, is consistent with the Equal Protection Clause. The district court already dismissed this claim citing Fisher.

      But make no mistake about it — the engineer behind this litigation is intent on sowing divisiveness amongst communities of color in an effort to dismantle diversity programs and civil rights protections that benefit all people of color. Students for Fair Admissions is the creation of Edward Blum. Blum is not a lawyer, but he has a long history of crafting legal attacks on civil rights.

      After losing a congressional election in the early 1990s, Blum, who is white, challenged the Texas redistricting process as discriminating in favor of African-American and Latinx voters. While his success in that case, Bush v. Vera, was limited to particular districts, among his other challenges to the voting rights, Blum was behind Shelby v. Holder. That case gutted important protections in the Voting Rights Act with drastic effects for voters of color. His attacks on laws and policies designed to promote the equality of people of color are not limited to voting rights. Blum also crafted the unsuccessful challenge to race-conscious college admissions programs in Fisher v. University of Texas.

    • Louisiana Court Declares State’s Non-Unanimous Jury Verdict Scheme Unconstitutional, Motivated By Racial Discrimination

      A district court in Louisiana ruled the state’s use of non-unanimous juries is unconstitutional and violates the equal protection clause of the 14th amendment.

      The court found the “non-unanimous jury verdict scheme in Louisiana was motivated by invidious racial discrimination.”

      “All cases that are currently pending trial and all cases on direct review must now be adjudicated subject ot a unanimous jury requirement,” the court ordered. However, prior cases and convictions may not be challenged.

      According to the state’s constitution and a section of the state’s criminal code, cases involving capital punishment require a unanimous decision by jurors.

      But in cases where the punishment is “necessarily confinement at hard labor,” only 10 of 12 jurors are required to find a defendant guilty. Cases where imprisonment is only a possible outcome require an even lower threshold—six jurors.

      The ruling comes as Louisiana residents vote on Amendment 2, a ballot initiative that would “require the unanimous agreement of jurors, rather than just 10 of 12 jurors, to convict people charged with felonies.”

    • DOJ Rings Up Another Leaker, Nailing Financial Investigation Official For Handing Docs To Buzzfeed

      So much for going dark. Presumably the information obtained with the pen register order was enough to secure a warrant to search a cellphone and flash drive owned by Edwards. “Reporter-1″ is likely Jason Leopold, who wrote or co-wrote every article named in the DOJ complaint. This also means the DOJ likely has a whole bunch of conversations between a journalist and his source, although obtaining them from the source makes it far less of a First Amendment issue.

    • In a Case that Rocked Alabama, a Man With Intellectual Disability Is Spared Death

      Almost a decade after his death sentence, the state agreed Lam Luong could not be executed and joined the defense in asking to change the sentence.

      This week, in one of the highest profile cases in Alabama history, longtime ACLU client Lam Luong was resentenced to life in imprisonment without parole, nine years after he was sentenced to death. Luong’s life was spared because experts hired by both the state of Alabama and the defense agreed that he met the criteria for intellectual disability.

      Luong, born during the Vietnam War to a Vietnamese woman and a Black American serviceman, was convicted and sentenced to death in the spring of 2009 for the murder of his four young children on the Dauphin Island Bridge in Alabama.

      In 2002, the Supreme Court held in Atkins v. Virginia that the Eighth Amendment to the Constitution prohibits the execution of persons with intellectual disabilities. There was no question that Luong met the criteria. Almost a decade after his original conviction and death sentence, the state finally agreed that Luong could not be executed and joined the defense in asking to change his sentence.

    • Ohio Prisons Uphold Year-Long Communications Ban Against Incarcerated Activist Who Supported National Prison Strike

      Ohio state prison officials denied an appeal by Imam Siddique Abdullah Hasan against the one-year restriction placed on his phone and email use after he spoke publicly in support of the 2018 prison strike.

      The restrictions—and the case that led to them—are yet another example of the lengths prison officials will go to police the political speech of prisoners and punish those who express support for protest, particularly the prison strike movement.

      Shadowproof repeatedly requested phone transcripts the prison’s administrative disciplinary body cited as evidence that Hasan was fomenting a riot. Ohio prison officials categorically refused to provide them, even in redacted form, citing exemptions in state open records laws.

      Hasan is prohibited from making phone calls or using email until August 13, 2019, unless the warden intervenes.

      He is currently on death row in connection with the 1993 rebellion known as the Lucasville Uprising, which began as a protest by Muslim prisoners against an attempted forced medical procedure by prison officials that violated their religious beliefs. As such, he is already subject to significant isolation. By forbidding him from using phone and email—his two primary connections to the outside world—that isolation will intensify.

      Hasan denied the charges against him, rebutting them and criticizing the disciplinary process in an appeal filed August 22. He maintained the restrictions will not deter him from speaking out for human rights for incarcerated people and exercising his right to speech and protest.

    • Louisiana’s Infamous Angola Prison Goes on Trial

      Angola prison is home to horrific constitutional violations that threaten the health and welfare of people incarcerated in the facility.

      In November 2012, Shannon Hurd, who was serving a life sentence for stealing $14, began losing weight and experiencing flu-like symptoms. His symptoms worsened, and he developed a pain in his side. But doctors at the Louisiana State Penitentiary, also known as “Angola,” repeatedly dismissed his medical complaints.

      He did not receive medical care in the weeks that followed. He did not receive medical care in the months that followed. And as he waited for basic medical care, a disease was spreading in his system.

      In the end, Hurd waited three devastating years before he was finally tested and diagnosed with kidney cancer. At that point, the tumors had already spread to his brain. Kidney cancer is generally treatable if it’s caught early. This was not the case here. By the end of 2015, Shannon had lost over 60 pounds. He was often numb in his fingers and feet.

      Denied medical parole requests by prison officials, Shannon died in prison in March 2017. He was just 42 years old.

    • Mississippi Law Enforcement Performed $200,000 Worth Of Illegal Forfeitures Because It ‘Didn’t Realize’ Law Had Changed

      Now, this could be a legitimate excuse. But not for a narcotics director who probably had plenty to say about the impending demise of the most profitable part of the state’s asset forfeiture program. He could not have been completely “unaware.” After all, here he is announcing the roll out of a website listing state forfeiture actions as mandated by the same law Dowdy now claims he didn’t know much about.

      It might be a legitimate excuse for a federal official who may not know the legislature included a sunset provision that gave legislators a chance to kill the passed law before it went into effect. Some efforts were mounted to roll back the reforms, but they both died without moving forward.

      Because law enforcement can’t follow the law, lots of people will be getting their stuff back. The Tampa Bay Times article says the Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics is offering to return $42,000 worth of property it illegally seized — a phrase that makes its effort sound far more magnanimous than the reality: relinquishing stolen property.

    • FBI Whistleblower Who Disclosed Documents On Profiling And Informant Recruitment Is Sentenced To Four Years In Prison

      Former FBI special agent Terry Albury was sentenced to four years in prison for retaining and releasing documents to a media outlet on the FBI’s racial profiling, surveillance, and informant recruitment practices.

      He accepted an agreement in April, where he pled guilty to two counts of violating the Espionage Act. Both offenses are felonies.

      Albury was the only black agent in the region for most of the time that he worked for the FBI’s terrorism squad in Minnesota. He was a special agent in the FBI’s Minneapolis Field Office from 2012 to August 28, 2017.

      His defense attorneys asserted Albury’s unauthorized disclosures to the Intercept were an “act of conscience, of patriotism, and in the public interest.” They were made for “no personal gain whatsoever.”

      “The documents at issue advanced the discourse necessary in a free society about how to maintain the delicate balance between freedom and security,” his attorneys added. “He was endeavoring to resolve what for him became an insurmountable moral conflict between his role as an FBI agent sworn to uphold the written law and his personal commitment to social justice and human rights.”

      The federal court in Minnesota was urged to approve a sentence, where Albury was placed on probation.

    • Explore Racial Disparities in Hundreds of Illinois Schools and Districts

      This week, ProPublica launched “Miseducation,” an interactive database where you can search, examine and compare racial disparities in thousands of schools and school districts across the United States. The tool — based on data from the U.S. Department of Education’s Civil Rights Data Collection program — measures these disparities in four ways: enrollment in advanced classes, student discipline, gaps in academic achievement and level of segregation at the district and state level.

  • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality
  • Intellectual Monopolies
    • U.S. Patent Damages

      For most patent owners, the amount of recoverable damages for patent infringement is a primary driver when deciding when to bring, defend, or settle patent litigation. The potential damages from litigation also drives (offensive and defensive) licensing decisions and freedom-to-operate analyses (when balancing design-around costs). US patent law guarantees a prevailing patent owner at least “a reasonable royalty.”1 However, determining the potential damages (both before and during litigation) can prove complex, particularly for the multi-component products common in today’s global marketplace. is because courts seek to compensate patent owners for the value of the patented improvement, which is oft en less than the value of the overall product.2Difficulty arises when attempting to determine the value attributable to a subcomponent instead of the whole product, especially when there is no established market for just the infringing subcomponent.3To address this, courts require patent owners to apportion the value of the patented feature relative to the overall product to avoid overcompensating a patent owner for an invention that contributes only a portion of the overall value of a final product.

    • Trademarks
      • SLCC/FanX Gets A Stay On $4 Million In Legal Fees For SDCC Pending Appeal

        The whole saga of the trademark dispute between the famous San Diego Comic-Con comics convention and the smaller Salt Lake Comic Con has been a long and stupid one. Despite everyone with a working brain knowing that the term “comic-con” is both generic and descriptive, SDCC has a trademark on the term that it managed to wield like a legal sword attempting to slay SLCC. While a jury trial returned only a $20k judgement, the court then awarded $4 million in legal fees in favor of SDCC, arguing that SLCC’s legal team attempted to jam up the trial process and timeline with its tactics. After all of this, SLCC changed its name to FanX, a whole bunch of other conventions proactively changed their own names, and FanX promised to appeal everything.

        But it was an open question if SLCC/FanX would survive long enough for the appeal to take place. A $4 million dollar payout to SDCC, according to SLCC, would simply have crippled it and put it out of business altogether. This was the argument made to the appeals court, in which SLCC/FanX asked for a stay on the payments pending the appeal process. Fortunately, the court agreed to delay the attorney’s fees payments.

    • Copyrights
      • Streaming Exclusives Will Drive Users Back To Piracy And The Industry Is Largely Oblivious

        As you probably have noticed, there’s a growing tide of streaming video services popping up to feed users who want a cheaper, more flexible alternative to traditional cable. By and large this has been a very good thing. It’s finally driving some competition for bumbling apathetic giants like Comcast, forcing them to at least make a feeble effort to improve customer service. It also reflects a belated admission by the broadcast industry that you need to compete with piracy (instead of say, suing the entire planet and hoping it goes away) by offering users access to cheaper, flexible viewing options.

        But the gold rush into streaming has come with a few downsides. Studies have suggested that every broadcaster on the planet will likely have their own streaming service by 2022. In a bid to drive more subscribers to their service, said broadcasters are increasingly developing their own content, or striking their own content exclusivity deals, and then locking that content in an exclusivity silo. For example, if you want to watch Star Trek: Discovery, you need to shell out $6 a month for CBS All Access. Can’t miss House of Cards? You’ll need Netflix. Bosch? Amazon Prime. The Handmaid’s Tale? Hulu.

        Again, on its face this impulse makes perfect sense: you want the kind of content that drives users to your platform. And at first it wasn’t all that noticeable, because there were only a handful of services. Even if you subscribed to four of them, you still probably were saving money over your traditional cable bill.

        The problem is, as more and more companies jump into the streaming market, users are being forced to subscribe to an ocean of discordant services to get access for the content they’re looking for. As users are forced to pony up more and more cash for more and more services, it’s going to start defeating the purpose of ditching over-priced, traditional cable. But instead of going back to cable, back in March we noted how users are just as likely to consider piracy.

      • CJEU rules that family life does not trump copyright protection

        The owner of an internet connection used for copyright infringement through file-sharing cannot escape liability by naming a family member who may have used the connection, the CJEU holds

      • Bell and Rogers Ask Government to Simplify Site Blocking and Criminalize Streaming

        Earlier this month, Canadian telco regulator CRTC denied a controversial site blocking proposal put forward by the FairPlay coalition. This came as a major disappointment to Bell and Rogers, two of the main proponents of the plan, who are now trying to tackle various piracy issues through a revision of the Copyright Act.

      • Accused Pirate Can’t Escape Liability By Pointing at a Family Member Without Detail

        The Court of Justice of the European Union has ruled that the right to a private family life doesn’t shield accused file-sharers form potential liability. This means that an accused pirate can’t hide behind other family members who may have committed the infringements, without providing more detail. Doing so would harm the fundamental rights of copyright holders.

Ingve Björn Stjerna Has Just Warned That If Team UPC and the European Patent Office Rigged the Proceedings of the German Constitutional Court, Consequences Would be Significant

Friday 19th of October 2018 08:54:50 AM

Summary: The EPO is back to mentioning the Unified Patent Court and it keeps making it abundantly clear that it is only working for the litigation ‘industry’ rather than for science and technology (or “innovation” as they like to euphemise it)

EUROPE’S patent system is under attack. It’s under attack from lawyers, who try to hijack the system, taking it away from scientists and technologists (the same thing, incidentally, has been happening at the USPTO, partly due to Trump's awkward appointment this year). Underhanded tactics have been used by a cabal of lawyers to basically undermine the very purpose of patent systems. All they want is lots and lots of lawsuits; for that (litigation galore) they need lots and lots of low-quality — even invalid — patents to be granted and circulated, e.g. among patent trolls.

“There are pressures to grant even software patents in Europe, irrespective of the EPC (the founding document).”It has already become incredibly hard to be a potent patent examiner at the EPO. There are pressures to grant even software patents in Europe, irrespective of the EPC (the founding document).

Regarding “Inventiveness of the cocktail,” a new IP Kat comment said last night (the comments are as usual better than the posts): “According to an English translation of the German description: “Surprisingly, it has been found that this cocktail obtained in this way has a very rounded, mild fruity taste that meets the taste of many”. The EPO Examiner did not raise an inventive step objection, or ask for evidence of the technical effect.”

Blaming the examiners… as if EPO examiners still have time to properly examine patent applications under their corrupt management. They don’t have quality; they just have targets (quantified not in terms of quality). The EPO is basically ‘fast-tracking’ justice and putting it under the control of people who mock and attack justice. People like Battistelli and António Campinos, whose financial past offers room for speculations about whether they belong behind bars.

Last night the EPO again promoted software patents, this time in its Web site rather than its Twitter account (warning: epo.org link). For the first time in a while they’re promoting “computer-implemented inventions” (software patents) and UPC. To quote one paragraph:

EPO staff gave presentations on the Unitary Patent and Unified Patent Court, Patent Cooperation Treaty Strategy, projects being undertaken by the IP5 (the forum of the five largest intellectual property offices), substantive patent law harmonisation, standard essential patents, Early Certainty and computer-implemented inventions (CII) in view of developments relating to Internet of Things and artificial intelligence. The US members updated Office staff on current developments in US patent legislation and litigation.

Instead of meeting with scientists they meet a bunch of US lawyers. The EPO is a rogue institution that digs its own grave. It keeps showing who it really works for and it’s not scientists.

IAM and a partner law firm have meanwhile paid to repost a celebratory post about EPO pushing fake patents on software under the guise of “AI”. They must be excited by the prospect of all those abstract patents that are null and void (yet are still being granted by the EPO).

The best these people can hope for now is someone corrupt like Battistelli taking over the UPC and overriding all of Europe’s patent courts. Can that happen? Well, never underestimate what criminals from the EPO (with a proven history of serious crime) can accomplish. Not even the Alexandre Benalla scandal can hold them accountable, so what can?

Is UPC dead? “Maybe, maybe not (so quickly),” one reader told us this morning, taking note of the latest ‘paper’ (PDF) from Dr. Ingve Björn Stjerna. Published in English and German, the introduction says:

This article tries to provide answers to some of the questions raised in relation to the constitutional complaint against the ratification of the Agreement on a Unified Patent Court in Germany.

Never underestimate team UPC’s ability to totally corrupt the political system (basically buying outcomes in Germany).

According to the last couple of paragraphs from the author, Germany might be face a true crisis if Team UPC corrupted the courts like it did the German political system. To quote:

After all, is the outcome of the proceedings already know in certain circles, even before the BVerfG has announce its decision? If this were the case, the significance of the ensuing state political implications could hardly be overestimated. Or are all these just once more astonishing “coincidences”, as they have already been repeatedly observe in the context of the European patent reform?

You be the judge.

If they ever get their way, they hope that Battistelli will be the (chief) judge.

Links 18/10/2018: New Ubuntu and Postgres

Thursday 18th of October 2018 06:27:16 PM

Contents GNU/Linux
  • Desktop
    • New Details On System76′s Open-Source Hardware Plans Come To Light

      Longtime Ubuntu/Linux PC vendor System76 has been teasing their efforts around an “open-source computer” and other open-source hardware efforts now that they are in the home stretch of setting up their own US-based manufacturing facility. Some new details on their initial aspirations are now out there.

      The “open-source computer” speculations have fueled speculation quite wide ranging from some thinking system76 is working on RISC-V or ARM designs to others thinking they may be doing a Coreboot effort for Intel x86 CPUs… Harris Kenny of system76 shed some light on their open-source hardware journey a few days back on Twitter. System76 founder Carl Richell also chimed in with some additional details.

  • Kernel Space
    • Linux 4.18.15
    • Linux 4.14.77
    • Linux 4.9.134
    • What’s a CPU to do when it has nothing to do?

      It would be reasonable to expect doing nothing to be an easy, simple task for a kernel, but it isn’t. At Kernel Recipes 2018, Rafael Wysocki discussed what CPUs do when they don’t have anything to do, how the kernel handles this, problems inherent in the current strategy, and how his recent rework of the kernel’s idle loop has improved power consumption on systems that aren’t doing anything.

      The idle loop, one of the kernel subsystems that Wysocki maintains, controls what a CPU does when it has no processes to run. Precise to a fault, Wysocki defined his terms: for the purposes of this discussion, a CPU is an entity that can take instructions from memory and execute them at the same time as any other entities in the same system are doing likewise. On a simple, single-core single-processor system, that core is the CPU. If the processor has multiple cores, each of those cores is a CPU. If each of those cores exposes multiple interfaces for simultaneous instruction execution, which Intel calls “hyperthreading”, then each of those threads is a CPU.

    • New AT_ flags for restricting pathname lookup

      System calls like openat() have access to the entire filesystem — or, at least, that part of the filesystem that exists in the current mount namespace and which the caller has the permission to access. There are times, though, when it is desirable to reduce that access, usually for reasons of security; that has proved to be especially true in many container use cases. A new patch set from Aleksa Sarai has revived an old idea: provide a set of AT_ flags that can be used to control the scope of a given pathname lookup operation.

      There have been previous attempts at restricting pathname lookup, but none of them have been merged thus far. David Drysdale posted an O_BENEATH option to openat() in 2014 that would require the eventual target to be underneath the starting directory (as provided to openat()) in the filesystem hierarchy. More recently, Al Viro suggested AT_NO_JUMPS as a way of preventing lookups from venturing outside of the current directory hierarchy or the starting directory’s mount point. Both ideas have attracted interest, but neither has yet been pushed long or hard enough to make it into the mainline.

    • Some numbers from the 4.19 development cycle

      The release of 4.19-rc6 on September 30 is an indication that the 4.19 development cycle is heading toward its conclusion. Naturally, that means it’s time to have a look at where the contributions for this cycle came from. The upheavals currently playing out in the kernel community do not show at this level, but there are some new faces to be seen in the top contributors this time around.

      As of this writing, 13,657 non-merge changesets have found their way into the mainline for 4.19.

    • The modernization of PCIe hotplug in Linux

      PCI Express hotplug has been supported in Linux for fourteen years. The code, which is aging, is currently undergoing a transformation to fit the needs of contemporary applications such as hot-swappable flash drives in data centers and power-manageable Thunderbolt controllers in laptops. Time for a roundup.

      The initial PCI specification from 1992 had no provisions for the addition or removal of cards at runtime. In the late 1990s and early 2000s, various proprietary hotplug controllers, as well as the vendor-neutral standard hotplug controller, were conceived and became supported by Linux through drivers living in drivers/pci/hotplug. PCI Express (PCIe), instead, supported hotplug from the get-go in 2002, but its embodiments have changed over time. Originally intended to hot-swap PCIe cards in servers or ExpressCards in laptops, today it is commonly used in data centers (where NVMe flash drives need to be swapped at runtime) and by Thunderbolt (which tunnels PCIe through a hotpluggable chain of converged I/O switches, together with other protocols such as DisplayPort).

    • PCI Peer-To-Peer Memory Support Queued Ahead Of Linux 4.20~5.0

      With the upcoming Linux 4.20 kernel cycle (that given past comments by Linus Torvalds might be renamed to Linux 5.0), a new PCI feature queued ahead of the upcoming merge window is peer-to-peer memory support.

      This peer-to-peer (P2P) PCI memory support has been in the works for a while now. What this functionality is fundamentally about is supporting PCI (Express) devices that have memory mapped within their BAR space (Base Address Register) for peer-to-peer transactions. The new kernel code provides the necessary interface so other kernel subsystems can find/allocate portions of this memory as for peer-to-peer memory via P2P DMA. Peer-to-peer memory can help reduce pressure on the system RAM as memory is exchanged directly between PCIe devices.

    • Graphics Stack
      • Coreboot’s Flashrom Working On Radeon GPU Flashing Support

        Former RadeonHD driver developer Luc Verhaegen is back at the AMD Radeon GPU reverse-engineering game. He’s now pursuing Radeon firmware flashing with the Coreboot Flashrom utility.

      • Mesa VCN JPEG Decode Patches Posted For AMD Raven Ridge

        With the imminent Linux 4.19 kernel release there is VCN JPEG decode support within the AMDGPU DRM driver for use with Raven Ridge APUs. The accompanying user-space patches for the Radeon Gallium3D code have now been posted for making this functionality work on the Linux desktop with these Zen+Vega APUs.

        Now that the kernel-side bits for accelerated JPEG decoding using the “Video Core Next” block are in place, the Mesa/Gallium3D patches were posted today for getting this functionality enabled and working for Raven Ridge. VCN as a reminder is the new unified video encode/decode block with Raven that succeeds the UVD video decoding and VCE video encoding blocks on the GPU.

      • Open-Source Qualcomm Graphics Support Continues Flourishing With Freedreno

        When it comes to open-source ARM graphics drivers, the Raspberry Pi / VC4 effort and Freedreno continue to be the two best examples of fully open-source graphics driver coverage including 3D support. Freedreno has been attracting contributions from Qualcomm / CodeAurora in what started out as solely a community reverse-engineered effort and with the latest-generation Adreno 600 series hardware the open-source support is in great shape.

      • Advances in Mesa continuous integration

        Continuous integration (CI) has become increasingly prevalent in open-source projects over the last few years. Intel has been active in building CI systems for graphics, both for the kernel side and for the Mesa-based user-space side of the equation. Mark Janes and Clayton Craft gave a presentation on Intel’s Mesa CI system at the 2018 X.Org Developers Conference (XDC), which was held in A Coruña, Spain in late September. The Mesa CI system is one of the earliest successful CI initiatives in open source that he knows of, Janes said. It is a core component of Mesa development, especially at Intel.

        Like many companies, Intel is a large organization with an “old school development model”. He likened it to a Roman army, where there are legions that are made up of smaller groups, each of which has procedures for all of its activities; tents are set up and arranged the same way each time. When Intel first encountered Mesa development, it was something of a shock. There were no architects in the group, but the Mesa developers were simply running right through the Intel army.

      • A status update for virgl

        At the 2018 X.Org Developers Conference, Elie Tournier gave an update on the state of the Virgil (or virgl) virtual 3D GPU for QEMU. He looked at the project’s history along with what has happened with it over the last year or so. As is usual in a status update talk, he finished with some thoughts about future plans for virgl. For the last year, Tournier has been working on virgl for Collabora.

        Virgil began as a Dave Airlie side project four or five years ago. Tournier recommended a YouTube video of a 2014 linux.conf.au talk that Airlie gave as a good starting point. It is meant to be a way for guests running in a virtual machine (VM) to access the host GPU using OpenGL and other APIs. It is based on Gallium3D, because Airlie was familiar with that architecture, Tournier said. It has reached the stage where it is ready for use in products. A company is currently building a project using it; in addition, QEMU is using virgl to allow Windows guests to access the GPU. Overall, virgl is in pretty good shape, he said.

  • Applications
  • Desktop Environments/WMs
    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt
      • KDE neon 16.04 EOL on Monday

        Upgrades to 18.04 are working well but maintaining twice as many builds as normal is taking its toll on our time and team of guinea pig packagers. Neon on 16.04 (xenial) base will reach End of Life on Monday. Please update to 18.04 base to continue receiving updates.

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK
      • A pango update

        Pango development has been slow in the last few years, while most of the work on the text rendering stack has moved to harfbuzz. But recently, Behdad and I got together for a pango work day, and made some plans, which we want to share. The underlying goal of these changes is to ensure that GTK+ and GNOME continue to have a competitive text rendering stack, and to avoid pango becoming a roadblock for this.

      • GNOME Developers Are Looking At Sprucing Up Pango

        GNOME developers want to make sure they have a competitive text rendering stack with other platforms and as such are looking to make some modernization improvements to Pango.

        Pango as a refresher is the text layout library used by GTK+ as well as other applications and works in hand with the HarfBuzz shaping engine for the display/placement of text.

      • Stylish Gtk Themes Makes Your Linux Desktop Look Stylish

        There are plenty of nice themes available for Gnome desktop and many of them are in active development. Stylish theme pack is one of the great looking pack around since 2014 and constantly evolving. It offers stylish clean and flat design themes for Gtk-3 and Gtk-2, including Gnome shell themes. Stylish theme pack is based Materia theme and support almost every desktop environment such as Gnome, Cinnamon, Mate, Xfce, Mate, Budgie, Panteon, etc.
        We are offering Stylish themes via our PPA for Ubuntu/Linux Mint. If you are using distribution other than Ubuntu/Linux Mint then download this pack directly from its page and install it in this location “~/.themes” or “/usr/share/themes”. Since Stylish theme pack is in active development that means if you encounter any kind of bug or issue with it then report it to get fixed in the next update.

      • Delft: Another Great Icon Pack In Town Forked From Faenza Icons

        In past, you may have used Faenza icon theme or you still have it set on your desktop. Delft icons are revived version of Faenza and forked from Faenza icon theme, maybe it is not right to say ‘revived’ because it looks little different from Faenza theme and at the same time it stays close to the original Faenza icons, it is released under license GNU General Public License V3. The theme was named after a dutch city, which is known for its history, its beauty, and Faenza in Italy. The author who is maintaining Delft icons saw that Faenza icons haven’t been updated from some years and thought to carry this project. There are some icons adopted from the Obsidian icon theme.
        Delft icon pack offer many variants (Delft, Delft-Amber, Delft-Aqua, Delft-Blue, Delft-Dark, Delft-Gray, Delft-Green, Delft-Mint, Delft-Purple, Delft-Red, Delft-Teal) including light and dark versions for light/dark themes, you can choose appropriate one according to your desktop theme. These icons are compatible with most of the Linux desktop environments such as Gnome, Unity, Cinnamon, Mate, Lxde, Xfce and others. Many application icons available in this icons pack and if you find any missing icon or want to include something in this icon pack or face any kind of bug then report it to creator.

      • Give Your Desktop A Sweet Outlook With Sweet Themes Give Your Desktop A Sweet Outlook With Sweet Themes

        It is feels bit difficult to describe this theme we are going to introduce here today. Sweet theme pack looks and feel very different on the desktop but at the same time make the Linux desktop elegant and eye catching. Maybe these are not perfect looking themes available but it lineup in the perfect theme queue. You may say, I don’t like it in screenshots, let me tell you that you should install it on your system and if you don’t like then you already have option to remove it. So there is no harm to try a new thing, maybe this is next best theme pack for your Linux desktop.

  • Distributions
    • Reviews
      • 2nd New MakuluLinux Release Offers Flash and Substance

        The MakuluLinux Flash distro is splashy and fast with a spiffy new look and new features.

        MakuluLinux developer Jacque Montague Raymer on Thursday announced the second of this year’s three major releases in the Series 15 distro family. The Flash edition follows last month’s LinDoz edition release. The much-awaited innovative Core edition will debut between the end of November and mid-December.

        MakuluLinux is a relatively new Linux OS. Its positive reputation has been developing since 2015. The three-year growth spurt involved a variety of desktop environments.

        Its small developer team has delivered a surprisingly efficient and productive desktop distribution in a relatively short time period. It is unusual to see a startup rise so quickly to offer an innovative and highly competitive computing platform.

        Series 15 is not an update of last year’s editions. This latest release introduces some radical changes that were under development for the last two years. The Series 15 releases of LinDoz and Flash include a complete rip-and-replace rebuild on top of an in-house developed computing base. LinDoz and Flash have been reworked completely from the ground up.

      • A Bright Spotlight on elementary OS 5.0

        It’s really bright. elementary OS 5.0 is the best release so far by mainly it’s AppCenter uniqueness and richest of desktop features ever among the prior releases. The thing I love the most is the fact that elementary OS developers contribute greatly to our community which we didn’t see anything like that before: they created a new software distribution platform similar to what we previously saw on Apple macOS, except it’s for free/libre open source software, by allowing app developers to get paid directly by the users (with the so-called “pay-what-you-want” system). elementary OS is popular, as you may see on Distrowatch, so we can expect bright future for the health of its apps market (and hope more developers getting attracted to join).

        The desktop is really usable, the shortcut keys are visible (by pressing Super key) and customizable, its enhanced with parental control as well as Night Light, the apps are plenty and still growing in numbers, plus it’s compatible with Ubuntu 18.04 so you can install thousands of packages if you wish right now.

        I can run it really smooth on an Intel 967 CPU with 4GB RAM (Intel Graphics). I hope it will be smoother on your systems. I wish this quick review of mine helps you a lot to get attracted to elementary OS and soon be a happy user.

    • New Releases
      • Elementary OS Juno Released! Here’s What’s New

        Elementary OS team delivers again with a shiny and powerful OS.

        After a two year long development and testing elementary team announced the release of elementary OS version 5.0 code named “Juno”. This release brings some of the iconic changes as well as it has bumped the version number from previous release which was 0.4 “Loki”.

      • elementary OS 5.0 Juno Review: A New Polished Experience

        elementary OS is a Linux distribution which aims to be a modern, fast & beautiful replacement for Windows and macOS. It also tries to mimic a lot of design decisions from the latter, it’s very similar to macOS in terms of UI and usability, and is used by millions of beauty lovers around the world.

        Yesterday, the elementary OS team released version 5.0 codenamed “Juno” of its operating system. Bringing tons of updates and improvements to both its core software and shape.

        Here’s our review for the latest release and what you can expect from it. You may grab the release from the elementary’s official website while reading our review, TL;DR: It’s worth it.

      • 30 Things to do After Fresh Installation of Elementary 5 Juno

        Here comes Elementary OS 5 Juno which is built with ultimate care for better user experience. This time it comes with Linux 4.15 (based on Ubuntu 18.04 LTS) which brings improved hardware support and performance. Read the official release announcement and know about the added features in details.

        If you already downloaded & installed elementary Juno then I will show things to do after installing elementary OS Juno for better user experience.

    • OpenSUSE/SUSE
      • KDE and openSUSE: Plasma 5.14, Qt 5.12 and more

        Plasma 5.14 was released with many improvements.

        It was planned to have it in a released in a Tumbleweed snapshot on the same day, but openQA issues prevented snapshot 20181008 from getting published. Instead, Tumbleweed users got it with snapshot 20181009 on Thursday morning. Currently, 5.14.1 is staged to be accepted in Tumbleweed.

        To get it on Leap 15 (and even 42.3 with restrictions), you can add https://en.opensuse.org/SDB:KDE_repositories#KDE_Frameworks_5.2C_Plasma_5_and_Applications. Note that those are not part of the official distribution and therefore not as well supported.

      • OpenSUSE Begins Preparing For Leap 15.1 (15 Service Pack 1)

        As part of some brief openSUSE news today, some early details concerning Leap 15 Service Pack 1 (Leap 15.1) were shared.

        The main user-facing changes of the forthcoming openSUSE Leap 15.1 is that with this first service pack release Qt WebKit is being removed from the default installation. On the desktop side it will be shipping KDE Plasma 5.12 LTS in its latest point release at the time. It will also be shipping with the very latest KDE Applications and KDE Frameworks packages.

    • Red Hat Family
    • Debian Family
      • Derivatives
        • Canonical/Ubuntu
          • Ubuntu 18.10: What’s New? [Video]

            But how do you follow up the brilliant Bionic Beaver?

            It’s far from being an easy task and, alas, the collected changes you’ll find accrued in the ‘Cosmic Cuttlefish’ are of the “down-to-earth” variety rather than the “out-of-this-world” ones you might’ve been hoping for.

            But don’t take our word for it; find out yourself by watching our Ubuntu 18.10 video (and it’s best watched with headphones because, ahem, I can level sound properly).

            In 3 minute and 18 seconds we whizz you through everything that’s new, neat and noticeable in Ubuntu 18.10.

          • Ubuntu 18.10 Set For Release Today With Some Nice Improvements

            It’s Cosmic Cuttlefish day! Assuming no last minute delays, Ubuntu 18.10 and its downstream flavors will be out today with their newest six-month non-LTS releases to be supported through July of 2019.

            With Ubuntu 18.10 on the desktop the most user-facing change is the revised default theme for the GNOME Shell experience. The theme formerly known as “Communitheme” and now known as “Yaru” turned out fairly nice for Ubuntu 18.10 as the default appearance. While on the topic of GNOME Shell, Ubuntu 18.10 is defaulting to the X.Org Server based session like Ubuntu 18.04 LTS and they are not yet back to riding the Wayland session — but it can be easily still toggled at log-in time for those wishing to help vet the GNOME Wayland stack.

          • How to Upgrade to Ubuntu 18.10 from Ubuntu 18.04 LTS

            But although it’s easy to upgrade to Ubuntu 18.10 from Ubuntu 18.04 LTS there are a number of reasons why you might not want to.

            As a Long Term Support (LTS) release 18.04 boasts 5 years of ongoing support, critical fixes and updates. Regular releases, including the latest one? Yeah, not so much; updates for 9 months.

            But if, for you, the benefits of upgrading, like fresher software, updated packages, and a newer Linux kernel, are too tempting to resist, here’s what you need to do.

          • Updating firmware on Dell XPS 13 With Pop!_OS 18.04
          • Ubuntu Plans To Make Updating Graphics Drivers Much Easier For Gamers

            The state of installing newer graphics drivers for AMD and Nvidia cards on Ubuntu is a mixed bag. While it’s undeniably faster than Windows, it’s not intuitive for new users who need bleeding edge beta drivers to play the newest games. Or for those of us who want to enjoy Windows games on Linux courtesy of Steam Play. Fortunately, Canonical plans to make this process much easier in the next version of Ubuntu.

          • Ubuntu 18.10 (Cosmic Cuttlefish) Is Now Available to Download

            After six months in development, Ubuntu 18.10 (Cosmic Cuttlefish) is now finally here, and you can download the ISO images right now for all official flavors, including Kubuntu, Xubuntu, Lubuntu, Ubuntu MATE, Ubuntu Budgie, Ubuntu Kylin, and Ubuntu Studio, for 64-bit and 32-bit architectures (only Lubuntu and Xubuntu).

            The Ubuntu Server edition is also out and it’s supported on more hardware architectures than Ubuntu Desktop, including 64-bit (amd64), ARM64 (AArch64), IBM System z (s390x), PPC64el (Power PC 64-bit Little Endian), and Raspberry Pi 2/ARMhf. A live Ubuntu Server flavor is also available only for 64-bit computers.

          • Ubuntu Linux 18.10 arrives
  • Devices/Embedded
Free Software/Open Source
  • Financial Services Embracing Open Source to Gain Edge in Innovation

    By now, it’s pretty much a cliché to say that all companies should be technology companies. But in the case of banks and financial services these days, it’s true.

    Many finance companies are early adopters of new technologies such as blockchain, AI and Kubernetes as well as leaders in open source development. And as they seek an edge to retain customers and win new ones, they are not afraid to try new things.

    At the Linux Foundation’s inaugural Open FinTech Forum here last week, attendees got a chance to discuss the latest state of open source adoption and the extent that open source strategies are changing financial service businesses.

    The fact is, banks really do have tech businesses inside of them. Capital One’s DevExchange boasts several products that it has developed for internal use and also made available as open source, including the Cloud Custodian DevOps engine and the Hydrograph big data ETL tool.

  • Why the Open Source Enterprise Search Trend Will Only Accelerate

    Enterprise search has been going through a dramatic shift as of late. We’ve watched as some of the leaders in search, those platforms usually found in the upper right quadrant on Gartner reports, have fallen off through acquisition or from simply not keeping up with the market.

    But behind the scenes an even bigger shift is taking place: from proprietary kernels to core technologies based on open source projects.

    Some, like Lucidworks, have always been based on the open source Apache Solr project. Others, like Coveo, have joined the open source movement by offering the choice of using its traditional proprietary kernel or licensing the Coveo user experience built on top of the Elastic kernel.

  • Bentley Systems Releases Open-Source Library: iModel.js
  • Bentley Releases iModel.js Open-Source Library

    Bentley Systems, Inc., the leading global provider of comprehensive software solutions for advancing the design, construction, and operations of infrastructure, today announced the initial release of its iModel.js library, an open-source initiative to improve the accessibility, for both visualization and analytical visibility, of infrastructure digital twins. iModel.js can be used by developers and IT professionals to quickly and easily create immersive applications that connect their infrastructure digital twins with the rest of their digital world. iModel.js is the cornerstone of Bentley’s just-announced iTwin Services that combine iModelHub, reality modeling, and web-enabling software technologies within a Connected Data Environment (CDE) for infrastructure engineering.

  • Software Heritage Foundation Update

    I first wrote about the Software Heritage Foundation two years ago. It is four months since their Archive officially went live. Now Roberto di Cosmo and his collaborators have an article, and a video, entitled Building the Universal Archive of Source Code in Communications of the ACM describing their three challenges, of collection, preservation and sharing, and setting out their current status: [...]

  • 4 open source alternatives to Microsoft Access

    When small businesses, community organizations, and similar-sized groups realize they need software to manage their data, they think first of Microsoft Access. That may be the right choice if you’re already paying for a Microsoft Office subscription or don’t care that it’s proprietary. But it’s far from your only option—whether you prefer to use open source alternatives from a philosophical standpoint or you don’t have the big budget for a Microsoft Office subscription—there are several open source database applications that are worthy alternatives to proprietary software like Microsoft Access or Apple FileMaker.

    If that sounds like you, here are four open source database tools for your consideration.

  • The case for open source classifiers in AI algorithms

    Dr. Carol Reiley’s achievements are too long to list. She co-founded Drive.ai, a self-driving car startup that raised $50 million in its second round of funding last year. Forbes magazine named her one of “20 Incredible Women in AI,” and she built intelligent robot systems as a PhD candidate at Johns Hopkins University.

    But when she built a voice-activated human-robot interface, her own creation couldn’t recognize her voice.

    Dr. Reiley used Microsoft’s speech recognition API to build her interface. But since the API was built mostly by young men, it hadn’t been exposed to enough voice variations. After some failed attempts to lower her voice so the system would recognize her, Dr. Reiley enlisted a male graduate to lead demonstrations of her work.

  • How an affordable open source eye tracker is helping thousands communicate

    In 2015, while sat in a meeting at his full-time job, Julius Sweetland posted to Reddit about a project he had quietly been working on for years, that would help people with motor neurone disease communicate using just their eyes and an application. He forgot about the post for a couple of hours before friends messaged him to say he’d made the front page.

    Now three years on Optikey, the open source eye-tracking communication tool, is being used by thousands of people, largely through word of mouth recommendations. Sweetland was speaking at GitHub Universe at the Palace of Fine Art in San Francisco, and he took some time to speak with Techworld about the project.

    [...]

    Originally, Sweetland’s exposure to open source had largely been through the consumption of tools such as the GIMP.

    “I knew of the concept, I didn’t really know how the nuts and bolts worked, I was always a little blase about how do you make money from something like that… but flipping it around again I’m still coming from the point of view that there’s no money in my product, so I still don’t understand how people make money in open source…

  • Web Browsers
    • Mozilla
      • Searchfox in Phabricator extension

        Being able to search code while reviewing can be really useful, but unfortunately it’s not so straightforward. Many people resort to loading the patch under review in an IDE in order to be able to search code.

        Being able to do it directly in the browser can make the workflow much smoother.

        To support this use case, I’ve built an extension for Phabricator that integrates Searchfox code search functionality directly in Phabricator differentials. This way reviewers can benefit from hovers, go-to-definition and find-references without having to resort to the IDE or without having to manually navigate to the code on searchfox.org or dxr.mozilla.org. Moreover, compared to searchfox.org or dxr.mozilla.org, the extension highlights both the pre-patch view and the post-patch view, so reviewers can see how pre-existing variables/functions are being used after the patch.

      • Searching Made Faster, the Latest Firefox Exploration

        earch is one of the most common activities that people do whenever they go online. At Mozilla, we are always looking for ways to streamline that experience to make it fast, easy and convenient for our users.

        Our Firefox browser provides a variety of options for people to search the things and information they seek when they’re on the web, so we want to make search even easier. For instance, there are two search boxes on every home or new tab page – one is what we call the “awesome bar” also known as the URL bar, and the other is the search box in the home/new tab pages.

        In the awesome bar, users can use a shortcut to their queries by simply entering a predefined keyword (like @google) and typing the actual search term they are seeking, whether it’s the nearest movie theater location and times for the latest blockbuster movie or finding a sushi restaurant close to their current location. These Search Keywords have been part of the browser experience for years, yet it’s not commonly known. Here’s a hint to enable it: Go to “Preferences,” then “Search” and check “ One-Click Search Engines”.

      • Dweb: Decentralised, Real-Time, Interoperable Communication with Matrix

        Matrix is an open standard for interoperable, decentralised, real-time communication over the Internet. It provides a standard HTTP API for publishing and subscribing to real-time data in specified channels, which means it can be used to power Instant Messaging, VoIP/WebRTC signalling, Internet of Things communication, and anything else that can be expressed as JSON and needs to be transmitted in real-time over HTTP. The most common use of Matrix today is as an Instant Messaging platform.

      • This Week in Rust 256
  • SaaS/Back End
    • Fission open source serverless framework gets updated

      Platform9 just released updates to Fission.io – the open source, Kubernetes-native Serverless framework, with new features enabling developers and IT Operations to improve the quality and reliability of serverless applications.

      Other new features include Automated Canary Deployments to reduce the risk of failed releases, Prometheus integration for automated monitoring and alerts, and fine-grained cost and performance optimization capabilities. With this latest release, Fission offers the most complete set of features to allow Dev and Ops teams to safely adopt Serverless and benefit from the speed, cost savings and scalability of this cloud native development pattern on any environment – either in the public cloud or on-premises.

  • Databases
    • PostgreSQL 11 released

      The PostgreSQL Global Development Group today announced the release of
      PostgreSQL 11, the latest version of the world’s most advanced open
      source database.

      PostgreSQL 11 provides users with improvements to overall performance of
      the database system, with specific enhancements associated with very
      large databases and high computational workloads. Further, PostgreSQL 11
      makes significant improvements to the table partitioning system, adds
      support for stored procedures capable of transaction management,
      improves query parallelism and adds parallelized data definition
      capabilities, and introduces just-in-time (JIT) compilation for
      accelerating the execution of expressions in queries.

    • PostgreSQL 11.0 Released With Better Robustness, Performance Improvements
  • Pseudo-Open Source (Openwashing)
  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC
    • GCC 9 Feature Development Is Ending Next Month

      There is just three weeks left for GNU toolchain developers to finish landing new feature material in GCC 9.0 ahead of next year’s GCC 9.1 stable release.

      Richard Biener of SUSE announced today that GCC’s “stage 1″ development will shift to “stage 3″ on 11 November. This marks the point at which open feature development is over and will then focus on bug-fixing… No new features are generally allowed in during this stage. On 6 January 2019 is when they intend to begin their final period of only working on regression fixes and documentation updates.

    • GCC’s Test Suite To Begin Testing C++17 By Default

      GCC’s test suite will soon begin testing the C++17 standard as part of its C++98/11/14 standard tests by default… This doesn’t affect the default C++ standard used by the GCC G++ compiler at this point, but at least will help eliminate any lingering C++17 bugs as well as helping to stop regressions in the future.

      With the GCC test suite’s test cases having cleared through the last of the C++17 issues, Marek Polacek of Red Hat sent out the patch today to begin testing C++17 by default when running its test suite. C++17 is tested in addition to the earlier C++98, C++11, and C++14 standards.

    • GCC 9 Compiler Adds -std=c2x And -std=gnu2x For Future C Language Update

      With GCC 9 feature development ending in a few weeks, it’s now a mad dash by developers to land their last minute additions into this annual open-source compiler update — including a look ahead for what is coming down the pipe in the compiler space.

      Joseph Myers of CodeSourcery landed on Wednesday the initial C language standard compiler switches for the upcoming C2X standard. This update that for now is just dubbed C2X is currently in a draft standard with feature development still happening for this next C programming language update. In preparing for that, to GCC 9 he has added support for the -std=c2x and -std=gnu2x (for the GNU C dialect of C2X) switches so developers can specify using this newer version of C.

  • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration
    • Open Hardware/Modding
      • Open-source hardware could defend against the next generation of hacking

        Imagine you had a secret document you had to store away from prying eyes. And you have a choice: You could buy a safe made by a company that kept the workings of its locks secret. Or you could buy a safe whose manufacturer openly published the designs, letting everyone – including thieves – see how they’re made. Which would you choose?

        It might seem unexpected, but as an engineering professor, I’d pick the second option. The first one might be safe – but I simply don’t know. I’d have to take the company’s word for it. Maybe it’s a reputable company with a longstanding pedigree of quality, but I’d be betting my information’s security on the company upholding its traditions. By contrast, I can judge the security of the second safe for myself – or ask an expert to evaluate it. I’ll be better informed about how secure my safe is, and therefore more confident that my document is safe inside it. That’s the value of open-source technology.

  • Programming/Development
    • Announcing: Thorntail 2.2 General Availability

      Today Red Hat is making Thorntail 2.2 generally available to Red Hat customers through a subscription to Red Hat OpenShift Application Runtimes (RHOAR). RHOAR provides application developers with a variety of application runtimes running on the OpenShift Container Platform.

      Thorntail is the new name for WildFly Swarm, and bundles everything you need to develop and run Thorntail and MicroProfile applications by packaging server runtime libraries with your application code and running it with java -jar. It speeds up the transition from monoliths to microservices and takes advantage of your existing industry standard Java EE technology experience.

    • The history and future of OpenJDK

      In the second half of 2017, a number of major changes were announced in the Java ecosystem that have the potential to force a reassessment of Java roadmaps and vendor selection for enterprise Java users. Some of the changes are happening in the upstream OpenJDK (Open Java Development Kit) community, and some of the changes are happening in proprietary commercial distributions of Java. Red Hat anticipates that many of our customers will need to review their current Java plans and we want to take this opportunity to review the history of our relationship with the OpenJDK community, discuss the changes in the Java ecosystem, and describe Red Hat’s Java offerings. Subsequent posts will cover the ecosystem changes and Red Hat’s plans going forward.

    • 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.

    • wlc 0.9

      wlc 0.9, a command line utility for Weblate, has been just released. There are several new commands like translation file upload or repository cleanup. The codebase has been also migrated to use requests instead of urllib.

    • Code Review–an Excerpt from VM Brasseur’s New Book Forge Your Future with Open Source

      Even new programmers can provide a lot of value with their code reviews. You don’t have to be a Rockstar Ninja 10x Unicorn Diva programmer with years and years of experience to have valuable insights. In fact, you don’t even have to be a programmer at all. You just have to be knowledgable enough to spot patterns. While you won’t be able to do a complete review without programming knowledge, you may still spot things that could use some work or clarification.

      If you’re not a Rockstar Ninja 10x Unicorn Diva programmer, not only is your code review feedback still valuable, but you can also learn a great deal in the process: Code layout, programming style, domain knowledge, best practices, neat little programming tricks you’d not have seen otherwise, and sometimes antipatterns (or “how not to do things”). So don’t let the fact that you’re unfamiliar with the code, the project, or the language hold you back from reviewing code contributions. Give it a go and see what there is to learn and discover.

Leftovers
  • Why Google wants to sell its gadgets in Goop stores [iophk: "Google buys into pseudo science"]

    We really don’t have to look that closely. It’s an example of mutual corporate back-scratching that incorporates two of consumerism’s favorite buzzwords: “wellness” and “luxury.”

  • Think global: How to overcome cultural communication challenges

    What does it mean to be a high- or low-context culture? In the United States, children learn to communicate explicitly: “Say what you mean; mean what you say” is a common principle of communication. On the other hand, Japanese children learn to communicate effectively by mastering the ability to “read the air.” That means they are able to read between the lines and pick up on social cues when communicating.

    Most Asian cultures follow the high-context style of communication. Not surprisingly, the United States, a young country composed of immigrants, follows a low-context culture: Since the people who immigrated to the United States came from different cultural backgrounds, they had no choice but to communicate explicitly and directly.

  • Science
    • What do we actually know about the risks of screen time and digital media?

      Recently, PNAS took a look at what we actually know about these risks, publishing a series of papers focused on “Digital Media and Developing Minds.” Collectively, this work explores the current state of research on this broad question lingering in the back of many minds: what impact do screens have on our brains, especially the developing noggins of everyone from children to young adults?

    • Tesla patents new type of cable easier to manipulate by robots in move to automate production

      Tesla has made some missteps in its attempt to drastically automate vehicle production, but it has now launched new initiatives to get it right for its next-generation ‘Alien Dreadnought’ factory.

      [...]

      Tesla’s solution consists of having a “structural element” inside the cable with the goal being “manipulated into place by a robotic arm as part of an automated process while providing reliable data connections to its desired location.”

  • Health/Nutrition
    • GOP Senator Pushed VA to Use Unproven “Brainwave Frequency” Treatment

      Sen. Dean Heller, a Nevada Republican, pushed doctors at the Veterans Affairs medical center in Reno to adopt an experimental mental health treatment marketed by a company with ties to his office.

      On a Friday night last December in his Reno office, Heller, a member of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee, introduced VA officials to representatives from a health care startup called CereCare. The company markets an “off-label” method of treating addiction and post-traumatic stress, using electromagnetic brain stimulation.

      The meeting came about because two of CereCare’s partners had a business connection to Heller’s senior aide in Reno. “We’ve known her for years,” one of the partners, Nino Pedrini, said of the aide, Glenna Smith. Pedrini and his partner have a separate joint venture with Smith’s former employer. “This was Glenna reaching out to us, knowing what we were doing, saying we think there’s a fit here where you folks can help our veterans,” Pedrini said.

    • Research Group Identifies Over-Patenting Of Pharmaceuticals In India, Calls For Patent Reform

      The tricontinental research group “accessibsa” has found that while the Indian Patent Office rejects 40 percent of pharmaceutical patent applications, it should be rejecting 90 percent of applications to comply with Indian patent law, according to the results of its recent study of Indian patent data.

    • U.S. appeals court upholds ruling that canceled Teva Copaxone patents

      A U.S. appeals court on Friday upheld a ruling that canceled patents owned by Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd on its blockbuster multiple sclerosis drug Copaxone.

  • Security
    • DMARC Email Security Adoption Soars as US Government Deadline Hits
    • ShieldX Integrates Intention Engine Into Elastic Security Platform

      ShieldX announced its new Elastic Security Platform on Oct. 17 providing organizations with Docker container based data center security, that uses advanced machine learning to determine intent.

      At the core of the Elastic Security Platform is a technology that ShieldX calls the Adaptive Intention Engine that automatically determines the right policy and approach for security controls across multicloud environments. The intent-based security model can provide network microsegmentation, firewall and malware detection capabilities, among other features.

    • Spectre V2 “Lite” App-To-App Protection Mode Readying For The Linux Kernel

      We are approaching one year since the Spectre and Meltdown CPU vulnerabilities shocked the industry, and while no new CPU speculative execution vulnerabilities have been made public recently, the Linux kernel developers continue improving upon the Spectre/Meltdown software-based mitigation techniques for helping to offset incurred performance costs with current generation hardware.

    • Another Massive Credit Reporting Database Breached By Criminals

      Lots of companies like gathering lots of data. Many do this without explicit permission from the people they’re collecting from. They sell this info to others. They collect and collect and collect and it’s not until there’s a problem that many people seem to feel the collection itself is a problem.

      The Equifax breach is a perfectly illustrative case. Lenders wanted a service that could rate borrowers quickly to determine their trustworthiness. This required a massive amount of data to be collected from numerous creditors, along with personally-identifiable information to authenticate the gathered data. The database built by Equifax was a prime target for exploitation. That this information would ultimately end up in the hands of criminals was pretty much inevitable.

      But Equifax isn’t the only credit reporting service collecting massive amounts of data but failing to properly secure it. TransUnion not only collects a lot of the same information, but it sells access to cops, lenders, private investigators, landlords… whoever might want to do one-stop shopping for personal and financial data. This includes criminals, because of course it does.

    • Security updates for Wednesday
    • LibSSH Flaw Allows Hackers to Take Over Servers Without Password
    • This iPhone Passcode Bypass Allows Hackers To View And Share Your Images

      If you look at the video, the iOS vulnerability can be seen as part of running accessibility features on the device. He used the iPhone VoiceOver feature and the Siri assistant to access the Photo Library, open photos and send them to another device chosen by the attacker.

    • Windows PCs Vulnerable To RID Hijacking; Grants Full System Access To Attackers
    • RELPOLINES: A New Spectre V2 Approach To Lower Overhead Of Retpolines

      Nadav Amit of VMware has announced their (currently experimental) work on “dynamic indirect call promotion” or what they have dubbed “RELPOLINES” — not to be confused with the traditional Retpolines for “return trampolines” as one of the Spectre Variant Two software-based mitigation approaches. Relpolines is designed to have lower overhead than Retpolines.

    • Security updates for Thursday
  • Defence/Aggression
    • UAE Contracted An American Hit Squad to Kill Political Figures And More in Yemen
    • A Middle East Monarchy Hired American Ex-Soldiers To Kill Its Political Enemies. This Could Be The Future Of War.

      Cradling an AK-47 and sucking a lollipop, the former American Green Beret bumped along in the back of an armored SUV as it wound through the darkened streets of Aden. Two other commandos on the mission were former Navy SEALs. As elite US special operations fighters, they had years of specialized training by the US military to protect America. But now they were working for a different master: a private US company that had been hired by the United Arab Emirates, a tiny desert monarchy on the Persian Gulf.

    • Dramatic drone video shows US mercenaries act as ‘murder squads’ to assassinate high-profile politicians and clerics in the Middle East

      Video captured by military drones shows armed American mercenaries take part in an operation to assassinate a prominent cleric in Yemen, a Buzzfeed News investigation has revealed.

      Two former Navy SEALs were among the fighters working for Spear Operations Group, a private US company that was hired by the United Arab Emirates to carry out an assassination in war-torn Yemen on December 29, 2015.

    • Terror at the Moria refugee camp

      Anyone who doesn’t toe the line or is in the way can expect physical violence or even death threats. The perpetrators often cite Sharia law as their justification. More and more graffiti glorify IS. The Greek authorities take no action.

    • ISIS sympathisers dominate Greek refugee camp: “If you are not Muslim I can rape you” [Ed: More unsavoury sites take it even further]

      The video is titled: “Terror in Camp Moria”. DW reporters attached spy cameras on former inmates of the camp, and the images they got described a living hell.

      Former inmates described Moria as the worst camp of Europe. More than 8000 people are living under miserable conditions inside this camp, which was initially designed to host about 2500 people. And they give a SHOCKING statement in front of the camera.

    • ‘Islamic State Recruiter’ Allegedly Runs Free School In Sweden [iophk: “Free in that context means Private”

      While no formal charges have been brought against him, El Nadi (53) is considered one of the reasons for the rise of Islamist extremism in Gothenburg, which produced about a third of Sweden’s roughly 300 jihadists (or “foreign fighters,” to use the official parlance), Doku reported.

    • The multiculturalism umbrella: Made in Islam wool [Ed: Right wing media in Israel is inflaming the far right in Europe (also below)]

      Why do US citizens miss the wool being pulled over their eyes? Because Americans are conditioned to be tolerant and compassionate, to embrace multiculturalism and respect each other’s beliefs, ideals and values. Islam, however, does not reciprocate.

    • When is church vandalism just high jinks? When Muslims are involved

      Swedes, especially Christians, remain on edge as their new Muslim neighbours who refuse to assimilate continue to get a pass on hateful behaviour, and the Swedish media continues to cover it up.

    • It is game over for Europe

      Charlotte d’Ornellas, a journalist for the French weekly magazine Valeurs Actuelles, has just explained it in different words: “When you go to Château-Rouge, there is a cultural Africanization, when we go to certain areas, where all the women are veiled, there is an Islamization of the landscape”.

    • Iranian pseudo anti-imperialism

      Anti-imperialism comes in various shapes and forms in Iran, ranging from hard-nosed to soft-bellied. However, with the rise of reactionary forces, the history of anti-imperialism in post-revolutionary Iran has been the triumph of the latter. The 1979 Revolution in which the religious forces seized the power and tried to redirect the anti-imperialist discourse, brought the long-term Iran-America honeymoon to an end. It led to a misconception among western intellectuals that the Iranian government is at the forefront of resistance against American imperialism. There were also some people among the secular Iranian intellectuals who endorsed this anti-imperialism – most importantly Tudeh Party (Party of the People) that was the admirer of imperialist discourse of the Islamic Republic, until the regime imprisoned and executed its main leaders in 1983.

      The hostage crisis in 1979 marked a turning point in Iran-United States relations. It derailed the leftist anti-imperialist discourse and turned it into shallow rhetoric against the so-called Great Satan with the unifying slogan ‘Down with America’.

      Thirty years later, when Mahmoud Ahmadi-Nejad took power, even some western intellectuals fell for a misleading vision that considered him a leftist fighting against the dominant global system.

  • Transparency/Investigative Reporting
    • Ecuador Rejects Reports on Assange but It Admits New Protocol

      Ecuador on Wednesday rejected reports about pressure from UN officials on the government, regarding the situation of Julian Assange, but it accepted to implement a new Special Protocol to maintain his asylum status.

      ‘The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Human Mobility of Ecuador rejects with indignation such stories and underlines that the president of the Republic did not even discuss the issue of Mr. Assange’s asylum with the United Nations high commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), Filippo Grandi, or with the United Nations special rapporteur for Freedom of Expression, David Kaye,’ an official statement said.

      According to the press release, the fake reports aim to maintain that UN officials pressured Ecuador to make the decision to issue a Special Protocol with regulations on the minimum conditions of the asylum seeker’s stay at the Ecuadorean Embassy in London.

    • Ecuador warns Assange to obey rules or lose asylum

      Ecuador officials have told WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, who has been in asylum in the country’s British embassy for six years, to obey house rules or lose asylum.

    • Leading US House Democrat demands that Ecuador’s president “hand over” Julian Assange

      The US is increasing its pressure on Ecuador to evict WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange from its London embassy, where he took political asylum in June 2012. He would then be arrested immediately by British police and subjected to extradition proceedings to face trumped-up espionage charges in the US that could see him jailed for life or even executed.

      On Wednesday, the top-ranking Democrat on the House Foreign Relations Committee sent a threatening letter to Ecuadorian President Lenín Moreno insisting that he “hand over” Assange to the “proper authorities” as a precondition for improving relations with the United States.

      In a bipartisan letter, Eliot Engel, a New York Democrat, and former Foreign Relations Committee Chairwoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, a Florida Republican, declared: “We are very concerned with Julian Assange’s continued presence at your embassy in London and his receipt of Ecuadorian citizenship last year.”

    • In Illinois Governor’s Race, Rauner and Pritzker See a Clear Need to Promise Transparency

      Since he first entered politics as a candidate five years ago, Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner has pledged his commitment to open government.

      As he put it during a debate last week with challenger J.B. Pritzker before the Chicago Sun-Times editorial board: “Transparency is great.”

      As he fights for re-election, making the declaration is a great move on Rauner’s part — and an easy one. Voters are demanding more and more information about what their governments are doing with their tax money, and every candidate at every level is wise to speak in favor of sharing it with them.

      But what Rauner means when he vows to be transparent isn’t so clear, given his administration’s habit of fighting against the release of information. The governor’s office won’t even disclose how often it blocks the release of records sought by the public.

    • TMID Editorial: The state broadcaster and Julian Assange

      It is a small detail, but it is very much symptomatic of the rather large problem of media imbalance that we are facing, and which we have been facing for years, in Malta.

      Yesterday, a group of the world’s leading proponents of freedom of speech, expression and media gave a press conference in which they delivered an extremely grave assessment, from an outsider’s point of view, on how those rights are, or, rather, are not, espoused in Malta.

      [...]

      That PBS is little more than a tool in the hands of the government of the day has been a reality for a long time but this government has pushed that envelope to all new abysmal levels. This in itself is a most damning indictment and is symptomatic of a far deeper rot that has taken hold of this country.

      Funnily enough, that completely out of place question came just after the organisations’ assessment on the state of the country’s media pluralism, which was not complimentary at all. The journalist was politely reminded that it was not the time or place for such questions, and was invited to speak about Assange after the press conference about Malta.

      The national broadcaster, after all, is meant to be the standard bearer when it comes to objectivity, fairness and neutrality, but so many times, more often than not, it very selectively chooses to completely ignore the news of the day when it is not complimentary to the government.+

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife/Nature
    • Company that sucks CO2 from air announces a new methane-producing plant

      It’s been a banner week for hydrocarbons made from waste gases. Earlier this week, a company announced that it had delivered 4,000 gallons of jet fuel made from steel-plant waste gases to Virgin Atlantic. Now, Swiss company Climeworks has announced the opening of a new plant in Italy that will collect carbon dioxide (CO2) from ambient air and pair it with renewably made hydrogen (H2) to make methane fuel that would add little or no CO2 to the atmosphere.

    • Report: Action Needed Now in Climate Crisis
    • We Need Massive Change to Avoid

      To correct course and avoid 1.5 C, or 2.7 degrees Fahrenheit, we’ll need to cut emissions by half before 2030, and go carbon-neutral by 2050, the report says. That gives us three decades to transform our energy production into something unrecognizable, with renewable energy galore combined with carbon capture techniques like the bolstering of forests, and maybe even sucking the stuff out of the atmosphere and trapping it underground. We’ll have to change our behavior as individuals, too. Meaning, we’re looking at unprecedented change, what is essentially the restructuring of civilization.

    • Why the next three months are crucial for the future of the planet

      This time, the scientists will attempt to answer whether and how the world can meet the “aspiration” set in the Paris agreement of 2015 to hold warming to no more than 1.5C, beyond which many low-lying states and islands are likely to face dangerous sea level rises.

      When the scientists deliver their verdict, the onus will pass to politicians to translate their advice into concrete action. Already in recent weeks, global initiatives have begun aimed at doing so: the Global Climate Action Summit in San Francisco last month spurred protests, and dozens of local governments and multinational companies to make pledges; the second One Planet Summit saw advances in climate finance; while at the UN General Assembly, secretary general António Guterres urged world leaders to step up, calling climate change “the defining issue of our time”.

    • We Can Still Do A Lot To Slow Climate Change. But Will We?
    • Why Half a Degree of Global Warming Is a Big Deal

      The report also highlights the possibility that even modest amounts of warming may push both human societies and natural ecosystems past certain thresholds where sudden and calamitous changes can occur.

    • ‘a guardian’ film shows how drone technology can save animal lives in africa

      director andy fackrell has launched a guardian, a 90-second film that highlights that surprising role of drone technology in the war against poaching. produced for los angeles–based charity over and above africa, the all-drone shot movie presents a series of swooping aerial shots of animal groups, each titled with the respective collective nouns – a pride of lions, a wobble of ostrich, an implausibility of gnu, etc. – before tracking ‘a gang’ of poachers on the drone’s night vision camera.

  • Finance
    • We have the answers to Brexit’s causes

      The seaside town had one of the highest leave votes in the country. Image: Teresa Dapp/DPA/PA ImagesWe should have seen the referendum result coming. For millions the status quo isn’t working. Life is unstable, unfulfilling and unfair. And given the option to send a message to Westminster – or, as Russell Brand would have it, to press a bright red button that said “F off establishment” – it’s not surprising that so many people took it.

      Too many people spend too many hours working in insecure jobs to pay rocketing rents. The cost of living continues to rise, while average earnings remain almost £800 a year lower than they were ten years ago. As a nation, we are £19 billion in debt on our everyday bills.

    • Brexit is showing the urban middle classes the real Britain

      Back in July, I rang the Met. Britain’s elections watchdog had just referred another major Leave campaign to the cops, for suspected crimes committed during the knife-edge Brexit campaign. This was the second referral in three months (the first related to Arron Banks’s controversial pro-Brexit outfit, Leave.EU). I assumed the Metropolitan Police had done nothing about either case. After all, if Britain’s police forces took the crimes of rich white people seriously, London wouldn’t be the world centre for money laundering. But it’s always important to check your assumptions.

      When the police finally got back to me, they confirmed my suspicions. They hadn’t opened an investigation into any of the cases referred to them by the Electoral Commission. I mentioned this in a broader story about regulators (noting “you can be fined more for touting football tickets than you can for subverting Britain’s democratic process”). And then I popped a reminder in my diary for a fairly random date a few months thence, saying “check whether Met still haven’t opened investigation”.

      Last week, we published the result of that diary entry. No, the Met still hadn’t opened an official investigation, citing “political sensitivities”. When I tweeted the piece, it was carried across the internet on a wave of FBPE fury. Some said they were angry, but not surprised. But the reaction from most seemed to be shock. Shock that politics might interfere with policing; astonishment that London’s police force might not be policing the laws of our democracy as vigorously as they do many other rules of our society.

    • Brexit is taking our food policy in the wrong direction

      The decision around the food that we eat is among the most intensely private that we can make. Children express extremely strong preferences from the earliest ages – and these can last a lifetime. The choice about food has a direct, causal impact on our health. There is growing awareness for example that refined sugar is addictive, and is contributing to an obesity crisis.

      We assume that the food that we buy is not poisonous, even if extravagances are ultimately unhealthy. We expect responsible companies to sell products that are not extremely bad for our children.

      But we have a problem. There can be a conflict of interests between the producer of foods and the customer. The producer needs to sell as much food at as low a price as possible. If the ill effects are immediate and significant then customers will notice and most will stop buying the food. But if the effects are less direct and take longer, then this is not so clear.

      We therefore want governments to ban hidden ingredients that will cause cancer, or otherwise make us sick. We want to go about our lives with an assurance that our food will not kill us. So who influences government decisions: is it us, or the corporations?

      Take the use of growth hormones in the raising of beef for slaughter. The synthesised hormone causes the animal to grow more meat, resulting in higher profits for the company concerned – and more protein going into the human diet. The European Union has considered evidence that some hormones can cause cancer and has therefore banned their use as growth promoters, and also banned meat from other countries where hormones have been used for that reason.

    • What a Forgotten Shipwreck in the Irish Sea Can Tell Us About Brexit

      You’d think that the 100th anniversary of the sinking of a Royal Mail ship – torpedoed in the Irish Sea in 1918 with the loss of 569 lives – would cause a few ripples in Brexit Britain. Most of the 771 passengers aboard were British soldiers heading back to the Western Front to fight for France. One of the engineers came from Birkenhead, a ship’s trimmer from Holyhead. There were Americans, Canadians and New Zealanders among the dead. So revolted was US president Woodrow Wilson by the sinking – for the RMS Leinster was also carrying more than a hundred civilians – that he delayed replying to a German request for an armistice.

      The Leinster, the regular daily ferry to Holyhead, was sunk 100 years and a day ago, the greatest ever disaster in the Irish Sea, and scarcely a month before the end of the First World War. But yesterday in Britain, only a mention in the Welsh press, a local BBC report and a minute’s silence at the Holyhead cenotaph commemorated the event. Obversely, the nation which suffered the greatest loss of life aboard the Leinster hardly bothered to remember its sinking until recent years. And the reason is simple. For most of the British soldiers aboard were Irishmen and the ship was a Dublin vessel and the 22 postal sorters killed were Irish and it sank less than an hour after it left the Irish port of Kingstown which is now called Dun Laoghaire.

      And this has produced an extraordinary irony of both history and politics. An independent Ireland which deliberately erased its First World War history after its brutal war for freedom from Britain – then a civil war within its 26 county borders – has only in recent decades felt able to acknowledge its people’s sacrifice in British uniform on the Somme, Flanders and at Gallipoli. And aboard the Leinster. And so it was that yesterday morning, led by the Irish naval service patrol ship Orla, a small flotilla of boats set sail from Dun Laoghaire – once a great royal navy port – so that descendants of the dead could scatter wreaths only a hundred feet above the wreckage of the Leinster. The Irish Times devoted a whole page to the disaster. Irish national television carried a prime time documentary on the Leinster.

      [...]

      For weeks, bodies washed up in Ireland, Scotland and Wales; one of them a young, unidentified woman came ashore near Holyhead. So did rumours: that soldiers threatened the passengers in the panic to abandon ship, that firearms were used – Sinn Fein would use this in its forthcoming election campaign. A few days later, the German U-boat U-123 was lost with all hands when it struck a mine in the North Sea.

      The local council at Dun Laoghaire has just produced a fine volume on the sinking of the Leinster in which the lord mayor of Dublin, Mícheál Mac Donncha, refers to the 1914-18 war as “futile” and adds – truthfully – that “our country was brought into it without … a democratic, independent government which was denied to us by the British government.” The mayor of Holyhead, Ann Kennedy, regards the Leinster tragedy – again, correctly – as “part of the history of Holyhead and Ireland” and speaks of “the friendships that have developed between Wales and Ireland”. She does not mention Britain. The British ambassador in Dublin, Robin Barnett, concludes rather prissily that the commemorations allow us “to remember our forbears in a respectful and inclusive (sic) manner”.

      But the German ambassador to Ireland, Matthias Hopfner, gets it spot on. Peace, he says, is inextricably linked to the European Union. “Europe is not only an answer to the past. It is an answer to the future.” In other words, this is not about “inclusivity” – how I am beginning to hate that smug word – but about history. Wales, alas, voted for Brexit – although there are signs it would not do so again if given a second referendum.When Ireland “did a Brexit” by leaving the British empire after 1921 – and the Commonwealth in 1949 – it buried some of its recent history. Through pride or prejudice? But its EU membership surely encouraged Ireland to see itself as a free and confident European country which could re-examine that history. Hence yesterday’s commemorations above the 1918 wreck of the Leinster. In those days, of course, British soldiers on leave from the Western Front in France could be given a free ticket to London or Dublin. No hard borders then.

    • Why a people’s vote on Brexit is democratic

      Britain is not used to referendums. Which is why the view that a People’s Vote on the final Brexit deal – which thousands will be taking to the streets of London to demand this weekend – is somehow ‘undemocratic’ has gained traction.

      But it is actually quite usual to have a second vote on really big decisions that will have longterm impacts. For example, Ireland had two referendums on the Nice Treaty, first in June 2001, then in October 2002, before ratifying the Nice Treaty. Denmark also had two referendums on Maastricht, in June 1992 then May 1993.

  • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics
    • Why Do the Media Keep Parroting Trump’s Falsehoods?

      The circle of lies begins with Trump, continues through Fox News, and ends up in the mainstream media.

    • Here Are the Trump Projects Where Ivanka and Her Dad Misled Buyers

      A pattern of deception ran through the Trumps’ real estate deals since the mid-2000s. Not only were the Trumps more than the mere licensors they claimed to be, extracting millions in fees from nearly every facet of these projects, but they often misled buyers and investors on key information — such as the level of sales and the Trumps’ role and investment in the deals. (Read our full investigation.) The Trump Organization did not respond to our questions, and the White House didn’t have a comment.

    • Facebook’s Purge Of Political Pages Fuels Delusion Of Insurgent Threats To Democracy

      Facebook’s purge of more than 500 pages and 250 accounts ahead of midterm elections in the United States represents a massive trend to police social media activity in ways that put freedom of expression at risk.

      This trend effectively discourage users from engaging in radical politics and may be viewed as part of a counterinsurgency effort by a powerful social media company to assure a passive majority of Americans that they are properly guarding a widely used platform from alleged threats to democracy.

      On October 11, Nathaniel Gleicher, Facebook’s head of cybersecurity policy, and Oscar Rodriguez, the company’s product manager, published a press release about the purge.

      “We’re removing 559 pages and 251 accounts that have consistently broken our rules against spam and coordinated inauthentic behavior,” Gleicher and Rodriguez stated. “Many were using fake accounts or multiple accounts with the same names and posted massive amounts of content across a network of groups and pages to drive traffic to their websites.”

      According to Gleicher and Rodriguez, these techniques were used by groups and pages to make content “appear more popular” than it truly was on Facebook.

      Both suggested some of the pages and accounts were “ad farms” that misled users into believing they were “forums for legitimate political debate.”

    • Facebook Accused of Hiding Inflated Ad Metrics Back in 2015

      Facebook Inc. knew in early 2015 that it misled advertisers about the average time users spent viewing online video clips — and then lied about it, according to a lawsuit.

      The owner of the world’s largest social network acknowledged in September 2016 that it had inflated the metric for marketers, and said it fixed its calculations. Crowd Siren, the online marketing agency that sued over the misrepresentations, now claims that Facebook knew as early as 2015 that it was over-reporting the figures.

      Crowd Siren added fraud claims and a request for punitive damages against the company in an amended complaint filed Tuesday in federal court in Oakland, California.

    • Facebook Sued By Advertisers For Hiding Ad-Metrics Error For More Than A Year

      After going through 80,000 pages of internal Facebook records that were obtained as a part of court proceedings, they found that that the company recognized the miscalculations in the year 2015.

    • Facebook Meddles in the 2018 Midterm Elections

      On October 11, Facebook announced the removal of 559 pages and 251 accounts from its service, accusing the account holders of “spam and coordinated inauthentic behavior.”

      The purged users stand accused of posting “massive amounts of content … to drive traffic to their websites” with suspicious “timing ahead of US midterm elections.”

      Facebook admits to “legitimate reasons” for such behavior — “it’s the bedrock of fundraising campaigns and grassroots organizations.” Not to mention the operations of CNN, MSNBC, Fox News and a bunch of other users/pages which weren’t purged.

      Facebook also admits that it has previously “enforced this policy against many Pages, Groups and accounts created to stir up political debate …”

    • Twitter Publicly Shames Russian Troll Accounts: Publishes 10 Million Tweets

      Since the 2016 US election meddling went under the nose of Twitter, the company has become very diligent towards catching any troll accounts. Now, the company is publicizing troll tweets in order for people to understand the situation in a better way.

      The social media website has published datasets comprising 10 million tweets which includes text, images, GIF, videos from Russia and Iran affiliated accounts.

      The data set is made up of 3,841 accounts from the Russia-based Internet Research Agency, 770 accounts potentially from Iran. It also includes 2 million GIFs, videos and recorded Periscope live streams. Some data even dates back to 2009.

    • Twitter publishes tweet archive of Russian and Iranian state-run [astroturfer] farms

      The Russian set is 1.24GB of tweets, with nearly 300GB of media. The Iranian one is 168MB, with 65GB of media.

    • Enabling further research of information operations on Twitter

      These large datasets comprise 3,841 accounts affiliated with the IRA, originating in Russia, and 770 other accounts, potentially originating in Iran. They include more than 10 million Tweets and more than 2 million images, GIFs, videos, and Periscope broadcasts, including the earliest on-Twitter activity from accounts connected with these campaigns, dating back to 2009.

    • Why Coverage of Indigenous Issues Is So Lousy

      Long ago and far, far away, in a Canadian prairie city and a prior life as a local and regional reporter for TV news, I wondered why we covered Indigenous issues so badly. I presented this question to reporters, editors and producers in print and broadcast newsrooms, including my own, throughout the city. This in a city where roughly one-quarter of the local population was Indigenous, living literally on the other side of the tracks.

      Not a single person I interviewed argued against my premise. Everyone agreed our coverage was “lousy,” and got worse throughout the province, the further away from the city you were. Most gave me the usual excuses: We didn’t have enough time or people to do better, given tight deadlines; didn’t have adequate resources or people, given tighter budgets; and we worried about accusations of racism if we did a story about the problems, and accusations about racism if we painted over the problems.

      One producer in TV news said something different. She didn’t agree with what she called easy excuses. She said it was about money—advertising. Poor people in poor neighborhoods didn’t buy advertising, as a rule. Indigenous peoples, often the poorest of the poor, not only didn’t buy ads, but didn’t pay attention to ads or buy newspapers, a major source of stories and ideas for local broadcasting newsrooms. To her, Indigenous peoples got the coverage they paid for: no money, no coverage.

      Put simply—we weren’t considered part of the audience or readership.

  • Censorship/Free Speech
    • Facebook accused of censorship after hundreds of US political pages purged

      And those who have built their livelihoods around the power of Facebook to drive traffic to their websites are wondering what to do next.

    • UK gov ploughs on with plans for mandatory porn age checks

      The regulation will be left for Parliament to poke to see if it becomes enshrined into law, and if it does, the regulation would force any website with porn content to force age checks before access is granted to a site.

      But things get murky to how the law could be applied. While sites that directly provide porn and charge for it or serve adverts to visitors will need to have age checks in place. But apps and services that have less than a third of their content rammed with porn won’t have to have the checks in place.

    • Why Trump’s Stormy Daniels Tweet Wasn’t Defamation

      Defamation is hard to prove in the United States — and that’s a good thing for political debate.

      On Monday, a federal judge dismissed a lawsuit brought by Stephanie Clifford, aka Stormy Daniels, against Donald Trump alleging that he defamed her on Twitter. While Trump’s bullying and name-calling, particularly targeting women, are abhorrent and vulgar, it’s not surprising that Clifford’s suit was unsuccessful. Defamation is relatively hard to prove in the United States — and that’s a good thing.

      The case was about Clifford’s assertion that in 2011, as she was considering going public with information about an affair she had with Trump, she was confronted by a stranger in a parking lot who told her to “leave Trump alone.” In April 2018, Clifford released a sketch of the person who she says confronted her. Trump responded by tweeting that the alleged encounter didn’t happen and the whole story was a “con job.” Clifford then sued Trump for defamation, among other legal actions she has taken against him and his coterie.

      To prove defamation, a plaintiff must essentially show three things: that the published statement in question was provably “false” and not just an opinion, that the defendant knew it was false and published it with the intent to cause harm, and that the plaintiff suffered demonstrable injury from the published falsehood.

    • PEN America Sues Donald Trump For 1st Amendment Violations In Attacking The Press

      PEN America, the well known human rights group that focuses on protecting freedom of expression for writers has now sued President Trump for a bunch of different attacks on the First Amendment — using Trump’s repeated tweets and threats as the key evidence in making these claims. The complaint lists out a bunch of different statements and actions by the President that PEN America argues all violate the 1st Amendment. There are four separate actions by the President described in the lawsuit, and let’s go through them one by one.

      First up is the President issuing an executive order about raising postal rates in retaliation against Jeff Bezos and Amazon, because Bezos (not Amazon) owns the Washington Post, and the Washington Post has been doing pretty strong reporting in revealing all sorts of Presidential misdeeds.

    • The Good Censor Document Shows Google Struggling With The Challenges Of Content Moderation

      Last week, the extreme Trump-supporting media sites went positively ballistic when Breitbart released a leaked internal presentation entitled “The Good Censor.” According to Breitbart and the other Trumpkin media, this is somehow “proof” that Google is censoring conservatives, giving up on free speech and planning to silence people like themselves. To put this into a context those sites would understand, this is “fake news.” I finally had the time to read through the 85 page presentation and, uh, it paints a wholly different picture than the one that Breitbart and such sites have been painting.

      Instead, it pretty clearly lays out why content moderation is impossible to do well at scale and that it will always result in decisions that upset a lot of people (no matter what they do). It also discusses how “bad actors” have effectively weaponized open platforms to silence people.

      It does not, as some sites have suggested, show a Google eager to censor anyone. Indeed, the report repeatedly highlights the difficult choices it faces, and repeatedly highlights how any move towards increased censorship can and will be abused by governments to stamp out dissent.

    • Chinese Professor Argues Google Should Launch A Censored Search Engine In China

      There’s been quite a lot of reasonable uproar over the leaked plans for Google to re-enter the Chinese market with a censored, locked down search engine. There’s a lot of history there, but giving in to the authoritarian government’s desire to block access to all sorts of content would seem to go very much against Google’s stated focus on helping provide access to information around the globe. There have been numerous recent reports of Google employees protesting this decision internally, and even some employees have quit Google to put an exclamation point on just how against this idea they are. Recently an opinion piece in the South China Morning Post from a Chinese professor started making the rounds, arguing that “even a censored Google search engine would be better” for people in China than its current main search engine, Baidu.

      [...]

      That’s really throwing in the towel entirely, though. The entire argument is based on the idea that Google hoped that leaving China would prompt some change in its unhealthy censorship policies. But, if true, that would entrust to Google a lot more power than I think even the biggest Google booster thinks the company has. It didn’t pull out of China to try to force China’s hand. It pulled out of China because it believed China’s censorship and surveillance campaigns were simply wrong. That hasn’t changed, and that’s why Google shouldn’t give in here. It’s not about some big calculus about what’s better for whom. It’s about not censoring content at the behest of an authoritarian censorship-happy government.

    • The Benton’s ‘Dangerous Art and Censorship’ forum brings much needed discourse on art’s impact in our world

      On Friday, The William Benton Museum of Art held a forum on the topic of dangerous art and censorship, directly tying into the museum’s latest exhibit, “What’s the Alternative? Art and Outrage of the 1960s Underground Press.” The panel showcased Dwayne Booth (also known as Mr. Fish), cartoonist and curator of the aforementioned exhibit, Molly Land, professor of law and associate director of UConn’s Human Rights Institute and Christopher Vials, associate professor of English and director of American studies. The forum was moderated by Brendan Kane, associate professor of history and assistant director of public humanities. The conversation lasted just over an hour and a half.

    • Saudi Arabia Threatens Anyone Spreading ‘Fake News’ Online with 5 Years in Prison, Heavy Fines

      Saudi Arabia is threatening to give 5-year prison terms and heavy fines to anyone caught spreading “fake news” online, a warning to those discussing the suspected murder of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi. The threat, published over the weekend in the Saudi Gazette, echoes one of President Trump’s favorite phrases to demean any journalism that he finds unfavorable to his regime.

      The Saudi Gazette cited Article 6 of the Saudi Arabia’s cybercrimes regulations which makes it against the law to breach “public order, religious values, public morals and privacy.” The law makes no distinction between Saudi citizens and foreign nationals found to be in violation of the draconian rules.

    • Facebook’s purge of left-wing media: A frontal assault on freedom of speech

      On Thursday, Facebook carried out a mass purge of left-wing political pages as part of an ongoing conspiracy by the state and the technology monopolies to censor the internet.

      Over 800 pages and accounts, with a combined following in the tens of millions, were summarily removed. The banned pages include highly popular postings by groups opposing and publicizing incidents of police violence such as Police the Police, Cop Block and Filming Cops, as well as prominent left-wing news pages such as Anti-Media, Reverb Press, Counter Current News and Resistance.

      The removal of these pages is an unconstitutional assault on freedom of speech and expression. Facebook, acting in coordination with the US government, is violating the most fundamental rights of the American population.

    • Ambassador to France criticized over censorship attempt

      Israeli Ambassador to Paris Aliza Bin-Noun, demanded that French television channel France 2 reconsider airing a news report about Palestinians who were wounded by the IDF, calling it “unbalanced” and asserting that it will cause incitement against Jews in the country.

      The French media was outraged at Bin-Noun’s request and protested it via various media channels. It was seen as an Israeli attempt to censor and undermine freedom of speech.

    • Supreme Court To Hear Case That Could Possibly (But Not Really) Impact Social Media Content Moderation

      This week, the Supreme Court agreed to hear the appeal in a case called Manhattan Community Access Corp. v. Halleck, which some are arguing could have a major impact on whether or not social media sites are barred from moderating content because they’re quasi state actors and the 1st Amendment blocks them from moderating content.

      Let’s be clear on this: while something could go completely wacky and sideways (it is 2018, after all) the chances of this ruling directly impacting social media platforms is very, very, very, very, very, very, very small. That does not mean whatever ruling won’t be cited by various plaintiffs to make bizarre arguments — as we’ve seen repeatedly with people misinterpreting the Packingham decision. However, given both the facts of this case, and the way the Supreme Court works, I would be shocked if this ruling has any significant impact at all.

      This case involves a public access channel, Manhattan Neighborhood Network, where two producers — DeeDee Halleck and Jesus Melendez — were apparently fired for making critical comments about the network. They sued, claiming their First Amendment rights were violated, because the city and the network — as a state actor — were punishing them based on the content of their speech. The city has been dismissed from the case as it has basically nothing to do with any of this. The question at issue is whether or not this public access channel is a “traditional public forum,” in which even a private operator can be judged to be a de facto representative of the government and subject to the limits on the state — such as the First Amendments ban on suppression of speech.

  • Privacy/Surveillance
    • Secret Government Report Shows Gaping Holes in Privacy Protections From U.S. Surveillance

      The Trump administration released a report from federal privacy watchdog after the ACLU filed a Freedom of Information Act request.

      On Tuesday, in response to Freedom of Information Act requests, a federal privacy watchdog released an important report about how the U.S. government handles people’s personal information that it sweeps up in its surveillance. Despite requests from Senator Ron Wyden and the European Union, the Trump administration had refused to make the report public — until now. The report addresses government agencies’ implementation of “PPD-28,” President Obama’s 2014 policy directive on government spying and the treatment of “personal information,” which includes communications like emails, chats, and text messages.

      [...]

      This new report is yet more evidence that the future of the central U.S.–EU data-sharing agreement — known as Privacy Shield — is in doubt.

      Privacy Shield allows American tech firms operating in Europe to easily and lawfully transfer data to the United States, and it’s predicated on the idea that the U.S. “adequately” protects Europeans’ communications. The European Commission approved Privacy Shield in part because it believed that Obama’s directive provided meaningful protection. PPD-28 recognized that “all persons have legitimate privacy interests in the handling of their personal information” — and it explicitly extended some very modest privacy protections to non-Americans abroad.

      Although the directive was a step in the right direction, we’ve explained elsewhere why it does not provide adequate protection for EU persons’ data and is too weak to serve as the legal basis for Privacy Shield. This report makes it even clearer that the directive fails to cure the fundamental problems with U.S. surveillance law.

      In short, the U.S. government is exploiting the personal information it gathers using these spying activities more broadly than ever, but the report reveals just how anemic PPD-28’s protections are in practice. It also raises serious questions about whether the directive has been implemented fully and consistently across the intelligence community.

    • ABA Issues Opinion on Lawyers’ Obligations after Electronic Data Breach

      ABA Formal Ethics Opinion 483 (Oct. 17, 2018) is here. Like many ABA opinions, it provides a useful roadmap to the issues and how to respond to them (and, in this opinion, some good proactive advice). The opinion addressed the narrow issue of a data breach which results in disclosure of, or destruction of, client confidences as opposed to “ransomware” attacks and the like, where access is denied but the data is not compromised, or access to data is otherwise inhibited or delayed.

      The first take away is an obligation to “employ reasonable efforts to monitor” for unauthorized access to client confidences, whether at the office, through vendors, or otherwise.

      The second is that the lawyer must act reasonably promptly to stop any breach and mitigate, or rectify, the consequences. In this regard, the opinion suggests creating an “incident response plan with specific plans and procedures” to do so.

      Third, the opinion states that the lawyer must determine what, with reasonable care, was compromised, deleted, or misappropriated. And, again, it suggested these be part of the “incident response plan.”

    • Just As Expected: GDPR Has Made Google Even More Dominant In Europe

      Oh, the EU, will you ever learn? Over the last few years, the EU has been screaming about the awfulness of evil large tech companies in the name of Google, Amazon, Facebook and Apple (sometimes called “GAFA”), though in reality, their biggest concerns are focused almost entirely on Google and Facebook. The EU keeps popping up with ridiculous laws, all of which are designed to hit Google and Facebook. The GDPR was a big one, and the latest is the EU Copyright Directive. And there are more as well. Some of us keep pointing out to the EU that if these laws are designed to go after Google and Facebook, they’re going to miss their target quite a bit, because they’ll mostly serve to lock in those companies as the dominant providers. That’s because they’re big enough to manage the regulatory burden, whereas startups and smaller competitors will not be able to and will suffer.

      The first bit of data is in on the GDPR and of course it shows that the big winner under the GDPR is… Google. The biggest losers? Smaller competitors to Google. A bit surprisingly, Facebook did see its adtech marketshare decline (while Google’s grew), but relative to everyone else, Facebook sill beat out all other competitors.

    • Facebook lied: its in-home “Portal” cameras will collect your data

      Portal will spy on you continuously while you use it and that data will be used to target Facebook ads at you later.

    • It turns out that Facebook could in fact use data collected from its Portal in-home video device to target you with ads

      Facebook announced Portal last week, its take on the in-home, voice-activated speaker to rival competitors from Amazon, Google and Apple.

      The biggest question surrounding the device: Why should anyone trust Facebook enough to put Facebook-powered microphones and video cameras in their living room or kitchen? Given Facebook’s year of privacy and security issues, privacy around the device — including what data Facebook collects and how it’s used — has been an important part of the story surrounding Portal.

    • Turns Out Putting a Facebook Camera in Your House Might Be a Privacy Issue

      Right after getting hacked a few weeks back, Facebook announced the Portal, a smart video calling device for your home that they said would respect your privacy. Turns out they didn’t really mean your privacy. Somebody’s privacy might get respected though.

      The Facebook Portal has a camera and microphone, and is meant to be used to talk to your relatives, watch videos from social media, and listen to music. It’s supposed to be the new communication portal with the rest of the world, using Facebook and Messenger to communicate with friends and family.

    • Ten Legislative Victories You Helped Us Win in California

      Your strong support helped us persuade California’s lawmakers to do the right thing on many important technology bills debated on the chamber floors this year. With your help, EFF won an unprecedented number of victories, supporting good bills and stopping those that would have hurt innovation and digital freedoms.

      Here’s a list of victories you helped us get the legislature to pass and the governor to sign, through your direct participation in our advocacy campaigns and your other contributions to support our work.

    • Atlanta airport launches America’s first “biometric terminal”

      On October 15th Delta Air Lines launched what it called America’s first “biometric terminal”, in Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport. Once the programme is fully implemented, passengers will be able to use facial-recognition technology to check in, pass through security and board flights without having to scan a passport or boarding documents. The technology started to be used at boarding gates on October 15th and will be expanded throughout the airport’s international terminal by December 1st.

    • Public funds support proposal to remove Zuckerberg as Facebook chairman

      “Facebook plays an outsized role in our society and our economy. They have a social and financial responsibility to be transparent – that’s why we’re demanding independence and accountability in the company’s boardroom,” Stringer said in a statement.

    • Major Shareholders Propose To Remove Zuckerberg From Facebook’s Chairman Position

      2018 is certainly one of the worst years for Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg. After successive data breaches leading Zuckerberg to testify in front of Congress, now several shareholders are pushing to dethrone him from his position as Chairman of the board.

      On Wednesday, state treasurers of Rhode Island, Illinois, and Pennsylvania raised signed a proposal issued by Trillium Asset Management in June. The proposal suggests that Mark Zuckerberg should be removed as the Chairman for mishandling several high profile scandals.

    • Are Consumers Worried Enough to Buy a Personal Computer Server?

      Longer term, Privacy Labs wants Helm to be a private digital-identity hub for everything people do online. Instead of Google and Facebook Inc. storing all your information in their data centers and selling ads based on it, consumers would control the data and [I]nternet companies would have to ask for access, according to Chief Executive Officer Giri Sreenivas.

    • Meet Helm, the startup taking on Gmail with a server that runs in your home

      “I think more and more people are learning that what they get for free is not actually free,” Giri Sreenivas, cofounder and CEO of Helm, told Ars. “They’re learning that they give up their data, and companies like Google and companies like Facebook and others are figuring out anything and everything they can do under the sun to make money with that data and the corresponding online behaviors. This rising awareness is driving people to ask questions like ‘How do I own my data? How do I own my online identity?’”

    • Facebook faces GDPR probe as watchdog confirms breach hit three million EU users

      Facebook confirmed earlier this week that one million accounts had no, and 14 million lost what Facebook calls basic contact information – a name and an email address or phone number.

      The remaining 15 million got the worst of it: basic information, plus extra data which may include gender, religion, relationship status, education, work, location, device information and the 15 most recent searches they had done at the time.

    • Facebook hack [sic] affected 3 million in Europe, creating the first big test for privacy regulation there

      Approximately 3 million Europeans were affected by a September Facebook security breach in which users’ personal information was stolen, the Irish Data Protection Commission told CNBC on Tuesday.

    • EU General Court confirms that there is no general presumption of confidentiality in clinical study

      The circumstances in which clinical data concerning authorised medicinal products can be disclosed by the European Medicines Agency (EMA), continues to generate debate. In the recent case of Amicus Therapeutics v European Medicines Agency (EMA) (Case T-33/17), the General Court (Second Chamber) of the European Union has confirmed that there is no general presumption of confidentiality of certain categories of documents submitted in the context of a marketing authorisation application, and in particular clinical study reports.

  • Civil Rights/Policing
    • NY Prosecutors Sue to Stop Misconduct Watchdog

      New York prosecutors sued Governor Andrew Cuomo and others Wednesday to block a new law that made the Empire State the first in the country to put its district attorneys under the scrutiny of an oversight panel.

    • 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.

    • A Confederate Portrait, Racial Bias, and the Death Penalty in Virginia

      A portrait of Robert E. Lee on display in a Virginia court where a Black man faces the death penalty reveals an abhorrent racial injustice.

      In Louisa County, Virginia, a Black man stands trial for his life. When he looks around to see who is presiding over his trial he will see the picture of another man besides the judge staring down at him from above— Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee.

      This isn’t the post-war South of the late 19th century or even the first six decades or so of the 20th century. This is Virginia in 2018. And this is the court where the defendant, Darcel Murphy, is expected to receive justice under the portrait of a man who fought to keep his ancestors enslaved. This week, Murphy’s lawyers filed a motion asking for the trial to be held in a courtroom free of Confederate symbols, memorials, and iconography.

      Although it should not need to be stated, a man whose picture is etched on Stone Mountain, the Mount Rushmore of white supremacy, should not be on the wall in a court of law in America. The fact that the portrait is speaks volumes about how America has historically and continues to minimize its racist legacy.

    • ‘Their Policies Toward Indigenous People and Toward the Land Need to Change’

      The second Monday of October has passed, and listeners may have noticed that there was less “In fourteen-hundred and ninety-two, Columbus sailed the ocean blue” than they might remember from the past. More and more cities, states and colleges have officially changed the day’s name to Indigenous Peoples Day, in acknowledgment that Columbus’s legacy of mass murder, rape, invasion and enslavement is nothing to celebrate.

      Challenging the glorification of someone who did such horrific harm is welcome. But changing the name of the holiday might give some the impression that that harm—which is ongoing—has been addressed. And that wouldn’t be just untrue, but unhelpful.

      Our next guest is among those asking that, even should the whole country go along, we think more deeply about declaring Indigenous Peoples Day a completed intervention.

    • With 19 Days to Midterms, Georgia Is Rejecting Ballots Over Handwriting

      Georgia’s signature-match laws deprive voters of due process. We’re suing.

      Early voting in Georgia for the 2018 general election just kicked off on Monday, but already the state has rejected close to 600 absentee ballots or applications for an absentee ballot.

      One culprit?

      State laws that require election officials to reject all absentee ballots and absentee ballot applications if they believe that signatures within the voter’s paperwork do not match each other.

      The elections’ officials making these determinations do not have any formal education or training to analyze people’s handwriting, and are not given any unifying instructions on what should constitute a mismatch. It’s left entirely up to them, a layperson. Georgia does not notify voters before their ballots are rejected nor does it provide them an opportunity to contest the determination.

      To throw out someone’s ballot — without any prior notice or chance to appeal — is a clear due process violation. That’s why we, with the ACLU of Georgia, are suing Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp and all county registrars on behalf of the Georgia Muslim Voter Project, an organization that will have to divert voter turnout resources into educating the public about the risk of being disenfranchised over handwriting.

    • ‘See Something Say Something’ Sends Philly Counter-Terrorism Unit After A Local Journalist Over A Harmless Facebook Post

      But they were. Philly police insisted on speaking personally to Owens about his post. He met them at the unit’s headquarters the next day. Once there, the officers said stuff about “see something, say something” and proceeded to question Owens about gun ownership, bomb-making ability, and any plans he might have to harm anyone else. After answering these questions, the police told Owen he was “cleared” and free to go. The officers also told him this was standard procedure police follow when criminal activity is reported.

    • Philly Police counterterrorism unit interrogated journalist over Facebook comment

      Ernest Owens, the LGBTQ editor at Philadelphia Magazine, tends to be provocative when writing about racism and homophobia. But he had no idea that a social media comment about racial tensions in Philadelphia’s Gayborhood would get him a call from the Police Department’s counterterrorism unit.

      That’s what happened last December, after someone complained to the police about what he wrote on Facebook. “I was just shocked,” Owens, 27, said two weeks ago. Being questioned by detectives in an interrogation room in South Philadelphia left him shaken, he said, and factored into his decision not to cover the January 2018 Mummers Parade, as he had in the past.

    • Even in Philadelphia, One of the Most Determined Sanctuary Cities, Refuge Is Elusive

      A small, impish grin spread across Jeff Sessions’ face. It was a sun-drenched June afternoon in Scranton, a northeastern Pennsylvania town a few generations removed from its coal-mining heyday, and the U.S. attorney general was ensconced in a window-lined university hall, preaching to cops, prosecutors and police cadets about the importance of President Donald Trump’s war on illegal immigration. Outside, protesters jeered.

      Sanctuary cities, Sessions said, reject the law, reward criminals and put U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers in peril. Then he smiled and began attacking Jim Kenney, Philadelphia’s Democratic mayor.

      Philadelphia had emerged as one of the largest thorns in the Trump administration’s side. It wore its sanctuary reputation like a badge of honor, and its leaders, including Kenney and District Attorney Larry Krasner, continued to find creative ways to outmaneuver ICE’s enforcement efforts. Just a week earlier, Philadelphia won a federal lawsuit that Kenney filed against the Department of Justice. At risk had been a $1.6 million law enforcement grant, and the critical question of whether Philadelphia — and, by implication, cities like New York, Chicago and San Francisco — could limit cooperation with ICE without being penalized by the federal government.

    • AIMPLB to advise women: Settle marital disputes within family, avoid police & courts

      Avoid approaching the police or a court against your husband, try and settle marital disputes within the family under Sharia law, know your rights under Sharia law — this is the advice the All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) is planning to give Muslim women through a series of workshops across the state.

    • Girl killed, mother wounded over marriage dispute
    • Iran: Victim of domestic and sexual violence, arrested as a child, is executed after unfair trial

      “After the murder of her husband, Zeinab Sekaanvand said she was interrogated under torture by male police officers without a lawyer present. During her final trial session, where she was allowed a lawyer for the first time, she retracted her earlier ‘confession’ that she had murdered her husband, saying that she had been coerced to make it. Despite this, the judge refused to order a further investigation and instead sentenced her to death.

    • Despite Pleas, Iran Executes Female Juvenile Offender

      According to religious law, Iran considers girls as young as nine criminally liable and the age for boys is 15, based on a notion of when children reach puberty.

  • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality
    • New York Attorney General Expands Inquiry Into Net Neutrality Comments

      Most strikingly, many comments on net neutrality were falsely submitted under the names of real people, in what amounted to mass acts of virtual identity theft. Some comments used the name of dead people. Ms. Underwood’s investigators have estimated that almost half of all of the comments — more than nine million — used stolen identities.

    • NY’s AG Is Trying To Tie Major ISPs To Those Bogus Net Neutrality Comments

      Last year you might recall that the New York AG’s office began investigating who was behind all of those bogus comments that flooded the FCC’s website during the net neutrality repeal. As we noted then, “somebody” paid a proxy organization to flood the FCC comment period with a myriad of fake comments. Some of those comments hijacked the real identities of real people (like myself). Others utilized a bot to post a myriad of fake support for Ajit Pai using a hacked database of some kind. Some of the most enthusiastic supporters of Ajit Pai’s policies were, interestingly enough, dead.

      When the AG’s office reached out to the FCC for help getting to the bottom of who was behind the fake comments, the FCC completely stonewalled them, rejecting nine requests for data between June and November of last year. The FCC has subsequently stonewalled numerous FOIA requests regarding who used the necessary APIs to submit the fraudulent comments in bulk, resulting in a lawsuit by journalist Jason Prechtel. A court recently ruled in Prechtel’s favor, demanding the FCC release at least some data (in a month or two) that could identify the culprits.

    • Up to 9.5 million net neutrality comments were made with stolen identities

      The New York attorney general’s office is widening an investigation into fraudulent net neutrality comments, saying it estimates that up to 9.5 million comments were submitted using stolen identities.

    • YouTube Is Down Across The World; Company Working On The Fix

      There is no word on what caused the massive outage and for a Google-operated service like this, such a serious downtime for YouTube is quite rare. The pages have begun loading a few minutes back but trying to watch a video still throws up an error message.

      [...]

      But the most interesting one came from Philadelphia police requesting residents not to call 911 to complain about YouTube’s downtime!

    • Pakistan causes YouTube outage for two-thirds of world

      Most of the world’s Internet users lost access to YouTube for several hours Sunday after an attempt by Pakistan’s government to block access domestically affected other countries.

      The outage highlighted yet another of the Internet’s vulnerabilities, coming less than a month after broken fiber-optic cables in the Mediterranean took Egypt off line and caused communications problems from the Middle East to India.

      An Internet expert explained that Sunday’s problems arose when a Pakistani telecommunications company accidentally identified itself to Internet computers as the world’s fastest route to YouTube. But instead of serving up videos of skateboarding dogs, it sent the traffic into oblivion.

      [...]

      The block was intended to cover only Pakistan, but extended to about two-thirds of the global Internet population, starting at 1:47 p.m. ET Sunday, according to Renesys Corp., a Manchester, N.H., firm that keeps track of the pathways of the Internet for telecommunications companies and other clients.

      The greatest effect was in Asia, were the outage lasted for up to two hours, Renesys said.

      YouTube confirmed the outage on Monday, saying it was caused by a network in Pakistan.

  • Intellectual Monopolies
    • Did Uber Steal Google’s Intellectual Property [sic]?

      Levandowski, for his part, has been out of work since he was fired by Uber. It’s hard to feel much sympathy for him, though. He’s still extremely wealthy. He left Google with files that nearly everyone agrees he should not have walked off with, even if there is widespread disagreement about how much they’re worth. Levandowski seemed constantly ready to abandon his teammates and threaten defection, often while working on an angle to enrich himself. He is a brilliant mercenary, a visionary opportunist, a man seemingly without loyalty. He has helped build a technology that might transform how the world functions, and he seems inclined to personally profit from that transformation as much as possible. In other words, he is an exemplar of Silicon Valley ethics.

    • Stark’s broad WesternGeco application tees up damages issue for Federal Circuit

      Delaware’s chief judge ruling in Power Integrations v Fairchild Semiconductor means the Federal Circuit may soon rule on the scope of the Supreme Court’s WesternGeco decision on patent damages for foreign sales

      District of Delaware Chief Judge Leonard Stark on October 4 ruled that the US Supreme Court’s WesternGeco v Ion decision has broad implications for patent damages for foreign sales.

    • Germany: Filtern digitaler Videobilder, Federal Court of Justice of Germany, X ZR 90/15, 23 May 2017

      This decision by the FCJ confirms that the cited prior art should, generally, provide concrete suggestions, hints or at least provide other reasons beyond the recognizability of the technical problem to seek the solution of a technical problem in the way presented in the patent.

    • China’s Supreme Court Clarified the Doctrine of Prosecution History Estoppel

      In China, a patent owner’s statements made during prosecution or invalidation may give rise to prosecution history estoppel (or prosecution disclaimer), which precludes the patent owner from recapturing subject matter that was relinquished during prosecution or invalidation in subsequent infringement actions. To invoke the doctrine of prosecution disclaimer, such statements must constitute a clear and unmistakable surrender of claim scope.

      Prior to 2016, China’s standard of prosecution disclaimer was not clear in that, whether a patentee is bound by the arguments that it made before the examiner or the Board regardless of whether the examiner or the Board adopted such argument for allowance.

      In 2016, the Supreme People’s Court (SPC) in a judicial interpretation introduced an exception to prosecution history estoppel if a patentee’s narrowing statements are expressly rejected by the examiner during prosecution or by the Paten Reexamination Board (PRB) during invalidation proceedings.

    • Court of Appeal gives Ice-World the cold shoulder

      On 10 October 2018 the Court of Appeal handed down its judgment in the matter of Icescape Limited v Ice-World International BV & Ors*. Three discrete issues were considered by the Court and, although the decision of the Lord Justices of Appeal ultimately did not change the effect of the first instance judgment, the opinions given on Priority, Infringement (further to the supreme court decision in Actavis v Eli Lilly**), and Threats are worthy of note.

    • Equitable Servitudes and Post-Sale Restrictions

      I have continued to find the issue of post-sale restrictions vexing. On the one hand, I think that there are sound economic reasons for them. On the other hand, I really don’t like them, especially when they limit what should otherwise be reasonable and free activities.

      The Supreme Court’s recent cases in this area have made it more difficult to enforce such restrictions, but they have done so in a way that leaves open the possibility that some restrictions might apply while also not giving much guidance about when.

    • USA: Teva Pharmaceuticals USA, Inc. v. Sandoz Inc., United States Court of Appeals, Federal Circuit, No. 2017-1575, 12 October 2018

      Concluding that the asserted claims of patents relating to dosing and administration of the drug Copaxone used to treat multiple sclerosis are obvious, the U.S. Court of Appeals the Federal Circuit has affirmed a decision by the federal district court in Delaware invalidating the patents, handing a major victory to generic drug manufacturers.

    • Proportional Restraints in Horizontal Patent Settlements

      When rivals settle a patent dispute, they prefer to preserve monopoly profits, even if the patent is very likely invalid or noninfringed. Antitrust has come to embrace a policy that requires horizontal settlements to restrain competition by no more than the expected result of counterfactual patent litigation. But this creates serious difficulties in practice, and has only been effectively applied to one type of settlement. However, we show that a settlement’s design necessarily determines how “proportional” private bargaining outcomes will be: how closely their competitive effects will compare to the expected result of litigation. Using our approach, one can identify settlement designs that will always induce bargaining outcomes generating the same profits — and greater consumer welfare — than litigation would provide in expected value. More generally, our approach enables one to discern any settlement’s proportionality (or lack thereof) without having to estimate the expected outcome of counterfactual patent litigation.

    • Extraterritoriality and Proximate Cause after WesternGeco

      The Supreme Court’s decision WesternGeco LLC v. ION Geophysical Corp. appeared to be a narrow case about a rather obscure patent law provision. In reality, however, it had the potential to reach into a number of trans-substantive areas, including the nature of compensatory damages, proximate cause, and extraterritoriality. Instead of painting with a broad brush, the Supreme Court opted to take a modest, narrow approach to the issue of whether lost profits for foreign activity were available to a patent holder for infringement under 35 U.S.C. § 271(f)(2). In addressing this issue, the Court utilized its two-step framework for assessing the extraterritorial reach of U.S. law adopted in RJR Nabisco Inc. v. European Community. The Court skipped step one, but its analysis of step two confirmed that the territorial limits of damages is tied to the corresponding liability provision. Ultimately the Court allowed the damages for the relevant foreign activity.

      This decision clarified a few things about the extraterritorial application of US law. By skipping step one, the Court made it clear that the presumption against extraterritoriality is distinct from the focus analysis of step two. The Court passed on the opportunity to further elaborate on step one and to answer definitely whether the presumption applies to remedial provisions. The Court also elaborated on step two and embraced a methodology that tied extraterritorial reach of a general remedy provision to the corresponding liability provision.

      The Court’s decision also leaves a number of questions open. Specifically, it remains unclear whether the Federal Circuit’s Power Integrations and Carnegie Mellon decisions survive WesternGeco. I contend that they do, in disagreement with other professors. The Court also failed to explore the important role that proximate cause may play in future patent cases, particularly those involving global theories of damages, and issue that I take up here. The Federal Circuit could – and should – embrace a narrower conception of proximate cause to limit these types of global theories of patent damages.

    • How To Avoid Having A Worthless Patent

      This summer, the United States Patent & Trademark Office issued patent number 10 million with great fanfare. But most of those patents are worthless, I’m afraid. Few patented inventions recoup the cost of filing and maintaining patent protection. There isn’t a single definitive figure. But it’s safe to say probably fewer than 10% do.

      The question of why so many patented inventions never make it to market is one I’ve been asking myself for years.

    • Considering the Value of Patents in African Countries

      Many African countries have strict exchange control requirements that govern the flow of capital into and out of their economies. For a global company doing business in Africa, expatriating profits made from their African operations may not be a simple matter. Local officials may carefully scrutinise cross-border licence agreements and query the royalty rates charged.

      Transfer pricing principles must be applied when supplies are made between related entities within a corporate group structure. In particular, when royalties are paid by a local subsidiary to a foreign parent company, the royalty charged must be aligned with what would be charged on an arms-length basis between unrelated parties.

    • Practice Note: Don’t Send Drugs to the Federal Circuit

      The cannabis attachment was apparently intended to create subject matter jurisdiction in the case. I don’t fully understand the Schirripa’s flow chart, but it appears to be a boot-strap version a catch-22 for the court — the type of argument that you might figure out while high.

    • Trademarks
      • ISU Student Groups Changing Names En Masse To Protest School’s Ridiculous New Trademark Policy

        You will recall that over the past few years, we have been discussing how Iowa State University essentially did everything wrong concerning an alumni group running a pro-marijuana organization that made use of school symbols and iconography. After initially approving the group’s use of school trademarks, several members of the state’s conservative legislature got involved, leading to the school rescinding that authorization. NORML, the name of the group, sued the school, claiming all of this was a violation of their free speech rights. The courts agreed, eventually to the tune of a $600k judgement, meaning that school wasted over half a million dollars of taxpayer money to fail at trademark bullying.

        You might have expected that this would serve as a delightful education for the school as to the reasons why they don’t want to be a trademark bully. You would be wrong, of course. Instead, the school’s next step was to immediately rewrite its trademark use policy, making it laughably restrictive and essentially attempting to give the school broad oversight over all uses of its iconography by student groups. This, predictably, has led to a full on revolt both by many of the school’s student organizations and its student government.

    • Copyrights
      • Italian Supreme Court holds that an unauthorized derivative work may be both infringing and protectable

        In 1979 Ralph Carey created what would become the mascot of the Western Kentucky University (WKU) basketball team, a red character named Big Red. In 2009 he brought proceedings before the Milan Court of First Instance against broadcasters RTI and Mediaset and the creator of well-known TV programme Striscia La Notizia, claiming that the likeness of mascot/TV character Gabibbo (‘operating’ since 1990) would infringe copyright in Big Red.

      • Advertisement distributed by Swedish ISP held to be sexually discriminatory

        Readers who have been following the EU copyright reform saga may be familiar with the argument that the new directive, if adopted, would make it impossible to share GIFs and memes in Europe due to the requirements under Article 13.

        But can a meme be pulled also on other grounds than what, quite scarily, copyright has been accused – rightly so or not – of?

        This is indeed what happened in what frankly looks like a bizarre decision of the Board of the Swedish Advertising Ombudsman(the Board) a few weeks ago.

        According to the Board’s decision, the well-known Distracted Boyfriendmeme (a stock image come to fame) used for advertisement would be sexually discriminatory and should be consequently banned.

        [...]

        In response to the negative attention, Bahnof attempted to publicly apologize on Facebook. It stated that it was attempting to use the Distracted Boyfriend meme to visualize the application process in a humouristic fashion. It depicts – albeit in a sarcastic style – jealousy and longing – for something better than what the employee currently has. The spirit is that the advertiser is an attractive workplace that can lure you into breaking your relationship with the current employer.

        [...]

        In light of the above, the Board found that the advertisement was in breach of Article 4 of the ICC Marketing and Advertising code.

        Beware memes!

      • 20 Best Legal Alternatives To Sites Like Pirate Bay, KAT, Yify, 123movies, Putlocker

        I am sure many of you remember the golden days of torrents when it was easily accessible and offered really good content. However, in recent years, due to crackdown on torrents like KickassTorrents, several file-sharing websites have been shut down. While there are mirror sites to substitute the original ones, they come with their share of risks like malware or adware.

        But there are several legal alternatives to torrents and illegal streaming sites like Pirate Bay, KAT, Yify, 123movies, Putlocker. Such legal websites offer free movies, TV shows, music, anime, ebooks, cracked software, etc. So in this article, I have listed them according to the content they provide best. So do check out all the sections to find exactly what you need.

      • Australia Targets Google With Tough New Anti-Piracy Law

        Australia already has laws to enable the blocking of overseas sites that facilitate piracy but the content industries want more. New legislation unveiled today will give copyright holders new tools to force Google and other search engines to delete search results that link to infringing sites.

      • Court: ISP’s Lack of Terminations Didn’t Lure Pirating Subscribers

        There is no evidence that Internet provider Grande Communication’s lack of repeat infringer terminations acted as a draw to pirating subscribers. US District Court Judge Lee Yeakel has adopted the recommendations of the Magistrate Judge, which means that the RIAA labels must now limit their case to the contributory infringement claim.

      • Roku to Go Back on Sale in Mexico After Copyright Victory

        Popular streaming device Roku will go back on sale in Mexico after a ruling by a court in Mexico City. The device has been off the shelves for more than a year following an initially successful copyright complaint by TV company Cablevision. However, that ruling has now been overturned and Roku declared legal, paving the way for a full return to the streaming market in Mexico.

It’s Almost 2019 and Team UPC is Still Pretending Unitary Patent (UPC) Exists, Merely Waiting for Britain to Join

Thursday 18th of October 2018 12:24:07 PM

Amplifying those two lies (twisting facts) still

Summary: Refusing to accept that the Unified Patent Court Agreement (UPCA) has reached its death or is at a dead end, UPC proponents — i.e. lawyers looking to profit from frivolous litigation — resort to outright lies and gymnastics in logic/intellectual gymnastics

EUROPEAN patent courts don’t quite tolerate software patents in Europe. National courts have pretty clear laws (excepting or excluding abstract things), so the António Campinos-run EPO hopes to bypass/replace these courts with UPC, which rumours say Battistelli still wants to manage. IAM keeps him in the loop, as does CEIPI.

Earlier this week Womble Bond Dickinson LLP’s Patrick Cantrill, Rose Smalley and Tim Barber spoke about UPC. They clarify that everything is conditional although they stop short of saying it’s dead. To quote:

The current membership of the EPO numbers 38 countries, i.e. a far greater number than the current 28 Member States of the EU. Therefore, as far as the EPO, EPC and UK patent profession are concerned, it is business as usual. To put into context this continuation of the UK in the operations of the EPC and the EPO, it may be recalled that UK patent attorneys comprise one-fifth of the total number of professionals across the EPO signatory states, and they handle one-third of all of the European patent (“EP”) applications. Moreover, of the 40,000 EPs filed last year by UK patent attorneys, 90% originated from outside the UK. Consequently, the prosecution of EP applications, whether at the EPO or through the Patent Cooperation Treaty, will not change. New and pending applications will continue to designate the UK and as before, at the grant stage, the applicant will be able to opt for national protection in the UK and other countries, exactly as they do at present.

However, there will be some ramifications following Brexit in such areas as Supplementary Protection Certificates (“SPCs”); Community Plant Variety Rights (“CPVRs”); and the proposed Unitary Patents (“UPs”) and Unified Patents Court (“UPC”).

Moreover, if the UP system is to come into existence, there is a query as to the extent to which the UK can participate, an issue which this note addresses in greater detail below, along with the issue as to whether, and if so how, patentees might wish to opt out of UPC system.

[...]

The establishment of the UPC has been stalled by a challenge brought before the German Constitutional Court, which is not due to be heard until the autumn of 2018. Even if this challenge were to be overcome, the UPC is now unlikely to open its doors until the middle of 2019 at the earliest, after the date for Brexit.

It has nevertheless been stated by the UK Government that, regardless of Brexit, the UK wishes to participate in the UPC. With this in mind, the UK ratified the UPC Treaty on 26 April 2018. However, as aspects of the UPC will be subject to EU law, the UK’s participation post-Brexit will require an amendment to the UPC Treaty, as its provisions only cover ‘Member States’. Encouragingly, there appears to be willingness on all sides that such an accommodation will be made in order to allow the UK to participate.

If the UK is unable (or unwilling) post-Brexit to participate in the UP system, a UP will cover only those EU Member States within the EPC system that have ratified the UPC Treaty. As at the date of publication, 16 Member States had ratified and three more are on track to have ratified by the time that the UP system commences (if such should occur in mid-2019). If the UK does not join, it will continue to be possible to validate ‘classical’ EP application in the UK as is the case today.

They are leaping quite a few steps because there are additional barriers (other than Germany’s challenge) and opposition can be leveraged — if necessary — in all sorts of other ways. The truth is, UPCA is nothing but a collusion of law firms. They strive to change the law to better suit the litigation ‘industry’. It’s bad for Europe and good for foreign patent trolls.

IPPro Patents’ Ben Wodecki has meanwhile mentioned some nonsense from a “LIPS panellist” (they promote patent maximalism in this event). The UPC is virtually dead, but facts don’t seem to matter because Team UPC keeps lying about it in its behind-closed-doors lobbying events. Here’s what the new report said:

The UK does not need to sign a new treaty to remain part of the Unified Patent Court (UPC), according to Francesco Macchetta, intellectual property advisor and former director of IP at Bracco Imaging.

In a panel discussion at the London IP Summit on intellectual property post-brexit, Macchetta said that, in his opinion, no new treaty would be necessary for the UK to remain in the UPC as “the UK ratified when it was an EU member as required by the legislation”.

Pierre Véron, honorary president of the European Patent Lawyers Association, agreed, showing the audience the Lamping-Ullrich paper, which suggests that the UK should not be allowed to be part of the UPC post-brexit.

This is the same European Patent Lawyers Association (EPLAW) which recently mocked the paper using anonymous sockpuppets. These people are downright crazy and they’re growingly miserable.

Last but not least we have this new article by Dorsey & Whitney LLP. “The Unified Patent Court (‘UPC’) has not yet been established as it is still needs ratification by Germany (the timing of which, vis-à-vis Brexit, is unknown),” it says. Timing? Not even the outcome is known!

But that doesn’t matter, does it?

They’d have their target audience believe that the outcome is already known and judges are just some ‘nuisance’ in the face of inevitability. From their article:

As much of patent law has a basis in UK domestic legislation, the existing systems (including conditions, legal requirements and application processes) will remain in place but will operate independently from the EU. EU legislation relevant to patents and supplementary protection certificates will be retained in the UK law and will form the UK’s own supplementary protection certificate regime on exit. Any existing rights and licences in force in the UK will remain in force after exit day.

The Unified Patent Court (‘UPC’) has not yet been established as it is still needs ratification by Germany (the timing of which, vis-à-vis Brexit, is unknown). The UPC is intended to be a single international forum established by 25 EU countries to provide businesses with a streamlined process for enforcing patents. The UK government has stated that it wishes to remain part of the UPC and unitary patent system on exit day if possible. If the UPC is ratified and comes into force, the UK will explore whether it would be possible to remain within the UPC and unitary patent systems following Brexit. Following Brexit it may be that staying within the UPC and unitary patent system is unworkable. To do so would mean that the UK has to accept the supremacy of European law in these matters and this is most likely not acceptable to certain UK political circles who regard the supremacy of any form of outside law and of forum as objectionable.

Pretty much all the above is a salad of lies and wishful thinking, i.e. what sums up pretty much everything that comes out of the mouths of Team UPC nowadays. Time has probably run out for them already, but they refuse to give up. They’re delusional.

IAM and IP Kat Are Still Megaphones of Battistelli and His Agenda

Thursday 18th of October 2018 11:00:55 AM

(The ‘new’ IP Kat (after Merpel 'died'), the one which deletes comments about Battistelli and António Campinos)

Summary: IAM reaffirms its commitment to corrupt Battistelli and IP Kat maintains its stance, which is basically not caring at all about EPO corruption (to the point of actively deleting blog comments that mention such corruption, i.e. ‘sanitising’ facts)

THE EPO said “goodbye and good riddance” to Battistelli almost 4 months ago. He has since then maintained a low profile except when French media approached him as he may be criminally liable but immune nonetheless.

Joff Wild of IAM, where the corrupt Battistelli writes on occasions (promoting software patents in Europe), is still whitewashing this man. This is the man IAM does revisionism for even in October. See the screenshot above.

Curiously enough, not only was the above behind paywall (which makes it harder for Battistelli’s critics to assess). It only appeared in searches more than a fortnight late. Why?

On the same day (Tuesday) Annsley Merelle Ward (Bristows LLP), who dominated IP Kat last year, returned for a change to carry on cheering for patent trolls in the UK. “One of the key issues on appeal from Mr Justice Birss’ decision,” she said, is basically whether companies can use their proxy patent trolls to shake down the competition.

“In conclusion, IAM is still (more than 3 months later) grooming Battistelli and IP Kat has no interest whatsoever in EPO scandals (which carry on by the way).”So a firm involved in the case uses IP Kat for its own purposes; “The IPKat team [i.e. Bristows staff quoting other Bristows staff] will be back next week to report on the key findings of the Court of Appeal, with analysis to follow,” she said.

What has IP Kat become? Aside from the fact that it doesn’t write as much as it used to (and several writers very recently left), watch what it published on the same day about “blockchain” (the usual patent hype) and then in “Standards and Patents annual conference returns to London”. IP Kat actively promotes an event in London that lobbies for software patents under the guise of “AI”, “FRAND” and other nonsense (even software patents inside standards).

Later in the same day IP Kat started celebrating patents on food; the comments are better than the post. Last but not least, on the same day IP Kat mentioned the EPO (at long last). But remember this is the Kat which deleted the thread (about 40 comments) about António Campinos, whose friends he already brings to the EPO (just like Battistelli did). What did the blog write about the EPO? Nothing. It just plugged in the EPO’s press release: “The Administrative Council of the EPO has appointed the next vice-presidents of the EPO: Stephen Rowan (UK), Christoph Ernst (Germany) and Nellie Simon (Austria). Find out more about the new vice-presidents here.”

In conclusion, IAM is still (more than 3 months later) grooming Battistelli and IP Kat has no interest whatsoever in EPO scandals (which carry on by the way). This cat got neutered…

The EPO Under António Campinos Relaxes the Rules on Software Patenting and the Litigation ‘Industry’ Loves That

Thursday 18th of October 2018 10:20:29 AM

Easier to tax coders, whose projects will be undermined or never come to fruition in the first place (due to fear of lawsuits)

Summary: EPO management, which is nontechnical, found new terms by which to refer to software patents — terms that even the marketing departments can endorse (having propped them up); they just call it all AI, augmented intelligence and so on

THE EPO seems eager to handicap Europe’s software industry. What does it care anyway? All it wants to do is grant as many patents as possible and get a pat on the back from litigators. António Campinos has taken this lunacy to new levels as the EPO under his leadership constantly promotes software patents in Europe. It does so not only every day but several times per day. Campinos recently saw the need to write a blog post about it.

“…now that nontechnical people (promoted based on loyalties rather than merit) run the EPO they’re more easily swayed by law firms and marketing departments, not scientists.”Not everyone is upset about this abomination. Some people make a living not from creation but from destruction; put another way, they sue things out of existence. Like patent trolls do…

Patent law firms, unlike patent trolls, win irrespective of the courts’ outcomes. It doesn’t matter if European Patents are nowadays presumed invalid; all that matters is that lawyers are needed…

We recently wrote about the leveraging of "AI" as a byword or surrogate for software patents. Philip Naylor (Carpmaels & Ransford LLP) took note of that too; writing in IAM, the EPO’s propaganda rag, Naylor said this:

The EPO has updated its official guidelines to include a specific section on how the office is likely to assess patent applications directed towards artificial intelligence (AI). A preview of the update can be found on the EPO website and will come into force on 1 November 2018.

The update to the guidelines provides further clarity on how the EPO’s existing legal framework will be applied to AI inventions. Generally, the update confirms that the same rules that are applied to all computer-implemented inventions will apply to inventions involving AI. The rules stipulate that mathematical methods per se are “devoid of technical character” and thus are not patentable when considered in isolation. However, inventions that use mathematical methods remain patentable if they provide a technical solution to a technical problem. The EPO’s guidelines now state that AI and machine-learning algorithms are considered to be mathematical methods. Therefore, an invention that uses AI or machine learning must solve a technical problem in order to be patentable, in the same way as any other computer-implemented invention.

So they’re adding tricks for software patenting, knowing that these are not allowed. They tell applicants to say “AI” and at the same time instruct examiners to almost ‘rubber-stamp’ all this “AI” stuff. Never mind if the concept is rather nebulous, much like the concept of “cloud”. The litigation industry rejoices and helps this agenda, based on another new article that says:

Jennings is in the camp that believes that AI “augments humans”. He said he was “very happy to see that the European Patent Office (EPO) stresses AI as augmented intelligence”.

The EPO published its preliminary update of its guidelines for examination in early October, which included changes for provisions relating to the patentability of AI and machine learning.

So software can be patented “per se” and “as such”; just make sure the application says “AI” in it.

Eamon Robinson (Haseltine Lake LLP) has also just published this article about the EPO cutting corners for shallower or faster examination:

A European patent or a patent application may not be amended to contain subject matter extending beyond the application as filed. This section of the Guidelines provides guidance on when replacing or removing features from a claim results in unallowable added subject matter.

The Guidelines describe a three step test to determine if such amendments result in added subject matter. The updated Guidelines clarify that an amendment will fail the test, and thus add matter, if at least one criterion of the test is failed.

[...]

The changes to the Guidelines emphasise the importance of this “gold standard” over the above three step test. The “gold standard” should therefore, be considered when making amendments to the claims of a patent or application, in particular when removing or replacing features. Furthermore, the change to the first step of the test may make it easier for objections to be raised to amendments. The previous Guidelines stated that it was enough for a skilled person to recognise that a feature is explained as essential, whereas, the updated Guidelines require that the feature must be objectively explained as essential.

In summary then, the EPO’s advice to examiners in relation to removal of features would seem to be getting stricter.

Decisions are already being made a lot faster, at the very least in order to meet quotas/targets. Maybe some time soon Campinos will just use so-called ‘AI’ (algorithms) to assess patent applications with the term “AI” in them.

It should be noted that this whole “AI” hype doesn’t deal with novelty; the term “AI” was reintroduced a lot in the media last year. A lot of it boils down to marketing. In the broadest sense of the term the concept of AI dates back to the dawn of computing. But now that nontechnical people (promoted based on loyalties rather than merit) run the EPO they’re more easily swayed by law firms and marketing departments, not scientists.

Links 17/10/2018: Elementary OS 5.0 “Juno” Released, MongoDB’s Server Side Public Licence

Wednesday 17th of October 2018 04:29:35 PM

Contents GNU/Linux Free Software/Open Source
  • Hedera Hashgraph Distributed Ledger Technology Shares New Open-Source SDK [Ed: Hedera needs to delete GitHub, however, as the new head of GitHub killed Java projects like Hedera’s]

    Hedera Hashgraph, one of the DApp facilitators within the blockchain industry recently announced that it has released its Software Development Kit (SDK) in Java.

  • Service Providers Should Adapt to Open Source World

    Finding differing opinions on open source with the telecom industry isn’t hard to do, especially where orchestration is concerned. That’s why a panel discussion on open source and MANO at the Light Reading NFV-Carrier SDN event in Denver seemed an odd place to find such outspoken agreement on that topic, but there it was.

    Four smart guys, none shy with their opinions, all seemed to agree on key points around open source, the need for standards, the role of vendors and the lack of internal software skills. But they also agreed that telecom service providers are struggling a bit to understand how to proceed in an open source world and still need some fundamental internal changes.

  • Renaming the Bro Project

    More than 20 years ago I chose the name “Bro” as “an Orwellian reminder that monitoring comes hand in hand with the potential for privacy violations”, as the original Bro paper put it. Today that warning is needed more than ever … but it’s clear that now the name “Bro” is alas much more of a distraction than a reminder.

    On the Leadership Team of the Bro Project, we heard clear concerns from the Bro community that the name “Bro” has taken on strongly negative connotations, such as “Bro culture”. These send a sharp, anti-inclusive – and wholly unintended and undesirable – message to those who might use Bro. The problems were significant enough that during BroCon community sessions, several people have mentioned substantial difficulties in getting their upper management to even consider using open-source software with such a seemingly ill-chosen, off-putting name.

  • We already have nice things, and other reasons not to write in-house ops tools

    When I was an ops consultant, I had the “great fortune” of seeing the dark underbelly of many companies in a relatively short period of time. Such fortune was exceptionally pronounced on one client engagement where I became the maintainer of an in-house deployment tool that had bloated to touch nearly every piece of infrastructure—despite lacking documentation and testing. Dismayed at the impossible task of maintaining this beast while tackling the real work of improving the product, I began reviewing my old client projects and probing my ops community for their strategies. What I found was an epidemic of “not invented here” (NIH) syndrome and a lack of collaboration with the broader community.

  • Open Source Program Benefits Survey Results

    There are many organizations out there, from companies like Red Hat to internet scale giants like Google and Facebook that have established an open source programs office (OSPO). The TODO Group, a network of open source program managers, recently performed the first ever annual survey of corporate open source programs and revealed some interesting findings on the actual benefits of open source programs.

  • Web Browsers
    • Browsing the web with Min, a minimalist open source web browser

      Does the world need another web browser? Even though the days of having a multiplicity of browsers to choose from are long gone, there still are folks out there developing new applications that help us use the web.

      One of those new-fangled browsers is Min. As its name suggests (well, suggests to me, anyway), Min is a minimalist browser. That doesn’t mean it’s deficient in any significant way, and its open source, Apache 2.0 license piques my interest.

    • Chrome
      • CTL’s New CBX1 Chromebox is a Powerhouse at a Great Price

        Chromeboxes are really great desktops for users who have moved their workflow into a web browser, especially at lower prices. You don’t need higher specs inside a Chromebox for it to work well, but it can help.

        For those who want a supercharged Chromebox on the cheap, Oregon-based CTL has just the thing for you. Its new Chromebox—the CBX1—has all the high-end parts you could want, at a comparatively low price.

      • How to Install Progressive Web Apps (PWAs) in Chrome

        Chrome 70, available now, lets you install “Progressive Web Apps,” or PWAs, on Windows. When you visit a website with a PWA, like Twitter or Spotify, you can now “install” it to make it behave more like a normal desktop application.

      • How to Stop Chrome From Automatically Signing You Into the Browser

        With Chrome 69, Google began automatically signing you into the Chrome browser whenever you signed into a Google website like Gmail. Chrome 70, available now, has a hidden option to disable this feature.

        We don’t think most Chrome users will care about this. But, if you do care, Google now gives you a choice. And that’s good news.

      • Chrome 70 released with Windows web app support and option to disable controversial login

        Chrome 70, the latest version of Google’s browser, is rolling out now on Windows, Mac, and Linux computers. The update sees Google reverse some of the controversial changes it made with the last version, by allowing users to stop the browser from automatically signing into their Google account after logging into one of the search giant’s apps. Chrome 70 also brings support for Progressive Web Apps, or PWAs, on Windows.

      • elementary OS Juno Released, Plasma 5.14.1 Is Out, Chrome 70 Now Available, Docker Raises New Funding and New Badges for Firefox Users

        Chrome 70 is now available. This release removes the controversial change from the last version, and now allows users to stop the browser from automatically signing in to their Google accounts after logging in to one of its apps, The Verge reports. You still need to opt-out and specifically change this setting, however. Other changes include support for progressive web apps on Windows. See the “New in Chrome 70″ post for more information on this release.

      • Chrome 70 Now Officially Available With AV1 Video Decode, Opus In MP4 & Much More

        Google’s Chrome/Chromium 70 web-browser made it out today for Linux users as well as all other key supported platforms.

        Chrome 70 is notable for shipping with preliminary AV1 video decoding support granted rather limited and only CPU-based decoding at this stage after the AV1 video decode support was dropped from Chrome 69.

      • Raptor Computing Systems Is Working On Bringing Up Chrome’s POWER Support

        With Raptor Computing Systems’ Talos II Lite and especially the forthcoming Blackbird positioning the POWER architecture in a prime spot for use by libre Linux users who want a system that’s open-source down to the firmware, they’ve been trying to make sure the Linux desktop stack is in order. The latest area they’ve been working on is browser coverage.

        At the moment for 64-bit POWER little-endian (PPC64LE), there isn’t a modern browser with JavaScript JIT support available upstream… Obviously that is a problem for more Linux desktop users in 2018. But fortunately Raptor has been committing resources to changing that. They have gotten a patched version of Chrome working well on their POWER9 hardware complete with JIT support.

    • Mozilla
      • Going from New Laptop to Productive Mozillian

        My old laptop had so many great stickers on it I didn’t want to say goodbye. So I put off my hardware refresh cycle from the recommended 2 years to almost 3.

        To speak the truth it wasn’t only the stickers that made me wary of switching. I had a workflow that worked. The system wasn’t slow. It was only three years old.

        But then Windows started crashing on me during video calls. And my Firefox build times became long enough that I ported changes to my Linux desktop before building them. It was time to move on.

      • Show your support for Firefox with new badges

        Firefox is only as strong as its passionate users. Because we’re independent, people need to make a conscious choice to use a non-default browser on their system. We’re most successful when happy users tell others about an alternative worth trying.

      • At MozFest, Spend 7 Days Exploring Internet Health

        Workshops that teach you how to detect misinformation and mobile trackers. A series of art installations that turn online data into artwork. A panel about the unintended consequences of AI, featuring a former YouTube engineer and a former FBI agent. And a conversation with the inventor of the web.

        These are just a handful of the experiences at this year’s MozFest, Mozilla’s annual festival for, by, and about people who love the internet. From October 22-28 at the Royal Society of Arts (RSA) and Ravensbourne University in central London, more than 2,500 developers, designers, activists, and artists from dozens of countries will gather to explore privacy, security, openness, and inclusion online.

      • Using requestIdleCallback for long running computations

        One of the ways developers have tipically tried to keep a smooth web application, without interfering with the browser’s animation and response to input, is to use a Web Worker for long running computations. For example, in the Prism.js (a library for syntax highlighting) API there’s an async parameter to choose “Whether to use Web Workers to improve performance and avoid blocking the UI when highlighting very large chunks of code”.

      • These Weeks In Servo 115

        In the past three weeks, we merged 181 PRs in the Servo organization’s repositories.

        Our Windows nightlies have been broken for several months for a number of reasons, and we have now fixed all of the known breakage. If you’re a Windows user, give our latest builds a try! You can visit arbitrary URLs by pressing Ctr+L.

        The Android Components project added a component to use Servo in any Android app.

  • SaaS/Back End
  • Pseudo-Open Source (Openwashing)
  • BSD
    • DragonFlyBSD Continues Squeezing More Performance Out Of AMD’s Threadripper 2990WX

      DragonFlyBSD 5.4 should be a really great release if you are a BSD user and have an AMD Threadripper 2 box, particularly the flagship Threadripper 2990WX 32-core / 64-thread processor.

      The project leader of this long ago fork from FreeBSD, Matthew Dillon, has been quite outspoken about the Threadripper 2990WX since he purchased one earlier this summer. This prolific BSD developer has been praising the performance out of the Threadripper 2990WX since he got the system working on the current DragonFlyBSD 5.3 development builds.

      Since getting DragonFlyBSD running on the Threadripper 2 hardware in August, he’s routinely been making performance tuning optimizations to DragonFly’s kernel to benefit the 2990WX given its NUMA design.

    • Absolute FreeBSD now shipping!

      Grab an ebook/print bundle direct from No Starch Press. NSP coupon code ILUVMICHAEL gives you 30% off any NSP purchase and puts a few extra bucks in my pocket, so that’s cool. And there’s Amazon. There’s always Amazon, the company we all love to loathe.

    • LLVM Still Proceeding With Their Code Relicensing

      It’s been three years since the original draft proposal for relicensing the LLVM compiler code was sent out and while there hasn’t been a lot to report on recently about the effort, they are making progress and proceeding.

      Since 2015 LLVM developers have been discussing relicensing to an Apache 2.0 license to help motivate new contributors, protect users of LLVM code, better protect existing contributors, ensure that LLVM run-time libraries can be used by both other open-source and proprietary compilers.

  • Licensing/Legal
    • Automotive Software Governance and Copyleft

      The Software Freedom Law Center is proud to make available a whitepaper by Mark Shuttleworth, CEO of Canonical, Ltd., and Eben Moglen, Founding Director of the Software Freedom Law Center and Professor of Law at Columbia Law School. The whitepaper shows how new capabilities in the free and open source software stack enable highly regulated and sensitive industrial concerns to take advantage of the full spectrum of modern copyleft software.

      Software embedded in physical devices now determines how almost everything – from coffee pots and rice cookers to oil tankers and passenger airplanes – works. Safety and security, efficiency and repairability, fitness for purpose and adaptability to new conditions of all the physical products that we make and use now depend on our methods for developing, debugging, maintaining, securing and servicing the software embedded in them.

    • SFLC: Automotive Software Governance and Copyleft

      The Software Freedom Law Center has announced the availability of a whitepaper [PDF] about automotive software and copyleft, written by Mark Shuttleworth and Eben Moglen. At its core, it’s an advertisement for Ubuntu and Snap, but it does look at some of the issues involved.

    • Bradley M. Kuhn: Toward Community-Oriented, Public & Transparent Copyleft Policy Planning

      More than 15 years ago, Free, Libre, and Open Source Software (FLOSS) community activists successfully argued that licensing proliferation was a serious threat to the viability of FLOSS. We convinced companies to end the era of “vanity” licenses. Different charities — from the Open Source Initiative (OSI) to the Free Software Foundation (FSF) to the Apache Software Foundation — all agreed we were better off with fewer FLOSS licenses. We de-facto instituted what my colleague Richard Fontana once called the “Rule of Three” — assuring that any potential FLOSS license should be met with suspicion unless (a) the OSI declares that it meets their Open Source Definition, (b) the FSF declares that it meets their Free Software Definition, and (c) the Debian Project declares that it meets their Debian Free Software Guidelines. The work for those organizations quelled license proliferation from radioactive threat to safe background noise. Everyone thought the problem was solved. Pointless license drafting had become a rare practice, and updated versions of established licenses were handled with public engagement and close discussion with the OSI and other license evaluation experts.

      Sadly, the age of license proliferation has returned. It’s harder to stop this time, because this isn’t merely about corporate vanity licenses. Companies now have complex FLOSS policy agendas, and those agendas are not to guarantee software freedom for all. While it is annoying that our community must again confront an old threat, we are fortunate the problem is not hidden: companies proposing their own licenses are now straightforward about their new FLOSS licenses’ purposes: to maximize profits.

      Open-in-name-only licenses are now common, but seem like FLOSS licenses only to the most casual of readers. We’ve succeeded in convincing everyone to “check the OSI license list before you buy”. We can therefore easily dismiss licenses like Common Clause merely by stating they are non-free/non-open-source and urging the community to avoid them. But, the next stage of tactics have begun, and they are harder to combat. What happens when for-profit companies promulgate their own hyper-aggressive (quasi-)copyleft licenses that seek to pursue the key policy goal of “selling proprietary licenses” over “defending software freedom”? We’re about to find out, because, yesterday, MongoDB declared themselves the arbiter of what “strong copyleft” means.

    • Fed up with cloud giants ripping off its database, MongoDB forks new open-source license

      After Redis Labs relicensed the modules it developed to complement its open-source database, from AGPL to Apache v2.0 with a Commons Clause, the free-software community expressed dismay.

      And, inevitably, some responded by forking the affected code.

      Today, the maker of another open source database, MongoDB, plans to introduce a license of its own to deal with the issue cited by Redis: cloud service providers that sell hosted versions of open-source programs – such as Redis and MongoDB database servers – without offering anything in return.

      “Once an open source project becomes interesting or popular, it becomes too easy for the cloud vendors to capture all the value and give nothing back to the community,” said Dev Ittycheria, CEO of MongoDB, in a phone interview with The Register.

      Ittycheria pointed to cloud service providers such as Alibaba, Tencent, and Yandex. Those companies, he claims, are testing the boundaries of the AGPL by benefiting from the work of others while failing to share their code.

    • MongoDB switches up its open-source license

      MongoDB is a bit miffed that some cloud providers — especially in Asia — are taking its open-source code and offering a hosted commercial version of its database to their users without playing by the open-source rules. To combat this, MongoDB today announced it has issued a new software license, the Server Side Public License (SSPL), that will apply to all new releases of its MongoDB Community Server, as well as all patch fixes for prior versions.

      Previously, MongoDB used the GNU AGPLv3 license, but it has now submitted the SSPL for approval from the Open Source Initiative.

    • MongoDB license could push open source deeper into cloud: Is this what industry needs?

      Things just got serious in open source land. Despite the occasional Commons Clause or Fair Source licensing attempt to change the meaning of the words “open source” to include “the right for a private company to make money from its open source efforts,” we’ve stuck to the Open Source Definition, and it has served us well. Open source communities have become the center of the innovation universe, giving us exceptional code like Linux, Kubernetes, Apache Kafka, and more.

    • It’s MongoDB’s turn to change its open source license

      The old maxim that the nice thing about standards is that there are so many to choose from could well apply to open source licensing. While now nearing a couple years old, the last WhiteSource Software survey of the top 10 open source licenses found close competition between the GPL, MIT, and Apache licenses. While the commercial-friendly Apache license has dominated the world of big data platforms and AI frameworks, MIT and GPL (which has “copyleft” provisions requiring developers to contribute back all modifications and enhancements) continues to be popular. GPL and variants such as the AGPL have been popular amongst vendors that seek to control their own open source projects, like MongoDB.

    • Matthew Garrett: Initial thoughts on MongoDB’s new Server Side Public License

      MongoDB just announced that they were relicensing under their new Server Side Public License. This is basically the Affero GPL except with section 13 largely replaced with new text, as follows:

      “If you make the functionality of the Program or a modified version available to third parties as a service, you must make the Service Source Code available via network download to everyone at no charge, under the terms of this License. Making the functionality of the Program or modified version available to third parties as a service includes, without limitation, enabling third parties to interact with the functionality of the Program or modified version remotely through a computer network, offering a service the value of which entirely or primarily derives from the value of the Program or modified version, or offering a service that accomplishes for users the primary purpose of the Software or modified version.

      “Service Source Code” means the Corresponding Source for the Program or the modified version, and the Corresponding Source for all programs that you use to make the Program or modified version available as a service, including, without limitation, management software, user interfaces, application program interfaces, automation software, monitoring software, backup software, storage software and hosting software, all such that a user could run an instance of the service using the Service Source Code you make available.”

      MongoDB admit that this license is not currently open source in the sense of being approved by the Open Source Initiative, but say:”We believe that the SSPL meets the standards for an open source license and are working to have it approved by the OSI.”

      At the broadest level, AGPL requires you to distribute the source code to the AGPLed work[1] while the SSPL requires you to distribute the source code to everything involved in providing the service. Having a license place requirements around things that aren’t derived works of the covered code is unusual but not entirely unheard of – the GPL requires you to provide build scripts even if they’re not strictly derived works, and you could probably make an argument that the anti-Tivoisation provisions of GPL3 fall into this category.

    • MongoDB issues new open source license

      MongoDB has submitted the SSPL, which is replacing the previous GNU APGLv3 license, for approval from the Open Source Initiative.

  • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration
    • Open Hardware/Modding
      • Arm Launches Mbed Linux and Extends Pelion IoT Service

        Politics and international relations may be fraught with acrimony these days, but the tech world seems a bit friendlier of late. Last week Microsoft joined the Open Invention Network and agreed to grant a royalty-free, unrestricted license of its 60,000-patent portfolio to other OIN members, thereby enabling Android and Linux device manufacturers to avoid exorbitant patent payments. This week, Arm and Intel kept up the happy talk by agreeing to a partnership involving IoT device provisioning.

        Arm’s recently announced Pelion IoT Platform will align with Intel’s Secure Device Onboard (SDO) provisioning technology to make it easier for IoT vendors and customers to onboard both x86 and Arm-based devices using a common Peleon platform. Arm also announced Pelion related partnerships with myDevices and Arduino (see farther below).

      • Arm doodles server, comms CPUs in public before they leak out in open-source code…

        Japanese chip designer Arm has lightly sketched out in public its future processor designs that are aimed at powering internet servers and infrastructure.

        Think CPU cores, chip interconnects, memory subsystems, and so on, for semiconductor manufacturers to use in silicon brains for data center systems, edge devices, and networking and telecommunications gear. Arm really wants to nuzzle its way into server and telecoms racks, tiptoeing past Intel Xeons and AMD Epycs, and so here’s the intellectual property it hopes will do the trick.

        And we’re not joking when we’re say lightly sketched: the biz has only shown off a roadmap of codenames and process nodes. Arm is going public with these plans partly because source code supporting these future chip designs will soon be trickling into the Linux kernel and other open-source projects referencing said codenames, so it may as well spill some beans now to head off speculation.

  • Programming/Development
    • How to Use Git Version Control System in Linux [Comprehensive Guide]

      Version Control (revision control or source control) is a way of recording changes to a file or collection of files over time so that you can recall specific versions later. A version control system (or VCS in short) is a tool that records changes to files on a filesystem.

      There are many version control systems out there, but Git is currently the most popular and frequently used, especially for source code management. Version control can actually be used for nearly any type of file on a computer, not only source code.

    • 5 Things Your Team Should Do to Make Pull Requests Less Painful

      A user story is a short description of a unit of work that needs doing. It’s normally told from the perspective of the user, hence the name. The journey towards a good pull request starts with a well-written user story. It should be scoped to a single thing that a user can do in the system being built.

    • More GitHub workflow automation

      The more you use computers, the more you see the potentials for automating everything. Who doesn’t love that? By building Mergify those last months, we’ve decided it was time bring more automation to the development workflow.

    • Automating upstream releases with release-bot

      Good news: We have developed a tool called release-bot that automates the process. All you need to do is file an issue into your upstream repository and release-bot takes care of the rest. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. First, let’s look at what needs to be set up for this automation to happen. I’ve chosen the meta-test-family upstream repository as an example.

Leftovers
  • Health/Nutrition
    • Doc charged with involuntary manslaughter in Flint crisis wins top health award

      Health officials in Michigan this week honored Dr. Eden Wells with the state’s top award for an eminent career in public health—despite that Wells is currently facing several charges in connection with the Flint water crisis, including involuntary manslaughter.

    • Finnish hospitals see more babies born to mothers with FGM

      It was only last year that Finland’s National Institute for Health and Welfare (THL) began recording births by circumcised women in Finland, and other major hospitals have also failed to keep detailed records. [...]

    • ‘The world is against them’: new era of cancer lawsuits threaten Monsanto

      The Johnson v Monsanto trial was groundbreaking before it even began, because a judge allowed the plaintiff’s attorneys to present research and expert testimony on glyphosate and health risks – scientific evidence that the jury ultimately found credible and compelling.

    • Antimicrobial Resistance At The World Investment Forum: UNCTAD, WHO Join Forces

      The third panel gathers governments and civil society, he said, and will look into the need for antibiotic stewardship. For example, he said, a representative of the Swedish Public Health Agency will talk about its strategy to incentivise companies to keep existing antibiotics on the market despite their low prices.

      UNCTAD and WHO are expecting a good debate and some clarification of how stakeholders see the needs for the future, Spennemann said. The two UN organisations seek to informally bring together small companies, and potentially interested investors, and launch an informal debate.

  • Security
    • Reproducible Builds: Weekly report #181

      Another brief reminder that another Reproducible Builds summit will be taking place between 11th—13th December 2018 in Mozilla’s offices in Paris. If you are interested in attending please send an email to holger@layer-acht.org. More details can also be found on the corresponding event page of our website.

    • A mysterious grey-hat is patching people’s outdated MikroTik routers

      A Russian-speaking grey-hat hacker is breaking into people’s MikroTik routers and patching devices so they can’t be abused by cryptojackers, botnet herders, or other cyber-criminals, ZDNet has learned.

      The hacker, who goes by the name of Alexey and says he works as a server administrator, claims to have disinfected over 100,000 MikroTik routers already.

    • Chrome, Edge, IE, Firefox, and Safari to disable TLS 1.0 and TLS 1.1 in 2020

      Apple, Google, Microsoft, and Mozilla announced plans today to disable Transport Layer Security (TLS) 1.0 and 1.1 support in their respective browsers in the first half of 2020.

    • Canonical Announces Partnership with Eurotech, the Big Four to End Support of TLS 1.0 and 1.1, Sony Using Blockchain for DRM, NETWAYS Web Services Launches IaaS OpenStack, Grey Hat Patching MikroTik Routers and Paul Allen Dies at 65

      Apple, Google, Microsoft and Mozilla all announce the end of support for TLS 1.0 and 1.1 standards starting in 2020, ZDNet reports. Chrome and Firefox already support TLS 1.3, and Microsoft and Apple will soon follow suit.

    • Security updates for Tuesday
    • libssh 0.8.4 and 0.7.6 security and bugfix release

      libssh versions 0.6 and above have an authentication bypass vulnerability in the server code. By presenting the server an SSH2_MSG_USERAUTH_SUCCESS message in place of the SSH2_MSG_USERAUTH_REQUEST message which the server would expect to initiate authentication, the attacker could successfully authentciate without any credentials.

    • Trivial authentication bypass in libssh leaves servers wide open

      There’s a four-year-old bug in the Secure Shell implementation known as libssh that makes it trivial for just about anyone to gain unfettered administrative control of a vulnerable server. While the authentication-bypass flaw represents a major security hole that should be patched immediately, it wasn’t immediately clear what sites or devices were vulnerable since neither the widely used OpenSSH nor Github’s implementation of libssh was affected.

    • A Cybersecurity Weak Link: Linux and IoT [Ed: Blaming "Linux" for companies that put default passwords on all their products? Windows has back doors.]
    • Undetectably bypass voting machines’ anti-tamper mechanism with a bit of a soda-can

      But University of Michigan grad student Matt Bernhard has demonstrated that he can bypass the tamper-evident seals in seconds, using a shim made from a slice of a soda can. The bypass is undetectable and doesn’t damage the seal, which can be resecured after an attacker gains access to the system.

    • Security Seals Used to Protect Voting Machines Can Be Easily Opened With Shim Crafted from a Soda Can

      Bernhard, who is an expert witness for election integrity activists in a lawsuit filed in Georgia to force officials to get rid of paperless voting machines used in that state, said the issue of security ties and seals came up in the lawsuit earlier this year when Fulton County Elections Director Richard Barron told the court that his Georgia county relies on tamper-evident metal and plastic ties to seal voting machines and prevent anyone with physical access to the machines from subverting them while they sit in polling places days before an election.

      [...]

      He noted that defeating ties and seals in non-tamper-evident ways isn’t the only method to wreak havoc on an election in Michigan. The state has a unique law that prohibits ballots from being used in a recount if the number of voters doesn’t match the number of ballots cast at a precinct or if the seal on a ballot box is broken or has a different serial number than what it should have. Someone who wanted to wreak havoc on an election or alter an election outcome in Michigan could purposely tamper with ballot box seals in a way that is evident or simply replace them with a seal bearing a different serial number in order to get ballots excluded from a recount. The law came into sharp relief after the 2016 presidential election when Green Party candidate Jill Stein sought to get a statewide recount in Michigan and two other critical swing states and found that some precincts in Wayne County couldn’t be recounted because the number of voters who signed the poll books—which get certified with a seal signed by officials—didn’t match the number of ballots scanned on the voting machines.

    • Facebook’s ex-security chief will start a new center to bring Washington and Silicon Valley together
    • Most government domains adopt program to prevent sending of fake emails

      The Department of Homeland Security announced last October that all federal agencies had until Oct. 16, 2018, to adopt the email authentication process, known as domain-based message authentication, reporting and conformance (DMARC), which blocks fake or spoofed emails being sent from a government domain.

    • 21-year-old who created powerful RAT software sentenced to 30 months

      When Grubbs was first charged, he claimed LuminosityLink was a legitimate tool for system administrators, and he never intended for it to be used maliciously. He reversed course in a plea agreement he signed in July 2017. In that document, he admitted for the first time that he knew some customers were using the software to control computers without owners’ knowledge or permission. Grubbs also admitted emphasizing a wealth of malicious features in marketing materials that promoted the software.

    • What To Do If Your Account Was Caught in the Facebook Breach

      Keeping up with Facebook privacy scandals is basically a full-time job these days. Two weeks ago, it announced a massive breach with scant details. Then, this past Friday, Facebook released more information, revising earlier estimates about the number of affected users and outlining exactly what types of user data were accessed. Here are the key details you need to know, as well as recommendations about what to do if your account was affected.

      30 Million Accounts Affected

      The number of users whose access tokens were stolen is lower than Facebook originally estimated. When Facebook first announced this incident, it stated that attackers may have been able to steal access tokens—digital “keys” that control your login information and keep you logged in—from 50 to 90 million accounts. Since then, further investigation has revised that number down to 30 million accounts.

      The attackers were able to access an incredibly broad array of information from those accounts. The 30 million compromised accounts fall into three main categories. For 15 million users, attackers access names and phone numbers, emails, or both (depending on what people had listed).

    • GNU Binutils read_reloc Function Denial of Service Vulnerability [CVE-2018-18309]
  • Defence/Aggression
  • Transparency/Investigative Reporting
    • A court ruling knocks another hole in Swiss banking secrecy

      DURING his decade-long legal battle with the Swiss authorities, Rudolf Elmer, a bank whistleblower, endured 48 prosecutorial interrogations, spent six months in solitary confinement and faced 70 court rulings. None, though, was more important than the decision by Switzerland’s supreme court on October 10th, which set strict limits on the country’s famous bank-secrecy laws.

      Mr Elmer had leaked data from Julius Bär after being sacked by the Cayman Islands affiliate of the Zurich-based bank. The court, dismissing an appeal by prosecutors, ruled that because he was employed by the Cayman outfit, not its parent, he was not bound by Swiss secrecy law when he handed data to WikiLeaks in 2008. The 3-2 ruling followed a rare public debate among the judges, held in only 0.3% of supreme-court cases, underlining the national importance of the issue.

    • Pacifica stands with Wikileaks and Julian Assange

      If you’re opposed to war, how can you not love Julian Assange? Peace has been his overarching goal ever since he hacked into Pentagon computers at age 17, and he still has hope. In 2011, he told RT:

      “Nearly every war that has started in the past 50 years has been the result of media lies. The media could have stopped it. If they hadn’t reprinted government propaganda, they could’ve stopped it. But what does that mean?

      “That means basically that populations don’t like wars. And populations have to be fooled into war. Populations don’t willingly and with open eyes go into war. So if we have a good media environment, then we’ll also have a peaceful environment.”

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife/Nature
    • Devastating UN Report: CO2 Emissions Must Go to Zero By 2050 to Avoid Worst Effects of Climate Change

      Carbon dioxide emissions must reach net zero by 2050 in order to keep global warming below 1.5 degrees Celsius according to the “1.5 Degree Report,” compiled by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), a coalition of climate scientists working for the United Nations. For perspective, we emitted over 32 gigatonnes of carbon dioxide last year (a gigatonne is one billion metric tonnes.) The report also claims that national pledges from the 2015 Paris Climate Accord are not enough to meet these targets.

    • Coal Is Killing the Planet. Trump Loves It.

      Scientists issued a new alarm on the devastating impacts of continued burning of fossil fuels. But the Trump E.P.A. keeps propping up coal.

    • Why Catastrophic Climate Change is Probably Inevitable Now

      So now let’s connect all the dots. Capitalism didn’t just rape the planet laughing, and cause climate change that way. It did something which history will think of as even more astonishing. By quite predictably imploding into fascism at precisely the moment when the world needed cooperation, it made it impossible, more or less, for the fight against climate change to gather strength, pace, and force. It wasn’t just the environmental costs of capitalism which melted down the planet — it was the social costs, too, which, by wrecking global democracy, international law, cooperation, the idea that nations should work together, made a fractured, broken world which no longer had the capability to act jointly to prevent the rising floodwaters and the burning summers.

    • Denmark to label food according to effect on climate

      Food products will be marked with stickers showing their environmental impact, according to a proposal expected to be included in a new climate package to be presented by the government this week.

    • We must reduce greenhouse gas emissions to net zero or face more floods

      Even 1.5C of warming would have brutal consequences, according to the report. Poor people, in particular, would suffer as the threat of food and water shortages increase in some parts of the world.

      But the report makes clear that allowing warming to reach 2C would create risks that any reasonable person would regard as deeply dangerous.

    • A major climate report will slam the door on wishful thinking

      According to the drafts, the report finds that it would take a massive global effort, far more aggressive than any we’ve seen to date, to keep warming in line with 1.5°C — in part because we are already en route to 3°C of warming. And even if we hit the 1.5°C goal, the planet will still face massive, devastating changes. So it’s pretty grim.

    • Earth’s climate monsters could be unleashed as temperatures rise

      As a UN panel prepares a report on 1.5C global warming, researchers warn of the risks of ignoring ‘feedback’ effects

  • Finance
    • Budget Deficit Jumps Nearly 17% in 2018

      The federal budget deficit swelled to $779 billion in fiscal year 2018, the Treasury Department said on Monday, driven in large part by a sharp decline in corporate tax revenues after the Trump tax cuts took effect.

      The deficit rose nearly 17 percent year over year, from $666 billion in 2017. It is now on pace to top $1 trillion a year before the next presidential election, according to forecasts from the Trump administration and outside analysts. The deficit for the 2018 fiscal year, which ended Sept. 30, was the largest since 2012, when the economy and federal revenues were still recovering from the depths of the recession.

      Administration officials attributed the deficit’s rise to greater federal spending, including the military and domestic budget increases that President Trump approved this year, not the $1.5 trillion tax cut.

  • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics
    • Peter Thiel associate named as ambassador to Sweden
    • Taibbi: Why Aren’t We Talking More About Trump’s Nihilism?

      Now comes this Linda Blair-style head turn. The NHTSA report deftly leaps past standard wing-nut climate denial and lands on a new nihilistic construct, in which action is useless precisely because climate change exists and is caused by fossil fuels.

      The more you read of this impact statement, the weirder it seems. After the document lays out its argument for doing nothing, it runs a series of bar graphs comparing the impact of various action plans with scenarios in which the entire world did nothing (labeled the “no action” alternative).

    • The Trump administration knows the planet is going to boil. It doesn’t care

      The news in that statement is that administration officials serenely contemplate that 4C rise (twice the last-ditch target set at the Paris climate talks). Were the world to actually warm that much, it would be a literal hell, unable to maintain civilizations as we have known them. But that’s now our policy, and it apparently rules out any of the actions that might, in fact, limit that warming. You might as well argue that because you’re going to die eventually, there’s no reason not to smoke a carton of cigarettes a day.

      Meanwhile, reporters also discovered that the administration has set up what can only be described as a concentration camp near the Mexican border for detained migrant children, spiriting them under cover of darkness from the foster homes and small shelters across the nation where they had been staying.

    • Voter Purges: What Georgians Heading to the Polls Need to Know

      Charges of voter suppression have been levied in the governor’s race in Georgia in recent weeks, pitting the secretary of state and GOP candidate Brian Kemp against critics, including his Democratic opponent Stacey Abrams, who say that he’s using his perch as the chief election official to benefit his own candidacy.

      The race, which the Cook Political Report currently lists as a toss-up, has received national attention. The controversy has raised questions about whether some Georgians will be turned away at the polls.

      Here’s what’s happened so far, and what voters need to know.

      In 2017, Georgia passed a new “exact match” law, supported by Kemp, which requires that voter registration applications precisely match information on file with the Georgia Department of Driver Services or the Social Security Administration.

    • Voter Registration Around Austin Smashed Records. That May Be a Problem.

      Travis County, Texas — the home of Austin — has experienced a massive spike in voter registrations this cycle, which officials there attribute to the heightened interest in the state’s competitive Senate race. The county received around 35,000 registrations on the final day to submit them — that’s 10,000 more than on the same day in 2016.

      While the increase in voter participation is good news, the recent surge is complicated by the fact that the registrations were submitted on paper. Texas is one of only 13 states not to have online voter registration. About a dozen county employees are now sifting through thousands of applications, verifying them and entering them into the state’s voter rolls by hand.

      Of the 35,000 registrations received on Oct. 9, 25,000 have yet to be processed. Early voting starts Monday. County officials recognize that the haste required to process that many applications is likely to lead at least some voters to experience problems at the polls.

    • Washington Post Saudi Link; Assange Has Partial Wi-Fi; Harvard Lawsuit

      Lazare joins us to discuss a recent Intercept article, “The Washington Post, as it Shames Others, Continues to Pay and Publish Undisclosed Saudi Lobbyists and Other Regime Propagandists,” by Glenn Greenwald. It questions the Washington Post grieving one of its journalists while at the same time continuing ties with the Saudi regime: “In the wake of the disappearance and likely murder of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi, some of the most fervent and righteous voices demanding that others sever their ties with the Saudi regime have, understandably, come from his colleagues at that paper… addressing unnamed hypothetical Washington luminaries who continue to take money to do work for the despots in Riyadh, particularly Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, or ‘MbS’ as he has been affectionately known in the Western press.” But Greenwald says Post writers should ask those question of themselves, given the paper’s history of favorable reporting on Saudi Arabia’s government. What do we make of these headlines?

    • Pump and Trump

      Donald Trump claims he only licensed his name for real estate projects developed by others. But an investigation of a dozen Trump deals shows deep family involvement in projects that often involved deceptive practices.

  • Censorship/Free Speech
    • Jokes can spark threats

      I feel that as a woman, people will give you hell just because they can. If it is very nasty, I tend to ignore it. Somedays, when I am in a really bad mood, I may give it back to them in the same vein though. When asked which video of hers received a lot of flak, Saadiya recounts, “There was a video of mine on Muslims; nothing derogatory, I was just making fun of my own people. That ticked off a lot of Muslims. I also speak of topics that are hardcore feministic and this doesn’t go down well with a lot of people.

      “The threats range from I should get raped or killed to asking me to put out my address if I was that brave because they wanted to teach me a lesson. A lot of these people don’t even understand jokes, sarcasm or satire. They pick some words, form their own ideas and get offended. Now how is this my fault?”

    • Stand up for journalists and the free press by opposing the Future Investment Initiative!
    • Political correctness: an elite ideology

      So if it is not ethnic minorities clamouring for PC censorship, who is? The Hidden Tribes researchers identified a section of society which it labelled ‘progressive activists’. This group includes those most wedded to political correctness: only 30 per cent see it as a problem. It is characterised as being young, cosmopolitan and liberal. But it makes up just eight per cent of the US population. They are also disproportionately white: 80 per cent of the ‘progressive activists’ surveyed were white compared with 69 per cent of those surveyed overall. They are also overwhelmingly better-off: so-called progressive activists are three times as likely to have a postgraduate education and twice as likely to be earning over $100,000 a year.

    • Google CEO speaks out about controversial Chinese search engine plans

      He was also quick to defend the project, which human rights groups have suggested will likely to be complicit in human rights violations and would allow for far more detailed tracking and profiling of people’s behaviour.

    • Lawsuit Seeking to Unmask Contributors to ‘Shitty Media Men’ List Would Violate Anonymous Speakers’ First Amendment Rights

      A lawsuit filed in New York federal court last week against the creator of the “Shitty Media Men” list and its anonymous contributors exemplifies how individuals often misuse the court system to unmask anonymous speakers and chill their speech. That’s why we’re watching this case closely, and we’re prepared to advocate for the First Amendment rights of the list’s anonymous contributors.

      On paper, the lawsuit is a defamation case brought by the writer Stephen Elliott, who was named on the list. The Shitty Media Men list was a Google spreadsheet shared via link and made editable by anyone, making it particularly easy for anonymous speakers to share their experiences with men identified on the list. But a review of the complaint suggests that the lawsuit is focused more broadly on retaliating against the list’s creator, Moira Donegan, and publicly identifying those who contributed to it.

      For example, after naming several anonymous defendants as Jane Does, the complaint stresses that “Plaintiff will know, through initial discovery, the names, email addresses, pseudonyms and/or ‘Internet handles’ used by Jane Doe Defendants to create the List, enter information into the List, circulate the List, and otherwise publish information in the List or publicize the List.”

      In other words, Elliott wants to obtain identifying information about anyone and everyone who contributed to, distributed, or called attention to the list, not just those who provided information about Elliot specifically.

      The First Amendment, however, protects anonymous speakers like the contributors to the Shitty Media Men list, who were trying to raise awareness about what they see as a pervasive problem: predatory men in media. As the Supreme Court has ruled, anonymity is a historic and essential way of speaking on matters of public concern—it is a “shield against the tyranny of the majority.”

    • Will Donald Trump Support A Federal Anti-SLAPP Law Now That It’s Helped Him Win Stormy Daniels’ Defamation Suit?

      And it’s that tweet that Daniels/Avenatti sued over. Again, this was clearly going nowhere. That tweet is not at all defamatory under the 1st Amendment. In his defense, Trump, who was represented by Charles Harder*, filed an anti-SLAPP motion, arguing that Trump was protected under Texas’ anti-SLAPP law, that the case should be dismissed, and that Trump should be awarded attorneys’ fees. And the court easily agreed.

      [...]

      He and Daniels will almost certainly lose this appeal and Trump will almost certainly win. But the real question is whether or not this helps Trump recognize the value of strong anti-SLAPP laws. It seems like now would be a good time for Congress to finally move on the federal anti-SLAPP law, while reminding Trump that it may have just saved him a bunch of money…

  • Privacy/Surveillance
    • Massachusetts Supreme Court Looking To Define Where The Fifth Amendment Ends And Compelled Decryption Begins

      Another case attempting to define the contours of the Fifth Amendment as it pertains to cellphones and passwords has arrived in the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court. The case involves sex trafficking allegations and a phone seized from the defendant at the time of his arrest. Testimony from a person who said she was trafficked suggested the phone seized belonged to the defendant Dennis Lee Jones. The state sought to compel Jones to unlock the seized phone, but this motion was denied by the trial court, resulting in the state’s appeal.

      While the lower court did express some concern that unlocking devices can result in the production of evidence to be used against the person unlocking it, the standard for compelled password production has nothing to do with the eventual recovery of evidence. All the state* needs to reach is a reasonable certainty the defendant knows the password to the seized device. This is called a “foregone conclusion” — the defendant “telling” the state what it already “knows:” that the phone belongs to him and he can unlock it. The potential evidence held inside the phone may eventually be used against the defendant, but the Fifth Amendment question isn’t about this evidence, but rather the simple act of producing a password, which isn’t considered testimonial if the government can tie the phone to the accused.

    • Report: Your Browser’s “Do Not Track” Isn’t Respected by Twitter, Facebook and Other Major Players

      Right now, if you head to the privacy settings of your browser, there is a feature called “Do Not Track.” If you don’t know what that is, it’s basically a feature that sends a message to every website you visit asking them to not track your digital footprint.

      Websites use tracking to study your behavior and serve you ads accordingly to boost online sales revenue. We often fall for it, one minute you are looking at an expensive Jacket you want but you can’t afford it, the next minute you visit Facebook and there it is again, 20% off. And more often than not we end up buying the products.

    • Canadian Privacy Commissioner Goes To Court To Determine If Canada Can Force Google To Delete History

      Canada has been stumbling towards an EU-style “right to be forgotten” (RTBF) for quite some time now. There was a big case last year that not only said Google can be forced to remove links to certain information, but that it could be forced to do so globally (i.e., outside of just Canada). That was as a result of a specific lawsuit about specific information, but this year, a bigger exploration of the RTBF concept has been underway, as some have argued that Canada’s PIPEDA (Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act) meant that Google should be forced to “de-link” articles on certain people’s name searches upon request (just like the EU’s RTBF).

      A report from the Canadian Privacy Commissioner earlier this year argued that PIPEDA already provided such a right and the Privacy Commissioner Daniel Therrien has been stumping for this ever since. Google has — for obvious reasons — been expressing its position that this is ridiculous, saying that PIPEDA does not apply to de-linking individuals’ names from news articles, and further argued that requiring such a result would be unconstitutional.

    • The ‘Donald Daters’ Trump Dating App Exposed Its Users’ Data

      Alderson pointed Motherboard to the apparently misconfigured database which contains the Donald Daters user information. To verify the data did come from Donald Daters, Motherboard created an account on the app, searched for users mentioned in the exposed data, found these through the app itself, and confirmed the profile photos and names matched up.

  • Civil Rights/Policing
    • Checkpoint Nation

      Increasingly, Padilla’s description applies to CBP as well. It turns out that the legal definition of “the border” is troublingly broad. Some 200 million people — nearly two-thirds of all Americans — live within the “border zone,” which is defined by the Justice Department as the area up to 100 air miles from any U.S. land or coastal boundary. Nine of the country’s 10 largest cities lie within the zone. It touches 38 states and encompasses all of Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Hampshire, New Jersey and Rhode Island.

    • Innocent man ‘intimately searched’ and ‘called a paedo’ by police in brutal arrest paid £35k damages

      The force confirmed it had settled the case without liability, meaning it made no formal admission of wrong-doing, although the settlement including a letter of apology.

    • China disappearances show Beijing sets its own rules

      The recent disappearances of two high-profile Chinese citizens have once again focused international attention on China’s legal system and its use of secret detentions.

    • The Spirit of 1968 Lives on Today in Athletes like Colin Kaepernick

      Tommie Smith and John Carlos staged a stunning protest at the ’68 Summer Olympics. Fifty years later, rampant racial discrimination remains.

      In 1968, rage over the United States’ treatment of Black America was boiling over. It culminated that year in a protest at the Summer Olympics in Mexico City that shocked the world. But perhaps the lid blowing off the kettle shouldn’t have been so surprising.

      In May of 1967, Martin Luther King Jr. admitted that his “dream” of 1963 had “turned into a nightmare.” The uprisings later that summer reflected long-festering racial inequality. And as 1968 dawned, poverty was rampant in Black America.

      In Memphis, striking sanitation workers made about a dollar an hour. The Kerner Report, which was released in March of 1968, sounded ominous:

      “What white Americans have never fully understood — but what the Negro can never forget — is that white society is deeply implicated in the ghetto. White institutions created it, white institutions maintain it, and white society condones it.”

      Less than one month later, King was shot down in Memphis supporting those very sanitation workers.

      1968 also saw continued protests over the Vietnam War, the assassination of Robert Kennedy, and the live broadcast across the nation of the Chicago Police beating demonstrators at the Democratic National Convention. As the 1968 Olympics Games began, track athletes John Carlos and Tommie Smith made a decision. Something had to be said to the world about the promise of America going up in smoke.

    • Police Reform Is Coming to New York City, but Will the NYPD Follow the Law?

      Police reform legislation will go into effect this week in New York City, but the law depends on the NYPD acting in good faith.

      In December 2017, the New York City Council passed two police reform measures, collectively known as the Right to Know Act, which aimed to improve communication and transparency during police stops and searches. On Friday, both bills will take full effect, and the New York Police Department will be tasked with implementing the council’s mandate to become more transparent and accountable. But there are good reasons to be skeptical that the NYPD will implement the law faithfully.

      The first measure requires the NYPD to develop a policy that instructs officers to let people know when they have the right to refuse to be searched. Under the consent-to-search law, if an officer wants to search someone, her home, her vehicle, or her property without a warrant or a legally recognized exception under the Fourth Amendment’s warrant requirement, the officer must ask if the person voluntarily agrees to be searched.

      The law also requires the officer to explain that no search will happen if the individual stopped says no, and it requires the officer to double check that the person stopped understands that explanation. If the person has limited English proficiency, the officer must use interpretation services so that the person understands what’s being asked of her.

      If the officer has a body-worn camera, the encounter will be recorded, and the officer will be required to let the person know how to request a copy of that footage. The NYPD will also have to start keeping track of these encounters and publicly report how many searches are happening and, perhaps most importantly, the demographics of the people being asked to let an officer search them.

    • Facebook’s Latest Fake News ‘Purge’ Terminates Several Accounts Known For Their Criticism Of Law Enforcement

      Moderating at scale is a nightmare. Anything you do will be wrong. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t listen to criticism. Just be aware every move you make will cause unintended collateral damage. Making everyone happy is impossible. Making everyone angry is inevitable.

      [...]

      Maybe so, but the vanishing of a handful of cop accountability-focused pages isn’t exactly what comes to mind when someone’s talking about Russian interference. Encouraging platforms to engage in further moderation may seem innocuous, but the reality of the situation is there is constant pressure — applied by people like Senator Warner — for platforms to do more, more, more because some speech they don’t care for can still be found on the internet.

      The more politicians push for action, the more collateral damage they will cause. They may feel there’s no Constitutional problem since they’re not directly mandating moderation efforts. But they are harming free speech, if only indirectly at this point.

    • How America Systematically Fails Survivors of Sexual Violence

      #MeToo exposed the widespread silencing and dismissal of survivors and the need for our institutions to do better.

      Before there was Christine Blasey Ford, there was Recy Taylor, an African-American woman who was raped by six white men in 1944 and fought for justice with the help of Rosa Parks. And in between the two of them, there was Anita Hill, Tarana Burke, Alyssa Milano, Lupita Nyong’o, Tanya Selveratnam, Aly Raisman, and many, many more.

      For centuries, women have experienced violence and harassment, and many have spoken out. #MeToo brought us to a new phase in building the movement to end gender-based violence, magnifying and connecting thousands of voices as they shared their stories. Despite women’s achievement of formal equality, #MeToo exposed how common such violence is, the widespread silencing and dismissal of survivors, and the myriad ways violence undermines survivors’ security, dignity, and opportunities.

      The President and Senate Judiciary Committee are far from the only powerful people and institutions that limit investigations, disbelieve survivors, and fault people for coming forward. Discrimination against survivors infiltrates all aspects of life, including the responses of law enforcement, employers, housing providers, and schools, to name a few. Speaking out about violence is a crucial step. But law enforcement, employers, housing providers, and schools must also step up and acknowledge how their policies and practices contribute to violence.

      “Why didn’t you report?” is the refrain so many survivors face when they disclose violence for the first time. But too often, police dismiss survivors who go to law enforcement. This attitude results in governments’ decisions not to test thousands of rape kits in cities like Detroit, Albuquerque, and Washington DC, based on officers’ assumptions that there was no sexual assault. It also explains why one in three survivors feel less safe after contacting police.

    • From Canada to Argentina, Security Researchers Have Rights—Our New Report

      EFF is introducing a new Coders’ Rights project to connect the work of security research with the fundamental rights of its practitioners throughout the Americas. The project seeks to support the right of free expression that lies at the heart of researchers’ creations and use of computer code to examine computer systems, and relay their discoveries among their peers and to the wider public.

      To kick off the project, EFF published a whitepaper today, “Protecting Security Researchers’ Rights in the Americas” (PDF), to provide the legal and policy basis for our work, outlining human rights standards that lawmakers, judges, and most particularly the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, should use to protect the fundamental rights of security researchers.

      We started this project because hackers and security researchers have never been more important to the security of the Internet. By identifying and disclosing vulnerabilities, hackers are able to improve security for every user who depends on information systems for their daily life and work.

    • For Wearing Tampon, Virginia Woman Says She’s Barred From Prison Visits

      A Virginia woman says state prison officials terminated a visit with her husband and accused her of attempting to smuggle drugs with a tampon days after the state suspended a policy that would have banned women from wearing the feminine hygiene product to visits.

      Weeks later, according to the woman, her visits were unofficially suspended indefinitely as officials continue to investigate the package.

      The woman, who asked not to be named out of fear of retaliation from prison officials, said a Virginia Department of Corrections (DOC) administrator told her she was one of several women who had their visits terminated that day (although a friend who was in the visitation room with her said she did not see anyone else dismissed). She told Shadowproof she felt like she was targeted because she was on her period.

      The Virginia DOC did not return requests for comment on the alleged incident and visitation privileges. It posted a vague tweet on October 3 about drugs being found in the bathroom of one of its facilities but a spokeswoman did not disclose further details on the statement.

      The confrontation marked the latest incident in which officials used contraband to exert their power over incarcerated women and visitors’ periods.

    • FBI Releases Guidelines On Impersonating Journalists, Seems Unworried About Its Impact On Actual Journalists

      The FBI’s impersonation of journalists raised questions about its investigative activities, none of which the FBI felt like addressing. An Inspector General’s investigation of FBI investigations using this tactic found that it was generally a bad idea, but not an illegal or unconstitutional one. Prior to the investigation, the FBI apparently had no clear policies governing this form of impersonation, which it used to snare a school-bombing suspect.

      Following the report, a policy was put in place that added some additional layers of oversight but didn’t indicate the obvious downside of impersonating journalists: that the people the FBI wants to investigate are going to do a lot less talking to anyone they don’t know, which includes journalists attempting to document newsworthy events that might contain criminal activity.

      The FBI blew it with one of its other impersonation efforts. As Camille Fassett reports for the Freedom of the Press Foundation, a more recent effort may have put a serious damper on its fake news(person) efforts.

    • 16-year-old gets 4.5 years in prison for kissing 13-year-old

      The case concerns the 16-year-old A.K. and 13-year-old S.Ö. who have hugged and kissed each other on the school premises of the latter. The incident however was taken to the judiciary when a schoolmate of the 13-year old S.Ö. (known with initials A.Ş) took the video of the two kissing and shared it with friends. Once the relevant video was seen by the school management, a lawsuit was opened at the Antalya 6th Heavy Penalty Court against the middle schooler A.Ş. for “using children in the production of inappropriate images” and the high schooler A.K. for “sexual assault.”

    • Australians should sign Muslim peace contract or be executed, witness tells court

      He was questioned about his support for Islamic State, the caliphate and Sharia Law, which he believed should be implemented in Australia for all Muslims and non-Muslims.

      “They would have to sign a contract to live with, amongst Muslims in peace,” he said.

      “Whoever does not sign the contract either leaves the country or is executed.”

  • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality
    • Comcast complains it will make less money under Calif. net neutrality law

      Comcast submitted its filing on October 3 as part of the broadband industry lawsuit that seeks to overturn California’s net neutrality law (SB 822), which is slated to take effect on January 1, 2019 unless the court grants a stay halting implementation. Comcast’s filing is meant to support the industry’s request for an injunction that would halt enforcement of the law while litigation is pending.

    • 99.7% Of Original Comments Opposed FCC Repeal Of Net Neutrality

      A new study has once again confirmed that the vast, vast majority of the public opposed the FCC’s ham-fisted repeal of net neutrality.

      Like most government proceedings, the FCC’s net neutrality killing order’s public comment period was filled will all manner of comments (both in favor and against) generated by automatic letter-writing campaigns. Like most government proceedings in the post-truth era, the net neutrality repeal was also plagued by a lot of shady gamesmanship by companies trying to disguise the fact that the government was simply kissing the ass of giant, unpopular telecom monopolies. But what happens if you eliminated all of the letter-writing campaign and bogus bot-comments?

      A new report from Stanford University (pdf) did just that. It eliminated all automated or form-generated comments and found just 800,000 Americans willing to take the time to put their own, original thoughts on the net neutrality repeal into words.

    • 99.7 Percent of Unique FCC Comments Favored Net Neutrality

      After removing all duplicate and fake comments filed with the Federal Communications Commission last year, a Stanford researcher has found that 99.7 percent of public comments—about 800,000 in all—were pro-net neutrality.

    • DOJ Continues To Point Out A Mega-Merged AT&T Will Jack Up Prices On Everybody

      AT&T recently defeated the DOJ’s challenge to their $86 billion merger with Time Warner thanks to a comically narrow reading of the markets by U.S. District Court Judge Richard Leon. At no point in his 172-page ruling (which approved the deal without a single condition) did Leon show the faintest understanding that AT&T intends to use vertical integration synergistically with the death of net neutrality to dominate smaller competitors.

      In fact, net neutrality was never even mentioned by the DOJ at the multi-week trial. Likely in part because the DOJ didn’t want to highlight how the Trump FCC was screwing everybody over with one hand, while the Trump DOJ was allegedly suing AT&T to “protect consumers” with the other (some argue that Trump’s disdain for CNN and adoration of Rupert Murdoch were the more likely motivators). But if you ignore the fact that AT&T plans to use its monopoly over many broadband markets (from residential to cellular tower backhaul) combined with the death of net neutrality to make life difficult for consumers and competitors alike, you’re not paying any attention to history or to AT&T’s repeated nods in that general direction.

  • DRM
    • Security Updates Are Even Breaking Your Printer (On Purpose)

      Printer manufacturers hate third-party ink cartridges. They want you buying the expensive, official ones. Epson and HP have issued sneaky “updates” that break these cheaper cartridges, forcing you to buy the expensive ones.

      HP pioneered this technique back in 2016, rolling out a “security update” to its OfficeJet and OfficeJet Pro printers that activated a helpful new feature—helpful for HP’s bottom line, at least. Now, before printing, the printer would verify you’re using new HP ink cartridges. If you’re using a competitor’s ink cartridge or a refilled HP ink cartridge, printing would stop. After some flaming in the press, HP sort-of apologized, but not really.

  • Intellectual Monopolies
    • Microsoft’s Peace Treaty With the ‘Linux System’

      “The only reason you don’t sign the OIN license is because you want to reserve the right to sue on core Linux,” he said.

      Taking Microsoft on as a member creates something of a public relations problem for OIN, which is not without detractors in the open source community. The opposition primarily centers on the widespread belief in open source circles that software shouldn’t be patentable, mostly because software is already covered under copyright law. In a recent article on Microsoft’s joining OIN, Roy Schestowitz, publisher of the software patent-focused Techrights website, called OIN “an IBM-centric group that favors software patents” and has said the organization’s model works against patent reform because it supports the legitimacy of patents.

      “We don’t feel that we’re legitimizing them,” Bergelt said. “We’re recognizing that they exist. It’s a matter of pragmatism to say that whether we believe they should exist or shouldn’t exist doesn’t matter — they do exist. My view is we’re recognizing reality and dealing with it in a determined way, and I disagree with those who believe it’s a validation.”

    • Germany: Feuerfeste Zustellung einer Gießpfanne, Federal Court of Justice of Germany, X ZR 44/16, 13 March 2018

      The Federal Court of Justice held that the purpose of determining the technical problem (objective) in invalidity proceedings is to locate the starting point of skilled efforts to enrich the state of the art without knowledge of the invention, in order to assess, in the subsequent and separate examination of patentability, whether or not the solution proposed for this purpose was rendered obvious by the state of the art. Accordingly, it does not have the function to make a preliminary decision on the question of patentability. Therefore, it is neither permissible to take into account elements belonging to the solution according to the patent in the formulation of the problem nor may it be assumed without further ado that it was appropriate for the person skilled in the art to deal with a particular problem.

    • Why would the Federal Trade Commission snatch defeat from the jaws of victory over Qualcomm?

      This is a follow-up to yesterday’s post on Judge Lucy H. Koh’s decision to deny a joint administrative motion by the Federal Trade Commission and Qualcomm asking her not to rule on a motion for partial summary judgment on the obligation to extend standard-essential patent (SEP) licenses on FRAND terms to rival chipset makers (such as Intel).

      I didn’t want to jump to conclusions from a case management decision, but in purely probabilistic terms it’s a fact that Judge Koh’s order increases the likelihood of summary judgment being granted. There’s no harder-working judge than her, and she wouldn’t have decided to cancel the hearing and take this motion (as well as several other, less important motions) under submission if there had been any questions left to ask. However, if she had been inclined to deny the actual motion, she might just have given the parties four weeks to work out a settlement–the sole remaining plausible explanation would be that she wanted to make it clear her court is nobody’s tool, much less a restaurant that serves litigation à la carte where you can put one motion on hold while letting the process continue on the same schedule in all other respects.

      This antitrust litigation has been going very, very well for the FTC for a long time. It wouldn’t make sense to let Qualcomm off the hook now that there is a near-term opportunity (with respect to the summary judgment motion, “near-term” is actually a gross understatement) to restore fair competition in the market for baseband chipsets and with respect to cellular SEP licensing.

      There’s probably a lot of fighting going on in DC behind the scenes, inside and outside the FTC. Prior to the latest twist I had already tried to find out about where the current five commissioners stand on FRAND, but haven’t found any information that would enable me to predict the outcome of a vote on a hypothetical settlement proposal tantamount to the agency’s surrender. In the past, the positions of Commissioners Maureen Ohlhausen and Joshua D. Wright were well-known (I mentioned Mrs. Ohlhausen on several occasions, and in 2013 I dedicated a blog post to Mr. Wright’s stance), but they aren’t in office anymore. So I extended my search for clues to high-ranking FTC officials. It turns out that two of them–Alden Abbott (the FTC’s General Counsel) and Bruce H. Kobayashi–have a certain proximity to Qualcomm and are sympathetic to Qualcomm’s unFRANDly positions to a degree that is clearly a minority opinion in the legal community. While I don’t have the slightest indication of any impropriety, there is a conspicuous lack of impartiality.

    • Copyrights
      • 9th Circuit Led Zeppelin ruling introduces new copyright infringement framework

        The Ninth Circuit’s Stairway to Heaven decision on September 28 offers a better application of the inverse ratio rule, according to one observer

        The Ninth Circuit recently vacated in part the district court’s judgement that Led Zeppelin’s Stairway to Heaven did not infringe Spirit’s 1960s instrumental track Taurus.

      • Art, AI & Infringement: A Copyright Conundrum

        The trademark claim rests solely on the name of the file including Chamandy’s full name. It’s a silly argument for trademark infringement as the whole point of including the name is to weigh the new art piece against her specific work, which necessarily involves anyone viewing these pieces being informed that they are not the work of the original author. The whole purpose of the validation process is to show what differentiation remains between the new piece and the human-made example. That’s not trademark infringement. It’s not really even close.

        As for the copyright portion of this, it’s important that you not be fooled by the percentage the machine setup notes in the validation process. You might think that an 85% match would mean the two images are very similar and would share a ton of features that would link the two in the viewer’s mind. That’s not even close to being the case, as you can see just how different the two images are below.

      • Can’t Wish Away The Mistakes In The Original ‘Stairway To Heaven’ Verdict

        Last time, I explained why I thought the Ninth Circuit’s recent vacating and remanding of the jury verdict in Led Zeppelin’s favor was, long-term, a good thing for copyright law (even if I kind of liked the verdict and am genuinely sorry for Led Zeppelin). The reason is that the reversal gave one panel of the Ninth Circuit an opportunity to try to fix the Ninth Circuit’s unhelpful legal framework for determining copyright infringement.

        But that isn’t why the panel reversed. While the panel did make some suggestions about how to present the “inverse-ratio” rule to the jury, the way it was presented to the original jury isn’t what merited reversal. What merited reversal was the lack of another jury instruction about a basic and uncontroversial principle of copyright law that the parties agreed should have been there in some form. In short, the case is being reversed — and the Ninth Circuit is getting a chance to fix its own weird copyright law — because of what appears to have been a brain fart.

      • Vodlocker Hammers Streaming Sites with JavaScript-based DDoS

        Vodlocker.to offers a handy video embed tool which several smaller pirate streaming sites have grown to rely on. Starting recently, however, the site also appears to have become the source of a rather nasty JavaScript-based DDoS campaign, which uses the unwitting viewers of these embedded videos to take out several pirate streaming sites.

      • Court Orders Swedish ISP Telia to Block The Pirate Bay & FMovies

        Sweden’s Patent and Market Court has ordered a local ISP to block access to several large torrent and streaming platforms. The interim ruling, which comes into force at the end of October, requires Telia to block The Pirate Bay, Dreamfilm, FMovies, and NyaFilmer following a complaint from Hollywood and local studios.

      • High Court overturns ruling of breach of privacy in Kim Dotcom case

        At the four-day appeal hearing last month, the lawyer for the Attorney-General, Victoria Casey told the High Court at Wellington the transfer of the requests was “orthodox and sensible”, and that the Tribunal had taken the wrong approach to deciding whether the requests were vexatious.

      • Kim Dotcom loses court battle over information requests

Improving US Patent Quality Through Reassessments of Patents and Courts’ Transparency

Wednesday 17th of October 2018 08:56:46 AM

Summary: Transparency in US courts and more public participation in the patent process (examination, litigation etc.) would help demonstrate that many patents are being granted — and sometimes asserted — that are totally bunk, bogus, fake

THE new leadership is oftentimes frustrating if now downright depressing; they put the so-called ‘swamp’ in charge. A new event about patents issued the following nonsensical tweet: “A new twist has recently entered the debate about how #patents and #opensource interact and whether the two principles are compatible with each other or not.”

“So stop granting software patents; the principal problem would be solved.”They’re obviously not compatible, but the sponsors would pay for us to believe otherwise. The event took place yesterday and attending as well as speaking was Director Iancu, who said, according to third-party accounts: “lack of predictability on Section 101 limits investment in innovation. [] gets specific: “Step 1 of Alice-Mayo test must be a ‘category’ analysis not a claim analysis. If the matter is sometimes patentable then it is not a subject matter Section 101 problem.”

So stop granting software patents; the principal problem would be solved. We’ll probably say more in the weekend (once all the patent maximalists are done boosting him).

Totally meaningless is the message above (lots of mythology embedded in it, pure fiction from the patent microcosm). He just wants to find ways to defy the courts, ignore caselaw, and grant software patents anyway.

Last night Josh Landau (CCIA) spoke about history and noted that “[w]hile the PTO no longer operates under a registration system, that situation still exists today. The PTO—unlike many other patent offices around the world—is unable to permanently refuse a patent application.”

Here are some key bits:

Setting aside the apparent fact that the vast majority of patents back then were on old ideas—a problem that continues to exist, given the significant number of invalid patents issued by the PTO—there’s another lesson to be had from this diary entry.

Dr. Thornton was operating under the registration system, during which patents were not examined but were simply granted. As Adams emphasized, the problem of an inability to refuse a patent leads to the existence of patents on old technology, imposing significant harms on the public who become unable to utilize the prior technology that they should have had the right to employ.2

While the PTO no longer operates under a registration system, that situation still exists today. The PTO—unlike many other patent offices around the world—is unable to permanently refuse a patent application. All they can do is temporarily reject it and wait for the applicant to decide if they want to keep going with prosecution. Unsurprisingly, in a system where it’s impossible to permanently get rid of an application, a large number of them eventually become patents. When correcting for procedures like continuations, the percentage of patent applications that are issued has risen, approaching nearly 100% last year—a proportion not reached since the turn of the millennium.

[...]

It’s unfortunate that the PTO and policymakers continue to fail to learn from these mistakes—particularly when the first Commissioner for Patents identified the issue over 200 years ago.

This means that we increasingly need to rely on courts and tribunals, not examiners.

In spite of fee hikes and other attempts — more recently by Iancu — to sabotage the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) this tribunal is still attracting many inter partes reviews (IPRs), abolishing software patents by the hundreds each month, owing to to 35 U.S.C. § 101, inspired by SCOTUS and embraced by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).

Michael Loney graphed/charted the numbers yesterday and said:

2018 is on course to have the lowest petition filing rate since 2013. The third quarter included the impact of SAS on institution decisions, an update to the AIA Trial Practice Guide, the departure of the PTAB chief judge and the creation of a Precedential Opinion Panel

Sometimes there are appeals and these typically swiftly affirm the Board’s decisions.

As we noted here before, the EFF’s Daniel Nazer and his colleageus had been asking the Federal Circuit for greater transparency in patent lawsuits, affairs, lobbying etc. (without time delays as before).

The final outcome is positive, as Nazer noted some hours ago. To quote:

In a victory for transparency, the Federal Circuit has changed its policies to give the public immediate access to briefs. Previously, the court had marked submitted briefs as “tendered” and withheld them from the public pending review by the Clerk’s Office. That process sometimes took a number of days. EFF wrote a letter [PDF] asking the court to make briefs available as soon as they are filed. The court has published new procedures [PDF] that will allow immediate access to submitted briefs.

Regular readers might note that this is the second time we have announced this modest victory. Unfortunately, our earlier blog post was wrong and arose out of a miscommunication with the court (the Clerk’s Office informed us of our mistake and we corrected that post). This time, the new policy clearly provides for briefs to be immediately available to the public.

We certainly hope that CAFC, by affirming decisions of PTAB, can undermine Iancu’s agenda of weakening PTAB and broadening patent scope in defiance of the Supreme Court. Iancu appears to have adopted lawlessness, just like his boss who appointed him after he had worked for him. The EFF is rightly upset about it.

Ask OIN How It Intends to Deal With Microsoft Proxies Such as Patent Trolls

Wednesday 17th of October 2018 06:59:12 AM

Microsoft does not need to sue GNU/Linux (and hasn’t done so in quite a while); there are ‘tentacles’ for enforcement…


The "Microsoft spinoff" Intellectual Ventures is still managed by the same man. Credit: Reuters

Summary: OIN continues to miss the key point (or intentionally avoid speaking about it); Microsoft is still selling ‘protection’ from the very same patent trolls that it is funding, arming, and sometimes even instructing (who to pass patents to and sue)

WE HAD been writing about Microsoft’s attacks — especially by means of patents — and ‘defensive’ aggregators (DPAs) long before the Open Invention Network (OIN) added Microsoft as a member (or even LOT Network). We wrote many articles about why OIN wasn’t the solution, except perhaps to large companies such as Red Hat and IBM (which already cross-licenses with Microsoft anyway). We foresaw Microsoft joining as a member and clarified that it would not mean very much. OIN cannot really tackle some of the key problems. Even if Microsoft threw away all of its patents (voiding everything) — however unlikely that is — that would still leave many patents out there that it gave to patent trolls such as MOSAID (now known as Conversant). For well over a decade Microsoft has ‘polluted’ several spaces/domains with trolls, flooding them with risks that help Microsoft sell “Azure IP Advantage” [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21] (or previously Novell/SUSE Linux with the ‘Microsoft tax’ for what they back them marketed as “intellectual property peace of mind”).

“For well over a decade Microsoft has ‘polluted’ several spaces/domains with trolls, flooding them with risks that help Microsoft sell “Azure IP Advantage”…”OIN’s response to my views (just mentioned in Hall’s new article with the words “Peace Treaty” in the headline) dodges the issue of patent trolls, including Microsoft-connected ones. There’s nothing they can do about these and occasionally they admit so, too. With lots of USPTO-granted software patents out there (OIN expresses no interest in actually challenging those) there’s going to be trouble.

I must say that not a single person has yet pointed out inaccuracies or errors in my articles/views on this matter. Nobody. I saw a lot of people agreeing; curiously enough, some key Microsoft employees blocked me in Twitter pro-actively (even though I never even spoke to them or about them). How curious. It’s like they’re afraid of actually dealing with the facts and debate matters. Ears wide shut.

Mitchel Lewis, who blogs about technology [1, 2], recently approached me for “a chat about Microsoft [...] Specifically with regard to patent trolling. I’m writing an article about the influence of Bill Gates Sr. and his law firm KL Gates with regard to the predatory design and nature of Microsoft…”

“I’m an open book man,” he said. “Another project that I have on the back-burner is focused on how Microsoft influences and suppresses the media.”

Here is what we wrote to me about OIN and patent trolls:

Truth be told, I just stumbled upon that site today so I will be spending a bit of time there over the next few weeks. Based on what I’ve read so far though, thanks for pointing out how Microsoft funds patent trolls; this was news to me. But it also seems like an eerily similar tactic leveraged by Peter Thiel, and presumably others, when he enacted his revenge on Gawker by funding Hulk Hogan’s lawsuit. In turn, this makes me wonder if media outlets dance around topics that make Microsoft and other large entities look bad for fear of indirect retaliation such as this.

I’ve been so focused on other crude aspects of Microsoft that I seem to have neglected to realize just how potent of a troll they are in the realm of patent law, among other things. Only after realizing that they’ve been trolling the Linux world for years, to the point of being one of necessitating factors of OIN’s formation, did I begin to consider just how much of their business is dependent on subverting their competition, Linux or otherwise, through their patents.

Needless to say, please feel free to use and re-appropriate anything that I’ve written to use as well as cite at your discretion. I maintain the stance that there are not enough people writing about how destructive Microsoft is in this day and am just glad to see others writing about it.

OIN may never be able to explain how it intends to tackle Microsoft’s satellites, such as Intellectual Ventures, Finjan, and Acacia, which as noted only earlier this week still attacks other OIN members for their products that compete with Microsoft’s.

Links 1610/2018: Linux 4.19 RC8, Xfce Screensaver 0.1.0 Released

Tuesday 16th of October 2018 04:34:11 PM

Contents GNU/Linux
  • Desktop
    • Chrome OS Stable Channel Gets Linux Apps

      After months of user testing in developer and beta channels, the Crostini project at Google finally delivered the goods, Linux apps for most users of Chromebooks in the stable channel—definitely worth the wait. While this still is aimed primarily at developers using Chromebooks, I think there’s a good chance these Linux apps will be used and enjoyed by the general public using Chromebooks as well. There’s still a bit of a learning curve to overcome before that possibility is realized, but if you already are a user of any Linux distro, it will feel very familiar. Here’s an overview of how to install it and what to expect afterward.

      After getting the update to version 69, go to Settings and scroll down a bit, and you’ll see the option to turn on Linux apps. Figure 1 shows this first step. Note that this isn’t available on all Chromebooks; if you’re using an older one, you’ll have to wait a while before this function is available. If you don’t see the option to turn on Linux apps, your Chromebook currently lacks that functionality. But, if you have a Chromebook produced in the past two years, you probably will see the option.

    • Update KB4468550 Fixes Audio Issues Caused In Windows 10 October Patch [Ed: Alternative (better) headline is, Microsoft admits breaking your machine]

      If your Windows is updated to the latest Windows 10 October 2018 update then there are chances that you might be facing audio problems , something along the lines of “No Audio Output Device is installed”.

      The October 2018 patch caused this issue on many machines running Windows 10 version 1803 or above. Many users tweeted about this problem almost instantly as it was happening on such a wide scale when they realized that they Windows has stopped giving them audio when they start playing games, or launch a video player all while the sounds on their browser as well as the system sounds were working perfectly fine.

  • Kernel Space
    • Linux 4.19-rc8

      As mentioned last week, here’s a -rc8 release as it seems needed.

      There were a lot of “little” pull requests this week, semi-normal for
      this late in the cycle, but a lot of them were “fix up the previous fix
      I just sent” which implies that people are having a few issues still.

      I also know of at least one “bad” bug that finally has a proposed fix,
      so that should hopefully get merged this week. And there are some
      outstanding USB fixes I know of that have not yet landed in the tree (I
      blame me for that…)

      Anyway, the full shortlog is below, lots of tiny things all over the
      tree. Please go and test and ensure that all works well for you.
      Hopefully this should be the last -rc release.

    • Linux 4.19-rc8 Released With A Lot Of “Tiny Things”
    • Linux’s Qualcomm Ath10k Driver Getting WoWLAN, WCN3990 Support

      The Qualcomm/Atheros “Ath10k” Linux driver coming up in the Linux 4.20~5.0 kernel merge window is picking up two prominent features.

      First up, the Ath10k driver is finally having WoWLAN support — Wake on Wireless LAN. WoWLAN has been supported by the kernel for years and more recently is getting picked up by Linux networking user-space configuration utilities. Ath10k is becoming the latest Linux wireless driver supporting WoWLAN (WIPHY_WOWLAN_NET_DETECT) for automatically waking up the system when within range of an a known SSID.

    • FUSE File-Systems Pick Up Another Performance Boost With Symlink Caching

      FUSE file-systems in user-space are set to be running faster with the upcoming Linux 4.20~5.0 kernel thanks to several performance optimizations.

      The FUSE kernel code for this next Linux kernel cycle already has a hash table optimization and separately is copy file range support for efficient file copy operations. Staged today into the FUSE tree for the next cycle was yet another performance-boosting patch.

    • Another Change Proposed For Linux’s Code of Conduct

      With the Linux 4.19-rc8 kernel release overnight, one change not to be found in this latest Linux 4.19 release candidate are any alterations to the new Code of Conduct. The latest proposal forbids discussing off-topic matters while protecting any sentient being in the universe.

      While some immediate changes to the Linux kernel Code of Conduct have been talked about by upstream kernel developers, for 4.19-rc8 there are no changes yet. We’ll presumably see some basic changes land this week ahead of Linux 4.19.0 expected next Sunday as not to have an unenforceable or flawed CoC found in a released kernel version.

    • Linux v4.18: Performance Goodies

      Linux v4.18 has been out a two months now; making this post a bit late, but still in time before the next release. Also so much drama in the CoC to care about performance topics As always comes with a series of performance enhancements and optimizations across subsystems.

    • Linux Foundation
      • Automotive Grade Linux Enables Telematics and Instrument Cluster Applications with Latest UCB 6.0 Release

        Developed through a joint effort by dozens of member companies, the AGL Unified Code Base (UCB) is an open source software platform that can serve as the de facto industry standard for infotainment, telematics and instrument cluster applications. Sharing a single software platform across the industry reduces fragmentation and accelerates time-to-market by encouraging the growth of a global ecosystem of developers and application providers that can build a product once and have it work for multiple automakers.

        [...]

        The AGL UCB 6.0 includes an operating system, middleware and application framework. Key features include: [...]

    • Graphics Stack
      • CodeXL 2.6 is released!

        For current users of CodeXL, this new release may look and feel a little different. The AMD Developer Tools team has been busy working on many new tools, some of which replicate functionality found in older versions of CodeXL. Thus, to limit confusion for our users, we have removed several major components from CodeXL.

      • AMD CodeXL 2.6 Advances GPU Profiling, Static Analysis & GPU Debugging

        But what is found within CodeXL 2.6 for GPU developers are the GPU profiling features, static analysis features, and GPU debugging features.

      • [ANNOUNCE] xorg-server 1.20.2

        Lots of bugfixes all over the map. Thanks to all for testing and patches!

      • X.Org Server 1.20.2 Released With A Bunch Of Bug Fixes

        It’s almost been a half-year already since the release of the long delayed X.Org Server 1.20, but with no signs of X.Org Server 1.21 releasing soon, xorg-server 1.20.2 was announced today as the latest stable point release.

      • FreeDesktop.org Might Formally Join Forces With The X.Org Foundation

        FreeDesktop.org is already effectively part of X.Org given the loose structure of FreeDesktop.org, the key members/administrators being part of both projects, and FreeDesktop.org long being the de facto hosting platform from the X.Org Server to Mesa and much more. But now they may be officially joining forces.

        As a formality, the X.Org Foundation is seeking to change their foundation’s by-laws to reflect that the X.Org Foundation shall also “Support free and open source projects through the freedesktop.org infrastructure. For projects outside the scope [of the X.Org Foundation] support extends to project hosting only.”

      • Experimental Patches For Using SIMD32 Fragment Shaders With Intel’s Linux Driver

        Existing Intel graphics hardware already supports SIMD32 fragment shaders and the Intel open-source Linux graphics driver has supported this mode for months, but it hasn’t been enabled. That though is in the process of changing.

        Since June the Intel Mesa driver’s fragment shader code has supported the SIMD32 mode supported by the past number of generations of Intel graphics hardware, but it hasn’t actually been turned on. That enabling wasn’t done over not having the heuristics in place for determining when to enable it over the other code paths.

    • Benchmarks
      • Windows 10 October 2018 Update Performance Against Ubuntu 18.10, Fedora 29

        As the latest of our benchmarks using the newly re-released Microsoft Windows 10 October 2018 Update, here are benchmarks of this latest Windows 10 build against seven different Linux distributions on the same hardware for checking out the current performance of these operating systems.

        For this latest Linux OS benchmarking comparison against Windows, the following platforms were tested:

        - The Windows 10 April 2018 release as the previous major milestone of Windows 10.

        - The newest Windows 10 October 2018 build as the latest Windows 10 build from Microsoft.

        - OpenSUSE Tumbleweed as the openSUSE rolling-release distribution that as of testing was on the Linux 4.18.12 kernel, KDE Plasma 5.14, Mesa 18.1.7, and GCC 8.2.1 atop an XFS home file-system with Btrfs root file-system (the default partitioning scheme).

  • Applications
  • Desktop Environments/WMs
    • Xfce Screensaver 0.1.0 Released

      I am pleased to announce the release of Xfce Screensaver (xfce4-screensaver) 0.1.0! This is an early release targeted to testers and translators. Bugs and patches welcome!

    • Xfce4-Screensaver Has Its First Release – Fork Of MATE Screensaver, Forked From GNOME

      As a new alternative over XScreenSaver or using other desktop environments’ screensaver functionality, xfce4-screensaver has out its first release albeit of alpha quality.

      The xfce4-screensaver project made its preliminary (v0.1.0) release today that is described of alpha quality intended for testers and translators. This new screensaver option for Xfce users is forked from the MATE Screensaver code, which in turn was forked from the GNOME Screensaver.

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt
      • Plasma 5.14 – Phasers on stun

        Linux is much like the stock market. Moments of happiness broken by crises. Or is the other way around? Never mind. Today shall hopefully be a day of joy, for I am about to test Plasma 5.14, the latest version of this neat desktop environment. Recently, I’ve had a nice streak of good energy with Linux, mostly thanks to my experience with Slimbook Pro2, which I configured with Kubuntu Beaver. Let’s see if we can keep the momentum.

        Now, before we begin, there are more good news woven into this announcement. As you can imagine, you do need some kind of demonstrator to test the new desktop. Usually, it’s KDE neon, which offers a clean, lean, mean KDE-focused testing environment. You can boot into the live session, try the desktop, and if you like it, you can even install it. Indeed, neon is an integral part of my eight-boot setup on the Lenovo G50 machine. But what makes things really interesting is that neon has also switched to the latest Ubuntu LTS base. It now comes aligned to the 18.04 family, adorned with this brand new Plasma. Proceed.

      • Release of KDE Frameworks 5.51.0

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

        This release is part of a series of planned monthly releases making improvements available to developers in a quick and predictable manner.

      • KDE Frameworks 5.51 Released
      • KDE e.V. receives a sizeable donation from Handshake Foundation

        Of the total donation amount, 100,000 USD will be specifically allocated to pursue the development of the Calligra office suite.

        “Handshake is pleased to be able to support KDE’s international community of dedicated volunteers and their continued commitment to a free desktop environment with the current release of KDE Plasma 5 and the Calligra office suite”, says Rob Myers from the Handshake Foundation.

        The fruits of this contribution will soon become visible and available to everyone. Meanwhile, don’t hesitate to join the KDE Community and be part of our mission to help everyone protect their privacy and control their digital lives with Free Software.

      • KDE e.V Receives Generous Handshake Donation, Ubuntu Touch OTA-5 Is Out, Geoclue 2.5 Now Available and Asking for Help, New Code of Conduct Proposal and Internet Freedom Festival

        KDE e.V. announces it received a $300,000 USD donation from the Handshake Foundation. According to the KDE blog post, it plans to use $100,000 USD of the donation specifically toward development of the Calligra office suite. Also, KDE celebrated its 22nd anniversary yesterday—Happy Birthday KDE!

      • digiKam Recipes 18.10.15 Released

        It’s time for another digiKam Recipes update. The most visible change in this update is the new book cover. All screenshots were also updated to reflect changes in the current version of digiKam.

      • [Krita] Interview with Sira Argia

        2014 is the year that I first started to try Linux on my laptop, and then I knew that Windows programs don’t run perfectly on Linux even using “wine”. My curiosity about Linux and the alternative programs led me to Krita. The more time I spent with Linux, the more I fell in love with it. And finally I thought that “I’ll choose Linux as a single OS on my laptop and Krita as a digital painting program for work someday after I get my first graphic tablet.”

      • And so the [Krita] Fundraiser Ends

        Yesterday was the last day of the developers sprint^Wmarathon, and the last day of the fundraiser. We’re all good and knackered here, but the fundraiser ended at a very respectable 26,426 euros! That’s really awesome, thanks everybody!

      • Sizeable donation from Handshake Foundation

        We’re glad to announce that we received donation of 100,000 USD, which is part of 300,000 USD offered to our KDE organization. Quite appropriate for a birthday present, as the KDE project just turned 22 this last weekend! It’s true recognition for KDE as one of the world’s largest open source project.

      • Qt 5.12 beta2 released

        We have published Qt 5.12 beta2 today. As earlier you can get it via online installer. Delta to beta1 attached.

      • Qt 5.12 Beta 2 Brings Many Fixes

        Just two weeks after the Qt 5.12 beta release, a second beta is now available for testing of this forthcoming tool-kit update.

        The Qt 5.12 Beta 2 update is made up of bug fixes with changes ranging from build fixes for different platforms to disabling mouse tracking by default within the QtWebGLPlugin to fixed Ozone platform detection. There are more than 200 changes to Qt 5.12 that have been queued over the past two weeks.

        The complete list of the 200+ changes that are mostly fixes in Qt 5.12 Beta 2 can be found via today’s release announcement with the attached change-log.

      • Krita at the University of La Plata

        Sebastian Labi ha sido invitado para presentar Krita en el Laboratorio de herramientas de software libre de la Universidad de La Plata. Hablará sobre ilustración digital y usará Krita para dar una demostración de cómo usar Krita para el campo de la Ilustración Digital.

        El SLAD- FBA (Software libre para Arte y diseño) es una nueva unidad de de investigación y formación en la Facultad de Bellas Artes que promueve el conocimiento y uso del software libre en la capacitación académica de la Universidad de La Plata.

      • LaKademy 2018 – Third and Fourth Days (October 13th and 14th)

        The third day of LaKademy 2018 was my last day participating on the event.

        During October 13th, we started the day with a promo reunion. This reunion was done to discuss about some plans and actions for the Latin American KDE community over the next year. Some decisions were made and topics were discussed involving KDE participation in some events, promotion of our own events in Latin America, including LaKademy 2019 and Kafé com Qt, and some details in general about our community.

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK
      • Restyling apps at scale

        Over the past few months we’ve had a lively debate about “theming” in GNOME, and how it affects our ecosystem. In this discussion I’ve found that there is a divide between people who design and/or develop apps, and people who don’t. I have yet to see an app developer who thinks the current approach to “theming” can work, while many people who aren’t app developers are arguing that it can.

        After a few long discussions I started to realize that part of the reason why there’s so little agreement and so much drama around this issue is that we don’t agree what the problem is. Those who don’t work on apps often can’t see the issues with theming and think we want to remove things for no reason, while those who do are very frustrated that the other side doesn’t want to acknowledge how broken everything is.

      • Geoclue 2.5 & repeating call for help

        Also, while I’m at it, I wanted to highlight the “call for help” at the end of that post by repeating it here again. I apologize of repeating to those who already read it but a friend pointed out that it’s likely going to be missed by many folks:
        The future of Mozilla Location Service
        When Mozilla announced their location service in late 2013, Geoclue became one of its first users as it was our only hope for a reliable WiFi-geolocation source. We couldn’t use Google’s service as their ToC don’t allow it to be used in an open source project (I recall some clause that it can only be used with Google Maps and not any other Map software). Mozilla Location Service (MLS) was a huge success in terms of people contributing WiFi data to it. I’ve been to quite a few places around Europe and North America in the last few years and I haven’t been to any location, that is not already covered by MLS.

      • Making a first contribution in Outreachy usability testing

        If you want to join us in GNOME usability testing as part of the upcoming cycle in Outreachy, you’ll need to make a first contribution as part of your application process. Every project in Outreachy asks for a first contribution; this is a requirement in Outreachy.

        Don’t make too big of a deal about your first contribution in usability testing. We don’t expect interns to know much about usability testing as they enter the internship. Throughout the internship, you’ll learn about usability testing. So for this first contribution, we set a low bar.

  • Distributions
    • Kali Linux: What You Must Know Before Using it

      Kali Linux is the industry’s leading Linux distribution in penetration testing and ethical hacking. It is a distribution that comes shipped with tons and tons of hacking and penetration tools and software by default, and is widely recognized in all parts of the world, even among Windows users who may not even know what Linux is.

      Because of the latter, many people are trying to get alone with Kali Linux although they don’t even understand the basics of a Linux system. The reasons may vary from having fun, faking being a hacker to impress a girlfriend or simply trying to hack the neighbors’ WiFi network to get a free Internet, all of which is a bad thing to do if you are planning to use Kali Linux.

    • Install, install, install! The dance of panic!

      3. PicarOS Diego. My daughter’s desktop dual-boots Mageia and PicarOS Diego, a great MiniNo GalpON respin for children. Since the game she likes is neither running with WINE on Mageia 6.1 nor with Windows Vista, I tried to run it on WINE in PicarOS. The packages were old, so I updated the system. Big mistake! In the end, I was left with an up-to-date MiniNo that removed all the special tweaks for children and, to add insult to injury, the game would not run at all!

    • Reviews
      • Kali Linux for Vagrant: Hands-on

        I recently saw the announcement for Kali Linux on Vagrant. I have been a huge fan of Kali Linux for a very long time, and I am interested in virtualization (and currently using VirtualBox in an educational environment), so this was a very interesting combination to me. I have now installed it on a few of my systems, and so far I am quite impressed with it.

        The logical place to start is with a brief overview of Vagrant itself. What is Vagrant? According to their web page:

        Vagrant is a tool for building and managing virtual machine environments in a single workflow

        What Vagrant actually does is provide a way of automating the building of virtualized development environments using a variety of the most popular providers, such as VirtualBox, VMware, AWS and others. It not only handles the initial setup of the virtual machine, it can also provision the virtual machine based on your specifications, so it provides a consistent environment which can be shared and distributed to others.

    • New Releases
      • IPFire 2.21 – Core Update 124 released

        …this is the official release announcement for IPFire 2.21 – Core Update 124. It brings new features and immensely improves security and performance of the whole system.

    • Red Hat Family
    • Debian Family
      • Derivatives
        • Canonical/Ubuntu
          • Canonical collaborates with Eurotech on edge computing solutions

            Coinciding with IoT World Solutions Congress in Barcelona this week, Canonical is pleased to announce a dual-pronged technological partnership with Eurotech to help organisations advance their internet of things enablement. Eurotech is a long time leader in embedded computing hardware as well as providing software solutions to aid enterprises to deliver their IoT projects either end to end or by providing intervening building blocks.

            As part of the partnership, Canonical has published a Snap for the Eclipse Kura project – the popular, open-source Java-based IoT edge framework. Having Kura available as a Snap – the universal Linux application packaging format – will enable a wider availability of Linux users across multiple distributions to take advantage of the framework and ensure it is supported on more hardware. Snap support will also extend on Eurotech’s commercially supported version; the Everywhere Software Framework (ESF). By installing Kura as a Snap on a device, users will benefit with automatic updates to ensure they are always working from the latest version while with the reassurance of a secure, confined environment.

          • Self-containing dependencies LogMeIn to publish their first Snap
          • Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter Issue 549

            Welcome to the Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter, Issue 549 for the week of October 7 – 13, 2018.

  • Devices/Embedded
Free Software/Open Source
  • New FIDO2 Security Key Will Be Open Source

    A new security key solution is poised to further extend the reach of the FIDO Alliance’s new FIDO2 authentication standard.

    Called “Solo”, the security key is currently in the works from San Francisco-based SoloKeys, which currently has a Kickstarter campaign underway to support the product. Like other prominent security key solutions, Solo is designed to plug into a computer or laptop’s USB port, allowing the user to confirm with an authenticating service that they are physically present at the device by pressing a button on the key.

  • IOTA (MIOTA) – Biilabs launches GDPR compliant open-source implementation of TangleID

    The rise of IOTA as a top DLT continues. Earlier this year, the city of Taipei announced that they were using the IOTA tangle in implementing their smart city project. The project has largely been a success in implementing a decentralized digital identity system that runs on the IOTA tangle. That’s a major plus towards the growth of the IOTA ecosystem, and gives a huge intrinsic value to the IOTA coin. However, the best news is that this system is now open source. This means that it can be applied to any other city all across the world.

  • Open Source Healthcare Journal Preview at the Connected Health Conference in Boston

    The debut issue of the Open Source Healthcare Journal, a magazine advocating innovative open-source solutions in health, will be available for preview by over 2,000 technology innovators and healthcare providers at the Connected Health Conference at the Seaport World Trade Center in Boston, October 17-19. The Open Source Healthcare Journal’s forward-looking point of view is the perfect match for the industry-leading conference, known for provocative discussions on the future of tech-enabled health. The first issue of the journal — published by GoInvo, a healthcare design studio located in Arlington, Massachusetts — features a Q&A with digital health leader and best-selling author Eric Topol, MD as well as articles by Jane Sarasohn-Kahn of HealthcareDIY and Juhan Sonin of MIT and GoInvo.

  • Hedera Hashgraph releases open source SDK

    Hedera Hashgraph, the public distributed ledger that enables globally decentralized applications recently announced the public release of the Hedera SDK in Java.

    The SDK is open source under an Apache 2 license. With the SDK, developers can now begin to develop Hedera-based applications for use on the Hedera platform.

  • 4 [free] open-source network monitoring tools

    Just as with commercial, for-pay monitoring software, there are open-source options that have varying features, and the goal of an enterprise is to find the best fit for its environment.

    That’s where this downloadable PDF package of reviews can help. It evaluates four popular free, open-source network-monitoring platforms – Icinga, Nagios, Observium and Zabbix – highlighting pros and cons and giving enough context that this bundle can serve as a guide for IT pros seeking advice.

  • Open Source MANO Needs a Reality Check

    So what’s next? Another ONAP update is due soon (in November, dubbed Dublin) but that will only cover up some of the cracks.

    But you know what — that’s OK! No one actually expects an open source development comprising millions of lines of code to be made useful in a blink of an eye, or even a few months. Iterative progress and a very clear indication of the state of documentation, exactly which modules might be ready to be either used by an operator’s team or considered for “industrialization” by a vendor and even highlighting areas where more community activity would all be useful and not at all damaging: Promoting ONAP as “ready to deploy” currently invites suspicion, because that suggests 100% readiness and that’s very far from reality.

  • Is Open Source the Right Approach for NFV Orchestration?

    Once upon a time there was a maharaja who decided to raise a baby elephant as a pet (stick with me…). As the elephant grew, it became more and more expensive to feed and created such a mess that eventually the maharaja told his courtiers that he was gifting them the elephant out of the generosity of his heart. In return they would have to look after the elephant and bring it back to him when it was a bit more mature and stable enough for him to ride.

    Some might say that, in the context of NFV MANO (management and orchestration), the elephant is Open Network Automation Platform (ONAP) and the maharaja is AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T). But that would be unfair. In reality there are two maharajas — AT&T and China Mobile Ltd. (NYSE: CHL) — and two elephants that have been merged into a six-legged Loxodonta with two tails and three tusks. (See MANO Marriage: ECOMP, OPEN-O Converge as ONAP.)

  • Nuclear Reactor Startup Transatomic Power going Open Source after Closure

    It seldom happens that certain circumstances do not allow one idea to prosper as planned. But Open Source can solve that issue, once the idea is shared with the world. Others can take on that work, build upon and keep improving it.

    This recently happened with Transatomic Power (founded by Mark Massie and Dr. Leslie Dewan in April 2011), a Nuclear Startup that introduced a brand new design of its own Nuclear Reactor that is a lot more efficient than conventional ones.

    As they haven’t been able to build it within their targeted timeframe, they announced suspending operations on September 25, 2018. But declaring their designs Open Source is certainly going to help change things for the better.

  • Events
    • Hacktoberfest 2018 – Celebrate Open Source!

      Hacktoberfest is an annual event sponsored by DigitalOcean in partnership with GitHub and Twilio and while “Hacktoberfest” might sound or give the impression of something doable only by very experienced hacker programmers, in essence, it’s just a wrapper around having to submit 5 Pull Requests to any Github hosted repository and earn some swag in return.

    • Mangaluru: Sahyadri Open Source Community holds Hacktoberfest HackNight

      Sahyadri Open Source Community (SOSC) at Sahyadri hosted Hacktoberfest HackNight in association with K-Tech Innovation Hub on October 13 and 14 at Sahyadri to celebrate the month of open source with Hacktoberfest.

      The event was inaugurated by Shashank Krishna, Padma Shri 2019 (nominee) and director of Katmai Infotechnology Pvt Ltd, Bengaluru, followed by interaction with students regarding Smart India Hackathon. Dr R Srinivasa Rao Kunte, principal of Sahyadri College of Engineering and management, Prakhyath Rai, faculty coordinator, asst professor of Information Science, and Arjun Suvarna, chairperson of Sahyadri Open Source Community, addressed the crowd.

    • Announcing Linux Autumn 2018

      Linux Autumn is an annual meeting of Free Software and Linux enthusiast from Poland organized since 2003 which means this year it will be its 16th time. This year it will be organized in Ustroń in the southern Poland from 9 to 11 November. The town is the same as the last year but in a different hotel.

      As the place is located near the Czech and Slovak border we would like to invite more people, both speakers and attendees, from other countries. We are aware of strong presence of Fedora contributors in Brno and other nearby cities just across the border.

  • Web Browsers
    • Chrome
      • Play Your Favorite Old Web Games Now, Chrome 71 May Break Them

        hen Google rolled out Chrome 66 earlier this May, it offered a tweak that pleased almost everyone by muting sites that would play sound automatically. Unfortunately, it also ended up breaking several projects’ audio.

        This meant that a variety of different media, from popular web games to some of Google’s own projects effectively had their audio broken beyond repair. Users were understandably upset, and in response to an overwhelming amount of backlash, Google retained the browser alteration that blocked autoplaying video and audio, but decided to push back the feature’s application for games and web apps to Chrome 71, which is set to debut in December.

    • Mozilla
      • Apply to Join the Featured Extensions Advisory Board

        Do you love extensions? Do you have a keen sense of what makes a great extension? Want to help users discover extensions that will improve how they experience the web? If so, please consider applying to join our Featured Extensions Community Board!

        Board members nominate and select new featured extensions each month to help millions of users find top-quality extensions to customize their Firefox browsers. Click here to learn more about the duties of the Featured Extension Advisory Board. The current board is currently wrapping up their six-month tour of duty and we are now assembling a new board of talented contributors for the months January – June, 2019.

        Extension developers, designers, advocates, and fans are all invited to apply to join the board. Priority will be given to applicants who have not served on the board before, followed by those from previous boards, and finally from the outgoing board.

      • Mozilla VR Blog: How XR Environments Shape User Behavior

        In previous research, The Extended Mind has documented how a 3D space automatically signals to people the rules of behavior. One of the key findings of that research is that when there is synchrony in the design of a space, it helps communicate behavioral norms to visitors. That means that when there is complementarity among content, affordances, and avatars, it helps people learn how to act. One example would be creating a gym environment (content), with weights (affordances), but only letting avatars dress in tuxedos and evening gowns. The contraction of people’s appearances could demotivate weight-lifting (the desired behavior).

        This article shares learnings from the Hubs by Mozilla user research on how the different locations that they visited impacted participant’s behavior. Briefly, the researchers observed five pairs of participants in multiple 3D environments and watched as they navigated new ways of interacting with one another. In this particular study, participants visited a medieval fantasy world, a meeting room, an atrium, and a rooftop bunker.

      • Removing Old Versions of TLS

        In March of 2020, Firefox will disable support for TLS 1.0 and TLS 1.1.

        On the Internet, 20 years is an eternity. TLS 1.0 will be 20 years old in January 2019. In that time, TLS has protected billions – and probably trillions – of connections from eavesdropping and attack.

        In that time, we have collectively learned a lot about what it takes to design and build a security protocol.

        Though we are not aware of specific problems with TLS 1.0 that require immediate action, several aspects of the design are neither as strong or as robust as we would like given the nature of the Internet today. Most importantly, TLS 1.0 does not support modern cryptographic algorithms.

      • Wladimir Palant: So Google is now claiming: “no one (including Google) can access your data”

        A few days ago Google announced ensuring privacy for your Android data backups. The essence is that your lockscreen PIN/pattern/passcode is used to encrypt your data and nobody should be able to decrypt it without knowing that passcode. Hey, that’s including Google themselves! Sounds good? Past experience indicates that such claims should not always be taken at face value. And in fact, this story raises some red flags for me.

        The trouble is, whatever you use on your phone’s lockscreen is likely not very secure. It doesn’t have to be, because the phone will lock up after a bunch of failed attempts. So everybody goes with a passcode that is easy to type but probably not too hard to guess. Can you derive an encryption key from that passcode? Sure! Will this encryption be unbreakable? Most definitely not. With passwords being that simple, anybody getting their hands on encrypted data will be able to guess the password and decrypt the data within a very short time. That will even be the case for a well-chosen key derivation algorithm (and we don’t know yet which algorithm Google chose to use here).

      • Rabimba: Voting impartially for fun and profit a.k.a Mozilla Reps Council Voting

        I am part of a program called Mozilla Reps. Though I am involved as a volunteer contributor with Mozilla for quite some time now, I am relatively new to the Mozilla Reps program and hardly know anything about the program apart from my scope of work in it.
        Apparently, this is the Election time for voting the nominated candidates for the Council who will spearhead the program for the next session. Since I am new to the program reading about everyone’s election campaign and hearing about what they will do for the program was not giving me any clear motivation to vote for anyone specific. Though this wasn’t anything super important, I still thought since I have a bit of time in my hand why not do something interesting about it.

      • FirefoxOS, A keyboard and prediction: Story of my first contribution

        This was at IBM, New York where I was interning and working on the TJ Watson project. I returned back to my desk, turned on my dual monitors, started reading some blogs and engaging on Mozilla IRC (a new found and pretty short lived hobby). Just a few days before that, FirefoxOS was launched in India in the form of an Intex phone with a $35 price tag. It was making waves all around, because of its hefty price and poor performance . The OS struggle was showing up in the super low cost hardware. I was personally furious about some of the shortcomings, primarily the keyboard which at that time didn’t support prediction in any language other than English and also did not learn new words. Coincidentally, I came upon Dietrich Ayala in the FirefoxOS IRC channel, who at that time was a Platform Engineer at Mozilla. To my surprise he agreed with many of my complaints and asked me if I want to contribute my ideas. I very much wanted to, but then again, I had no idea how. The idea of contributing to the codebase of something like FirefoxOS terrified me. He suggested I first send a proposal and then proceed from there. With my busy work schedule at IBM, this discussion slipped my mind and did not fully boil in my head until I returned home from my internship.

      • Quality Speakings

        Unfortunately my suite of annoying verbal tics – um right um right um, which I continue to treat like Victor Borge’s phonetic punctuation – are on full display here, but I guess we’ll have to live with that. Here’s a talk I gave at the GTA Linux User Group on “The State Of Mozilla”, split into the main talk and the Q&A sections. I could probably have cut a quarter of that talk out by just managing those twitches better, but I guess that’s a project for 2019.

      • Encryption bill will cause ‘significant risk’ to Internet: Mozilla

        Any measure that permits a government to lay down specifications for the design of Internet systems would cause significant risk to the security, stability and trust of such systems, the Mozilla Foundation has said in a submission about Australia’s proposed encryption bill.

      • Mozilla warns decryption laws will break open source

        Mozilla is worried that Australia’s proposed decryption laws will break the principles and licensing terms of open source software.

        The foundation said in a submission [pdf] to the government that being forced to secretly create vulnerabilities in an open source product would be extremely difficult.

        “For an open source organisation, which would need to close portions of its source code and/or release builds that are not made from its publicly released code bases, this is at odds with the core principles of open source, user expectations, and potentially contractual license obligations,” Mozilla said.

  • SaaS/Back End
    • Nginx Updates Web Server Application Platform

      Nginx Inc. held its annual customer conference on Oct. 9-10, announcing a series of updates to its namesake Application Platform.

      While Nginx was originally best known for the open source nginx web server, Nginx Inc. has expanded in recent years to enable a larger set of web application capabilities, with a series of different products.

      Nginx first announced its Application Platform in September 2017, which includes the Nginx Plus Application service combined with the Nginx Controller management and Nginx Unit application server.

    • Container-native, it’s now ‘a thing’

      San Francisco headquartered software analytics company New Relic has acquired Belgian container and microservices monitoring firm CoScale.

      Neither firm is essentially open source in its core approach, but the technologies being interplayed here essentially are.

      CoScale’s expertise is in monitoring container and microservices environments, with a special focus on Kubernetes — the open source container orchestration system for automating deployment, scaling and management of containerized applications originally designed by Google.

    • Open source tool simplifies Kubernetes on AWS

      AWS Service Operator relies on the Kubernetes controller pattern, which packages various basic tasks, integrates disparate components and keeps an application in a desired state. This information is stored on a single API server for the Kubernetes and AWS assets, with AWS services defined as custom resources, and a user can potentially deploy the entire lifecycle process through a single YAML manifest.

      [...]

      Etc.io, a Dallas-based consulting firm, doesn’t use any AWS container services at scale, and relies primarily on Google Container Engine. AWS Service Operator could make it more convenient to use Kubernetes on AWS, but it doesn’t help organizations that want to move to a microservices architecture that doesn’t rely on a single vendor, said E.T. Cook, managing partner at Etc.io.

  • Pseudo-Open Source (Openwashing)
  • BSD
    • DragonFlyBSD Lands Another NUMA Optimization Helping AMD Threadripper 2 CPUs

      DragonFlyBSD lead developer Matthew Dillon has been quite impressed with AMD’s Threadripper 2 processors particularly the Threadripper 2990WX with 32-cores / 64-threads. Dillon has made various optimizations to DragonFly for helping out this processor in past months and overnight he made another significant improvement.

    • Fosdem 2019: BSD devroom CfP

      The Fosdem is a free event for software hackers to meet, share ideas and collaborate. Every year 8000+ open source developers from all the world gather at the event in Brussels, Belgium. During the Fosdem, developer rooms (devrooms) are assigned to self organized open source groups and projects to meet together and showcase their projects.

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC
    • GNU Guile 2.9.1 beta released JIT native code generation to speed up all Guile programs

      GNU released Guile 2.9.1 beta of the extension language for the GNU project. It is the first pre-release leading up to the 3.0 release series.

      In comparison to the current stable series, 2.2.x, Guile 2.9.1 brings support for just-in-time native code generation to speed up all Guile programs.

    • [FSF] Introducing our new associate member forum!

      I’m excited to share that we’ve launched a new forum for our associate members. We hope that you find this forum to be a great place to share your experiences and perspectives surrounding free software and to forge new bonds with the free software community. If you’re a member of the FSF, head on over to https://forum.members.fsf.org to get started. You’ll be able to log in using the Central Authentication Service (CAS) account that you used to create your membership. (Until we get WebLabels working for the site, you’ll have to whitelist its JavaScript in order to log in and use it, but rest assured that all of the JavaScript is free software, and a link to all source code can be found in the footer of the site.) Participation in this forum is just one of many benefits of being an FSF member – if you’re not a member yet, we encourage you to join today, for as little as $10 per month, or $5 per month for students.

      The purpose of this member forum is to provide a space where members can meet, communicate, and collaborate with each other about free software, using free software. While there are other places on the Internet to talk about free software, this forum is unique in that it is focused on the common interests of FSF members, who care very much about using, promoting, and creating free software.

      The forum software we chose to use is Discourse.

    • GCC Is Preparing To End Support For Solaris 10

      Solaris 10, what may will argue as the last “good” Solaris operating system release before Sun Microsystems fell under control of Oracle, may soon see its support deprecated by the GCC compiler stack.

      With upstream Solaris 10 soon reaching its end of life and an increasing number of failures/issues coming up when testing the GNU Compiler Collection on Solaris 10, the GNU toolchain developers are looking at obsoleting that support.

  • Programming/Development
    • uTidylib 0.4

      Two years ago, I’ve taken over uTidylib maintainership. Two years has passed without any bigger contribution, but today there is a new version with support for recent html-tidy and Python 3.

    • Rewrote summain from Python to Rust

      I’ve been learning Rust lately. As part of that, I rewrote my summain program from Python to Rust (see summainrs). It’s not quite a 1:1 rewrite: the Python version outputs RFC822-style records, the Rust one uses YAML. The Rust version is my first attempt at using multithreading, something I never added to the Python version.

    • Which programming language for work? For the weekend?

      Our writer community grows each month as new, interesting folks write for us and join in on the fun of sharing their expertise and experiences in open source technology. So, it’s no surprise that they are brimming with fascinating information. It’s just asking the right question to release it.

      Recently, I asked: What programming languages do you use at work, and which ones do you use on the weekend?

    • Go command and packages cheat sheet

      Of the many things the go executable can do, most people know only go run and go build. And, of the many packages in the standard Go library, most people know only the fmt package. This cheat sheet will list many uses of the go executable and the most important packages in the Go standard library.

    • piwheels: Speedy Python package installation for the Raspberry Pi

      One of the great things about the Python programming language is PyPI, the Python Package Index, where third-party libraries are hosted, available for anyone to install and gain access to pre-existing functionality without starting from scratch. These libraries are handy utilities, written by members of the community, that aren’t found within the Python standard library. But they work in much the same way—you import them into your code and have access to functions and classes you didn’t write yourself.

Leftovers
  • Science
    • “Fixed mindsets” might be why we don’t understand statistics

      Roughly 96 percent of the general population struggles with solving problems relating to statistics and probability. Yet being a well-informed citizen in the 21st century requires us to be able to engage competently with these kinds of tasks, even if we don’t encounter them in a professional setting. “As soon as you pick up a newspaper, you’re confronted with so many numbers and statistics that you need to interpret correctly,” says co-author Patrick Weber, a graduate student in math education at the University of Regensburg in Germany. Most of us fall far short of the mark.

  • Health/Nutrition
    • Elon Musk cuts almost $500K check to bring clean water to Flint, Michigan schools
    • “The People’s Prescription”: New Report Calls For Value Creation Instead Of Value Extraction In Pharmaceutical R&D

      “This report maps the fault lines of this system and sets out principles for a new model,” it states. “While it suggests quick fixes that policymakers can implement in the short term, it crucially proposes concrete policy actions that can be taken in the long term to actively shape and co-create a health system that delivers real public value.”

      The report is structured into two sections. The first is “DIAGNOSIS,” with chapters on “Problems with the current health innovation system,” and “Principles for a health innovation model that delivers public value.” The second section, “REMEDIES,” includes chapters on “Immediate policy actions: Getting better prices today,” and “Transformative proposals: Re-imagining our health innovation system to deliver public value.”

      [...]

      “A pharmaceutical industry that makes billions in profits without providing the affordable medicines that people need is one of the scandals of our time,” Heidi Chow, senior campaigns manager at Global Justice Now, said in the report press release.

      “Until governments follow the recommendations in this report and set about creating a pharmaceutical system that puts patients and public health at its core, our health and our health systems will continue to suffer as pharmaceutical profits continue to soar,” Diarmaid McDonald, lead organiser from Just Treatment, also said in the release.

  • Security
  • Defence/Aggression
    • Tech companies need to work with US military, says Amazon boss Jeff Bezos

      Speaking at the Wired25 conference in San Francisco, Mr Bezos said he would continue to work with defence agencies even if it was unpopular among his own staff, because the US “needs to be defended”.

    • Jamal Khashoggi’s ‘Disappearance’ Highlights Growing Threat to Journalists

      Forty-eight journalists have been killed so far this year, according to a VOA tally, adding to the thousand killed in the past decade-and-half.

    • Intimidation, detention, even murder: World is full of many potential Jamal Khashoggis

      Badawi was arrested in Jeddah in 2012 for “insulting Islam through electronic channels.” He was a blogger and, according to his wife, a humanitarian and free thinker. In 2013, he was convicted of several charges, including apostasy, and sentenced to 7 years and 600 lashes, a form of punishment with a whip or stick the United Nations says is cruel and inhumane. A year later, the prison term was increased to 10 years and 1,000 lashes. Badawi suffers from hypertension and Haidar, who was granted asylum in Canada with her three children, said her husband’s health is deteriorating. “I hope President Trump can help release my husband,” she said when asked whether Khashoggi’s case would bring new scrutiny of Badawi’s plight. One of Badawi’s alleged crimes was to mock Saudi Arabia’s prohibition against celebrating Valentine’s Day.

    • Deaths of high-profile Iraqi women spark fear of conservative backlash

      Yet it was also shockingly distinctive; the body slumped in the car seat was not a politician, official, insurgent or warlord. She was a former beauty queen; a young woman with both profile and attitude, one of four high-profile Iraqi women to have been killed across the country in quick succession.

      The four were unknown to each other, but their lives – recently at least – had shared common themes. All had a public presence and a voice that had unsettled elements of Iraqi society, which has retained rigid views on how women should behave, even as relative freedoms have crept into a still conservative culture.

    • Woman says she was tased by police while bleeding out from gunshots

      According to the Wayne Circuit Court lawsuit, Rebecca Sevilla of Britton was driven to a Motel 6 in Southgate by her husband on June 17, 2017. In the parking lot, her husband shot her three times — in the stomach, chest and head — and then killed himself.

      Police responding to the scene determined that the husband committed suicide and saw Sevilla “sitting upright, bleeding from gunshot wounds to her body and head,” according to the lawsuit.

      It goes on to assert that officers “began yelling verbal commands to” Sevilla, who “was unable to (respond]) as a result of her injuries.”

    • Kashmir rebels hiding in mosque shot

      “Pertinently, the terrorists fired on a search party from a nearby mosque and subsequently the area was cordoned off. The local Auqaf committee was engaged to convince the terrorists to come out. Security forces also appealed to the terrorists to come out,” the police spokesperson said.

    • Silicon Valley’s Saudi Arabia Problem

      Long before the dissident Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi vanished, the kingdom has sought influence in the West — perhaps intended, in part, to make us forget what it is. A medieval theocracy that still beheads by sword, doubling as a modern nation with malls (including a planned mall offering indoor skiing), Saudi Arabia has been called “an ISIS that made it.” Remarkably, the country has avoided pariah status in the United States thanks to our thirst for oil, Riyadh’s carefully cultivated ties with Washington, its big arms purchases, and the two countries’ shared interest in counterterrorism. But lately the Saudis have been growing their circle of American enablers, pouring billions into Silicon Valley technology companies.

  • Transparency/Investigative Reporting
  • Finance
    • Bitcoin must die

      If Bitcoin were to cease trading tomorrow, 0.5% of the world’s electricity demand would simply disappear. This is roughly equivalent to the output of ten coal-fired power plants, emitting 50 million tonnes of CO2 per year – which would cover one year’s worth of the carbon emission cuts required to limit temperature rises this century to 2C. It is not a solution by itself, but it would be a good year’s work.

  • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics
    • Facebook to show who buys British political ads in a bid to tackle election meddling

      Facebook will also include new features on its website to show who has paid for adverts and begin an archive of all political ads that are purchased on the site in an effort to clamp down on election fraud.

    • Judge dismisses Stormy Daniels’ defamation case against Trump

      She filed the case after the president tweeted that she had invented a story about being threatened for speaking out about the alleged affair.

      But the judge ruled that the tweet was protected by the First Amendment, which guarantees freedom of speech.

      Stormy Daniels was also ordered to pay Mr Trump’s legal fees, although the amount is yet to be determined. Her lawyer said she would appeal against the decision.

    • High rate of absentee ballots thrown out in Gwinnett

      Nearly one in 10 vote-by-mail ballots have been rejected by Gwinnett County election officials, alarming voting rights groups.

      Gwinnett is throwing out far more absentee ballots than any other county in Georgia, according to records from the Secretary of State’s Office. Ballots were discarded because of allegedly mismatched signatures, incomplete forms or missing residential addresses.

      The county rejected 390 absentee ballots through Sunday, which represents 8.5 percent of all mailed ballots received in Gwinnett so far, according to state figures. Across Georgia, less than 2 percent of absentee ballots have been rejected. Gwinnett accounts for about 37 percent of all rejected ballots in Georgia.

      “They’re putting an extra burden on someone to come back in to get another absentee ballot. That’s unheard of,” said Helen Butler, executive director for the Coalition for the Peoples’ Agenda, a civil rights group.

  • Censorship/Free Speech
    • Aasia Bibi’s family fears for safety if court sets her free

      But in any case they feared for their future living in Pakistan under the blasphemy laws, they told AFP.

    • Family Of Pak Christian First To Face Death For Blasphemy Holds Out Hope

      Her family said that if Bibi is released, it would be difficult to stay in her homeland.

    • ‘Missing, Sex Trafficked’ Children Neither Missing, Nor Victims Of Sex Trafficking

      For quite some time we’ve highlighted the horrible laws being pushed by aggressively misrepresenting the size of the problem of sex trafficking — and especially sex trafficking of children. This is not to say that it never happens. Nor is it to suggest that the crime of sex trafficking, especially of minors, is not horrific and hugely problematic. But we shouldn’t overreact to false information. A year ago, we looked at some of the numbers being presented in favor of passing FOSTA, and found they were almost entirely bullshit. This included Rep. Ann Wagner’s (who is the leading pusher of bad laws around “sex trafficking”) claim child sex trafficking alone was a $9.5 billion industry. As we noted, this number came from a bizarre nonsensical extrapolation of a very misleading and confused report by ICE that covered issues of smuggling (not just sex trafficking). Other stats — such as the supposed number of kids “lured” into sex trafficking — showed even more extrapolation, while police were finding very, very few actual cases of this happening.

      [...]

      So, remember, the headline screamed that 123 missing children were found in a sex trafficking “operation.” Now it seems that most of them were “found” at home with their parents, and only three of them might have been victims of sex trafficking. These seem like important details, especially when you have election officials like Rep. Ann Wagner pushing a vast surveillance bill on the basis of the problem of sex trafficking. Pushing bogus information like over a hundred missing kids being engaged in sex trafficking only helps build that narrative — one that appears to actually be much, much more limited than the media or lying politicians will let you know about.

  • Privacy/Surveillance
    • Vizio Customers Get A Pittance In Settlement Over Snooping Televisions

      As we frequently note, most of the “smart” products you buy are anything but intelligent when it comes to your privacy and security. Whether it’s your refrigerator leaking your gmail credentials or your new webcam being hacked in mere minutes for use in massive new DDoS attacks, the so-called “smart” home is actually often dumb as nails and potentially hazardous. So-called smart-televisions have been particularly problematic, whether that has involved companies failing to encrypt sensitive data, or removing features if you refuse to have your daily viewing habits measured and monetized.

      Last year Vizio joined this not-so-distinguished club when it was discovered that the company’s TVs had been spying on users for the last several years, starting back in 2014. Vizio’s $2.2 million settlement with the FTC indicates that the company at no time thought it might be a good idea to inform customers this was happening. The snooping was part of a supposed “Smart Interactivity” feature deployed in 2014 that claimed to provide users with programming recommendations, but never actually did so. Its sole purpose was to hoover up your data and help Vizio sell it, without your express consent.

    • On Election Day, the Voters of New Hampshire Can Protect Their Privacy in the Digital Age

      Ballot question 2 seeks to guarantee that residents’ right to privacy in their “private or personal information is natural, essential, and inherent.”

      “Live free or die.”

      As reflected in its official state motto, no state has unequivocally embraced the principles of liberty and privacy more than the state of New Hampshire. These ideals make up the core of the state’s philosophical DNA. It is therefore surprising that New Hampshire is conspicuously missing from the list of the 10 diverse states that have explicitly enshrined the right to privacy in their constitutions. But on Election Day, Granite State voters will have a chance to remedy that oversight.

      Earlier this year, the New Hampshire Legislature passed by a necessary two-thirds vote a proposed amendment to the state constitution guaranteeing the right to privacy in the digital age. Now it’s up to voters to enshrine that natural right. New Hampshire’s ballot Question 2 (Q2) would do just that by adding simple but mighty language to the constitution: “An individual’s right to live free from governmental intrusion in private or personal information is natural, essential, and inherent.”

    • Already facing an uphill misinformation fight, Facebook loses to scammers, too

      The scam pages share a variety of common characteristics, and in many cases they use the same profile pictures. This type of scam should be easy for a site as sophisticated and well-resourced as Facebook to uproot. But four days after Abrams began reporting it, the campaign remained active, with the exception of 11 profiles Ars reported to PR representatives.

      The Facebook representatives have yet to explain why the security department is having such a hard time dismantling the campaign. People who use the site should remain alert.

  • Civil Rights/Policing
    • Pakistan’s Ahmadis fearful as leaders bow to extremists

      Pakistan’s embattled Ahmadiyya minority enjoyed a brief moment of hope earlier this month when one of its own, a U.S.-based Princeton economist, was appointed to an economic advisory council.

      But the backlash from Islamic hard-liners, which led newly elected Prime Minister Imran Khan to quickly rescind the appointment under political pressure, has only underscored the Ahmadis’ fraught position in the conservative, Muslim-majority country.

    • What Will It Take To Wake Up America?
    • Christian Man Beaten Nearly to Death, Body Burned on His Muslim Mother’s Orders for Choosing Jesus

      His mother left, warning that he will “pay the price” for his decision. Abdel was kidnapped by a Muslim gang two months later and beaten nearly to the point of death, with cigarettes burned to his body.

    • NYC Prosecutors Accidentally Admit They Use Bail To Deprive Presumably-Innocent People Of Their Freedom

      New York City’s prosecutors just admitted they use the bail system to punish people for being accused of criminal acts. It’s not there to serve its intended purpose: to ensure the return of charged individuals to court, where they’re presumed innocent until proven guilty.

      The bail system isn’t supposed to keep people locked up. But that’s the way it’s been used for years. Prosecutors often ask for excessive bail amounts. Judges often grant them. The argument made for high bail amounts — which ensure only the most well-to-do can remain free while awaiting trial — is that arrested people are flight risks and/or more inherently dangerous than all the people the police haven’t gotten around to arresting yet.

      The stats don’t back up the parade of horribles offered by prosecutors at bail hearings. People have done the math. And this excellent article by the Boston Review compiles the damning numbers.

    • In the Name of Public Safety

      New York City’s district attorneys are on edge. Beginning this week and extending through the month of October, as many as 500 women and teenagers currently imprisoned on Rikers Island and juvenile jail facilities will walk free when volunteers pay their bail. This Mass Bail Out Action, which is sponsored by RFK Human Rights and a network of grassroots groups, is hoping to post bail for every woman, sixteen- and seventeen- year-old currently sitting in jail in New York City because she or he cannot afford bail. The effort is similar to the powerful work of community bail funds and the recent National Bail Out projects, in which grassroots groups throughout the country have engaged in mass bailouts of black people incarcerated pretrial because of their poverty. The Mass Bail Out volunteers hope to bring urgency both to the effort to close Rikers Island (which the City has said it plans to close within ten years) and the push to eliminate the use of money bail nationwide. They are engaging in a profound act of resistance even as officials such as the DAs insist that freeing these incarcerated people will threaten the “public safety.” New York’s officials have strongly resisted the Mass Bail Out and are “scrambling to prepare,” according to the New York Times. If released from jail, their story goes, these women and teenagers will engage in violence, re-offend, or as Bronx District Attorney Darcel Clark warned, “end up being a victim of violence themselves,” especially if they are mentally ill or homeless.

      [...]

      Much like the famed “Willie Horton effect,” when we focus on sporadic acts of violent crime we overreact with excessive punishment and obscure the everyday mass violence that pre-trial incarceration does to millions of ordinary people—and their families. In the case of bail, this punitiveness is especially pernicious because it pretends to be a neutral financial calculation: if only this person had enough money, they could be free and would not be a threat to the public.

      The Mass Bail Out forces us to confront the ways in which pretrial incarceration is itself a public safety threat. Placing women and minors (or anyone, for that matter) in jail exposes them to violence and misery. It exposes their families and neighborhoods to loss of income, stability, and the everyday companionship of a parent, spouse, sister, brother, neighbor, or coworker. When volunteers post bail for women and minors detained at Rikers Island, they will demonstrate that they, as members of the local community, actually feel safer knowing that a woman or teen has left the violence of jail and returned home to go to school, earn money at their job, raise their children, and participate in their own defense, while waiting for trial or other resolution of their case. Individual freedom is a part of public safety, too.

    • More Than Me CEO Katie Meyler Temporarily Steps Down

      Katie Meyler, the founder of More Than Me, temporarily stepped down from her position as the American charity’s chief executive officer pending the results of a Liberian panel’s review of an investigation published by ProPublica and Time magazine last Thursday. The focus of the article was the rapes of girls by a senior employee of the charity Meyler created to protect them from sexual exploitation.

      “In reviewing the allegations as published by ProPublica and TIME, we uncovered several statements that were either inconsistent with the information provided to us by More Than Me leadership or that were new information,” the charity’s Liberian advisory board said in a statement.

    • Protest Song Of The Week: ‘American Dream’ By J.S. Ondara

      As Ondara told NPR Music, “The video follows a man, as he sets upon a journey to purchase a weapon. While on his way, we get a glimpse of the world around him through his eyes, which gives us some insight into his state of mind.”

      “Ultimately, the video explores the turbulent times in the country, socially and politically, thereby throwing a shade of irony to the popular notion of ‘The American Dream.’”

      The video also references Dylan’s classic protest anthem “The Times They Are a-Changin’,” with the lyric, “Your sons and your daughters are beyond your command,” inscribed on a sheet of paper.

      During the 1960s, Dylan wrote several timeless socially conscious tunes. With “American Dream,” Ondara offers his Dylanesque reflection on America.

    • A Decade’s Worth Of Meth Convictions Overturned Due To Drug Lab Employee’s Misconduct

      Massachusetts prosecutors are seeing a bunch more Drug War wins turned into losses by drug lab misconduct. Annie Dookhan, a drug lab technician, falsified countless tests, ultimately resulting in the overturning of more than 20,000 convictions. Dookhan was valued for her productivity, but no one above her bothered to wonder why she was able to process samples so quickly. Turns out tests go much faster when you don’t actually perform the tests.

      If that were it, it would have been more than enough indication the nation’s crime labs need more oversight and auditing. But it isn’t. Another tech at another Massachusetts drug lab is erasing thousands of convictions. Chemist Sonja Farak, an 11-year veteran of the Amherst drug lab, apparently spent much of that time using the substances she was supposed to be testing, turning in falsified test results that landed people behind bars.

      The Farak investigation uncovered the drug lab’s lack of standards, which included more than allowing an employee to use drugs while on the clock for at least eight of the eleven years she was employed. There’s no way of telling how many drug tests might be tainted, not just by employee malfeasance, but by a lack of best practices, like running blanks through testing equipment to ensure new tests weren’t tainted by residue left behind by previous tests.

      The total number of convictions expected to be thrown out due to Farak’s abuse is currently sitting at 7,690 cases. But this won’t be the final total. Zach Huffman of Courthouse News Service reports an entire decade’s-worth of convictions is being examined.

    • DOJ, Trump Decide The Federal Government Needs To Give Chicago The Police Department It Doesn’t Want

      In a move that’s tone deaf if nothing else, the DOJ is going to court to block a consent decree put in place to overhaul Chicago’s unconstitutional policing. This announcement comes days after a jury convicted Chicago police officer Jason Van Dyke of second-degree murder for killing 17-year-old Laquan McDonald. He was also convicted of 16 counts of aggravated battery — one count for each bullet he fired at the teen as the teen walked away from him.

      This also follows more tone-deafness from the “law and order” presidency. Trump’s speech to a law enforcement convention contained several comments about Chicago and its perceived police problem. But the problem Trump sees is police not policing hard enough. Trump wants stop-and-frisk brought back — one of the key modifications contained in the consent decree.

    • Charlottesville’s Other Jim Crow Legacy: Separate and Unequal Education

      High school seniors Zyahna Bryant and Trinity Hughes have been friends since they were 6 years old, raised by blue-collar families in this affluent college town. They played on the same T-ball and softball teams and were in the same church group.

      But like many African-American children in Charlottesville, Trinity lived on the south side of town and went to a predominantly black neighborhood elementary school. Zyahna lived across the train tracks on the north side and was zoned to a mostly white school, near the University of Virginia campus, that boasts the city’s highest reading scores.

      [...]

      “I know what I’m capable of and what I can do,” Trinity said, “but the counselors and teachers, they don’t really care about that.”

      For every student like Zyahna in Charlottesville’s schools, there are scores like Trinity, caught in one of the widest educational disparities in the United States. Charlottesville’s racial inequities mirror college towns across the country, from Berkeley, California, to Evanston, Illinois. But they also match the wider world of education, which is grappling with racial gaps — in areas from gifted programs to school discipline — that can undercut the effort to equitably prepare students for college in a competitive economy.

    • Is There Racial Inequality at Your School?

      Based on civil rights data released by the U.S. Department of Education, ProPublica has built an interactive database to examine racial disparities in educational opportunities and school discipline. Look up more than 96,000 individual public and charter schools and 17,000 districts to see how they compare with their counterparts.

  • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality
    • 5G Got me Fired

      More importantly today’s readers need to be a little more than cautious when believing anything. Native advertising is a most insidious concept and should be rejected by every publisher. Instead it is welcomed by the broadcasting networks and most of the major newspapers including the New York Times. Are the writers saying nice things or are they paid to say nice things?

    • Wall Street Quietly Warns That 5G Wireless Is Being Aggressively Over-hyped

      As hardware vendors and cellular carriers prepare deployment of fifth-generation wireless networks, you may have noticed that the hype has gotten a little out of control. Claims that 5G will magically revolutionize the broadband sector sound nice and all, but as we’ve noted repeatedly, 5G is really more of a modest evolution in existing networks, not some kind of revolutionary panacea that’s going to change everything. Still, claims that 5G will somehow usher in amazing smart cities or somehow result in a four day work week for everyone (what?) get far more traction than they probably deserve.

      Alongside the generalized hype, carriers are pushing another narrative: that 5G wireless is so incredible, it’s going to fix all of the telecom sector’s biggest problems by delivering a massive new wave of competition. This competition will be so amazing that net neutrality will apparently be made irrelevant. It’s largely bunk originating with telecom industry marketing departments, dutifully swallowed and regurgitated by an unskeptical press.

  • DRM
    • Epson ‘Security Update’ Bricks Third-Party Ink Refills, Opens Up Possibility Of A Competitive Trades Investigation

      It’s no secret the printer business relies on hefty ink refill markups. The printers are disposable, often cheaper than the ink they come packaged with. But customers aren’t usually willing to toss out a printer when it runs out of ink, even if refilling it costs more than replacing it.

      And good for them! I mean, at least in an environmental sense. Let’s not toss a bunch more non-decomposables into the nearest landfill the moment they refuse do anything until their inkwells are filled. But this does nothing for consumers, forcing them to become unwilling adherents to the sunk cost fallacy, especially after they’ve paid for a couple of ink refills.

      Printer companies know their system is ripoff. They know their customers know it’s a ripoff. That’s why they engage in shady tactics to ensure this steady stream of revenue doesn’t dry up. For years, third parties have offered compatible ink refills. And for years, printer companies have been lying to customers to lock these competitors out of the market.

      A couple of years back, HP pushed out a firmware update that made it impossible to use third-party refills. It didn’t tell customers the update would do this. It just sent out the DRMbomb and triggered it remotely, saying things about “security” and “protecting customers,” even as it eliminated their refill options.

  • Intellectual Monopolies
    • Damages may be considered proven when the facts speak for themselves

      A recurring topic of discussion in patent infringement proceedings in Spain is the degree of evidence required to prove the damage caused by acts of patent infringement. According to a line of case law handed down by the Supreme Court, the existence of the damage may be proved by demonstrating the existence of the unlawful act in cases where such damage is the logical consequence of the unlawful act considered. In such circumstances, the facts speak for themselves (“res ipsa loquitur“).

      The Barcelona Court of Appeal (Section 15), in a judgment handed down on 26 July 2018, used the following arguments to justify the applicability of this principle:

      “60. Case law has specified that the existence of losses or profits not obtained as a result of the infringing act must, in all cases, be proven, albeit “not with greater rigour or restrictive criteria than any which constitutes the basis of a claim” (Supreme Court judgments of 2 March 2001 and 7 July 2005). However, demanding this proof is compatible with the possibility of establishing their “ex re ipsa” existence, with it being sufficient to prove the unlawful act in those cases where its connection to the alleged damage allows it to be considered that, according to the rules of logic, the latter is a necessary, logical and inevitable consequence of the illicit action.

      Consequently, it is stated that there are times when the facts speak

    • FTC and Qualcomm trying to settle antitrust matter by November 14, but Judge Koh may rule on chipset licensing anytime

      Judge Koh gave this administrative motion short shrift: she denied it quickly, without any further explanation.

      Since my first commentary on the motion, I’ve always felt that nothing would make a settlement more likely at this stage than an order granting the motion and reminding Qualcomm of obligations it entered into when it made FRAND licensing declarations to two U.S. standard-development organizations, TIA and ATIS. Yesterday’s administrative motion validates that assessment: while the FTC and Qualcomm have presumably talked about settlement on numerous occasions (even if just calling someone to find out whether the other party’s position has changed), the current situation is unique. The importance of SEP licenses to competitors couldn’t be made clearer than by a motion that says the parties don’t have a problem with decisions on any other pending motion but this one. This motion unsurprisingly appears to scare the living daylights out of Qualcomm.

    • Supernus Pharmaceuticals, Inc. v. TWi Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Fed. Cir. 2018)

      Last month, in Supernus Pharmaceuticals, Inc. v. TWi Pharmaceuticals, Inc., the Federal Circuit affirmed a decision by the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey finding that U.S. Patent Nos. 7,722,898; 7,910,131; and 8,821,930 were not invalid and would be infringed by Defendants-Appellants TWi Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and TWi International LLC, DBA TWi Pharmaceuticals. The ’898, ’131, and ’930 patents are owned by Plaintiff-Appellee Supernus Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

      Seeking approval to market generic versions of Oxtellar XR®, an oxcarbazepine extended-release tablet for treatment of partial epilepsy seizures in adults and children over the age of six, TWi filed an Abbreviated New Drug Application (ANDA) with the FDA. In response to that filing, Supernus brought an action for infringement of the ’898, ’131, and ’930 patents, and TWi counterclaimed for invalidity.

    • United Kingdom: Saab Seaeye Limited v Atlas Elektronik GmbH & anr, Court of Appeal of England and Wales, Civil Division, [2017] EWCA Civ 2175, 19 December 2017

      In a case concerning two patents in the field of underwater mine clearance, the Court of Appeal upheld the Patents Court’s decision that claims 1 and 2 of the 576 Patent were invalid for obviousness, but allowed the appeal in relation to the validity of the 861 Patent, finding that the claims in question were invalid for obviousness.

    • Trademarks
      • Museum of Modern Art Wins Injunction Against MOMACHA On Merits of Trademark Infringement, Dilution Claims

        U.S. District Judge Louis Stanton recently issued an opinion granting an injunction requested by New York City’s Museum of Modern Art (MoMA). The injunction prevents the operator of an art gallery and café located in close proximity to a MoMA Design Store in New York’s SoHo neighborhood from using a pair of marks that infringe upon MoMA’s own marks. The marks in question in this case are ‘MOMA’ and ‘MOMACHA,’ both of which were filed by MOMACHA, the SoHo café that began operating in April of this year.

        The marks were filed with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office for use in commerce with beverages and restaurant and café services. Although MOMACHA has changed the font used in its original logo, that logo uses a font that “greatly resembles ITC Franklin Gothic Heavy,” a font which served as the basis for a MoMA logo first designed in 2003. MOMACHA continued its use of its old logo on its coffee cups and on its social media accounts.

      • Argos goes to the Court of Appeal but leaves empty handed

        Can a US corporation selling construction software only in the Americas under the name ARGOS be sued for infringement of a registered trade mark by a UK based consumer goods retailer who trades mainly in the UK and Ireland under the same name?

        This question is posed by Floyd LJ in the introduction to the Court of Appeal decision on the Argos Ltd v Argos Systems Inc [2018] EWCA Civ 2211. The formulation of the question may make it easy to guess the Court of Appeal’s ultimate decision.

    • Copyrights
      • NCC sues COSON for operating without approval

        The Nigerian Copyright Commission has filed a criminal charge against the Copyright Society of Nigeria, its Chairman, Chief Tony Okoroji, and principal officers for carrying out the duties of a collecting society without the approval of the Nigerian Copyright Commission.

        The NCC, in a statement signed by its Director-General, Afam Ezekude, and made available to our correspondent on Tuesday, said, “In Charge No FHC/L/338C/18, filed on October 8, 2018 at the Lagos Division of the Federal High Court, the accused persons were alleged to have performed the duties of a collecting Society by demanding and collecting royalties from Noah’s Ark of 9 Sowemimo Street, GRA, Ikeja, Lagos.”

      • African Nations Rife With Illegitimate Collection Societies: Nigeria Files Criminal Complaint Against COSON

        You may recall that we have discussed the complete chaos that is copyright collection societies in Kenya over the past few years. At issue in Kenya is that the country has multiple collection societies, which are overseen by a government sanctioned body that can request to look at their books to make sure artists are being paid appropriately, and officially licenses the collection societies themselves. Some of those collection groups have apparently not felt the need to respond to requests for oversight, leading the government to pull or not renew their licenses. Instead of being the end of the story, a number of those collection societies continue to threaten people and collect royalties anyway, acting essentially as an illegal extortion outfit.

        Kenya is not the only African nation going through this, it seems. Across the continent on the opposite coast, the Nigerian Copyright Commission has been going through similar issues, specifically with a collection group called COSON.

      • Stairway To Heaven Is Not Blurred Lines

        A few weeks ago, we wrote about the 9th Circuit overturning the district court’s ruling in a copyright case questioning whether the song “Stairway to Heaven” had infringed on the song “Taurus” by Spirit. We were less than pleased with this result, as we felt the original ruling was correct. Copyright lawyer Rick Sanders disagreed with part of our analysis and made some really great points in a two part blog post series, which he’s graciously allowed us to repost in slightly edited form here. Part II will be published tomorrow.

        Yes, the new 9th Circuit surprising reversal of the jury verdict looks like “Blurred Lines” all over again — only in reverse. Whereas in “Blurred Lines,” the jury reached the “wrong” conclusion, and the Ninth Circuit refused to fix the jury’s mistake, here it looks like the jury reached the “right” conclusion,” and the Ninth Circuit is screwing up the jury’s work. Techdirt all but said so, in an article 9th Cir Never Misses a Chance to Mess Up Copyright Law: Reopens Led Zeppelin ‘Stairway to Heaven’ Case.

        I’m pleased to report that, far from taking this opportunity to further screw up copyright law, as Techdirt fears, the panel of judges is attempting to improve copyright law by replacing the Ninth Circuit’s (very bad) framework for copyright infringement with a much better one. Indeed, the “Stairway to Heaven” opinion may be seen as a rebuke to the “Blurred Lines” opinion. The pity is that Led Zeppelin must bear this burden by having to do the trial all over again.

        The reason the “Stairway to Heaven” has to do with our old, misunderstood frenemy, the “Inverse-Ratio rule,” which is only tangentially related to why the case is being sent back for a second trial. I blogged extensively about the “inverse-ratio” rule in connection with the “Blurred Lines” case, and how the Ninth Circuit (correctly) amended its opinion to excise (its terrible) discussion of the rule. But here’s the deal: the inverse-ratio rule provides that the more similarity there is between the two works, the less proof of access you need, and vice-versa. It is highly beneficial when applied to the right legal framework for copyright. It is a perverse disaster when applied to the wrong legal framework.

      • Legal Search Engine with Pirate Keywords Confuses ‘Web Sheriff’

        Last year the film industry launched a legal search engine that targets ‘pirates’ specifically. The site is set up in such a way, that it draws people who search for pirate related terms. However, this also appears to have confused the “Web Sheriff,” who targeted the site’s URLs with takedown notices.

      • You’re About to Drown in Streaming Subscriptions

        But while tailored, a la carte services have long been the promise of streaming TV, it’s starting to look more like a series of pricey buffets. Competing megacorporations are all pumping billions into original content, much of it designed for mass appeal. (Apple has reportedly mandated no “gratuitous sex, profanity or violence” on its incoming streaming service.) And even if each also produces more experimental or idiosyncratic options, you’ll be hard pressed to access all or even most of them. The show that scratches your itch won’t necessarily be on a platform you can afford to pay for.

      • GTA ‘Cheat’ Developers Have Homes Searched and Assets Frozen

        Rockstar Games and Take-Two Interactive Software are taking a clear stand against cheat developers. An Australian Federal court has granted search and seizure orders against several people who are believed to be connected to the cheating software “Infamous.”

      • Japan Plans to Criminalize Pirate Link Sites, Up to Five Years in Jail for Operators

        Sites that link to copyright-infringing content aren’t currently illegal under Japanese law but efforts are underway to close the loophole. The government is considering prison terms of up to five years for site operators who knowingly link to pirated content and refuse to respond to takedowns requests.

Judge-Bashing Tactics, Undermining PTAB, and Iancu’s Warpath for the Litigation and Insurance ‘Industries’

Tuesday 16th of October 2018 11:43:06 AM

The existing USPTO’s management feels like it doesn’t care about justice (facts), technology and science, only about legal bills

Summary: Many inter partes reviews (IPRs) at the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) leverage 35 U.S.C. § 101 against software patents; instead of putting an end to such patents Director Iancu decides to just serve the ‘industry’ he came from (a meta-industry where his firm had worked for Donald Trump)

THE USPTO under the new leadership (Director) deviates further and further away from Federal Circuit (CAFC) rulings and SCOTUS caselaw. The Office does so at its own peril, however, as the certainty associated with US patents will be further reduced. More and more granted patents will be presumed invalid. Is the leadership/Director OK with that?

This post binds together last week’s stories about court cases and Office policies. What we hope to show is a divergence from the law; the Office just cares about granting patents, not defending their value by limiting their scope.

We begin with this affirmation by CAFC — one in which a U.S. District Court was supported by CAFC. The divergence between the courts is being lowered over time. CAFC learned to obey SCOTUS and U.S. District Courts have, in turn, become more like CAFC. This is a good thing as it’s indicative of correct or at least consistent judgment. The same cannot be said about the Office because far too many patents these days are later discovered/unmasked as fake patents.

Yesterday Kluwer Patent Blog wrote about a British court “finding that the claims in question were invalid for obviousness.” It’s not just a US issue.

A couple of days ago Steve Brachmann and Gene Quinn (Watchtroll) wrote about Swildens and his successful challenge to a patent. They recalled a month-old report:

On September 12th, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office issued a final office action in an ex parte reexamination of a patent owned by Google self-driving car development subsidiary Waymo. As a result of the reexamination, Waymo stands to lose 53 of 56 claims, including all 20 of the patent claims originally issued. The patent in question had been asserted as part of the company’s well-known infringement suit filed against Uber.

The patent at the center of this reexamination is U.S. Patent No. 9368936, titled Laser Diode Firing System. Issued to Google in June 2016, it claims an apparatus including a voltage source, an inductor coupled to the voltage source and configured to store energy in a magnetic field, a diode coupled to the voltage source via the conductor, a transistor that can be turned on or off by a control signal, a light emitting element coupled to the transistor and a capacitor coupled to charging and discharge paths where the charging path includes the inductor and the diode and the discharge path includes the transistor and the light emitting element. The invention provides a laser diode firing circuit for a light detection and ranging (LIDAR) device where the emission and charging operations of the firing circuit can be controlled by operation of a single transistor.

The reexamination of the ‘936 patent was requested in August 2017 by an engineer named Eric Swildens who, according to news reports, has no connection to either Uber or Waymo but became interested in the potential invalidity of the patent after it was asserted in Waymo’s case against Uber. The reexam requested by Swildens has to date been able to knock out all 20 claims of the claims originally issued in the patent, with only three amended claims that were added to the patent during the reexam proceeding being found to be patentable by the reexamination examiner.

Long story short, this patent should never have been granted. Watchtroll can (and will) whine all it wants, but a lot of US patents get granted in a rush/haste, only to be thrown out as soon as they reach courts (or PTAB).

Jeffrey Killian recently complained about “Patent Uncertainty”. He wrote about it on October 9th at Watchtroll. The problem is that the USPTO granted far too many bogus patents. The problem isn’t the courts and it’s certainly not PTAB, which actually restores some much-needed sanity. Of course these patent maximalists blame courts rather than greed, but one must bear in mind how they make a living.

On the “blocking patent” doctrine, Watchtroll is smearing the courts again. Complaining about CAFC twice in two days [1, 2]. This is unwise a thing to do as it threatens their interests. It undermines the courts’ support or trust in law firms. Hans Sauer and Melissa Brand, then just Melissa Brand, basically insinuate that courts lack logic and even use a “Gremlin” caricature. Stay classy, folks…

It should be noted that a patent troll CEO, William Merritt (President and CEO of InterDigital), was writing for Watchtroll last week. This is why it deserves to be called Watchtroll. It’s like a megaphone of the trolling ‘industry’…

Moving on a bit, PTAB is doing so well that patent maximalists are screaming on the phone with lawyers willing to waste their money. “Today’s new patent complaints,” wrote one PTAB proponent, are “usual glut of NPE [troll] suits, sprinkle of operating companies… and a corp suing Iancu/the PTO for a DJ that IPR is unconstitutional (incl under 7A.) Interesting tactic, given that they already lost on appeal to CAFC and SCOTUS disagreed on the 7A q.”

PTAB generally helps techies or geeks. It doesn’t help parasitic lawyers. Whose side should we be on? Decisions, decisions…

HTIA, which represents technology firms, wrote some days ago: “Let’s debunk myths: #Patent reform has not harmed #innovation. The 300 U.S. companies who have invested the most in R&D have increased R&D spending by 44% since 2012.”

This links to an older article, but it’s still very much relevant. PTAB guides the hands of examiners, moving the hands away from software patents. PTAB often overturns examiners’ decision to the detriment of software patent applicants, but patent maximalists latch onto the rare exception rather than the norm. Here is one such exception:

The examiner originally rejected the claims as improperly directed toward an abstract idea. On appeal, however, the PTAB has reversed finding that “dwell time” is a uniquely “internet-centric challenge” and the claimed solution is “is necessarily rooted in computer technology in order to overcome a problem specifically arising in the realm of computer networks.” quoting DDR Holdings. The PTAB particularly noted that “dwell time” is not merely “some business practice known from the pre-Internet world” that was claimed by simply saying “perform it on the Internet.”

The classic “on the Internet” trick; don’t they just say “on the cloud” these days?

Linda Panszczyk wrote about CAFC asking PTAB to have another go assessing a patent (reversals are rare, they don’t overturn invalidations much). This is from last week’s short post:

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit has vacated and remanded a Patent Trial and Appeal Board decision that a reference guide qualified as a printed publication, in a case involving reexamination of medical device patents relating to access ports, asking for the Board to clarify its findings on this matter.

They’re doing the work examiners should have done in the first place.

“The classic “on the Internet” trick; don’t they just say “on the cloud” these days?”Director Iancu cannot gut PTAB, especially not after Oil States; but the head of PTAB (a judge) was recently removed (or departed) and the latest act of sabotage from Iancu seems like a gross case of bypassing courts. As Josh Rich put it:

Under a new PTO administrative rule published today, the PTAB will apply the same claim construction standards in IPRs, PGRs, and CBMs filed on November 13, 2018 or later as would apply in litigation. 83 Fed. Reg. 51340 (Oct. 11, 2018). The PTAB will also consider claim construction decisions from litigation (whether from courts or the U.S. International Trade Commission) in construing claims in AIA proceedings. The new rule abandons the PTO’s former approach of using the broadest reasonable interpretation (“BRI”) in claim construction, and thereby reflects a continuing move from considering AIA proceedings analogous to prosecution to considering them analogous — or part of — the litigation process.

Currently, the PTAB uses the BRI to construe claims in the vast majority of AIA proceedings, the only exceptions being in cases where the patent has expired or is expiring imminently.[1] In doing so, it has treated the AIA proceedings as analogous to a continuation of prosecution (in which claims are given their broadest reasonable interpretation throughout the process). That approach makes sense in the historical context of AIA proceedings, given that it allows the PTO to use the same approach across almost all cases before it, AIA proceedings are to supplement — not reargue — issues that were presented during pre-issuance prosecution, and AIA proceedings share many similarities with prosecution (including limited ability to address the counterparty’s claim construction arguments). Furthermore, the ability to amend claims during such proceedings provides a “safety valve” for an inopportune, overbroad claim construction.

Dennis Crouch wrote about the Phillips standard:

The USPTO’s Final Rule Package on Inter Partes Review Claim Construction is set to publish in the Federal Register on October 11, 2018. Up to now, the PTAB has been using the USPTO “broadest reasonable interpretation” standard to interpret challenged patent claims. Under the new rule, the PTAB will now rely upon the PHOSITA standard more traditionally used for issued patents as articulated by in Phillips v. AWH Corp., 415 F.3d 1303 (Fed. Cir. 2005) (en banc) and further developed in later cases. This new rule will apply in IPR, PGR, and CBM proceedings. The new rule also indicates that prior claim constructions by a court or USITC “will be considered.” This final rule is essentially unchanged from the proposed rule found in the May 2018 NPRM. Timing: The new claim construction applies to cases involving “petitions filed on or after the effective date of the final rule, which is November 13, 2018.”

Watchtroll’s founder said about this Phillips standard that Iancu’s office “has published a final rule in the Federal Register changing the claim construction standard applied during inter partes review (IPR), post-grant review (PGR), and covered business method (CBM) review proceedings before the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB).”

Here is what another patent maximalist said:

The final rule changes the claim construction standard used by the PTAB to the Phillips standard used in district courts. Practitioners predict a surge in filing before it becomes effective in November

The USPTO has published a final rule changing the claim construction standard applied during inter partes review (IPR), post-grant review (PGR), and covered business method patents (CBM) proceedings before the PTAB.

So the filings are expected to temporarily go up again, just like they did before fee hikes. Office Director seem to be missing the point that keeping PTAB affordable and accessible is actually a priority; all they care about is masking the decline in quality — same thing which the EPO has been doing.

Over at Lexology, Porter Wright Morris & Arthur LLP’s Bill T. Storey took note of the Office becoming more of a patent maximalists’ office under Iancu when he said:

On July 1, 2018, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) began a 3-year pilot program known as The PCT Collaborative Search and Examination Pilot (CS&E) Program, to streamline examination and search procedures for patent examiners in multiple countries. The program is a coordinated effort with patent offices from around the world, together known as the IP5 offices. Specifically, participating International Search Authority (ISA) members include the USPTO, European Patent Office (EPO), Japan Patent Office (JPO), Korean Intellectual Property Office (KIPO), and State Intellectual Property Office of the People’s Republic of China (SIPO). This program is a continuation of two previous programs launched in 2010 and 2011, respectively, involving the USPTO, EPO and KIPO that laid the groundwork for this expanded program aimed at testing user interest, operational and quality standards, and the electronic platform.

Currently, upon filing a PCT application, applicants designate one of the IP5 offices to provide an international search report (ISR) and written opinion. However, upon reaching the national stage as applicants pursue applications in individual countries, applicants can be presented with country-specific search reports involving entirely new art depending on varying search criteria. This can place a burden on applicants and hinder cohesive world-wide prosecution strategies. The CS&E program addresses this issue by coordinating searches from each office, thereby providing a higher quality work product which is more likely to comprehensively identify and consider world-wide art. The CS&E program provides the advantages of having the searching performed by multiple examiners with different language capabilities and an increased predictability of outcome. Importantly, at this time the CS&E program requires no extra cost.

It’s worth noting that nobody but a vocal group of trolls' attorneys actually complained about PTAB. One of them wrote: “Amazingly Ebay wins rare 101 #patent appeal because “dwell time, which is an Internet-centric challenge” is not just directed to an abstract idea https://e-foia.uspto.gov/Foia/RetrievePdf?system=BPAI&flNm=fd2017003747-09-26-2018-1 … Once again, proves how handy it is to have the right panel of judges!”

More of that judge-bashing, as usual…

They spent years pushing the fiction that PTAB is “stacked” or corrupt or whatever. Iancu now uses these smears of theirs to frame PTAB as “controversial” with perception issues. Whose? Iancu seems to believe that the USPTO exists for patent law firms rather than for science and technology. Having come from the law firm that worked for Trump, this is hardly surprising.

Not only do firms sell “lawsuits as a service”; nowadays they also sell insurance policies. Watch what Pillsbury (Policyholder Pulse blog) wrote last week; the insurance ‘industry’ now exploits the demise of low-quality patents that are being invalidated:

To help fill this patent coverage gap, some insurers have recently begun offering more comprehensive and cost-effective intellectual property policies specifically tailored to address the risk of patent (and other intellectual property) claims.

[...]

The patent landscape continues to evolve in the wake of the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act and the Supreme Court’s decision in Alice Corp. v. CLS Bank, which established a more exacting patentability standard for software patents and has opened the door to more motions to dismiss for lawsuits asserting those patents. Nonetheless, patent lawsuits remain prevalent and costly. A well-negotiated patent policy can help close a critical coverage gap, and may even prove critical to your company’s continued viability in the face of such suits.

So when there are lots of patent lawsuits they sell insurance to defendants and when many patent lawsuits fall through they sell insurance to the plaintiffs. Some ‘industry’, eh?

‘Cloud’, ‘AI’ and Other Buzzwords as Excuses for Granting Fake Patents on Software

Tuesday 16th of October 2018 10:13:24 AM

Summary: With resurgence of rather meaningless terms like so-called ‘clouds’ (servers/hosting) and ‘AI’ (typically anything in code which does something clever, including management of patents) the debate is being shifted away from 35 U.S.C. § 101 (Section 101); but courts would still see past such façade

THE EPO and USPTO both have a bad new habit that they spread to other patent offices, such as KIPO in Korea. They use or misuse buzzwords. They try to make things outside patent scope seem so innovative that somehow this supposed innovation defies the rules (scope). Sometimes that manages to impress or at least confuse examiners and judges.

“So let’s start with this assumption that patent maximalists have come to accept Section 101/Alice renders software patents worthless and even overzealous, very large law firms (Finnegan is one of the biggest) insist that patenting has gone too far for practical purposes. Where do they go from here? Buzzwords.”It’s hard to patent software. So it’s not hard to see why patent maximalists would pursue such tricks. As recently as Sunday Watchtroll published this rant about Section 101/Alice — the basis (or legal framework) upon which most software patents become void. “This has prompted many to cast a grim prospect for the software patent industry,” Babak Nouri (at Watchtroll) wrote less than a couple of days ago, as if the patents themselves are the industry…

“A Realistic Perspective on post-Alice Software Patent Eligibility” is the headline and here’s a snide remark directed at the law itself: “Much of the havoc wrought in the software patent system by the landmark decision Alice v. CLS Bank International, 134 S. Ct. 2347 (2014) stems from the unworkable two-part patent eligibility test based on vaguely defined and nebulous Abstract idea and significantly more constructs. The High court’s reluctance or perhaps inability to precisely define these standards and the perceived lack of discernible consistency by the patent community in the way these standards have been applied in the compendious jumble of case law, has perpetuated a sense of uncertainty. This has prompted many to cast a grim prospect for the software patent industry.”

Who said this so-called ‘industry’ (it’s not even an industry) deserved to exist in the first place? Let coders write code. Most of them never dealt with lawyers and aren’t interested in lawsuits. It’s the lawsuits ‘industry’ looking to cause trouble.

A few days ago Elliot C. Cook and Jeffrey A Berkowitz (Finnegan, Henderson, Farabow, Garrett & Dunner, LLP) published “Successful Companies Don’t Just Patent Everything—They Make And Follow A Strategy”.

You can’t patent everything anyway. Sooner or later, as in the US with its courts, you realise that the lion’s share of your patents are fake, worthless, toothless. Or in their words: “In both of the above illustrations, the companies failed to develop and implement a patent strategy. Emerging companies should concentrate on building a patent monopoly covering the most commercially important aspects of their new technologies while making efficient use of their patent dollars and the precious time of their key inventors. In short, when companies formulate their business strategy, patents should play an integral role. Patenting too sparingly or recklessly is not strategic and is not a way to generate company value.”

So even a law firm that promotes software patents quite actively admits these downsides. In some cases, as in this new example of Swisscom and ASSIA, companies just cross-license and move on (wireless for the most part in this particular case/agreement, not algorithms).

So let’s start with this assumption that patent maximalists have come to accept Section 101/Alice renders software patents worthless and even overzealous, very large law firms (Finnegan is one of the biggest) insist that patenting has gone too far for practical purposes. Where do they go from here? Buzzwords. We already wrote dozens of articles to that effect and over the past week we saw several new examples.

Japanese blogger Satoshi Watanabe wrote about patent trolls or feeding a patent troll in Japan for blackmail purposes. “Patent utilization” is what he (or they) use as the newest euphemism (rather than enforcement, monetisation, assertion and so on). He also alludes to “artificial intelligence (AI)-based” at the end:

“Patent utilization” has been a buzz word in Japanese IP industry. There seems to be an increasing number of companies thinking that they should make effective use of patents that haven’t been used by themselves; i.e. monetize such patents by selling or licensing them to others. Actually, a client of ours has asked me what salable or licensable patents are like.

First of all, you may need to know when a patent transaction occurs.

[...]

It’s hoped that artificial intelligence (AI)-based solution will be developed.

That last part refers to how patents are managed, but it’s part of a recent (past year) trend. They keep bringing up “AI”. Some so-called ‘IP’ lawyers admitted to me that they don’t even really understand what it means, yet they keep using the term. It’s like a fashion.

How about this new article (4 days old) that speaks of “machine learning-base [sic] anomaly detection” in relation to new Anodot patents? George Leopold wrote about these bogus software patents being granted in the US. It’s incredibly hard to believe/imagine patent courts tolerating such abstract/mathematical methods being patented as a monopoly.

To quote from the article:

Anodot, which focuses on using machine learning techniques to spot anomalies in time-series data, announced a pair of U.S. patent awards this week covering its autonomous analytics framework.

The analytics vendor said Thursday (Oct. 11) it has been granted two U.S. patents for algorithms that allow users to apply machine learning-base anomaly detection. The algorithms are designed specifically to quickly identify the source of anomalies in large data sets, then perform root-cause analysis. The approach is promoted as faster than traditional business intelligence tools or dashboards.

[...]

Anodot was launched in 2014 when its co-founders realized there was an unmet need for fast and accurate time-series analysis.

Those are software patents. It’s algorithms, but they dress it all up in innovation- and novelty-sounding terms. Why did the USPTO grant such software patents? How about this new application from Apple? A lot of press about it this past week (dozens of articles), as is typical for Apple. But Apple will never sue with this patent/s, so we won’t see the courts lecturing Apple on why it’s patent-ineligible. If it ever gets granted in the first place…

Well, the patent office got its money anyway… and Apple got puff pieces about how it’s presumably combating spam.

In other ‘news’, this time from JD Supra (a press release), patent law firms (Sterne, Kessler, Goldstein & Fox P.L.L.C. in this case) still try to figure out how to get bogus patents on software and nature, even if courts will reject these. From The Current State of Patent-Eligible Subject Matter:

In the wake of the Supreme Court’s Mayo and Alice decisions, uncertainty has surrounded what inventions are patent eligible in the United States. In Mayo and Alice, the Supreme Court developed a two-step test to determine patent eligibility. Step one determines if the invention is directed to a law of nature, natural phenomenon, or abstract idea. If so, the second step determines if there is an inventive concept sufficient to ensure the patent amounts to significantly more than the ineligible concept itself.[i] While this test has led to uncertainty in what inventions remain patent eligible, post-Mayo/Alice case law has begun to shed light on what is patent eligible in the United States. The current state of patent eligibility in the technology areas most impacted by the Mayo/Alice two-step are outlined below.

[...]

Software and Business Method Claims

Software and business method patents have faced significant challenges since the Mayo/Alice decisions. Software claims, are not per se ineligible, however software claims that merely gather, analyze, and output data are patent ineligible.[xii] Software claims can be patent eligible when they are directed to an improvement in the way computers operate.[xiii] Additionally, claims which recite specific limitations to overcome deficits or problems in the prior art have been found patent eligible.[xiv] Based on these holdings, to be patent eligible software claims must recite specific steps to obtain a desired result rather than recite merely the result itself.[xv]

After Alice and In Re Bilski we can pretty much assume things have changed profoundly. Sure, the patent office might still grant such patents. But what matters a lot more is whether those will be enforceable in court at any point before their expiry. The culture of patent embargoes and patent maximalism needs to end at the patent office too in order to preserve any presumption of patent validity. The USPTO continues to assess its performance using the wrong yardstick, e.g. number of patents granted. Patent maximalists are meanwhile pushing the lunacy which is computer-generated patents (we put the following articles in our daily links last week). Here’s what Law 360 and IAM are suggesting:

  • 4 Ways Advances In AI Could Challenge Patent Law

    Advances in artificial intelligence raise intriguing patent law questions, including whether AI breakthroughs are patent-eligible and whether AI that creates something can be an “inventor” entitled to a patent.

  • Artificial intelligence: a game changer for the patent system

    With the advent of powerful computers and the availability of unlimited storage capabilities, artificial intelligence (AI) has made its way into mainstream applications – heralding the fourth industrial revolution. While the notion of what ‘artificial intelligence’ means has undergone significant change since its introduction in 1956, today’s typical AI is broadly conceived to “perceive its environment and take actions that maximise its chance of successfully achieving its goals”. This may involve reinforcement learning, where goals can be set explicitly or implicitly by rewarding some types of behaviour and punishing others, or by a fitness function allowing for mutation and preferential replication of high-scoring AI systems in an evolutionary system. AI may be implemented in self-optimising software or hardware that regularly requires vast data amounts (known as ‘big data’) for training response behaviour.

So what they’re basically saying is, let a bunch of machines manage the patent system; as if that’s going to make matters any better…

Published a few days ago in the The National Law Review and another publication was this article of Christina Sperry (Mintz) and the litigation industry; under “Subject Matter Eligibility Under 35 U.S.C. § 101″ they admit that “AI” patents are just bogus software patents but promote these fake patents anyway. To quote the relevant part:

Subject matter eligibility for patent under 35 U.S.C. § 101 has been a particularly hot topic since the 2014 Supreme Court decision in Alice Corp. v. CLS Bank Int’l. Section 101 patent eligibility has particular relevance to AI and digital health since they often involve computers and/or data processing whose mere presence, reference, or implication in claims frequently give rise to subject matter eligibility questions during patent prosecution as well as during litigation after patent issuance.

The breadth and gravity of current § 101 issues has been explored elsewhere and is beyond the scope of this article. In general, Alice and subsequent lower court decisions have made it more difficult to get patents issued with claims involving computers and/or data processing. It is therefore important to consider potential patent eligibility concerns under § 101 during the patent application drafting process in order to preemptively address these concerns as much as possible before the application faces any challenges during prosecution or during litigation as an issued patent.

To be quite frank, the abundance and overuse of the term “AI” by patent lawyers is a cause for concern. The only more worrying thing is seeing administrators at the EPO and USPTO adopting the term as well; they use that as a sort of synonym for software patents and we’re asked to believe that they grant such patents for the betterment of society or manage patents using “AI” (they just mean things like search and inferences) to expand human understanding rather than make staff redundant, only to be replaced by vastly inferior performance.

Corporate Media’s Failure to Cover Patents Properly and Our New Hosting Woes

Monday 15th of October 2018 08:19:43 AM

We can’t let these people get their way with patent maximalism and UPC

Summary: A status update about EPO affairs and our Web host’s plan to shut down (as a whole) very soon, leaving us orphaned or having to pay heavy bills

OUR USPTO coverage reached an unexpected halt last night at around 6PM. Our host is shutting down soon. He’s an old friend of mine who hosted the site as a favour for nearly a decade. Speaking to alternative hosts, it seems likely that our hosting costs would at least quadruple. It’s a painful experience. I barely slept; it’s hard to fall asleep. Certain readers, some of whom connected in one way or another to the EPO, expressed concern about the downtime (almost half a day). The problem is far broader than a downtime, caused by a routing issue among other things.

“This is scary and dangerous to the prospects of science and technology in Europe. It’s like patents take priority over facts. It should never be like this.”Techright is turning 12 in a few weeks. I’ve dedicated most of my adult life to this site. I’m not asking for sympathy, I just want to reaffirm and reassure to readers that the site has always been financially independent. That’s never going to change.

I can envision some readers asking questions like, what about “the cloud”? As if sending one’s blog to some private company can assure independence… there’s plenty of evidence to the contrary. There are many ways in which a centralised blogging platform censors those who participate, with a broadening brush by which they sweep away particular voices.

“The possibility of a deferred examination could therefore further improve the attractiveness of the French patent.”
      –Grégoire Desrousseaux and Thierry LautierFlorian Müller‘s latest two articles, The new smartphone patents battlemap (infographic featuring Apple, Huawei, Intel, Qualcomm, Samsung) and Patent exhaustion keeps Qualcomm on the run from Apple’s claims and motions,” are as usual hosted by Google. Just before the weekend he wrote about a notorious European Patent of Qualcomm. He’s very supportive of our work covering the EPO (we’ve published nearly 3,000 articles about the EPO alone).

“Your server does not respond.”
      –AnonymousLike we’ve said here several times since September, publishers are struggling, even the patent maximalists’. IAM, for example, went sort of ‘dark’, i.e. everything behind paywall, except pure commercials and intentional propaganda. As an example of the latter, see what turned up in Google News yesterday. IAM wrote this:

‘No deal’ Brexit may mean no UPC, says UK government – The United Kingdom government released a notice on the likely implications for patents in the event of a ‘no deal’ Brexit. Relevant EU legislation, such as that relating to Supplementary Protection Certificates for drugs, compulsory licences and the patenting of biotechnology innovations, will be retained in UK law under the EU Withdrawal Act 2018 in such a scenario, it reassures rights holders. Such legislation will form the basis of an independent UK patent regime in which existing rights and licences will automatically remain in force. No such certainty is provided regarding the prospective Unified Patent Court (UPC), however. If the pan-European court is fully ratified, but the UK leaves the EU without a deal, the country would not necessarily be part of the UPC or the unitary patent system, the government admitted. However, any unitary patents that exist at the point of the UK’s departure will automatically give rise to patent protection within the UK.

This repeated the two famous lies. Also published yesterday was this short blog post from Kluwer Patent Blog (they barely publish in long form anymore). It’s akin to the “shoot with patents first, ask questions later” attitude of UPC. Adrian Crespo wrote that (in Spain at least) “a defendant wishing to object to an injunction for invalidity reasons must put forth “very clear and evident indicia” of invalidity. For that reason, the Court of Appeal focused on a relatively straightforward objection on grounds of added matter.”

This is scary and dangerous to the prospects of science and technology in Europe. It’s like patents take priority over facts. It should never be like this.

Meanwhile, over at Mondaq, a French law firm that habitually promotes itself over there speaks of the EPO and INPI. Grégoire Desrousseaux and Thierry Lautier (August & Debouzy) compare one terrible patent office to another:

Incidentally, this would also allow the INPI to “smooth” the number of examination requests it will receive in the medium term, which would facilitate the implementation of the strengthened substantive examination and the opposition procedure, while maintaining sufficiently short deadlines (which is a decisive parameter for the attractiveness of the French system).

The possibility of a deferred examination could therefore further improve the attractiveness of the French patent.

It is widely known that INPI doesn’t really assess quality of patent applications; they’re presumed valid. Imagine what the UPC would look like if the French-led UPC ever went ahead, possibly with Battistelli as its chief. France has been reserved a leadership position, the EPO promotes this, its current President is French and in two decades it’s like France clings onto power at the EPO for 16 years.

We are open to ideas as to how sponsor the hosting costs for the server; I don’t wish to be paid for my writings about the EPO (by anyone), but the costs of underlying infrastructure may need coverage. I spend over 80 hours per week on the sites (not including my daytime job). Things aren’t sustainable and we need to keep watching the affairs of the EPO and patent scope in general. There’s too much at stake.

Links 15/10/2018: Testing Ubuntu 18.10 Release Candidates, KaOS 2018.10 Released

Monday 15th of October 2018 07:19:36 AM

Contents GNU/Linux
  • Desktop
    • Don’t Click “Check for Updates” Unless You Want Unstable Windows 10 Updates

      As Microsoft revealed, only people who clicked “Check for Updates” got bitten by Windows 10’s file deletion bug. When you click the “Check for Updates” button, Microsoft gives you updates early, skipping a normal part of the testing process.

    • How to Fix Your PC’s Sound if Windows Update Just Broke It

      Windows Update keeps breaking things. Earlier this week, Microsoft released a buggy Intel audio driver that broke the sound on some PCs. If your PC suddenly can’t play audio, here’s how to fix it.

      Bleeping Computer brought this to our attention, but the official details come straight from Matthew van Eerde, a Senior Software Engineer on Microsoft’s Windows team.

    • Windows 10 Audio Not Working After Installing Latest Windows Updates

      Lot’s of reports are coming in that Windows 10 users are finding that their audio is no longer working on their computer after installing the latest Windows updates.

      Windows Updates have become a complete mess lately, with the latest October 2018 Update deleting user’s files, Patch Tuesday updates causing crashes because of incompatible keyboard drivers, and now users are finding that their audio drivers are broken.

  • Server
    • Cloud Foundry Goes All-In With Kubernetes

      Further proof probably isn’t needed to confirm that Kubernetes has become the de facto standard when it comes to container orchestration, but if you need more, the Cloud Foundry Foundation announced this week that it has taken on two new Kubernetes-focused projects.

    • Xen & Databases

      I’m running PostgreSQL and MySQL on my server that both serve different databases to WordPress, Drupal, Piwigo, Friendica, Mastodon, whatever…

      In the past the databases where colocated in my mailserver VM whereas the webserver was running on a different VM. Somewhen I moved the databases from domU to dom0, maybe because I thought that the databases would be faster running on direct disk I/O in the dom0 environment, but can’t remember the exact rasons anymore.

      However, in the meantime the size of the databases grew and the number of the VMs did, too. MySQL and PostgreSQL are both configured/optimized to run with 16 GB of memory in dom0, but in the last months I experienced high disk I/O especially for MySQL and slow I/O performance in all the domU VMs because of that.

  • Kernel Space
    • Linux 4.18.14
    • Linux 4.14.76
    • Linux 4.9.133
    • Linux 4.4.161
    • Linux 3.18.124
    • Graphics Stack
      • NVIDIA 396.54.09 Vulkan Driver Released With Transform Feedback, Intel ANV Gets TF Too

        Today is certainly a very exciting day in the Vulkan space.

        Following the release of Vulkan 1.1.88 that brings initial support for the much anticipated transform feedback support, to help projects like DXVK and VKD3D for mapping Direct3D (or even OpenGL) atop Vulkan, there has been a slew of driver updates.

      • anv: Add a NIR cache

        This patch series adds a simple NIR shader cache that sits right after spirv_to_nir and brw_preprocess_nir and before linking. This should help alleviate some of the added overhead of link-time optimization since most of the NIR-level optimization is now cached prior to linking.

      • Intel’s Vulkan Driver Is Working On A NIR Cache

        As a possible performance win, Jason Ekstrand as the lead developer of the Intel ANV open-source Vulkan driver has been developing a NIR cache.

      • Vulkan Cracks 2,500 Projects On GitHub

        After cracking 2,000 projects referencing Vulkan on GitHub earlier this year, this week it passed the milestone of having more than 2,500 projects.

        Granted, some of these projects referencing Vulkan are still in their primitive stages, but of the 2,500+ projects are a lot of interesting Vulkan-using projects from RenderDoc to countless game engine initiatives, various code samples, the AMDVLK driver stack, and countless innovative efforts like GLOVE for OpenGL over Vulkan to Kazan for a Rust-written CPU-based Vulkan implementation and a heck of a lot more.

  • Applications
  • Desktop Environments/WMs
    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt
      • Plasma and KDE neon Team Visit Deployments in Catalunya

        Last week developers from the KDE neon and Plasma teams visited Barcelona. We were there to meet with some KDE software projects we had heard about in the Catalan government and schools. Aleix Pol lives locally and works on Plasma and Discover. He invited Plasma release manager and KDE neon developer Jonathan Riddell, KDE neon continuous integration master Harald Sitter, and hardware enablement guru Rohan Garg to meet the teams evaluating our software and supporting our users.

        We first met Pablo who runs the Linkat project for the Catalan government. Linkat is a Linux distribution they offer to schools, and it currently runs lightweight, simple desktop environments. As Plasma 5 now tends to use as little or less memory and resources than many lightweight Linux desktops, the Linkat team is interested in trying it. We met with the officials from the education department and discussed accessibility needs, looking at Mycroft for voice control and integrating with phones using KDE Connect.

      • KF5 Static Builds

        Static linking has long gone out of fashion, at least on the average Linux desktop distribution. There are however good reasons to still (or again) support this for our frameworks. One is the rise of application bundles (Flatpak, Android APK, AppImage, etc).

        Bundles often only contain a single executable, so there is no benefit of sharing a library (at least in most bundle formats, Flatpak is a bit different there). Still we need to ship everything the shared libraries provide, no matter if we need it or not.

        Static linking is of course not the magic solution to this, but it’s a fairly generic way of allowing the compiler to drop unused code, reducing the application size. As application bundles are usually updated as a whole, we also don’t benefit from the ability to update shared libraries independently, unlike with a conventional distribution.

        Besides application bundles, there are also single process embedded applications that can benefit from static linking, so this is relevant for the effort of bringing KF5 to Yocto. In particular on lower powered embedded devices the startup overhead of dynamic linking can be noticeable.

      • Celebrating KDE’s 22nd Birthday with Some Inspiring Facts from its Glorious Past!

        Wishing A Very Happy Birthday to KDE! Let us Celebrate this moment by looking back into its Glorious history with some Inspiring Facts on this legendary and much-loved Desktop Environment!

      • Please help test our initial Cosmic 18.10 RC ISOs

        The Ubuntu release team have announced a 1st test ISO RC build for all 18.10 flavours.

        Please help us test these and subsequent RC builds, so that we can have an amazing and well tested release in the coming week.

      • This week in Usability & Productivity, part 40

        I’d like to specially highlight one very important fix this week: external hard drives are now safely powered off when unmounted. The fix is in KDE Frameworks 5.52, which will be released in approximately three weeks, and I’d like to give a big thanks to Stefan Brüns who fixed it!

        Speaking of Stefan, he and Igor Poboiko have been doing an absolutely smashing job fixing Baloo over the past two weeks. A lot of their work is hard to blog about because it’s not immediately user-facing (though I’ve included as much as possible below), but between the two of them, they’ve made an enormous number of improvements to Baloo that should make it work faster and more smoothly in a lot of subtle ways.

        But obviously that’s not all; take a look at the rest of the week’s work:

      • LaKademy 2018 – Second Day (October 12th)

        During the second day of LaKademy I was more focused on resolution of bugs in the code that I implemented during the first day for KDE Partition Manager. During the afternoon, I decided to start RAID resizing and discussed with Andrius Stikonas on calamares IRC channel about some RAID functionalities related to resizing disks and about bugs on both LVM and RAID. I also talked with some KDE coders here in LaKademy about Qt and C++, learning more about it.

      • KaOS 2018.10

        Plasma 5.14.0 was announced just a few days ago and is already included in this ISO. Highlights of this version include a new Display Configuration widget for screen management which is useful for presentations, the Audio Volume widget now has a built-in speaker test feature moved from Phonon settings, Plasma now warns on logout when other users are logged in, fixed non-centered task switchers on Wayland and the Kickoff application menu now switches tabs instantly on hover.

        A new Glibc 2.27/GCC 7.3.1 based toolchain is among the many changes to the base of the system. Updates to Boost, ICU, x265, Protobuf, Net-SNMP, Qt required the rebuild of a large percentage of the KaOS repositories.

      • KaOS 2018.10 Released With KDE Plasma 5.14 Desktop, Wayland 1.16
      • Support KDE via AmazonSmile

        For quite some time, the KDE e.V. – KDE’s non-profit organization – is listed in the AmazonSmile program.

      • The Last Day of the Krita Sprint and the Last Day of the Krita Fundraiser

        We fully intended to make a post every day to keep everyone posted on what’s happening here in sunny Deventer, the Netherlands.

      • Who is Hiring?

        Just as quick info: For some time, there is a sticky thread on r/cpp about who is hiring C++ developers. This thread gets cleaned quarterly, so all the open jobs listed there are likely still open.

      • KDE chalks up another year with cash to back community

        The KDE Project, a group that puts out a desktop environment that is used by numerous GNU/Linux distributions, has received two big donations that will enable it to do more to support the community, according to the president of the project, Lydia Pintscher.

        In a Twitter thread to mark the 22nd birthday of the project — which came to life on 14 October 1996 — Pintscher said over the past year the project had rallied behind the three goals that it cared about: privacy, onboarding and usability and productivity.

        KDE was started by German software developer Matthias Ettrich with the aim of providing GNU/Linux users with all the functionality that Windows had at the time.

      • Screen reader accessibility for the Plasma desktop

        It’s been rather quiet when it comes to accessibility in KDE land for a while. But I’m very happy to see some movement and fresh energy, moving in a good direction.

        If you’re curious about making our software available to more users, improving it for everyone (for example keyboard usability), now is the time to join. We are talking on the accessibility mailing list. It’s still to early to say what the exact plan will look like, but there will be progress. Thanks to the last Randa meeting, we reached the point where a few things in Plasma do work with a screen reader, enough to let a few brave souls experiment with it. Now we’ll have to structure what needs improvements, I could imaging defining some workflows.

      • KDE Will Now Safely Spin Down External Hard Drives When Unmounting

        Fixing a seven year old bug since the KDE4 days, KDE will now spin down external hard drives unmounting the drives to help stave off possible data loss / corruption.

        KDE has unmounted external hard drives but not caused these drivers to stop spinning — basically, powering off the drive. In some cases this lack of powering down the external HDDs could cause problems as outlined by this 2011 bug report requesting said functionality. Most other Linux distributions out there have powered down external drives when ejecting/unmounting except for KDE.

        Beginning with the upcoming KDE Frameworks 5.52, the UDisks2 call is in place to power down the drive on removal, if the drive supports this behavior.

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK
      • A Clean GTK Theme Specially Designed for Laptop and Desktop

        The search for cool and new themes never stops. While digging through the thousands of themes in websites, search results – I found this cool and simple GTK theme – Stylish. Stylish is designed for GTK 3, GTK 2 and GNOME Shell. It comes with 6 base types of combinations with 4 color variants.

      • Linux Smartphone Librem 5 Will Ship With GNOME 3.32

        Last month, Purism announced that its Librem 5 Linux smartphone will ship in April 2019; earlier, it was scheduled to arrive in January 2019.

        It seems that the developers will now get sufficient time to ship their phone with GNOME 3.32. In a blog post, the project urged the app developers to “use libhandy 0.0.4 and up, use GTK+ 3.24.1 and up and target GNOME 3.32!”

      • Redesign of the invite dialog in Fractal (part 1)

        This month, I’ve had some time to work on the redesign of the invite dialog in Fractal. There is a dialog used for inviting users in a room you are in or inviting a user to start a direct chat with them. In this dialog, you can search for users by usernames. The result of this search is shown in a list below the search entry and you can click on the GtkListBox‘s rows to select users (in the case of direct chat invitations, the latest selected user will be the only one selected) and you can then click on the button “Invite” to send invitations to all selected users.

  • Distributions
    • Reviews
      • Review: Reborn OS 2018.09.09 and Nitrux 1.0.15

        This month I spent some time digging through the waiting list and trimming projects that have not survived the harsh and demanding growing period of their first year of existence. Among them I found a project which seemed simple on the surface, an Antergos-based distribution offering even more install-time options than its parent. What caught my attention was the specific list of extra options: 15 desktop environments to choose from, able to run Android apps through the Anbox compatibility software, optional Flatpak support, and the Mycroft desktop assistant. All of this on a rolling release base provided by Arch Linux.

        The distribution is called Reborn OS and I downloaded what was, at the time, the latest build. Reborn is available as a 64-bit build only. The ISO I downloaded was 1.5GB in size and, booting from this ISO brought up the Budgie desktop environment. At the top of the desktop is a panel with the application menu, a couple of quick-launch buttons and a system tray. The Budgie desktop seemed to respond well once it finished loading and I was eager to get started.

    • Red Hat Family
    • Debian Family
      • Debian dev forks Redis modules that are under Commons Clause licence

        Debian GNU/Linux developer Chris Lamb is taking the fight to those pushing the Commons Clause, a non-free licence, by setting up a two-man team to fork modules that add functionality to the in-memory database Redis, after the company that makes Redis put the modules under this licence and started to charge for them. Lamb is the current leader of the project but said he was doing this in a private capacity.

        The Commons Clause licence prevents anyone from selling software, something which all licences that qualifiy as open source do not prohibit. It is specifically aimed at companies like Amazon which make use of free and open source software but pay nothing for it.

        Lamb told iTWire: “…the short version is that with the recent licensing changes to several Redis Labs modules making them no longer free and open source, GNU/Linux distributions such as Debian and Fedora are no longer able to ship Redis Labs’ versions of the affected modules to their users.”

      • Shutter removed from Debian & Ubuntu

        This week, the popular screenshot app Shutter was removed from Debian Unstable & Ubuntu 18.10. (It had already been removed from Debian “Buster” 6 months ago and some of its “optional” dependencies had already been removed from Ubuntu 18.04 LTS).

        Shutter will need to be ported to gtk3 before it can return to Debian. (Ideally, it would support Wayland desktops too but that’s not a blocker for inclusion in Debian.)

      • Derivatives
        • Canonical/Ubuntu
          • UBports Foundation releases Linux-based Ubuntu Touch OTA-5

            Ubuntu Touch never lit the world on fire as many Linux fans had hoped, but to be honest, most mainstream consumers didn’t even know it existed. So when Canonical canceled it, not many people cared. Luckily, since the project was open source, it was easy for another organization — in this case, UBports — to grab the torch and run with it.

            Back in August, UBports surprised many with the Ubuntu Touch OTA-4 release, which breathed new life into tablets and smartphones that ran the Linux distro. Now, OTA-5 is here to take it up yet another notch. The new version gets a new web browser called Morph which is based on QtWebEngine. Best of all, OTA-5 gets improved adaptive scaling for a better experience regardless of screen size. From a superficial standpoint, there are new wallpapers based on community submitted artwork.

          • You Can Help Ubuntu This Weekend Test The Near-Final Cosmic Cuttlefish

            If all goes well, the Ubuntu 18.10 “Cosmic Cuttlefish” release will happen on 18 October but for that to happen they could use your help this weekend testing their release candidate spins.

            Running a few days behind with ideally their RC builds should have been spinning on Thursday (11 October) but instead being announced on Saturday (13 October), there are non-final but test-friendly Cosmic RC builds now coming out for all Ubuntu 18.10 flavors.

          • Flavours and Variants
            • GNU/Linux Review: Xubuntu 18.04 LTS

              Xubuntu 18.04 LTS is an official flavor of Ubuntu Bionic Beaver which uses XFCE Desktop Environment. In this release, it’s still as lightweight as before (~350MB of RAM at idle time), with user-friendliness you can expect as always. Yes, it still supports 32-bit so you don’t have to buy new computer to upgrade or install it; for the next 3 years. It supports Snappy out of the box with GNOME Software integration. It brings Firefox 59, LibreOffice 6.0, and XFCE 4.12 for us, in only 1.3GB sized ISO image file. And yeah, in this review, I show you that Compiz works here with 3D Cube and stuffs we really missed from our old Ubuntu era.

            • Help test Lubuntu 18.10 Release Candidates!

              Please, help us test Lubuntu Release Candidates. You can find the link to the dailies on our downloads page. When you’re done, so we know you tested, please get an Ubuntu SSO account (if you don’t have one already) and report the result on iso.qa.ubuntu.com. This means you, i386 testers. It’s your time to shine!

  • Devices/Embedded
Free Software/Open Source
  • Spritely: towards secure social spaces as virtual worlds

    If you follow me on the fediverse, maybe you already know. I’ve sent an announcement to my work that I am switching to doing a project named Spritely on my own full time. (Actually I’m still going to be doing some contracting with my old job, so I’ll still have some income, but I’ll be putting a full 40 hours a week into Spritely.)

    tl;dr: I’m working on building the next generation of the fediverse as a distributed game. You can support this work if you so wish.

  • The demise of G+ and return to blogging (w/ mastodon integration)

    I’m back to blogging, after shutting down my wordpress.com hosted blog in spring. This time, fully privacy aware, self hosted, and integrated with mastodon.

    Let’s talk details: In spring, I shutdown my wordpress.com hosted blog, due to concerns about GDPR implications with comment hosting and ads and stuff. I’d like to apologize for using that, back when I did this (in 2007), it was the easiest way to get into blogging. Please forgive me for subjecting you to that!

    Recently, Google announced the end of Google+. As some of you might know, I posted a lot of medium-long posts there, rather than doing blog posts; especially after I disabled the wordpress site.

  • Web Browsers
    • Brave Browser Team Up With Tor

      TOR [sic] or The Onion Router uses technology that separates your computer from the website you’re viewing by routing the network traffic through 3 seperate servers before it reaches your computer. That being said Brave Core Beta hasn’t been fully tested yet so “users should not rely on it for serious use just yet,” Brave said.

    • Mozilla
      • Your RSS is grass: Mozilla euthanizes feed reader, Atom code in Firefox browser, claims it’s old and unloved

        When Firefox 64 arrives in December, support for RSS, the once celebrated content syndication scheme, and its sibling, Atom, will be missing.

        “After considering the maintenance, performance and security costs of the feed preview and subscription features in Firefox, we’ve concluded that it is no longer sustainable to keep feed support in the core of the product,” said Gijs Kruitbosch, a software engineer who works on Firefox at Mozilla, in a blog post on Thursday.

        RSS – which stands for Rich Site Summary, RDF Site Summary, or Really Simple Syndication, as you see fit – is an XML-based format for publishing and subscribing to web content feeds. It dates back to 1999 and for a time was rather popular, but been disappearing from a variety of applications and services since then.

        Mozilla appears to have gotten the wrecking ball rolling in 2011 when it removed the RSS button from Firefox. The explanation then was the same as it is now: It’s just not very popular.

      • Cameron Kaiser: It’s baaaaa-aaack: TenFourFox Intel

        It’s back! It’s undead! It’s ugly! It’s possibly functional! It’s totally unsupported! It’s … TenFourFox for Intel Macs!

        Years ago as readers of this blog will recall, Claudio Leite built TenFourFox 17.0.2 for Intel, which the update check-in server shows some determined users are still running to this day on 10.5 and even 10.4 despite various problems such as issue 209. However, he didn’t have time to maintain it, and a newer version was never built, though a few people since then have made various attempts and submitted some patches.

        One of these attempts is now far enough along to the point where I’m permitted to announce its existence. Riccardo Mottola has done substantial work on getting TenFourFox to build and run again on old Intel Macs with a focus on 32-bit compatibility, and his patches have been silently lurking in the source code repository for some time. Along with Ken Cunningham’s additional work, who now also has a MacPorts portfile so you can build it yourself (PowerPC support in the portfile is coming, though you can still use the official instructions, of course), enough functions in the new Intel build that it can be used for basic tasks.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice
    • LibreOffice Lands More Qt5 Integration Improvements, LXQt Support

      Recently there’s been more improvements for LibreOffice with its Qt5 integration to allow this open-source office suite to jive better with Qt5-based desktops like KDE Plasma and now LXQt.

      On and off throughout the year we have seen a lot of improvements to the Qt5/KDE5 interface plug-in with LibreOffice. In the update shared earlier this month was initial accessibility support as well as Qt5 clipboard support. Since then, more code has been merged.

  • Pseudo-Open Source (Openwashing)
  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC
    • Summary of Seven Days

      Microsoft and the patents (Oct 10). Megatotoro shared this article with me. I was confused. Either Microsoft is changing its position or it is a masked move that, in reality, does not help Linux at all. Which one will be, I wonder?

  • Programming/Development
    • RcppNLoptExample 0.0.1: Use NLopt from C/C++

      A new package of ours, RcppNLoptExample, arrived on CRAN yesterday after a somewhat longer-than-usual wait for new packages as CRAN seems really busy these days. As always, a big and very grateful Thank You! for all they do to keep this community humming.

    • PyGotham 2018 Talk Resources

      At PyGotham in 2018, I gave a talk called “The Black Magic of Python Wheels”. I based this talk on my two years of work on auditwheel and the manylinux platform, hoping to share some dark details of how the proverbial sausage is made.

    • Introducing Litestats
    • Software developers today, by the numbers: 4 takeaways

      The firm surveyed 20,500 professional software developers around the globe during Q2 of this year; its ongoing tracking of developer experiences and attitudes typically includes more than 40,000 devs each year. The most recent survey reveals or reinforces several key storylines about the modern software developer’s day-to-day job and future career path.

    • GCC9 Lands Initial C++ Networking TS Implementation

      The GCC9 compiler code as of Friday has an initial implementation of the C++ networking technical specification.

      Currently in working draft form, one of the experimental C++ features is an extension for standardizing network handling. The C++ Networking TS adds support to the programming language and C++ standard library for operations around sockets, timers, buffer manager, host name resolution, and Internet protocols.

Leftovers
  • Health/Nutrition
    • Universal Basic Income Is Silicon Valley’s Latest Scam

      In 2016, I was invited to Uber’s headquarters (then in San Francisco) to talk about the failings of the digital economy and what could be done about it. Silicon Valley firms are the only corporations I know that ask for private talks for free. They don’t even cover cab fare. Like Google and Facebook, Uber figures that the chance to address their developers and executives offers intellectuals the rare privilege of influencing the digital future or, maybe more crassly, getting their books mentioned on the company blog.

      For authors of business how-to books, it makes perfect sense. Who wouldn’t want to brag that Google is taking their business advice? For me, it was a little different. Throwing Rocks at the Google Bus was about the inequity embedded in the digital economy: how the growth of digital startups was draining the real economy and making it harder for people to participate in creating value, make any money, or keep up with rising rents.

  • Security
  • Defence/Aggression
    • Alleged murders of Khashoggi, Kim show some nations kill with impunity

      Hands doused with nerve agent, radioactive tea, a poison dart hidden in an umbrella.
      The alleged killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in his country’s Istanbul consulate — if found to be true — is only the latest in a series of blatant assassinations carried out by a nation state on foreign soil.
      A source familiar with the investigation into Khashoggi’s disappearance said the Turkish authorities have evidence showing he was killed inside the consulate. Riyadh has so-far firmly denied any involvement in the journalist’s disappearance and claims he left the consulate unharmed.

      But while the Saudis have faced some fallout for the apparent disappearing, if not outright murdering, of one of their citizens in a foreign country — some investors and media figures have pulled out of deals and conferences in the Kingdom — the wealth and power of the regime is such that even if Khashoggi’s assassination is confirmed, repercussions will likely be short lived.

    • Tech Backs Away From Saudis After Journalist’s Alleged Murder

      Mohammed’s tech connections have much deeper roots, however. The Saudi government’s sovereign wealth fund, Public Investment Fund (PIF), has invested, directly and indirectly, in many top tier tech firms, which have remained silent on the controversy so far.

    • Trump just literally put a price tag on Jamal Khashoggi’s life

      Trump’s comments just made one thing extremely clear: He cares much more about getting American companies paid than defending human rights. What’s more, he doesn’t care that much about Khashoggi — who heavily criticized the crown prince in the Washington Post — because he is merely a US resident, not citizen.

    • Turkey has ‘shocking’ audio and visual evidence of Saudi journalist’s murder

      The audio recording in particular provided “persuasive and gruesome evidence” that a Saudi team dispatched to Istanbul was responsible for Khashoggi’s death, the Post reported.

      “You can hear his voice and the voices of men speaking Arabic,” one person with knowledge of the recording told the Post. “You can hear how he was interrogated, tortured and then murdered.”

    • EXCLUSIVE: Jamal Khashoggi ‘dragged from consulate office, killed and dismembered’

      “We know when Jamal was killed, in which room he was killed and where the body was taken to be dismembered. If the forensic team are allowed in, they know exactly where to go,” he said.

    • Michelle Obama: George W. Bush is ‘my partner in crime’ and ‘I love him to death’

      Former first lady Michelle Obama said Thursday that ex-President George W. Bush has become her “partner in crime” after years of sitting together at official events.

      “President Bush and I are forever seatmates because of protocol – that’s how we sit at all the official functions,” Obama said on NBC’s “Today” show. “So he is my partner in crime at every major thing where all the formers gather.”

      “I love him to death,” Obama added. “He’s a wonderful man. He’s a funny man.”

    • Politician Kills Himself While in Custody for Drone Attack on Maduro – Caracas
    • Five painful instances the CIA deprived Africa of its promising leaders

      It is no secret that the West has had a hand in turmoils and conflicts in Africa. From slavery to colonisation, these western countries have put African countries in dire straits in terms of economic, political, and social development.

      These interference has also been seen as far back as the 1950s when most African countries were agitating for independence and later after they gained independence.

      America’s Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) has been documented to have interfered with Africa’s post-independence government formation and establishment, either by helping depose promising leaders or installing brutal dictators, or both. In most cases, it was successful and in others, they were not.

    • From ‘torture centers’ and ‘CIA jets’, to Salman and Zayed’s murder of Jamal Khashoggi… Stop these two evil men!

      Immediately after the invasion of Iraq, CIA-affiliated “torture centers” were established in dozens of countries across the world. These were slave camps that were formed with secret agreements and spread from South Asia to Africa and the deserts of the Middle East. Action was taken in the name of fighting terrorism and hundreds of people from around the world were abducted and brought to these camps. Then, no news could be received from any of these people. None of them were able to leave those centers alive.

      [...]

      I believe I am the first person who disclosed the “torture centers” and discussed them. As a matter of fact, when the tankers in the Pacific were being smuggled by “pirates,” I was the first person to write, “No, it is the CIA smuggling them, these ships are being used as prisons, they roam in open seas, where there is no international law, as torture centers and prisons.” I was also one of the few who provided the most information to the world about the “CIA’s torture jets.” I remember, I had encountered very heavy attacks and threats for writing and discussing these matters.

    • Times: Jihadis are back in Kosovo – “caliphate is not dead”

      It states that according to what is known to authorities in Pristina, since 2012, 348 adults had gone from Kosovo to Syria to join Islamic State.

      The newspaper says that “many have died there, but many have returned,” and that “in the absence of a coherent program of de-radicalization, (Islamist) prisoners get out of jail and remain loyal to Islamic State.”

      Among those who are now free is Fitim Lladrovci, who, as a 24-year-old, watched a Syrian man get tied up to a stake and blown up with a missile launcher. It is alleged that the killer was Lavdrim Muhaxheri, “a notorious Kosovo Albanian who was flagged as an international terrorist threat before he was killed with a drone.”

      The Times writes that Kosovo Albanians have also participated in several recent terrorist attacks and that “six Kosovo Albanians, men and women, were arrested in June last year in Kosovo and in Germany for participating in two conspiracies targeting NATO troops in Kosovo and civilians in Belgium and France,” and recalls that “a month earlier eight people were arrested in Kosovo over a plot aimed at killing Israeli footballers.”

    • Indictment Reveals ISIS-Backed Plans for Kosovo Attacks

      Bujar Behrami, alias Abu Musab El-Albani – one of six Kosovo nationals indicted for terrorism by the Kosovo Prosecution last Saturday – has been the only one to tell investigators so far about the group’s alleged plans to bomb Orthodox churches and clubs in Serb-majority areas, and recruit suicide bombers in Kosovo.

      His statement made to police, earlier in September 2018, reveals details about the group’s modus operandi, finances, recruitment and explosives procurement.

      Behrami, Resim Kastrati, known as PC Habibi, Gramos Shabani, Albert Ademaj, Leotrim Musliu and Edona Haliti are all indicted with planning attacks and suicide bombings in Kosovo, France and Belgium from December 2017 to June 2018.

      Behrami stated that everything began in September and October 2016 when, through his Telegram account “Abu Musab”, he started communicating with a person known as “A1″ in Syria.

    • The CIA Finger in Brasil’s Election

      The growth of Bolsonarian fascism in the final stretch of the election campaign, turbo charged by an avalanche of fake news disseminated on the internet, is not surprising. It is an old tactic developed by American and British intelligence agencies, with the goal of manipulating public opinion and influencing political processes and elections. It was used in the Ukraine, in the Arab Spring and in Brazil during 2013.

      There is science behind this manipulation.

      Some people think that elections are won or lost only in rigorously rational debates about policies and proposals. But things don’t really work that way. In reality, as Emory University Psychology Professor Drew Weston says in his book “The Political Brain: The Role of Emotion in Deciding the Fate of the Nation”, feelings are commonly more decisive in defining the vote.

      Weston says that, based on recent studies in neuroscience on the theme, contrary to what is commonly understood, the human brain makes decisions mainly based on emotions. The voters strongly base their choices on emotional perceptions about parties and candidates. Rational analysis and empirical data normally plays a secondary role in this process.

    • The CIA, Asleep at the Wheel

      Not only does the CIA undermine democracy and sow chaos abroad — according to a new book, the agency deliberately held back information about future 9/11 hijackers in the US.

      [...]

      The book’s central, if still speculative, conceit is simple: that in the process of attempting to “flip” members of Al Qaeda (most notably, September 11 hijacker Khalid al Mindhar), the CIA deliberately prevented domestic authorities from learning about the presence of future 9/11 hijackers in the US, resulting in the worst attack on US soil since Pearl Harbor. Because such an alleged operation would have involved hijackers in the country, it would have been illegal, violating the CIA’s ban on domestic operations.

      It’s a tale that might at first glance seem plucked from the wildest reaches of the conspiracy-minded web. But when the one wearing the tinfoil hat is former Bush and Clinton chief counterterrorism advisor Richard Clarke — a longtime national security bureaucrat who came up with the concept of of extraordinary renditions — it demands more consideration than your average piece of twine-and-thumbtack speculation.

      As the authors note, the reader will find the allegations laid out in the book as credible as they find its chief sources. These include John Kiriakou, the former CIA officer who remains the only person to go to jail for the Bush-era torture program (not, in his case, for playing a role in it, but for talking to the press about it); former NSA official and whistleblower Thomas Drake, financially ruined by a government investigation into his alleged unauthorized disclosures; Larry Wilkerson, the chief of staff to former secretary of state Colin Powell; Mark Rossini, a former counter-terror agent with the FBI who was eventually ousted for leaking documents to his girlfriend; Clarke himself; and several others.

    • Yemen’s Navy Uses New Missile to Destroy Saudi Military Vessel Near Hajjah

      Yemen’s navy targeted a military vessel belonging to Saudi Arabia off of the northwestern coast of Hajjah on Wednesday, reportedly killing all aboard the vessel. The boat, which was in the Medi port, was carrying out attacks on the residential districts of Heiran and Medi in Hajjah when it was hit, according to a statement from Yemen’s navy.

      A source in Yemen’s navy confirmed to MintPress News that it targeted the Saudi vessel with a new type of domestically-manufactured missile, but did not name the missile.

    • Yemeni combat drone targets Saudi mercenaries in Hudaydah: Report
    • Students denounce CIA partnership with University of Illinois Chicago

      Opposition is growing among students on the University of Illinois Chicago (UIC) campus to the school’s recently announced partnership with the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). The partnership was agreed to in February as part of the CIA’s “Signature Schools Program,” which includes a handful of other colleges around the country.

      The partnership was arranged completely behind the backs of the students. At no point during the negotiations was input sought from any member of the student body, nor were they alerted that the partnership was being considered.

      Since agreeing to the program, the university has provided little information to students about what the partnership entails. The university denied a request by the UIC chapter of the International Youth and Students for Social Equality (IYSSE) to make public the “memorandum of understanding” (MOU) between the CIA and the university.

      The IYSSE at UIC is waging a campaign against the collaboration of UIC with the CIA, working to make the partnership known to students and organizing opposition to its continuation.

    • Did the CIA Play a Role in the Crack Epidemic of the 1980s in Los Angeles?

      Gary Webb wrote the three-part exposé called “Dark Alliance”, for the San Jose Mercury News in California, in August 1996. Webb had anonymous sources (he eventually named one in a later book) who had been involved in the Nicaraguan drug ring to back his allegations up.

      Some of Webb’s sources would later speak out in a 2015 documentary called “Freeway: Crack in the System” which was about Rick “Freeway” Ross who created a crack empire in the 1980s. Ross was a central character in Webb’s Dark Alliance allegations.

      According to Webb in the 1980s, when the CIA exerted a certain level of control over Contra groups such as the Nicaraguan Democratic Force (FDN), the agency as well as the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) granted amnesty to and financially backed important Contra supporters and fundraisers who were known to the U.S. Government as cocaine smugglers.

  • Transparency/Investigative Reporting
    • The CIA Word of the Day: Papyrophile

      Cruising through the Central Intelligence Agency’s CREST Archive, one will find, among other things, that, whatever its other faults, the Agency has some respect for the English language and the finer elements of grammar and editing. Another document pulled from their stockpile pokes some fun at the organization’s compulsive collection of records – its accuracy itself manifested by the millions of pages, now available digitally, that they kept for decades.

      The record, from October 1958, is a summation of an article, “A Taste for Paper” that the writer felt “eloquently caricatured many Organization employees.” It describes three types of paperlovers: the lover of other people’s paper; the lover of his fellow man, who peppers him with paper; and the lover of his own paper. All of these types fell into the fun folder labeled, “Papyrophile.”

    • Help crowdsource the CIA’s official contact list

      The Central Intelligence Agency’s declassified archives include a list of their official contacts at each executive branch agency in 1975, broken up by Agency component. This presents an all too rare map for future FOIA requests, one that’s especially useful in the instances where the Agency included the reasons for the contacts.

      By helping us compile a list of the Agency’s contacts throughout the government, you can help us dive into records on the Agency’s liaisons and help us find CIA-related activities that other parts of the government took part in.

    • Assange will eventually need to leave our embassy in London – Ecuador President

      Assange will eventually need to leave our embassy in London – Ecuador President WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is a step closer to being evicted from the Ecuadorian embassy in London after President Lenin Moreno said the whistleblower are required to “eventually” leave the facility.

      “Yes, indeed yes, but his departure should come about through dialogue,” the Ecuadorian president said on Friday answering a reporter’s question on whether Assange will eventually need to leave.

      “For a person to remain confined like that for so long is tantamount to human rights violation,” Moreno said. He additional that Ecuador wants to make sure that nothing “poses danger” to the whistleblower‘s life.

    • Ecuadorian President Lenin Moreno’s Assault on Human Rights and Judicial Independence

      Oswaldo Ruiz-Chiriboga, is an Ecuadorian legal scholar who teaches human rights and constitutional law at the Central European University in Hungary. He talked to Joe Emersberger about Ecuadorian President Lenin Moreno’s assault on human rights and judicial independence. Most of Moreno’s attacks abuses stem from a referendum of February, 2018 that was called by decree and without approval by the Constitution Court as required by the constitution. One of the seven referendum questions allowed Moreno to create a handpicked body – a so called “transitory CPCCS” – that has been empowered to make sweeping changes to the judiciary and other authorities. Among other acts, the “transitory CPCCS” recently fired all the members of the Constitutional Court. The relevance of this to the persecution of former President Rafael Correa is explained. The impunity with which Moreno has trampled the rights of Julian Assange is also discussed.

      JOE EMERSBERGER: In 2008, a year after Rafael Correa first took office in Ecuador, a constituent assembly was elected to write a new constitution. Correa and his allies, riding high in the polls, won most of the seats in that assembly. The constitution that the constituent assembly drafted was then approved by voters in another referendum in 2008. In 2009, a National Assembly was elected which replaced the Congress under the previous constitution. Correa also stood for reelection even though he had just taken office in 2007. One of things that came out of this whole process that restructured Ecuador’s political system was a Citizens Participation Council (CPCCS in its Spanish acronym) that oversees the selection of various unelected authorities like the judicial council. Basically it oversees “merit based” contests for these positions that are open to the public. Could you explain more about the CPCCS? Are there other countries that have a system like this?

      OSWALDO RUIZ-CHIRIBOGA: This is a novelty in the region and maybe the word. The state is usually organized in three traditional branches: the judiciary, the legislature and the executive. The 2008 constitution of Ecuador includes two other branches of government. One of them was the electoral branch. The other one was the transparency branch. The CPCCS is part of the transparency branch. The idea was to have a separate branch that appoints – after a procedure based on merit – authorities that are not elected by popular vote – high level authorities like the state prosecutor, Ombudsperson, and the members of the National Electoral Council. It was very good idea considering that in the past we didn’t have anything like that. What happened before was that the state was divided up like a pie. A piece of pie was given to one political party, another piece to another political party and everyone was happy, except the people. They parceled out the state among themselves in that way. The 2008 constitution (that was widely supported by social and political movements but also by the electorate) created this new branch to quash those awful practices from the past. But what we tried to avoid is now coming back to haunt us. This “transitory” CPCCS [created by Moreno] is once again giving away the country to different political parties and political actors from the right mostly, but also from the left – from the “old left” let’s call it – that in Ecuador has always been instrumental to the right. The exception to that was Rafael Correa, the only one in my view who managed to accomplish the most important goals of the left in the region had.

    • Julian Assange to regain internet access at embassy base – reports

      Ecuador has partly restored Julian Assange’s communications with the outside world from its London embassy where the WikiLeaks founder has been living for over six years, according to reports.

      The Ecuadorian government suspended access in March because it said Assange had breached “a written commitment made to the government at the end of 2017 not to issue messages that might interfere with other states”.

      On Sunday, the Press Association reported that Ecuador had partly restored Assange’s access to the internet, mobile phones and visits at the embassy, which had been restricted to members of his legal team.

    • Ecuador partly restores Assange’s internet
    • Julian Assange’s communications partly restored by Ecuadorian government
    • Julian Assange’s communications partly restored by Ecuadorian government

      The statement continued: “Mr Assange had critically reported on the Trump administration’s involvement in Yemen and Spanish police brutality. High level representations were made by the Trump administration and the Spanish government over Mr Assange, who was given political refugee status by Ecuador in 2012 over US attempts to prosecute him.

    • Julian Assange’s communications partly restored by Ecuadorian government

      The Ecuadorian government has decided to partly restore communications for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.

      They were cut in March, denying him access to the internet or phones and limiting visitors to members of his legal team.

      He has been living inside Ecuador’s embassy in London for over six years.

      The Ecuadorian government said in March it had acted because Mr Assange had breached “a written commitment made to the government at the end of 2017 not to issue messages that might interfere with other states”.

    • Assange gets his internet back: Ecuador ‘removes isolation regime’ imposed on WikiLeaks founder seven months ago for criticising the country’s friends from his embassy bolthole
    • WikiLeaks says Julian Assange regaining some access to outside world after embassy crackdown

      WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange reportedly has regained some of his ability to communicate with the outside world months after the Ecuadorian embassy in London where he resides limited his access.

      The secrets-leaking organization declared Sunday that Ecuador had rolled back Assange’s isolation after a meeting between two senior United Nations officials and Ecuadorian President Lenin Moreno.

      The isolation began in March, after the Ecuadorian government claimed Assange had run afoul of “a written commitment made to the government at the end of 2017 not to issue messages that might interfere with other states.”

    • Ecuador partly restores internet access for WikiLeaks founder Assange

      Ecuador has restored partial internet access to WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, who took refuge in the country’s London Embassy more than six years ago, WikiLeaks and an Assange lawyer said separately on Sunday.

      [...]

      Assange took refuge in Ecuador’s London Embassy after British courts ordered his extradition to Sweden to face questioning in a sexual molestation case. That case has since been dropped. But friends and supporters say Assange now fears he could be arrested and eventually extradited to the United States if he leaves the embassy. WikiLeaks, which published U.S. diplomatic and military secrets when Assange ran the operation, faces a U.S. grand jury investigation.

      “The main issue, the requirement for the UK to give an undertaking that Julian would not be extradited to the U.S., remains unresolved,” Barns told Reuters.

    • Former Ecuadorian ambassador to UK speaks on Julian Assange
    • Ecuador restores Assange’s communications after 7-month blackout – WikiLeaks

      The Ecuadorian government has lifted restrictions on WikiLeaks co-founder Julian Assange’s communications with the outside world, allowing visitors to his embassy hideout and restoring internet access it cut off in March.

      It was reported on Sunday that Ecuador moved to restore Assange’s access to the Internet, cell phone communications and permitted him to receive visitors other than his legal team.

    • Julian Assange ‘communications restored’ to outside world after embassy BLACKOUT

      In March, Assange’s internet access was cut off, phone jammers were installed and visitors were banned from seeing him after Ecuador’s President Lenin Moreno described Assange as a “hacker” and “stone in the shoe” who is a problem he “inherited” from his country’s previous Premier.

    • Julian Assange’s communications partly restored by Ecuadorian government

      Kristinn Hrafnsson, WikiLeaks editor-in-chief, added: “It is positive that through UN intervention Ecuador has partly ended the isolation of Mr Assange although it is of grave concern that his freedom to express his opinions is still limited.

      “The UN has already declared Mr Assange a victim of arbitrary detention. This unacceptable situation must end.

      “The UK government must abide by the UN’s ruling and guarantee that he can leave the Ecuadorian embassy without the threat of extradition to the United States.”

    • Ecuador partly restores Assange’s internet

      The Ecuadorian government has decided to partly restore communications for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.

      They were cut in March, denying the Australian access to the internet or phones and limiting visitors to members of his legal team.

      He has been living inside Ecuador’s embassy in London for more than six years.

      The Ecuadorian government said in March it had acted because Assange had breached “a written commitment made to the government at the end of 2017 not to issue messages that might interfere with other states”.

      WikiLeaks said in a statement: “Ecuador has told WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange that it will remove the isolation regime imposed on him following meetings between two senior UN officials and Ecuador’s President Lenin Moreno on Friday.”

    • Julian Assange’s communications partly restored by Ecuadorian government

      Kristinn Hrafnsson, WikiLeaks editor-in-chief, added: “It is positive that through UN intervention Ecuador has partly ended the isolation of Mr Assange although it is of grave concern that his freedom to express his opinions is still limited.

      “The UN has already declared Mr Assange a victim of arbitrary detention. This unacceptable situation must end.

      “The UK government must abide by the UN’s ruling and guarantee that he can leave the Ecuadorian embassy without the threat of extradition to the United States.”

      Mr Assange has been granted political asylum by Ecuador but believes he will be arrested if he leaves the embassy and extradited to the United States for questioning over the activities of WikiLeaks.

    • Assange’s communications to be partly restored by Ecuador govt

      The Ecuadorian government will partially restore communications for Julian Assange at the country’s embassy in London, Wikileaks said.

      The Wikileaks founder, who has been holed up at the embassy since 2012, was stopped from using the internet or a mobile phone to communicate with the outside world in March.

      “Ecuador has told WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange that it will remove the isolation regime imposed on him following meetings between two senior UN officials and Ecuador’s President Lenin Moreno on Friday,” Wikileaks said in a statement on Sunday.

    • WikiLeaks Founder Julian Assange Back Online as Ecuador Restores Partial Internet Access
    • Wikileaks founder Julian Assange is BACK ONLINE after 7-month communications BAN

      The Ecuadorian government revoked his internet and phone access in March after he breached an agreement “not to issue messages that might interfere with other states”.

      Only members of his legal team have been allowed to visit during this period.

      However, Wikileaks yesterday announced that his “isolation regime” was over after talks between UN officials and Ecuadorian President Lenin Moreno on Friday.

    • Wikileaks spills AWS Sydney data centre locations

      Julian Assange’s Wikileaks website has published a document that reveals the locations of data centres housing cloud giant Amazon Web Services, circa 2015.

      The document provides the exact address of facilities around the world, including Australia.

      Eight data centres in Sydney are listed in the document, with six being colo sites, and two sites operated by AWS itself. Wikileaks has published the full addresses, and names and phone numbers of contact people at the facilities.

      The two AWS data centres are SYD51 in Eastern Creek and SYD52 in Smeaton Grange towards Campbelltown.

    • The CIA and the State Department conspired to exploit a bureaucratic loophole to keep records hidden

      In 1955, the Central Intelligence Agency’s Psychological and Paramilitary Operations Staff made some inquiries through their point of contact at the State Department about the storage and accessibility of records concerning CIA operations. When they didn’t receive the answer they wanted, an informal suggestion led to a formal policy to circumvent those requirements by manipulating technicalities and appearances, and in some cases ignoring the records even existed.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife/Nature
    • Man-eating tiger hunted by Indian authorities using Calvin Klein cologne after ‘killing 13 people’

      Forest rangers in a wet and bushy patch of central India have been chasing a cunning female tiger suspected of killing 13 people for the past six months.

      They have thrown just about everything they have at the tigress: hundreds of foot soldiers to comb the jungle, bulldozers to clear it, sharpshooters, jeeps, camera traps, a thermal imagery drone and five Indian elephants in hopes of surrounding the tigress so the veterinarians riding the elephants can dart her.

  • Finance
    • From Bulldog to Lapdog: Rather Than Liberation, Brexit has Ensured Thralldom

      Britain’s reputation as a country of consequence is long overdue revision. It clings to the global core — as liberals cling to their failing institutions — by flaunting leaky WMDs, acting as the US’s representative within the EU, and being one of the world’s most corrupt financial centres. The last of those is so extreme that the Mafia expert Roberto Saviano has claimed it is numero uno in this shady running.

      What do I mean by corruption? I mean that there is no control of the flow of money — not necessarily into London, but into Gibraltar, Malta and Jersey — these are all the doors through which Great Britain brings money in without any control. Panama used to be the money laundering capital — now it’s London.

      Academia has offered the more palatable “financial engineering” to describe the British condition.

      Since Thatcher, the government has focused its efforts on manipulation of this sort. Because of which, the City of London, our Little Colombia, dominates political considerations. There they are in their unsightly towers, speculating with your savings in a process detached from proportion or decency, only breaking their bubble to make calls to the Albanian mob and Análise. And when this incomprehensible theatre collapses in upon itself, as it always does, taxpayers in the real but marginal, politically insignificant economy are informed that they have to pick up Gekko’s tab.

      It has been well documented by Wallerstein that the global economy ensures most nation states are consigned to production, i.e. creating most of the wealth. These “peripheral” countries are characterized by their workcamps and sweatshops (and cheap vacations). Worker rights are kept at an absolute minimum, and, though their states have been pruned of much else, they have retained the violent means to keep it this way.As this happens, as if by an invisible hand, corporations make an absolute killing.

  • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics
    • Facebook Accused of ‘Full-Frontal Suppression of Dissent’ After Independent Media Swept Up in Mass Purge

      After Facebook announced on Thursday that it shut down and removed hundreds of pages and accounts that it vaguely accused of spreading “spam” and engaging in “inauthentic behavior,” some of the individuals and organizations caught up in the social media behemoth’s dragnet disputed accusations that they were violating the platform’s rules and raised alarm that Facebook is using its enormous power to silence independent political perspectives that run counter to the corporate media’s dominant narratives.

      While it is reasonable to assume that some of the more than 800 total pages and accounts shut down by Facebook were engaged in overtly fraudulent behavior—such as the use of fake accounts and bots to generate ad revenue—numerous independent media outlets that cover a wide array of issues say they were swept up in the massive purge despite never using such tactics.

    • The Online Censors: Facebook’s Long History of Closing Down Free Speech
    • ‘Land of censorship & home of the fake’: Alternative voices on Facebook and Twitter’s crackdown
    • Facebook Purges US-Based Independent Media For Political Disinformation
    • Facebook carries out massive purge of oppositional pages

      On Thursday, Facebook removed some of the most popular oppositional pages and accounts on the world’s largest social media network, in a massive and unconstitutional assault on freedom of expression.

      With no public notice or accounting, over 800 pages and accounts have been summarily removed from the [I]nternet. The removed pages include Police the Police, with a following of over 1.9 million, Cop Block, with a following of 1.7 million, and Filming Cops, with a following of 1.5 million. Other pages targeted include Anti-Media, with 2.1 million followers, Reverb Press, with 800,000 followers, Counter Current News, 500,000 followers, and Resistance, 240,000 followers.

      Right-wing publications, including Right Wing News, were also removed.

    • Facebook: Most political [astrotrufers] are American, not Russian

      That suggests Americans are now copying the success of Russia’s election interference programme to run their own partisan campaigns, whether for ideology or simply for money.

    • Facebook Tackles Rising Threat: Americans Aping Russian Schemes to Deceive

      Politics has always involved shadings of the truth via whisper campaigns, direct-mail operations and negative ads bordering on untrue. What is different this time is how domestic sites are emulating the Russian strategy of 2016 by aggressively creating networks of Facebook pages and accounts — many of them fake — that make it appear as if the ideas they are promoting enjoy widespread popularity, researchers said. The activity is also happening on Twitter, they said.

    • Free Speech in the Age of Algorithmic Megaphones

      Our political conversations are happening on an infrastructure built for viral advertising, and we are only beginning to adapt.

    • Nicola and Independence

      I dislike the political class now attached to the SNP in just the same way that I distrust the professional political class in every political party. The horrible Alex Bell should be a serious warning of the kind of false hypocrites that a salary will attract “to the cause”. Seeing MPs I knew as just punters campaigning in 2014, now walking proudly before power dressed entourages of paid staff, was a strangely unpleasant experience.

      My major concern is that the SNP’s foreign policy and defence teams at Westminster appear to have been entirely captured by the UK establishment and indeed the security services. They have been willing and instant amplifiers of the Tories’ Russophobia.

    • What Kavanaugh Tells Us about the Midterms

      The real plan was always to force the confirmation into the mold Democrats think will win them the House, the same gambit they thought would deliver a landslide in 2016. And so Kavanaugh’s complex judicial record was discarded in favor of Clinton-esque, er, progressive, talking points: the election, um, sorry, the confirmation is all about respect for women, fighting misogyny, defeating privilege, too many White Men, Trump is evil, we can’t have an accused rapist in the White House, sorry, on the Supreme Court! Disqualification via demonization. The Kavanaugh hearings were an updated version of what was supposed to be the 2016 game-changer, the “pussy grabbing tape.” The Dems would give America another shot at having had it with the patriarchy.

  • Censorship/Free Speech
    • ‘We Had NPR Refusing to Run Our Ads’: Movie About Abortionist Kermit Gosnell Facing Backlash, Censorship

      The groundbreaking movie, “Gosnell: The Trial of America’s Biggest Serial Killer,” highlights a true-life horror story that went almost ignored by politicians and the mainstream media.

      CBN News, however, followed the story from the crime scene to the courthouse.

    • Zen Studios Comments On Censorship In Pinball FX3 DLC

      It seems a lot of owners who purchased the additional downloadable content for Pinball FX3 noticed that the Medieval Madness, Fish Tales, and Junk Yard tables have been censored in someway with removal of pieces of the original artwork such as the covering up of some scantily clad women and bloody swords, etc. ArsTechnica covered this earlier in the week and have since had a statement from Zen Studios VP of Publishing Mel Kirk who explained that the censorship took place to enable them to keep the family friendly rating, as Mel says that it’s ultimately a family series of games.

    • ‘Pinball FX3′ Fans Notice Williams’ Pinball Pack Censorship, Zen Studios Responds

      Last month, we reported the news that Zen Studios was expanding its Pinball FX3 line-up with actual pinball tables from Williams/Bally. Well, it launched last week, and fans of the game loved it — but also noticed a little something with the translation of the tables.

    • Censorship not behind changes Student Media changes
    • Center To Host Conversation About Art And Censorship
    • Art & Censorship to be Focus of Falmouth Art Center Conversation

      A community conversation will be held later this month at the Falmouth Art Center to discuss Art and Censorship.

      The public is invited to the forum on October 24 at 6 p.m.

      The conversation is in response to growing concern over a recent incident in which artist Salley Mavor was asked to remove political content from a show that was to be displayed at Highfield Hall and Gardens in Falmouth.

      The incident has led to a discussion in town about the roles of artists, art nonprofits and gallery space.

    • New Tactics of Intimidation are Forcing Self-Censorship

      Pakistan has long been a dangerous country for journalists who report on issues like extremism, militancy, religious fundamentalism, or military interference in politics. A country with a history of military coups has recently witnessed an unprecedented period of civilian rule. But journalists say the 10 years of democracy has not strengthened freedom of the press. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports that new tactics of intimidation are forcing editors and reporters to self-censor.

    • Media prize a ‘defeat’ for Australian refugee censorship, says author

      A refugee journalist detained on Papua New Guinea’s Manus Island says winning an Italian award for investigative journalism could end censorship of offshore detention in the Australian media.

      Behrouz Boochani, who has made a documentary and written a book during his five years in exile, has won the Anna Politkovskaya Prize for Press Freedom from the Italian magazine Internazionale.

      Boochani regularly contributes to The Guardian and the Saturday Paper in Australia but said other publications supported the Australian government’s efforts to restrict information about its offshore detention regime.

    • Palestinians decry US ‘act of censorship’

      Palestinian representatives on Wednesday vowed not to stay silent as they closed their mission in Washington on orders of President Donald Trump.

      “This is an attempt to shut down your voice; this is an act of censorship,” said Hakam Takash, a diplomat at the Palestine Liberation Organisation’s Washington office which had been set up in 1994 after the Oslo peace accords.

      “This is a new beginning, not just in Palestinian-American relations but in the work of this community,” he told a ceremony as the office symbolically took down a plaque on the Washington building.

    • Telecoms Lawyer Weighs Options in Internet Censorship, Regulation

      Telecoms lawyer and President, Nigerian Bar Association, Paul Usoro has weighed the advantages and disadvantages of calls for censorship and regulation of the internet.

      Usoro, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), who spoke at the workshop for judges on legal issues in telecommunications, organised by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) in Lagos, said the global community views internet censorship from various perspectives and country’s varying degrees of censorship. He listed two global school of thoughts on internet censorship and regulation. He said they include the school of thought that posits that access to internet should be a basic right and that freedom of expression and the press should be allowed on the internet. The second school of thought believes that there should be some form of censorship and regulation for the overriding good of the society.

    • Ethiopia: Censorship Over for Theaters, Films – Producers Rejoice

      The censorship order has been lifted as it contradicts an article in Ethiopia’s constitution

      The Addis Abeba Bureau of Culture & Tourism lifted censorship of film and theatre productions effective October 5, 2018, stating that it is “conceding to the constitution”.

      The censorship was lifted as it contradicts Ethiopia’s constitution, which states that the freedom of the press, mass media and artistic creativity are “guaranteed” by Article 29 of the constitution, according to a new circular issued by Nebiyu Baye. Nebiyu, who replaced Gebretsadik Hagos, served as an assistant professor of theatre and film at Addis Abeba University and as head of the National Theater before moving to the culture & tourism office.

    • Censoring the Internet

      We browse through the internet constantly and not often are we blocked or restricted from accessing websites or certain content. However, that is not the case in many countries. According to Justin Pelletier, a professor and business director at the Center for Cybersecurity, internet censorship is the concept of limiting the flow of information in order to better protect the population or, in most cases, to protect the country’s interests.

      [...]

      The article continues to describe Google’s censorship troubles when in 2009, China decided to censor the internet even more, blocking YouTube and requiring Google to censor even more search terms. At this point, Google decided to shut down their service in China, but the restrictions still stand for Chinese citizens.

      Restrictions like these are not only present in China. In fact, many countries around the world limit what their citizens can view on the Internet. North Korea is one of the most heavily censored countries in the world as all media is state-owned and the Central Korean News Agency is the only news agency in the country. Another country that blacklists websites and media that criticize the government is Russia; their “single register” contains URLs, domain names and IP addresses that are blocked by the state.

    • ‘Liberated’ Words: Iranian-Born Poet Swept From Censors’ Office To Nobel Jury

      Words are everything to Iranian-born poet Jila Mossaed, who says she is obsessed with their “mysterious hidden powers.”

      “I breathe through words,” said the 70-year-old naturalized Swede, who has written books and poetry collections in Persian and Swedish.

      Her dedication to her art has now secured Mossaed election to the most prominent cultural institution in her adopted country and around the world — the Swedish Academy that has awarded the Nobel Prize for literature since 1901.

      Mossaed, whose writings are rich in symbolism and frequently evoke loss and longing, is thought to be the first immigrant to hold one of the centuries-old Swedish Academy’s 18 lifetime seats.

      She replaces Swedish author Kerstin Ekman, who ended her involvement with the Academy in 1989 over its refusal to condemn a religious fatwa issued by the late Iranian cleric and revolutionary leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini against British author Salman Rushdie for his novel The Satanic Verses.

    • Journalism for democracy: Caught between bullets and censorship in Latin America

      The murder of journalists and changing forms of censorship show that freedom of expression and information are still under siege in Latin America, particularly in the countries with the greatest social upheaval and political polarization.

      Journalism “maintains a central role in the work for democracy in the region, although it suffers persecution of the media, journalists and political and social activists, which goes against hemispheric human rights agreements,” said Edison Lanza of Uruguay, special rapporteur for freedom of expression at the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR).

    • M.I.A. says she’s quitting music for now, blames censorship

      Sri Lankan musician sits down for an illuminating chat in support of her new documentary

    • MIA hints at quitting music because of censorship
    • M.I.A. Says Industry Censorship Makes Her Not Want to Release Music: ‘I Have to Find Another Way’

      The singer recently had an interview with The House of Strombo, where she expressed she’s “not motivated” to release music. “For me, I have to find another way,” she explained.

      “I have been pushed out for five years or something, and I haven’t been able to successfully release a record at all within this system…Or get my voice heard in terms of the Tamil plight, or get credit for anything I did,” she continued, noting that people would rather hear an anti-Trump anthem than an exposure tune on Tamil women being raped by Sri Lankan army men. “That’s been completely erased. And people know, but no one is allowed to say it.”

      The interview follows the release of Mantagi/Maya/Mia, the in-depth documentary of her life, journey and career. Listen to the full episode below.

    • M.I.A says she’s quitting music for now, blaming censorship: “I have to find another way”

      M.I.A. has said that she is no longer “motivated” to release new music, blaming censorship from the music industry.

      Following the release of her documentary, Matangi / Maya / M.I.A. last month, M.I.A made the comments in an interview for The House of Strombo. M.I.A added that she needs to focus on another means of releasing music: “for me, I have to find another way.”

    • M.I.A. says she’s no longer motivated to make music due to censorship

      Acclaimed English musician M.I.A. says she’s no longer motivated to make music, noting that she’s sick of being censored for speaking her mind.

      Over the years, M.I.A. has been the subject of quite a few controversies. Most notably, there was her infamous hand gesture during the 2012 Superbowl, but there have also been a number of minor controversies as well, which has seen a few of her music videos removed from the web.

    • M.I.A. says that she’s temporarily quitting music due to censorship

      M.I.A. has announced that she is temporarily withdrawing from the music industry, blaming “censorship”. The revelation comes in an interview published on House of Strombo in support of recent documentary Matangi/Maya/M.I.A.

      In the video interview, the artist stated she feels censored by the media due to her political views. Consequently, she’s no longer “motivated” to make music: “I have been pushed out for five years or something, and I haven’t been able to successfully release a record at all within this system.”

      The former Crack Magazine cover star goes on to address the music industry’s rejection of her outsider views claiming: “If I want to be bigger, I kind of have to say nothing.”

    • AARP Sides With Actors Union, Seeks To Reinstate IMDb Age Censorship Law

      Siding with the Screen Actors Guild, the nonprofit AARP is asking a federal appeals court to reinstate a California law that requires IMDb.com to hide actors’ ages at their request.

      The AARP argues both that the California law marks a legitimate attempt to combat age discrimination in the entertainment industry and that people have the right to keep their ages private.

      “The resolution of the issues in this case will have a significant impact on a variety of older people who wish to be considered for, and obtain work, in their chosen profession,” the AARP writes in a friend-of-the-court brief submitted last week to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. The Alliance of Retired Americans and Communication Workers of America also signed on to the friend-of-the-court brief.

      The law (AB 1687) requires providers of “commercial online entertainment employment” services — a description that applies to Amazon’s IMDb.com — to remove information about paying subscribers’ ages upon their request. Supporters of the law say it helps combat illegal age discrimination.

    • Facebook and Twitter Beware — Censorship-Resistant Social Media Is Here

      Over the past few months, Bitcoin Cash developers have been creating applications that are similar to social media and forum platforms like Reddit, Facebook, and Twitter. Anyone in the world can use these Bitcoin Cash-powered applications such as Memo, Blockpress, Keyport, and Matter which offer censorship-resistant versions of these social media giants.

      [...]

      Memo.cash is a platform that is comparable to Twitter, but posts cannot be selectively removed by anyone as they are all stored onchain. Memo allows users to post text, animations, pictures, URLs, and videos while also setting a custom profile. Much like Twitter, there is a cap of how many characters can be used per post as Memo only allows 217 characters at a time. A feature that sets Memo apart from Twitter and other social media platforms is the ability to tip posts using BCH. This allows content creators to reap the benefits of their work rather than giant corporate entities.

    • On Tech Censorship Concerns, Sanders Video Encourages Followers: ‘Laugh in Their Face’

      This week U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) posted a video on Twitter featuring a call for his followers to scoff at those who raise concerns about Big Tech’s conservative viewpoint suppression problem. In the piece, just over 90 seconds in length, a senior Sanders advisor dismisses out of hand that there is any evidence of censorship, argues that Facebook and Google help conservatives, and indicates the only appropriate response to those with viewpoint suppression concerns is to “laugh in their face.”

      The Sanders video features clips from President Donald Trump, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), and House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.). Notably, the day before Sanders’ video, Scalise tweeted, “Silicon Valley’s bias against conservatives is very real and on display every day. It’s time they start acknowledging it and being honest with the American people about where they stand.”

    • Censorship crackdown? Top 10 alt-media pages newly banned by Facebook & Twitter
    • Event to celebrate Mexican independent publishing amid struggles of censorship

      Vivid art blown up onto the Fowler Museum’s walls will represent the radical opinions found in independently published Mexican art books.

      Fowler will hold the Artbook Pop-Up, which is part of a three-day event called Radical Publishing Weekend, and will include a pop-up shop and discussion panel. Event visitors will be introduced to the Mexican independent publishing movement that has shifted to the international stage through events such as book fairs in major cities. Visitors will be able to purchase some of the independently produced art books, and can participate in a panel discussion with publishers.

      This lively culture in Mexico extends to political work, especially art – something relevant to the lives of young students, said Sebastian Clough, the director of exhibitions at the Fowler and the curator of the event.

    • Concerned about censorship, Aurora artists find creative ways to fight City Hall
    • Conservative activists criticize DePaul over denying event
    • Conservative activists criticize DePaul over denying event

      Two conservative activists are criticizing DePaul University after the Chicago school denied a request for an on-campus event.

      The Chicago Tribune reports Thursday Charlie Kirk and Candace Owens of Turning Point USA tweeted accusations of censorship and suppression. University officials have not commented on the reasons for denying the group that promotes conservatism among students.

    • Conservative activists accuse DePaul of censorship after university bars them from holding event on campus
    • New Samizdat: RT brings you a new censorship buster

      If the establishment media were truly balanced, social media’s purge of alternative news outlets would be a front-page splash. The fact it isn’t proves that those who shout loudest about “free speech” may be its greatest enemies.

      Sadly, RT saw something like this coming. And for that reason, we have developed a new site to promote the free exchange of information and views. The fact it launches on the same weekend that US social media giants Facebook and Twitter clamped down on dissent is merely a coincidence.

    • Misconceptions of Online Censorship

      If you’ve ever vocalized a concern of censorship on social media, chances are you’ve been told “but they’re private companies, they can do whatever they want.” Responses like this miss the point of concern. Many political terms (equality, for example) have nuance depending on context. Regarding censorship, there’s the kind that violates your rights, and there’s the kind that doesn’t. The former is much more serious, but that doesn’t mean the latter isn’t a problem.

      Everyone has a right to say what they want, but they do not have a right to be heard. They also do not have a right to a platform (online or offline) besides what they can provide for themselves. What this means is that it is not a violation of my rights if an organization denies me use of their platform, because they can do what they want with their property. It is only a violation of my rights if I am given a platform (or provide one for myself), and others forcefully try to shut it down. Even if what I’m saying is atrocious, I still have a right to speak.

    • Logan Paul is being blamed by Google for increase in internet censorship

      Paul faced massive criticism after the video went live, and has since uploaded multiple apology videos and hired an additional manager to monitor his content.

      While YouTube pulled Paul from its premium advertising program and deleted the video in question, Paul remains a massive presence on the platform, and will even engage in a boxing rematch with fellow YouTuber Olajide ‘KSI’ Olatunji in summer of 2019.

    • Colorado Association of Libraries blasts pornography lawsuit as censorship crusade, attempt to undermine “fundamental tenets of a free society”

      Two parents who filed a lawsuit claiming pornography was distributed to their children by a national scholastic network and the Colorado Library Consortium are more interested in censorship than protecting children, a library advocacy group said Friday.

      The Colorado Association of Libraries blasted the lawsuit filed on behalf of Pornography is Not Education and Aurora parents Drew and Robin Paterson as a blatant attempt to erase all electronic material the group does not like from local and school libraries.

      “They are on a personal crusade to impose one particular worldview upon the entire community, and the targets of their campaign extend well beyond… Colorado,” said Carol Smith, president of the Colorado Association of Libraries, in a statement.

    • Op-Ed: Google the censor? The internet vs free speech?

      Google’s role as top dog comes with a few lead weights. One of the big issues is growing disquiet about the power of big platforms. A strange tale has unfolded after a leak of Google internal documents defining the big problems. Op-Ed: Google the censor? The internet vs free speech?

    • Google Seeks ‘Balance’ Between Communist Oppression, Freedom of Expression
    • Leaked Google research shows company grappling with censorship and free speech
    • Leaked Google document addresses the conflict between censorship and free speech
    • Google now plays ‘Good Censor’ for civility’s sake, leaked internal briefing confirms
    • No Google Isn’t Trying To Censor The Web

      Earlier today an internal Google presentation summarizing a variety of perspectives, including my own, on the state of internet freedom began circulating on the web. The “leaked” presentation was quickly framed by some as a roadmap to censorship and that it demonstrated the company was examining how to suppress certain viewpoints or crack down on internet freedoms. Yet, a closer read of the presentation would suggest precisely the opposite: a company at the center of many of our debates about the future of the online world grappling with the existential question of the modern web: how to absolutely preserve freedom of speech, while at the same time preventing terrorists, criminals, repressive governments and trolls from turning this incredible force for good into a toxic and dangerous place that undermines democracy, advances terrorism, assists fraudsters and empowers hatred? How do we elevate the voices of the disenfranchised and give them a place at the table of global discourse, while not also awakening the trolls that seek to repress them? How do we empower the free expression of ideas and bring an incredibly diverse and divided world together, while embracing the differences that make us who we are? How do we reach across countries and cultures, across languages and landscapes, to have meaningful conversations about the future of our shared planet? Most importantly, how can technology play a positive role in helping facilitate the good, empowering civil discourse, while discouraging the bad, from terrorist recruiting to fraud to toxic speech and trolling?

    • Leaked Transcript: Google Lied About “Dragonfly” China Censorship

      The project, code-named Dragonfly, would blacklist phrases like “human rights,” “student protest,” and “Nobel Prize,” and has resulted in at least seven Google employees quitting for ethical reasons. Other employees have circulated a letter recognizing a “code yellow” emergency, suggesting that the Dragonfly initiative violates Google’s ethical code, which states that the company will not build or deploy technologies “whose purpose contravenes widely accepted principles of international law and human rights,” according to The Intercept.

      The project has also drawn criticism from human rights groups, congressional legislators and Vice President Mike Pence – who called on the search engine giant to “immediately end development of the Dragonfly app that will strengthen the Communist Party’s censorship and compromise the privacy of Chinese customers.”

    • Google tells US lawmakers it is mulling options on China services
    • Google CEO Tells Senators That Censored Chinese Search Engine Could Provide “Broad Benefits”
    • Leaked Transcript: Google Lied About “Dragonfly” China Censorship
    • Google leak reveals secret China plans for censored search engine, prompting protests from employees
    • A software developer just became the latest victim of China’s VPN crackdown
    • Chinese man gets 3 years in prison for helping people bypass censorship – CNN
    • Drone journalism’s battle for airspace
    • Senran Kagura Burst Re:Newal Localization Team Shares Details on PS4 Version Censorship and Trophies
    • Sony Seemingly Censors Controversial Senran Kagura Mode
    • Senran Kagura Burst Re:Newal Delayed Due To Sony Censorship
    • XSEED Producer Says Cancelling Senran Kagura Burst Re:Newal Over Censorship Issue Would Hurt Devs

      Calling it a “lose-lose” situation, Lipschultz reiterated that the developers and publishers don’t have the luxury of throwing away all their hard work over one mode. He also hinted that XSEED wasn’t happy with the situation and that there will be some “push-back” behind the scenes.

    • “Welcome To The New ’90s”: Senran Kagura Burst Re:Newal Will Be Censored On PS4

      Senran Kagura Burst Re:Newal is a remake of the first game in the Senran Kagura franchise, a series of games featuring female ninjas kicking butt and taking names.

    • New Tactics of Intimidation Forcing Self-Censorship in Pakistani Media

      Various journalist unions across Pakistan protested Tuesday the direct and indirect intimidation they say they face while trying to do their job.

      “The journalist is alive, Ayub saw it, Yahya saw it, now you will see it,” chanted a charged group of protesters in capital Islamabad calling out names of past dictators.

      Pakistan has long been a dangerous country for journalists who report on issues like extremism, militancy, religious fundamentalism, or military interference in politics. A country with a history of military coups has recently witnessed an unprecedented period of civilian rule. But journalists say 10 years of democracy has not strengthened freedom of the press.

    • How Censorship Inspired Witchsy’s Co-Founders to Compete Against Etsy

      Using just $10,000 of their personal savings, entrepreneurs Kate Dwyer and Penelope Gazin launched an online gallery and Etsy competitor called Witchsy that became cash flow positive in year one with hundreds of thousands in revenue. This week on Eater’s business podcast Start to Sale, hosts Erin Patinkin (CEO, Ovenly) and Natasha Case (CEO, Coolhaus) talk to the Witchsy co-founders about their philosophy in business and art, why they like to mock their consumers, how they created a fake male co-founder to dodge sexism, and so much more.

    • Four fundamental principles for upholding freedom of speech on campus

      It goes without saying – or at least it ought to – that freedom of speech should be a core value of universities. As a scholar of freedom of speech and a university academic, it has been gratifying to see so many Vice Chancellors (and a former Chief Justice of the High Court) take it so seriously.

      This attention to freedom of speech is a response to recent controversies about on campus. Bettina Arndt’s campus tour met with rowdy and obstructive demonstrations. Students have accused each other of bullying and censorship. And last year, La Trobe University academic Roz Ward was briefly suspended for misconduct for her controversial views on Australia’s flag in a Facebook post.

    • On campus censorship

      No one should be stopping students from speaking their beliefs, but often this gets confused with the idea that people have to be forced to listen to them. People shouldn’t be subjected to abuse, harassment or harm. Events, presentations and debates are welcome to take place, but no one is required to attend these events. Students are welcome to take the stage, but the same goes for the audience. They have the right to stay or go in response to the message that is being disseminated. In most cases, ignoring the speaker’s message is just as much of a hindrance as denying the speaker a podium.

      Freedom of speech on campuses is regulated in a very different way than in other public spaces, through the use of speech codes. These speech codes are university regulations that prohibit some verbal communication and expression that would normally be protected by the Constitution if such speech or expression happened in society at large. Often, these speech codes can be written into university policy, or simply be determined by the will of the university.

  • Privacy/Surveillance
    • NSA Whistleblowers Turn Outrage Into Innovation

      Co-founders Bill Binney and Kirk Wiebe, two former whistleblowers on data practices of US security giant NSA, have chosen the Netherlands as a new home to launch their own data intelligence startup Pretty Good Knowledge.

      With the launch announced this week, the new company is building on the long-standing experience of their founders in big data analysis for security intelligence. Bill Binney and Kirk Wiebe spend almost three decades in the National Security Agency (NSA) working on specialized data analysis for improving security information, in particular related to terrorism affecting people around the world.

      Their quiet existence rapidly changed in 2002 when they went public accusing the NSA leadership of wasting millions of dollars on an expensive but allegedly ineffective data system – whilst shelving the available solution that they claimed could have prevented the 9/11 attacks. This dramatic turn of their life into public whistleblowers made news around the world and has been portrayed in the movie documentary A Good American.

      More than a decade later, the team is back from their temporary retirement and has a new mission: “We know how to achieve market and security intelligence without sacrificing privacy or breaking laws, and we are excited how quickly our customers realize how much more is possible when using a disciplined and structured approach”, says co-founder Bill Binney about the launch of Pretty Good Knowledge.

    • NSA Whistleblowers Turn Outrage Into Innovation

      For some, it means a long time behind bars. Chelsea Manning was staring down a death sentence after she leaked 750,000 sensitive or classified files of military information. Eventually she was convicted to 35 years in prison before Barack Obama commuted her sentence in one of his last acts as President.

      For others, it’s a life of obscurity or going unnoticed by the public. It wasn’t until more than three decades after the Watergate Scandal that the public finally knew the identity of Deep Throat, former FBI Associate Director Mark Felt.

      For almost every whistleblower, life never returns to ‘normal’ ever again. After he leaked classified information on the appalling nature and extent of which the NSA was spying on private citizens, Edward Snowden found asylum only in Russia, where he’s been living for more than five years in exile. Whether he is ever able to return to the U.S. as a free man remains to be seen

    • Edward Snowden, ‘most wanted fugitive’ addresses Israeli panel
    • NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden to speak in Israel
    • Edward Snowden to Address Select Audience in Israel: Will He Take On Israel’s Surveillance State?
    • World’s most wanted man in first public Israel appearance
    • Snowden to address Israeli event via videolink
    • UK’s GCHQ Declines To Comment Reports About Five Eyes Alliance’s Data Exchange On China

      The UK Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) on Friday refused to comment to Sputnik on reports that the Five Eyes intelligence alliance, which London is a member of, has been exchanging classified information on China’s foreign activities with like-minded states since the beginning of the year.

    • Are the NSA, FBI Listening to Donald Trump’s Phone Calls? Director Wray Avoids Question During Senate Hearing

      FBI Director Christopher Wray told the Senate that he could not discuss whether intelligence agencies in the federal government are listening in on President Donald Trump’s phone conversations with foreign leaders.

      “When we collect information on people overseas we don’t use the Constitution,” Senator Rand Paul said during a Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee hearing on Capitol Hill this Wednesday. “So we scoop up all your information, we listen to phone calls everywhere, including [Chancellor of Germany] Angela Merkel, we listen to everybody.”

      But in the United States, Paul argued, citizens are entitled to a certain amount of privacy guaranteed under the Constitution.

    • Intelligence watchdog NSA says will encourage whistleblowers to come forward [Ed: NSA has been #googlebombing these past few days. It wants people to open up this bundle of lies when they 'google' stuff like "nsa whistleblowers"...]

      The US National Security Agency’s top oversight official, Robert Storch, is working to repair the spy agency’s reputation with whistleblowers in an effort to encourage staff to report wrongdoing internally, rather than go public.

      “It’s really important we encourage whistleblowers to come forward and that they feel comfortable doing so and, if there are allegations of reprisal, then we take that very seriously,” Storch said in an interview with Reuters last week.

    • Intelligence watchdog NSA says will encourage whistleblowers to come forward [Ed: Ridiculous spin: NSA busy this past week painting itself as pro-whistleblowers. Historically it entraps them, they must not trust the employer to self-regulate.]

      The US National Security Agency’s top oversight official, Robert Storch, is working to repair the spy agency’s reputation with whistleblowers in an effort to encourage staff to report wrongdoing internally, rather than go public.

      “It’s really important we encourage whistleblowers to come forward and that they feel comfortable doing so and, if there are allegations of reprisal, then we take that very seriously,” Storch said in an interview with Reuters last week.

      The spy agency has experienced a series of embarrassing leaks over the past five years, beginning with Edward Snowden’s 2013 high-profile exposure of secret NSA surveillance programs.

    • From Inside The NSA, A Call For More Whistleblowers
    • Amazon hopes to blanket your home and car with listening, eavesdropping Alexa devices

      Amazon publishes reports outlining how many government requests it has received, and how many it has complied with. For the last two reports, the numbers are still low: fewer than 2,000 requests during each six month period, not all of which were complied with. That suggests that the privacy risk from using Amazon’s Alexa services is currently limited. But things may not remain that way. As more highly-personal data is gathered routinely by Amazon’s AI systems, so its value to the authorities will increase, and the temptation to use it will grow. It’s still early days for this field, but it is important to monitor closely what happens as it enters the mainstream thanks to devices from Amazon and others. After all, our privacy already faces serious threats from new technologies like facial recognition; we hardly need another challenge.

  • Civil Rights/Policing
    • EU Parliament’s anti-terrorism draft Report raises major concerns

      From a digital rights perspective, the draft Report contains numerous worrying recommendations, statements and approaches to counter-terrorism. It is problematic for several reasons. [...]

    • UK says Hong Kong rejection of FT journalist visa politically motivated

      Hong Kong, a former British colony, returned to Chinese rule in 1997 under a “one country, two systems” principle, with the guarantee of a high degree of autonomy and freedoms, including freedom of the press, not enjoyed elsewhere in China.

      But calls for outright independence are a red line for China’s Communist Party leaders, who deem the global financial hub to be an inalienable part of the nation.

    • China’s Media Crackdown Spreads to Hong Kong

      The authorities have never criticized Mr. Mallet’s reporting. But he was the main spokesman for the Hong Kong Foreign Correspondents’ Club in August when it hosted a talk by Andy Chan, head of a political party that called for Hong Kong’s independence from China. Hong Kong and Beijing officials blasted the event in advance and subsequently banned the party.

    • ECHR rejects Lithuanian and Romanian appeals regarding CIA prisons
    • ECHR rejects appeals by Romania and Lithuania in CIA black sites cases

      The European Court for Human Rights (ECHR) rejected Romania and Lithuania’s appeals against the court’s May ruling that the two countries had been complicit in CIA’s secret detention centers program, according to AFP.

      In May, the ECHR found that both countries knew two suspects caught after the 9/11 attacks would risk torture while being held at the “black sites” between 2004 and 2006. Saudi national Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri claimed he was illegally held and tortured at an undisclosed site in Romania, while suspected Al-Quaeda operative Abu Zubaydah said he had a similar experience in Lithuania.

    • ECHR Upholds Ruling In Case On Alleged CIA Secret Prison In Vilnius – Lithuanian Ministry

      The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) dismissed Tuesday the appeal of the Lithuanian government against an earlier ECHR ruling in case of Abu Zubaydah, who claimed that Lithuania had provided its territories to the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) for the setting up of a secret prison, the Lithuanian Justice Ministry told Sputnik on Tuesday.

      In late May, the ECHR ruled that the Baltic state had violated the provisions of the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms with respect to Zubaydah, who claimed he had been held in a CIA secret prison in Lithuania. The court stated that Lithuania should pay Zubaydah 130,000 Euros ($149,100) in compensation. In early September, the Lithuanian authorities filed an appeal against the ECHR ruling before the court.

    • Romania and Lithuania lost the appeals în ECHR trial on secret CIA prisons

      Neither Bucharest, nor Vilnius admitted the existence of secret prisons on their territories and both countries appealed, but European judges unanimously decided to reject the appeal.

    • EU court rejects appeal over CIA ‘black sites’
    • European Human Rights Court rejects Romania’s appeal in secret CIA prisons case
    • Woman Impersonates CIA Agent To Convince Boyfriend, Parents To Murder Couple

      Agent Scott Lott told Oxygen’s “Criminal Confessions” that a few names kept popping up during the investigation — Janelle Potter, her parents, Buddy and Barbara Potter, and Payne’s cousin, Jamie Curd. According to multiple testimonies, Payne and Hayworth had recently been involved in a Facebook feud with Janelle, who was dating Curd. Curd quickly sided with the Potter family, which led to a physical altercation between the cousins.

    • An international drug-trafficking soccer hooligan network

      On September 26, Argentine authorities arrested 15 people suspected of belonging to a network of criminal soccer hooligan groups – known in Latin America as barras bravas – that imported drugs from Colombia and sold them throughout Greater Buenos Aires, according to a report from Clarín.

      The operation against the so-called Soccer Hooligan Cartel also included more than 20 raids in which authorities seized at least 1.100 doses of cocaine and 1.400 doses of paco (a smokable paste from an intermediate stage of cocaine production), and more than a kilogram of marijuana.

      Authorities identified one of the network leaders as Sebastián Parra Jaramillo, a Colombian national who is also the leader of a fan club for the Atlético Nacional soccer team in Medellín, Colombia. He allegedly obtained drugs on consignment to smuggle into Argentina.

    • David Wise, author and CIA expert who exposed ‘invisible government,’ dies at 88

      David Wise, a journalist and author who became one of the country’s foremost authorities on espionage, writing books on the CIA, turncoat spies and whether intelligence agencies had become an unaccountable “invisible government,” died Oct. 8 at a Washington hospital. He was 88. The cause was pancreatic cancer, said his wife, Joan Wise. Wise was a reporter for the old New York Herald Tribune newspaper, which assigned him to its Washington bureau in 1958. He became best known for his coverage of the world of spycraft, writing more than 10 nonfiction books about the Cold War era and beyond, as well as three novels.

    • David Wise, author and CIA expert who exposed ‘invisible government,’ dies at 88

      David Wise, a journalist and author who became one of the country’s foremost authorities on espionage, writing books on the CIA, turncoat spies and whether intelligence agencies had become an unaccountable “invisible government,” died Oct. 8 at a Washington hospital. He was 88.

    • David Wise, Journalist Who Exposed CIA Activity, Dies at 88

      David Wise, one of the first journalists to expose the clandestine operations of the Central Intelligence Agency and a standard-setter for investigative reporting into government espionage, died on Monday in Washington. He was 88.

      The death, at Georgetown University Medical Center, was confirmed by his wife, Joan Wise, who said the cause was pancreatic cancer.

      Mr. Wise was the author, with Thomas B. Ross, of “The Invisible Government,” an explosive 1964 exposé of the C.I.A. and its covert operations. To keep its contents from the public, the C.I.A. considered buying up all copies of the book but backed off when the publisher, Random House, made clear that it would simply print more.

      Mr. Wise began his journalism career in the late 1940s as a campus stringer for The New York Herald Tribune while studying at Columbia College. In his senior year he was editor of the campus newspaper, The Spectator, alongside another aspiring journalist, Max Frankel, who in 1986 became executive editor of The New York Times.

      Mr. Frankel said on Tuesday that Mr. Wise seemed born to write about espionage: He always kept information — even what he had for lunch — close to the vest.

    • The Deportation Crisis: Report From Long Island

      I am writing to you from Suffolk County, Long Island, New York, a place you may associate with images of traffic jams on the famed Long Island expressway, the rich and famous of the Hamptons, sandy beaches, and most recently, MS 13. Right now we live in the heart of the beast—the flashpoint of immigration and deportation politics in America’s suburbs.

      Long Island has been part of the Latino migration stream of seasonal farm workers from the 40s through the 60s. Some workers were documented using the H-2A visa program available for agricultural workers, but many were not. During the months migrant workers were here, they lived primarily in isolated labor camps. Since the 60s, immigrant worker numbers have grown, seeking work now in suburban rather than rural communities, in service industries like food service, landscape care, nanny and elder services and the building trades. These workers mow our lawns, cook our food, care for our children, and build our buildings, still documented and undocumented.

      Long Island also has a long history of segregation, born of the development of the “exclusive”” white suburbs in the post war era. Segregation by race and ethnicity is not new and persists to this day. By the 80s, the immigrant profile shifted from European to Latin Americans, many single men, mostly from Mexico, came in greater numbers. As more Latinos sought permanent residency, increased ethnic anxiety rose. Ideas about Latinos as gang members and welfare recipients began building steadily. The popular culture emphasis on drug and gang behavior (think “Miami Vice”) contributed to the narrative of the violent Latino and Latinas on welfare. The bi-lingual movement of the 1980s also created tension, and by 1996 Suffolk County attempted to have English designated as the official language of the county, the first in New York State. Covered in the New York Times,the article was titled “English Only Bill ignites Debates and Fear on LI.” Local zoning laws calling for the definition of family as five or less unrelated individuals also came in response to large numbers of workers renting single family homes.

      [...]

      Both federal and local policy changes have been developed under the theory of “deterrence logic”. The U.S. currently refuses to be a refuge for people with problems in their countries of origin. AmerIcans are often unaware of the tumult in Central America, that people quite literally are running for their lives as their own countries are filled with corrupt governments, domestic violence, gang violence, MS 13, and sex and drug trafficking. However, the arduous trip to cross into the U.S. is STILL preferable to remaining where they are. While fewer people may be attempting to cross, terrorizing these immigrants, many of whom are here legally, calls into question the acclaimed American narrative of a “nation of immigrants.” This narrative has been replaced by an “immigrant emergency” narrative which gained traction in the aftermath of 9/11. We are not a melting pot, but rather a pressure cooker here in Suffolk County, New York.

  • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality
  • DRM/Repairs
  • Intellectual Monopolies
    • Qualcomm files appeal to avoid potential $5 billion payout to 250 million American smartphone buyers (1.2 billion transactions)

      In its third question presented for review, Qualcomm describes this consumer class that was certified in the Northern District of California–up to 250 million people and, according to Qualcomm’s estimate, approximately 1.2 billion claims (since people, on average, bought multiple smartphones during the roughly 8-year period the claims relate to)–as “quite likely the biggest class action in history.”

      That may be true with respect to membership size. It certainly isn’t in economic terms since the $4.99 billion demand Qualcomm is facing (Law.com’s Scott Graham found out) is dwarfed by the $206 billion tobacco settlement in 1998 or the $20 billion Gulf of Mexico oil spill settlement in 2016. Still, $5 billion is a very significant number, which would amount to approximately $20, on average, per class member. The exact amount per member would obviously depend on the particular smartphone purchases made by each consumer. It would be the amount of each buyer’s overpayment due to Qualcomm’s practices (which regulators on three continents have already held to be anticompetitive), possibly enhanced by a factor of up to three. Just imagine how many people–outside of its own organization and apart from its shareholders–Qualcomm would make happy with such an involuntary gift…

    • Portus’s suit against Kenyon & Kenyon Dodges Dismissal on Pleadings

      Portus filed suit against the now defunct (I think) firm of Kenyon & Kenyon. The complaint has morphed but now alleges, basically, that the firm failed to timely seek PTA and at the time it did so, had a conflict of interest by representing another company in the same “domain.” The amended complaint is here. The denial of the motion for judgment on the pleadings is here, from June.

    • Expansion of the Blocking Patent Doctrine: Trading Logic for Gremlins

      So far, we have only discussed the application of the blocking patents doctrine to discount “commercial success” evidence of nonobviousness. Another innovation of the Acorda case is the extension of this doctrine to long-felt need and failure of others. Sometimes, you see, there is evidence that people in the field were discussing a longstanding unsolved problem, or expressed frustration with existing products, but were unable to propose a better solution until one was provided by the inventor. Or maybe others tried different possible approaches but came up with only inferior solutions or failed altogether. Such information normally tends to show that the supposedly obvious invention couldn’t have been quite so obvious. But just as with evidence of commercial success, the blocking patents doctrine now says that an earlier patent would have prevented others from proposing an obvious solution to a long-felt problem – even if just on paper. In the same vein, others who actually tried and failed to solve the problem are presumed (without proof) to have failed only because the existence of a patent prevented them from trying the obvious solution, forcing them to go down blind alleys instead.

    • ITC Institutes Section 337 Investigation of ResMed’s Sleep Apnea Masks

      On Friday, October 5th, the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) issued a notice of institution of a Section 337 patent infringement investigation requested by New Zealand-based appliance manufacturer Fisher & Paykel against San Diego, CA-based medical equipment firm ResMed. The ITC instituted the Section 337 investigation after Fisher & Paykel alleged that certain sleep apnea products imported for sale by ResMed infringe upon U.S. patents held by the New Zealand firm.

    • 4 Ways Advances In AI Could Challenge Patent Law [Ed: Patent maximalists pushing the lunacy which is computer-generated patents]

      Advances in artificial intelligence raise intriguing patent law questions, including whether AI breakthroughs are patent-eligible and whether AI that creates something can be an “inventor” entitled to a patent.

    • Artificial intelligence: a game changer for the patent system

      With the advent of powerful computers and the availability of unlimited storage capabilities, artificial intelligence (AI) has made its way into mainstream applications – heralding the fourth industrial revolution. While the notion of what ‘artificial intelligence’ means has undergone significant change since its introduction in 1956, today’s typical AI is broadly conceived to “perceive its environment and take actions that maximise its chance of successfully achieving its goals”. This may involve reinforcement learning, where goals can be set explicitly or implicitly by rewarding some types of behaviour and punishing others, or by a fitness function allowing for mutation and preferential replication of high-scoring AI systems in an evolutionary system. AI may be implemented in self-optimising software or hardware that regularly requires vast data amounts (known as ‘big data’) for training response behaviour.

    • Singapore Court of Appeal upholds determining factors for inventorship and ownership

      On 28 August 2018, the Singapore Court of Appeal issued its decision on Cicada Cube Pte Ltd v National University Hospital (Singapore) Pte Ltd [2018] SGCA 52. The judgement involved the determination of ownership and inventorship of a Singapore patent, as well as the interpretation of Section 47(9) of the Singapore Patents Act regarding the time limit to bring such entitlement actions.

      [...]

      The High Court held that NUH was not caught by this conditional time limit because the phrase ‘proceedings in which the jurisdiction is invoked’ referred to in s 47(9) referred to the reference submitted to the Registrar. In contrast, the Court of Appeal held that NUH was indeed caught by the conditional time limit because the High Court and the Registrar had concurrent jurisdiction to determine patent entitlement, meaning that parties could apply to either forum to determine this question. If a party applied to the High Court after two years from the date of grant of the patent, the High Court could not determine the question unless it was shown that the proprietor knew that he was not entitled to the patent at date of grant or date of transfer. The same applies in this case where NUH had applied to the Registrar first (within the two-year period) but the Registrar declined to determine the question. Therefore, if a party decides to apply to the Registrar first and the Registrar does not make a determination by the two-year mark, it would be prudent for the party to withdraw the reference and commence proceedings in the High Court before the expiration of the two-year time limit.

    • Patent exhaustion keeps Qualcomm on the run from Apple’s claims and motions

      If exhaustion makes you run even further and faster, you’re either above conventional physics–or you’re Qualcomm.

      Patent exhaustion has been an important and powerful concept for a very long time, but last year the Supreme Court provided a great deal of clarification in its Lexmark opinion. That opinion came down in the early phase of Qualcomm’s disputes with the United States Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and Apple.

      Apple asserted nine patents in its original Southern California complaint. Qualcomm surprisingly didn’t bring mandatory infringement counterclaims, thereby waiving its right to assert infringement in that litigation or any other U.S. case against Apple. Apple threw in nine more patent DJs (declaratory judgment requests) in its first amended complaint, but Qualcomm persuaded Judge Gonzalo P. Curiel to throw those additional claims out. In order to do away with the original nine DJs for good (since Qualcomm would rather have everyone focus on the size of its portfolio–130K patents), Qualcomm “supersacked” (see this Lexology article for further information) Apple and the contract manufacturers by sending them a covenant not to enforce those patents against them, and in accordance with the Super Sack precedent immediately moved for dismissal of the original DJs including the patent exhaustion DJ for alleged lack of subject matter jurisdiction.

    • The new smartphone patents battlemap (infographic featuring Apple, Huawei, Intel, Qualcomm, Samsung)

      Eight years ago, this blog started publishing battlemaps of major smartphone patent disputes. Apple and Microsoft aren’t suing Android device makers at this point, but two major disputes are ongoing: Apple and, by extension, Intel’s dispute with Qualcomm, which is under fire from competition enforcers around the globe; and Huawei v. Samsung, the most massive patent clash ever between two leading Android device makers.

    • The big life sciences IP developments in September

      ‘No deal’ Brexit may mean no UPC, says UK government – The United Kingdom government released a notice on the likely implications for patents in the event of a ‘no deal’ Brexit. Relevant EU legislation, such as that relating to Supplementary Protection Certificates for drugs, compulsory licences and the patenting of biotechnology innovations, will be retained in UK law under the EU Withdrawal Act 2018 in such a scenario, it reassures rights holders. Such legislation will form the basis of an independent UK patent regime in which existing rights and licences will automatically remain in force. No such certainty is provided regarding the prospective Unified Patent Court (UPC), however. If the pan-European court is fully ratified, but the UK leaves the EU without a deal, the country would not necessarily be part of the UPC or the unitary patent system, the government admitted. However, any unitary patents that exist at the point of the UK’s departure will automatically give rise to patent protection within the UK.

    • Trademarks
      • Swatch versus Apple: If you “Tick different” does that mean that you “THINK DIFFERENT”?

        What happens when an application by SWATCH for the mark is opposed by Apple on the basis of its mark? In Singapore, the opposition was rejected. Kat friends Lau Kok Keng, Nicholas Lauw and Jiamin Leow collectively report on this recent decision.

      • Judge Denies Beyoncé Motion for Summary Judgment in Feyoncé Trademark Case

        On Sunday, September 30th, U.S. District Judge Alison J. Nathan of the Southern District of New York signed a memorandum opinion and order that was officially entered the following day in a trademark case brought by pop music superstar Beyoncé Giselle Knowles-Carter against Feyonce, Inc., a developer of merchandise marketed to engaged people using the brand name Feyoncé.

      • Supreme Court Asked to Consider Immoral or Scandalous Trademarks

        The case involves Eric Brunetti’s clothing brand, called FUCT. Although Brunetti has marketed various apparel under the FUCT mark since the early 1990s, the application at issue in this case was filed in 2011. The examiner rejected the application under Section 2(a), finding that FUCT “is the past tense of F*CK,” and “is scandalous because it is disparaging and [] total[ly] vulgar.” The Trademark Trial and Appeal Board agreed, finding that “the Trademark Examining Attorney has shown by a preponderance of the evidence that a substantial composite of the general public would find this designation vulgar.”

    • Copyrights
      • Music Modernization Act of 2018 Signed Into Law by President Trump

        On October 11, 2018, President Donald Trump signed into law the Orrin G. Hatch–Bob Goodlatte Music Modernization Act (“the Act”), which will significantly modernize copyright law to account for the digital delivery of content. The bill, as updated and passed unanimously by the Senate and then the House, revises the Copyright Act (17 U.S.C. § 115) in several major ways.

      • Supreme Court to Hear Rimini Street v. Oracle to Decide if Copyright Act Authorizes Non-Taxable Costs

        The U.S. Supreme Court has granted a petition for writ of certiorari to take up Rimini Street v. Oracle on appeal from the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

      • ‘Star Wars: Knights of Old Republic’ Unreal Engine 4 Fan Mod Shuts Down After Legal Threats

        For the last three years, a fan effort to remaster the beloved 2003 video game Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic with modern graphics and other tweaks has chugged along with nary a word from the franchise’s rights holder.

        Now the project, called Apeiron, will shut down for good with only tantalizing snippets of gameplay to show for its efforts after Lucasfilm—which was acquired by Disney in 2012—sent a cease-and-desist letter to John Taylor Trotter, the head of the Atlanta-based and volunteer-run indie studio leading the Apeiron project, Poem Studios.

USPTO FEES Act/SUCCESS Act Gives More Powers to Director Iancu, Supplying Patents for Litigation ‘Business’ and Embargo (ITC)

Sunday 14th of October 2018 04:25:52 PM

Summary: Corruption of the US patent system contributes to various issues which rely on the extrajudicial nature of some elements in this system; companies can literally have their products confiscated or imports blocked, based on wrongly-granted patents

UNLIKE the unaccountable EPO, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is loosely connected to the government, it can be sued, and it can be held accountable. This is a good thing.

“Donald Trump is also the person who nominated Iancu after Iancu’s firm had worked for Donald Trump.”Laws that govern the USPTO are also decided upon by courts and politicians, not USPTO managers (who may merely supply guidelines for compliance with these laws, e.g. 35 U.S.C. § 101). Last month we said that USPTO FEES ACT Makes the US Patent Office a Money-Making Machine That Systematically Disregards Patent Quality and days ago patent maximalists rejoiced this:

The SUCCESS Act (HR 6758) has now passed through both the House and Senate and will very likely be signed into law by President Donald Trump within the next couple of weeks.

The key aspect of the bill is extension of USPTO fee setting authority that ended in September 2018 (7 years after AIA enactment). Under the new law, USPTO will retain authority to set its own fee structure until September 2026 (15 years from AIA enactment).

[...]

Within 1 year, the PTO Director will provide a report to Congress on the results.

Donald Trump is also the person who nominated Iancu after Iancu's firm had worked for Donald Trump. We worry that there’s a rather gross attempt to bypass the courts and become more lenient in examination. As we shall cover tomorrow, there’s evidence of this. Nothing good will come out of an office which favours money over reputation. It’s not like some corporation that should strive to meet fiscal objectives and raise revenues on a quarterly basis.

Speaking of Trump and Iancu, how about the following recent photo?

And another one tweeted by the bribed/bought-for politician (for pharmaceutical patents)?

Best policies corporate money can buy?

Wrongly-granted patents are a very big deal because embargoes can be imposed using such patents. Consider what Justin M. Sobaje (Foley & Lardner LLP) wrote some days ago on how to embargo or how to put more blackmailing power/pressure if you’re a patent troll (a.k.a. “NPE”). The National Law Review published this:

Many patent practitioners assume that non-practicing entities cannot obtain permanent injunctions in patent cases. This is attributed to the belief that NPEs fail the four-factor test set out by the Supreme Court in eBay. Given that belief, it is surprising for some to learn that a recent decision from the Northern District of California resurrected decade old case law indicating that non-practicing entities can get injunctive relief. Practitioners having cases involving NPEs would do well to study this line of reasoning to be prepared for arguments surrounding permanent injunctions.

The four-factor test identified by the Supreme Court in eBay for determining whether to award permanent injunctive relief to a prevailing plaintiff requires the plaintiff to demonstrate: (1) that it has suffered an irreparable injury; (2) that remedies available at law are inadequate to compensate for that injury; (3) that considering the balance of hardships between the plaintiff and defendant, a remedy in equity is warranted; and (4) that the public interest would not be disserved by a permanent injunction. eBay Inc. v. MercExchange, L.L.C., 547 U.S. 388, 391, 126 S. Ct. 1837, 1839 (2006). After the eBay decision in 2006, it has been extremely rare for NPEs to be awarded permanent injunctions, but a recent district court decision has resurfaced the issue.

The ITC is notoriously lax and only a couple of days ago Watchtroll said that “ITC Institutes Section 337 Investigation of ResMed’s Sleep Apnea Masks — a case we covered a month ago. This is the latest twist (from earlier this month): “On Friday, October 5th, the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) issued a notice of institution of a Section 337 patent infringement investigation requested by New Zealand-based appliance manufacturer Fisher & Paykel against San Diego, CA-based medical equipment firm ResMed. The ITC instituted the Section 337 investigation after Fisher & Paykel alleged that certain sleep apnea products imported for sale by ResMed infringe upon U.S. patents held by the New Zealand firm.”

“We suppose that in this age of Iancu and Trump, however, business rather than justice is what matters.”The ITC tends to favour the companies from the US, as its own name serves to suggest. It’s a protectionist entity that relies on the false assumption US patents are valid, no matter what the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) says. In the case of Cisco the ITC vainly disregarded the PTAB’s decision to invalidate the patent under investigation.

We suppose that in this age of Iancu and Trump, however, business rather than justice is what matters. It’s all about money and authority over finances is back with Iancu now. This is not good.

Over at IAM, the megaphone of patent trolls, SpencePC (US) has meanwhile published this long piece titled “Global patent litigation strategy” (what ITC is enabling). These patent law firms are scheming/planning how to sue the whole world in order to charge their clients and tax everything. They pursue more and more patents for the sake of patent litigation alone. No good will come out of it.

Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit Decides That USPTO Wrongly Granted Patents to Roche

Sunday 14th of October 2018 03:22:55 PM

Not just 35 U.S.C. § 101; nature is not an invention either

Summary: Patent quality issues at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) — motivated by money rather than common sense — continue to be highlighted by courts; the USPTO needs to raise the bar to improve the legal certainty associated with US patents

THE USPTO isn’t exactly renowned for patent quality; it’s known as the ‘go-to office’ for quick and easy patents and it’s also known for its ridiculous number of patents (recently exceeded 10 million).

Suffice to say, the USPTO has granted grant many bogus patents or fake patents (ones that should never have been granted and have no legal standing in actual courts of law). Natural Alternatives International has decided to sue the USPTO for having invalidated its patent in a Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) inter partes review (IPR). Donald Zuhn wrote about it a few days ago. They’re suing the USPTO because it’s granting patents falsely and even its own staff admits that. It recently explained that such patents should not have been granted, leading to this suit:

Last week, in Natural Alternatives International, Inc. v. Iancu, the Federal Circuit affirmed a determination by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office Patent Trial and Appeal Board in an inter partes reexamination affirming the Examiner’s rejection of the challenged claims of U.S. Patent No. 8,067,381 as being anticipated or obvious over the cited prior art, as well as the Board’s denial of the patentee’s request for rehearing. The ’381 patent is owned by Appellant Natural Alternatives International, Inc. (“NAI”).

The inter partes reexamination was requested by Woodbolt Distributors, LLC, which had been involved in district court litigation with NAI concerning the ’381 patent. In its request, Woodbolt asserted that the priority claim of the ’381 patent was defective because NAI “deliberately and expressly terminated” its claim to the benefit of the first four priority applications by breaking the chain of priority between the fourth and fifth priority applications.

Iancu ought to know that the only solution is for USPTO management (and in turn examiners) to raise examination standards.

More media attention has been dedicated to Swiss giant Roche. The Federal Circuit continues to ‘finish off’ bad patents that should never have been granted. It adds its weight to PTAB’s and Roche isn’t happy.

“The Federal Circuit on Tuesday upheld a ruling that a tuberculosis test patent Roche Molecular Systems Inc. asserted against Cepheid is invalid for claiming only natural phenomena,” Matthew Bultman wrote. Bultman is a patent maximalist.

Reuters’ Jan Wolfe, who is more impartial, wrote this:

A federal appeals court on Tuesday said a patent owned by Roche Molecular Systems Inc on a method of detecting tuberculosis should not have been granted, handing a win to rival diagnostics company Cepheid Inc.

Kevin Noonan, a proponent of patents on life, noted that “[t]he District Court granted summary judgment of invalidity for both types of claims for patent-ineligibility, and the Federal Circuit affirmed, in an opinion by Judge Reyna” (the one who patent maximalists like to mock). To quote:

This recognition significantly reduces the precedential effect of the BRCA1 decision and provides, perhaps, a way for a future panel to distinguish claims to primers from this precedent. Judge O’Malley reminds her colleagues and us that the BRCA1 decision did not rule on the patent eligibility of PCR primer claims and does not compel the result the Court announced here.

Judge O’Malley’s concurrence also notes that this case, unlike the BRCA1 case, contains unresolved questions of material fact that, while disregarded by the Court may provide another basis for distinguishing the BRCA1 decision. Citing the distinctions drawn by the Supreme Court in Myriad between genomic DNA and cDNA, Judge O’Malley opines that while the BRCA1 opinion sets forth the basis for finding the PCR primer claims to be patent ineligible, “it is not clear from the BRCA1 opinion or record why we reached this conclusion. The lack of record evidence underlying BRCA1′s conclusion on this point is important in light of the record in this case.” She then goes on to recite the factual distinctions argued by Roche regarding the differences between the claimed primers and the sequences as they occur in nature (including the differences in strandedness, complementarity (“a primer comprising a nucleotide sequence of ATCG is complementary to, but unquestionably different from, a natural DNA strand comprising a sequence of TAGC”), the presence of a 3′ hydroxyl group, the linearity of the primers versus the circular nature of bacterial DNA, and that natural “primers” comprise RNA and not DNA). All these facts were adduced from expert testimony and thus for Judge O’Malley raise “genuine issue of material fact” that are not appropriate for summary judgment. Judge O’Malley also notes that the claimed primers here have a markedly different function, unlike the genomic DNA in Myriad, due to the presence of the 3′ hydroxyl group which permits PCR amplification to occur. Judge O’Malley apprehends that the patentee in this case raised factual issues not addressed in the Court’s BRCA1 decision, and thus, “unlike the appellants in Myriad and in BRCA1, here, Roche submitted evidence of record that, at the very least, raises genuine issues of material fact as to whether there exists anything in nature that both has the structure and performs the function of the claimed primers.” Accordingly, she believes not only that the BRCA1 decision does not compel the Court’s conclusion here, but that the question should be taken up en banc to clarify the law regarding the patent eligibility of oligonucleotide primers and perhaps methods of using such primers to amplify targeted portions of DNA.

While this concurring opinion is a welcome ray of sunshine on a cloudy day, the practical effects of this, like so many Federal Circuit decisions on eligibility, is to incentive non-disclosure of inventions such as these, with the concomitant injury to progress that trade secret protection of diagnostic methods is almost certain to create. It should be self-evident that this outcome is contrary to the Constitutional mandate underlying the patent system, but it appears the current constitution of the Court is unconcerned with this outcome. Perhaps Chief Judge Woods of the Seventh Circuit was right after all.

What we have here isn’t an example of software patents and what’s noteworthy about it is that it demonstrates patent quality issues beyond the domain of software. The USPTO needs to think carefully how to better align with courts’ decisions rather than expect courts to bend in favour of Iancu’s “business model” — incidentally the subject of our next post.

Even Judge Gilstrap From Texas is Starting to Accept That Software Patents Are Invalid

Sunday 14th of October 2018 02:45:44 PM

Summary: Amid new lawsuits from Texas (e.g. against Citrix) we’re pleased to see that even “reprehensible” Rodney Gilstrap (that’s what US politicians call him [1, 2]) is learning to accept SCOTUS on 35 U.S.C. § 101

THE Federal Circuit and the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) long ago accepted SCOTUS and began invalidating software patents en masse (2016 or 2017 was the turning point and this year new records are reached). Will the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) follow suit and stop granting such patents? We sure hope so. This doesn't seem promising though.

It’s clear that things have changed in a positive way when even the notorious Rodney Gilstrap is starting to understand that software patents are bunk. CAFC agrees of course. “The Federal Circuit on Tuesday affirmed U.S. District Judge Rodney Gilstrap’s decision to invalidate seven mobile messaging patents that were asserted against Regal Cinemas, Baskin-Robbins, Edible Arrangements and the Culver’s restaurant,” Tiffany Hu wrote. Excellent!

We have meanwhile learned, however, courtesy of Triangle Business Journal (near Citrix), that Citrix got sued by what certainly sounds like another bogus patent lawsuits firms over bogus software patents. The plaintiff comes from Texas, home of Rodney Gilstrap.

It is no secret that Rodney Gilstrap made rulings the way he did in order to attract more litigation to his town; he said so himself. This means that justice itself had been compromised for business reasons and that’s not okay.

The sure thing is, in order to improve his record as a judge (fewer decisions overturned by a higher court), Rodney Gilstrap will need to ‘get with the programme’ and accept the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act. It’s not going away, it’s here to stay.

Thankfully, this trend (as above) means fewer lawsuits in Texas and far fewer patent lawsuits overall.

TC Heartland, which soon turns 1.5 years old, contributed a great deal to this too. Watchtroll spins that as it usually does. “Patent Infringement Lawsuit Against Comcast Highlights Attractiveness of Middle District of Florida for Patent Plaintiffs,” Watchtroll wrote four days ago, but that makes no sense because citing TC Heartland it looks like the patent lawsuit will be thrown out or relocated. TC Heartland is even explicitly mentioned as follows:

On August 1st, Fort Myers, FL-based over-the-top (OTT) Internet television provider WhereverTV filed a suit alleging patent infringement against Philadephia, PA-based telecommunications conglomerate Comcast Corporation. Despite the fact that Comcast is headquartered in Pennsylvania and the inventor listed on WhereverTV’s patent resides in Pennsylvania, the complaint was filed in the Middle District of Florida, a district which has been growing more attractive for parties filing patent infringement suits.

[...]

On September 18th, the defendants in this case filed a motion to dismiss Comcast for lack of personal jurisdiction and improper venue, along with a motion to dismiss WhereverTV’s suit for failure to state a claim. Comcast’s claim of improper venue relies on the U.S. Supreme Court standard set out in 2017’s TC Heartland v. Kraft Foods Group Brands. Comcast argued that it is not incorporated in Florida nor does it have a regular and established place of business within the state, and thus doesn’t reside in the state for the purposes of the patent venue statute. As Leahu points out, this motion is specifically limited to the parent Comcast Corporation entity and not the other three defendants in the case. “The other three defendants are all registered in the State of Florida to transact business in Florida,” Leahu said, noting that Comcast filed an application in 2001 to withdraw from transacting business in Florida. “If a company files the appropriate paperwork to do business in the State of Florida and claims the benefit of doing business in the state, that’s one of the factors going towards the argument that they can be hauled into court in Florida in most cases.”

TC Heartland was also recalled by another site of patent maximalists a few days ago:

A new Docket Navigator report assesses the impact of TC Heartland on the most popular districts for patent litigation, the number of patent cases and which districts are being affected by venue challenges

The full extent of the influence of TC Heartland v Kraft on patent litigation in the US has been revealed by a Docket Navigator report. It analyses the 2017 US Supreme Court decision’s effects on a range of different areas…

The headline is a loaded one: “TC Heartland shook up venue choice, did it reduce US patent litigation too?”

It did.

The number of patent lawsuits in the US has collapsed, never mind where the lawsuits get filed (it’s harder to get the courts that advertise being biased, such as Gilstrap’s court). Moreover, if one looks at the total number of lawsuits, the difference over the years and the decline of Texas, then it makes things intuitively clear that lack of access to the likes of Gilstrap discouraged further litigation of this kind. Gilstrap ruled on a huge number of software patent and patent troll cases. This is why he is being mentioned so much and US politicians bothered mentioning him by name, dubbing him “reprehensible”.

Federal Circuit Doubles Down on User Interface Patents, Helps Microsoft-Connected Patent Trolls Curtail the Prime Competitor of Microsoft Office

Sunday 14th of October 2018 01:29:12 PM


Dan Bricklin, photographed by Betsy Devine at a blogger brunch in Boston’s Chinatown 2/25/2007. Licence: CC BY 2.5

Summary: Patent trolls that are connected to Microsoft continue to sue Microsoft rivals using old patents; this time, for a change, even the Federal Circuit lets them get away with it

THE Federal Circuit (CAFC) with its current Chief Judge (Prost) is rather different from what it used to be. Perhaps it learned to accept that reversals by SCOTUS must end, not by means of changing SCOTUS itself but by getting rid of corrupt judges like Rader (he actually got caught).

Today’s CAFC is supportive of Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) inter partes reviews (IPRs) and typically affirms PTAB’s decisions — a topic we shall write about separately in view of newer/latest determinations. 35 U.S.C. § 101 at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has enabled both PTAB and CAFC to rule out patents quite promptly, without having to engage in a lengthy process like search and assessment of prior art.

“Back in 1992,” Patently-O recalled for those who forgot, “Borland Software invented a tabbed spreadsheet for its Quattro Pro that was then copied by Excel, Google Sheets, and others. Today, the Federal Circuit finally found the patent claims enforceable (or at least patent eligible).”

Microsoft copied everyone, but nowadays it is suing everyone, including Corel.

Found initially via [1, 2, 3] was this article/blog post titled “Tabbed Spreadsheet — Patent Eligible”. It’s what Patently-O covered along/after the above tweet:

D.Delaware Judge Stark dismissed DET’s case on the pleadings — holding that the Borland/DET spreadsheet-tab patent claims were directed to abstract ideas. On appeal, the Federal Circuit has partially reversed — finding that some of the claims are directed toward “specific improved method for navigating through complex three-dimensional electronic spreadsheets” and thus are patent eligible. The decision here is authored by Judge STOLL and joined by Judges REYNA and BRYSON.

The patents at issue here basically cover the use of tabs in a spreadsheet document. You might be thinking – “WHAT I’VE BEEN USING TABS FOR 25 YEARS” — at least that is what I was thinking. The thing is that DET’s patents were invented by folks at Borland Software — baker of Quattro Pro — and claim priority back to 1992. BOOM! Microsoft came out with its tabbed version of Excel in 1993 following Borland’s release. Back then I used Quattro Pro – and tabs were awesome. The case here is against Google for its tabbed sheets.

As you’ll see below, the claims include a “notebook tab” — and that feature seems to be the key for patent eligibility. This aspect of the decision makes it fairly questionable.

I’ll note that this case may well fit into the IP case-books as a companion to the 1996 Supreme Court case on spreadsheet menu copyright. Lotus Dev. Corp. v. Borland Int’l, Inc., 516 U.S. 233 (1996).

“CAFC only exists to be reversed by SCOTUS,” Carlo Piana wrote about it (he became famous for his Samba lawyering).

Benjamin Henrion said: “Despite Alice, CAFC just founds “tabs in a spreadsheet” to be patent eligible. Software patents are back, specialized patent courts are dangerous, biased, populated by the patent establishment, and don’t want to listen http://www.cafc.uscourts.gov/sites/default/files/opinions-orders/17-1135.Opinion.10-9-2018.pdf …”

“It’s actually not so unusual for CAFC,” I told Henrion, “as not too long ago they said OK to other GUI patents; not exactly the same as algorithms/callback functions…”

We wrote about this as recently as January. To Piana I said: “That was true when Rader, the corrupt man, was in charge. His successor is OK and CAFC improved…” (under Prost)

Paul Redmond Michel was also pretty bad (he still is), but unlike Rader he was not corrupt.

Since the above alludes to spreadsheets, noteworthy is also coverage about Microsoft’s ‘proxy’ Acacia. These patent trolls of Microsoft continue to sue Microsoft’s rivals using dubious software patents. To quote Law 360:

The Federal Circuit on Tuesday reversed a lower court’s invalidation of three patents asserted against Google LLC by a unit of patent licensing company Acacia Research Corp.

So a unit of a patent troll of Microsoft (Acacia Research Corp.) sued Google, Microsoft’s main rival in this sector. Patently-O revisited the subject, citing/mentioning Dan Bricklin (the so-called father of spreadsheets):

This week’s decision in DET v. GOOGLE focuses on patent eligibility of a muti-sheet spreadsheet displayed with notebook tabs. The case is reminiscent of a 2014 Patently-O post by Howard Skaist written in the still roiling wake of Alice and Mayo. In his post, Skaist considered ways that the inventor of VisiCalc (Dan Bricklin) might have claimed the computerized spreadsheet he first created in 1979.

[...]

In some pre-Bilski writing, Dan Bricklin explained why he didn’t actually try to patent the spreadsheet.

After Alice these patents would be null and void anyway. Microsoft insists that it wants "truce" (as recently as days ago), but here we have a Microsoft-connected troll attacking another OIN member, Google. OIN has no way/mechanism for dealing with intermediaries.

Let’s Hope Apple Defeats All the Abstract Patents That Are Leveraged Against It

Sunday 14th of October 2018 12:56:39 PM

Software patents disguised as “network provisioning” now?

Summary: Apple can be viewed as a strategic ‘ally’ against patents that threaten Android/Linux if one ignores all the patent battles the company started (and has since then settled) against Android OEMs

THE USPTO still grants patents far too easily, only for courts to repeatedly correct it by invalidating granted patents. Sometimes there’s a lot of money at stake, like Apple’s $234 million patent dispute with a university.

Last weekend we wrote about Apple‘s success in appealing the case [1, 2] for the Federal Circuit to deal with rather than the district court, which tends to be more lenient in terms of patent quality, much like the USPTO even in the post-Alice era. As one writer put it a fortnight ago:

A federal appeals court has ruled in Apple’s favor in a patent dispute with the University of Wisconsin-Madison. The court ruling, initially spotted by Reuters, said that that Apple didn’t infringe on one of the university’s patents, overturning a prior ruling in the university’s favor that had fined Apple $234 million. Another $272 million was later added to that fine to account for Apple’s continued use of the patent, but that will presumably be thrown out now that the underlying judgment has been reversed.

We expect this case to be “DOA”, but at what cost (legal bills)? Meanwhile, the patent troll Uniloc strikes again, still focused on the same target, Apple, after Microsoft paid Uniloc. As a pro-Apple site put it last week, this is a new case:

Apple is again in the crosshairs of Uniloc, with the patent aggregator alleging the process by which iPhone and cellular-connected iPad and Apple Watch models infringes on owned intellectual property.

[...]

The ’616 patent changed hands to Uniloc’s main Luxembourg arm in 2017 and was duly assigned to Uniloc 2017 LLC in May of this year.

Uniloc alleges all iPhone models from iPhone 5 through iPhone XS Max and cellular connected iPads including fourth- and fifth-generation iPad models, all iPad mini versions, iPad Pro, first- and second-generation iPad Air models and Apple Watch Series 1 through 3 infringe on multiple patent claims.

Uniloc seeks unspecified damages, reimbursement of legal fees and other relief deemed fit by the court.

It would be a stretch to call Uniloc a Microsoft proxy because the two entities had lengthy and expensive court battles. The real danger here is that this troll, ‘fattened’ by Microsoft cash, may soon go after Android/Linux players. Unless Apple manages to squash the underlying patents and drive Uniloc to bankruptcy (out of funds). Uniloc isn’t a real company and there’s a reason why it operates through Luxembourg.

EPO Insider/Märpel Says President Campinos Already Acts Like Battistelli

Saturday 13th of October 2018 04:01:18 PM

Recent: It Wasn’t Judges With Weapons in Their Office, It Was Benoît Battistelli Who Brought Firearms to the European Patent Office (EPO)


Source

Summary: Unitary Patent (UPC) is a step towards making the EPO an EU institution like the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO); but it’s not making any progress and constitutional judges must realise that Campinos, chosen by Battistelli to succeed him, is just an empty mask

AS WE have just noted, software patents in Europe are being granted by the European Patent Office (EPO), but European courts will reject many of them. This is why lawyers hope to replace the courts themselves. The UPC is how they hope to accomplish this and rumours say that Benoît Battistelli wishes to become the UPC’s chief. Never mind his notorious reputation as judge, jury and executioner.

“This is why lawyers hope to replace the courts themselves. The UPC is how they hope to accomplish this and rumours say that Benoît Battistelli wishes to become the UPC’s chief. Never mind his notorious reputation as judge, jury and executioner.”There’s an article titled “An abundance of great jobs for Intellectual Property graduates” and it is dated “October 12, 2018″ (i.e. yesterday).

“The first accounts of intellectual property (IP) protection date back to ancient Greece. As such, the concept of inventiveness and investment in research,” the summary of this new article says. It mentions António Campinos and Benoît Battistelli in an effort to attract people to this suicide office which does not even hire anyway (there’s a hiring freeze). To quote:

“IP rights-intensive industries generate more than a quarter of employment and more than a third of economic activity in the European Union,” wrote António Campinos (then President of the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO)) and Benoît Battistelli (then President of the European Patent Office (EPO)) in a 2013 report titled, Intellectual property rights intensive industries: contribution to economic performance and employment in the European Union.

The employment of what? Lawyers? Europe needs science and technology, not more lawsuits. But lawyers view Europe’s needs differently…

Twice before the weekend Colm Murphy and Joe Ridout (Cooley LLP) published this ridiculous self-promotional piece [1, 2]. “Following Brexit,” it says, “European Patent Attorneys will be able to represent you in the Unitary Patent Court (UPC)…”

Putting aside uncertainty surrounding Brexit itself, that statement makes no sense because UPC is dead. Repeating lies again? Team UPC has clearly not grown tired (yet) of its famous two lies. From the relevant paragraph:

The UK Government plans to explore whether it is possible to participate in the proposed Unitary Patent System following Brexit. Following Brexit, European Patent Attorneys will be able to represent you in the Unitary Patent Court (UPC) [sic] irrespective of whether the UK signs up to the UPC or not.

They wrote “Unitary Patent Court (UPC),” but it’s Unified actually; so they’re clueless on what they write about, maybe just reusing what they saw written elsewhere. Can we trust a bunch of law firms that don’t even know the name of the court they lobby for? Ones who intentionally lie about various things in one single paragraph? Of course not. They used to also tell us that UPC was “for SMEs” — those standing to lose the most from UPC.

Imagine a liar like Battistelli in charge of such a system of ‘show trials’ (in a language the defendant does not even understand).

Let’s face it; nothing has really changed except the face. Campinos is just another Battistelli and not even the manners are better. As Märpel noted just before the weekend:

Märpel learned that President Campinos cancelled all travels yesterday, even travels already booked with applicants waiting at the other end. People were called back yesterday morning on their way to the airport.

The reasons behind that decision are not entirely clear. What is entirely clear, however, is that cancelling appointments at such short notice screams of lack of professionalism. When travels are arranged, the other end normally has invested time and efforts in arranging a meeting. Expenses need to be charged, authorizations need to be organized. Not coming at the latest moment is simply not done.

But President Campinos apparently does not care about manners. Reportedly, he had a fit about the budget and required everything to be re-authorized by him personally.

It appears that the Office managed to elect ANOTHER President capable of throwing a tantrum for the smalest [sic] of reasons.

Welcome the new boss; same as the old boss…

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CoC/Systemd Supremacy Over Linux Kernel

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ODROID 'Hacker Board'

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A Look At The Many Features On The Table For The Upcoming Linux 4.20~5.0 Kernel

If all goes as planned, tomorrow will mark the availability of the Linux 4.19 stable kernel. That is also expected to mark the return of Linus Torvalds from his retreat where he was working on his empathy skills and politeness. The 4.19 stable release will then kick off the merge window for the next kernel cycle. It's still not set in stone yet whether the next kernel release will be Linux 4.20 or Linux 5.0. Linus Torvalds previously communicated -- and what he did in going from Linux 3.19 to 4.0 -- was that when otherwise hitting the x.20 release is time to bump the major kernel version number. So it's likely the next kernel cycle will be Linux 5.0, but we'll see if the new-and-improved Torvalds has different feelings now over the versioning scheme. Read more

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