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09.16.10

Links 16/9/2010: Debian GNU/kFreeBSD Now With Graphical Installer, Linux-based ViewPad in India

Posted in News Roundup at 2:51 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Audiocasts/Shows

    • Podcast Season 2 Episode 17

      In this episode: We each predict a news story that may or may not have happened over the last seven days. Play the final results of our ‘build a game’ challenge, and we ask, is it finally time to do away with the command-line?

  • Ballnux

  • Kernel Space

    • Graphics Stack

      • A Newbie In X; Creating X.Org Documentation

        Matt Dew, a self-proclaimed “X newbie”, just finished talking about his experiences as just entering the world of X.Org development and hopes to contribute to the X.Org world by gathering up and improving X.Org documentation.

        As most know who have ever investigated X.Org, traditionally the documentation covering the software stack has been rather fragmented or even nonexistent in many places. This lack of reliable X.Org documentation can lead to a steep learning curve for new developers and can be a deterrent when coupled with the fact X.Org is complicated, but Matt hopes to work towards addressing this longstanding problem by rounding up the existing documentation from various sources and then eventually to write documentation for the missing pieces (particularly the newer areas, but also for areas like libdrm).

      • Recapping The New X.Org Development Process

        Scheduling issues had plagued X.Org Server development for the past few years: to the point that even delivering a point release had come more than a year late and major X Server releases were never delivered on time. This though has fortunately changed.

        With X.Org Server 1.8 though it was proposed to make some fundamental development changes and better refining the X.Org development process to be more like the Linux kernel — though not the same — where there is an official release manager, timed releases, and a defined process for requesting changes/patches be pulled into a given release. Since that point, the X.Org Server has basically been released on time. X.Org Server 1.9 was released on time just last month.

  • Applications

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Games

      • Zipping along

        Yet another gameplay detail has been added recently, namely slipstreaming. When a kart drives behind another one for a while, and then moves out of the slipstream, it recieves a speed boost and can then overtake the kart in front.

  • Desktop Environments

  • Distributions

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Phones

      • Android

        • Review: Motorola Charm

          Lastly, the cheap look of the screen will be a major problem for anyone who has used an HVGA or WVGA resolution device in the past The solid keyboard is excellent and will work for many. Truly great. Unfortunately, though, for most the Charm will fail at being what it promises, and that is a good entry-level smartphone. Instead, it appears to be something else all-together: an Android feature phone.

        • Avaya Announces Android-Powered ‘Desktop Video Device’
        • Can We Have This Phone Too Here in Africa?

          Meet the ZTE Racer, an Android 2.1 powered ultra low cost smartphone currently available in the UK.

    • Tablets

      • Mixed messages from Google: is Android ready for tablets?

        It’s possible that Android 3.0 will bring solutions to some of these problems. There are already rumors circulating that it will boost tablet support and be better suited for non-phone form factors. If Google’s compatibility program can evolve to function as effectively for new devices as it has for smartphones, we could see Google’s little robot show up in a lot more places.

      • Android Powered ViewPad Coming To India

        ViewSonic became at star at IFA 2010 with the release of its ViewPad 7. Powered by Android 2.2, the world’s most ‘advanced’ and ‘powerful’ mobile operating system, ViewPad 7 enables users to conduct video-conferencing, social networking, and enjoying AV entertainment, realizing their dreams of achieving a fun and diversified digital lifestyle. ViewSonic India is planning to launch this product in Indian market very soon.

        “ViewSonic‘s ViewPad 7 is so far the best android that has attracted the whole world. With the showcasing of the ViewPad 7 we in ViewSonic maintain our commitment towards the best IT innovations. We are expecting to launch ViewPad 7 in India in a very short time and hope we will get a great response from the Indian consumers who had always been very keen to the most hi-tech inventions,” says Gautam Ghosh, Country Manager, ViewSonic Technologies India PVT LTD.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Strategy, Tactics, and why companies are free to not contribute.

    Yesterday Julie Bort wrote in the NetworkWorld site an interesting post called “Cisco doesn’t contribute nearly enough to open source”, where she contends that “”[despite its] .. proclaims it responsible for a half percent of the contributions to the Linux kernel (0.5%). In reality, Cisco has been a near non-entity as an open source contributor”. Of course the author is right in its claims – the amount of contributed code to the Linux kernel is substantial but very “vertical”, and specific to the needs of Cisco as a Linux adopter.

    Which is a perfectly sensible thing to do.

    The problem of “contribution” comes up and again in many discussions on open source and business adoption of OSS; it is, in fact, a source of major debate why participation is low, and what can be done to improve it. It is my opinion that there are some barriers to OSS contribution – namely, internal IPR policies, lack of understanding of how participation can be helpful and not just a gift to competitors, and more. On the other hand, two points should be made to complement this view: the first is that some companies contribute in ways that are difficult to measure, and the second is that sometimes companies have no economic reasons to do so.

  • OpenIndiana project first screenshots

    The first development release, oi_147, is now available for download! It is available in 3 download formats – a Live DVD with a graphical installer which installs a full desktop environment, a Text installer CD which installs a minimal server install, and the Automated Installer ISO which allows performing a custom install via XML files.

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Mozilla fixes startup bug, Firefox auto-updates are go!

        It certainly didn’t take long for Mozilla to jump to the pump and address a very-recently-announced bug affecting automatic updates to Firefox 3.6.9 and 3.5.11. A patch has been pushed, and users can now allow auto-update to do its thing without fear of winding up with a browser which won’t start properly.

      • Firefox 4 ditching status bar?

        If you’re using the latest Firefox 4 beta you may have noticed a few new visual changes…

      • GNU IceCat 3.6.9 released

        GNU IceCat is the GNU version of the Mozilla Firefox browser.

  • Databases

    • Italian Bucap Picks Ingres Database

      Bucap S.p.A., a provider of outsourced document archiving and management services, has selected Ingres Database as its database of choice for its data management solution.

      “Prior to Ingres, all information managed by Bucap could be retrieved locally and remotely by our employees, but due to the complexity and low reliability of the system, most of the queries were done through manual retrieval and physical mailing or faxing the document to the customer,” said Ruggero Rinaldi, General Manager at Bucap. “Bucap wanted to offer a better quality and up-to-date service to its customers and therefore created a service portal enabling customers to access all of their documentation. Ingres best responded to our economical and technical requirements and the decision has been supported by the enhanced performance, features, and ability to leverage an open source product.”

    • SciDB: Relational daddy answers Google, Hadoop, NoSQL
  • Oracle

    • Oracle and OpenJDK

      Oracle will work with the OpenJDK code base and the OpenJDK community like Sun did. We will continue to develop the JDK in the open under a GPL license. We welcome the cooperation and contribution of any member of the community – individuals as well as organizations – who would like to be part of moving the most widely used software platform forward.

    • Oracle sticks to Sun’s open source strategy for Java

      Oracle is seemingly trying to calm down the discussion about the focus of Java programming language development and open source. The business software and database vendor is drawing people’s attention to the events and announcements during next week’s JavaOne event, which will take place at the same time as Oracle’s OpenWorld in-house tradeshow. In a recent announcement, Henrik Ståhl, Senior Director of product management for the Java Platform Group at Oracle, said that Oracle will have the same approach as Sun did with the OpenJDK code base and its community.

    • OpenOffice.org: Interactions Between Programs

      Some people insist that OpenOffice.org should be called an office application instead of an office suite. The distinction that they are trying to make is that the programs in OpenOffice.org share a common code base, instead of being separate programs that are simply bundled together, the way that Microsoft Office’s are.

      This distinction means that the complete OpenOffice.org is much smaller than any version of MS Office (and that you don’t save nearly the space you expect by installing only the components you actually use). It also means that many dialogs are identical in different programs, which makes them easier to learn. And, most important of all, it means that the separate programs can easily interact with one another.

  • CMS

    • Facebook alternative Diaspora rolls out first code

      Developers have been given their first glimpse of a community-funded and open alternative to Facebook.

      Diaspora describes itself as a “privacy-aware, personally-controlled” social network.

      It was conceived earlier this year by four US students during a period when Facebook came under fire for its privacy settings.

    • Diaspora fail

      I understand that people wanted to pick one of those quick development frameworks, I myself like them quite a lot, but they are exactly the wrong thing for this kind of app: WordPress is so successful cause it runs everywhere. And you gotta realize that those frameworks help you get a prototype running fast, but in the end you end up dropping most parts of the framework anyways cause of specific needs for features they don’t cover.

    • Diaspora, Dependencies and the Devil
  • BSD

    • Getting Started With FreeBSD 8.1

      FreeBSD is a UNIX-like OS that has been around since 1993. If you’re familiar with Linux or other UNIXes, you have most of the knowledge required to try it out, but you will also notice a few differences. Those familiar with the underpinnings of Mac OSX know that it, too, is based on BSD.

      FreeBSD isn’t as popular as the better-known Linux distros, but it has a strong reputation for reliability and robustness, and it’s still in active development. For my first foray into FreeBSD, I tried out the latest stable version (8.1), which was released mid-July.

  • Project Releases

  • Government

    • STAKEHOLDER DAY – My big idea for the Digital Agenda

      What is your big idea for the Digital Agenda, Europe’s new strategy for digital economy? What can you do to make a part of the Digital Agenda happen? The new strategy was published in May and it is now time to discuss how to put it into practice.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • GROUND LAB Part 1: Practical prototyping and the history of technological development

      GROUND LAB is a research and development company focused on designing and fabricating prototypes and solutions for a wide range of clients, ranging from large organizations like UNICEF to smaller NGOs, conservationists and artists. To prototype and build solutions for these varied challenges requires a high degree of flexible problem solving techniques, skills and solutions, which has led us toward using an open source business model and tools.

    • Open Data

    • Open Access/Content

      • Do Open Educational Resources Increase Efficiency?

        One of the questions people often ask about Open Educational Resources is “do they really increase efficiency?” Creative Commons has worked with many OER innovators, and their stories indicate that it does. We thought it would be useful to gather pointers to some of these examples. Please read on, and leave a comment with other great examples of how CC-enabled OER can increase efficiency for teachers, students and self-learners. Note of course that increasing efficiency is only one benefit of OER.

Leftovers

  • IBM announces process for power management
  • Science

    • NASA looks at horizontal, railgun-like rocket launcher

      NASA is looking hard at a way to blast spacecraft horizontally down an electrified track or gas-powered sled and into space hitting speeds of about Mach 10. The craft would then return and land on a runway by the launch site.

      The rail launcher, known Advanced Space Launch System is one of a few new launch systems a team of engineers from Kennedy Space Center and several other NASA centers are looking at that would use existing cutting-edge technologies to offer the space agency a next generation launcher to the stars, NASA stated.

    • Boeing Aims to Fly Passengers to Space on New Capsule

      Aerospace heavyweight Boeing has teamed up with a private spaceflight marketing firm to sell passenger seats for future flights in its new space capsule.

      Under the agreement, the Virginia-based Space Adventures will market passenger seats on commercial flights aboard the Boeing Crew Space Transportation-100 spacecraft, currently being designed to travel to the International Space Station as well as other future private space stations.

  • Security/Aggression

    • Tax inspectors get police-like powers to tackle tax evaders

      The inspectors can now turn up at people’s homes or businesses unannounced and examine their records if they believe not enough tax has been paid.

    • Fears over CCTV use in York schools

      HALF of York’s secondary schools have been filming pupils on CCTV without telling parents, sparking condemnation from privacy campaigners.

    • 300 homes in Gloucestershire are going to have their rubbish analysed

      Council chiefs have caused controversy by revealing plans to sift through random bins to see if the city’s residents are meeting strict recycling rules.

    • Leave. It. Alone.

      From 42 days to control orders, they were a model of illjudged and overbearing persistence. And so to today, during the report stage debate of the Identity Documents Bill – which is set to scrap the hated ID card once and for all – Big Brother Watch favourite Meg Hillier was moaning:

      “When something is bought in good faith there needs to be some recompense for the individual. We recognise, reluctantly, that both parties in this Government have a mandate to get rid of ID cards… but this issue is very important.”

      And promptly introduced a motion to force the Government to pay back £30 to the misguided individuals who signed-up to a lifetime of living on a database.

    • Entire US-Mexico border to be guarded by Predator Drones: Europe to follow suit?

      Starting in September, the entire 2,000-mile US-Mexico border will be monitored by drones, the Christian Science Monitor has reported.

    • Entire US-Mexico border to be guarded by Predator drones

      The launch of a fourth Predator drone Wednesday will mean the entire US-Mexico border is now patrolled by the unmanned aircraft.

    • Falsely Arrested Woman Told She Should Thank The Police For Realizing Their Error

      We’ve seen all sorts of stories about identity fraud and how it really is a pretty horrible crime — one where the victims are often left entirely on their own to unravel the resulting mess. However, there are times where things get even more ridiculous. Mitch Wagner points us to a case where a woman who had her identity used by a petty crook/coke addict was picked up by the police, believing she was the scammer, leading to this victim of identity fraud being jailed, strip-searched and de-loused, until she finally convinced police to look at a photo of the actual crook. Even then, they kept her in jail for an additional 24-hours.

    • Torture Tort Terror

      During his presidential campaign, Barack Obama criticized the Bush administration for its excessive secrecy, noting that it had “invoked a legal tool known as the ‘state secrets’ privilege more than any other previous administration to get cases thrown out of civil court.” Obama also promised to end “extraordinary rendition,” a practice through which “we outsource our torture to other countries.”

    • The Tea Party and the Value of Craziness

      Here’s my first impression of the tea party movement: It’s a rabidly right-wing phenomenon with a shaky grasp of history, a strain of intolerance and xenophobia, a paranoia about Barack Obama, and an unhealthy reverence for Fox News. Any movement that doesn’t firmly exclude Birchers, birthers, and Islamaphobes is not a movement for me.

    • I’ll have the oolong, with a splash of open source

      Jonathan Rauch wrote in the National Journal Saturday on the “radical decentralization” of the tea party. A “Tea Party Patriots coordinator and co-founder” talks about it this way:

      “I use the term open-source politics. This is an open source movement…. The movement as a whole is smart.”

      No doubt, this has and will continue to be a bandwagon meme equating decentralization automatically with open source and by extension some form of novelty. Rauch, to his credit, focuses more on the decentralization aspect and acknowledges the “yes and no” answer to the novelty question.

    • The Tea Party Movement: Open-Source Politics
    • South African police hunt Twittering speedcam spy

      Police in Johannesburg are investigating a man who’s been using Twitter to warn motorists about speed traps and other police activity.

      PigSpotter, as he calls himself, has now agreed to stop tweeting the location of road blocks but vowed to continue posting speed trap information. He also posts traffic congestion reports, and info about out of action traffic lights and accidents.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • ACE, Climate Education, and the Issue of Energy Execs

      In July of 2008, a new nonprofit organization, the “Alliance for Climate Education, Inc.” (ACE), Inc., zoomed onto the scene and suddenly became a huge player in the much-overlooked field of climate education. ACE offers high schools free multimedia assemblies on climate change that utilize “cutting-edge animation, music and video.” In short, this is not the usual low-budget presentation that school assemblies are known for.

      On the surface, ACE’s effort seems laudable, but questions remain about the messages is ACE is crafting with its free access to the nation’s youth on school time. ACE’s featured web content on BP’s oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, which has since been removed (after our initial criticism of it), did not even mention “BP,” although it conceded the unimpeachable fact that the spill is a “disaster.” ACE also featured positive images connected to the disaster such as a swimming dolphin and a rescued pelican, alongside a clean-up worker and a photo of the well fire being extinguished.

    • Huge fish kill – a common sight in Louisiana

      Summer dead zones are common in the Gulf of Mexico, caused by the large amounts of fertiliser that get flushed down the Mississippi river, which triggers a dramatic drop in the amount of oxygen dissolved in the water. Researchers have been concerned that microbes breaking down the oil from the BP spill might exacerbate this year’s dead zone and have been closely monitoring oxygen levels in the Gulf.

    • UK national assessment of preparedness for climate disruption says action needed now

      How well prepared is the UK for climate change? asks the title of a report released today by the Adaptation Subcommittee of the Committee on Climate Change established under the UK Climate Change Act of 2008.

  • Finance

    • High Class Addiction
    • Bailed-Out Banks Finance Predatory Payday Lenders

      American taxpayers bailed out the big banks. Now many of those banks are returning the favor by extending credit to payday lenders who sucker consumers into a spiraling debt trap.

      That is the claim in a new report published this week by National People’s Action (NPA), the Chicago-based community organization. The report, called Predators’ Creditors, names Wells Fargo, Bank of America and JP Morgan Chase as some of the biggest lenders to the booming payday loan industry.

    • Goldman Sachs Sued Over Alleged Gender Discrimination

      Goldman Sachs Group Inc. was sued by three former female employees who claim they faced discrimination in pay and fewer opportunities for promotion than men at the firm.

      “The violations of its female employees’ rights are systemic, are based upon companywide policies and practices, and are the result of unchecked gender bias that pervades Goldman Sachs’s corporate culture,” the women said today in a complaint in federal court in Manhattan.

    • One Less Privacy Intrusion: Bill to End Pre-Employment Credit Checks

      Will the Equal Employment for All Act make it out of the House Committee on Financial Services when Congress reconvenes this fall? The bill, HR 3149, would make it illegal for employers to use the personal and private credit reports of American job applicants when making hiring decisions for most positions.

      Bad credit means no job and no job means bad credit. Second chances in Hollywood and professional sports occur every day, but the rest of America is locked down in a modern-day debtors’ prison run by credit bureaus and ruled by corporate greed. A two-class America of the elite and the poor is becoming more and more a reality, thanks in part to the continuing practice of pre-employment credit checks.

    • Max Keiser Interviews Stoneleigh, and A Nation Under The Gutting Knife

      15 Shocking Poverty Statistics That Are Skyrocketing As The American Middle Class Continues To Be Slowly Wiped Out

      1. Approximately 45 million Americans were living in poverty in 2009.
      2. According to the Associated Press, experts believe that 2009 saw the largest single year increase in the U.S. poverty rate since the U.S. government began calculating poverty figures back in 1959.
      3. The U.S. poverty rate is now the third worst among the developed nations tracked by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.

      [...]

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • EU breakthrough on lobby register

      UK Liberal Democrat MEP Diana Wallis, who is representing the Parliament in talks with Commission Vice-President Maroš Šefčovič, said Belgian Foreign Minister Steven Vanackere had asked the Council’s Committee of Permanent Representatives to “review” plans to establish a single register for all three institutions at the close of the General Affairs Council on 13 September.

      “If this materialises, it will represent a welcome evolution in the Council’s position,” said Wallis.

      Talks on establishing a joint lobby register between the Commission and the Parliament resumed in May without the Council’s involvement.

    • G.O.P. Allies Drive Ad Spending Disparity

      Outside groups supporting Republican candidates in House and Senate races across the country have been swamping their Democratic-leaning counterparts on television since early August as the midterm election season has begun heating up.

    • A New Name for High-Fructose Corn Syrup

      The Corn Refiners Association, which represents firms that make the syrup, has been trying to improve the image of the much maligned sweetener with ad campaigns promoting it as a natural ingredient made from corn. Now, the group has petitioned the United States Food and Drug Administration to start calling the ingredient “corn sugar,” arguing that a name change is the only way to clear up consumer confusion about the product.

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • Sarah Palin Revisited: Why Terms of Use Shouldn’t Be Enforced Through Computer Crime Law

      Last week, we questioned whether Sarah Palin may have violated Facebook’s terms of use by using a ghostwriter to update her profile. We also criticized Facebook’s attempts to enforce those terms with state and federal computer crime laws — which carry both civil and criminal penalties — in Facebook v. Power Ventures.

      As we explained, it’s dangerous for a website to claim that users who breach its terms of use also violate computer crime law. Facebook users can easily make uncontroversial choices that nevertheless violate the plain meaning of Facebook’s terms. Furthermore, Facebook shouldn’t have the discretion to criminalize certain behavior just by forbidding it in terms of use.

    • Is online privacy dead?

      There are many reasons why you should be concerned about online privacy. Stalking on the internet can lead to unwanted offline encounters, blackmail, fraud, cyber-bullying, and personal details, which you’d rather not have the world know about, falling into the wrong hands.

    • IP address-tracing software breached data protection law

      The Swiss Federal Court has ruled that software which identified the internet protocol (IP) address of unauthorised music uploaders broke data protection law.

    • Is US prudishness ruining the internet?

      Is US dominance of the internet – and particularly of the social networking space – leading to the export of US prudery across the globe? Or is the growing debate on international censorship a little more complicated?

      As Becky Dwyer, a US citizen and, as member of CAAN Scotland, a campaigner for less censorship in the UK put it: “Isn’t this more about American Corporations forcing conformity upon private individuals rather than ‘American’ values?”

      First off, examples of US social networking sites coming down hard on subscribers who fail to toe the line set by Ts & Cs are widespread.

    • Appeals Court Guts Landmark Computer-Privacy Ruling

      Bowing to the Obama administration, a federal appeals court Monday gutted its own decision that had dramatically narrowed the government’s search-and-seizure powers in the digital age.

      The 9-2 ruling by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals nullifies Miranda-style guidelines the court promulgated last year that were designed to protect Fourth Amendment privacy rights during court-authorized computer searches. Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan, as solicitor general last year, had urged the court to reverse itself amid complaints that federal prosecutions were being complicated, and computer searches were grinding to a halt, because of the detailed guidelines.

      The original ruling required the government to cull specific data described in the search warrant, rather than copy entire hard drives. When that’s not possible, the feds were advised to use an independent third party under the court’s supervision, whose job it would be to comb through the files for the specific information, and provide it, and nothing else, to the government. The ruling said judges should “deny the warrant altogether” if the government does not consent to such a plan in data-search cases.

    • FCC asked to block Skechers cartoon series

      An advocacy group on Tuesday asked the Federal Communications Commission to block a soon-to-debut TV cartoon show starring characters first created to market Skechers footwear to children.

      Unless banned, the group said, the show could pave the way for Ronald McDonald, Tony the Tiger and other iconic cartoon pitchmen to become stars of their own series — potentially inundating children’s television with what amounted to full-length commercials.

    • Singel-Minded: Craigslist Took One for the Open Internet

      Despite having the law on its side Craigslist took down its Adult Services section at the end of August, replacing it with the word Censored. It did so without fanfare — and still no explanation. But the small change marked a big capitulation to a gaggle of state attorneys general and anti–child-trafficking groups who have been hounding the free classifieds listing service for years, casting Craigslist as an online pimp.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality/DRM

    • Understanding the HDCP Master Key Leak

      On Monday, somebody posted online an array of numbers which purports to be the secret master key used by HDCP, a video encryption standard used in consumer electronics devices such as DVD players and TVs. I don’t know if the key is genuine, but let’s assume for the sake of discussion that it is. What does the leak imply for HDCP’s security? And what does the leak mean for the industry, and for consumers?

      HDCP is used to protect high-def digital video signals “on the wire,” for example on the cable connecting your DVD player to your TV. HDCP is supposed to do two things: it encrypts the content so that it can’t be captured off the wire, and it allows each endpoint to verify that the other endpoint is an HDCP-licensed device. From a security standpoint, the key step in HDCP is the initial handshake, which establishes a shared secret key that will be used to encrypt communications between the two devices, and at the same time allows each device to verify that the other one is licensed.

      [...]

      The impact of HDCP’s failure on consumers will probably be minor. The main practical effect of HDCP has been to create one more way in which your electronics could fail to work properly with your TV. This is unlikely to change. Mainstream electronics makers will probably continue to take HDCP licenses and to use HDCP as they are now. There might be some differences at the margin, where manufacturers feel they can take a few more liberties to make things work for their customers. HDCP has been less a security system than a tool for shaping the consumer electronics market, and that is unlikely to change.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Ron Coleman on ‘Returning balance to the IP equation’

      Ron Coleman writes an essay well worth reading on how trademark law has morphed into perverse measures at the hands of IP attorneys and big businesses looking to protect their turf in response to overall changes in the IP landscape.

    • District Court Smacks Down Tiffany (Yet Again) In Fight With eBay Over Counterfeit Items

      The case isn’t quite over yet, as Tiffany keeps appealing various aspects of it, but it certainly doesn’t look good for Tiffany — but does appear very good for anyone who believes in the principles of properly applying liability to those who did the actions, rather than the “easy target” third party (even in the absence of official safe harbors).

    • Ohio State Abuses Trademark Law to Suppress a Fan Magazine and Website

      In today’s Washington Post, John Feinstein captures an important truth about college sports –- the print headline of his column is: “Greed is the most powerful tradition in college football.” (In the online addition, the headline described greed as “the new tradition”). Whether new or longstanding, a tradition of greed is typified by a dangerous decision issued this week by a federal judge in Columbus, Ohio, in which Ohio State University was able to use trademark law to suppress a fan web site and magazine devoted to its sports teams, established by a commercial publisher.

    • Lego Hit With A Brick In Trademark Case
    • Copyrights

      • EU liberals join Sarkozysts in online repression

        The Gallo report on copyright enforcement -from the pro-Sarkozy MEP, Marielle Gallo- will be voted on Wednesday, September 22nd in the European Parliament. Surprisingly, the Liberal ALDE group has tabled its own alternative resolution, a bad and almost equally repressive text. Under blatant influence of the producers and publishers’ lobbies, this political move from the liberals actually aims at facilitating the vote of the original Gallo report.

      • Confessions Of A Convicted RIAA Victim Joel Tenenbaum

        Boston student Joel Tenenbaum is the poster child of an entire generation of downloaders, and one of the few people to stand up against the RIAA instead of signing off on a settlement. This decision proved to be a costly one for Tenenbaum, who now has to pay $67,500 in damages to the record labels for sharing 7 songs. In an interview he now looks back at recent years.

      • P2P investigations now illegal in Switzerland

        Switzerland, a longtime haven for all kinds of financial shenanigans, has just expanded its reputation for “discretion” to cover file-sharing as well. That’s the conclusion of Logistep AG, anyway, as a Swiss court has just gutted its P2P surveillance business with a ruling that says gathering even publicly available information is illegal.

      • What’s the law around aggregating news online? A Harvard Law report on the risks and the best practices
      • Canadian Recording Industry Claims That Canadian Copyright Proposal Is A $5k License To Infringe

        It’s difficult to think of a sentence that shows anyone more out of touch than that. Would anyone really want to pay $5,000 (not an insignificant sum by any means) for purely a non-commercial compulsory license? Whenever various compulsory licenses have been discussed, they’ve usually been in the range of $5/month or so. To pretend that anyone will just pay up $5,000 for non-commercial copying is just silly.

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    In the process of devaluing EPO workers and perhaps preparing them for a large round of layoffs information is also revealed about further repressions against the independence of the Boards of Appeal



  6. End of the UPC Lobby and Withdrawal of UPCA May Seem Imminent

    The Unitary Patent fantasy (of mass litigation firms) is coming to an end; in fact, the German government and courts (Bundesverfassungsgericht to be specific) now deem the complaint to be admissible and thus likely legitimate in spite of many attempts to shoot it down



  7. EPO's Board 28 Spikes Article 53 in CA/3/18, Apparently After Battistelli Withdrew It

    The latest plot twist, as odd as that may seem, is that the attack on the rights of thousands of workers (many of whom are rumoured to be on their way out) is curtailed somewhat, at least for the time being



  8. Links 21/2/2018: Apper 1.0, New Fedora ISOs

    Links for the day



  9. Rumour: European Patent Office to Lay Off a Significant Proportion of Its Workforce

    While the Administrative Council of the EPO praises Battistelli for his financial accomplishments (as laughable as it may seem) a lot of families stuck in a foreign country may soon see their breadwinner unemployed, according to rumours



  10. The Patent Trolls' Lobby, Bristows and IAM Among Others, Downplays Darts-IP/IP2Innovate Report About Rising If Not Soaring Troll Activity in Europe

    Exactly like last year, as soon as IP2Innovate opens its mouth Bristows and IAM go into "attack dog" mode and promote the UPC, deny the existence or seriousness of patent trolls, and promote their nefarious, trolls-funded agenda



  11. Links 20/2/2018: Mesa 17.3.5, Qt 5.11 Alpha, Absolute 15.0 Beta 4, Sailfish OS 2.1.4 E.A., SuiteCRM 7.10

    Links for the day



  12. Replacing Patent Sharks/Trolls and the Patent Mafia With 'Icons' Like Thomas Edison

    The popular perceptions of patents and the sobering reality of what patents (more so nowadays) mean to actual inventors who aren't associated with global behemoths such as IBM or Siemens



  13. The Patent Trolls' Lobby is Distorting the Record of CAFC on PTAB

    The Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC), which deals with appeals from PTAB, has been issuing many decisions in favour of § 101, but those aren't being talked about or emphasised by the patent 'industry'



  14. Japan Demonstrates Sanity on SEP Policy While US Patent Policy is Influenced by Lobbyists

    Japan's commendable response to a classic pattern of patent misuse; US patent policy is still being subjected to never-ending intervention and there is now a lobbyist in charge of antitrust matters and a lawyer in charge of the US patent office (both Trump appointees)



  15. The Patent Microcosm's Embrace of Buzzwords and False Marketing Strives to Make Patent Examiners Redundant and Patent Quality Extremely Low

    Patent maximalists, who are profiting from abundance of low-quality patents (and frivolous lawsuits/legal threats these can entail), are riding the hype wave and participating in the rush to put patent systems at the hands of machines



  16. Today, at 12:30 CET, Bavarian State Parliament Will Speak About EPO Abuses (Updated)

    The politicians of Bavaria are prepared to wrestle with some serious questions about the illegality of the EPO's actions and what that may mean to constitutional aspects of German law



  17. Another Loud Warning From EPO Workers About the Decline of Patent Quality

    Yet more patent quality warnings are being issued by EPO insiders (examiners) who are seeing their senior colleagues vanishing and wonder what will be left of their employer



  18. Links 19/2/2018: Linux 4.16 RC2, Nintendo Switch Now Full-fledged GNU/Linux

    Links for the day



  19. PTAB Continues to Invalidate a Lot of Software Patents and to Stop Patent Examiners From Issuing Them

    Erasure of software patents by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) carries on unabated in spite of attempts to cause controversy and disdain towards PTAB



  20. The Patent 'Industry' Likes to Mention Berkheimer and Aatrix to Give the Mere Impression of Section 101/Alice Weakness

    Contrary to what patent maximalists keep saying about Berkheimer and Aatrix (two decisions of the Federal Circuit from earlier this month, both dealing with Alice-type challenges), neither actually changed anything in any substantial way



  21. Makan Delrahim is Wrong; Patents Are a Major Antitrust Problem, Sometimes Disguised Using Trolls Somewhere Like the Eastern District of Texas

    Debates and open disagreements over the stance of the lobbyist who is the current United States Assistant Attorney General for the Antitrust Division



  22. Patent Trolls Watch: Microsoft-Connected Intellectual Ventures, Finjan, and Rumour of Technicolor-InterDigital Buyout

    Connections between various patent trolls and some patent troll statistics which have been circulated lately



  23. Software Patents Trickle in After § 101/Alice, But Courts Would Not Honour Them Anyway

    The dawn of § 101/Alice, which in principle eliminates almost every software patent, means that applicants find themselves having to utilise loopholes to fool examiners, but that's unlikely to impress judges (if they ever come to assessing these patents)



  24. In Aatrix v Green Shades the Court is Not Tolerating Software Patents But Merely Inquires/Wonders Whether the Patents at Hand Are Abstract

    Aatrix alleges patent infringement by Green Shades, but whether the patents at hand are abstract or not remains to be seen; this is not what patent maximalists claim it to be ("A Valentine for Software Patent Owners" or "valentine for patentee")



  25. An Indoctrinated Minority is Maintaining the Illusion That Patent Policy is to Blame for All or Most Problems of the United States

    The zealots who want to patent everything under the Sun and sue everyone under the Sun blame nations in the east (where the Sun rises) for all their misfortunes; this has reached somewhat ludicrous levels



  26. Berkheimer Decision is Still Being Spun by the Anti-Section 101/Alice Lobby

    12 days after Berkheimer v HP Inc. the patent maximalists continue to paint this decision as a game changer with regards to patent scope; the reality, however, is that this decision will soon be forgotten about and will have no substantial effect on either PTAB or Alice (because it's about neither of these)



  27. Academic Patent Immunity is Laughable and Academics Are Influenced by Corporate Money (for Steering Patent Agenda)

    Universities appear to have become battlegrounds in the war between practicing entities and a bunch of parasites who make a living out of litigation and patent bubbles



  28. UPC Optimism Languishes Even Among Paid UPC Propagandists Such as IAM

    Even voices which are attempting to give UPC momentum that it clearly lacks admit that things aren't looking well; the UK is not ratifying and Germany make take years to look into constitutional barriers



  29. Bejin Bieneman Props Up the Disgraced Randall Rader for Litigation Agenda

    Randall Rader keeps hanging out with the litigation 'industry' -- the very same 'industry' which he served in a closeted fashion when he was Chief Judge of the Federal Circuit (and vocal proponent of software patents, patent trolls and so on)



  30. With Stambler v Mastercard, Patent Maximalists Are Hoping to Prop Up Software Patents and Damage PTAB

    The patent 'industry' is hoping to persuade the highest US court to weaken the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB), for PTAB is making patent lawsuits a lot harder and raises the threshold for patent eligibility


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