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09.19.11

The Re-imposition of Smart Networks.

Posted in Site News at 9:31 pm by Guest Editorial Team

Six years after CERN invented the World Wide Web, an AT&T engineer noticed that that his company was obsolete and wrote an essay called, “Rise of the Stupid Network.” There is a disturbing reassertion of Smart networks by telco companies built on non free software, spectrum ownership and lawsuits to prevent the build out of municipal networks. In 1997, David Isenberg noted:

The astute reader might by now suspect that the main beneficiaries of the Intelligent Network are the telephone companies themselves. Nevertheless, telephone companies propound a “philosophy” that the Intelligent Network makes it easy to introduce new services and new technologies, and to meet new customer needs. … Internet Telephony, because the Internet Protocol works at the level that user software manages the session, takes the telephone company out of the value equation. The Internet breaks the telephone company model by passing control to the end user.

He went on to vent some frustrations had while trying to improve services on AT&T’s voice quality. His team spent two years figuring out how to add a little more bass to voice without blowing up every piece of voice equipment but the wires. He concluded, “Want a different voice quality? With a Stupid Network, you’d get a different program, install it in your intelligent end user device and run it.”

These observations are common sense and very old news today. After more than a decade of relative network freedom, no one would go crawling back to Ma Bell would they? No one willingly.

With no sense apparent irony and perhaps great foresight, Isenberg credited Bill Gates with understanding the “new value proposition” of stupid networks. Gates is widely derided for having missed the world wide web in the early 90′s, especially in his writing and toy computer software, Windows 95, which did not have a web browser. Gates understood the proposition as an extortionist. The value would no longer come from owning networks and charging users for each and every particle of service, it would come from owning computers through non free software and charging for every particle of service. It is likely that telcos understood this lesson too, though they practiced it with less success after being broken up.

So it was with great surprise and alarm that I learned that there are now almost as many subscribers to “broadband” cell networks as cable modem and dsl subscribers in the US. Persistent networks are being used as bait to get people to surrender their software and network freedom. AT&T got to this position by suing to stop municipal networks, through rampant corruption in spectrum auctions, and a series of mergers and acquisitions that have combined most of their once mighty empire. They have also embraced free, to them, software. Android, the most “open” of smart phones, is not free software. As Richard Stallman put it,

we can tolerate non-free phone network firmware provided new versions of it won’t be loaded, it can’t take control of the main computer, and it can only communicate when and as the free operating system chooses to let it communicate. In other words, it has to be equivalent to circuitry, and that circuitry must not be malicious. There is no obstacle to building an Android phone which has these characteristics, but we don’t know of any.

“The Cloud” through AT&T is a dystopian throwback to dumb terminals and computers owned by others that should not exist in a world that’s overflowing with cheap computers, radio devices and networks.

Alternatives exist to falling back into the wiretapped world of 1960′s telco. The most obvious alternative is to demand software freedom for smart phones and network freedom for cell phone networks. As Isenberg demanded fifteen years ago, “just deliver the bits, stupid.” Open Spectrum is the technically and ethically proper replacement to spectrum auctions that is ready, fast and finally in production testing but threatened. Another good solution is to cooperate and build out municipal networks. There are several of these running in the US in cities like Tacoma which provide excellent and fair service. We should be so lucky to have any but we should demand all of these alternatives.

Identi.ca 1.0.0 and Site Changes

Posted in Site News at 8:36 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Goodbye to old Identi.ca (shown below)

Identica

Summary: Identi.ca returned to full operation late on Monday and it generally looks good. The upgrade took longer than expected and soon after this site’s return, the front end went down again for a couple of hours. We look at how this affects Techrights now that it’s all back to “live” mode with some bugs.

Identi.ca is a fast communication medium that many of us at Techrights use (personally I’ve used it for 2.5 years, longer than I was on Twitter). It has transformed into something more like Google+ or Diaspora rather than microblogging (like Twitter).

Identi.ca upgraded to a new version over the weekend and this affects how some of us communicate and how our IRC channels are run. Since yesterday, the rightmost sidebar column (along with ladder-shaped Twitter feed) contains more information of interest. it is based entirely on some Identi.ca feeds that bring information from somewhere out there quicker than blog posts can. The new Identi.ca seems to have not lost backward compatibility as Chokoq, for example, still works fine (without software updates on the client side) and so does the IRC bot (dependent on the new page layouts and APIs). One can see new features on the server/service side, but there are not so many of them. It’s mostly about improved usability and simpler conversation facilities. Experimental new features include data export (which seems not to work based on my tests). During the migration some metadata was lost, but it could be recovered manually (salvaged even) from cache. The timelines got a little too verbose and Identi.ca accounts are therefore getting a little too much input.

“It has transformed into something more like Google+ or Diaspora rather than microblogging (like Twitter).”We are not sure whether it’s strictly just one background picture for all users (standardised like Digg or Facebook, as opposed to older versions) and Twitter is not as well connected as before (there was a bridge to allow Identi.ca users to maintain a mirror in Twitter, but it is not available now, perhaps temporarily).

There are clearly some new bugs, e.g. in “Tags”, which won’t show up in anyone’s case and the upgrade did not migrate these data fields, either. But that’s fair enough, it’s a limitation of Web-based software and it requires ironing out.

The bottom line is, things are significantly improved following the upgrade and it was worth the wait (scheduled downtime). Because of the licence, it is the only such service we ever endorsed.

Links 19/9/2011: Linux Mint Debian 201109, Knoppix 6.7.1

Posted in News Roundup at 5:45 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Rugged Linux field computer acts as mission-critical video server

    The MCP runs Linux on a 1.86GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor, with the help of 4GB of DDR3 RAM, says Harris. An optional H.264 video encoder is said to be available for video-intensive applications, supporting video capture, storage, and real-time playback capabilities. A removable 160GB, SATA 2 solid state drive (SSD) “provides ample storage for long duration video recording,” says the company.

  • More Linux Site Hacks, ReactOS Ready to Go, Obama Signs ‘America Invents Act’
  • Happy 20th Birthday, Linux: 10 Cool Devices That Embrace You

    The Linux operating system is not just for nerds. Even though you may not realize it, chances are you probably have a version of Linux running right under your nose. It’s found its way into a multitude of devices, both large and small.

    Today, Sept. 17, 2011, is the 20th anniversary of the date when the first Linux kernel (version 0.01) was released and uploaded to an FTP server by Linus Torvalds in Helsinki. Although Torvalds had been working on the code since April, 1991 (recognized by some as the birthday of Linux), it wasn’t until September of that year that he released the first Linux kernel to the world. That early iteration consisted of a mere 10,239 lines of code.

  • Desktop

    • Why Ultrabooks Should Run Ubuntu 11.10

      When Steve Jobs unveiled the slim but powerful Macbook Air, it was as if a magician had pulled a flailing rabbit out of a hat. Everyone was amazed at how laptop technology had moved forward, and instantly the latest Macbook Air became a massive success.

      The Macbook Air might be an awesome product, but there are currently no alternatives for folks who don’t want to get converted to the Apple religion. But don’t get disappointed just yet; come Q4 2011, Intel will be bringing us the new revolution in computing called Ultrabooks.

      Touted as the direct competitor to Macbook Air, Intel’s ambitious project will leave no stone unturned to prove itself in the not-so-dead laptop market. While it is not confirmed as to which operating system manufacturers will be using, there is a high chance that Windows 7 will be the one.

      However, we here at TechSource believe that running Ubuntu 11.10 (or higher) on Ultrabooks might actually be more profitable.

    • LinuxCon: The world’s largest Linux desktop deployment

      Userful deploys Linux in very large-scale “digital inclusion” projects — such as schools in second- and third-world environments — including the world’s largest, a 500,000 seat deployment in Brazil.

  • Server

    • The Little Woman Now Uses a GNU/Linux Terminal Server

      Her former terminal has an aluminium case that sings and must be positioned and burdened just so to minimize the noise. In the hot days of this summer it also put out too much heat so it is banished to the basement in a dark closet. In its place she will be using a tiny thin client about the size of a box of chocolates.

    • Will Ubuntu make to Mainframes?

      A recent development between IBM and Canonical, predicts that soon IBM’s p mini-computers and blades; System Z mainframes will be certified for use with Ubuntu. It is most likely that minicomputers should be running on Ubuntu in the next month or so, while mainframes could well receive full support by end of the month.

  • Audiocasts/Shows

  • Kernel Space

    • Testing EXT4 & Btrfs On A Serial ATA 3.0 SSD

      Last month I wrote a review on the OCZ Vertex 3 240GB solid-state drive, which was a very impressive Serial ATA 3.0 SSD. The performance of this solid-state drive was terrific and a huge improvement over previous-generation SATA 2.0 SSDs and over SATA 3.0 hard drives. All of that testing was done when the drives were formatted to the common EXT4 file-system type, but in this article are more benchmarks from the OCZ Vertex 3 as it’s tested with Btrfs and various mount options.

    • Understanding the File System and Structure in Linux

      The file system in Linux can be intimidating coming from other operating systems like Microsoft Windows. At first glance it may seem that there is no organisation to the files, but there is a method to this madness. After spending some more time with the file system in Linux, it will seem a lot more secure and organised.

    • TI Proposes A Low-Level Linux Display Framework

      An OMAP driver developer at Texas Instruments wrote a rather lengthy post about a new low-level display framework.

    • Graphics Stack

      • The Proposal For Nouveau GPU Command Scheduling
      • This Is What Started AMD’s Open-Source Strategy

        While AMD’s open-source strategy was announced on Phoronix on 7 September 2007, it was on 17 September of the same year that the Novell/SUSE developers did their first public release of their xf86-video-radeonhd driver. This was the X.Org driver created by the Novell Linux engineers in months prior for R500 and R600 GPUs. Here is some special reading — a letter that was volleyed from Novell to AMD that kicked off this entire process — to celebrate what would have been the fourth birthday of this open-source Linux driver.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • Are Mobile-Style Interfaces Leaving Desktop Power Users Behind?

      Both Unity and Metro borrow heavily from the mobile world, and for that reason seem likely to appeal to an increasingly mobile-minded world of consumers. As I’ve said before about Unity, this is a good way to attract mainstream users, particularly when you’re trying to help them get used to something new.

    • A Native Enlightenment EFL Port To PlayStation 3

      From the announcement, “This port comes as great news for the ps3 homebrew community which has been strugling with a complete lack of tools for easily developing application. With PSL1GHT (The unofficial PS3 SDK) and a port of the SDL as pretty much the only available libraries for the PS3, not much could be done without a huge waste of time in order to reimplement all the basic things. The initial port of the EFL was done in just a couple of days, where eina, eet, evas, ecore, embryo and edje were made available and a port of expedite and eskiss were successfully running on the PS3.The port was made using the SDL engine for evas, and while it worked, the performance wasn’t great.”

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • Nepomuk – What Comes Next

        After a very generous start to my fundraiser (thank you so much for your support) it is time I get into more detail about what you are actually supporting. Originally I wanted to do that by updating nepomuk.kde.org. I will still do that but it will take a little more time than anticipated. Thus, I will simply start with another blog post.

      • KDE e.V. Report for Second Quarter 2011
      • KDE Commit-Digest for 11th September 2011
      • Kubuntu and KDE love story continued

        Over the last couple of weeks the better part of the Kubuntu team has been working on bringing KDE SC 4.7.1 to Kubuntu.

        Especially the last week we started to backport it to Kubuntu 11.04. We’ll need some more time since 4.7.1 need a lot being backported to natty.

    • GNOME Desktop

      • Top 10 GNOME Shell Themes

        GNOME Shell is at the very beginning of its long treacherous journey. As we saw in our earlier post, it is now possible to easily install GNOME Shell in Ubuntu 11.10 Oneric Ocelot, whose final release is scheduled to happen next month itself. Meanwhile, I have been using GNOME Shell in Ubuntu Oneric beta for sometime now and one thing I am really unhappy about is its default theme. But third party GNOME Shell themes are already pouring in. Here is a collection of top 10 GNOME Shell themes(installation instructions towards bottom of this post).

      • Ten Gnome 3 features that won me over

        I like uncluttered desktops, and Gnome 3 offers about as clean a desktop as you’ll find without running E16. The only object on the desktop is the panel — until you reveal the launcher. But Gnome 3′s minimalist approach does not make it difficult to use. On the contrary, once you’re familiar with it, Gnome 3 is one of the most user-friendly desktops available.

  • Distributions

    • Arch linux: my perspective

      Arch is really simple in the sense at the system level. I was able to create init scripts for Arch far more easily than on Gentoo for the same package. Arch however is not as configurable as Gentoo is. No distribution can match or even come close to Gentoo in this regard. It uses a unique system for this called USE flags. With Arch I can not have a custom KDE; but with Gentoo I have a large number of options as to what I want to have and what not. This flexibility of configuration in Gentoo comes at a price: every package is compiled on your system.

    • Chakra GNU/Linux: A Review With Screenshots

      According to Distrowatch, Chakra GNU/Linux is a Live CD distribution aimed at ease of use and originally forked from Arch Linux. Some of its features include a graphical installer, automatic hardware detection and configuration, the latest KDE desktop, and a variety of tools and “extras”.

    • Gentoo Family

      • The state of Gentoo

        It’s been three years since LWN last covered Gentoo Linux, so checking in on Gentoo’s activities since then seems appropriate. Let’s start with a re-introduction to Gentoo. Gentoo is a source-based distribution that is unlike the more common binary distributions because packages are compiled on your machines rather than remotely on the distribution’s infrastructure. Source-based distributions allow for far more customization than is possible with binary distributions because you can not only control which packages are installed, but also which features of a given package are enabled (and consequently how many dependencies get pulled in).

    • Red Hat Family

    • Debian Family

      • Francois Marier, Debian Developer
      • Linux Mint Debian Edition 201109 Is Ready to Roll

        Good day, everybody! What better way to start my morning other than announcing a new release of Linux Mint Debian! Last time I tried it, there was only a GNOME version available, but now Xfce is here to party as well.

      • Derivatives

        • The Tails Project’s The Amnesic Incognito Live System (Tails)

          The live distro, which runs on any PC powerful enough to run Windows XP, is based on Debian Live and runs directly from CD and/or USB Flash memory. No trace is left after using Tails, thanks to many features, such as independent operation of all software and all hardware drivers from the PC’s operating system, no permanent data storage and all the channeling of all Internet connections through the Tor anonymization network. “With Tails”, say the distro developers, “we provide a tongue and a pen protected by state-of-the-art cryptography to guarantee…basic human rights and allow journalists worldwide to work and communicate freely and without fear of reprisal.” The journalists of these pages humbly salute the valiant effort.

        • Linux Mint Debian 201109 Released

          Linux Mint can be a bit difficult to keep up with these days. One is based on Ubuntu, another on Debian. The newest Debian-based version comes with GNOME or Xfce while the Ubuntu-based counterpart is available in GNOME or LXDE. 32- and 64-bit versions are available for both. Today brought a new release: Linux Mint 201109 Debian (GNOME & Xfce).

        • Knoppix 6.7.1 with Firefox 6.0.2, LibreOffice 3.4.3 and Linux 3.0.4 Kernel Is Here

          Knoppix 6.7.1 has been released. The latest version of the popular live CD/DVD Linux distro that started it all, comes with a lot of bleeding-edge software, along with all of the things you’ve grown accustomed to.

          The latest release comes with updated packages from its Debian upstream, picked from the testing and unstable repositories. It brings the latest Linux kernel, modern browser options and the latest LibreOffice 3.4.3.

        • KNOPPIX 6.7 and ADRIANE Audio Desktop Review

          Once upon a time the daddy of this distribution, Klaus Knopper, started a trend with his pioneering Knoppix live CD as rescue and repair tool. It was known for incorporating extensive hardware detection that required minimal to no configuration at boot to arrive at a fully working desktop.
          Nowadays nearly every Linux based project also has a live CD or hybrid live and install image to offer, and Knoppix has been out of the limelight for a while. It’s still around though and has some unique points to offer, as I’m about to find out in this review of Knoppix 6.7, which was recently released to the world on 3rd August 2011 with the 2.6.39.3 kernel.

          As a heavily KDE leaning distribution Knoppix was also one of the first to ship with KDE 4 when it debuted, where it allowed for an early view of things to come. The DVD came with a variety of desktops including GNOME, Fluxbox and IceWM which could be enabled through entering cheat codes at the boot prompt. These days, ever since 6.0 was released, LXDE has become the default on the CD, with more environments and window managers available on the DVD.
          Besides, Klaus Knopper also issues special versions to coincide with the annual CeBIT and LinuxTag expos and conventions, so there are usually three releases a year to keep the system up to date with the ever changing requirements of hardware detection.

        • The Perfect Desktop – Mepis 11

          This tutorial shows how you can set up a Mepis 11 desktop that is a full-fledged replacement for a Windows desktop, i.e. that has all the software that people need to do the things they do on their Windows desktops. The advantages are clear: you get a secure system without DRM restrictions that works even on old hardware, and the best thing is: all software comes free of charge. Mepis is a Linux distribution based on Debian Stable.

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • New Games, Books and Magazines in Ubuntu Software Center

            Canonical announced that lots of new games, books and magazines will be available in the Ubuntu Software Center
            for all Ubuntu users.

            While Canonical is preparing the final version of the upcoming Ubuntu 11.10 (Oneiric Ocelot) operating system, many developers submit their interesting apps in the Ubuntu Software Center.

          • Ubuntu Tweak 0.6 Beta Released with Revamped User Interface

            Ubuntu Tweak 0.6 beta has been released with new user interface and all new plugin system.

            The entire interface is divided into four categories – Overview, Tweaks, Admins and Janitor. Plugins can be installed for all of these categories, though in this release they are available for Overview category only.

          • Flavours and Variants

            • PinguyOS 11.04 Review

              PinguyOS is the distribution made for everyone, the out-of-the-box functionality of PinguyOS makes this distribution a perfect choice for Linux newcomers. The massive list of hand-selected applications ensures that users get the best possible experience no matter what they plan to do. Though if you prefer a minimalistic interface, or if you are picky about your applications, PinguyOS may not be the right choice for you. The polished interface is highly functional and easy to navigate. And I feel that the Conky system monitor is a tool that is missing on most distributions. So if you want a full featured distribution that holds nothing back try PinguyOS 11.04 today.

            • Trisquel 5.0 Release announcement

              In what we can now call it a tradition, we celebrate the Software Freedom Day by publishing our latest release: Trisquel GNU/Linux 5.0 STS, codename Dagda.

              Today we publish both the standard GNOME based, and the lightweight, LXDE based Trisquel Mini editions. Current Trisquel 4.5 users can upgrade using the update-manager application, without the need for reinstallation. Advanced installations -server, RAID/LVM, encrypted, etc- can be done using the netinstall images. Two more editions, one based on KDE and other using the educational environment Sugar are on the way.

            • Joli OS 1.2 review

              1.1, and now 1.2 are based on the perennial Ubuntu 10.04 LTS edition

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Phones

      • Android

        • Jellybean to Follow Ice Cream Sandwich

          As each alphabet progresses, it comes with a delectable treat to water your mouth. I don’t know if tasty names are the reason why Android is getting popular, but they certainly make it more interesting.

    • Sub-notebooks/Tablets

Free Software/Open Source

  • Openindiana- The revolution continue | Screenshots Tour

    OpenIndiana is a continuation of the OpenSolaris operating system. It was conceived during the period of uncertainty following the Oracle takeover of Sun Microsystems, after several months passed with no binary updates made available to the public. The formation proved timely, as Oracle discontinued OpenSolaris soon after in favour of Solaris 11 Express, a binary distribution with a more closed development model to début later this year. OpenIndiana is part of the Illumos Foundation, and provides a true open-source community alternative to Solaris 11 and Solaris 11 Express, with an open development model and full community participation.

  • Open source tool enables security tests for chip cards

    At this year’s Black Hat Conference, crypto expert Karsten Nohl of SRLabs demonstrated the degate tool that can be used to take a closer look at applications stored on smartcards, such as credit cards and SIM cards.

  • New Award: Community Member of the Month!
  • Seven Ways to Celebrate Software Freedom Day

    Today is Software Freedom Day, and that means fans of free and open source software around the globe are celebrating all the ways it improves our lives.

  • Web Browsers

    • Chrome

      • Google Releases Chrome 14 Stable for Linux

        The Google Chrome developers at Google proudly announced a few minutes ago, September 16th, the stable release and immediate availability for download of the Google Chrome 14 web browser for Linux, Windows, Macintosh and Chrome Frame platforms.

    • Mozilla

      • Password Protect Firefox Bookmarks

        Firefox bookmarks are accessible for all users of a computer system if one user account is used instead of individual user accounts. This can be a issue if you want to protect data from being seen or accessed by other users. But even if there are multiple user accounts, chance is that some may have access to your Firefox profile folder. A system administrator for instance would have that access.

  • Databases

    • Oracle Further Commercializes MySQL Database

      Oracle has added additional commercial extensions to the enterprise edition of its open-source MySQL database, further differentiating it from the community version available to anyone at no charge.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Open Source Drug Discovery for Malaria

      We’re starting a new project – open source drug discovery for malaria. Initially the participants are my group at the University of Sydney and the Medicines for Malaria Venture (MMV), but naturally as an open project we need to expand beyond this. If you’re reading this, you can join us. Check here for what’s needed at the moment.

  • Programming

    • A Look at the Future of Perl 5.16 and Beyond

      Despite many assertions that “Perl is dead,” it’s very much alive – particularly Perl 5, which is and will be in widespread use for quite some time. It may not be getting as much attention as JavaScript, PHP, Ruby, Python, and whatever the language du jour is that Google wants to put out – but it’s not going anywhere.

Leftovers

  • A Beginners’ Guide to Internet Trolling

    Nowadays, the phenomenon of trolling other people online is considered a bad thing. But it has not always been so. Trolling was a noble cause once, perpetrated by Usenet veterans, who would pull simple and innocent general ignorance type of jokes on unsuspecting newbies. There was much rejoicing and a handful of tears, but in the end, people learned through whimsical, violent allegories.

  • Finance

    • Rudolf Elmer – the man who exposed the dark side of global finance

      Blowing the whistle on government or corporate malpractice takes great courage and involves a high sense of civic duty, as whistleblowers often put their lives on the line in order to inform society on behaviour that is against its citizens’ interest as well as the basic principles of democracy and human rights. Because of the possible consequences of such an act, it is important to have the feed-back of prominent whistleblowers who share their experience, thoughts and advice with potential whistleblowers and society as a whole, as anyone can find themselves in the uncomfortable seat of government or corporate crime witness from inside. Also, because they are often the victims of smear campaigns, at Liberté-info we like to give whistleblowers the opportunity to be heard without the bias and censorship that can surround economically motivated media outfits. Plus this is #OccupyWallStreet day, a good occasion to talk about global financial crime.

  • Civil Rights

    • Tesco threatens journalist with arrest for writing down prices

      A Guardian journalist who was researching prices at a Tesco supermarket was threatened with arrest for writing down prices as he walked around. The security guard who questioned him claimed that it was illegal to write down prices at Tesco’s. The manager later allowed as how it wasn’t illegal, merely against store policy.

  • DRM

    • FSF speaks against patent and DRM provisions at Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiators’ meeting

      The Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP) is a free trade agreement currently under negotiation that could require member countries to enact strict copyright and patent legislation that hurts free software users and developers. Our license compliance engineer Brett Smith talked about the FSF’s opposition to these terms with negotiators last weekend; in this blog post, he shares his perspective on the event.

USPTO’s Violation of the First Amendment, Competition Laws, and Spirit of Creation

Posted in America, Intellectual Monopoly, Patents at 4:04 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Job cremation

USPTO building

Summary: The USPTO (shown above) comes under more fire as a so-called ‘reform’ fails to make it harmonious with science, technology, and human rights

THE USPTO IS happily granting software patents/monopolies and processing some patent-pending ones on green energy, demonstrating that it is still dissociated from the betterment of society and instead dedicated to protectionism.

The First Amendment is said to be violated by some particular types of patents, according to TechDirt which argues:

Do Patents On Medical Diagnostics Violate The First Amendment?

We’ve been following the extremely worrisome Prometheus Laboratories v. Mayo Collaborative Services case for a while now. This is the case in which Prometheus patented some basic medical diagnostics tests, and then sued the Mayo Clinic for daring to do similar diagnostics without paying up. Tragically, CAFC, the court of appeals for the Federal Circuit, has ruled that it’s just fine and dandy to patent a diagnostic test. The Supreme Court agreed to hear the appeal on this in the upcoming term, and folks at the Cato Institute have filed a very interesting amicus brief, arguing that such a diagnostic test should not be patentable on two key points. I don’t know that it’ll convince the court, but they try out the argument that doing so would actually be a First Amendment violation, and even cite the famous Eldred case to make their argument (emphasis mine in the quote here):

As we explained yesterday, antitrust concerns too help shed doubt on the legitimacy of the patent system. Google may have bought some more patents from IBM (mentioned in the context of software patents in [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7]), but deterrence does not work when Microsoft uses patent trolls to wage anti-competitive legal wars. This whole systems looks more and more like s sham. Even NPR did a show about it about 3 days ago. To quote a part of it:

BLOCK: What is the broader goal in terms of job creation here?

SYDELL: Well, this is what they say. What they say is if we speed things up and we get that backlog cleared up, then there are all these startups that are just waiting to move to the next phase of financing and get their products to market. And they’ll be able to do that and they’ll hire people in the process. So that’s what they’re saying.

BLOCK: And what about those businesses, Laura, or inventors, entrepreneurs – do they think that the law will, in fact, encourage hiring, make them hire more people?

SYDELL: No, I’m not hearing that largely at all. I’m hearing a lot of skepticism about the bill. I think one of the problems that entrepreneurs and startups face is that there are a lot of bad patents that are out there, particularly in the realm of software and business method. And the bill doesn’t really do anything to address that.

So one of the problems that you have is you have a lot of these, they call them patent trolls. They’re companies that buy up patents, particularly broad patents. They buy them up and they go out and they sue startups and they demand licensing fees. And this has put a lot of startups out of business. And this bill doesn’t really do anything to address that problem.

The Patent Office has granted, for example, in 2000, they granted a patent for a method of making toast. Really, seriously.

BLOCK: Laura, what other solutions would there be to this problem of bad patents that you’re talking about that wouldn’t involve Congress?

SYDELL: The courts could step in. And, in fact, it is the courts who initially pushed to have, for example, software patents and business method patents granted. So they could pull back and there is some evidence they are. But I think it could be a long time before they address it directly. And people are concerned about that.

I think a lot of people wish Congress would revisit this soon. And they’re worried that because they just granted and created this new act it’ll be a long time before Congress steps in again, which really would be the fastest and most efficient way to address the problem.

BLOCK: NPR’s Laura Sydell. We were talking about the new U.S. patent bill that was signed into law by President Obama today.

There are more news articles about it, e.g. [1, 2], but only few mention software patents. The government which signed this ridiculous bill ignores the real issues, spews out a load of nonsense which contradicts research, and one GNU/Linux advocate had this to say on Saturday:

Patent "reform"? Not really.
From: Homer 
Date: Saturday 17 Sep 2011 14:38:53
Groups: comp.os.linux.advocacy


Apparently "patent reform" happened already, and nobody noticed. But what exactly happened, and what effect will it have on patent trolls like Myhrvold, Apple, Microsoft and Oracle, perhaps the biggest threats to Linux, Free Software and innovation in general? [quote] Late last night the Senate voted 89-9 to pass the America Invents Act that would radically reshape patent laws, and President Obama is expected to sign it without delay. It's the first such significant bill in 60 years, and it has one key component: It moves the onus from merely "inventing" a patentable idea first to becoming the person who actually files for an innovation first. ... But "first to invent" has some big pitfalls, including the ability of an inventor to totally gut the hopes of someone else with a similar or identical idea, and who then files for a patent--because the original inventor, without necessarily having to make any move toward realizing the innovation, can claim they invented it. A complex legal battle may then ensue, and perhaps the second filer may choose to settle privately, license the idea, or fight the situation in an expensive court case. This trolling completely destroys the idea that a successful new thing is built on 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration--a troll, perhaps even a rich troll who's made money from previous innovations they've dreamed up (or, more materialistically, bought from someone), can simply keep the legal upper hand by saying they're the real innovator without actually building anything. [/quote] http://www.fastcompany.com/1779071/first-to-file-a-patently-obvious-reform Sorry (and excuse the pun) but this is patently wrong. Invention is invention, not manufacturing; it's the idea (strictly - the method) not the implementation. If you're not the first to have a particular idea, then you're not its inventor. Period. This "reform" simply transforms "invention" into a brawl, where being the first to find or create something doesn't necessarily secure ownership - you can be mugged for it by someone more powerful. Is this really all the "America Invents Act" has to offer? Is this the best "reform" congress could come up with? Pathetic. /Real reform/ would have been a re-examination and redefinition of what exactly is patentable, a more rigorous patent examination process (or, let's be honest, /any/ patent examination process), and stricter (or again - /any/) remedies against those who persistently file trivial claims. /Real reform/ would have made patents non-transferable, thus completely solving the problem of patent harvesting by non-practising entities. /Real reform/ would have made it impossible to patent something as trivial and non-inventive as a "rounded rectangle" or a "record button". But no, that's not what the "America Invents Act" has done at all. All it's done is make innovation impossible for anyone who lacks the financial means to bribe the USPTO, and allows the wealthy to steal others' ideas. The US patent system was already an abomination, but now, incredibly, it's actually an order of magnitude /worse/. Apart from anything else, it seems to completely undermine the premise of "prior art", since apparently the only thing that counts now is being the "first to file", regardless of who actually came up with, or even implemented, the idea first. Consider the case of IP Innovation LLC and the Technology Licensing Company (ex-Microsoft employees, and likely just two of Myhrvold's many shell companies) vs.  Red Hat & Novell, where the litigants claimed they'd "invented" multiple workspaces. Of course, their definition of "invented" was "harvested patents from Xerox". Unfortunately for the patent trolls, those patents were granted in 1991, some 6 years /after/ multiple workspaces ("screens") had already been implemented on the Amiga, and so they lost the case. Indeed Commodore implemented the concept as a commercial product in 1985, a full year before it was even first implemented internally by Xerox PARC, and the Amiga implementation was based on ideas devised by Jay Miner (of the original "Amiga Corporation") as far back as 1982, some two years before it was even first imagined at Xerox PARC. But that prior art would apparently mean nothing in the new patent regime, since neither Jay Miner nor Commodore thought to patent the concept of multiple workspaces, despite clearly being the inventors and first implementers of the concept. Xerox PARC was the "first to file", and that's all that matters in a gun-slinger economy. Anyone with enough money can now file patents against other people's prior art, use them as weapons to extort money, from anyone - including the /actual/ inventors, then pass those weapons on to other gun-slingers to do likewise. Meanwhile those same gun-slingers remain free to claim "invention" of every trivial speck of dust in the world, completely unchallenged until they turn up in the "great" troll-friendly State of Texas, and either win on the basis of the corrupt court's pro-patent bias, or bleed their victims dry in the process. So much for "patent reform".

It’s all about inflating the elevating the amount of patents (under the assumption that patents have real value, as legal types wish us to believe), but if the assumption is that this bill will give more jobs to patent lawyers, maybe they have a point. Just creating more and more monopolies is like overprinting money, which devalues the currency but works well for the mint. Watch McKool Smith in the news last week, pulling $391,000,000 from an actual practicing company based on this press release:

Attorneys from McKool Smith have secured a $391 million court judgment in favor of firm client Versata Software Inc., a pioneer in front-office enterprise software, following a successful patent infringement lawsuit against global software giant SAP America Inc. and its German-based parent company SAP AG (NYSE: SAP).

That is some really expensive “patent infringement”. Notice that SAP America Inc. is the target. The USPTO really needs to get its act together or go away.

Cablegate: Microsoft’s Craig Mundie Lobbies for Intellectual Monopolies in China

Posted in Asia, Cablegate, Intellectual Monopoly, Microsoft at 3:31 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Cablegate

Summary: A look at cables where Microsoft’s Craig Mundie (one of the very top chiefs) is mentioned as involved

According to the following Cablegate cable, “Microsoft Chief Research and Strategy Officer Craig Mundie to Peking University Guanghua School of Management Dean Zhang Weiying emphasized China’s need to create an environment that would allow innovators to be financially rewarded for the risks they took to innovate. They cited the need for real intellectual property rights…”

In other public talks, Mundie was bashing the GPL. It matters because Mundie is influential [1, 2] and he speaks to influential people (he is also among those attending Bilderberg meetings). The following two cables help us see where he’s making these engagements (see ¶7 in the first cable and 1045-1145 for the middle eastern programme in the second cable).


VZCZCXRO8717
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RUEHGH/AMCONSUL SHANGHAI 5610

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 04 SHANGHAI 007085 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SENSITIVE 
SIPDIS 
 
USDOC FOR 4420/ITA/MAC/CEA/MCQUEEN 
USDOC ALSO PASS TO NIST AND BEA 
STATE PASS USTR 
USTR FOR STRATFORD/WINTER/MCCARTIN/ALTBACH/READE 
TREASURY FOR OFFICE OF INTERNATIONAL INVESTMENT 
TREASURY FOR OASIA/ISA -- DOHNER, HAARSAGER AND CUSHMAN 
GENEVA PASS USTR 
PARIS PASS TO USOECD 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: ECON [Economic Conditions], EFIN [Financial and Monetary Affairs], EINV [Foreign Investments], 
ETRD [Foreign Trade], PGOV [Internal Governmental Affairs], 
PREL [External Political Relations], CH [China (Mainland)],
WTO [World Tourism Organization] 
SUBJECT: INNOVATION REQUIRED FOR CHINA'S ECONOMIC GROWTH 
 
REF: BEIJING 23856 
 
¶1. (SBU) Summary: The National Bureau of Statistics and the 
U.S.-based Conference Board hosted a national forum on 
Innovation and China Economic Growth October 20- 22 in Suzhou, 
Jiangsu Province.  During the conference, PRC officials from the 
Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), 
National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), People's Bank of China 
(PBOC) and the Shanghai Stock Exchange, as well as 
representatives of foreign multinational corporations, discussed 
"self-innovation" and identified systemic changes necessary to 
foster innovation in China.  The systemic changes included: 
increased IPR protection, financial sector liberalization, 
openness to the world, and creation of a society in which 
failure was acceptable.  End summary. 
 
--------------------------- 
 
CHINA:  Big, but not Strong 
 
--------------------------- 
 
¶2. (U) CPPCC Vice Chairwoman Zhang Meiying stressed in her 
keynote address the importance that China's leadership has 
placed on innovation.  Zhang said that while China's total GDP 
made it the fourth largest economy in the world, on a per capita 
basis, China ranked only 110th in the world.  This showed that 
China was a big country, but not a strong country.  According to 
Zhang, under President Hu Jintao's leadership, China has decided 
that the way to create strength from size is through self 
innovation. 
 
¶3. (U) Zhang said that rapid growth over the past twenty years 
had placed strains on national resources that would lead to 
decreased economic development.  China needed to rely on 
innovation to create a foundation for sustainable growth.  China 
had a low proportion of clean, high-technology industries. 
China's leadership realized that the environment was not a free 
commodity and that environmental damage would devour many of 
China's economic gains.  While China manufactured low-technology 
items, it was dependent on other countries for its 
high-technology needs.  Additionally, China's consumption of 
energy and raw materials per unit of production far exceeded 
that of developed world and was not sustainable, she said.  If 
China did not develop its own human resources, China would 
continue to be only the manufacturing base for the rest of the 
world. 
 
¶4. (U) According to Zhang, in major industries, such as the 
petroleum and electronics industries, China was dependent on 
imported technology for 75-80 percent of its needs.  She said 
that China needed to learn to innovate to create its own core 
technologies.  She said that China needed to "digest 
technologies from other countries" before it could "re-innovate 
these technologies for other purposes."  China needed to 
generously fund its own scientists to insure its "leap-frog in 
development."  She also criticized the "longstanding planned 
economy mindset" in China that meant that companies were too 
passive -- not taking on risks or investing in the future.  As a 
result, she said, these companies were not positioned for 
success, and China lagged behind.  Zhang's speech was widely 
quoted and referred to by other government speakers during the 
course of the weekend conference. 
 
SHANGHAI 00007085  002 OF 004 
 
 
 
------------------- 
 
What is Innovation? 
 
------------------- 
 
¶5. (SBU) When asked how the Chinese government defined 
"self-innovation," National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) China 
National Research Association Secretary General Zhang Zhongliang 
said: "China is a big country, but it has no power.  China needs 
to import 90 percent of its technology.  China needs to develop 
its own name-brands and self-proprietary technology so that it 
can build a strong economy.  To be a strong country, China needs 
to develop its own innovative abilities." 
 
¶6. (U) In his talk, Development Research Center of the State 
Council (DRC) Deputy Director Liu Shijin outlined what was meant 
by self-innovation.  He said that the three kinds of innovation 
are prime innovation, re-innovation, and the integration of 
innovation from abroad into China.  Liu said that foreign 
companies with investments or joint ventures in China had 
expressed their concern with China's emphasis on self-innovation 
and begun to limit their investment in innovative areas.  He 
tried to put them at ease by explaining that any innovation done 
in China by foreign companies located here was actually "Chinese 
self-innovation" because ultimately these companies would 
contribute to the building of China and its capabilities. 
Ministry of Commerce Vice Minister Shang Ming was more explicit 
when he said, "Self-innovation does not rule out the importation 
of innovative technologies from abroad." 
 
--------------------------------------------- ---------- 
 
Requirements for Innovation - IPR and Financial Reforms 
 
--------------------------------------------- ---------- 
 
¶7. (U) Multiple speakers from Microsoft Chief Research and 
Strategy Officer Craig Mundie to Peking University Guanghua 
School of Management Dean Zhang Weiying emphasized China's need 
to create an environment that would allow innovators to be 
financially rewarded for the risks they took to innovate.  They 
cited the need for real intellectual property rights to protect 
innovation and a competitive financial sector that fostered 
"innovations" such as venture capital and other mechanisms for 
the efficient distribution of financial resources. 
 
¶8. (U) People's Bank of China Vice Governor Su Ning said that 
due to increased global competition, China needed to tear down 
restrictions in the financial sector.  He said that Chinese 
banks needed to reform and innovate in order to increase their 
margins of profitability.  He also said that China needed to 
reform its regulatory framework to allow for financial products 
such as bonds, funds, options and other ways to diversify 
financial risk.  He stressed that China needed a unified credit 
database to enable efficient access to financing. 
 
¶9. (U) Shanghai Stock Exchange (SSE) President Zhu Congjiu noted 
that while there was 30 trillion RMB (about USD 3.8 trillion) 
worth of capital available in China, Chinese companies had a 
"weak capability to engage in venture capital."  He said this 
 
SHANGHAI 00007085  003 OF 004 
 
 
was why quality companies chose to go public abroad, rather than 
in China.  It also meant, he added, that 83 percent of all 
venture capital in China was from foreign sources.  According to 
Zhu, the SSE planned to make the reforms necessary to keep 
Chinese companies in China by creating an environment where they 
would have access to the capital they needed domestically.  In 
response to a question, Zhu admitted that for the financial 
sector, "innovation" actually meant reforming the Chinese system 
to be more like the international financial market standard. 
 
--------------------------------------------- --- 
 
Innovative Translation -- Some Words Left Unsaid 
 
--------------------------------------------- --- 
 
¶10. (SBU) The conference theme as translated in English was 
"Innovation and China Economic Growth."  In Chinese, however, 
the title was "Self-Innovation (Zizhu Chuangxin) and China 
Economic Growth."  Chinese government speakers all used the word 
"self-innovation," but the translators uniformly translated it 
as "innovation."  Conference speaker European Union Economics 
and Regional Officer Leila Fernandez-Stembridge noted to Econoff 
that this appeared to be an intentional "mistranslation."  Price 
Waterhouse Coopers Senior Advisor Kenneth DeWoskin, another 
conference speaker, speculated that a political decision had 
been made to de-emphasize the Chinese-centric focus on "self" in 
an attempt to soften the tone of the conference. 
 
--------------------------------------- 
 
When Innovation Means Using an Airbrush 
 
--------------------------------------- 
 
¶11. (SBU) DeWoskin noted to Econoff that the "palpable unspoken 
undercurrent" had been the sacking of NBS head Qiu Xiaohua eight 
days before the conference in connection with the Shanghai 
pension corruption scandal.  No mention of Qiu was made 
publicly, even when Xie was introduced as only having been on 
the job for a week.  An NBS employee who helped organize the 
conference materials told Econoff about the "huge amount of 
work" that he had to re-do in replacing Qiu Xiaohua's 
information and name with that of new leader Xie Fuzhen in all 
of the many professionally produced bound conference materials. 
An NBS press officer commented that his office had been given no 
notice of the sacking and been inundated with "questions we 
cannot answer." 
 
------------------------------------- 
 
Challenges Facing Innovation in China 
 
------------------------------------- 
 
¶12. (SBU) Sixteen non-governmental speakers at the conference, 
including Sun Microsystems Vice President Piper Cole, GE China 
Technology Center Managing Director Bijan Dorri, and The 
Conference Board Executive Vice President Gail Fosler, China 
were tasked with outlining how China could create and nurture an 
environment that led to innovative people and companies.  These 
speakers described several challenges that China faced to its 
 
SHANGHAI 00007085  004 OF 004 
 
 
drive for self-innovation, including: 
 
- China needed to stay open to the world.  Innovation would be 
greatly hampered in a closed system. 
 
- China needed to avoid "nationalizing" or "branding" its 
innovations in a way that would limit its global reach.  By 
creating a "China standard" different from global standards, 
China would shut itself out of competition. 
 
- China needed to protect intellectual property rights in order 
to protect those who had taken risk. 
 
- China needed to create the financial market conditions that 
would support venture capital in order to reward risk takers. 
 
- China needed to create a social milieu in which failure was 
acceptable.  If the price of failure was too high, no one would 
take any risks. 
 
- China needed to develop educational systems that continued to 
foster interest in math and science. 
 
¶13. (SBU) Chinese government speakers appeared receptive and 
largely agreed to the above list of prescriptions.  However, 
they tended to stress the importance of Chinese brands and 
standards being the mark of Chinese innovation.  As one speaker 
commented, "We hope that the day will come when the label does 
not read 'Made in China' but 'Created in China.'" 
 
¶14. (SBU) Comment:  Innovation -- or self-innovation -- has 
clearly been identified as the next necessary step in  China's 
economic development strategy.  While the mission is clear, 
China still faces enormous systemic economic, legal, educational 
and social barriers to create an innovation-friendly environment. 
JARRETT


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RUEHEG/AMEMBASSY CAIRO PRIORITY 0000
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UNCLAS STATE 012095 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: ECIN [Economic Integration and Cooperation], 
ECPS [Communications and Postal Systems], EINT [Economic and Commercial Internet], MARR [Military and Defense Arrangements], 
MCAP [Military Capabilities], PREL [External Political Relations], 
XF [Middle East] 
SUBJECT: GULF REGION COMMUNICATIONS CONFERENCE 2010 UPDATE 
 
REF: 09 STATE 122229 
 
¶1. This is an action request. See paragraph 6. 
 
¶2. SUMMARY. Reftel announced a by-invitation-only Gulf Region 
Communications Conference (GRCC) in Amman, Jordan, 21-23 
February 2010, co-hosted by United States Central Command 
(USCENTCOM) and the Jordanian Armed Forces (JAF). Reftel 
requested posts deliver a hold-the-date request to regional 
civilian and/or government attendees pending release of 
formal invitations. A separate notification was distributed 
to military attendees through military channels. On 4 
February 2010, USCENTCOM forwarded to posts, in care of the 
security assistance offices, hard copy and electronic 
versions of the formal GRCC invitations, along with RSVP 
registration information and conference agenda, for delivery 
to attendees.   Invitations are co-signed by Commander, 
USCENTCOM and by Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, JAF. 
This cable requests posts deliver invitations and an update 
notification to regional civilian and/or government attendees 
to further highlight the conference and encourage 
participation.  In order to ensure timely delivery of 
invitations, please deliver update notifications based on 
receipt of, and in conjunction with, the electronic 
invitations, and forward hard copy versions when they arrive. 
Draft update notification language is provided in paragraph 
¶6. END SUMMARY 
 
¶3. For reference, the following is the text for USCENTCOM's 
half of the formal joint invitation. 
 
Dear Mr. Communications Minister, 
 
On behalf of United States Central Command, I am pleased to 
invite you to attend the 2010 Gulf Region Communications 
Conference in Amman, Jordan during 21-23 February 2010. 
 
The conference follows last year's inaugural conference in 
Bahrain.  Again, our intent is to gather regional 
communications representatives to collaborate on topics of 
mutual interest in a Regional forum.  Ministers of 
communications, communications regulatory commissioners, and 
senior military communicators from each of eleven Gulf Region 
states are invited to participate.  Also, senior United 
States communications representatives from the federal, 
military, and private sectors are invited.  Regional private 
sector representatives will also be invited. 
 
Conference participants will be able to address regional 
communications capabilities and concerns and discuss 
opportunities to support regional stability and security 
efforts.  The enclosed conference agenda is provided for your 
information. 
 
We would be honored to have you join us.  Mr. John Simpson, 
the Central Command point of contact (813-827-3931, 
simpsoja@centcom.mil), will accept replies.  A detailed 
conference information packet will be sent separately. 
 
With warm regards, 
 
DAVID H. PETRAEUS 
General, U.S. Army 
Commander, 
United States Central Command 
 
¶4.  Also for reference, the following is the text for JAF's 
half of the formal joint invitation. 
 
Dear Honorable Minister, 
 
On behalf of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, I am pleased to 
invite you to attend the 2010 Gulf Region Communications 
Conference (GRCC) in Amman, Jordan during 21-23 February 2010. 
 
We believe last year's conference in Bahrain was a great 
success, and we are looking forward to hosting distinguished 
communicators within the Kingdom of Jordan. 
 
This next GRCC will enable us, as partners, to continue our 
examination and discussion of the Region's most significant 
communications concerns.  We are hopeful that this forum and 
its actions will lead to improved capabilities, stability, 
and security within the Gulf Nations and across the Region. 
 
Communications ministers and regulatory commissioners, and 
senior military communicators from each of eleven Gulf Region 
states are invited to participate. Also, senior United States 
communications representatives from the federal, military, 
and private sectors are invited.  Representatives of the Gulf 
Region's private sector will also be invited.  The enclosed 
conference agenda is provided for your information. 
 
We would be honored to have you join us in the Hashemite 
Kingdom of Jordan. 
 
With utmost respect, 
 
General 
Khaled J. Al-Sarayreh 
Chairman Of The Joint Chiefs Of Staff 
Jordan Armed Forces 
 
¶5.  The agenda's structure and content reflect extensive 
collaboration with JAF, including integration of 
JAF-recommended panel discussions. Each participating nation 
will be given one speaking part (seat) on each panel and one 
speaking part (five minute presentation) during closing 
remarks. All attendees will be invited to participate in 
roundtable discussions.  For reference, the GRCC Agenda 
follows: 
 
21-23 February 2010 
Grand Hyatt Hotel 
Amman, Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan 
 
Sunday, 21 February 
 
Arrival of conference participants and registration at Grand 
Hyatt Hotel, Amman, Jordan, Telephone: 962-6-456-1234 
 
1830-2000 
RECEPTION (Hotel Location TBD) - For ministers and 
distinguished visitors (DVs) 
HOST:  U.S. Central Command (USCENTCOM) 
ATTIRE/GENTLEMEN: Business/National Dress 
ATTIRE/LADIES: Business (dress, pants outfit)/National Dress 
 
Monday, 22 February 
 
ATTIRE/GENTLEMEN: Business/National Dress/Class A Uniform 
ATTIRE/LADIES: Business (dress, pants outfit)/National 
Dress/Class A Uniform 
 
0800-0850 
NO-HOST BREAKFAST 
 
0900-0905 
CONFERENCE WELCOME (Hotel Grand Ballroom) - Brigadier General 
Ghazi Salem Salman al-Jobor, Director of the Special 
Communications Commission, Jordan Ministry of Defense 
 
0905-0910 
TRANSLATION EQUIPMENT FAMILIARIZATION 
 
0910-0930 
CONFERENCE OPENING REMARKS - USCENTCOM and Kingdom of Jordan 
Representatives (TBD) 
 
0930-1000 
PRESENTATION 1 - His Excellency Marwan Juma, Jordan Minister 
of Information and Communications Technology 
TOPIC:  Sector Policy--Mobile Communications, Fixed Services, 
and Regional Connectivity 
 
1000-1030 
PRESENTATION 2 - Jordan Telecommunications Regulatory 
Commission 
TOPIC:  Regulation of Telecommunications 
 
1030-1045 
BREAK 
 
1045-1145 
PRESENTATION 3 - Mr. Craig Mundie, Chief Research and 
Strategy Officer, Microsoft Corporation, United States 
TOPIC:   Cloud Computing 
 
1145-1245 
PANEL DISCUSSION 1 - Industry/Government Representatives 
TOPIC:   Implementing Cloud Computing Solutions to 
Information Exchange Challenges 
 
1245-1345 
LUNCH (Hotel Restaurant TBD) - For ministers and DVs 
HOST:  Jordan Ministry of Information and Communications 
Technology 
 
1400-1415 
GROUP PHOTO SESSION (Hotel Location TBD) 
 
1415-1515 
ROUNDTABLE 1 - Roundtable Moderator, TBD 
TOPIC:  Policy and Regulation Perspective--Improving 
Telecommunications across the Region and across the 
Commercial, Government, and Military Sectors 
 
1515-1535 
PRESENTATION 4A - Brigadier General Ghazi Salem Salman 
al-Jobor, Jordan Ministry of Defense 
TOPIC:  Mobile Communications in Support of Relief Operations 
 
1535-1555 
PRESENTATION 4B - Brigadier General Mowafaq Assaf, Royal 
Jordanian Air Force 
TOPIC:  Fiber Infrastructure in Support of Government and 
Civilian Agencies 
 
1555-1655 
PANEL DISCUSSION 2 - Military Communicators 
TOPIC:  Mobile, Fixed, and Fiber Communications 
 
1655-1830 
FREE TIME 
 
1830-1900 
COCKTAILS (Hotel Location TBD) - For ministers and DVs 
HOST:  USCENTCOM 
ATTIRE/GENTLEMEN: Business/National Dress 
ATTIRE/LADIES: Business (dress, pants outfit)/National Dress 
 
1900-2100 
DINNER (Hotel Location TBD) - For ministers and DVs 
HOST:  Jordan Telecommunications Regulatory Commission 
ATTIRE/GENTLEMEN: Business/National Dress 
ATTIRE/LADIES: Business (dress, pants outfit)/National Dress 
 
Tuesday, 23 February 
 
ATTIRE/GENTLEMEN: Business/National Dress/Class A Uniform 
ATTIRE/LADIES: Business (dress, pants outfit)/National 
Dress/Class A Uniform 
 
0800-0850 
NO-HOST BREAKFAST 
 
0900-0915 
ADMINISTRATIVE REMARKS (Hotel Grand Ballroom) - Brigadier 
General Ghazi 
 
0915-0945 
PRESENTATION 5 - Lieutenant General Carroll F. Pollett, 
United States Army, Director, Defense Information Systems 
Agency 
TOPIC:  Synchronizing Commercial, Government, and Military 
Communications Priorities in the United States 
 
0945-1015 
PRESENTATION 6 - Mr Sami Smeirat, Chief Executive Officer, 
Orange Company, Jordan 
TOPIC:  Regional Reach 
 
1015-1030 
BREAK 
 
1030-1130 
ROUNDTABLE 2 - Roundtable Moderator 
TOPIC:  Synchronizing Wireless Challenges and Potential 
Solutions 
 
1130-1200 
PRESENTATION 7 - Mr. Nidal Qanadilo, Investment Manager, 
Jordan Ministry of Information and Communications Technology 
TOPIC:   Fiber Communications in Support of E-learning, 
E-government, and Rural Areas 
 
1200-1300 
LUNCH (Hotel Restaurant TBD) - For ministers and DVs 
HOST:  USCENTCOM 
 
1345-1415 
ROUNDTABLE 3 - Roundtable Moderator 
TOPIC:   Regional Fiber Backbone Solutions to Civilian, 
Government and Military Challenges 
 
1415-1445 
ROUNDTABLE 4 - Brigadier General Donahue, Roundtable Moderator 
TOPIC:  2010 Conference Action Items and 2011 Conference 
Theme and Topics 
 
1445-1500 
BREAK 
 
COUNTRY REMARKS 
1500-1510, Kingdom of Bahrain 
1510-1520, Arab Republic of Egypt 
1520-1530, Republic of Iraq 
1530-1540, State of Kuwait 
1540-1550, Republic of Lebanon 
1550-1600, Sultanate of Oman 
1600-1610, State of Qatar 
1610-1620, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia 
1620-1630, United Arab Emirates 
1630-1640, Republic of Yemen 
 
1640-1700 
CLOSING REMARKS - USCENTCOM and Jordan Representatives TBD 
 
1700 
CONFERENCE CONCLUDES 
 
¶6. Action Request: Washington agencies request posts ensure 
delivery of invitations and deliver the following update 
notification regarding GRCC 2010 to the appropriate regional 
civilian and/or government attendees by 8 February 2010. 
Please notify the USCENTCOM and State POCs in paragraph 7 on 
completion of action by 10 February 2010.  Email replies are 
acceptable. 
 
Dear (Embassies, please address invitations to appropriate 
individuals listed), 
 
ABU DHABI: 
-- His Excellency Muhammad bin Ahmad Alqamzi, Chairman 
Telecommunications Regulatory Authority 
-- His Excellency Mohamed Nassar Al Ghanim, Director General 
and Board Member Telecommunications Regulatory Authority 
 
BAGHDAD: 
-- His Excellency Farooq Abdulqadir Abdulrahman, Minister of 
Communications 
-- Barhan Shawi Al-Tamimi, DG, Communications & Media 
Commission 
-- His Excellency Mazin Hashim Al-Haboubi, CEO Deputy for 
Administrative Affairs 
 
BEIRUT: 
-- His Excellency Mr. Charbel Nahas, Minister of 
Telecommunications 
-- Dr. Kamal S. Shehadi, Chairman & Chief Executive Officer 
of Telecommunications Regulatory Agency 
 
CAIRO: 
-- His Excellency Dr. Tarek Kamel, Minister of Communications 
and Information Technology 
-- Dr. Amr Badawy, Executive President of National 
Telecommunications Regulatory Authority 
 
DOHA: 
-- His Excellency Dr. Hessa Al-Jaber, Secretary General 
Supreme Council of Information & Communications Technology 
-- Mister William Fagan, Director, Supreme Council of 
Information & Communications Technology 
 
KUWAIT: 
-- Dr. Mohammed Mohsen Al-Busairi, Minister of Communications 
 
MANAMA: 
-- Dr. Mohammed Al Amer, Chairman and Acting General 
Director, Telecommunications Regulatory Authority 
 
MUSCAT: 
-- His Excellency Dr. Khamis bin Mubarak al Alawi, Minister 
of Transportation and Communications 
-- His Excellency Mohammed Nasser Al-Khusaibi, Chairman, 
Telecommunications Regulatory Authority 
 
RIYADH: 
-- Mister Mohammed Jameel bin Ahmed Mulla, Minister of 
Communications and Information Technology 
-- Dr. Abdulrahman Al-Jafari, Governor Communications and 
Information Technology Commission 
 
SANAA: 
-- His Excellency Kamal Al-Jabri, Minister of 
Telecommunications & Information Technology 
 
United States Central Command and the Jordanian Armed Forces 
will co-host the by-invitation-only Gulf Region 
Communications Conference (GRCC) 2010 in Amman, Jordan on 
21-23 February 2010. Formal invitations have been distributed 
to you separately along with details regarding RSVPs and 
registration and the conference agenda. GRCC 2010 will 
continue GRCC 2009 multilateral engagement on regional 
telecommunications and information sharing capabilities and 
will foster cooperation among our respective entities in 
order to overcome challenges, to include crisis response 
and/or disaster relief missions. 
 
GRCC 2010 presentations and discussions support a theme of 
Synchronizing Commercial, Government and Military 
Communications Priorities. GRCC 2010 adds panel discussions 
to the GRCC 2009 conference format of presentations and 
roundtables. Each nation attending the conference will be 
given one seat for a national representative on each panel. 
As with GRCC 2009, roundtable discussions will be open to 
participation by all attendees. Each nation attending the 
conference will also be given five minutes for one national 
representative to present closing remarks. Please identify to 
the conference co-hosts as soon as possible those individuals 
who will represent (post, please insert here your nation) on 
each panel and present closing remarks. 
 
I encourage you to attend the conference. 
 
Sincerely, 
(DoS originator name) 
(DoS originator title) 
U.S. Department of State 
 
¶7. CENTCOM point of contact for the conference: 
 
Jim Ramirez DAFC 
U.S. Central Command 
Deputy, Strategic C4 Architecture Programs and Policy 
Division 
* (813) 827-5816 DSN 651-5816 
* ramirejs@centcom.mil 
* ramirejs@centcom.smil.mil 
 
State Department points of contact for the conference: 
 
COL Dave Huggins 
Senior Military Advisor, Near Eastern Affairs Bureau 
* (202) 647-3945 
* HugginsWD@state.sgov.gov 
 
Steve Simpson 
Communications and Information Policy / Middle East 
Energy, Economic, and Business Affairs 
* (202) 647-5306 
* SimpsonSC@state.gov 
* SimpsonSC@state.sgov.gov 
CLINTON
 

Yes, that latter cable is signed by Clinton. Interestingly enough, Mundie is doing politics.

IRC Proceedings: September 18th, 2011

Posted in IRC Logs at 3:13 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

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