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01.24.12

Links 24/1/2012: Extremadura’s 40,000 Free Software Desktops, ACTA in the European Parliament

Posted in News Roundup at 6:23 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • TLWIR 31: Using Linux and Free Software to Bring Back American Innovation
  • Desktop

    • Extremadura to move all of its 40,000 desktops to open source

      The administration of Spain’s autonomous region of Extremadura is moving to a complete open source desktop, confirms the region’s CIO, Teodomiro Cayetano López. The IT department started a project to install the Debian distribution on all 40,000 desktop PCs. “The project is really advanced and we hope to start the deployment the next spring, finishing it in December.”

    • Extremadura CIO plans Linux rollout on 40,000 desktops

      The CIO of Spanish autonomous region Extremadura says it is planning to move the administration’s 40,000 desktop systems to a Debian distribution. According to a report on the European Commission’s “Joinup”, CIO Teodomiro Cayetano López says that the project is “really advanced” and deployment will begin in the spring and be completed around the end of the year.

    • Windows 8 Secure Boot – or How Microsoft Is Riling Up the Linux Masses

      It was just the other day that Linux bloggers were celebrating the news from researcher Net Applications that desktop Linux had surged in popularity in recent months.

      Now, the mood in the blogosphere has plummeted once again as a result of the latest developments on the Windows 8 front. Secure Boot, that is — a topic astute readers may remember from last fall but that lately seems to have taken a turn for the worse.

      Exhibit A: “Microsoft confirms UEFI fears, locks down ARM (Nasdaq: ARMHY) devices,” as the the Software Freedom Law Center (SFLC) recently summed it up.

    • Linux Takes Off on Wikimedia

      A significant portion of PCs will be replaced by ARMed devices and desktop and notebook devices using ARM and Linux will be widespread. Considering the narrow margins of retailers and OEMs, I expect in 2012 many will find a place in their hearts for ARM and Linux one way or another.

  • Server

  • Kernel Space

    • A New Design For FUSE File-Systems

      At SCALE 10x a new FUSE implementation was presented that while still having the file-system in user-space, the kernel component is now responsible for more of the work.

      Gordon Ross of Nexenta presented on his new FUSE implementation that implements in-kernel meta-data caching. With this caching in the kernel, less inefficient communication needs to happen between the kernel and the FUSE user-space. FUSE is what Linus Torvalds previously said was just for toys and misguided people. Among the many file-systems with FUSE variants are NTFS and ZFS.

    • Error-Fixing Btrfs FSCK Tool Is Imminent

      An fsck utility capable of fixing problems on the Btrfs file-system is imminent. Plus other features continue to be worked on for this next-generation, open-source Linux file-system.

      Chris Mason, the Oracle employee who’s been the lead developer of Btrfs, was one of the presenters this past weekend in Los Angeles at the SCALE 10x conference. Chris was obviously presenting on Btrfs.

  • Applications

    • XBMC!How to turn your Ubuntu into the Media Center of your dreams.

      Do you have a nice TV or projector? You are in the right place. Today we will see how to make an incredible and surprising combination of a low-performance PCs and a nice TV or projector. Our goal is to turn that old PC into a fantastic Media Center, which will give you many possibilities. From the view of Film and/or video, to listen to music (excellent if you have connected a good sound system), an excellent way to show photographs and browse the web with a simple click .

    • A Broad Look at Hugin

      The release notes for Hugin’s latest update begin with the words “Hugin is more than just a panorama stitcher.” That’s been true for years, but only recently has the project made a concerted effort to emphasize the other photo magic that the application is capable of working. Better still, Hugin is making more and more of the process automatic, so aligning your images has never been easier.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • RedHat Cluster Suite And Conga – Linux Clustering
      • Introduction To Linux Commands
      • VBoxHeadless – Running Virtual Machines With VirtualBox 4.1 On A Headless Ubuntu 11.10 Server
      • Lessons Learned, Not Always Easy

        Various thoughts and adventures, including but not limited to Linux, assorted bits of hardware new and old, and occasionally Windows XP/Vista/7.
        I’ve spent most of my time recently working on two or three of my new (or not so) sub-netbook systems, with surprising results. This information might be useful to others who are looking at such systems:

        HP Pavilion dm1-4010ez: This is the newest of the lot, and it really is a very nice system. It loaded and ran flawlessly with every Linux distribution I tried on it, including openSuSE 12.1, Fedora 16, Linux Mint 12 (with Cinnamon), Ubuntu 11.10, Linux Mint Debian 2101109 Gnome, PCLinuxOS 2011.09 and probably one or two others that slip my mind right now. It really was a pleasure to use – so much so that a friend who needed a replacement for a very old ASUS netbook I had set up several years ago ended up taking this one from me. Ah well…

  • Desktop Environments

    • Razor-qt desktop – Warning, sharp objects?

      Several people asked me to review Razor-qt. This is the name of an advanced, easy to use, and fast desktop environment based on Qt technologies. It has been tailored for users who value simplicity, speed, and an intuitive interface. Unlike most desktop environments, Razor-qt also works fine with weak machines. So the brochure says.

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • KDE vs. Windows 7

        For several years, I’ve been saying that KDE is no longer trying to catch up with Windows, but surpassed it several years ago. However, last week a reader challenged me to prove it.

        I immediately told him that, if he didn’t believe me, he should open KDE and Windows 7 side by side. Even a casual comparison shows that not only does KDE generally have more features than Windows 7, but that, conceptually, KDE has a healthy lead.

        While KDE is consistently extending the metaphor of the desktop, Windows 7 is different only in a few minor ways from its first ancestor Windows 95. Moreover, many of these differences are more a matter of fashion, such as displaying icons on the taskbar rather than application names, as they are genuine improvements.

  • Distributions

    • Let’s talk tiny – Tiny Core Linux 4.2

      While experimenting with CorePlus I ran it on two machines, a generic desktop box (2.5 GHz CPU, 2 GB of RAM, NVIDIA video card) and my HP laptop (dual-core 2 GHz CPU, 3 GB of RAM, Intel video card). The distribution was able to detect and use all of my hardware, including my Intel wireless card. My screen resolution was set a little lower than normal, but still within a reasonable range. CorePlus runs almost no services, which makes it incredibly quick to boot and very responsive. Generally, with the window manager and a couple of applications running my memory usage was still below 170 MB.

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

      • Now it’s the 27th

        Mandriva users must now wait until the 27th to find out what the decision on the future of the company is. That came from a brief announcement on the Mandriva blog. It’s been a prolonged suspense: first the resolution was expected on the 16th, then on the 23rd, and now it is scheduled to the 27th.

      • Mandriva Decision Delayed Again

        The fate of Mandriva is still in flux today as Jean-Manuel Croset posted of yet another delay in determining the future of the once popular Linux distribution. He said, “The deadline for the decision on the proposal has been extended by the proposing entity upon request of some shareholders.”

    • Red Hat Family

    • Debian Family

      • The newsletter for the Debian community
      • Debian Project News – January 23rd, 2012

        Welcome to this year’s second issue of DPN, the newsletter for the Debian community. Topics covered in this issue include:

        * Debian ahead on web servers
        * Dummy web server in Debian?
        * Aptitude strikes back
        * About donations to Debian
        * Armhf status in Debian
        * IGMP denial of service in Linux
        * Interviews
        * Other news
        * Upcoming events
        * New Debian Contributors
        * Release-Critical bug statistics for the upcoming release
        * Status of Debian Installer localisation
        * Important Debian Security Advisories
        * New and noteworthy packages
        * Work-needing packages
        * Want to continue reading DPN?

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Ubuntu 11.04, 11.10, 12.04 On The NVIDIA Tegra 2

            For those that were interested by the CompuLab Trim-Slice, a desktop built around the ARM-based NVIDIA Tegra 2 platform, here are some more benchmarks. This time the numbers are looking at the performance of the dual-core ARM Cortex A9 system when using the Ubuntu 11.04, 11.10, and 12.04 packages.

          • Why Don’t Other Linux Distros Use Unity? A Few Thoughts
          • Ubuntu readies new Unity

            With Ubuntu 12.04 scheduled for release in April 2012, the Ubuntu developers have released a test version of Unity 5.0, the newest version of Ubuntu’s desktop interface.

            This release is still in development and not recommended for day-to-day use, but here are a few of the things you can expect if you decide to give Unity 5.0 a spin.

            One of the most welcome changes to Unity are the improvements to the Launcher. Chief among these are additional options for rearranging icons on the Launcher and setting the Launcher’s behaviour, including making the Launcher ever-present on the desktop. This was possible in previous versions but not as easily achieved as it is now.

          • Ubuntu’s Already Making Plans For ARM In 2014, 2015

            David Mandala of Canonical talked last week at Linux.Conf.Au 2012 about the history of Ubuntu Linux supporting the ARM architecture, what’s coming up for Ubuntu ARM in the 12.04 LTS release, and even what’s expected from Ubuntu on ARM as far out as 2015.

            In terms of ARM support under Ubuntu 12.04 LTS “Precise Pangolin”, Mandala didn’t unleash any surprises. Ubuntu ARM will continue to be supported for netbooks as well as their quickly-developing Ubuntu ARM Server edition. On the client/netbook side, the OMAP3 Beagle Board and OMAP4 Panda Boards will continue to serve as prime development targets. There will also hopefully be initial support for the first round of ARM server SoCs from Marvell and Calxeda by April, assuming there’s hardware available in time. These first-generation ARM server parts will be quad-core 1.0+GHz SoCs, as was detailed last year.

          • Precisely how we’re going to make the wallpapers in 12.04 the best ever!

            As developers all over the world sink their teeth into the new features for the next release of Ubuntu it’s time to get out our cameras, brushes and pencils out and start creating the images that will make up the wallpapers for the next release. 12.04 will be an LTS so the same super high quality that the teams delivering the desktop experience are working to should inspire us to make this the best wallpaper set we’ve released yet!

            As usual there is a group on Flickr set up for your submissions – Precise Pangolin wallpaper submissions group. Simply upload your pictures to Flickr – accounts are free – and again as usual the contributors who were selected last time will be the ones asked to choose from the final selection of images. For guidance around what might make appropriate content, image resolutions to be used and the like check out the Ubuntu Artwork team wiki page on wallpapers.

          • Hacking On Accomplishments

            A little while back I blogged about an accomplishments system that Stuart Langridge and I designed when he came to visit a while back. The idea was simple: a de-centralized system in which we can easily define different types of accomplishments (e.g. filing a bug, submitting a patch, getting a patch sponsored, translating a string) and a means in which users can be rewarded trophies for these accomplishments as well as discovering new accomplishments and how they can be achieved.

          • Flavours and Variants

            • Linux for migrants: Zorin OS

              The latest version, ZorinOS 5.2, was released very recently, on the 10th of January 2012. I downloaded the Core version of it. The ISO size is 1.1 Gb. It meant I could not use a CD for it, and I went to the USB option. Unetbootin utility successfully “burnt” image to USB.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • WAGO IEC-Compatible TeleController and I/O-IPCs

      WAGO Corporation’s IEC-compatible TeleControl PLC and four Linux-equipped I/O-IPCs are comprehensive solutions for both control and smart grid integration.

    • Raspberry Pi Founder Eben Upton Walks You Through the Launch of the $35 Computer

      In just a few weeks UK’s Raspberry Pi Foundation will be ready to launch one of the most anticipated products of 2012 – a $35 computer. The Raspberry Pi Model B is a bare-bones circuit board that packs a surprising punch – 700 MHz ARM processor, 256 MB of memory, and HDMI output. Designed as a low cost, easy to explore learning platform to attract a new generation of students to coding, the Linux Box computer is a marvel of efficiency. The first 10,000 Model Bs will be shipping into (and then out of) the UK very soon, so it only makes sense that Raspberry Pi founder Eben Upton would take the time to prepare everyone for what to expect. He gives a detailed report on the exciting new device in the video from Slashdot below.

    • Linux-based flight recorder optimized for drones

      Ampex Data Systems announced a compact, ruggedized airborne recorder that runs SUSE Linux on a 1.3GHz Intel Atom E660T CPU. The ruggedized TuffServ 40 (TS 40) offers 1GB of DDR2 RAM, a 2GB boot disk, an 80GB or 160GB solid state drive, a gigabit Ethernet port, and a -40 to 159.8 deg. F operating range.

    • Tiny USB server runs on batteries, streams to iOS, Android devices

      The $100 CloudFTP runs Linux on a Texas Instruments ARM9-based processor, features a 132 x 32-pixel LCD display and powered USB port, and supports backup and synchronization with online cloud storage services.

    • How Disruptive Could Raspberry Pi Be?
    • Phones

      • Upstart mobile OS Tizen previews code

        An alpha release of the source code for the Tizen open-source operating system, aimed at giving Android and iOS a run for their money, is now available for download.

        Backed by Intel, Samsung and other vendors, Tizen is a Linux-based platform. It includes an HTML5 application framework and a customizable user interface, in addition to the operating system. The interface, also called a “user experience,” will be able to move among the different devices that Tizen supports.

      • Android

        • CyanogenMod App Store To Sell Root, Banned Apps

          Koushik Dutta, the co-founder of the popular CyanogenMod project has been contemplating the idea of an App Store which will sell apps for rooted devices. Usually many of these apps can’t be on the official Android Market due to restrains from either the carriers or the OEMs.

        • Huawei to launch two ”Diamond” smartphones, even better than the Ascend P1 S

          If you had asked 100 US technology enthusiasts about Huawei last year, chances were that around 90 of them had no clue about what you were talking about. The Chinese technology manufacturer kept its efforts at a national level and only released a few entry to mid-level devices in the US and Europe until…

        • Sony Kumquat LT25i dubbed as Sony Xperia U?

          According to one of GSMArena’s tipsters, Sony Kumquat recently leaked in real life photos, is revealed as Sony Xperia U by the Indonesian equivalent of United States FCC. The Indonesian website also reveal a link to China, which makes us wonder if Xperia U is due to join Chinese market.

        • Motorola Prepares New “Project” for the DROID RAZR

          Motorola’s Feedback Network is sending out invitations tonight to DROID RAZR owners, asking if they want to participate in a soak test for a new “project.” The details of the update are absent as usual, but with software leaking within the last couple of weeks, we have a pretty good idea as to what we can expect. You probably shouldn’t assume that this one is Ice Cream Sandwich just yet and should instead focus on the likelihood of simply being a bug fixer and slight UI enhancer.

    • Sub-notebooks/Tablets

      • Android Tablets May Go Transparent, Soon!

        Microsoft introduced the concept for tablets, Apple took it to the next level (and in the process also claimed that they ‘invented’ the tablet), and now Android will take tablets to the next level, into the future.

        Samsung is working on display technologies which will make these tablets flexible (just like the paper magazines) and even transparent.

      • Notion Ink’s Adam II tablet will move to OMAP 4 chip

        Notion Ink says it will switch to a Texas Instruments OMAP 4 processor running Android 4.0 for its next generation Adam II tablet. In other tablet news, Pew Research found the percentage of U.S. adults who own a tablet computer nearly doubled from 10 percent to 19 percent between mid-December and early January, and RBC Capital estimated that Amazon.com will earn $136 in content-related revenue from each Kindle Fire customer.

      • Calibre And Project Gutenberg: Liberate Your eReader!

        Now, I’m no stranger to ebooks. Long before the release of the first generation Amazon Kindle, I read Dracula on a Handspring Visor. Once I moved into the world of smart-phones with the Palm Treo, I read many great books with the excellent offline reader Plucker. In fact, I’ve been dissing paper quite vocally since as early as 1999. That said, I love reading on my Barnes & Noble Nook Simple Touch.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Sourcefire jumps into anti-malware market

    Sourcefire, the security biz behind the commercial versions of the open-source Snort intrusion-detection software, is bowling itself at enterprises and touting tech designed to quickly detect and block malware outbreaks.

  • Google and MIT open source App Inventor for Android

    SOFTWARE DEVELOPER Google and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) open sourced the App Inventor for Android software toolset.

    App Inventor was started as a project between Google and MIT to create a modular, easy to use integrated development environment to build Android applications. Now the pair have announced the first open source release of App Inventor.

  • Codethink Adds “Open Source 3D Graphics Drivers for ARM” to its Services
  • Events

  • Web Browsers

    • Chrome

      • Google’s Chrome Browser Sprouts Programming Kit of the Future

        Chito Manansala is the reason you and about 2 billion other people can instantly pay with a Visa card in shops across the planet.

        As chief system architect at Visa, Manansala designed the communications system at the heart of VisaNet — a worldwide network of shops, ATMs, banks and websites that handles 130 million payments a day. In other words, he knows how to build a contraption that juggles ridiculous amounts of information with each passing second.

  • SaaS

  • Databases

    • Is MySQL usage really declining?

      One of the most interesting aspects concerned the apparently imminent decline in the usage of MySQL. Of the 285 MySQL users in our 2009 survey, only 90.2% still expected to be using it two years later, and only 81.8% in 2014.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • 10 Things to Look Forward to in LibreOffice 3.5

      Hard on the heels of the release of the bug-fixing LibreOffice 3.4.5 last Monday, the Document Foundation on Friday published a release candidate version of LibreOffice 3.5, which will be the next major version of the office productivity software.

  • CMS

    • Is the European Commission Helping or Hindering Tech Entrepreneurs?

      Drupal is now an open source challenger to publishing software such as WordPress. How did it start, and did you ever expect it to get so big? I started Drupal 11 years ago, just for fun while I was in college. It started out as a message board, working a few nights a week on updating and maintaining the project. This soon developed into a free tool for building customised Websites both quickly and easily. By the time I had finished my PhD, hundreds of companies were using the platform to support their online offerings. With open source at the heart of the Drupal platform it quickly gained interest from developers and a passionate active community grew to support the project.

    • Open Source Closed Door

      It has been announced, across the pond, that IT analyst firm, Gartner Inc has now positioned Drupal Acquia in the Visionaries quadrant of both the 2011 Magic Quadrant for Externally Facing Social Software and the Magic Quadrant for Social Software in the Workplace, thereby raising Drupal’s visibility and promoting its accessibility amongst the top 10,000 global businesses.

  • Business

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • Fellowship Interview with Heiki Ojasild

      Heiki Ojasild joined the Free Software Foundation Europe in 2011, undertaking the task of translating fsfe.org into Estonian, his mother tongue. He is currently developing an XChat add-on, as well as a website for free SVG and JavaScript games. In 2010 he took part in the Baltic Olympiad in Informatics. I talked to him about copyright, Digital Restrictions Management, kopimism, and activism.

  • Project Releases

  • Public Services/Government

    • Ideas for your open government

      Open Government Partnership is a global effort initialized by the government of United States to make worldwide governments better. To this date, 46 countries have committed to take steps to change their government to more open, more transparent, and more valuable for the citizens.

  • Openness/Sharing

  • Programming

    • Google’s Sky Map App Becomes Open Source

      On their recent announcement, Google has revealed it is going to make the Sky Map app available for the open source community. Thus, from now on, developers can get a copy of this application’s source code via the Google Code website.

    • Google’s Latest List of “Retired” Projects Includes Open Source Contributions

      For years now, Google has gained a reputation for launching many new projects at a scattershot rate, only to shut many of them down when they don’t succeed at hoped-for levels. In fact, some have said that the company’s strategy is to throw spaghetti at the wall and see which noodles stick. Now, in a post that makes references to keeping New Year’s resolutions, the Google Blog has announced the latest series of company projects that will be “merged, open sourced or phased out.” You’ll recognize some of the names.

    • Moose

      Because Moose is still just Perl 5, it’s fully compatible with all of those wonderful modules on CPAN, regardless of whether they are written in Moose (and most aren’t, as CPAN has been around for so long, and Moose is relatively new).

    • Ruby on Rails 3.2 Aids the Developers

      Those who maintain Ruby on Rails have released a new version of their popular open-source Web application development framework, one that features a number of improvements to help developers build applications more quickly.

Leftovers

  • The Internet Spoke and, Finally, Congress Listened!

    The misguided proponents of the disastrous Internet blacklist bills have blinked. Today, Senator Harry Reid announced he would postpone a cloture vote on PIPA scheduled for next Tuesday, which means, as a practical matter, that the bill is dead for now. Shortly after that announcement, Representative Lamar Smith issued a statement conceding PIPA’s evil House stepsister, the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), also wasn’t ready for prime time.

  • We will be heard now.

    On this date, at approximately 8:31 PM CST, the petition requesting that Chris Dodd be investigated for bribery was validated by the required 25,000 signatures.

    If you don’t know the story, it is fairly simple. After the stunning setback of SOPA and PIPA, Chris DODD, former Senator and now current President of the Motion Picture of America Association, openly threatened President Obama with withholding further campaign contributions until he “got on board” with the MPAA line.

  • Lookout Washington, Reddit Just Organized Another PAC

    Fresh of the heels of feeling its own might in the fight against SOPA and PIPA, a civic-minded Redditor who goes by the handle “ajpos” has decided to start a section 527 political action committee.

    It’s called Test Pac, it has its own Tax ID number and it purports to represent “the special interest group that represents the views of Reddit’s users,” which we guess means boobs, the free flow of information, weed, and cats. In that order.

  • Health/Nutrition

    • Park City Tragedy Underscores Tragedy of the U.S. Health Care System — for Both Canadians and Americans

      It hit me immediately that had my circumstances been a little different when I was growing up near there, I could have been one of those people. It also hit me that the work I was doing as a spokesman for the insurance industry was making it necessary, at least in part, for those people to resort to such humiliation to get basic medical care. One of my responsibilities was to persuade Americans of the lie that most of the uninsured are that way by choice, that they have shirked their responsibility to themselves and their families.

  • Security

    • Linux root exploit due to memory access – Update

      Linus Torvalds released a Linux kernel update last week which fixes a flaw in the access control to memory. Shortly afterwards, exploits appeared making it possible to gain root privileges using this error.

  • Finance

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • The MegaUpload Seizure Could Be An Opportunity

        The US Department of Justice, chose the day after the massive Internet blackout protest against SOPA / PIPA to demonstrate their power by acting as if these laws were already in effect. At first, I was simply dismayed and angered by this reprehensible act, but I began to wonder if there isn’t also an opportunity here to challenge a major part of of the legacy entertainment industry’s rhetoric in a court of law, where their mendacity on the subject would constitute perjury.

        First of all, here’s an account of the MegaUpload Takedown, if you’re not familiar with the facts of the case.

        [...]

        If you read the article, though, the authorities allege that they were involved in large-scale “piracy” leading to “$500 million” in “lost sales”. Do you believe this claim? I certainly don’t.

      • The Pirate Bay Press Release On SOPA: We Are The New Hollywood

        Given its general contempt for the repeated attempts to close it down, you wouldn’t expect The Pirate Bay to be particularly worried by SOPA. But in its very own press release on the subject, it goes much further: it flings the ultimate insult at Hollywood by claiming that not only are the two of them spiritual kin, but that The Pirate Bay is the New Hollywood.

      • The Behind-the-Scenes Campaign To Bring SOPA To Canada

        The Internet battle against SOPA and PIPA generated huge interest in Canada with many Canadians turning their sites dark (including Blogging Tories, Project Gutenberg Canada, and CIPPIC) in support of the protest. In writing about the link between SOPA and Canada, I noted that the proposed legislation featured an aggressive jurisdictional approach that could target Canadian websites. Moreover, I argued that the same lobby groups promoting SOPA in the U.S. are behind the digital lock rules in Bill C-11.

        While SOPA may be dead (for now) in the U.S., lobby groups are likely to intensify their efforts to export SOPA-like rules to other countries. With Bill C-11 back on the legislative agenda at the end of the month, Canada will be a prime target for SOPA style rules. In fact, a close review of the unpublished submissions to the Bill C-32 legislative committee reveals that several groups have laid the groundwork to add SOPA-like rules into Bill C-11, including blocking websites and expanding the “enabler provision”to target a wider range of websites. Given the reaction to SOPA in the U.S., where millions contacted their elected representatives to object to rules that threatened their Internet and digital rights, the political risks inherent in embracing SOPA-like rules are significant.

      • ACTA

        • Letter to EP Committee on Development

          As we reported earlier, tomorrow, Tuesday 24 January 2012, around 16.30 Paris time, the European Parliament Committee on Development will hold an exchange of views on ACTA. Today, the FFII sent the committee a letter. (pdf version)

          Dear Members of the Committee on Development,

          We are writing to express our concerns with the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA). Below we will present points which we believe are essential for a proper assessment of ACTA’s impact on development.

          1. ACTA is not only TRIPS plus, ACTA even goes beyond current EU law, the acquis. Prominent European academics [European Academics, 2011] and the study commissioned by the EP International Trade committee (INTA) [INTA, 2011] pointed this out. While the Parliament’s legal service concludes that on the face of it, ACTA appears to be in line with current EU law, it could only reach this conclusion by consistently overlooking known issues. [FFII-922] ACTA’s damages based on retail price lead to damages based on an imaginary gross revenue, which is way beyond actual loss suffered. Its border measures have a broader scope, its injunctions and provisional measures are more intrusive. The INTA study recommends asking the European Court of Justice an opinion on ACTA.

        • EP legal service consistently overlooks known issues with ACTA

          Today the FFII sent a letter to the European Parliament about the EP legal service’s opinion on ACTA. (pfd version, see also press release)

          Dear Members of the European Parliament,

          In the coming months the Parliament will have to decide whether to give consent to ACTA (Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement) or not. In preparation, the INTA and JURI committees asked the Parliament’s legal service an opinion on ACTA.

          We welcome the decision to release this opinion. We have compared the legal service’s opinion with multiple academic opinions on ACTA and some civil society analyses.

        • After SOPA/PIPA in the US, ACTA Makes Its Way to the EU Parliament

          Paris, January 23rd, 2012 – After the huge online protests against the extremist SOPA and PIPA copyright bills discussed in the United States, the EU Parliament starts working on their global counterpart: ACTA, the anti-counterfeiting trade agreement. Citizens across Europe must push back against this illegitimate agreement bound to undermine free speech online, access to knowledge and innovation worldwide.

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    Yet another one of these foolish 'Meet the President' stunts, scheduled to take place tomorrow morning



  9. Caricature: Battistelli's New Year's Resolution (More EPO Lies)

    The latest cartoon being circulated within the European Patent Office (EPO)



  10. Donald Trump Gives New Hope to Patent Aggressors and Patent Trolls

    Pessimism about the prospects of patent progress or patent reform in an age of staunchly pro-business Conservatives and glorification of protectionism



  11. More Fake News About the Unified Patent Court (UPC) Based on Lobbying Tactics From Bristows UPC and the Preparatory Committee

    Unified Patent Court (UPC) lobbying has gotten so bad that it now infiltrates general media outlets, where people are asked to just blindly assume that the UPC is coming and is inevitable, even though it's clearly in a limbo and is unlikely to see the light of day



  12. EPO Totally Silent for a Month, But Deep Inside There Are Serious Cracks

    The situation at the EPO seems to be pretty grim, even at the top-level management, and the EPO has gone into permanent silence mode



  13. Links 16/1/2017: Linux 4.10 RC4, Linux Mint 18.1 'Serena' KDE Edition Beta

    Links for the day



  14. 'Financial Director' Publishes Fake News About the Unitary Patent (UPC)

    Response to some of the latest UPC propaganda, which strives to misinform Financial Directors so as to enrich the author and his firm



  15. Independent and Untainted Web Sites About Patents Are Still Few and Rare

    Commentary about news sources that we rely on, as well as the known pitfalls or the vested interests deeply ingrained in them



  16. The 20% Rule: Patent Trolling Suffers Double-Digit Declines and Patent Troll Technicolor is Collapsing

    Significant demise or total catastrophe for the modus operandi (method) of going after companies with a pile of patents and threats of litigation



  17. US Supreme Court Did Not End Apple's Patent Disputes Over Android (Linux), More Cases Imminent

    An overview of some very recent news regarding the highest court in the United States, which has been dealing with cases that can determine the fate of Free/Open Source software in an age of patent uncertainty and patent thickets surrounding mobility



  18. Links 15/1/2017: Switching From OS X to GNU/Linux, Debian 8.7 Released

    Links for the day



  19. Number of New Patent Cases in the US Fell 25% Last Year, Thanks in Part to the Demise of Software Patent Trolls

    Litigation and prosecutions that rely on patents (failure to resolve disputes, e.g. by sharing ideas, out of court) is down very sharply, in part because firms that make nothing at all (just threaten and/or litigate) have been sinking after much-needed reform



  20. America Invents Act Improved Patent Quality, But Right Wingers Threaten to Make It Worse Again

    The past half a decade saw gradual improvement in assessment of patents in the United States, but there is a growing threat and pressure from the patent microcosm to restore patent maximalism and chaos



  21. PTAB -- Not Deterred by Courts -- Continues to Invalidate a Lot of Software Patents

    The Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) continues to make progress reforming the patent system by eliminating a lot of patents and setting an example (or new standards) for what is patent-eligible after Alice



  22. EPO Abuses Come Under Fire From Politicians in Luxembourg

    Luxembourg is the latest nation in which concerns about the EPO's serious abuses are brought up not only by the media but also by politicians



  23. Constitutionality as a Barrier and Brexit Barriers to UPC Keep the Whole Pipe Dream Deadlocked

    The UPC is still going nowhere fast, but the demise (or death) of the UPC as we know it must not be taken for granted



  24. Links 14/1/2017: Wine 2.0 RC5 and AryaLinux 2017 Released

    Links for the day



  25. Links 13/1/2017: Linux 4.9.3 and Linux 4.4.42

    Links for the day



  26. Brexit Means No UPC (Unified Patent Court)

    Now that Jo Johnson, Boris Johnson's brother, is officially declared the new minister for intellectual property in the UK everything that Lucy Neville-Rolfe wrote is as solid as paper bag on a rainy London day



  27. Patent Trolls and Software Patents: CloudTrade, Patent Practitioners Density, and Via Licensing

    Software patents armament from a British company, charted concentration of the patent microcosm in the United States, and US-leaning patent trolls that prey on China



  28. Patent Maximalism -- Like Copyright Maximalism -- Relies on Misconceptions and Mass Deception

    The latest examples of discussions about patent scope, courtesy of those looking to benefit financially by pushing such monopolies to the max



  29. Software Patents Still Promoted by IBM and Its Lobbyist (and Former Employee) David Kappos, in Defiance of Much-Needed US Patent Reform

    While the corporate media celebrates IBM as though it's some kind of 'champion' for hoarding patents that it then uses to attack companies which actually grow



  30. Brexit/Trump Effect: Patent Systems With Institutional Corruption and Nepotism

    Rumours about Britain's head of patents (and copyrights etc.) being the brother of the Brexit campaigner and Foreign Minister; meanwhile, on the other side of the Atlantic, rumours suggest that the corrupt judge Rader might be the next head of patents in the United States


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