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Links 27/5/2013: Linaro Connect, Linux 3.10 RC3

Posted in News Roundup at 1:01 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



Free Software/Open Source

  • Open Source is a Mindset, says Appcelerator CEO

    While covering the launch of Appcelerator Enterprise Platform at Mountain View last week, we enjoyed a short chat with Jeff Haynie, co-founder and CEO of Appcelerator.

    Haynie explained that his company’s new enterprise platform is important because it leverages mobility, cloud, and Big Data. These three game-changing advancements have really transformed the way the enterprise does business. We are moving away from package software deployed inside of middleware and enterprise app software that has been the trend for the last 15 years, and now towards on-demand subscription-oriented software, Haynie says.

  • “30 day” office suite Joeffice launched

    Joeffice is an alpha version of a open source Java-based office suite, which was created by its author, Anthony Goubard, in thirty days. Goubard documented the development process in a series of videos now available on YouTube.

    The application’s framework, and the tool used to develop the application, is the NetBeans platform. It is well known that NetBeans is an IDE, but the IDE also supports being effectively hollowed out and being used as the basis for applications. This is called the NetBeans platform and gives applications all the support for customisable editors for documents and having a fully tab-supporting, dock-enabled, single window or multi window environment with toolbars, menus and other interface elements.

  • Web Browsers

  • SaaS/Big Data

    • OpenStack Brings Open Source Cloud to CeBIT

      Local OpenStack Innovators and Tech Leaders Will Demonstrate Cloud Capabilities at Premier Technology Event

      SYDNEY May 27, 2013 – The OpenStack® community will take part in CeBIT Australia for the first time when the show opens in Sydney tomorrow, bringing the promise of cost savings, speed of deployment and freedom from vendor lock in to Australian enterprises. CeBIT will run from May 28 through 30 and will be held at the Sydney Exhibition Centre, Darling Harbour; OpenStack will be on stand 001 in the Cloud Ecosystem section in Hall 4.

  • Education

  • Business

    • Semi-Open Source

      • Taking the Open Source Enterprise Plunge

        Devops represents a dramatic change from the old siloed developers and script-heavy system administrators of yesterday. Any tools that can provide some common ground for developers and IT operations professionals can help, and it seems Chef and Puppet often do.

  • Project Releases

    • Libjpeg-Turbo Gets New Release

      The libjpeg-turbo library, which is the increasingly-used fork of the JPEG library that provides faster performance through SIMD optimizations, has out a new release.

  • Public Services/Government

    • The Philippines adopts Indonesia’s open source disaster mitigation tool

      The Department of Science and Technology revealed plans to adopt InaSAFE, a disaster mitigation technology from Indonesia, to its Nationwide Operational Assessment of Hazard (NOAH) project in a bid to improve disaster planning and preparedness in the country.

    • Philippines: Adoption of Indonesia’s Open Source Disaster Mitigation Tool

      The website Futuregov Asia reported that the Philippines are planning to improve their disaster mitigation efforts by adopting an Indonesian mapping and planning tool: “The Department of Science and Technology revealed plans to adopt InaSAFE, a disaster mitigation technology from Indonesia, to its Nationwide Operational Assessment of Hazard (NOAH) project in a bid to improve disaster planning and preparedness in the country. InaSAFE, or Indonesia Scenario Assessment for Emergency, is an open source software that produces realistic natural hazard impact scenarios to help decision makers in their disaster planning, preparedness and response activities.

  • Programming

    • The Best Features Of LLVM / Clang 3.3

      With next month’s release of LLVM 3.3 quickly approaching, here’s an overview of some of the best and most exciting features coming to this next major update of the LLVM compiler infrastructure and Clang C/C++ compiler front-end.

      Some of our favorite features coming to LLVM 3.3 include:


  • Science

    • Intelligence linked to ability to ignore distractions

      People with higher IQs are slow to detect large background movements because their brains filter out non-essential information, say US researchers.

      Instead, they are good at detecting small moving objects.

      The findings come in a study of 53 people given a simple, visual test in Current Biology.

      The results could help scientists understand what makes a brain more efficient and more intelligent.

  • Health/Nutrition

    • Victory for Food Rights and Wisconsin Farmer Vernon Hershberger

      In what has been roundly declared a victory for food rights and private food transactions by supporters, a jury returned a verdict of not guilty on three of four charges against Wisconsin raw milk farmer Vernon Hershberger in the early morning hours of March 25. “It’s a beautiful day. . . . They tried their best to set me free,” Hershberger told The Complete Patient after a few hours of sleep.

  • Security

    • Labeling Reporters “Criminals,” or Just Complying With the Privacy Protection Act?

      There has been a lot of outrage expressed recently over the contents of an affidavit filed in support of a search warrant to search the e-mail accounts of reporter James Rosen. The government’s affidavit offered the view that Rosen violated the law by aiding and abetting the alleged violations of laws prohibiting the disclosure of classified national security information. Specifically, the affidavit stated, “there is probable cause to believe that the Reporter . . . has committed a violation of 18 U.S.C. 793(d) either as Mr. Kim’s co-conspirator and/or aider and abetter.” To some, the fact that the government would make this argument shows that the Obama Administration is engaging in a War on Journalism.

    • Reporters use Google, find breach, get branded as “hackers”
    • Privacy on the Line: Security lapse exposes some Lifeline phone customers to ID theft risk
    • Reporters threatened with CFAA, labeled hackers for finding security hole

      Scripps News reporters discovered 170,000 Lifeline phone customer records online that contained everything needed for identity theft. After requesting an interview with the COO of TerraCom and YourTel, the reaction was kill-the-messenger style; the reporters were called “Scripps Hackers” and threatened with violating the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act.

    • One-Time Pad Reinvented to Make Electronic Copying Impossible

      The ability to copy electronic code makes one-time pads vulnerable to hackers. Now engineers have found a way round this to create a system of cryptography that is invulnerable to electronic attack.

    • Ragebooter: ‘Legit’ DDoS Service, or Fed Backdoor?

      On Monday, I profiled asylumbooter.com, one of several increasingly public DDoS-for-hire services posing as Web site “stress testing” services. Today, we’ll look at ragebooter.net, yet another attack service except for one secret feature which sets it apart from the competition: According the site’s proprietor, ragebooter.net includes a hidden backdoor that lets the FBI monitor customer activity.

    • Twitter’s 2FA: SMS Double-Duty

      Twitter introduced multi-factor login verification on Wednesday. Good news? Well… that depends.

      Twitter’s initial implementation of two-factor authentication (2FA) relies on SMS.

      But… Twitter also uses SMS as a way to send and receive Tweets (making use of SMS for double-duty: social and security). It’s possible to “STOP” incoming Tweets via SMS, and that makes sense, because people sometimes end up roaming unexpectedly — and there needs to be a way to stop the SMS feature. Otherwise it could generate a costly bill.

    • How to Hack Twitter’s Two-Factor Authentication
    • 0-days in Novell Client for Windows

      Those users who are still using Novell Client for Windows should look around for alternatives. In recent weeks, at least two 0-day exploits for the kernel driver have surfaced on the internet. The security firm eEye has documented the issues with the ids 20130510 and 20130522.

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • Still Getting Gitmo Wrong

      Those 86 prisoners have not been, and will not be, charged with any crime whatsoever; they are not “terror suspects.”

    • We’ve moved on from the Iraq war – but Iraqis don’t have that choice

      The dust in Iraq rolls down the long roads that are the desert’s fingers. It gets in your eyes and nose and throat; it swirls in markets and school playgrounds, consuming children kicking a ball; and it carries, according to Dr Jawad Al-Ali, “the seeds of our death”. An internationally respected cancer specialist at the Sadr teaching hospital in Basra, Dr Ali told me that in 1999, and today his warning is irrefutable. “Before the Gulf war,” he said, “we had two or three cancer patients a month. Now we have 30 to 35 dying every month. Our studies indicate that 40 to 48% of the population in this area will get cancer: in five years’ time to begin with, then long after. That’s almost half the population. Most of my own family have it, and we have no history of the disease. It is like Chernobyl here; the genetic effects are new to us; the mushrooms grow huge; even the grapes in my garden have mutated and can’t be eaten.”

    • 20 injured, 61 arrested as Swiss street parade turns violent (PHOTOS, VIDEO)

      The rally, now in its third year, is tolerated by the authorities, but just like a year ago when 10,000 participated, it was not given official permission to take place.

      Like last year’s parade, hardliners managed to spray graffiti on parliament, leading authorities to take extra precautions. Bern’s Old Town was locked down on the eve of the event, with extensive riot police deployments and barricades erected around Parliament Square.

    • Clashes at Cairo demo calling on Morsi to resign
    • ‘Conclusive proof’ CIA torture flights landed at Scottish airports

      Investigators believe they have found “conclusive” new proof that CIA-linked planes landed regularly in Scottish airports as part of the “extraordinary rendition” programme.

    • UK government must come clean on rendition flights

      SNP MSPs have urged the UK government to come clean on what knowledge it has on rendition flights using Inverness, Wick and Aberdeen airports.

      Rob Gibson, who has campaigned against these flights, said new findings that claim to have “conclusive” proof rendition planes landed regularly in Scottish airports, was “shocking”.

      The study by Kingston and Kent universities found that 13 flights to these airports may have been involved in the US security service’s rendition programme.

    • UK provided more support for CIA rendition flights than thought – study

      The UK’s support for the CIA’s global rendition programme after the September 11 terrorist attacks on the US was far more substantial than has previously been recognised, according to a new research project that draws on a vast number of publicly available data and documentation.

    • CIA’s ‘al-Qaida Mole’ Morten Storm Had Links to Woolwich Murder Suspect’s Network

      Storm was offered $250,000 (£165,000) to help track down the radical Yemeni cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, who was killed in a drone strike in 2011. But the relationship soured when the CIA refused to pay him, saying that despite his assistance, the information that led to the kill came from other sources.

    • The Real Costs of CIA Cash

      When the New York Times reported recently that the CIA routinely provides cash payments to Afghan President Hamid Karzai, totaling in the tens of millions of dollars, many were surprised. I wasn’t among them. The Karzai scandal cycle has developed a certain amount of redundancy: his odd outbursts, his family’s endless corruption, the vacillating positions on peace negotiations and about faces on the Taliban one day and the United States the next — it has lost the power to shock. CIA payments are not even at the front of this parade of infamies.

    • LISTEN: The CIA Shapes the #Torture Debate
    • Obama should pardon CIA whistle blower

      Currently ex-CIA agent John Kiriakou is serving a 30-month prison term essentially for embarrassing the U.S. government. What was so embarrassing? He exposed the CIA’s torture program during the Bush administration.

    • Boston Marathon bombing: Suspects’ mum was on CIA terror list

      Russian agents warned them that both Zubeidat Tsarnaeva and 26-year-old Tamerlan were militant Islamists

    • The entire globe is a battlefield for Pentagon

      Forget it; the Global War on Terror (GWOT) is not becoming more “democratic” – or even transparent.

      US President Barack Obama now pledges to transfer the responsibility of the shadow ‘Drone Wars’ from the CIA to the Pentagon – so the US Congress is able to monitor it.

    • Gmail and the CIA … and China! … and Fox News!

      On the other hand, we now also know (again thanks to the Washington Post) that James Rosen, the Fox News reporter almost certainly communicated some of the time with his alleged source Stephen Jin-Woo Kim through a Gmail account. Those communications are at the heart of a leak investigation in which DOJ is, as Jack has noted, pushing very hard. So, apparently what I consider an obvious lapse in tradecraft is, to at least one sophisticated news reporter, …. a surprise. And if Fox News doesn’t know that Gmail is insecure, maybe it is too much to expect that the CIA would know.

    • Boston and the CIA ‘Snafu’: The grey eminence behind Turkey’s Erdogan and AKP

      In the first part, geopolitical analyst William Engdahl discussed the role of CIA’s Graham Fuller in creating the policy of using angry Jihadist Muslims as trained terrorists in Afghanistan and elsewhere against the Soviet Union. Herein—largely drawing on the revelations made by FBI whistle-blower Sibel Edwards—Engdahl throws the spotlight on the entire CIA-sponsored Islamic Jihadist operations run through Fetullah Gülen across Turkey into Central Asia and Russia and China.

    • Amnesty International challenges Poland’s ‘slow’ CIA prisons probe

      Amnesty International has stated in its annual report that it is concerned about the pace of Poland’s investigation into alleged CIA prisons for terrorists on Polish soil.

    • CIA’s ‘extraordinary rendition’ flights mapped

      Following the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon on Sept. 11, 2001, the United States rounded up suspected terrorists wherever they were and then moved them to secret prisons around the globe, where they were detained and questioned. The program, largely carried out by the CIA, was known as extraordinary rendition.

    • Prosecutors applying to extend CIA prison investigation

      Prosecutors are applying to the Attorney General to extend the investigation into an alleged CIA prison in Poland, where renditioned prisoners have complained they were imprisoned and tortured.

  • Cablegate

    • ‘Filled with errors and speculation’: WikiLeaks slams ‘We Steal Secrets’ doc film

      WikiLeaks has lashed out at a forthcoming US-made documentary on founder Julian Assange. The whistleblowing group decried the film for its alleged inaccuracies, chiefly implications that Assange conspired with Bradley Manning to commit espionage.

      The anti-secrecy organization released an annotated copy of the film’s transcript that took no prisoners. Even the documentary’s name – ‘We Steal Secrets: The Story of WikiLeaks’ – was condemned by the group as misleading.

    • WikiLeaks vs. Alex Gibney Battle Over New Film Intensifies

      As I noted in intro to my interview with Alex Gibney, director of the new We Steal Secrets film re WikilLeaks, he has been slammed by Julian Assange and the WikiLeaks Twitter feed for months, for various reasons, no doubt. It seems that Assange early on got some kind of leaked script or transcript for the film in process. Gibney hit back for basing a critique on some words on the page, when a film is a quite different experience.

    • Bhopal gas tragedy-WikiLeaks expose US role

      The disclosures known as the “Kissinger cables” make the US Administration ethically and morally, if not legally, responsible for the Bhopal Gas Disaster that took thousands of lives, sickened and maimed many more. If one looks at the larger picture of the Bhopal tragedy one would find officials of the US Administration including those in its Indian embassy and some Indian collaborators working against all ethical or moral and legal norms from the beginning to end for the benefit of a big corporation. The entire script, however, was prepared and choreographed by the US.

    • Wikileaks Cables Reveal State Dept. Promoting GMOs Abroad
    • New Analysis of Wikileaks Shows State Department’s Promotion of Monsanto’s GMOs Abroad

      In Nigeria, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) funded the drafting of legislation to assist the progress of GE crop approval there. Other forms of coercion were more gentle, even glamorous; they included a “magical evening” with famed Italian tenor Andrea Bocelli on Venice’s San Giorio Maggiore island and State-sponsored biotech conferences, receptions and delegations of agriculture officials and reporters to U.S.-based biotech centers.

    • Everything done to WikiLeaks is now being done to US reporters
    • Virtually Everything the Government Did to WikiLeaks is Now Being Done to Mainstream US Reporters

      At Freedom of the Press Foundation, we believe it’s vital to defend WikiLeaks’ right to gather and publish classified information in the public interest, just as it’s vital to protect the rights of Associated Press and Fox News to do the same. Under the law, the AP, Fox News, and WikiLeaks are no different (a fact that even the government argues). If one falls, the others will not be far behind.

    • Meet the smart lawyer for WikiLeaks
    • WikiLeaks cables dismantle Labor’s Iraq withdrawal spin

      Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd fulfilled his campaign pledge to withdraw Australian “combat” forces from Southern Iraq on June 2008. Rudd used the occasion to condemn former Prime Minister John Howard for joining the war, but US diplomatic cables published by WikiLeaks show the Rudd government wanted to keep more Australian forces in Iraq than it had withdrawn.

      After the withdrawal of soldiers, about 1000 Australian Defence Force (ADF) personnel remained in Iraq, including sailors on board warships in the Persian Gulf ― Australia’s contribution to the multinational Task Force 158 (TF158) guarding Iraqi oil platforms.

    • New Head Of CIA National Clandestine Service Featured In Wikileaks Cables On Torture Case

      The Aafia Siddiqu case that Archibald was involved with became controversial in Pakistan. The facts surrounding Siddiqui’s activities and arrest remain disputed and though she was eventually tried and convicted in New York City her case remains controversial due to questions surrounding her possible kidnapping, detainment, and torture by U.S. forces as well as disputes regarding forensic evidence and due process rights.

    • ‘Interview with Julian Assange costs million dollars’

      London: An interview with WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange would cost an interviewer as high as a million dollars.

  • Finance

    • Professor Wolff on the Economic Crisis
    • I Bought Some BitCoins

      On Tuesday evening I gave an envelope full of hundred-dollar bills to a friendly long-haired young man I’d never met in an undistinguished coffee-shop in an undistinguished neighborhood. By the time I got home, the BitCoins I’d bought were worth noticeably less than I paid.

    • Google’s Eric Schmidt: change British law and we’d pay more tax

      Eric Schmidt, Google’s executive chairman, has continued to defend the company’s tax affairs, insisting it would comply with British law if it was changed and claiming to be perplexed by the debate.

      In a phrase less snappy than the more celebrated “don’t be evil”, Schmidt said Google had “a fiduciary responsibility to our shareholders” that prevented the internet company from paying more tax abroad. However, he said: “It’s not a debate. You pay the taxes.”

    • The End of the Beginning of the End

      nearly half the world’s population lives on less than $2.50 a day.


      The incomes of 100 people out of the seven billion on the planet could fix that, and then fix it again, and then fix it again, and then fix it again. The exact total of the wealth of these individuals is actually something of a mystery, thanks to the tax havens they use to hide their fortunes. There are trillions of dollars squirrelled away in those havens – no one knows quite how much – and the subtraction of that money from the global economy has a direct and debilitating effect on the people not fortunate enough to be part of that elite 100.

  • Censorship

  • Privacy

    • Communications data bill response

      Responding to calls to revive the communications data bill…

    • Four-star general in eye of U.S. cyber storm

      Depending on your point of view, U.S. General Keith Alexander is either an Army four-star trying to stave off a cyber Pearl Harbor attack, or an overreaching spy chief who wants to eavesdrop on the private emails of every American.

    • NSA Utah Data Center Facing Unexpected Energy Taxes

      The 1 million square-foot Camp Williams facility in Bluffdale, Utah will house a 100,000 square foot data center, while the remaining 900,000 SF will be used for technical support and administrative space. Wired has estimated the Utah Data Center would consume $40 million of electricity a year, which translates into about $2.4 million annually in additional taxes under HB325.

    • Inside the Ring: NSA under Reagan

      It was the first time the NSA made public the number of people who work for the agency, whose post-9/11 workforce is now estimated at between 30,000 and 40,000.

    • Are All Telephone Calls Recorded And Accessible To The US Government?

      ….every telephone conversation… with or without a search warrant — “is being captured as we speak.”

  • Civil Rights

    • Justice Department’s scrutiny of Fox News reporter James Rosen in leak case draws fire

      Journalists, First Amendment watchdogs and government transparency advocates reacted with outrage Monday to the revelation that the Justice Department had investigated the newsgathering activities of a Fox News reporter as a potential crime in a probe of classified leaks.

      Critics said the government’s suggestion that James Rosen, Fox News’s chief Washington correspondent, was a “co-conspirator” for soliciting classified information threatened to criminalize press freedoms protected by the First Amendment. Others also suggested that the Justice Department’s claim in pursuing an alleged leak from the State Department was little more than pretext to seize his e-mails to build their case against the suspected leaker.

    • Immigration reform may spur software robotics

      The Senate immigration bill’s H-1B restrictions have clearly upset Indian firms. But sometimes being in a tough spot can prompt new ways of approaching problems. One firm is implementing software robots.

    • Cleared of Charges of Setting Off a School Explosion, Florida Honor Student Heads to Space Camp

      In late April, the 16-year-old central Florida honor student was accused of igniting a chemical explosion on school grounds, leading to her arrest and suspension from school, but authorities dropped criminal charges last week.

    • Judge finds Ariz. sheriff’s office racially profiles Latinos in immigration patrols

      A federal judge has ruled that the office of America’s self-proclaimed toughest sheriff systematically singled out Latinos in its trademark immigration patrols, marking the first finding by a court that the agency racially profiles people.

    • Woolwich murder: Theresa May vows to get tough on extremist websites

      A dramatic battery of measures to prevent radicalisation of British Muslims was outlined on Sunday by the home secretary, Theresa May, including tougher pre-emptive censorship of internet sites, a lower threshold for banning extremist groups and renewed pressure on universities and mosques to reject so-called hate preachers.

    • Full California Assembly to Vote on Rejecting NDAA “Indefinite Detention”

      Today, the California Assembly Appropriations Committee gave a “Do-Pass” approval to a bill that could render toothless the federal “indefinite detention” powers under the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). The bill, by ASM Tim Donnelly was previously passed unanimously by the Public Safety Committee and is expected to get a vote in the full state assembly in the coming week.

    • Obama Impeachment: Articles Of Impeachment Must Be Issued to Recover Faith in Government

      In the past few years we have witnessed the worst of government. President Barack Obama now represents a lawless government incapable of any accountability. It’s my belief that “Articles of Impeachment” must be brought forward in order to check the executive branch. Congress must make itself relevant again; otherwise no president will fear anything and the executive branch of will become more and more tyrannical.

    • In Guantanamo, fine words are no substitute for freedom

      When President Obama delivered a major speech on America’s drone program and the ongoing existence of the Guantanamo prison, the majority of those most affected by the latter – the prisoners themselves – were, ironically, unable to hear his speech.

    • AP probe: White House claims no knowledge, Justice Dept defends actions
    • On Guantánamo, The Three Steps Obama Needs To Take Now – OpEd

      Late on Friday evening, RT published an article I had been commissioned to write for them, entitled, “In Guantánamo, fine words are no substitute for freedom.” In it, I examined in detail the parts of President Obama’s national security speech on Thursday that dealt with the prison at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, where a prison-wide hunger strike has been raging for nearly four months.

      The 166 men still held are expressing their despair at having been abandoned by all three branches of the US government — by President Obama and his administration, by Congress and by the judiciary, and for good reason — 86 of these men were cleared for release three years ago by an inter-agency task force that President Obama established when he took office in 2009, and most of the 80 others would be entirely justified in concluding that, in their cases, justice has gone AWOL.

    • English Defence League protest met with cries of ‘Nazi scum, off our streets’ in Newcastle

      A counter-rally, under the name of Newcastle Unites, was also held in the city, with people chanting: “NazI scum, off our streets”.

    • LibertyReserve.com shuttered, founder arrested in Spain

      Website of Liberty Reserve, a digital currency, has been shut with the founder arrested by police in Spain this week over his alleged involvement in money laundering.

  • DRM

    • Judge says leaning toward U.S. in Apple e-books case

      In an unusual move before a trial, a federal judge expressed a tentative view that the U.S. Justice Department will be able to show evidence that Apple Inc engaged in a conspiracy with publishers to increase e-book prices.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • New International Coalition to TPP Negotiators: We Demand a Fair Deal for the Internet

      Today EFF joins organizations from the around the world representing a diversity of interests in launching a new coalition to ask for A Fair Deal on intellectual property (IP) in the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP). The coalition has launched a website at www.OurFairDeal.org calling for TPP negotiators to “reject copyright proposals that restrict the open Internet, access to knowledge, economic opportunity and our fundamental rights.” The TPP meetings are taking place in Lima, Peru this week until May 25th, and EFF has been on the ground working with groups to fight those provisions and demand a seat at the table at these secretive negotiations.

    • Brocade and A10 settle patent case one hour before a jury hears it

      One of the longer-running and higher stakes high-tech patent disputes has been laid to rest. Brocade and A10 Networks settled their patent and copyright dispute over their competing application delivery controllers today. The deal was struck just one hour before a San Jose jury was going to hear opening statements in a damages trial, according to Mike Swift, a reporter for the MLex legal and regulatory news service.

    • Copyrights

      • Prenda Law: The Sound of One Shoe Dropping

        There have been many small-to-medium developments in the Prenda Law saga. I’m preparing for trial, so I won’t be covering them any time soon. But I will leave you with one: a consequence for a Prenda Law lawyer in the Ninth Circuit.

      • Prenda blows sanctions deadline, ordered to pay an extra $1,000 per day

        The four lawyers linked to the Prenda Law copyright-trolling organization were slapped with an $81,000 sanctions order, which as of today, they have missed the deadline to pay. They did make time to file a last-minute motion to delay the sanctions, which only got referred back to the judge who’s angry at them in the first place: US District Judge Otis Wright.

      • First Hand Account Of Judicial Smackdown Of Prenda In Minnesota

        Yesterday we had a story about how a judge in Minnesota, Judge Ann Alton, angrily accused Paul Hansmeier of fraud in the lawsuit filed by Alan Cooper against Prenda. There was some confusion by the judge about whether Cooper and Godfread were in on the fraud too, which seems to have made the judge less open to possible damages against Prenda. Either way, without a court reporter, Matthew Sparby, who was in attendance, wrote up the following first-hand account of what happened in the court room. It’s definitely disappointing to see that the judge made a few bad assumptions about Cooper/Godfread, but good to see that she knew that Prenda has been up to no good.

      • RIAA losing money, firing employees, giving execs raises

        The RIAA has submitted its latest Form 990 tax filing to the IRS, which details the organization’s precipitous shelving off in budget and employees (though the execs gave themselves fat raises)…

      • RIAA Makes Drastic Employee Cuts as Revenue Plummets
      • Broadcasters go after Aereo by suing smaller competitor, Aereokiller

        ABC, NBC, and Fox file a new copyright suit against a far less formidable opponent

      • Pirate Bay Blessing Propels New BitTorrent Tracker to Great Heights

        In recent weeks a new Demonoid-inspired standalone tracker entered the BitTorrent ecosystem with a bang. Blessed by The Pirate Bay, Demonii has quickly become one of the most used BitTorrent trackers on the Internet. TorrentFreak decided to catch up with the admin to find out how it all came to be.

      • Pirate Bay Blessing Propels New BitTorrent Tracker to Great Heights

        In recent weeks a new Demonoid-inspired standalone tracker entered the BitTorrent ecosystem with a bang. Blessed by The Pirate Bay, Demonii has quickly become one of the most used BitTorrent trackers on the Internet. TorrentFreak decided to catch up with the admin to find out how it all came to be.

      • Someone’s Trying to Nail the RIAA for Downloading Porn

        With a reputation of taking harsh measures against unauthorized file-sharing, the RIAA has made quite a few enemies over the years. How ironic is it then that the RIAA website now appears to be seeding more than a dozen pirated porn videos? Or could it be that someone is trying to nail the RIAA in a clever way?

      • Copyright… Patent… It’s All The Same To The World’s Third-Largest News Agency

        While we realize that the intricacies of IP law (and its often-attendant ridiculousness) can be rather difficult for the average, uninterested person to parse, it’s really not asking too much to expect large international news agencies to make an effort to get the terminology right.

        As you recall, Kim Dotcom recently announced he holds a patent for two-factor authentication, which he then waved in the direction of other internet titans like Twitter and Google, promising not to sue in exchange for contributions to his legal defense fund.

        Here’s how AFP (Agence France-Presse), the third-largest news agency in the world (and one of the oldest) titled its coverage of the Dotcom/patent story: Kim Dotcom might sue Twitter, Google and Facebook over copyright infringement.

Patent Lawyers Want to Further Expand the Scope of Patenting in the US, Use Trolls (Scale-based Criterion) to Distract From Scope-based Reform

Posted in America, Patents at 3:43 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Hijacking opposition and popular unrest, rewriting/overriding them as opposing small pools rather than a conspiracy of large companies operating large pools (or thickets) of software patents

Law and order

Summary: An analysis of patterns in covering the patent issue in the United States; a principal finding continues to be that lawyers don’t want to strike at the root of this issue

TAKING into account the money motive, it has become very clear why patent lawyers lobby so hard to maintain the broken system and furthermore make it worse (for everyone but lawyers, to whom the societal cost of a broken system is relayed as revenue). The ACLU intervenes in the big case where a decision on “whether human genes can be patented” is at stake. Using the cult of celebrities in the LA Times Angelina Jolie too seems to be getting involved and “maybe she is trying to subtly influence the U.S. Supreme Court, which is expected to rule later this year on a case challenging a Utah company’s patent of the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes.

“The ACLU intervenes in the big case where “whether human genes can be patented” is at stake.”“The company, Myriad Genetics, developed the “BRCAnalysis” test that determines whether women have the dangerous gene mutation. No other company may develop such a test as long as Myriad owns the patent on the genes.”

The USPTO is a mess and it is not surprising. It’s guarded by wolves. One lobby comes up with ridiculous claims like “US$300 billion worth of intellectual property is stolen from the US every year” (IP being a meaningless term).

“The USPTO is a mess and it is not surprising. It’s guarded by wolves.”Well, putting aside the misuse of the term “steal”, those behind those figures don’t grok economics, but this is not supposed to be factual or evidence-based anyway. The USPTO memo to the examiners regarding CLS Bank helps show that the USPTO is just trying to guard its own existence and growth, it is not a public service. They should redirect from the .gov domain to a .com domain. Pamela Jones wrote: “The USPTO says it has no plans to alter their wicked ways. : D

“Not yet, anyway. It’s not really surprising, given the unusual split and the CLS Bank decision regarding the particular patents before the court. Nobody knows now what is and isn’t patentable, which is actually better than the situation before CLS Bank, in my view. They used to think they had it right. Not so much now. So stay tuned.”

Lawyers capitalise on ambiguity and lack of clarify. They always try to write de facto law themselves,using the press or at least their own self-serving (promotional) Web sites. We should stop paying much attention to them regarding the CAFC decision, which they try to warp for their own agenda. We oughtn’t be asking judges, i.e. glorified lawyers, either. They are part of the same system and in this recent discussion of federal judges Posner was the only judge who we know is against software patents [1, 2, 3, 4, 5].

“The USPTO memo to the examiners regarding CLS Bank helps show that the USPTO is just trying to guard its own existence and growth, it is not a public service.”Over at NPR, it is estimated that software patents have become a very major component of all US patents. NPR says “[r]oughly 40,000 software patents are issued every year,” which would make it infeasible for any developer or even large development company to survey code for patent infringement. It is clear that those patents have no room in society. Even the examiners fail to survey prior art, so what is the point of it all?

The New Legal Review is preaching to the converted (lawyers) when it calls for expansion of patent scope, not reduction. It starts by stating: “Questions of what subject matter should or should not be patentable have once again seized the agenda – and the much-litigated field of software has provided the springboard. In March, the District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, a venue that usually supports patent owners, struck down a software patent held by non-practising entity (NPE) Uniloc, following proceedings that Uniloc itself had brought in June 2012. In its complaint, Uniloc alleged that web-hosting company Rackspace had infringed its patent for a means of processing ‘floating point’ numbers in computer programs – that is, decimal numbers.”

One lawyer, Julie Samuels [1, 2, 3, 4], is now writing for the EFF on the subject of parents. Just like another such EFF lawyer (Mr. Nazer [1, 2]), she targets players, not scope. She wrote: “Today, Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) introduced the Patent Abuse Reduction Act, a wide-ranging bill targeting abusive litigation tactics—a favorite tool of the patent troll.”

“Even the examiners fail to survey prior art, so what is the point of it all?”She writes about patent trolls repeatedly but not about patent scope. What she is pursuing is not the solution really, but then again, she is a lawyer. Here is another lawyers’ site speaking about the misdirected reform.

This problem of misdirection (from grassroots to corporate) is not entirely new. Several years ago a Cisco lawyer created an anonymous blog focusing just on patent trolls (not scope) and now we find this entertaining blog about patent trolls, with a unique style. It is called IP Troll Tracker and it too focused on players and not scope. The aforementioned patent lawyers’ blog continues to hammer on trolls when it says: “As Congress considers the SHIELD Act, it is helpful to review some of the empirical evidence on the economics Patent Assertion Entities (PAEs). Following up on Colleen Chien’s recent post (Patent Trolls by the Numbers), this post looks briefly at data on the 10 publicly listed firms that were predominantly in the patent assertion business during the period from 2005 to 2010 (Acacia, Asure, Interdigital, Mosaid, Network-1, OPTi, Rambus, Tessera, Virnetx, and Wi-Lan). These companies accounted for about one sixth of all PAE lawsuits filed during this period. Although these companies might not represent the entire universe of PAEs, the greater amount of available financial information helps paint a rich picture of their business.”

“Lawyers-run sites don’t want us to limit the scope of patenting (their bread and butter).”David Balto (another lawyer [PDF]), writing for Patent Progress, also focuses on trolls by saying: “Patent trolls have started to target end-users, especially small companies, because they typically lack the expertise, experience and ability to fight questionable claims. Litigation costs can quickly mount up to $250,000 to $500,000, and reach millions if the case goes all the way through trial (not to mention appeals). End-users also have to deal with disruptions to their business from discovery requests and managing the litigation. Often companies are forced to divulge secret financial and technical information as well as divert key personnel from their work to participate in depositions and give testimony. Patent trolls, on the other hand, have few costs in pursuing a suit because they do not operate in any market. The lawsuit has no disruptive effect on the patent troll’s business because it is the patent troll’s

The key problem is not the trolls but the patents themselves. Lawyers-run sites don’t want us to limit the scope of patenting (their bread and butter). It has become rather evident and it is worth demonstrating in order to recover grassroots activism on patents; currently, all the efforts are being hijacked by businesses, mostly those of lawyers and their clients (large corporations with many patents).

With Xbox, Microsoft Helps Spy on Living Rooms, Not Just Personal Space Through Webcam/Microphone (Skype)

Posted in IBM, Microsoft at 3:42 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Stasi’s best friend


Summary: How Xbox One can help the NSA spy not only on Americans but everyone who drinks Kool-Aid like Skype or Xbox

In social media, as well as in daily links in Techrights, I research and write a lot about the NSA, which I consider to be not much better than the Stasi (although the NSA is shrouded in more secrecy, impeded only by whistleblowers like Drake and Binney who challenge plausible deniability). Being German, this strikes a nerve in me.

As part of a point we made in 2011, Skype definitely can be used and is already being used for surveillance (it’s a fact confirmed by Microsoft). One American blogger wrote some days ago that “we must… assume this could happen to them too. In other words, when you’re using Skype, figure you’re on a party line. Better yet, figure everything you do is being routed through the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.”

“Privacy laws in the US and the EU are very different. Microsoft can spin its spying as merely obeying the law.”Skype is spyware since an American company bought it. Privacy laws in the US and the EU are very different. Microsoft can spin its spying as merely obeying the law. As for Xbox spying, there are Microsoft patents on it, as covered before. Watching the people in the living room without their knowledge or consent is possible. Don’t expect Microsoft with its horrible privacy policies to surprise us for the better.

XBox is a spy on your living room, with a camera too, and “Xbox One is designed to be “always on”; even when you turn it off,” says this new article about Xbox One. It also says: “The other major privacy concern here is hacking. If someone manages to figure out how to get through Microsoft’s security, they could theoretically have a live, 3D video feed of every Xbox One owner at all times. Then again, we already live with and manage this kind of concern for our laptops, our tablets, and our smartphones. Why should our game consoles be any different, right?”

Given that Microsoft spies on Skype, it is not unrealistic or far-fetched to suggest Kinect too is or will be used for spying, especially when a warrant it received (the NSA allegedly stores data at the chokepoints, overriding the need for warrants or any paper trail). Microsoft has been doing with secret services what IBM did in World War II in exchange for money and power, helping to track dissidents (or ethnic groups) on the kill list.

Before accusing yours truly of stretching the analogy, be sure to read through the NDAA (especially internment camps legitimisation) and learn about drone strikes, which can legally target Americans and have already killed at least 4 Americans. These were recently named by US Attorney General, who shrugs off the killing of at least three innocent ones because they were Arabs.

‘Defensive’ Software Patents Useless Against Patent Trolls

Posted in Patents, Red Hat at 3:19 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Paperwork cannot and will not stop patent trolls

Form for taxpapers

Summary: Reminder of a universal truism that falsifies common talking points of software patents apologists like Twitter, Google, and Red Hat

The quickly-declining technology company known as Twitter (it very rapidly loses traffic, i.e. its lifeblood, this year, or ~20% in the past 3 months alone based on Alexa, which says roughly the same thing about Facebook) had announced patent de-weaponisation efforts [1, 2] before getting some software patents. It recently put to practice its promise, as was covered here last week. Here is how a good news site explained it: “Twitter has put its previously announced defensive patent plan into action, applying its Innovators Patent Agreement (IPA) to US patent 8,448,084. The IPA was introduced by Twitter in early 2012 as a way to keep companies from using patents assigned to them offensively by agreeing with the creators of the patented technology to only use them defensively. Under the agreement a company wishing to use a patent offensively would have to get the written permission of the creator to do so. These provisions also hold if the patent
is sold on to another company.”

What Twitter does here is misguided. It loses focus on technology and instead focuses on wasteful activities that would not even defend the company. It’s what declining companies such as Microsoft do when they lose momentum and are unable to strategise a comeback. Trolls would not be deterred by any patent portfolio. Twitter helps legitimise software patents in the same way Red Hat and Google do (IBM, by contrast, openly promotes software patenting, too), never mind the openwashing of these patents.

Since Red Hat paid trolls (potentially a proxy of Microsoft) some days ago and trolls cannot be counter-sued using patents, what good are Red Hat’s patents? I am still waiting to hear from Red Hat’s lawyers about it, but I am not holding my breath. They are secretive, the very opposite of open.

Meanwhile, reveals a rant about MPEG-LA, trolls continue to harm everyone using software patents. These trolls are a proxy (no secret about it, this is stated in their official Web sites) for companies like Microsoft and Apple. Steve Pociask, President of the American Consumer Institute, publishes “Consumer tech rip-off from patent pools” and it says: “That is right. Some manufactures and inventors must pay a license fee per device for the MPEG-2 patent pool that represents a collection of over 1,000 patents related to audio and video compression technology.

“These patents are required by manufactures to make such common household devices as personal computers, digital set-top boxes, DVD players, digital television sets, digital cameras video game systems and digital video recorders.

“Most of the MPEG-2 patents have expired, but they still remain bundled with the other essential patents.

“Instead of manufacturers being able to freely to use these expired patents without paying any royalty associated with them, Denver Colorado-based MPEG LA, the MPEG-2 administrator, continues to collect the full licensing fees from manufacturers who pass these fees along to – you guessed it – you, in the form of higher prices on these tech goods.

“The patent pool was started, with the early nod from the Department of Justice (DOJ), when the number of patents stood at 1,048. By the middle of June 2013, the number will have fallen to 416.”

Remember that these are all software patents, which therefore are not even legitimate in most of the world. This is worse than a ripoff; it is extortion. Behind MPEG-LA there are companies like Microsoft and Apple. This is a loophole. MPEG-LA cannot be sued, as it simply has no products to sue over.

Apple Does Not Pay Tax But Wants Android/Linux Tax (Like Its Other Half, Microsoft)

Posted in Apple, GNU/Linux, Google, Patents at 3:02 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Big money

Summary: Systemic/chronic tax evader Apple (essentially robbing society by avoidance, just like Microsoft) continues to seek embargoes in pursuit of considerably high ‘Android tax’, or a sort of corporate Apple welfare that weakens Android and harms consumers (those who bear the cost of this corporate welfare)

Patent aggressor and branding company Apple has been wanting and practically trying to tax Android while dodging its own tax responsibilities, as even the BBC tells readers. Microsoft does the same thing (don’t expect the BBC to cover it), but Congress does not seem to mind it so much. At USA Today there is a cult of personalities. Pamela Jones says “Congress are technically know-nothings, yet they take on themselves the oversight of tech. It’s Alice in Wonderland “off with their heads” level of oversight, and for any tech folks, it’s unbearable. Congress needs help to understand the tech *before* they hold hearings, so they don’t look so foolish.”

“Samsung is easily outselling Apple’s phones, so bans through the ITC are Apple’s main strategy, not just against Samsung. “Apple’s attack on the S4 (leading Linux-powered, records-breaking phone) seeks a ban and coverage from Megan Geuss about this leads Jones to saying: “Apple is not backing down, obviously, and it raises two questions: are the patents even valid? and is this just about harassment rather than actual concern about patents?”

Samsung is easily outselling Apple’s phones, so bans through the ITC are Apple’s main strategy, not just against Samsung. Motorola, for instance, is appealing the ITC ruling on Apple [PDF]. Remember that it was Apple which started it all (litigation with FRAND and misuse of ITC sanctions), seemingly in collusion with Microsoft.

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