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05.28.14

Links 28/5/2014: TogetherJS, PHP Next Generation

Posted in News Roundup at 1:55 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • Is ‘Open’ the ‘Organic’ of the IT Industry?

    First let’s talk about what ‘open’ is not. Open is not merely publishing an API, it’s not submitting your proprietary way of doing things to a standards body, nor is it throwing some code on GitHub. These things aren’t enough.

    Open isn’t about fundamentally changing the equation for the end user. What end users of technology are looking for is the ability to select technology from multiple vendors and have it work together. The ability to not be dependent on a single vendor and to switch non-disruptively if a vendor chooses to go in a different direction.

    So what is ‘open’? First of all it’s something everyone can see, everyone can access, the community can change and anyone can build on. It’s not easy, it’s hard. Good open source is open. How do you know good open source? Look at the community. If there is diversity, meritocracy and a high level of activity it’s probably ‘open’. Hadoop, MySQL, Linux, and OpenStack all make the grade. Cloud Foundry is getting there; Open vSwitch has really come a long way.

  • Nginx passes Apache as Web server of choice among top sites

    According to W3Techs’ figures, Nginx runs 38.8 percent of the top 1,000 sites, with Apache Httpd running 33.7 percent and Microsoft Internet Information Server (IIS) running 9.2 percent. The overall rankings still put Apache at the top, though, with 60.5 percent of all known sites running Apache and only 20.7 percent running Nginx. But the closer one gets to the top of Alexa’s rankings, the greater the odds the site in question is running Nginx.

  • Top 4 open source alternatives to LDAP

    When you want to set up an application, most likely you will need to create an administrative account and add users with different privileges. This scenario happens frequently with content management, wiki, file sharing, and mailing lists as well as code versioning and continuous integration tools. When thinking about user and group centralization, you will need to select an application that fits your needs.

  • Blender 2.71 Test Release Issued With New Features

    Blender 2.71 with its Cycles rendering now supports fire and smoke rendering, deformation motion blur, various optimizations, and support for NVIDIA Maxwell cards when it comes to CUDA support. Blender 2.71 also adds OpenGL render options to its UI, animation improvements, multi-threaded animations within the Blender Game Engine, and many improvements within the Freestyle NPR Rendering.

  • Open Source in high integrity systems

    For example, the Linux operating system is pervasive and open source tools such as the GCC compiler collection are widely used. I even have a copy of Linux running the refrigerator in my kitchen.

  • Web Browsers

  • SaaS/Big Data

    • Can you name all ten OpenStack releases?

      Can you name all of the OpenStack releases? It’s harder than you think, even for some of the core members of the development team.

      During OpenStack Summit, a sampling of attendees were surveyed to see if they could. The results were, well, mixed.

  • Databases

    • Oracle Expands Open-Source High-Availability with MySQL Database Fabric

      Oracle is aiming to make it easier for open-source users of its MySQL database to scale.

      Today Oracle announced the new MySQL Fabric technology as an open-source tool that is available in the MySQL Utilities 1.4 release.

      “If you want to build a high-availability MySQL database, you typically have to setup replication, manage the failover and write some scripts to manage the failover,” Tomas Ulin, vice president, MySQL Engineering explained toDatabaseJournal. “MySQL Fabric hides most of that and will manage the high-availability for you.”

    • Oracle launches database scalability service MySQL Fabric
    • Met Office selects 2ndQuadrant to help with data migration to open source

      The Met Office has selected PostgreSQL specialists 2ndQuadrant to provide training, support and consultancy as the weather service bids to shift from proprietary database solutions that require a licence fee to other alternatives.

      The selection of 2ndQuadrant comes after two pilot projects went into production in April when the Met Office’s locations management database (Strabo) and LIDAR (light detector) data capture system were implemented again into object-relational database management system PostgreSQL and open source software program PostGIS.

  • CMS

    • Open source CMS Tendenci launches service provider program

      The creators of open source CMS project Tendenci want to free up time to focus on developing the platform, so they’ve launched the Web Alliance Marketing Program to partner with service providers to help organizations with their post-deployment needs.

  • Openness/Sharing

  • Programming

    • TogetherJS

      Want to add real-time collaboration to your Web application? Mozilla’s TogetherJS is worth a look.

    • PHP Next Generation

      Over the last year, some research into the possibility of introducing JIT compilation capabilities to PHP has been conducted.

      During this research, the realization was made that in order to achieve optimal performance from PHP, some internal API’s should be changed.

      This necessitated the birth of the phpng branch, initially authored by Dmitry Stogov, Xinchen Hui, and Nikita Popov. This branch does not include JIT capabilities, but rather seeks to solve those problems that prohibit the current, and any future implementation of a JIT capable executor achieving optimal performance by improving memory usage and cleaning up some core API’s.

    • PHP Working On A “Next Generation” Branch

Leftovers

  • Health/Nutrition

    • Counties sue narcotics makers, alleging ‘campaign of deception’

      Two California counties sued five of the world’s largest narcotics manufacturers on Wednesday, accusing the companies of causing the nation’s prescription drug epidemic by waging a “campaign of deception” aimed at boosting sales of potent painkillers such as OxyContin.

  • Security

    • The Half-Baked Security Of Our ‘Internet of Things’

      It is a strange series of events that link two Armenian software engineers; a Shenzen, China-based webcam company; two sets of new parents in the U.S.; and an unknown creep who likes to hack baby monitors to yell obscenities at children. “Wake up, you little slut,” the hacker screamed at the top of his digital lungs last summer when a two-year-old in Houston wouldn’t stir; she happened to be deaf. A year later, a baby monitor hacker struck again yelling obscenities at a 10-month-old in Ohio.

    • Apps on your Android phone can take photos without you knowing

      A researcher has demonstrated that it’s possible for malicious attackers to create an Android app that will surreptitiously take pictures and upload them to a remote server without the user being aware of or noticing it.

    • Avast Takes Down User Forum After Breach
  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • No UK troops for Nato’s Ukraine war games

      We note with great concern that UK and US troops will participate alongside Ukrainian troops in joint military exercises on Ukrainian territory in July as part of NATO’s Rapid Trident manoeuvres. Ukraine is not a member of NATO. Its participation in military exercises by a nuclear-armed alliance with a first-strike policy can only further destabilise the situation in the Ukraine, making it more difficult to achieve a political resolution to the crisis.

    • One Year After Obama’s Big Drone Speech, Many Promises Left Unkept

      One year ago last Friday, President Barack Obama gave a major address on drones, targeted killing and terrorism. The president and administration officials promised that the drone program would operate within limits protecting civilians, control would be transferred from the CIA to the Pentagon, and a new era of transparency would begin.

      The number of drone strikes has fallen since then, but it is far from clear that the drop was a result of a shift in administration policy. Frustrated in part by Congress and the facts on the ground in Pakistan and Yemen, when it comes to drones, Obama has fulfilled few of his promises.

    • Drones will be focus of protests at Obama’s speech
    • NYPD Renews Push For Drones To Help Police The City

      While unmanned aircraft could offer outstanding benefits to both the NYPD and the city’s fire department, these benefits may not outweigh the concerns of citizens and civil liberties groups.

    • Robot Warfare: What Happens When Humans Cede Combat Duty to Automated Forces?

      With the increasing use of drones in military operations, it is perhaps only a matter of time before robots replace soldiers. Whether fully automated war is on the immediate horizon, one researcher says it’s not too early to start examining the ethical issues that robot armies raise. In her recent thesis on the ethics of automation in war, Linda Johansson, a researcher in robot ethics at KTH Royal Institute of Technology, suggests that it is necessary to reconsider the international laws of war, and to begin examining whether advanced robots should be held accountable for their actions.

    • Is US Domestic Case Law Providing a Moral Hazard for Covert Killings of Americans Overseas?

      One of the most controversial decisions of the Obama presidency has been his authorization to target and kill Americans overseas who decide to take up arms against the United States. In 2011, a drone strike killed Anwar al-Awlaki, an American citizen who moved to Yemen and became a high level cleric within al-Qaeda’s Yemeni affiliate, which has been deemed by the United States to be al-Qaeda’s most dangerous branch. According to US officials, Awlaki was too dangerous to be left alive as his work and teachings were radicalizing others to join in jihad.

    • White House Can’t Regain a Deterrence It Never Had

      The stories previewing President Obama’s upcoming foreign-policy address at West Point leaves the impression that the president might somehow just verbalize a word cloud of catchphrases instead of an actual speech. The New York Times story over the weekend, for example, explains that the president will seek to “chart a middle course between isolationism and military intervention.” It quotes national-security aide Ben Rhodes as saying the speech, at tomorrow’s commencement ceremony, is “a case for interventionism but not overreach.”

    • The Uncomfortable Truth Is That Targeted Killings Are Legal Until Congress Says Otherwise

      At the most superficial level, Judge David Barron, who the Senate confirmed last week to a seat on the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit, is easy to compare to the infamous Bush Administration attorney John Yoo. Yoo authored several infamous memos while he was a senior attorney in the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel, which argued that it was perfectly legal to torture so-called “enemy combatants” captured during the Bush Administration’s efforts to fight terrorism. Barron, also as a senior attorney in the same Justice Department office, authored several memos concerning the use of drones to target suspected terrorists during the Obama Administration — including at least two concerning whether the president may order a senior enemy combatant who is also an American citizen killed without trial.

    • Feds seek extra redactions in drone memo

      The Justice Department plans to ask a federal appeals court to delete additional material from a drone-related legal opinion before it’s made public—redactions that would go beyond those the court approved last month, a government lawyer said in a legal filing Tuesday night.

      Last week, officials speaking on condititon of anonymity said the Obama Administration had decided not to appeal the pro-disclosure ruling from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit. Word of the decision to acquiesce in the the appeals court ruling and release the Office of Legal Counsel memo in redacted form came on the eve of a Senate vote on the confirmation of former DOJ official David Barron to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 1st Circuit. Indeed, word of the decision to make some of the legal opinion public may have helped clear the way for Barron’s confirmation by the Senate, 53-45.

    • UK government faces legal action over failure to investigate BT drones link

      The legal charity Reprieve has threatened legal action against the British government over its failure to investigate the role of UK telecoms giant BT in facilitating covert US drone strikes in Yemen.

      BT has earned an estimated $23 million from a US government contract to supply key communications infrastructure between RAF Croughton – a US military base in Northamptonshire – and Camp Lemonnier in Djibouti, the secret base from which armed drones reportedly carry out lethal strikes in Yemen. According to the US military, American forces stationed at RAF Croughton provide “global strike operations.”

      Legal investigations have begun on behalf of Mohammed al-Qawli, a Yemeni civil servant who lost his brother, a primary school teacher, and cousin, a 20-year-old student, in a drone strike in January 2013. They follow a July 2013 complaint by Reprieve to the UK government watchdog, the National Contact Point (NCP) for the Organisation for Economic Development (OECD) Guidelines. That complaint was rejected after the NCP said it had no duty to “conduct research or interrogate” BT.

    • An Advocate For One-Branch Tyranny

      President Barack Obama has employed the limitless executive power defended by Mr. McCarthy…

    • Yemen’s Military Really Doesn’t Want Anyone to Know About Civilian Casualties

      It’s clear that when journalists and activists have been prevented by the governments of Yemen and the US from covering conflicts in Yemen — or persecuted for challenging official versions of events — the goal of authorities has repeatedly been to conceal atrocities against civilians. As the Yemeni military, backed by the US, continues both its fight against al Qaeda and its persecution of journalists, we must continue to ask: What are they trying to hide this time?

    • Conor Friedersdorf: Killing of American a dangerous precedent

      Consider the most extremist act President Barack Obama has taken: he put an American on a secret kill list, sent a drone to find the man, and blew him up. No judge. No jury. Just a summary execution. The target might have deserved to die. But he had a right to a trial, even in absentia. The Fifth Amendment guarantees that no one will be deprived of life without due process.

    • Posterity Will Hate Us: Building a Lasting Legacy of Death

      What do we aim at? Houses! Who do we kill? Everyone inside the houses!

    • 10K troops to ‘finish’ Afghan job

      President Obama revealed his long-awaited plan for Afghanistan on Tuesday, announcing that a residual force of 9,800 U.S. troops will remain there for one year after the end of combat operations in December. That number will be cut in half at the end of 2015 and reduced at the end of 2016 to a small military presence at the U.S. Embassy.

    • Monster Capitalism and the Complicit State

      The phrase “close-embrace” to describe the incestuous relationship between business and government in advanced capitalism is by Masao Maryuma, a Japanese political scientist to describe corporate concentration under the blessing and encouragement of government. This is, along with the centrality of war and market expansion, among the most salient integral features of capitalist development in its progression to monopolism, hierarchical class structure, and establishing a full-blown partnership with government: the Corporate and National-Security States merging, with national security concerned as much with protecting the market share and freedom from adverse regulation of the dominant firms in the industrial and financial sectors, as with putatively repelling a foreign foe and protecting the “homeland”. The upshot, fascism without, necessarily, the concentration camp—fascism predicated on the internalized repression of the populace, conditioned to look to the business system as the genius of the nation, its arbiter of taste, its salvation. The trickle-down paradigm follows, as does the moral superiority of those at the top AND the enterprises they lead—conversely, justified class-stratification where the lazy and/or subversive (i.e., those maladapted to the incentives offered by capitalism) fall deservedly into an underclass.

    • 50 Years Later, CIA Still Refuses to Release One Volume of Report on Invasion of Cuba

      The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) has been granted the legal authority to refuse to release an historical report on the failed Bay of Pigs invasion more than 50 years ago.

      The matter arose after the National Security Archive, a nonprofit historical organization at George Washington University, sued the CIA to obtain the last portion of an internal history about the April 1961 mission to overthrow Fidel Castro of Cuba.

      The first four volumes of the report, written by CIA staff historian Jack Pfeiffer, have been released over the years. But the CIA refused to release the Volume V draft, claiming it was authorized under an exemption to the Freedom of Information Act to withhold the information. A final version of the report has not been produced.

  • Finance

    • Can capitalism ever be ethical?

      Bank of England governor Mark Carney says capitalism is doomed if ethics vanish

    • Thomas Paine, Our Contemporary

      Cornel West, Richard D. Wolff and I, along with moderator Laura Flanders, next Sunday will inaugurate “The Anatomy of Revolution,” a series of panel discussions focusing on modern revolutionary theorists. This first event will be part of a two-day conference in New York City sponsored by the Left Forum, and nine other discussions by West, Wolff and me will follow in other venues later this year.

      Sunday’s event will be about Thomas Paine, the author of “Common Sense,” “The Rights of Man” and “The Age of Reason”—the most widely read political essays of the 18th century, works that established the standards by which rebellion is morally and legally permissible. We will ask whether the conditions for revolt set by Paine have been met with the rise of the corporate state. Should Paine’s call for the overthrow of British tyranny inspire our own call for revolution? And if it should, to echo Vladimir Lenin, what must be done?

      Thomas Paine is America’s one great revolutionary theorist. We have produced a slew of admirable anarchists—Alexander Berkman, Emma Goldman, Dorothy Day and Noam Chomsky—and radical leaders have arisen out of oppressed groups—Sitting Bull, Frederick Douglass, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Fannie Lou Hamer, Martin Luther King Jr., Malcolm X, Cornel West and bell hooks—but we don’t have a tradition of revolutionists. This makes Paine unique.

    • Is David Koch Getting a Tax Writeoff for Dropping $900K on the Walker Race?

      The “charitable” wing of David Koch’s Americans for Prosperity has dropped nearly $900,000 on ads to boost Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker’s reelection campaign, just days after polls showed Walker tied with his Democratic challenger, Mary Burke.

  • Censorship

    • Europe On The Verge Of Destroying Online Comments And Free Speech

      We’ve written many times about the importance of protection against secondary liability for websites, such that they’re not held liable for what their users do. In the US, thankfully, we have Section 230 of the CDA, which clearly states that websites cannot be held liable for speech made by their users. Frankly, we shouldn’t need such a law, because it should be obvious: you don’t blame the site for the comments made by others. That’s just a basic question of properly placing liability on those responsible. But, in a world of Steve Dallas lawsuits, in which people will always sue companies with deep pockets, it makes sense to have explicit safe harbors to stop bogus litigation.

    • BBC Accused Of Censorship After Editing Out ‘Girl’ For Fear Of Offending
    • OSCE against Internet censorship in Serbia

      OSCE representative in charge of media freedom, Dunja Mijatovic, criticized today Serbian authorities over a disturbing trend of efforts to censor media content on the Internet.

    • Censorship in an online age
    • Film Censorship Board set to revise outdated fees

      Filmmakers and importers will soon have to dip deeper into their pockets to have their film certified by the Film Censorship Board.

    • Saudi Arabia Steps Up Censorship, Snaring Activists

      Since the surprise Arab uprisings of 2011, the Saudi government has worked assiduously to ensure it has all the tools of censorship it needs to control dissent. These tools — a combination of special courts, laws, and regulatory authorities — are starting to fire on all cylinders. The result has been a string of arrests and prosecutions in recent months of independent and dissident voices.

    • In Kansas, Professors Must Now Watch What They Tweet

      The Kansas Board of Regents gave final approval Wednesday to a strict new policy on what employees may say on social media. Critics say the policy violates both the First Amendment and academic freedom, but school officials say providing faculty with more specific guidelines will actually bolster academic freedom on campus.

  • Privacy

    • FBI Says Free App Could Help In Child Abduction Cases
    • Saving Time & Lives: FBI Unveils New Child ID App
    • FBI Joins The 20th Century, Will Begin Using Recording Equipment During Custodial Interviews

      No, that’s not a typo. The FBI has finally reached the 20th century when it comes to advancements in recording technology. No longer will records of custodial questionings be limited to agents’ handwritten notes — the sort of thing that’s impossible to independently verify and prone to “spin” by the transcriptionist. (via emptywheel)

    • DOJ reverses no-recording policy for interrogations

      Since the FBI began under President Theodore Roosevelt in 1908, agents have not only shunned the use of tape recorders, they’ve been prohibited by policy from making audio records of statements by criminal suspects without special approval.

    • NSA aims for absolute surveillance

      He said the NSA aims to have utter surveillance of everything it wants, and there is no boundary or limit to what it wants to do.

    • Deputy Pm: ‘Fnm Govt Knew Of N.S.A. Spying’

      DEPUTY Prime Minister Philip “Brave” Davis suggested yesterday that the former government “was aware of” an arrangement to accommodate alleged cell phone spying conducted by the United State’s National Security Agency (NSA) on the Bahamas.

    • Where was the NSA before the Isla Vista Mass Shooting?

      He stabbed three men to death in his apartment and shot the others as he opened fire on bystanders on the crowded streets of Isla Vista, California. Rodger then killed himself. Three semi automatic handguns, along with 41 loaded ten-round magazines— all bought at local gun stores— were found in his car. There could have been many more dead.

    • Do Personal Computers Come With NSA Surveillance Devices Built-In As Standard?

      Just over a year ago, only the most paranoid would have worried about the fact that the GCHQ sent two people to destroy these seemingly trivial components. But in the wake of Snowden’s revelations about the astonishing range of technologies that the NSA has developed in order to infiltrate hardware systems — things like radio transmitters built into USB leads — the GCHQ’s actions immediately raise a troubling thought: that most or all mainstream computers routinely contain various components that can be used to spy on us.

    • Importing network gear from the US is “a big f***ing mistake”

      Ever since the revelations from Edward Snowden regarding the United States’ National Security Agency (NSA) mass interception of online communications, many individuals have taken measures to secure their data connections. Use of services designed to improve personal privacy has spiked, and many companies – like Google and Facebook – have begun fully encrypting traffic on their networks to try and avoid the prying eyes of spooks.

    • What’s Wrong With Cisco and IBM Today? Blame the NSA
    • China Said to Study IBM Servers for Bank Security Risks

      The Chinese government is reviewing whether domestic banks’ reliance on high-end servers from International Business Machines Corp. (IBM) compromises the nation’s financial security, people familiar with the matter said, in an escalation of the dispute with the U.S. over spying claims.

      Government agencies, including the People’s Bank of China and the Ministry of Finance, are asking banks to remove the IBM servers and replace them with a local brand as part of a trial program, said the four people, who asked not to be identified because the review hasn’t been made public.

    • Google’s Brin says NSA surveillance revelations were a ‘huge disappointment’
    • Google’s Brin Says NSA Surveillance Revelations Were a “Huge Disappointment”

      Onstage at Code Conference, Google co-founder Sergey Brin said that recent revelations of National Security Agency surveillance were “a huge disappointment, certainly to me and obviously to the world as a whole.”

      He suggested that some level of surveillance for national security may be appropriate, but that limited spying on a few foreign generals to prevent “total nuclear annihilation” during the Cold War is not the same as mass surveillance of Internet traffic in the modern age.

    • Privacy under attack: the NSA files revealed new threats to democracy

      Thanks to Edward Snowden, we know the apparatus of repression has been covertly attached to the democratic state. However, our struggle to retain privacy is far from hopeless

    • Edward Snowden Says He Assisted NSA and CIA as Undercover Agent Overseas

      Edward Snowden, former contractor at the US National Security Agency who leaked top secret documents about massive surveillance programmes conducted by the US government, said he “was trained as a spy” and rejected claims that he was a low-level analyst.

    • Snowden: I Was a Spy, Given a Fake Name

      Edward Snowden wants the world to know he was more than the “low-level systems administrator” US authorities have described him as—he was a trained spy and technical expert. In an interview with NBC’s Brian Williams, the National Security Agency leaker says he was a spy “in sort of the traditional sense of the word in that I lived and worked undercover overseas—pretending to work in a job that I’m not—and even being assigned a name that was not mine.” He says he has worked for the CIA as well as the NSA, and as a lecturer at a counterintelligence academy for the Defense Intelligence Agency and for the CIA as well as the NSA..

    • Edward Snowden: ‘I Worked As A Spy Overseas’
    • Edward Snowden: I was a spy ‘at all levels’

      Fugitive leaker disputes US government claims he was a low-level administrator

    • Why it’s impossible to make an NSA-proof computer

      The past year has not been a great one for computer security. Last summer, Edward Snowden revealed how the NSA has been exploiting vulnerabilities to spy on people, Target suffered a massive security breach that exposed the credit card information for as much as a third of the American population, the Heartbleed bug was a major vulnerability found in the Internet’s most common encryption standard, and eBay just asked all 145 million of its customers to change their passwords after a security breach. But that was just the tip of the iceberg.

      [...]

      She argues that every computer and every piece of software we use is vulnerable to hackers because of terrible security flaws. The reason for all these flaws, Norton says, it that these programs are being written by developers who face immense pressure to ship software quickly. Security is simply not a top priority in this context. Even the people who focus on computer security struggle to keep track of every vulnerability.

    • Spectacular NSA-saga finale coming: Greenwald

      Glenn Greenwald, one of the main journalists behind the exposé of the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA)’s global mass surveillance of Internet and telephone communications, said that the “biggest yet” revelations were yet to come in days ahead — the names of numerous U.S. persons and organisations who were the targets of the automated mega-snooping.

    • Names of American citizens spied on by NSA to be published
    • ‘Biggest yet’: Greenwald to publish names of Americans whom NSA is spying on
    • House Moves to Sever Crypto-ties Between NSA and NIST
    • House Committee Initiates NIST-NSA Separation on Crypto Standards

      Eight months after an explosive revelation that encryption standards developed and evaluated by the National Security Agency were allegedly subverted by the intelligence outfit, a House committee has moved to sever the NSA’s involvement in the standards process.

      An amendment to the Frontiers in Innovation, Research, Science and Technology Act, or FIRST Act, was passed by the House Science and Technology Committee late last week that strikes a requirement that the NSA and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) work hand-in-hand on encryption standards.

    • Secrets and Lies: Should we know how far surveillance goes?
  • Civil Rights

    • Karl Rove Whitewashes His Role In Outing CIA Agent

      Fox News contributor Karl Rove exploited the Obama administration’s accidental exposure of a CIA operative’s identity to absolve his own culpability in deliberately leaking former CIA operative Valerie Plame’s identity during the Bush administration.

    • Oops … the CIA does it again!

      The resultant chaos in the wake of Arab Spring, however, tops the chart. In other words, it is very rare to read anything positive about the CIA in any US paper. So, from where does these sleuths receive positive reports about their achievements to satisfy the US Senate Intelligence Committee or the White House?

    • The CIA and the Misuse of Public Health

      After the deception was revealed by the British newspaper, however, the ruse had an unexpected outcome. Angry villagers in several tribal areas on the Afghan border chased away legitimate health workers. They accused those workers of being spies who wanted to gather information on the people living in that region.

    • US asks judge to reconsider his CIA prison order

      Pohl ordered prosecutors last month to turn over never-revealed details about al-Nashiri’s treatment. A CIA inspector general’s report says he was waterboarded and threatened with a gun and power drill.

    • Right-Wing Media Draw False Equivalence To Downplay Bush Administration’s Deliberate Leak Of CIA Covert Agent’s Identity
    • Expensive TSA Nudie Scanners Find A New Home: Prisons

      It’s been quite a while since we’ve had much news about the TSA’s nudie scanners, other than the admission by one TSA employee that they, you know, don’t work to do anything other than show people being naked. Yes, the federal government’s oddly belated overreaction to the 9/11 terrorist attacks, which they don’t think will be attempted again, required a massive influx of taxpayer cash to pay for all this uselessness. That would be your money, my money, all of our money going into a program that didn’t work, wasn’t needed, and violated our rights. But a story of this kind of futility and waste needs a nice little bow put on it for an ending. The federal government never seems to fail us in this kind of request.

  • DRM

    • Accepting Amazon’s DRM Makes It Impossible To Challenge Its Monopoly

      Amazon was the target of some well-deserved criticism this past week for making the anti-customer move of suspending sales of books published by Hachette, reportedly as a hardball tactic in its ongoing negotiations over ebook revenue splits. In an excellent article, Mathew Ingram connects this with other recent bad behavior by Internet giants leveraging their monopolies. Others have made the connection between this move and a similar one in 2010, when Amazon pulled Macmillan books off its digital shelves.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

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    The creative writing skills of some spinners who work for Battistelli would have staff believe that all is fine and dandy at the EPO and ILO is dealing effectively with staff complaints about the EPO (even if several years too late)



  12. EPO’s Georg Weber Continues Horrifying Trend of EPO Promoting Software Patents in Defiance of Directive, EPC, and Common Sense

    The EPO's promotion of software patents, even out in the open, is an insult to the notion that the EPO is adhering to or is bound by the rules upon which it maintains its conditional monopoly



  13. Protectionism v Sharing: How the US Supreme Court Decides Patent Cases

    As the US Supreme Court (SCOTUS) starts delivering some decisions we take stock of what's to come regarding patents



  14. Links 22/3/2017: GNOME 3.24, Wine-Staging 2.4 Released

    Links for the day



  15. The Battistelli Regime, With Its Endless Scandals, Threatens to Crash the Unitary Patent (UPC), Stakeholders Concerned

    The disdain and the growing impatience have become a huge liability not just to Battistelli but to the European Patent Office (EPO) as a whole



  16. The Photos the EPO Absolutely Doesn't Want the Public to See: Battistelli is Building a Palace Using Stakeholders' Money

    The Office is scrambling to hide evidence of its out-of-control spendings, which will leave the EPO out of money when the backlog is eliminated by many erroneous grants (or rejections)



  17. In the US Patent System, Evolved Tricks for Bypassing Invalidations of Software Patents and Getting Them Granted by the USPTO

    A roundup of news about patents in the US and how the patent microcosm attempts to patent software in spite of Alice (high-impact SCOTUS decision from 2014)



  18. “Then They Came For Me—And There Was No One Left To Speak For Me.”

    The decreasing number of people who cover EPO scandals (partly due to fear, or Battistelli's notorious "reign of terror") and a cause for hope, as well as a call for help



  19. As Expected, the Patent Microcosm is Already Interfering, Lobbying and Influencing Supreme Court Justices

    The US Supreme Court (SCOTUS) is preparing to deliver some important decisions on cases with broad ramifications, e.g. for patent scope, and those who make money from patent feuds are attempting to alter the outcome (which would likely restrict patent scope even further, based on these Justices' track record)



  20. Intellectual Ventures -- Like Microsoft (Which It Came From) -- Spreads Patents to Manifest a Lot of Lawsuits

    That worrisome strategy which is passage of patents to active (legally-aggressive) trolls seems to be a commonality, seen across both Microsoft and its biggest ally among trolls, which Microsoft and Bill Gates helped create and still fund



  21. What the Patent Microcosm is Saying About the EPO and the UPC

    Response to 3 law firms and today's output from them, which serves to inform or misinform the European public at times of Big Lies and fog of (patent) war, revealing the true nature of 21st century asymmetric patent warfare and lobbying



  22. Tough Day for the EPO's Media/Press/PR Team, Trying 'Damage Control' After Important Techrights Publications

    In an effort to save face and regain a sense of legitimacy the EPO publishes various things belatedly, and only after Techrights made these things publicly known and widely discussed



  23. Links 21/3/2017: PyPy Releases, Radeon RX Vega, Eileen Evans at Linux Foundation

    Links for the day



  24. In IAM, Asian Courts That Deliver Justice Are “Unfriendly” and Asian Patent Trolls Are Desirable

    Rebuttal or response to the latest pieces from IAM, which keeps promoting a culture of litigation rather than sharing, collaboration, negotiation, and open innovation



  25. At EPO “I Have the Feeling That Lowering Quality is Part of a Concerted Plan.”

    Growing concern about patent quality at the EPO -- a subject which causes managers to get rather nervous -- is now an issue at the forefront



  26. EPO Reduces the World to Just Seven Nations to Bolster an Illusion of Growing 'Demand' for European Patents

    The unscientific -- if not antiscientific -- attitude of the European Patent Office (EPO) continues to show with the arrival of yet more misleading 'infographics' (disinfographics would be a more suitable term)



  27. Letter to Angela Merkel Expresses Concerns About Impact of EPO Scandals on Germany and Its Image

    Dr. Angela Merkel, arguably the most powerful woman in the world, is being warned about the consequences of Germany ignoring (and hence facilitating) the abuses of Benoît Battistelli



  28. EPO Caricature: Low Patent Quality Not an Achievement

    A new cartoon about the legacy of Battistelli, which ruins both inventors and staff (examination) while handing money to abusers



  29. Are Lithuania and Latvia the Latest Additions to the List of Benoît Battistelli's Vassal States?

    Benoît Battistelli's 'back room' deals came at an interesting, strategic time and the Office uncharacteristically kept quiet about these



  30. Links 20/3/2017: Linux 4.11 RC3, OpenSSH 7.5 Released

    Links for the day


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