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Links 23/6/2014: New Releases of Opera, MakuluLinux, Netrunner

Posted in News Roundup at 11:29 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • ARM Revolution


      These will, of course, run some */Linux operating system. At the rate the government replaces PCs this changeover could take years or, if they accelerate the change, just a year or two. I expect countries like China and India have the will and ability to make such changes. This is a clever move because the savings on hardware could more or less pay for the cost of changing software. The move to */Linux accelerates.

    • Feasibility of desktop on ARM cpu

      Thinkpad X60 is old, Core Duo@1.8GHz, 2GB RAM notebook. But it is still pretty usable desktop machine, as long as Gnome2 is used, number of Chromium tabs does not grow “unreasonable”, and development is not attempted there. But eats a bit too much power.

      OLPC 1.75 is ARM v7@0.8GHz, .5GB RAM. According to my tests, it should be equivalent to Core Solo@0.43GHz. Would that make an usable desktop?

    • debootstrap, olpc, and gnome
  • Kernel Space

    • Open-Source Radeon Performance Boosted By Linux 3.16

      Besides the Nouveau driver performance being faster thanks to experimental re-clocking when using the Linux 3.16 kernel, there are also performance improvements to note with some generations of AMD graphics processors.

      The changes found within Linux 3.16 to benefit the Radeon DRM graphics performance are the GPU VM optimizations and large PTE support. Separate from this performance-related work for this kernel-side open-source AMD update is also HDMI deep color support, HDMI audio clean-ups, and other bug-fixes.

    • Transferring maintainership of x86info
    • Linux 3.16-rc2 gets a Saturday evening release
    • Graphics Stack

      • Gallium3D VDPAU & XvMC Support Are Now Single Libraries

        The start of the Gallium3D “mega drivers” patches by Emil Velikov are starting to land in Mesa. First up, the patches to consolidate the Gallium3D VDPAU and XvMC support into single libraries for supporting multiple drivers.

    • Benchmarks

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • Debugging KF5 build failures

        Those familiar with running development versions of KDE software are familiar with the idea of having to sometimes remove their whole development install directory and “start all over” in order to resolve some types of build errors.

      • NetworkManager 0.9.10 Brings Many New Features
      • Section handling progress
      • Tracklist interface for Plasma Media Center

        I have completed the MPRIS specifications Tracklist interface for PMC. Now other applications can view and control the current playlist in PMC over DBus. This was a part of my GSoC project. This interface will allow me to send commands to PMC, asking it to play a particular song in the playlist. After some changes to the Simon MPRIS plug-in, a user will be able to play a song in the current playlist by naming it. As the Simon plug-in is itself based on MPRIS specifications, it will be able to interact with any media player following the MPRIS specs.

  • Distributions

    • New Releases

      • MakuluLinux KDE 6.0 Released !

        The Long Awaited update to the KDE Edition is now over, Stability, Speed and Beauty is what drives this edition. This Edition is a special one for me because I worked on most of it while being extremely sick to the point where I could not walk, with nothing but a bed, laptop and time on my hands I went to work on this baby and this is the result.

      • Netrunner 14 released

        The Netrunner Team today released Netrunner 14 Frontier – 32bit and 64bit versions. The release follows Kubuntus support cycle, giving it a full 5 year support life via the backport repos.

      • Netrunner 14
    • Arch Family

      • KDE 4.13.2 Is Now Available In Manjaro 0.8.10

        Manjaro 0.8.10 has received its Update-Pack 1, getting regular kernel updates and latest upstream packages. This update adds some new Gnome3 packages, latest linux kernels, drivers and many updated applications needed for performing your tasks.

        According to the official announcement available in the Manjaro blog, KF5 got updated to 4.100 version, the latest mesa 10.2.1 with a better working mhwd is included and the following kernels are supported.

    • Debian Family

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Canonical Debuts ‘Orange Box’ for Ubuntu OpenStack Cloud Demos

            Canonical’s Orange Box, the portable server cluster that the company intends to use to showcase OpenStack, MAAS, Juju and other aspects of the Ubuntu Linux-based cloud, is out. Here’s what it’s all about.

            For starters, it’s important to understand what the Orange Box is not: A revenue-generating hardware product from Canonical. The company has given no indication so far that it plans to sell these devices on a large scale—although if you truly want you can buy one, for the equivalent of around $12,900, from TranquilPC Limited, the company that has the contract for manufacturing them.

          • Flavours and Variants

            • Kubuntu 12.04 LTS and 13.10 Updated with KDE 4.13.2

              “Packages for the release of KDE SC 4.13.2 are available for Kubuntu 12.04LTS, 13.10 and our development release. You can get them from the Kubuntu Backports PPA. Bugs in the packaging should be reported to kubuntu-ppa on Launchpad. Bugs in the software to KDE,” said the leader of the Kubuntu project, Jonathan Riddell.

            • elementary OS Changes Its Codename from Isis to Freya

              Many users have raised this issue in the last few weeks and the elementary OS developers were forced to abandon the Isis codename in order to make sure that people don’t make any connections.

              “elementary obviously has no ties to the militant group known as ISIS – and we don’t think people will get us confused – but we want to both recognize the ongoing turmoil and choose a less controversial name. Freya is a Norse goddess of love and beauty. As we push our design forward, a goddess associated with beauty makes a lot of sense. And evoking the powerful emotion of love is always a good thing!” said the devs on their Google+ account.

            • Elementary OS “Isis” Is Now Freya
  • Devices/Embedded

    • Stroke and gestures now on Raspberry Pi touch screen

      The PiTFT is one of our favourite little things for the Raspberry Pi, making it much more portable than it naturally is and opening it up to many more cool projects than you could do before. The one thing it did lack was proper, modern touch screen controls such as swiping and gesture but this has now been added thanks to Xstroke.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Is a code of conduct vital to the success of an open source community?

    Late last month, the Debian project voted to adopt a community code of conduct, a set of guidelines for acceptable participation in its official communication channels. Members agreed to abide by the following principles:

    Be respectful
    Assume good faith
    Be collaborative
    Try to be concise
    Be open

  • Steps to diversity in your open source group

    Coraline Ehmke has developed apps for the web for 20 years. In that time, she’s learned a lot about open source culture and what makes a community of contributors tick. At the Great Wide Open conference this year, Coraline gave a talk about diversity in open source.

  • Jenkins User Conference – Boston [Event Report]
  • Review: Open source proxy servers are capable, but a bit rough around the edges

    Providing a common gateway for web services, caching web requests or providing anonymity are some of the ways organizations use proxy servers. Commercial proxy products, especially cloud offerings, are plentiful, but we wondered if open source or free products could provide enterprise-grade proxy services.

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Firefox OS Chromecast-like device leaks online

        Not long after it was revealed that Mozilla was working on adding support for Google’s Chromecast in their mobile iterations of the Firefox browser, it appears that they are also creating a device of their own, with functions similar to the Chromecast. The device, which was created by an unknown hardware manufacturer, looks similar to a Chromecast dongle and runs Firefox OS, according to tweets from Christian Heilmann, a “Mozilla Developer Evangelist“. He describes the device as a “fully open TV casting prototype”, which is pretty much the Chromecast, but more open.

      • Mozilla at Open Source Bridge

        This week Open Source Bridge will kick off in Portland and I’m extremely excited that Mozilla will once again be sponsoring this wonderful event. This will also mark my second year attending.

      • Mozilla develops open-source streaming dongle
      • Mozilla puts a development environment into the browser with WebIDE

        Mozilla cites two major advantages of using WebIDE as compared with developing apps for competing platforms. In-browser development tools are already familiar to the enormous number of Web developers that exist, so using them for application development minimizes the number of new tools and new skills that must be learned.

        Second, they’re extremely lightweight as development tools go. The substantial size of downloading tools such as Xcode or Visual Studio, in addition to the cost of developer licenses on other platforms, can limit their appeal and usability, especially in emerging markets. Putting the tools into the browser means that Mozilla’s reach is near universal.

  • SaaS/Big Data

  • Business


  • Openness/Sharing

  • Programming

    • Codescaling Catchup

      I’ve been doing some work with Eclipse Orion, a web-centric IDE with some interesting attributes, so I was interested to see news of forthcoming language support enhancements coming in Orion 6.0. Lots of interesting bits like syntax highlighting that brings in Arduino files, new documentation generators, the ability to use all the tooling while the JavaScript is embedded in HTML, better tunable JavaScript validation with new rules and so on… worth checking out.


  • Man who wore colander on his head for gun licence photo says it is part of Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster’s religion

    AN Adelaide man who had his gun licence photo taken with a colander on his head says it is significant to his religion — the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster — and he should not have had to undertake a psychological test.

  • Hardware

  • Security

    • Syrian Electronic Army hacks Reuters

      Reuters, the international news agency, was reportedly been hacked by the Syrian Electronic Army – a hacking group who support the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and attack news organizations.

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • Prosecutor details 14 killings in Blackwater trial

      In a recitation of death and destruction, a federal prosecutor on Tuesday chronicled for a jury the alleged conduct of four Blackwater security guards accused of killing 14 Iraqis and wounding 18 others in downtown Baghdad nearly seven years ago.

      In opening statements at the trial of the four guards, Assistant U.S. Attorney T. Patrick Martin said some of the victims were “simply trying to get out” of the way of gunfire from Blackwater guards. “Fourteen died, 18 injured. For what?” he said.

    • Fournier: Obama Lies as Bad as Bush

      In a review of a new book by a journalist who claims George Bush lied to the country in the run up to the Iraq war, National Journal columnist Ron Fournier insists that Obama has been just as bad as Bush with his constant stream of lies to the country.

    • Crashes mount as military flies more drones in U.S.

      Shortly after the day’s final bell rang and hundreds of youngsters ran outside Lickdale Elementary School with their book bags and lunchboxes, a military drone fell from the sky.

    • Death at Five Times the Speed of Sound
    • Western intervention in Iraq will be a gift to Isis

      Whether it’s bombs or boots that are sent to stop them, the fallout will provide the militants with dangerously effective propaganda for their cause

    • ‘Stop saying ‘uh-oh’ while you’re flying’: Drone crash pilot quotes unveiled

      Drones are often called unmanned aircraft. But there is a lot of human drama when they crash. Drone pilots and other crew members swear, scream and yell at their remote-control video screens when the aircraft fly out of control. Those moments are often captured by audio recorders in ground control stations.

    • Israeli youngster killed in blast on border with Syria
    • Israel strikes Syrian military targets in retaliation for deadly attack

      The Israeli military struck Syrian army positions in the Golan Heights overnight Sunday in retaliation for an attack earlier in the day that killed an Israeli teen and injured three other people.

      Fighter jets fired missiles at nine targets on the Syrian side of the border, including military command posts and firing positions. An artillery unit that uses high-precision Tamuz missiles was also employed in the strike, the military said in a statement. It confirmed direct hits.

    • Has drone campaign in Pakistan been revived?

      For the first time in nearly six months, U.S. drone strikes hit Pakistan’s tribal region three times in less than a week, killing at least 20 militants with suspected ties to the Haqqani network.

      The hiatus was the longest pause in the controversial CIA program since 2006, and the drones’ sudden return begs the questions: Why now? And is this the beginning of a renewed drone campaign in Pakistan?

    • Iraq and the Persistence of American Hegemony

      With ‘official’ America debating how to respond to what at present appears to be a Saudi-Iranian proxy war in Iraq the question both within and outside of the US is: why do America and the Americans have any say in the matter? The last quarter century of US engagement in Iraq has been a series of military and geopolitical blunders with catastrophic consequences across the Middle East. The answer of course, as it was with the mis-sold invasions of 1990 and 2003, is Operation Iraqi Liberation, oil. The dim hubris of Bush / Cheney / Rumsfeld / Rice that broke ‘Iraq’ into sectarian factions has been met by leading Democrats with claims that the war was ‘mismanaged’ and that Iraq remains of some vaguely specified ‘vital interest.’ The moral, ethical and societal sickness that has US President Obama now sending murder robots (drones) and additional troops to force the will of ‘official’ Washington onto what remains of the national government of Iraq misses that it was this very same will that caused the social / political catastrophe now claimed to be in need of rectification.

    • Shaw details Cleburne links to JFK assassination

      Shaw argues that evidence available, evidence gone missing and discrepancies simply don’t add up to the official story that Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone that day.


      Speaking to the BBC on Friday , former top CIA official, Graham Fuller, admitted that he wrote a reference letter for the Gülen movement leader, Fethullah Gülen, after the FBI resisted granting him permanent residency status between 2006 to 2010.

      The former top official and Middle East expert, yet claimed that there was no relation between the Gülen movement and CIA, during the BBC interview on his newly released book “Turkey and the Arab Spring: Leadership in the Middle East.”

    • UN hears testimony that contradicts Cuban account of dissident’s death

      The United Nations Human Rights Council, currently sitting in Geneva, has heard testimony from leaders of the Venezuela protest movement and from the survivor of the car crash that killed Cuban dissident Oswaldo Payá.

      The hearings on human rights in Venezuela and Cuba, was organized by a coalition of NGO’s as an official event inside the Human Rights Council in Geneva on June 17.

    • Iraq, ISIS and intervention: Just what is going on?

      A high Israeli official was quoted recently saying it was Iran’s influence that is most dangerous in the region, not that of ISIS. Of course, that should tell us a great deal. In this part of the world, Israel’s views count for far more than those of all the other countries put together, at least, so far as the United States’ government is concerned, the ridiculous lopsidedness in that reflecting the best Congress campaign funding can buy.

    • Kurds say they warned MI6, CIA about ISIL

      Five months ago, a Kurdish intelligence “asset” walked into a base and said he had information to hand over.

      The capture by jihadists the month before of two Sunni cities in western Iraq was just the beginning, he said. There would soon be a major onslaught on Sunni territories.

    • Britain and US ‘neglected alert to Iraq jihadist takeover’
    • CIA trained ISIL in Jordan: Report

      A new report says the extremist Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) militants were trained by the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) in Jordan more than two years ago.

    • American Senator: US arming ISIL terrorists

      Senator Rand Paul said the US government has been arming ISIS militants in Syria and funding its allies.

    • Don Obama, Capo di Tutti Capi

      Indeed, Mafia Dons have learned the hard way after RICO not to give clear cut instructions to their operatives. Obama, our Capo Di Tutti Capi, has learned his lesson well. He lets his capos — heads of the IRS, DOJ, CIA, know how to proceed with vague injunctions that set the tone.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • [April] Why US fracking companies are licking their lips over Ukraine

      From climate change to Crimea, the natural gas industry is supreme at exploiting crisis for private gain – what I call the shock doctrine

    • Crude Awakening: 37 years of oil spills in Alberta

      Timelapse: All spills of crude oil crude bitumen and synthetic crude in Alberta each year from 1975-2012. Each dot is one spill; dot size does not indicate spill size. Source: Energy Resources Conservation Board

      Alberta’s had an average of two crude oil spills a day, every day for the past 37 years.

      That makes 28,666 crude oil spills in total, plus another 31,453 spills of just about any other substance you can think of putting in a pipeline – from salt water to liquid petroleum.

  • Finance

    • Tens of thousands march in London against cuts in public and welfare services

      An estimated 50,000 people marched through London, including supporters of Stop the War, CND and other peace groups who called for warfare spending to be cut and not welfare services.

    • Revealed: Asian slave labour producing prawns for supermarkets in US, UK

      Slaves forced to work for no pay for years at a time under threat of extreme violence are being used in Asia in the production of seafood sold by major US, British and other European retailers, the Guardian can reveal.

    • The Pakistani women behind the official FIFA World Cup balls make $182 per year each

      She has no idea who Lionel Messi is and her home country isn’t even playing, but Pakistani mother-of-five Gulshan Bibi can’t wait for the World Cup – because she helped make the balls.

    • It’s Official: The Boomerang Kids Won’t Leave – NYTimes.com

      The NY Times, in It’s Official: The Boomerang Kids Won’t Leave, explores the trend of increasing numbers of young people continuing to live with their parents after college.

      The article notes that one in five people in their 20s and early 30s currently lives with parents, and 60 percent of all young adults receive financial support from parents. In the prior generation, only one in 10 young adults moved back home and few received financial support.

      The common explanation for the change is that young people had the misfortune of growing up during several unfortunate and overlapping economic trends.

      Today, almost 45 percent of 25-year-olds, have outstanding loans, with an average debt above $20,000, and more than half of recent college graduates are unemployed or underemployed, causing them to make substandard wages in jobs that don’t require a college degree.

  • Censorship

  • Privacy

    • Dropcam acquired by Google owned Nest

      Dropcam, a San Francisco based home surveillance company has on their official blog post revealed that they have been acquired by Nest. Nest, a Google owned company, confirmed on their blog the acquisition and also the fact that this acquisition will not change anything for either of the companies’ immediate future, as both Nest products as well as the Dropcam products will be available to customers without any change. The deal went down for $555 million.

    • A history of the federal government’s ‘lost’ e-mails

      A watchdog group this week called on Congress to investigate federal record-keeping practices to determine why the government has repeatedly lost e-mails that could shed light on alleged wrongdoing.

    • Mass Surveillance in Britain

      European officials have often acted as though excessive government surveillance was solely an American problem. The recent release of a legal statement from a senior British counterterrorism official, Charles Farr, shows that the United States government is certainly not alone in justifying such practices.

    • The Majority Has Spoken: Email Privacy Reform Possible Right Now

      Yesterday, Reps Reps. Ron Desantis (R-Fla.) and Cedric Richmond (D-La.) became the 217th and 218th members of the House to sign on to the Email Privacy Act. More than half of the 435 members of the House of Representatives now formally support updating the outdated law governing the privacy of our electronic communications and requiring police to get a warrant before they read our emails, look at our online photo albums, or view our texts. Among those 218 members who have endorsed reforming the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA) are 136 Republicans – more than half of the members of the majority party.

    • Vulturization: ‘Privacy’ is fightin’ words to cloud touters – they get angry

      Being as these folks stand up OpenStack, I also took the time to find out what it’s like to work with the community and whether it’s really as much of a pain to work with as everyone claims.

    • Snowden’s year in Russia: From airport hideout to mystery location
    • Snowden collects documents to extend asylum on one-year anniversary of stay in Russia
    • A ‘Cool War’?

      With the revelations of Edward Snowden, Beijing has fittingly dismissed the nuanced American distinction. Snowden revealed that the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) has infiltrated into Huawei Technologies, a hi-tech Chinese multinational company. A recent Foreign Policy article confirmed that an elite NSA ultra-secret China hacking group “successfully penetrated” Chinese computers and its telecommunication industry for the past 15 years.

    • Matt Robinson: General public must oversee our overseers

      Take for example a situation happening across the United States, but most recently exemplified in a records request in Florida. The American Civil Liberties Union filed a public records request with a police department in Sarasota, Fla., for information on a surveillance tool called “Stingray,” which is used by law enforcement agencies across the country to mass collect data.

    • Sirota: US government at war with itself over civil liberties
    • Glenn Greenwald expands exposure of privacy violators

      “We’re working on that story now,” said Greenwald, who grew up in New York and lives in Rio de Janeiro with his longtime partner, David Miranda. “It’s highly likely it will be out before the end of the month. It will be reporting on the people the NSA is targeting domestically.”

    • 4 July: Annual Independence FROM America demo at NSA Menwith Hill

      Join the Campaign for the Accountability of American Bases (CAAB) at the main entrance to NSA Menwith Hill, HG1 4QZ, on Friday 4 July from 5pm to 9pm for the annual “Independence FROM America” demonstration.

    • PM makes off-the-record visit to NSA

      Prime Minister John Key took a secret trip to the NSA spy agency while he was in Washington last week.

      It is not surprising that he went — he made the same trip the last time he was in Washington in 2011.

      This time, it was left off the published schedule of meetings that is handed out to the news media. Last time, it was declared.

    • US spying: Who do you believe? Snowden or Key?

      The results of a Stuff Ipsos poll released last week shows 71.6 per cent of Kiwis believe United States spy agencies are gathering data on New Zealanders and 61.8 per cent of those people do not support the US being able to do so.

    • Key’s off-the-record visit to controversial spy HQ

      Prime Minister John Key took a secret trip to the NSA spy agency while he was in Washington last week.

      It is not surprising that he went — he made the same trip the last time he was in Washington in 2011.

    • NSA Hurting Millennials’ Way of Life

      Millennials are criticized for broadcasting too many intimate details of our everyday lives online. We readily publish what we had for lunch, when we went to the gym, relationship status updates, and more. Things more senior generations might deem “TMI” are standard online chatter for us; however, there is a method to the madness. Global connectivity has enabled us to open new lines of communication with people across town, across the country, and across the world. We see value in being able to speak freely, giving us access to new ideas and cultures through comparing the human experience, hemisphere to hemisphere.

    • Redeeming NIST’s Reputation

      Bill Would Ban NSA from Undermining NIST Crypto Standards

    • Encrypted Email Service ProtonMail Soars Past $160,000 Campaign Goal
    • Walsh: Federal government has no right to spy on Americans
    • NSA mixing rule of law with cloak-and-dagger spy world – expert
    • US Funds “Terror Studies” to Dissect and Neutralize Social Movements

      The U.S. Department of Defense is immersed in studies about…people like you. The Pentagon wants to know why folks who don’t themselves engage in violence to overthrow the prevailing order become, what the military calls, “supporters of political violence.” And by that they mean, everyone who opposes U.S military policy in the world, or the repressive policies of U.S. allies and proxies, or who opposes the racially repressive U.S. criminal justice system, or who wants to push the One Percent off their economic and political pedestals so they can’t lord it over the rest of us. (I’m sure you recognize yourself somewhere in that list.)

    • ‘Double standards’: Apple implements MAC anti-tracking technique used by Aaron Swartz

      Apple is going to implement random MAC addresses technology in its iOS8 devices, an anonymity-granting technique which late computer prodigy Aaron Swartz was accused of using to carry out his infamous MIT hack.

      Swartz, who faced criminal prosecution on charges of mass downloading academic documents and articles, was also accused of using MAC (Media Access Control) spoofing address technology to gain access to MIT’s subscription database.

    • New Eavesdropping Equipment Sucks All Data Off Your Phone

      In a Capitol Hill hearing room two summers ago, privacy activist Christopher Soghoian organized a stunning demonstration of some new police surveillance technology. A small group of congressional staffers were handed “clean” cellphones and invited to start calling each other while, off to the side, a Berkeley communications researcher named Kurtis Heimerl turned on his gear. After a few minutes, Soghoian told the staffers to hang up—and then Heimerl played back their conversations. Not only that, the two men told the staffers, the digital eavesdropping equipment was capable of sucking all the data from their phones—emails, contact files, music, videos—whatever was on them.

    • Can you spy on a phone when it is turned off?
    • Snowden Gets German Fritz Bauer Award for Exposing US Intelligence

      Former US intelligence contractor Edward Snowden has been awarded the Fritz Bauer Prize of the German Humanist Union, a prominent civil rights organization, for exposing the controversial surveillance practices of the NSA and its accomplices.

    • Little reform since Snowden spilled the beans

      A year has passed since the American former intelligence contractor Edward J. Snowden began revealing the massive scope of Internet surveillance by the U.S. National Security Agency.

      His disclosures have elicited public outrage and sharp rebukes from close U.S. allies like Germany, upending rosy assumptions about how free and secure the Internet and telecommunications networks really are.

      Single-handedly Snowden has changed how people regard their phones, tablets and laptops, and sparked a public debate about the protection of personal data.

    • More Foreign Governments Provide NSA with Support for Global Data Surveillance

      The National Security Agency’s (NSA) reach of spying on worldwide communications is even broader than previously reported, according to new information leaked by whistleblower Edward Snowden.

      In addition to working with allied spy agencies in the United Kingdom, Canada, New Zealand, and Australia, the NSA has partnered with other, unnamed foreign governments to access enormous volumes of emails, phone calls and Internet data.

  • Civil Rights

    • Parliament is sexist, masculine and out of date, say British women

      A poll about attitudes to Westminster on the influential parenting website Mumsnet has revealed startling levels of disillusionment with a male-dominated political system

    • sRepressing World Cup Protests — A Booming Business for Brazil

      On June 12, Brazilian police fired tear gas on a group of 50 unarmed marchers blocking a highway leading to the World Cup arena in São Paulo. On June 15 in Rio de Janeiro another 200 marchers faced floods of tear gas and stun grenades in their approach to Maracana stadium. Armed with an arsenal of less lethal weapons and employing tactics imported from U.S. SWAT teams in the early 2000s, police clad in riot gear are deploying forceful tactics, wielding batons and releasing chemical agents at close range. In Brazil, this style of protest policing is not only a common form of political control, but also a booming business.

    • Total US Tab Tops $5.2 Billion For Guantanamo Prison

      The cost for this year, $454.1 million to operate, staff and build at the prison complex, comes from a report by the Defense Department’s Office of the Comptroller.

    • The USS Guantanamo

      No way, no how will President Obama send a terrorist to Guantanamo Bay. But how about a few weeks on a Navy warship to chat with U.S. interrogators without a Miranda warning? Welcome aboard the President’s floating not-so-secret prison.

    • Iraqis Are Not ‘Abstractions’

      When I saw the Washington Post’s banner headline, “U.S. sees risk in Iraq airstrikes,” I thought, “doesn’t that say it all.” The Post apparently didn’t deem it newsworthy to publish a story headlined: “Iraqis see risk in U.S. airstrikes.” Then, in an accompanying article, authors Gregg Jaffe and Kevin Maurer observed nonchalantly that “Iraq and the Iraqi people remain something of an abstraction,” a point that drove me to distraction.

    • Iraq’s Next PM? Ahmed Chalabi, Chief Peddler of False WMDs, Meets US Officials as Maliki Falters

      Pressure is mounting on Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki to form a less sectarian government or to resign. A representative of the influential Shiite cleric Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani called for the creation of what he described as a new “effective” government. On Thursday, The New York Times revealed the U.S. ambassador in Iraq, Robert Beecroft, and the State Department’s top official in Iraq, Brett McGurk, recently met with the controversial Iraqi politician Ahmed Chalabi, who has been described as a potential candidate to replace al-Maliki. Chalabi is the former head of the Iraqi National Congress, a CIA-funded Iraqi exile group that strongly pushed for the 2003 U.S. invasion. The INC helped drum up pre-war claims that Saddam Hussein was developing weapons of mass destruction and had links to al-Qaeda. The group provided bogus intelligence to the Bush administration, U.S. lawmakers and journalists. We are joined by Andrew Cockburn, Washington editor for Harper’s Magazine.

    • New Hollywood assassination film raises hackles in North Korea

      The Interview, a new action comedy starring Seth Rogen and James Franco, has elicited choice comments from North Korea for showing the “desperation” of American society. Due out in October, the film tells the tale of two US journalists who are given the opportunity to interview North Korea’s leader Kim Jong-un, then recruited by the CIA to assassinate him.

    • Rekindle ties with Arab League, Rogers says
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    Articles about EPO Vice-President Željko Topić are disappearing and sources indicate that it’s a result of yet more SLAPP from him

  6. Monumental Effort to Highlight Decline in Quality of European Patents (a Quarter of Examiners Sign Petition in Spite of Fear), Yet Barely Any Press Coverage

    he media in Europe continues to be largely apathetic towards the EPO crisis, instead relaying a bunch of press releases and doctored figures from the EPO; only blogs that closely follow EPO scandals bothered mentioning the new petition

  7. Careful Not to Conflate UPC Critics With AfD or Anti-EU Elements

    The tyrannical Unified Patent Court (UPC) is being spun as something that only fascists would oppose after the right-wing, anti-EU politicians in Germany express strong opposition to it

  8. Links 15/3/2018: Qt Creator 4.6 RC, Microsoft Openwashing

    Links for the day

  9. PTAB Continues to Increase Capacity Ahead of Oil States; Patent Maximalists Utterly Upset

    The Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) sees the number of filings up to an almost all-time high and efforts to undermine PTAB are failing pretty badly -- a trend which will be further cemented quite soon when the US Supreme Court (quite likely) backs the processes of PTAB

  10. Patent Maximalists Are Still Trying to Create a Patent Bubble in India

    Litigation maximalists and patent zealots continue to taunt India, looking for an opportunity to sue over just about anything including abstract ideas because that's what they derive income from

  11. EPO Staff Has Just Warned the National Delegates That EPO's Decline (in Terms of Patent Quality and Staff Welfare) Would Be Beneficial to Patent Trolls

    The staff of the EPO increasingly recognises the grave dangers of low-quality patents -- an issue we've written about (also in relation to the EPO) for many years

  12. The EPO is a Mess Under Battistelli and Stakeholders Including Law Firms Will Suffer, Not Just EP Holders

    As one last 'gift' from Battistelli, appeals are becoming a lot more expensive -- the very opposite of what he does to applications, in effect ensuring a sharp increase in wrongly-granted patents

  13. The EPO Under Battistelli Has Become Like China Under Xi and CPC

    The EPO is trying very hard to silence not only the union but also staff representatives; it's evidently worried that the lies told by Team Battistelli will be refuted and morale be affected by reality

  14. Links 14/3/2018: IPFire 2.19 – Core Update 119, Tails 3.6

    Links for the day

  15. Links 13/3/2018: Qt Creator 4.5.2, Tails 3.6, Firefox 59

    Links for the day

  16. Willy Minnoye (EPO) Threatened Staff With Disabilities Said to Have Been Caused by the EPO Work Pressures

    Willy Minnoye, or Battistelli's 'deputy' at the EPO until last year, turns out to have misused powers (and immunity) to essentially bully vulnerable staff

  17. IAM and IBM Want Lots of Patent Litigation in India

    Having 'championed' lobbying for litigation Armageddon in China (where IBM's practicing business units have gone), patent maximalists set their eyes on India

  18. The Patent Trolls' Lobby (IAM) Already Pressures Andrei Iancu, Inciting a USPTO Director Against PTAB

    Suspicions that Iancu might destroy the integrity of the Office for the sake of the litigation ‘industry’ may be further reaffirmed by the approach towards patent maximalists from IAM, who also participated in the shaming of his predecessor, Michelle Lee, and promoted a disgraced judge (and friend of patent trolls) for her then-vacant role

  19. Patent Trolls in the United States Increasingly Target Small Businesses Which Cannot Challenge Their Likely-Invalid Software Patents

    South by Southwest (SXSW Conference/Festivals in Austin, Texas) has a presentation about patent trolls, whose general message may be reaffirmed by recent legal actions in Texas and outside Texas

  20. EPO Staff Union Organises Protest to Complain About Inability “of the Office to Recruit the Highly Qualified Staff it Needs.”

    Having already targeted union leaders and staff representatives, the EPO may soon be going after those whom they passionately represented and the staff union (SUEPO) wants the Administrative Council to be aware

  21. Battistelli Likes to Describe His Critics as 'Nazis', Team UPC Will Attempt the Same Thing Against UPC Critics

    Demonising one's opposition or framing it as "fascist" is a classic trick; to what degree will Team UPC exploit such tactics?

  22. Session in Bavaria to Discuss the Abuses of the European Patent Office Later Today

    The EPO shambles in Munich have gotten the attention of more Bavarian politicians, more so in light of the Constitutional complaint against the UPC (now dealt with by the German FCC, which saw merit in the complaint)

  23. Links 12/3/2018: Linux 4.16 RC5, KEXI 3.1, Karton 1.0, Netrunner 18.03, Debian 9.4

    Links for the day

  24. EPO Patent 'Growth' Not Achieved But Demanded/Mandated by Battistelli, by Lowering Quality of Patents/Services

    Targets at the EPO are not actually reached but are being imposed by overzealous management which dries up all the work in a hurry in order to make examiners redundant and many European Patents worthless

  25. Doubt Over Independence of Judges at the EPO Clouds Reason in Deciding Regarding Patents on Life

    With the growing prospect of a Board of Appeal (BoA) having to decide on patentability of CRISPR 'innovation' (more like explanation/discovery), questions linger or persist about judges' ability to rule as they see fit rather than what some lunatic wants

  26. Patent Academics and CAFC Make a Living Out of Patents, But Both Must Begrudgingly Learn to Accept That Patents Went Too Far

    A look at academic pundits' views on the patent system of the United States and where the Federal Circuit (a high patent court) stands on these matters after the US Supreme Court (highest possible court) lashed out at many of its decisions, especially those from the disgraced Rader years

  27. Patent Maximalists Cause a Crisis of Legitimacy for Patent Law

    The patent extremists who nowadays equate monopolies on mere ideas to "property" and "rights" gradually cause the public to lose respect for patents, more or less in the same way copyright maximalists (and copyright trolls) cause the population to seek alternatives (both legal and illegal)

  28. We Shall Soon Find Out Where Trump Appointees Such as Neil Gorsuch Stand on Patent Policies

    Staff shuffles at top-level roles will soon reveal what Donald Trump's changes mean to patent law and caselaw

  29. Trump's USPTO Changes Patent Designs, Changes Director/Deputy Director, and Anticipat 'Ranks' Patent Examiners Based on How They Deal With Section 101

    Today's USPTO isn't the same USPTO which was managed by Michelle Lee and anti-PTAB groups (proponents of software patents) have begun profiling examiners based on their stance on abstract/software patents -- a form of neo-McCarthyism

  30. Links 10/3/2018: Amarok 2.9.0, Debian 9.4, Sparky 5.3

    Links for the day


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