Links 4/7/2014: E19 Alpha 2, KDevelop 4.7.0 Beta

Posted in News Roundup at 6:26 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



Free Software/Open Source

  • Land of the Free, or Home on the Open Range?

    Here in the Linux community, there’s never any shortage of opportunities to wax philosophical about the success of our favorite operating system. After all, the traditional (read: proprietary) model had nothing to do with it, strictly speaking, so FOSS fans can’t be blamed for wanting to extol the virtues of the free and open source model instead.

  • Netflix goes open-source with AWS security tool

    Known as one of the biggest customers of Amazon Web Server (AWS), Netflix’s use of custom tools aimed at enhancing its AWS capabilities – known as the Simian Army – are well-known, and now they’re going open-source with one aimed at security monitoring.

  • Netflix open sources its Amazon cloud security enforcer
  • Managing passwords the open source way

    At this point, I have more usernames and passwords to juggle than any person should ever have to deal with. I know I’m not alone, either. We have a surfeit of passwords to manage, and we need a good way to manage them so we have easy access without doing something silly like writing them down where others might find them. Being a fan of simple apps, I prefer using pass, a command line password manager.

  • Old school: I work in DOS for an entire day

    Hall’s “PD-DOS” project eventually became FreeDOS, which today supports an ecosystem of developers, retro gamers, and diehards who will give up their WordStar when you pry the floppies from their cold, dead fingers.

  • Bitcoin ATMs Beef Up Their Financial Services
  • Lamassu Releases Open Source Software For Their Bitcoin ATM Network

    New Hampsire-based Lamassu — the manufacturer of one of the leading bitcoin ATMs available today — has announced the release of something they are calling Rakía, a brand-spanking-new open source back-end system that will redefine how the company’s network of ATMs in use around the world are utilized by customers.

  • Lamassu Introduces Open-Source Software for Bitcoin ATM Network
  • Events

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Mozilla’s Rust programming language at critical stage

        At this year’s Great Wide Open conference, Steve Klabnik gave a talk about Mozilla’s Rust programming language. Klabnik previously authored an introductory Rust tutorial entitled Rust for Rubyists, and this talk serves a similar purpose. However, instead of being Ruby focused, this talk was aimed at programmers in general. Hence the talk’s title: Rust for $LANGUAGE-ists.

  • SaaS/Big Data

    • Getting everyone on the same open-source cloud page

      At June 2014′s Linux Enterprise User Summit on Wall Street, Alan Clark, SUSE’s director of industry initiatives and open source and chairman of the OpenStack Foundation, explained why and how to deploy open-source clouds in your business.

    • Survey: Hadoop Not the Answer for Big Data Diversity

      The problem with Big Data today is not its scope, but rather the diverse forms it takes. That’s according to a survey out this week from database vendor Paradigm4, which also said Hadoop may not be as useful as all the hype suggests.

    • Opposites attract: The necessary marriage of open source and enterprise software

      The Map-Reduce batch jobs take time. Hadoop works best with long-running batch jobs – a 20 second start-up time on a 5 hour batch run is immaterial, but a 20 second start-up time on a 5 second query is a serious disadvantage. Hadoop really is not the right technology for real-time analysis.

    • Creating an OpenStack community locally

      Learning is easier with a community of practice. For some in the open source world, community is something that takes only a virtual form, but there’s still a lot of value in good old fashioned face-to-face communities to share and learn together. Taking a page out of the book of Linux User Groups (LUGs), several advocates for open source projects have found the population of interested users in their area to have reached the critical mass necessary to build and sustain local user groups of their own.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

  • CMS

  • BSD

    • Intel Is Trying To Support The x32 ABI For LLVM/Clang

      While adoption of the Linux x32 ABI hasn’t really taken off with most developers and end-users doing just fine with x86_64-compiled software, Intel is trying to get things back on track for supporting x32 by LLVM and Clang.

  • Public Services/Government

    • Apache open source enhancements for Dutch government

      Auckland consulting company Sosnoski Software Associates Limited is please to announce the completion of enhancements to ApacheTM CXFTM open source software as commissioned by the government of the Netherlands. These enhancements have fixed several errors in the Apache CXF implementation of Web Services Reliable Messaging (WSRM), brought it into compliance with the latest WSRM 1.2 version, and also corrected long-standing problems in how the Apache CXF implementation combines WS-Security with WSRM. The changes provide greatly enhanced interoperability for exchanging messages with other software packages.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Local Motors Working on Open-Source Lightweight Sports Car
    • Open Data

      • Is open data living up to the hype? One data journalist weighs in

        Journalism is one profession that has embraced open source. Open source enables smaller organizations with little or no budget to effectively extend their news gathering capabilities. It’s not just smaller news organizations who’ve been adopting open source—The New York Times recently unveiled a new open source content management system.

      • Study: Open Data Produces Twice the Growth of TTIP

        Open data has been discussed here on Open Enterprise for years, and it’s probably true to say that it has entered the mainstream, at least as far as the readership of Computerworld UK is concerned. Nonetheless, it’s always good to have more studies of its impact, and of its potential for wider use in the future. A new report commissioned by the Omidyar Network from Australian researchers is particularly welcome because it focuses not on the wishy-washy virtues of sharing, or even its efficiency, but on the economic benefits of open data.

    • Open Access/Content

      • Doctors unite to increase access to quality health information

        Six years ago, Dr. James Heilman was working a night shift in the ER when he came across an error-ridden article on Wikipedia. Someone else might have used the article to dismiss the online encyclopedia, which was then less than half the size it is now. Instead, Heilman decided to improve the article.

    • Open Hardware

      • The Novena Open Hardware Laptop: A Hacker’s Dream Machine

        That said, the Novena laptop’s experimental technology has the potential to offer new options to a sluggish computer industry. Novena is an open-hardware computing platform that is flexible and powerful. It is designed for use as a desktop, laptop or standalone board.

        Two engineers cofounded Sutajio Ko-usagi, an operations-oriented company focused on the manufacturing and sales of hardware to OEMs and hobbyists.

        Since Sutajio Ko-usagi is difficult to pronounce in English, the Novena developers shortened it to “Kosagi,” noted cofounder Andrew “Bunnie” Huang. Huang also runs the IP-oriented Bunniestudios…

  • Programming

    • Python Foundation uncoils as membership opens up

      By relaxing its rather constrictive membership process, The Python Software Foundation is starting to uncoil. And Nick Coghlan, Provisioning Architect in Red Hat Engineering Operations, couldn’t be happier.


  • 220 People Attend David Cameron “Rally for the Union”.

    That the Prime Minister of the UK cannot fill a hall, at least to not embarrassingly empty, at an event billed as a “rally” to “save” his country, at which he stated that to lose the referendum would “break his heart”, is astonishing.

  • Health/Nutrition

    • PhRMA Wants US To Use TAFTA/TTIP To Stop EU Releasing Basic Drug Safety Information

      What’s worrying is that there’s already been one attempt to water down these requirements. Der Tagesspiegel suggests this may have been as a result of pressure from the European Commission, concerned about US reaction to them. It will be interesting to see how the Commission reconciles any US demands during the TAFTA/TTIP negotiations to remove the requirement to publish drug safety information with the new EU regulation that requires it.

    • Domino’s Pizza staff pictured buying 59p Aldi potato wedges to sell as their own for £3.49

      Domino’s Pizza staff have been caught buying potato wedges from Aldi and fobbing them off as their own.

      A worker at the Domino’s branch in Linlithgow, West Lothian, was photographed buying bags of wedges for 59p each from a nearby branch of the budget supermarket.

      Domino’s then sold these to their customers for a massively marked-up £3.49 a portion

  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • Israeli Settlers Blamed for Murder of Abducted Palestinian Teen; Dozens Wounded in West Bank, Gaza
    • Polish-American alliance worthless

      The publication of Radoslav Sikorski’s comments in the Polish weekly magazine Wprost will not help his bid to become the European Union’s foreign policy chief, but there are senior foreign policy officials elsewhere who might be tempted to make similar remarks (though perhaps not in alcohol-fuelled conversations in well-known restaurants where they might be overheard). And there are those in Washington who are saying the same thing.

    • Permanent War

      A bipartisan panel of high-profile figures from the national security establishment recently completed its report on the United States’ policy surrounding drones. Of the panel’s several conclusions, the one that understandably received the most attention in the media was the concern that the ease with which the U.S. is able to conduct drone operations creates a “slippery slope” that could lead to a state of permanent war. In this scenario, no longer will there be clearly defined periods of war and peace, but rather a vague, endless conflict, whereby the U.S. Government can and will assert the right to target and kill anyone, anywhere, with virtually no meaningful legal, political, or ethical constraints. The panel also criticized the “secret rationales” behind this “long-term killing” and the “lack of any cost-benefit analysis” conducted by the government regarding the entire enterprise.

    • The Errant Drone and Other Tales

      One camera operator gave a chronically nervous pilot of a predator drone a helpful piece of advice while the pilot was waiting to take off: “Stop saying ‘uh oh’ while you’re flying. It’s never good. Like going to the dentist or a doctor. . .oops. What the f—you mean oops?” According to the Post report, shortly after this exchange the drone “rammed a runway barrier and guardhouse. “Whoa” the pilot said. “I don’t know what the hell just happened.”

      It would be interesting to know what the pilots who have accidentally killed civilians in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Yemen and other places say when they realize their mistakes. Probably something more than “oops” or “I don’t know what the hell just happened.” We will probably find out as the number of drones continues to climb and kill.

    • An Eye for An Eye

      Interesting. Seems Obama’s forgotten Abdulrahman al-Awlaki, the teenager and US citizen on his Kill List, incinerated in a CIA-led drone strike. Obama can’t imagine the indescribable pain that this young man’s parent (singular) feels. That’s singular because the boy’s father, Anwar al-Awlaki also was on Obama’s Kill List and droned two weeks before the death of his son. The attack in Yemen on Oct 14, 2011 that killed the young al-Awalaki also killed his teenage cousin and at least five other civilians as they sat in a restaurant. Abdulrahman al-Awlaki was 16, the same age as two of the Israelis, but the murder of al-Awlaki was, well, sensible, to Obama.

    • From Bannu: Writing the saddest lines…

      These children have seen beheadings, target killings, drone attacks, bombings, shelling and the closure of their schools. I pondered upon how these innocent children have spent their entire lives witnessing terrible violence that adults my age have not seen.

    • Trial venue for military killing sparks outrage

      An American soldier charged by the military with the murder of a 26-year-old woman in Panama will be tried in the United States, sparking protests by women’s groups and outraged family members.

    • Chilean court rules US played key role in Pinochet murder of Americans

      A Chilean court issued a ruling Monday that the commander of US military forces in Chile played a pivotal role in the murder of two US citizens following the September 1973 coup that overthrew the elected government of Salvador Allende and installed General Augusto Pinochet as dictator.

    • The U.S. National-Security State’s Murder of Two Americans

      A Chilean court ruled this week that the U.S. national-security state conspired to murder American citizens Charles Horman and Frank Teruggi in Chile in 1973. The brutal act occurred during the violent military coup in which the Chilean military, with the full support of the U.S. government, ousted the democratically elected president of the country, Salvador Allende, and replaced him with an unelected brutal military dictatorship headed by Chilean General Augusto Pinochet.

    • Modern Terrorism: An American ‘Success’ Story

      In 2000, terrorism – at least as we know it today – didn’t exist in the Middle East, particularly not in Iraq and Syria. However, the American invasion of ancient Mesopotamia absolutely changed the existing order. In addition to its introduction into the region, it has transformed into a radicalizing cross-border scourge. That was only possible, and is this really a paradox? – through the logistical and strategic support of the United States, to what would become al-Qaeda, to Islamist movements operating in Afghanistan from 1980-1990, and for movements trained by the CIA and financed by Saudi Arabia. If we don’t go back to the origins of what is now a global scourge, and if we fail to properly define this phenomenon, we can neither understand its international expansion let alone eradicate it.

    • About Iraq

      You do not fix history with a drone. What we are witnessing today in Iraq is the slow collapse of a century-long geopolitical partition drawn up in a secret document by United Kingdom and France, in one of their last acts as imperial powers.

    • Iraq: Policy failure, not intelligence failure

      Declassified portions of both National Intelligence Estimates on Iraq in 2007 highlighted concerns about stability, violence and the Iraqi army. In November, the intelligence community noted, “However, the level of overall violence, including attacks on and casualties among civilians, remains high; Iraq’s sectarian groups remain unreconciled; AQI retains the ability to conduct high-profile attacks; and to date, Iraqi political leaders remain unable to govern effectively.”

    • On US TV, Israel is ‘Striking Back’

      It should go without saying that the killings of the Israeli youths do not justify the killing of innocent Palestinians, any more than the six Palestinian children killed by the Israeli military so far this year legitimize the murder of the Israeli teens.

    • Right-Wing Mythology Creeps Into Washington Post Benghazi Timeline

      The Washington Post misleadingly described the timeline of the Obama administration’s response to the 2012 Benghazi attacks by privileging the conservative media myth that President Obama did not immediately identify the attacks as an act of terror.

    • German defence minister backs ‘European armed drone’

      Procurement of so-called fighter drones to protect German armed forces remains controversial, but Defence Minister Ursula von der Leyen has finally disclosed her plans for the aircraft: The German military should receive drones, she said, but these can only be deployed with parliamentary approval. EurActiv Germany reports.

    • NYC Bar Association Releases Report on Legality of Drones

      Interested readers can access the report and the executive summary from the NYC Bar Association’s website. The press release accompanying the report’s release is also copied below the fold.

    • Blair embodies corruption and war. He must be sacked

      Now he’s advising the Egyptian dictatorship, his removal as Middle East peace envoy is a moral and democratic necessity

    • The Battle Behind the Lens

      Almost 5,000 American troops were killed in the Iraq War, and it’s estimated that from 100,000 to more than 600,000 Iraqis, mostly civilians, died. Many more combatants and noncombatants alike were physically or emotionally wounded.

    • OP-ED: Pay No Attention to the Apocalypse Behind the Curtain

      In 8 days, on July 10th Mary Ann Grady-Flores, a grandmother from Ithaca, NY, is scheduled to be sentenced to up to one year in prison. Her crime is violating an order of protection, which is a legal tool to protect a particular person from the violence of another particular person. In this case, the commander of Hancock Air Base has been legally protected from dedicated nonviolent protesters, despite the protection of commanding his own military base, and despite the protesters having no idea who the guy is. That’s how badly the people in charge of the flying killer robots we call drones want to avoid any questioning of their activity entering the minds of the drone pilots.

    • Kurdistan

      An independent Kurdistan is a difficult sell because it is supported by such horrible people – Benjamin Netanyahu and every far right Republican in the US you can think of. Tony Blair is probably holding back on his endorsement until offered a huge consultancy fee or preferential access to “commercial opportunities” in the country.

    • Why Is The Media Taking These ISIS World Domination Maps So Seriously?

      In a rush to sensationalize growing violence in Iraq at the hands of religious extremists, media have circulated dubiously sourced maps which purport to illustrate plans for a future Islamic caliphate that extends from Spain to the southern and easternmost reaches of India.

    • Drones, Accidents, and Secrecy

      The Washington Post recently ran some amazing articles on the safety record of drones. The three-part series focuses on the more than 400 large U.S. military drones that have crashed overseas, domestic U.S. crashes of military drones inside and outside military airspace, and the record of incidents of small drones coming dangerously close to civilian aircraft within the United States. Fortunately nobody has been killed in any crashes yet, but it all makes for gripping reading.

    • Secret U.S. memo suggests no legal basis to charge Omar Khadr with war crimes
    • Drone memo should reverse Guantanamo Bay convictions

      Omar Khadr was only 15 years old when he was captured by American forces in Afghanistan in 2002 and taken to the Bagram Air Base, then Guantanamo, where he later pleaded guilty to murder in violation of the laws of war — according to military prosecutors, Khadr tossed a grenade that killed Sgt. Christopher Speer.

    • Omar Khadr war crimes charges lack legal basis, U.S. memo suggests
    • Secret memo on CIA drone killings reveals U.S. had no legal basis to charge Omar Khadr with war crimes: lawyers

      A previously secret memo on CIA involvement in drone killings is casting new doubt on whether the American government had any legal basis to prosecute Canada’s Omar Khadr for war crimes.

      In fact, Khadr’s lawyers argue in new filings to the U.S. Court of Military Commission Review, the document by the Dept. of Justice emphatically rejects any such legal foundation, and say his convictions at Guantanamo Bay should be set aside immediately.

    • US drone policy: Little prospect of rethink

      A new report on the consequences of America’s increasing use of drones as a counter-terrorism tool caused quite a stir in US national security circles last week, largely because it was written by a task force made up of many individuals who formerly reported to the Obama Administration.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Intel Report Targets Green Groups

      India’s intelligence agency has targeted an adviser to the Prince of Wales as well as British environmental activists in a campaign against foreign groups that it claims are a threat to its economy.

  • Finance

    • Income and Wealth Inequality in England

      First of all, there are some advantages to living in the U.K. that people at all income levels share. One can be outside in the summer time without getting eaten alive by mosquitoes (but bring an umbrella!). Restrictions on architecture and building mean that a lot of towns are beautiful and/or charming. Consider the value of a stroll around Paris compared to a stroll around a typical U.S. city. Due to a more or less free market in air travel and short distances, flights to interesting locations in Europe are affordable to everyone.

    • Fox Business Host: Jobs Report Might Be “Too Good”

      Fox Business host Charles Payne tried to put a negative spin on the news that the unemployment rate fell in June, tweeting that it might be “too good for the stock market.”

    • The Pitchforks Are Coming… For Us Plutocrats

      You probably don’t know me, but like you I am one of those .01%ers, a proud and unapologetic capitalist. I have founded, co-founded and funded more than 30 companies across a range of industries—from itsy-bitsy ones like the night club I started in my 20s to giant ones like Amazon.com, for which I was the first nonfamily investor. Then I founded aQuantive, an Internet advertising company that was sold to Microsoft in 2007 for $6.4 billion. In cash. My friends and I own a bank. I tell you all this to demonstrate that in many ways I’m no different from you. Like you, I have a broad perspective on business and capitalism. And also like you, I have been rewarded obscenely for my success, with a life that the other 99.99 percent of Americans can’t even imagine. Multiple homes, my own plane, etc., etc. You know what I’m talking about. In 1992, I was selling pillows made by my family’s business, Pacific Coast Feather Co., to retail stores across the country, and the Internet was a clunky novelty to which one hooked up with a loud squawk at 300 baud. But I saw pretty quickly, even back then, that many of my customers, the big department store chains, were already doomed. I knew that as soon as the Internet became fast and trustworthy enough—and that time wasn’t far off—people were going to shop online like crazy. Goodbye, Caldor. And Filene’s. And Borders. And on and on.

    • More Abuse Of Presidential Power-Operation Choke Point

      This is the type of political corruption we would expect from a banana republic

    • Meet the CEO Bold Enough to Kill Thousands of Jobs

      And what about the workers who are shown the door? Well, there’s no nightly newscast report about them.

    • Bitcoin quietly goes legit

      The US Marshals Service doesn’t normally make economic policy but this week they apparently did so by auctioning 30,000 Bitcoins, a crypto currency I have written about before. This auction effectively legitimizes Bitcoins as part of the world economy. Am I the only one to notice this?

      My first column on this subject was a cautionary tale pointing out the two great areas of vulnerability for Bitcoin: 1) the US Government might declare Bitcoins illegal, and; 2) someone might gain control of a majority of Bitcoins in which case their value could be manipulated. While number two is still theoretically possible it becomes less likely every day. And number one seems to have been put to rest by the U.S. Marshals.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Public Service

      I had an impeccable source that Obama’s anti-Scottish statement was orchestrated not only with him, but with the BBC who planted the question. I have no doubt it is true. I want to take this further with the Electoral Commission and the BBC Trust, but to do that I need confirmation of my whistleblower’s account.

    • Liquid Lies Revisited

      There never was a liquid bomb plot. It was proven in court not to exist. It was a fabrication of the minds governing a Pakistani torture chamber.

  • Censorship

  • Privacy

  • Civil Rights

    • Air travellers need targeted protection

      As we face tightened security at airports, it is questionable whether mass screening is a sensible use of resources

    • Hike in airport security may be permanent, says Nick Clegg

      Increase in security measures are not a ‘blip’ but reflect the evolving threat of terrorists and extremist groups from around the world, says Deputy Prime Minister

    • NYPD brutally arrest man on subway ‘for sleeping on way from work’ (VIDEO)

      A video has recorded a violent altercation erupting between a man on a New York City subway and police officers, who apparently arrested him for the crime of nodding off while commuting home for work.

    • UK airport security stepped up after new US bomb terror threat

      Airport security is being increased at British airports after the United States called for heightened precautions amid reports two terror networks are working together on a bomb that could evade existing measures.

    • Open government is vital, but beware the deep state

      On the other hand, the currency of the anti-surveillance movement is distrust: it sees governments as adversaries, and thus it fights not just for greater disclosure of what the surveillance state is doing, but rallies the public to fight back by hardening themselves against spies. The problem is that we actually appear to have two governments under one roof. There is the one we elect and the one that does its best to ignore elections.

    • Independence Day, 2014
    • This Independence Day, America Again Has a Monarch

      Then the government shot itself in the foot when it surreptitiously released a portion of its secret memo to NBC News. This infuriated the panel of federal appellate judges hearing the Times’ appeal, and they ordered the entire memo released. Either it is secret or it is not, the court thundered—and the government, which is bound by the transparency commanded by the First Amendment, cannot pick and choose which parts of its work to reveal to its favorite reporters and which to conceal from the rest of us.

    • Reflecting on the History of America’s Wars, Trying to Feel Patriotic on the Fourth of July

      My high school textbooks totally ignored the real histories of the conquistadores, the genocide of Native Americans and their cultures, and the truth about the actual brutality of the enslavement of Black Africans. My history books glorified America’s wars, and never mentioned America’s use of propaganda or how it was involved in fascist movements world-wide. The cold realities of sexism, militarism, poverty, corporate abuse, the banking system, etc. were glossed over. Sadly, my relative ignorance about the (obviously censored out of our consciousness) painful and unwelcome truths about what really happened in history is probably the norm.

    • Guest Opinion: Independence Day should celebrate liberty, not government overreach

      The mainstream media and opportunistic politicians have turned Independence Day into the opposite of what was intended.

    • NAPOLITANO: From an inherited tyrant to an elected one

      The Obama administration had successfully resisted the efforts of The New York Times and others to induce a judge to order the release of the memo by claiming that it contained state secrets. The judge who reviewed the memo concluded that it was merely a legal opinion, and yet she referred to herself as being in “Alice in Wonderland”: The laws are public, and the judicial opinions interpreting them are public, so how could a legal opinion be secret? Notwithstanding her dilemma, she accepted the government’s absurd claims, and The New York Times appealed.

    • ACLU’s Report on Police Militarization Finds Weapons and Tactics of War Used Disproportionately Against People of Color
    • Highly Placed Media Racists

      For his part, Brooks praised a Sailer article in the American Conservative (12/20/04) promoting a movement that saw white people, as Brooks would have it, flouting Western trends toward declining birth rates by having lots of children and leaving behind the “disorder, vulgarity and danger” of cities to move to “clean, orderly” suburban and exurban settings where they can “protect their children from bad influences.”

    • Street Talk: Celebrating the Farce of July with illumination

      But what are we celebrating, exactly? We’re living in a time when the government spies on us without abandon. They listen to our calls, read our emails and watch us with drones. We’ve got our NSA, your DHS, your NDAA and your Patriot Act nudging us toward a police state and what lies beyond. Your government, the one you celebrate with firecrackers and 12-packs of beer, can jail you any time, without reason and for as long as they’d like, thanks to the mother of all un-American laws passed quietly, with very little protest or discussion, at the start of 2012.

    • Thailand deports ex-resistance leader to Laos
  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • EFF Changes Position On Net Neutrality: Recognizes FCC Must Act, But Narrowly

      For years, the EFF has pushed back against the FCC’s attempts to preserve net neutrality, reasonably worrying that it might open the door to the FCC further meddling in the internet where it had no real mandate. We here at Techdirt have been similarly concerned. As we’ve noted, net neutrality itself is important, but we were wary of FCC attempts to regulate it creating serious unintended consequences. However, over the past few years, the growth in power of the key broadband internet access providers, and their ability to degrade the internet for profit, has made it quite clear that other options aren’t working.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • The European Commission Wants to Bring Back ACTA Through the Back Door!

      As the current European Commission sees out its last days following the European elections, it has just published an “Action Plan to address infringements of intellectual property rights in the EU” reusing some of the major concepts of the ACTA agreement that was rejected by the European Parliament in 2012 following an important citizen mobilisation. Its contents are also inspired by proposals pushed by France at the European level1, letting fear an increased implication of technical intermediaries in the enforcement of copyright and their progressive transformation into a private copyright police force.

      By reusing the objective of fighting against “commercial scale” counterfeiting, the Commission has chosen to reactivate one of the worst mechanisms of the anti-counterfeiting agreement ACTA. This vague expression threatens to include non-commercial online sharing activities and introduces the same legal uncertainty which was at the heart of the citizen mobilisation against ACTA, right up to its final rejection by the elected representatives of the Parliament.

      The same commissioners who pushed ACTA, Karel de Gucht and Michel Barnier, now seem to be considering bypassing the European Parliament to implement this fight against “commercial scale” counterfeiting. They are in fact planning to introduce “non-legislative measures” implying the signature of simple agreements between representatives of the cultural industries and technical providers, like advertising agencies and online payment services.

      These measures are directly inspired from the May 2013 Lescure Report and from the Imbert-Quaretta Report [fr] recently published in France, which La Quadrature has already denounced as potentially leading to an exra-judicial application of copyright law, converting these intermediaries in a private copyright law police force [fr]. The Commission wishes that such a system be generalized in the European Union through “Memoranda of Understanding”, providing a framework for contractual agreements negociated by private players.

      Such methods will lead to the bypass of democratic procedures of control. But the Commission also proposes to reinforce the protection of intellectual property at an international level with multilateral negociations. Such statements give good reason to fear that, once again, as with the ACTA agreement, or as foreseen for the CETA and TAFTA agreements, “intellectual property” questions will be treated in an opaque way during free trade agreements, leaving elected representatives with hardly any leeway.

    • Airbus submits patent application for windowless jet cockpit

      An article published in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer yesterday evening describes a patent application from European aerospace company Airbus in which pilots fly aircraft entirely through electronic means. The patent application, number US20140180508 A1, is titled “Aircraft with a cockpit including a viewing surface for piloting which is at least partially virtual” and notes that while an aircraft’s cockpit must be located in its nose to afford its pilot forward visibility, the physical requirements of the cockpit’s shape and the amount of glass required are aerodynamically and structurally non-optimal.

    • Copyrights

      • One-Percent Authors Want To End Destructive Conflict, Bring Order to the Galaxy

        Amazon is not boycotting anyone. All books by all Hachette authors are available in the Amazon store. In the face of this, to claim there’s a “boycott” is either ignorance or propaganda.

      • Hollywood Goes After Korean Fans Subtitling Soap Operas, Pressing Criminal Charges

        We’ve written a few times in the past about the movie and TV industries irrationally freaking out over fans in other countries providing subtitles for works that aren’t being released locally in that language. These are always labor-of-love efforts by fans who want to share the work more widely by providing the subtitles that the studios themselves refuse to offer. And yet, because of standard copyright maximalism, these efforts almost always end up leading to legal action.

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