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08.11.14

Bill Gates is Profiting By Diverting Public Money to His Own Pocket and Reducing Wages

Posted in Bill Gates at 1:35 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Bill Gates
Credit: Scott Olson/Getty Images, via the Financial Post

Summary: Gates’ lobbying for companies he is an investor of and for lower salaries inside companies he is investing in (and managing) comes as no surprise

BILL GATES is not a dumb person. He sure knows how to turn public money into his own, usually by playing political games. We covered many examples over the years. He invests his money in companies to which he later funnels taxpayers’ money. It’s an old trick. Just use euphemisms like “charity”, pay people to say so, and if the majority of people are lazy enough to accept such statements, then opposition is paralyzed. The Rockefeller family did this well before the Gates family. Gates spends so much money bribing media outlets, ‘sponsoring’ people in positions of power, stuffing panels, etc. that it’s hard to stop him. Some people are afraid to even try because they so often get labeled “jealous”. Sometimes they get stopped by editors and/or publishers who are simply paid by Gates (self-censorship and praise in exchange for future ‘contributions’), so voices explaining Gates’ deeds are generally suppressed.

Recently, as the corporate/business media serves to show (actually an advocate of the fossil fuel industry), people dare to criticise Gates’ practices. Here is one example:

Peter Foster: Bill Gates’ energy views are a turn-off

There are signs that Bill Gates — multi-billionaire do-gooder, Giving Pledge arm twister, and “leverager” of your tax dollars — is at last catching on to the nature and benefits of capitalism, although he still has some way to go.

[...]

As for Mr. Gates, it might seem strange that one of the world’s most successful capitalists might not comprehend the system that enabled him to become so fabulously rich, but it’s not unusual at all. You don’t need to grasp the Invisible Hand to thrive under its guidance any more than you need to read Gray’s Anatomy to stay alive. Also, successful entrepreneurs almost invariably have a sense of personal exceptionalism that encourages them to see themselves as different from their competitors (whom they regard as grubby and greedy). Finally, businessmen often imagine that the economy is like a gigantic business, thus what it needs is a strategic master plan.

This should mention how Gates profits from all this ‘energy’ lobbying. He is poised to make billions of dollars (public money or African debt) if his plan succeeds. When it comes to GMO, this has already succeeded. It has not much to do with ethics and philanthropy; it’s opportunism. Gates has already bribed some of Africa’s biggest media outlets (we gave examples), so a lot of Africans might not comprehend what’s happening here. Thankfully, some do break through the screen of propaganda, but they’re not in the majority.

Other corporate media Web sites, not some random blogs with some rants, have slammed Gates’ over his fantasy of cheaper labour and devaluation of technologists (Gates himself is not a technologist but a pseudo-technologist who studied law and did not even graduate). To quote USA Today:

Bill Gates’ tech worker fantasy

Business executives and politicians endlessly complain that there is a “shortage” of qualified Americans and that the U.S. must admit more high-skilled guest workers to fill jobs in STEM fields: science, technology, engineering and math. This claim is echoed by everyone from President Obama and Rupert Murdoch to Mark Zuckerberg and Bill Gates.

This relates to lobbying that we alluded to earlier this month (the New York Times did the usual lobbying for its Uncle Bill):

Three of America’s richest men are fed up with gridlock in Congress and are urging lawmakers to get moving on an immigration bill.

Warren Buffett, Bill Gates and Sheldon Adelson wrote in a New York Timesop-ed column that it s time for the House to pass a bill that reflects both our country s humanity and its self-interest for the good of U.S. economy.

Perhaps more people need to realise that the pseudo-technologist and his super-affluent buddies merely pursue more profit for themselves in a highly abusive and systemic way.

Microsoft is Still Attacking Open Standards, So Khronos Does Not Need the Microsoft Moles

Posted in Microsoft, Office Suites, Open XML, OpenDocument, Standard at 12:57 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Khronos

Summary: Having attacked the industry’s document standard OpenDocument Format (ODF) while pretending to have ‘embraced’ ODF Microsoft is now pretending that it is eager to support OpenGL

MICROSOFT just won’t leave anything alone, not even its rivals (or especially its rivals). Microsoft is a maestro of “embrace and extend” strategies. In the case of ODF, Microsoft insists on openwashing so as to stop Free software and open standards. When Microsoft pretended to ‘embrace’ ODF it actually attacked it, and it continues to attack ODF to this day (2014). It tries to do it secretly, via proxies like the BSA. It is very hard to find out who is doing what because the whole affair is shrouded in secrecy. This secrecy is part of the design.

Dr. Glyn Moody tried using the law to impose transparency on Microsoft’s actions. He failed, but in the process he did manage to reveal that Microsoft was up to no good. Here's the latest:

This is really one of the most ridiculous get-out clauses, because it is so wide. The whole point of the FOI system is so that we can see precisely what is being said in these discussions, and to find out what companies are saying behind closed doors – and what ministers are replying. Although it’s laudable that the Department for Business Innovation and Skills got in touch to correct its response to me, it’s rather rich to do so and then simply refuse point-blank to release any of the information it has just found.

The only consolation is that whatever Microsoft whispered in the corridors of power to de-rail the move to ODF – since I hardly imagine it was a fervent supporter of the idea – it didn’t work. However, there are doubtless many other occasions when it did, but we will never know. That’s just unacceptable in a modern democracy.

What we have here is a clear reminder that Microsoft is attacking open standards in the UK. Microsoft bribed people to rig balloting processes all around the world and it tried hard to confuse the public by calling a proprietary format “Open XML”, using a lot of abuses to also put some stamps on it. Microsoft is basically diluting the brand of Open Source, just as with Nokia at the moment Microsoft is naming Windows “Debian”. To quote a mystifying new report: “When Linux users hear about Debian they know instantly that it’s one of the best and most popular operating systems out there. Nobody thinks that it might be a new firmware for a Windows-powered Nokia phone.”

Is that not a trademark infringement? Debbie and Ian would almost certainly not approve.

Going back to standards, what Microsoft has been trying with ODF, as we have demonstrated repeatedly, is an “embrace and extend” manoeuvre. It’s like “the ‘other’ Java” from Microsoft, to name just one example where Microsoft destroys rivals by ‘embracing’ them and then distorting them.

After Microsoft’s many attacks on OpenGL (there is no “Microsoft OpenGL”, but Microsoft did contribute to harming of OpenGL as a standard and even derailed gaming under GNU/Linux this way) we learn about this disturbing (but rather predictable) move:

Neil Trevett, the VP of the Mobile Developer Ecosystem at NVIDIA and also serves as the President of the Khronos Group, confirmed that Microsoft has joined the Khronos Group’s WebGL working group. Microsoft in past years has generally distanced itself from “GL” in favor of their own Direct3D API. Microsoft was originally a member of the OpenGL Architecture Review Board, but they’ve been out of that position for more than one decade with just pushing DirectX on Windows and leaving Windows OpenGL support as a bastard child.

Microsoft is hoping to dip its fingers in OpenGL so that it can better control it. Khronos oughtn’t allow the Microsoft moles in, assuming it remembers the history of what Microsoft did to OpenGL. There are promising new features in the latest OpenGL and OpenCL [1,2,3], so to let a dying platform like Windows show the way would be rather unwise. Microsoft wants to do to OpenGL (OGL) what it did to Open Document Format (ODF). Microsoft wants and needs lock-in in order to survive. Since it’s WebGL we are dealing with here, just recall all the damage Microsoft caused to and brought upon the Web.

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. The Khronos Group Is Developing A New Graphics API From The Ground-Up

    Khronos announced a call for participation in a next-generation OpenGL initiative. The announcement reads, “Khronos announced a call for participation today in a project to define a future open standard for high-efficiency access to graphics and compute on modern GPUs. Key directions for the new ground-up design include explicit application control over GPU and CPU workloads for performance and predictability, a multithreading-friendly API with greatly reduced overhead, a common shader program intermediate language, and a strengthened ecosystem focus that includes rigorous conformance testing. Fast-paced work on detailed proposals and designs are already underway, and any company interested to participate is strongly encouraged to join Khronos for a voice and a vote in the development process.”

  2. OpenGL 4.5 Released With New Features

    Well, the next-gen OpenGL didn’t end up being OpenGL 5.0 but is being billed as OpenGL 4.5. Regardless, the OpenGL 4.5 specification is out now.

  3. SPIR 2.0 Is Out In Provisional Form For OpenCL 2.0

    Besides OpenGL 4.5, the Khronos Group announced from SIGGRAPH 2014 in Vancouver today the release of the provisional specification for SPIR 2.0.

Another Depressing Look at the Patent Systems in the US and in Europe

Posted in America, Europe, Patents, Site News at 12:18 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

The EU too is besieged by corporations

EU

Summary: A roundup of news about patent monopolies and in particular the immense power wielded by giant multi-national corporations that steer the debate and acquire trans-Atlantic monopolies on ideas, always against citizens’ interests

Some well-meaning people still focus on patent trolls, not on software patents. The world’s largest corporations engage in a coup or an occupation against policy-makers and it shows. This includes some who purport to be supporting FOSS, fair competition, etc. Melanie Chernoff, the Public Policy Manager for Red Hat, says that “North Carolina says ‘no’ to patent trolls”. To quote the article published this afternoon:

North Carolina became the latest state to take a stand against patent trolls when NC Governor Pat McCrory signed a new law last week aimed at preventing bad faith assertions of patent infringement. Patent trolls (more officially called “patent assertion entities” or “non-practicing entities”) are known for sending very vague letters, with often meritless claims, to other businesses in the hopes of extorting a settlement to avoid the nuisance of a lawsuit.

But this is not the thing to strive for. The real (core) issue is patent scope and even those who spend all their time diverting attention and/or arguing about “trolls” (front groups CCIA with its lawyers who are funded by giant corporations) increasingly — however rarely — recognise the issue of scope while still trying to shift attention to “trolls”.

The other day The Economist, widely recognised for its pro-Big Business agenda, published this article titled “Patents that kill”. To quote some of the relevant parts:

IN 1742 Benjamin Franklin invented a new type of stove, for which he was offered a patent. Franklin refused it, arguing in his autobiography that because “we enjoy[ed] great advantages from the inventions of others, we should be glad of an opportunity to serve others by any invention of ours.”

[...]

The pharmaceutical industry makes the best case for patents (and makes the most of patents when they are approved). Medical research and development (R&D) is costly. Moreover, although a patent application must be filed straight after a drug discovery, clinical trials necessary for drug approval may take several years. This shortens the effective life of the patent. As three economists argue in a recent paper this causes problems. In order to prove the efficacy of a drug, pharmaceuticals have to match the length of a clinical trial to the expected survival time of the patients. A clinical trial for patients with metastatic prostate cancer lasts only three years compared to an 18-year-long trial for those suffering from a milder, localised prostate cancer. Since a typical patent is in force for 20 years, firms only have two years of effective patent length left to commercialise a new drug against localised prostate cancer.

Here we deal with an issue that has nothing to do with patent trolls but with patent scope.

Dealing with the issue of European approach towards software patents, Glyn Moody put the words of some British patent lawyers in a frame of mind that assures us Europe is assimilating to the US (and USPTO), not the other way around. To quote Glyn Moody: “It would be easy to assume that the European Patent Office (EPO) stands in the same relationship to the European Union as the USPTO does to the United States, but that’s actually wide of the mark.”

There is corporate control of the USPTO, which is operating against the interests of US citizens (except the top 1% perhaps). The lawyers’ blog has apparently produced “a great piece, but its gentle humor exposes a serious point about the EPO: it is literally above the law.

“That emphasizes once more that the unitary patent system has been decoupled from the normal legislative and democratic processes of the European Union, and thus will be under no obligation to take heed of the economic interests of the European citizens.”

We are soon going expose corruption at the EPO, based leaks from a source which is pursuing encryption at the moment.

Moody continues: “There is no precedent in the political history of modern democracies where important property issues affecting the economic sustainability and development of a country, and the proprietary rights and business prospects of its people, were conclusively and exclusively taken by a judicial body at supranational level. A democratic policy-making process for the determination of patents as objects of property exists, of course, in all countries of the world, including the US, whose system the UPC tries to imitate. The difference is that the US unified patent system does not escape democratic control, and the economic policies that it serves are widely debated by legislators, judges, economists, lawyers and industry players, all of whom are residents of the same country.”

Finally, says Moody: “It’s still early days for the unitary patent and the Unified Patent Court, so it’s not yet clear how the new system will work, and how serious the problems will be. The danger is that Eponia might turn out to be not so much a quaint oddity in the European political landscape as a dangerous rogue state with serious negative consequences for the region’s businesses and citizens.”

The system is out of control at the moment. It gets worse as patents expand in terms of scope (especially in Europe but also in other continent) while the US merely makes baby-steps in the opposite direction, while much of the effort is being diverted towards “trolls” (small abusers), of course at the behest of large corporations, as usual in US politics as per the modus operandi.

Links 11/8/2014: DEFT 8.2, Linux Mint on Debian Stable

Posted in News Roundup at 3:26 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Firefox Still Does Not Run Properly Under Weston, Wayland’s Reference Compositor

        For now, the Gecko layout engine which is Firefox based on, has been made to work with Weston, the Wayland official reference compositor, but the keyboard input has been broken and the decorations are not displayed well, but the process is in its early stages.

      • Dogfooding: Flame on Nightly

        Just about two weeks ago, I got a Flame and have decided to use it as my primary phone and put away my Nexus 5. I’m running Firefox OS Nightly on it and so far have not run into any bugs so critical that I have needed to go back to Android.

        I have however found some bugs and have some thoughts on things that need improvement to make the Firefox OS experience even better.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • LibreOffice moves up to 4.3 – today, you can’t own a better Office Suite

      Two versions of LibreOffice were released in quick succession. You’ll find the latest iteration of the successful 4.2 series announced here, but slightly ahead of that 4.2.6 release, there was also the bump to a new development cycle. I was on a field trip to the US at the time of the 4.3.0 release announcement and was unable to devote time to updating the SlackBuild script and provide packages earlier than today.

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

  • Project Releases

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Open Data

      • For The Love Of Open Mapping Data

        It’s been exactly ten years since the launch of OpenStreetMap, the largest crowd-sourced mapping project on the Internet. The project was founded by Steve Coast when he was still a student.

  • Standards/Consortia

Leftovers

  • Health/Nutrition

    • Open Source Farming: A Renaissance Man Tackles the Food Crisis

      Given Anthropogenic Climate Disruption (ACD) and our dwindling capacities for producing enough healthy food, a cutting-edge farming technique of a design engineer in Port Townsend, Washington, dramatically increasing produce yield, may well already be filling a critical void.

      [...]

      The corporate answer to the food crisis has been to introduce genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in an effort to expand crop sizes and yields. The outcomes and implications of this, however, continue to prove detrimental to both the environment and human health.

  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • Former US Intelligence Officers rubbish current ‘intelligence’ regime [reposted as new]

      Several former US intelligence officers with a cumulative total of 260 years in various parts of US Intelligence recently wrote to President Barack Obama, expressing concern over ‘evidence adduced so far to blame Russia for the July 17 downing of Malaysian Airlines Flight 17’.

    • Obama: U.S. airstrikes against ISIS in Iraq a ‘long-term project’

      The United States expanded its Iraq air campaign over the weekend to beat back Islamist militants determined to kill members of a religious minority.

      Fighter jets and drones struck ISIS fighters firing on ethnic Yazidis near the northern town of Sinjar, where extremists had driven tens of thousands fleeing into nearby mountains.

    • US pounds IS targets in Iraq with drones and jets

      US forces launched a second wave of air strikes against Islamic extremists near Arbil in northern Iraq on Friday, destroying a militant convoy and killing a mortar team, the Pentagon said.

    • Obama’s Irrelevant Air Strikes
    • Obama: Return to Iraq ‘a long-term project’
    • Obama says Iraq is going to be a ‘long-term project’
    • Commentary: Seek potential for peace

      And since when has the U.S. advocated weapons non-proliferation? As the world’s No. 1 weapons salesman, with one-third of its foreign aid budget often military aid, the U.S. has equipped dictators with weapons to slaughter thousands. If supplying weapons is evil, shouldn’t it be consistently condemned? Consider school shootings. Does Obama blame the nation that supplied the guns?

    • Deadly Clashes With Police Erupt at Pakistan Protests

      The clashes deepened the sense of crisis surrounding Mr. Sharif’s government, whose power has already been undermined by a troubled relationship with the country’s military leadership. The prime minister now faces the prospect of a series of major streets protests led by Mr. Qadri and, more substantively, his rival in the opposition, Imran Khan.

    • The Phoenix Program: America’s Use of Terror in Vietnam

      The greatest mystery—or better said, mystification—to be overcome is the apparent contradiction between America’s proclaimed principles and the intensity of its covert operations practices. Philip Agee once called the CIA, “capitalism’s invisible army”. He recalled that one of his first tasks as a junior CIA officer had been to conduct background checks on Venezuelan applicants for jobs at the local subsidiary of a major US oil company.9 In fact, his conclusion after quitting the “Company” was that capitalism could never be maintained without an extensive military and secret police force to suppress opposition to it.

    • Kenya: What African Leaders Could Learn From America

      Indeed, numerous studies and books have shown that the American government, or CIA to be precise, has been behind some of the major coups in Africa as in the rest of the developing world. The CIA for example, is believed to be behind the overthrow of Ghana’s Kwame Nkrumah as well as the assassination of DR Congo’s Patrice Lumumba.

    • Toxic legacy of US assault on Fallujah ‘worse than Hiroshima’

      Dramatic increases in infant mortality, cancer and leukaemia in the Iraqi city of Fallujah, which was bombarded by US Marines in 2004, exceed those reported by survivors of the atomic bombs that were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945, according to a new study.

  • Finance

    • David Miliband: ‘I want Ed to succeed. I’m sure he feels the same about me’

      He looks exactly the same. Navy blue suit, crisp white shirt and reddish tie. Lego-like cropped black hair, with a dash of white at the fringe. But these days, 3,000 miles away from the grand corridors of Whitehall through which he once strode, David Miliband navigates the cramped 12th floor of an office tower in midtown Manhattan.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • How Ted Nugent Repaid The Newspaper That Hosted His Concert

      After the Toledo Blade received months of criticism for reluctantly hosting National Rifle Association board member Ted Nugent at their food and music festival, the conservative commentator repaid the Ohio paper by declaring that “So as long as you know the Toledo Blade hates you, you’re a good American.”

      Nugent has been a source of virulently racist, sexist, and homophobic commentary for years, but his January declaration that President Obama is a “subhuman mongrel” has triggered a wave of cancellations and protests of his concerts.

  • Censorship

    • Porn Stars Want to Know: Why Did Facebook Delete Me?

      The social network isn’t impressed. Maybe it’s the shock of seeing your bubble butt popping out of skimpy bikini. Or maybe it’s just because you’re a porn star.

    • icanhazip.com blocked by Websense

      Here’s what I know:

      The application that serves up the icanhazip services is not compromised
      The virtual machine on which the application resides is not compromised
      The application is returning valid data with no evidence of serving malware

    • City Of London Police Arrest Creator Of Anti-Censorship Proxy Service Based On Hollywood’s Say So

      We’ve been covering the extreme and misinformed attempts by the City of London Police to become Hollywood’s personal police force online (despite only having jurisdiction for the one square mile known as the City of London). As we’ve noted, the City of London Police don’t seem to understand internet technology at all, nor do they have any jurisdiction to pull down websites. Yet, despite the total lack of a court order, many clueless registrars see letterhead from a police department and assume everything must be legit, even though this completely violates ICANN policy for domain registrars. Much of this is done in “partnership” with legacy players from the industry, who the police seem to listen to without any skepticism at all. It would be like the NYPD giving control of banking fraud investigations to Goldman Sachs.

  • Privacy

    • Father of PGP encryption: Telcos need to get out of bed with governments

      Phil Zimmermann, the creator of Pretty Good Privacy public-key encryption, has some experience when it comes to the politics of crypto. During the “crypto wars” of the 1990s, Zimmermann fought to convince the US government to stop classifying PGP as a “munition” and shut down the Clipper Chip program—an effort to create a government-mandated encryption processor that would have given the NSA a back door into all encrypted electronic communication. Now Zimmermann and the company he co-founded are working to convince telecommunications companies—mostly overseas—that it’s time to end their nearly century-long cozy relationship with governments.

    • U.S. intel officials see no proof — yet — that Snowden leaks are behind Chinese & Russian crackdowns

      American intelligence officials lack evidence that leaks from former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden are behind the Russian and Chinese governments’ heavy crackdowns on U.S. tech giants.

      A former high-ranking American intelligence official told VentureBeat late Thursday that U.S. intelligence believes the Snowden leaks — regarding the infiltration of Microsoft, Yahoo, and others by the NSA — are behind the Russian and Chinese backlash. But, the source said, plenty of questions remained unanswered — and so far there’s no proof of a connection.

    • Are Bitcoin And BitTorrent Good For Society?
    • Visit the Wrong Website, and the FBI Could End Up in Your Computer

      Security experts call it a “drive-by download”: a hacker infiltrates a high-traffic website and then subverts it to deliver malware to every single visitor. It’s one of the most powerful tools in the black hat arsenal, capable of delivering thousands of fresh victims into a hackers’ clutches within minutes.

      Now the technique is being adopted by a different kind of a hacker—the kind with a badge. For the last two years, the FBI has been quietly experimenting with drive-by hacks as a solution to one of law enforcement’s knottiest Internet problems: how to identify and prosecute users of criminal websites hiding behind the powerful Tor anonymity system.

    • Leaked docs show spyware used to snoop on US computers

      The leaked files contain more than 40 gigabytes of confidential technical material, including software code, internal memos, strategy reports, and user guides on how to use Gamma Group software suite called FinFisher. FinFisher enables customers to monitor secure Web traffic, Skype calls, webcams, and personal files. It is installed as malware on targets’ computers and cell phones.

    • Phone number now must for new email ids: Gmail, Yahoo

      Internet Service Providers Association of India (ISPAI), on the other hand, believe the move could conflict with privacy of an individual. Also, there is no regulatory requirement for making phone number must for having an email address.

    • Australia’s Attorney General Says Metadata Collection Won’t Track Your Web Surfing, Just The Web Addresses You Visit (Huh?)

      Australian Attorney General George Brandis seems to be working extra hard to demonstrate just how completely clueless he really is. On both copyright and surveillance, it’s pretty clear that he doesn’t even remotely understand the details, but is willing to go all in to support some misleading claims that someone told him. On the surveillance front, he recently claimed (incorrectly) that data retention rules are a must (and that whistleblowers should be thrown in prison).

    • Former Top FISA Judge Insists USA Freedom Act Is Dangerous Because It Might Mean FISA Court Can’t Rubberstamp So Fast
    • Mark Dubois: Paying Lip Service To Confidentiality And Privilege

      I was thinking of this cavalier attitude towards the issues of confidentiality and privilege when I read that the National Security Agency or one of its cooperating partners had listened in on private attorney-client communications between a law firm and a foreign client.

    • Changing the conversation about Privacy, Surveillance, and Pushing SSL

      Yesterday at DEF CON we had the chance to listen to Christopher Soghoian, Principal Technologist, American Civil Liberties Union talk about the state of the surveillance state and how we can help fight against it. Of course you might think that his talk would be about the use of spy proof technologies, but oddly enough very little of that was talked about except to make it clear that talk of spy-proof technology makes people in Washington nervous.

    • DEF CON attendees get tips on how to detect, escape surveillance

      Since Edward Snowden helped reveal wide-scale government snooping programs, the conspiracy-oriented elements of the cyber-security community have become a little more emboldened.

    • The NSA Secretly Tried To Delete Part Of A Courtroom Transcript It Deemed Classified
    • Op-Ed: Using Facebook ‘Likes’ to predict personality can be dangerous

      Speaking the truth in times of universal deceit is a revolutionary act, so said George Orwell, author of “1984.”

  • Civil Rights

    • The CIA says it spied on Congress, so shouldn’t that be a big deal?
    • Worse than Watergate?

      In a world where political hyperbole has become so prevalent that it has for the most part lost the ability to impact an audience, it’s easy to routinely dismiss things like the commonly tossed-around Watergate comparisons that abound in political media. Indeed, it’s practically newsroom SOP to affix a gate suffix to any scandal big enough to make the evening broadcast – Lewinsky-gate, Benghazi-Gate, Bridge-gate, etc.

    • Why did Obama stand behind CIA chief?
    • The untransparent CIA
    • Editorial: CIA running amok

      Since 2008 the Senate Intelligence Committee has been investigating the interrogation procedures the CIA used on terrorist suspects. It produced a 6,000-page report plus a 700-page summary. In discussing the summary, Obama said, “We tortured some folks,” using a word — “torture” — the CIA abhors.

      [...]

      That’s ridiculous. People may argue over what’s torture and what’s not, but keeping facts secret to cover your backside — which is what’s going on here — is unacceptable.

    • Feinstein winning fight with CIA, Obama over torture report

      Sen. Dianne Feinstein, California’s senior senator and a longtime hawk on national defense, is leading an epic constitutional struggle against unlikely foes: the CIA and fellow Democrat President Obama. So far, she’s winning.

    • Russia: Independent Journalist Found Dead

      Police should carry out a prompt, impartial, and thorough investigation into the death of an independent journalist in Russia’s North Caucasus, Human Rights Watch said today. Timur Kuashev, a freelance journalist and rights activist, was found dead in the outskirts of Nalchik, the capital of Kabardino-Balkaria, on August 1, 2014. His friends and colleagues told Human Rights Watch they strongly believe Kuashev’s death was a murder in retaliation for his activism.

    • Angry Lawyer Sues WordPress Because Someone Set Up A Website Mocking Him

      What’s that saying about a lawyer who represents himself? Yes, well, consider the case of lawyer Jeffrey Wilens, representing himself pro se, in a “trademark” lawsuit filed against Automattic, the company better known for WordPress, the content management system/hosting service that a large percentage of the internet now uses. Wilens appears to have someone who doesn’t like him very much, who set up a bunch of websites using Wilens’ name and the name of his legal practice, Lakeshore Law Center. Wilens is claiming that this is trademark infringement, based on a trademark on his name and the name of his law practice. Even if he were just going after whoever made the page, this would be a massive long shot. As we’ve covered for years, so-called “gripe sites” are not considered trademark infringement. There’s no likelihood of confusion, they’re almost never commercials, and shutting them down would often violate the First Amendment. But Wilens is pointing his legal guns not just at whoever made the site, but also at Automattic for allowing the site to be created and hosting it (he also sued Google, but recently dismissed the company from the case).

  • Intellectual Monopolies

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