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10.10.14

Links 9/10/2014: Free Software in Germany, Lenovo Tablets With Android

Posted in News Roundup at 2:31 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • Synaq: open source’s e-mail kings

    Synaq’s nondescript offices near the Sandton CBD feel laid back and comfortable. A large blackboard near the entrance has scribbles all over it. These offices check all the boxes of a start-up, but this business is far too big, and a few years too old, to fall into the start-up category.

  • Open source and free software graveyard, 2014

    The good thing about open source projects getting killed off is that there always seems to be another to take its place. Here’s a look at this year’s carnage to date, including some free software and freeware.

  • Events

    • Open Source Solutions Touted at MIT as Key to the Future of Cloud Computing

      The Industry-Academia Partnership (IAP) conducted a Cloud Workshop at MIT on September 26. Speakers from industry and academia described their R&D efforts to meet the future needs of cloud computing, spanning the full scope of hardware (servers, storage and networking) and software solutions (operating systems, virtualization, cloud orchestration software, and big data analytics).

    • One Week: Three FOSS Expos

      The week after next the FOSS world will be brimming with opportunities to find out more about what’s going on in three separate shows around the country. If you are within a day’s drive of any of them — or if you are not adverse to flying — making it to one of them would be well worth the effort.

    • Multiple screens for your conference presentation

      In two weeks the All Things Open conference will be taking place in Raleigh, North Carolina. Penguins from all over will be gathering together to share ideas. And as one of the presenters this year, I started wondering, in what ways can you open source a conference presentation?

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Firefox OS Shows Continued Global Growth

        Firefox OS is now available on three continents with 12 smartphones offered by 13 operators in 24 countries. As the only truly open mobile operating system, Firefox OS demonstrates the versatility of the Web as a platform, free of the limits and restrictions associated with proprietary mobile operating systems.

  • SaaS/Big Data

    • OpenStack Juno Set to Advance Nova Networking

      The open-source OpenStack Juno cloud platform is set to become generally available on October 16, bringing with it a long list of new networking capabilities. The new networking features aren’t just limited to the OpenStack Neutron networking project, either. They also include new features in the OpenStack Nova compute project.

    • OpenStack is nowhere near a “solved problem”

      OpenStack has a long way to go before it reaches the nirvana state that one of its founders is claiming it has already attained.

  • BSD

  • Public Services/Government

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Antumbra Glow is a $35 open source ambient lighting solution for your PC

      Ambient lighting setups are always a good time, but in general these setups are either complex, expensive, or they don’t work with enough things to make the experience worth it. The folks at Antumbra think they have a solution with Glow, which is a $35 LED cube that uses open source software to offer ambient lighting to any desktop setup.

    • Open Source Development: Course teaches students modified coding, design

      The term “open source” refers to something that can be modified because its design is publicly accessible. Open source software is computer software with its source code made available for modification or enhancement by anyone. Projects or initiatives that utilize this type of code are those that embrace and foster open exchange, collaborative participation, fast prototyping and community development.

  • Programming

    • The D Language

      D is a general purpose systems and applications programming language. It is a high level language, but retains the ability to write high performance code and interface directly with the operating system API’s and with hardware (dlang.org).

Leftovers

  • Liberia justice minister quits, says president blocked investigation

    Another son, Robert Sirleaf, resigned as chairman of Liberia’s state oil company, NOCAL, and stepped down from his role as a senior advisor to his mother last year.

    Johnson Sirleaf said his resignation had nothing to do with accusations of favouritism, stating that he had simply completed his assignment to restructure NOCAL and draft a petroleum law.

  • Coverage of illumos Day 2014
  • Health/Nutrition

    • CNN Turns To Outbreak Fiction Writer For Ebola Coverage

      Medical experts further agree that it’s highly unlikely Ebola could mutate into a form that alters its mode of transmission. That type of mutation would be unprecedented according to Columbia University virologist Vincent Racaniello, who wrote: “We have been studying viruses for over 100 years, and we’ve never seen a human virus change the way it is transmitted,” and that “There is no reason to believe that Ebola virus is any different from any of the viruses that infect humans and have not changed the way that they are spread.”

    • Feeding the World

      The report exposes the many ways in which GM crops threaten the environment and farmers’ livelihood…

  • Security

    • Licensing issues unlikely to have delayed Apple Bash fix

      The likelihood that Apple delayed releasing a fix for the recent remotely exploitable vulnerability in Bash due to licensing issues is low, according to the executive director of the Free Software Foundation.

    • INTERNATIONAL DAIRY QUEEN CONFIRMS MALWARE INTRUSION AT SOME U.S. LOCATIONS

      International Dairy Queen, Inc. today confirmed that the systems of some DQ® locations and one Orange Julius® location in the U.S. had been infected with the widely-reported Backoff malware that is targeting retailers across the country. The company previously indicated that it was investigating a possible malware intrusion that may have affected some payment cards used at certain DQ locations in the U.S. Upon learning of the issue, the company conducted an extensive investigation and retained external forensic experts to help determine the facts.

    • How hackers took over my computer

      Whether you’re a nation or a citizen, cyber security is an ever-growing issue – new hacks or data breaches emerge daily, in which people’s information is exposed or leaked, from bank details to intimate photographs. But is the threat of being hacked something that you or I really need to worry about? And if someone did hack into your computer, what would they be able to do with the information they found?

      Over the summer I decided to put these questions to the test. I got in touch with an ‘ethical hacker’ called John Yeo, who works for cyber security firm Trustwave, and asked him to try and hack me.

    • HP accidentally signed malware, will revoke certificate

      An HP executive told security reporter Brian Krebs that that the certificate itself wasn’t compromised. HP Global Chief Information Security Officer Brett Wahlin said that HP had recently been alerted to the signed malware—a four-year old Windows Trojan—by Symantec. Wahlin said that it appears the malware, which had infected an HP employee’s computer, accidentally got digitally signed as part of a separate software package—and then sent a signed copy of itself back to its point of origin. Though the malware has since been distributed over the Internet while bearing HP’s certificate, Wahlin noted that the Trojan was never shipped to HP customers as part of the software package.

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • Kurdish leader: ‘We are resisting, despite Turkey, West’

      A desperate battle by progressive Kurdish-led resistance fighters is seeking to defend Kobanê from ISIS fundamentalist forces. Kobanê is in Rojava, or Western Kurdistan, is a predominantly Kurdish area in northern Syria that is a semi-autonomous “liberated zone” experiencing a social revolution.

    • Somerset woman faces federal charges in NSA drone killings protest

      A Somerset County woman with a history of political activism faces federal charges after attempting to enter protected National Security Agency property to protest lethal American drone attacks around the world.

      Manijeh Saba, a court interpreter, translator and long-time human rights activist from Franklin Township will appear in United States District Court in Baltimore Thursday for protesting on May 3 outside the gate of Fort Meade, MD against NSA surveillance providing targeting information for US drone attacks.

  • Finance

    • Global Capitalism’s Bouncers

      Maria lived in the United States for eighteen years. She worked multiple jobs while raising two sons, a daughter, and several grandchildren. On her way home from church one Sunday, she was stopped at a checkpoint outside her trailer park. Lacking the requisite papers to be in the country, her car was seized, and she was thrown into the merciless and well-greased US deportation mill.

      About her forced removal and subsequent separation from her family, she said, “I became so sad I could barely move.”

      Todd Miller, veteran journalist and author of Border Patrol Nation, uses Maria’s tragedy to show the incredible geographic and psychological reach of the Border Patrol and its proxy agencies — which now include local police forces who enforce immigration violations far from the border, and the first-ever state-run Border Patrol, South Carolina’s Immigration Enforcement Unit. The “border,” once a contested hot zone in the Southwest, has become a mobile vacuum, ready to disappear undocumented immigrants and devastate communities from Niagara Falls, New York to Miami, Florida.

  • Censorship

    • Censorship goes viral with Internet

      The week is highlighted by gatherings where people read from books that have been banned at one time or another. On one side, the annual event celebrates the freedom to read and the freedom of expression. On the other, it shines the spotlight on the bigger and more pervasive problem of censorship, which affects not just books but all means of expression.

    • HK backspace, backspace

      STREETS in Hong Kong have been filled with protesters calling for democratic reform and tweeting their experiences furiously. But in mainland China, people are struggling to discuss the unrest online. Censors have been poring over Weibo, China’s closely controlled version of Twitter, to scrub out even oblique references to it.

    • Bahrain: Nabeel Rajab to face trial for expressing opinion

      Index is deeply concerned that the UK government has done little to press Bahrain to improve its human rights record. Bahrain’s insistence on the prosecution of Nabeel Rajab underlines the abysmal state of free expression in that country.

    • Censorship is for the ignorant, not us

      Censorship can only perpetuate suspicion, not provide clarity.

    • Why banning Arab authors from US is censorship

      At the end of the conversation, Nasser was told that he could not board the departing plane, which in any case had already left. The faceless homeland security officer would not disclose the reason Nasser wasn’t allowed into the US.

      “Just like that?” Nasser asked. “Just like that,” the homeland security officer responded.

      Nasser’s talk was still held, via Skype. But Homeland Security did manage to prevent him from the warmth of a personal address, from speaking individually to fans of his work, and from fruitful discussions with other writers.

  • Privacy

    • Former NSA Head Says You Can Avoid Government Spying By Using This One Simple Trick

      Former NSA head Keith Alexander — the original Million Dollar (a month) Man and premier cybersecurity consultant to the banking industry — is taking his years of expertise (and several mysteriously non-public patents) on the road, speaking at whatever venue will have him.

      [...]

      This advice is less than useless. Those who actively seek contact with terrorists likely know to stay clear of surveilled channels. Those who aren’t seeking contact have their data (and sometimes communications) agnostically hoovered up by the US government’s various surveillance and investigatory arms.

    • PRISM: Don’t talk to terrorists if you want privacy, says ex-NSA director
    • Ex-NSA director defends PRISM and warns not to talk to terrorists

      EX-NSA DIRECTOR Keith Alexander has defended the PRISM programme he oversaw, and has warned that if members of the public speak to terrorists they are likely to be a target for the agency.

    • House chairman calls for NSA reform in Senate after election

      “When the Senate returns in November, it must pass the USA Freedom Act in order to protect Americans’ civil liberties and to ensure that American tech companies can begin to rebuild trust with their customers and flourish in the global economy,” he said in a statement.

    • To Stop NSA Spying, Look for Solutions Outside of Washington DC

      When it comes to political activism in America, it almost all focuses within the 202 area code. But over the last few years, it’s become clear we cannot count on Washington D.C. to rein in its own surveillance programs.

      We need a different approach that engages activists and concerned Americans outside of the Beltway.

    • NSA: List of official leaks to the media is classified
    • NSA Mind-Bender: We Won’t Tell You What Info We Already Leaked to the Media

      Longtime reporters who cover the NSA know that any time we ask the obstinate spy agency for information, we’re probably going to hit a brick wall. But who would have thought that trying to obtain information about information the agency has already given us would lead to the same wall?

    • NSA: Even the Secrets We Tell You Are Too Secret For You To Know About

      It’s an assertion that defies common sense but speaks volumes about how the U.S. intelligence complex dodges accountability: The National Security Agency is arguing that even the secrets it has intentionally disclosed to reporters are still so secret that disclosing their disclosure threatens national security.

    • NSA Claims Notifications to Congress About Authorized Leaks of Intelligence Are ‘Top Secret’

      Secrecy News submitted a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request on March 10, 2014, for “a copy of any notifications to Congress transmitted in the past 12 months concerning authorized public disclosures of intelligence information.”

    • Report on Disclosures to the Media is Classified

      A report to Congress on authorized disclosures of classified intelligence to the media — not unauthorized disclosures — is classified and is exempt from disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act, the National Security Agency said.

    • The NSA Wants to Recruit Teen Hackers for Good

      Does your 13-year-old need something to do next summer? Here’s a novel idea: Send her to a special cybersecurity camp run by the NSA.

      The beleaguered agency’s new program tries to catch the youngest computer-savvy recruits and inculcate loyalty before they become exposed to the libertarian ideals of Reddit or read the manifestos of Aaron Swartz.

    • How The NSA Plans To Recruit Your Teenagers

      Kids across America no longer have to wait until college to plan on being a part of the National Security Agency. In fact, they could start preparing for their NSA careers as early as age 13.

      The NSA has begun sponsoring cybersecurity camps for middle and high school students, agency recruiter Steven LaFountain told CNBC’s Eamon Javers in a recent interview. Six prototype camps launched this past summer, and the NSA hopes to eventually have a presence in schools in all 50 states.

    • Big data seeks the higher ground on privacy

      Against a backdrop of Snowden/NSA revelations and growing consumer concern about massive data breaches on the Internet, participants in the gathering (which was organized and hosted by Intel) seemed to echo a common refrain: written privacy policies aren’t getting the job done. “There’s a huge gap between a company’s privacy policy and what happens in systems,” said Danny Weitzner, co-founder of TrustLayers and the former Deputy Chief Technology Officer for Internet Policy in the White House.

    • They Fight Surveillance – And You Can Too

      Call it “privacy nihilism.” Whether you’re reading about the latest security breaches across the Net, or the jaw-dropping details of the latest NSA leak, or you’re explaining the importance of crypto to your blank-faced family, or struggling to stop your own government’s plans on burning your right to privacy, it’s sometimes easy to just throw up your hands in despair and give it all up.

    • Twitter sues FBI, Justice Department to release NSA request data

      Twitter is suing the FBI and the Department of Justice to be able to release more information about government surveillance of its users.

      The social media company filed a lawsuit Tuesday in federal court in San Francisco to publish its full “transparency report,” which documents government requests for user information. Twitter published a surveillance report in July but couldn’t include the exact number of national security requests it received because Internet companies are prohibited from disclosing that information, even if they didn’t get any requests.

    • Wyden: Surveillance is a ‘Clear and Present Danger’ to the Digital Economy

      The pervasive dragnet surveillance of Americans revealed by the Edward Snowden documents has caused serious damage to the trust that enterprises and citizens had in the United States government and unless that trust is repaired, it could have serious effects on the Internet economy, a panel of prominent technology executives said.

    • In Silicon Valley, senator calls for ending American “digital dragnet”

      Speaking at the gym at the high school where he used to play basketball in the 1960s, Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) gave a dire warning to a group of students and locals on Wednesday about the effects of government spying on Silicon Valley: “There is a clear and present danger to the Internet economy.”

    • Highlights From Sen. Ron Wyden’s Roundtable on ‘The Impact of Mass Surveillance on the Digital Economy’
    • Some Recent NSA Debates

      Here’s one that took place a couple of weeks ago at Georgetown on “The NSA, Privacy & the Global Internet: Perspectives on EO 12333.” Participants included law professors Nathan Sales, Laura Donohue, DNI General Counsel Bob Litt, and former State Department official John Tyre.

    • Edward Snowden: whistleblower, criminal … Nobel Peace Prize winner?

      Experts say ex-NSA contractor Edward Snowden is a favorite for the Nobel Peace Prize, set to be announced Friday. But such a decision would cause huge complications for Norway with one of its closest allies, the US.

    • Edward Snowden, Pope Francis tipped for Nobel

      The race for the Nobel peace prize, to be announced on Friday, has rarely been as open or unpredictable, experts say, with the pope and Edward Snowden tipped as possible winners. Snowden, the former intelligence analyst who revealed the extent of US global eavesdropping, was one of the joint winners of the “alternative Nobel peace prize” in September. A hero to some and a traitor to others, he would be a highly controversial choice for the 878,000-euro ($1.11-million) award. The Pakistani girls’ education campaigner Malala Yousafzai who was also a favourite in 2013 is also said to be in the running along with Pope Francis for his defence of the poor, and a Japanese pacifist group.

    • Edward Snowden to speak at Observer Ideas festival

      NSA whistleblower Snowden will talk via videolink from Moscow this weekend about the future of privacy, surveillance technology and democratic oversight

    • Snowden to Make UK Public Appearance Via Video Link From Moscow: Reports

      The NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden is expected to make a public appearance in a UK event this Sunday, speaking via video link from Moscow, The Guardian reported on Thursday.

      “I’m tired of people endlessly rehashing the history of Mr Snowden’s revelations, and I’m sure he is too,” the Observer technology columnist John Naughton, who will lead the discussion with Snowden, was quoted as saying.

    • Crypto wars redux: why the FBI’s desire to unlock your private life must be resisted

      In 1995, the US government tried – and failed – to categorise encryption as a weapon. Today, the same lines are being drawn and the same tactics repeated as the FBI wants to do the same. Here’s why they are wrong, and why they must fail again

    • Can we trust the government to monitor surveillance?

      The USA Freedom Act certainly has its shortcomings, but it is important to weigh the options, consider the effects of not passing this measure and realize that in a sea of unsure government options, this is truly the best choice we have.

    • This Is How the Feds Illegally Obtain Evidence of a Crime and Lie About It in Court

      NSA documents released by Edward Snowden show that the feds seriously deceived Congress and the courts in an effort to spy upon all of us and to use the gathered materials in criminal prosecutions, even though they told federal judges they would not. Among the more nefarious procedures the feds have engaged in is something called “parallel reconstruction.” This procedure seeks to hide the true and original source of information about a criminal defendant when it was obtained unlawfully.

    • GCHQ wants to become more transparent, claims web pioneer

      Sir Tim Berners-Lee, widely-recognised as the inventor of the World Wide Web, has claimed that the UK’s electronic surveillance and oversight body GCHQ is trying to become more transparent on spying.

    • Assange accuses Australian govt of ‘misrepresenting nature of interception’

      WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has challenged assurances by the Australian government that communications interception in the country was a matter of “strict oversight.”

    • Execs: NSA spying hurts economy

      Google Chairman Eric Schmidt and other Silicon Valley executives say controversial government spying programs are undercutting the Internet economy and want Congress to step up stalled reform.

      [...]

      Schmidt and executives from Facebook Inc, Microsoft Corp. and other firms said revelations of extensive NSA surveillance are prompting governments in Europe and elsewhere to consider laws requiring that their citizens’ online data be stored within their national borders.

    • NSA internal watchdog defends agency’s privacy practices
    • National Security Entrepreneurs Create Cyber Insurance

      At the Government Accountability Project (GAP), we began working with whistleblowers in the wake of Washington’s Watergate scandal, an episode that showed what our public officials were capable of when left to their own devices. In the years since then, as the U.S. adopted sweeping privatization and deregulation policies, GAP has come to provide legal help to whistleblowers from both public agencies and private firms.

      When the first whistleblowers from the National Security Agency (NSA) came forward — before Edward Snowden — they reported not only violations of privacy and the Constitution, but fraud. After all, NSA cyberspying, cyberattacking and cyberdefending are largely done by private companies which are, by the way, paid lavishly. We can’t be sure exactly how lavishly, because although we’re the people paying them, we have no right to know what we’re paying for. It’s the black budget; it’s secret.

    • UK crime chief wants even more powers to snoop NSA-style

      It has been said that we are living in a post-NSA world. What this really amounts to is that we are now slightly more aware of the level of snooping that has been going on in the background for many years. There has been widespread outrage at the revelations made by Edward Snowden, and there have been similar concerns raised outside of the US. In the UK, the FBI-like National Crime Agency, wants greater powers to monitor emails and phone calls — and it wants the public to agree to this.

      Director General of the NCA, Keith Bristow, spoke with the Guardian and said that the biggest threats to public safety are to be found online. He said that more powers to monitor online data is needed, and suggested that public resistance to this was down to the fact that he had thus far failed to properly explain why such powers are needed.

    • [Op-Ed] Policing With Consent Would Require Throwing Away Our Freedoms

      Alarmingly, Keith Bristow, Director of the UK’s National Crime Agency (NCA), also known as Britain’s FBI, made a call to the public on Monday to obtain their consent to increase the surveillance capabilities of the state, and thus reduce their digital freedoms in return for more robust protections from organized cybercrime and terrorism.

    • Internet spies greatest threat to freedom: poll

      Foreign intelligence agencies and private companies collecting personal data online are the greatest threats to freedom in Germany, according to an annual poll.

    • UK Police Abuse Of Anti-Terrorist Snooping Powers To Reveal Journalists’ Sources Leads To Widespread Calls For Reform
    • How police hacked Mail on Sunday phone: Officers used anti-terror laws to track down judge-protected source who exposed Chris Huhne’s speeding points fraud
    • What’s happened since Beijing’s hacker unit was exposed? Nothing

      Chinese hacker unit PLA 61398 is hacking US companies harder than ever after bilateral talks between Beijing and Washington were interrupted by Snowden leaks, according to Mandiant boss Kevin Mandia.

    • ‘Unjustified fabrication of facts’: China slams US over FBI’s hacking claims

      Beijing has lashed out at an allegation by FBI Director that Chinese hackers were guilty of causing billions of dollars of damage to the US economy. China accused the US of using such statements “to divert attention” from its own massive cyber-spying.

    • DOJ In Silk Road Case: The FBI Doesn’t Need Warrants To Hack Foreign Servers
    • US says it can hack into foreign-based servers without warrants
    • No Warrant Needed To Hack Into Websites Outside Of The Country, U.S. Government Claims

      The U.S. Justice Department said in a federal court filing on Monday that the government has the legal authority to hack into servers outside of the country without a warrant.

      The claim came as part of the ongoing trial of the alleged operator of the Silk Road illicit drug website. The suspect, Ross Ulbricht, claimed that the government’s explanation for how they located the server of the anonymous website was “implausible,” claiming that it’s possible the FBI may have instead unlawfully colluded with the NSA to hack into the site – a technique known as parallel construction.

    • Parallel Construction: Your Local Police Working with NSA Surveillance

      Edward Snowden revealed that the NSA intercepts huge amounts of electronic data warrantlessly without our permission. However, that is not the only way the surveillance state violates our rights. The NSA uses other underhanded schemes behind-the-scenes to exploit us. One of them is known as ‘parallel construction.’

    • VIDEO: Yes, Mass Collection of U.S. Phone Records Violates the Constitution

      I’m honored to be here to discuss the mass collection of Americans’ phone records by the NSA. Before getting into that program, though, it’s critical to recognize that this debate is not just about phone records, and it is not just about the NSA. This is a debate about the kind of society we want to live in. Do we want to live in a country in which the government routinely spies on hundreds of millions of people who have done absolutely nothing wrong? Or do we want to be true to the vision of our nation’s founders, who believed that the government should — as a general matter — leave us alone unless it has cause to invade our privacy. I think our founders got it right, and I hope you’ll agree, which is why you should vote for the resolution: Mass collection of our phone records violates the Fourth Amendment.

    • NSA Mission Creep: It’s For The Children

      In the aftermath of Edward Snowden’s, and numerous other credible whistleblowers‘ irrefutable revelations that the National Security Agency (NSA) and other government agencies are capturing and indefinitely storing millions of innocent Americans’ phone calls, emails, internet transactions, and even movements and whereabouts at any given time—Apple and other tech companies are rightfully responding to their customers’ demands for enhanced encryption to protect their privacy rights.

    • How Coca-Cola, Nissan and Kraft mine selfies for ‘invisible’ insight

      Brands are slowly finding ways to make sense of image-based social networks such as Instagram and Tumblr, mining user photos for insight into how their products are used.

      The rise of the ‘visual economy’ poses several challenges for marketers. One is understanding how consumers like to share post-production edits of their lives. Another challenge for brands is finding a way to participate in that activity with authenticity. And the final one is how to parse this visual data for insight.

    • In The U.S., The Feds Are A Bigger Threat To Your Phone Than Malware

      The bad news is that Americans are at far greater risk of having their phones hacked by their government than by Russian malware hackers.

    • The greatest myth about phones is that you are in control

      Consider, however, the reality of your relationship with your phone. First of all, it knows everything about you. It reads all your emails, sees all your pictures, learns your favorite websites, and even remembers the unsent texts you draft in the middle of the night. It tracks where you’ve been and when, who you’ve talked to and for how long — and if you have a particularly smart new phone, it also knows your resting heart rate and level of physical activity. The jobs that NSA and KGB spies would train for decades to master are now being handled by the little computer in your pocket. In its spare time. As a sideline entertainment. And what do you know about your phone, other than the megapixels of its camera or the gigabytes of its storage?

    • The most important national-security secrets case you’ve never heard of

      Your phone records, your credit-card bills, your internet trail – the government has the power to summon it all on-demand, without telling you. Until now

    • Google chief on NSA: ‘We’re going to end up breaking the Internet’

      The integrity of the Internet could be at risk if Congress does not act to rein in the National Security Agency, Google head Eric Schmidt warned on Wednesday.

  • Civil Rights

    • Former NYPD Chief Ray Kelly Still Trying To Sell His Post-Stop-And-Frisk Apocalypse But The Stats Aren’t Backing Him Up

      Former NYPD police chief Ray Kelly is still telling his stop-and-frisk story to whoever will listen. The story is — and always has been — that if the NYPC isn’t allowed to make hundreds of thousands of unconstitutional stops every year, the city will slide back into lawlessness. The supporting evidence offered for this pending apocalypse never added up. Kelly claimed stop-and-frisk kept guns off the street but statistics maintained by the NYPD itself showed that the difference between stop-and-frisk-free 2003 and 2012′s 500,000+ stops was a grand total of 96 guns — a difference of .02%.

    • John Oliver Takes On The US Government’s Legalized Theft Programs, Asset Seizure And Civil Asset Forfeiture

      “Last Week Tonight’s” John Oliver is again taking an entertaining swing at a subject that has made its way into Techdirt’s pages: asset seizure and forfeiture. Going beyond the “robbery at badgepoint” (Cory Doctorow’s term) to civil asset forfeiture (in which the government files suit against property that is presumed guilty of criminal ties), Oliver is his usual entertaining self while still managing to highlight the obscene depths these programs — started with the intent of breaking up criminal enterprises and returning assets to those defrauded, etc. — have sunk, thanks to the perversion of incentives.

    • Police investigate potential “terroristic” threat at Snow College

      “Lets just say, homecoming this weekend is gonna go out with a bang,” it read, according to a statement from the Utah attorney general’s office.

      The bulletin has since been deleted from the site, but still can be found through a Google search. It continued: “And the football game is gonna be one no one is ever gonna forget.”

    • College Student Posts Something That Sort Of Sounds Like A Threat; Law Enforcement, Mild Panic Ensue

      Presumably, the student was fully cleared of any potential wrongdoing and mocked gently for his use of the phrase “going out with a bang” by an officer drawing the shape of square with his opposing index fingers.

    • Malala: Youngest ever Nobel Peace Laureate

      The Norwegian Nobel Committee has decided that the Nobel Peace Prize for 2014 is to be awarded to Kailash Satyarthi and Malala Yousafzay for their struggle against the suppression of children and young people and for the right of all children to education.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • Obama: I want the FCC to ban paid Internet fast lanes

      President Barack Obama yesterday said he is still “unequivocally committed to net neutrality” and that he wants the Federal Communications Commission to issue rules that prevent Internet service providers from creating paid fast lanes.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

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  9. Number of Filings at the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) Highest in Almost Two Years

    Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) inter partes reviews (IPRs), which [cref 113718 typically invalidate software patents by citing 35 U.S.C. § 101], are withstanding negative rhetoric and hostility from Iancu



  10. With 'Brexit' in a Lot of Headlines Team UPC Takes the Unitary Patent Lies up a Notch

    Misinformation continues to run like water; people are expected to believe that the UPC, an inherently EU-centric construct, can magically come to fruition in the UK (or in Europe as a whole)



  11. The EPO Not Only Abandoned the EPC But Also the Biotech Directive

    Last week's decision (T1063/18, EPO Technical Board of Appeal 3.3.04) shows that there's still a long way to go before the Office and the Organisation as a whole fulfil their obligation to those who birthed the Organisation in the first placeLast week's decision (T1063/18, EPO Technical Board of Appeal 3.3.04) shows that there's still a long way to go before the Office and the Organisation as a whole fulfil their obligation to those who birthed the Organisation in the first place



  12. Patents on Abstract Things and on Life (or Patents Which Threaten Lives) Merely Threaten the Very Legitimacy of Patent Offices, Including EPO

    Patent Hubris and maximalism pose a threat or a major risk to the very system that they claim to be championing; by reducing the barrier to entry (i.e. introducing low-quality or socially detrimental patents) they merely embolden ardent critics who demand patent systems as a whole be abolished; the EPO is nowadays a leading example of it



  13. Links 10/12/2018: Linux 4.20 RC6 and Git 2.20

    Links for the day



  14. US Courts Make the United States' Patent System Sane Again

    35 U.S.C. § 101 (Section 101), the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) and other factors are making the patent system in the US a lot more sane



  15. Today's USPTO Grants a Lot of Fake Patents, Software Patents That Courts Would Invalidate

    The 35 U.S.C. § 101 effect is very much real; patents on abstract/nonphysical ideas get invalidated en masse (in courts/PTAB) and Director Andrei Iancu refuses to pay attention as if he's above the law and court rulings don't apply to him



  16. A Month After Microsoft Claimed Patent 'Truce' Its Patent Trolls Keep Attacking Microsoft's Rivals

    Microsoft's legal department relies on its vultures (to whom it passes money and patents) to sue its rivals; but other than that, Microsoft is a wonderful company!



  17. Good News: US Supreme Court Rejects Efforts to Revisit Alice, Most Software Patents to Remain Worthless

    35 U.S.C. § 101 will likely remain in tact for a long time to come; courts have come to grips with the status quo, as even the Federal Circuit approves the large majority of invalidations by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board’s (PTAB) panels, initiated by inter partes reviews (IPRs)



  18. Florian Müller's Article About SEPs and the EPO

    Report from the court in Munich, where the EPO is based



  19. EPO Vice-President Željko Topić in New Article About Corruption in Croatia

    The Croatian newspaper 7Dnevno has an outline of what Željko Topić has done in Croatia and in the EPO in Munich; it argues that this seriously erodes Croatia's national brand/identity



  20. The Quality of European Patents Continues to Deteriorate Under António Campinos and Software Patents Are Advocated Every Day

    The EPC in the European Patent Office and 35 U.S.C. § 101 in the USPTO annul most if not all software patents; under António Campinos, however, software patents are being granted in Europe and the USPTO exploits similar tricks



  21. Team UPC is Still Spreading False Rumours in an Effort to Trick Politicians and Pressure Judges

    Abuses at the European Patent Office, political turmoil and an obvious legislative coup by a self-serving occupation that produces nothing have already doomed the Unitary Patent or Unified Patent Court (UPC); so now we deal with complete fabrications from Team UPC as they're struggling to make something out of nothing, anonymously smearing opposition to the UPC and anonymously making stuff up



  22. Patents on Life and Patents That Kill the Poor Would Only Delegitimise the European Patent Office

    After Mayo, Myriad and other SCOTUS cases (the basis of 35 U.S.C. § 101) the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office is reluctant to grant patents on life; the European Patent Office (EPO), however, goes in the opposite direction, even in defiance of the European Patent Convention



  23. EPO 'Untapped Potential'

    "Campinos is diligently looking for ways to further increase the Office’s output without increasing the number of examiners," says the EPO-FLIER team



  24. Links 9/12/2018: New Linux Stable Releases (Notably Linux 4.19.8), RC Coming, and Unifont 11.0.03

    Links for the day



  25. Links 8/12/2018: Mesa 18.3.0, Mageia 7 Beta, WordPress 5.0

    Links for the day



  26. The European Patent Organisation is Like a Private Club and Roland Grossenbacher is Back in It

    In the absence of Benoît Battistelli quality control at the EPO is still not effective; patents are being granted like the sole goal is to increase so-called 'production' (or profit), appeals are being subjected to threats from Office management, and external courts (courts that assess patents outside the jurisdiction of the Office/Organisation) are being targeted with a long-sought replacement like the Unified Patent Court, or UPC (Unitary Patent)



  27. Links 7/12/2018: GNU Guix, GuixSD 0.16.0, GCC 7.4, PHP 7.3.0 Released

    Links for the day



  28. The Federal Circuit's Decision on Ancora Technologies v HTC America is the Rare Exception, Not the Norm

    Even though the PTAB does not automatically reject every patent when 35 U.S.C. § 101 gets invoked we're supposed to think that somehow things are changing in favour of patent maximalists; but all they do is obsess over something old (as old as a month ago) and hardly controversial



  29. The European Patent Office Remains a Lawless Place Where Judges Are Afraid of the Banker in Chief

    With the former banker Campinos replacing the politician Battistelli and seeking to have far more powers it would be insane for the German Constitutional Court to ever allow anything remotely like the UPC; sites that are sponsored by Team UPC, however, try to influence outcomes, pushing patent maximalism and diminishing the role of patent judges



  30. Many of the Same People Are Still in Charge of the European Patent Office Even Though They Broke the Law

    "EPO’s art collection honoured with award," the EPO writes, choosing to distract from what actually goes on at the Office and has never been properly dealt with


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