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05.13.15

Links 13/5/2015: GNU/Linux PCs in Russia, Fedora 22 Freeze

Posted in News Roundup at 6:03 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • 10 Linux Dream Jobs – What’s Yours?

    What’s your Linux dream job? The Linux Foundation recently asked our Twitter followers to share their ideal Linux careers. Many responded that they’re already living the dream, working as sysadmins and developers (or by simply getting to use Linux in their everyday tasks.) While others imagine fulfilling careers not yet within their grasp. Here are 10 of our favorite responses, along with a few resources for learning more about each dream Linux career path.

  • New to Linux? 5 Apps You Didn’t Know You Were Missing

    When you moved to Linux, you went straight for the obvious browsers, cloud clients, music players, email clients, and perhaps image editors, right? As a result, you’ve missed several vital, productive tools. Here’s a roundup of five umissable Linux apps that you really need to install.

  • From Windows XP to Linux: Adding to the List

    Yesterday on Datamation, Matt Hartley wrote what could best be described as a reminder piece about the folks using Windows XP at home or in small businesses having options when it comes to replacing that particular operating system, and that the best option — go ahead and say it with me — is Linux.

  • Solar Sail Spacecraft Runs Linux and Uses SSH, Says Bill Nye

    The idea of solar sails was first introduced in popular culture by none other than Carl Sagan, more than 40 years ago. This particular technology was not a priority for scientists in the past decades, with very few exceptions, but The Planetary Society and Bill Nye want to change that by launching a small spacecraft called CubeSat that will be powered by light.

  • Desktop

  • Server

    • Rackspace CEO Takes a Positive Spin from AWS for OpenStack Growth

      Rackspace reported its first quarter fiscal 2015 results on May 11, with company executives sounding very optimistic about the company’s future prospects.

      For the quarter, Rackspace reported net revenue of $480 million, for a 14.1 percent year-over-year gain. Net income for the first quarter was reported at $28.4 million, up from $25.4 million in the first quarter of 2014.

      [...]

      Rackspace’s cloud fortunes today are somewhat tied to the open-source OpenStack cloud platform, which it helped to create. Rhodes sees potential for OpenStack both in the public cloud space as well as the private.

  • Kernel Space

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

  • Distributions

    • Goodbye Foresight Linux

      It’s with great sadness in our hearts that we write this article to you all, but it appears that in an email to the Foresight Linux’s mailinglist, Michael K. Johnson announces the retirement of the distribution.

    • Foresight Linux Announces The End Of Development
    • Material Design-Inspired Papyros Shows Great Progress

      It’s been a while since we heard about Papyros, the Linux distribution that used the Material Design concepts from Google, but developers have released a short video that illustrates the work they’ve done so far.

    • New Releases

    • Slackware Family

    • Red Hat Family

      • Fedora

        • End of Foresight and What Makes Fedora Different

          Foresight Linux officially called it quits yesterday due to a lack of developers. The project hasn’t seen a release in over two years, but it’s still sad when a distribution shuts down. Across town, Pete Travis posted a passionate open letter to Fedora on why it should remain true to its philosophy and Bruce Byfield pondered the age old mystery, “Why can’t Ubuntu play well with others?”

        • Fedora 22 Final Freeze

          Today is an important day on the Fedora 22 schedule[1], with a significant cut-offs.

        • Fedora 22 Linux Will Arrive on May 26, Final Freeze Now in Effect

          The Fedora Project is preparing to release their latest and greatest Linux kernel-based operating system, Fedora 22, which will arrive as expected later this month, on May 26, 2015.

        • Fedora 22 Is Now Under Its Final Freeze

          Today marks the final freeze for Fedora 22 with plans to officially release this Red Hat sponsored Linux distribution update later in May.

        • Fedora Workstation 22 Is Looking Great, Running Fantastic

          As the Fedora 22 release approaches, there will be more benchmarks coming along with other tests (e.g. the latest X11 vs. Wayland, Fedora 22 graphics performance, etc). For today’s article I just wanted to make a few remarks about Fedora Workstation 22. Fedora Workstation 22 feels like a nice evolutionary upgrade over Fedora 21. GNOME 3.16 and these upstream improvements represent a bulk of the user-visible changes in Fedora 22. Below the hood there’s the GCC 5.0 compiler, Mesa 10.5, Perl 5.20, Linux 4.0, and many other package updates. If GNOME isn’t your thing, Xfce 4.12 is present along with the premiere of the LXQt desktop environment. The latest KDE Plasma 5 / Frameworks 5 packages are also present in Fedora 22. Many of the other Fedora 22 workstation/desktop changes have already been detailed in numerous Phoronix articles.

    • Debian Family

      • systemd: Type=simple and avoiding forking considered harmful?

        I wonder if systemd shouldn’t do more to detect problems during services initialization, as the transition to proper notification using sd_notify will likely take some time. A possibility would be to wait 100 or 200ms after the start to ensure that the service doesn’t exit almost immediately. But that’s not really a solution for several obvious reasons. A more hackish, but still less dirty solution could be to poll the state of processes inside the cgroup, and assume that the service is started only when all processes are sleeping. Still, that wouldn’t be entirely satisfying…

      • Run Debian 8 Jessie with on Raspberry Pi 2 with RaspEX

        The creator of numerous GNU/Linux distributions are very excited to introduce us to RaspEX today, a distro based on the Debian GNU/Linux 8.0 (Jessie) and created to run on the Raspberry Pi 2 computer board.

      • Derivatives

        • Linux Top 3: Tails 1.4, 4MLinux 12 and TinyCore Linux 6.2

          Nearly a year after Tails 1.0, and the Tails 1.4 release is now available. Tails – short for The Amnesic Incognito Live System and is a privacy focussed Linux distribution.

        • Tails 1.4 is out

          Tails, The Amnesic Incognito Live System, version 1.4, is out.

          This release fixes numerous security issues and all users must upgrade as soon as possible.

        • Tails 1.4 Updates the Windows 8 Camouflage to Work with the I2P and Unsafe Browsers

          Tails 1.4 Updates the Windows 8 Camouflage to Work with the I2P and Unsafe Browsers

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • 2015 is shaping up to be the Year of Ubuntu

            Ubuntu has been making big promises since 2011 when they chose Unity to be at the center of their universe. And while they failed to deliver on Ubuntu TV or Ubuntu for Android, they’ve got other tricks up their sleeves.

          • Snappy Ubuntu Linux Now Used in Networking, Refrigerators

            With its number of uses growing, the Snappy Ubuntu Core Linux operating system is now coming to network switches and refrigerators.
            Canonical, the lead commercial sponsor behind the open-source Ubuntu Linux operating system, today announced an expansion of its push to embed Linux in everything from phones to refrigerators—and now network switches. The Snappy Ubuntu Core Linux operating system, a minimal version of Ubuntu Linux that provides an improved updating and security model, is designed for embedded devices and the Internet of things (IoT).

          • ICU Vulnerability Closed in Ubuntu 15.04

            Canonical has published details in a security notice about an ICU vulnerability that has been found and fixed in Ubuntu 15.04, Ubuntu 14.10, and Ubuntu 14.04 LTS.

          • Erle-Copter, Ubuntu Core Edition: the first drone with apps

            Although Ubuntu is best known for its desktop/server distro—which was recently updated to 15.04—the last few years have seen the project’s ambitions have grown considerably. For example, there’s the Ubuntu phone, which is beginning to win plaudits. In turn, solving the particular demands for a mobile platform led to new approaches and technologies that appeared again in Snappy Ubuntu, a “transactionally updated Ubuntu for clouds and devices.”

          • Erle Robotics’ Ubuntu Core Drone Is The First Drone With Support For Third Party Apps
          • The Latest OTA Update For Ubuntu Touch Brings A Huge List Of Changes

            As we had anticipated correctly last week, Canonical has released an OTA update for Ubuntu Touch (OTA 3.5), an update which brings fixes for over 15 bugs, some 3G enhancements, fixes for a bunch oc calendar sync problems, removed some crashes regarding ubuntu-keyboard and indicator-network, fixed the bug that drained the battery when the phone was used in airplane mode, patched some routing problems and the suspend problems have been removed.

          • New Ubuntu Touch Update Brings 3G and Location Services Improvements

            Today, May 12, we are happy to inform all Ubuntu Phone users that the Ubuntu Touch developers have just announced the release of the OTA 3.5 update for Canonical’s mobile operating system.

          • Why Can’t Ubuntu Play Well With Others?

            Last week, founder Mark Shuttleworth opened the Ubuntu Online Summit with a challenge to Linux desktop developers.

            “I’m issuing a call to people who participate in every desktop environment,” he said, “to set aside our differences, to recognize that the opportunity now is bigger than those differences, to create experiences that spans phones and tablets, and PCs, to bring all of our applications, none of which are on one desktop environment or another.”

            His words were rhetorically stirring — and provoked no major response whatsoever. Although some news sites reported his words without comment, probably most companies and projects have heard too many similar calls to action for this one to be effective.

          • Loli Papelk + Ultra Flat Icons, Install In Ubuntu
          • System76 Meerkat is a cute Intel Broadwell-powered Ubuntu Linux computer [Review]

            Imagine if every time you wanted a Windows computer, you had to buy a Mac, format the hard drive and install Microsoft’s operating system. That would suck, right? This is pretty much how it is for Linux users, sadly. If you are a user of a Linux distro such as Fedora or Ubuntu, for the most part — unless you are a system-builder — you have to buy a Windows machine, and install your preferred operating system.

            What if you want to buy a computer with an operating system such as Ubuntu pre-installed? Enter System76. The company sells computers — both desktops and laptops — running the Linux-based Ubuntu operating system. Recently, the company began selling the Meerkat — a mini computer based on Intel’s NUC. I have been using the computer for a few weeks now, with both Ubuntu and Windows 10 and I am ready to share the experience with you.

          • Ubuntu 15.10 with Unity 8 and Linux Kernel 4.0 Runs on a Lenovo Tablet

            Now, we all know that you can use Ubuntu on a tablet device, so this may not come as news to you, but seeing the next-generation Ubuntu 15.10 Desktop Next on a Lenovo ThinkPad 8 Bay Trail tablet might interest you.

          • Ubuntu continues its push into IoT devices

            Today marks the start of IoT World in San Francisco, and TelecomTV is onsite to record a series of executive video interviews and product demos. As the telecoms sector shifts its focus from vertically-aligned M2M solutions towards more horizontal IoT platforms, we expected to see yet more jostling for position amongst platform providers and OS developers.

          • Ubuntu 15.10 (Wily Werewolf) Release Schedule

            Announced by Mark Shuttleworth on May 4, 2015, Ubuntu 15.10 (codename Wily Werewolf) will be released later this year on October 22, 2015, according to the preliminary release schedule that was made public today.

          • Ubuntu 15.10 (Wily Werewolf) to Use Linux Kernel 4.1, Most Likely
          • Flavours and Variants

            • A preview of the MintBox Mini

              CompuLab has a long history of working with the developers of Linux Mint. The MintBox 2 is a good example of their cooperation, and it has gotten very positive reviews on Amazon. Now there’s a new product called the MintBox Mini and one of the Linux Mint developers has a preview of it.

            • Windows Users Are Top Downloaders of elementary OS “Freya”

              A month after elementary OS “Freya” was released to the public, the developers have made public some details about the platforms that download it and the results are pretty surprising. From the looks of it, the Windows users are the main downloaders of this Linux OS.

            • It’s optional for now, but Linux Mint expects to switch to systemd next year

              Despite recent reports suggesting the contrary, Linux Mint isn’t committed to avoiding systemd, the controversial project taking Linux by storm. In fact, Clement Lefebvre, Linux Mint’s project leader, expects the next major releases of Linux Mint to use systemd by default.

              No, Linux Mint isn’t switching to systemd immediately. The Linux Mint 17.x series and Linux Mint Debian Edition 2 will continue to use Upstart and SysV init, with systemd available as an option you can choose yourself. Linux Mint is giving systemd some time to mature before switching, but—with upstream projects and the Linux ecosystem as a whole moving towards systemd—Mint realizes it doesn’t have an option in the long term.

  • Devices/Embedded

Free Software/Open Source

  • Why tools like Docker, Vagrant, and Ansible are hotter than ever

    The complexity of application stacks keeps going up. Way, way up. Application stacks have always been complicated, but never like this. There are so many services, so many tools, so much more compute power available, so many new techniques to try, and always the desire, and the pressure, to solve problems in newer and cooler and more elegant ways. With so many toys to play with, and more coming every day, the toy chest struggles to contain them all.

  • 3 big lessons I learned from running an open source company

    It all sounds so straightforward: Put your code up on GitHub or start/join a project at the Apache Software Foundation (ASF), build a community of like-minded individuals, start a company, take in some funding, and then IPO. Or maybe not. One thing is certain: Running an open source company has unique challenges and opportunities. Although much has been written on the subject of open source and community building, I’d like to share three critical lessons learned in my travels as a co-founder and CTO of a venture-backed open source company.

  • Gaming Community Asks for Open Source GOG Galaxy Client

    GOG Galaxy is a new gaming client for the GOG distributions service, but for now it’s only available for the Windows platform. As a response, the GOG wish list now shows the open source GOG Galaxy client as the most requested item.

  • Events

    • GNOME.Asia summit 2015

      Every moment spent was mesmerizing in the summit. Day 0, 7th May 2015 Thursday was the workshop day in the auditorium of the Computer Science Department. Presentations by Andika Triwidada on “GNOME Indonesia Translation”, Akshai M for “MicroHOPE(Micro-controllers for Hobby Projects and Education)”, David King on “Writing your first GNOME application”, and Ekaterina Gerasimova, Alexandre Franke on the topic “How to make your first contribution” were out of the box informative.

    • LibrePlanet forever! Watch five sessions from 2015 online

      We’re happy to announce that recordings of five sessions from LibrePlanet 2015 are now online. Whether you couldn’t make it to the conference and are watching these for the first time, or attended and want to see them again, we hope you enjoy.

    • Last chance to register for the Randa Meetings 2015

      If you are interested in participating in this year’s Randa Meetings and want to have a chance to be financially supported to travel to Randa then the last 24 hours of the registration period just began.

  • Web Browsers

  • SaaS/Big Data

    • Communication is the key to herding cats

      John Dickinson is Director of Technology at SwiftStack and Program Team Lead (PTL) of the OpenStack Swift project. Last year, he gave us an update on Swift’s progress with Storage policies: Coming to an OpenStack Swift cluster near you for Opensource.com. In this follow up interview, John offers tips for improving community collaboration on open source projects, and gives us a preview of his upcoming OpenStack Summit talk.

    • Mixed Quarterly Results for Hadoop-Focused Hortonworks

      The end of 2014 was a momentous time for Hortonworks, which focuses on the Hadoop Big Data platform. The company had a successful IPO, driving home how focused many enterprises are on yielding more useful insights from their troves of data than standard data mining tools can provide.

    • Q&A Sessions with Cloud and Big Data Thought Leaders
  • Project Releases

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Open Access/Content

      • Open-source texts would have wider use in state colleges

        Students facing eye-popping costs of college textbooks could save substantial amounts of money under a bill that would encourage the use of electronic texts.

        The House on Tuesday approved a pilot program and study of so-called open-source texts that faculty could assign instead of traditional books that can cost students as much as $1,200 a year. The bill, which passed 144-0, next heads to the Senate.

        It would establish a task force to develop plans for the best use of open-source texts through an existing program at Charter Oak State College.

Leftovers

  • Security

    • Google Moves Its Corporate Applications to the Internet

      Google Inc., taking a new approach to enterprise security, is moving its corporate applications to the Internet. In doing so, the Internet giant is flipping common corporate security practice on its head, shifting away from the idea of a trusted internal corporate network secured by perimeter devices such as firewalls, in favor of a model where corporate data can be accessed from anywhere with the right device and user credentials.

    • Tuesday’s security updates
    • Beware the ticking Internet of Things security time bomb

      IBM’s Andy Thurai didn’t quite put the words into former RSA CTO Deepak Taneja’s mouth, but did prompt him by asking at the start of a TIE Startup Con panel in Cambridge, Mass., earlier this month whether Internet of Things security is a “time bomb ready to explode.”

    • VENOM, don’t get bitten.

      CVE-2015-3456 (aka VENOM) is a security flaw in the QEMU’s Floppy Disk Controller (FDC) emulation. It can be exploited by a malicious guest user with access to the FDC I/O ports by issuing specially crafted FDC commands to the controller. It can result in guest controlled execution of arbitrary code in, and with privileges of, the corresponding QEMU process on the host. Worst case scenario this can be guest to host exit with the root privileges.

    • For Venom security flaw, the fix is in: Patch your VM today

      The QEMU fix itself is now available in source code. Red Hat has been working on the fix since last week.

    • VENOM Bug In QEMU Escapes VM Security
    • 11-Year-Old Bug in Virtual Floppy Drive Code Allows Escape from Virtual Machines

      Popular virtualization platforms relying on the virtual Floppy Disk Controller code from QEMU (Quick Emulator) are susceptible to a vulnerability that allows executing code outside the guest machine.

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • U.S. Military Proposes Challenge to China Sea Claims

      The U.S. military is considering using aircraft and Navy ships to directly contest Chinese territorial claims to a chain of rapidly expanding artificial islands, U.S. officials said, in a move that would raise the stakes in a regional showdown over who controls disputed waters in the South China Sea.

    • It’s a Conspiracy! How to Discredit Seymour Hersh

      Max Fisher, now at Vox, learned well during his apprenticeship under Marty Peretz at The New Republic. This week, he was among the first to try to smear Seymour Hersh’s piece in the London Review of Books, which argued that pretty much everything we were told about the killing of Osama bin Laden was a lie. Most importantly, Hersh’s report questions the claim that Washington learned of OBL’s whereabouts thanks to torture—a claim popularized in the film Zero Dark Thirty.

      There’s a standard boiler plate now when it comes to going after Hersh, and all Fisher, in “The Many Problems with Seymour Hersh’s Osama bin Laden Conspiracy Theory,” did was fill out the form: establish Hersh’s “legendary” status (which Fisher does in the first sentence); invoke his reporting in My Lai and Abu Ghraib; then say that a number of Hersh’s recent stories—such as his 2012 New Yorker piece that the United States was training Iranian terrorists in Nevada—have been “unsubstantiated” (of course, other reporters never “substantiated” Hersh’s claim that Henry Kissinger was directly involved in organizing the cover-up of the fire-bombing of Cambodia for years—but that claim was true); question Hersh’s sources; and then, finally, suggest that Hersh has gone “off the rails” to embrace “conspiracy theories.”

    • Seymour Hersh Details Explosive Story on Bin Laden Killing & Responds to White House, Media Backlash

      Four years after U.S. forces assassinated Osama bin Laden, Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative reporter Seymour Hersh has published an explosive piece claiming much of what the Obama administration said about the attack was wrong. Hersh claims at the time of the U.S. raid, bin Laden had been held as a prisoner by Pakistani intelligence since 2006. Top Pakistani military leaders knew about the operation and provided key assistance. Contrary to U.S. claims that it located bin Laden by tracking his courier, a former Pakistani intelligence officer identified bin Laden’s whereabouts in return for the bulk of a $25 million U.S. bounty. Questions are also raised about whether bin Laden was actually buried at sea, as the U.S. claimed. Hersh says instead the Navy SEALs threw parts of bin Laden’s body into the Hindu Kush mountains from their helicopter.

    • Sy Hersh’s bin Laden Story First Reported in 2011 — With Seemingly Different Sources

      R.J. Hillhouse, a former professor, Fulbright fellow and novelist whose writing on intelligence and military outsourcing has appeared in the Washington Post and New York Times, made the same main assertions in 2011 about the death of Osama bin Laden as Seymour Hersh’s new story in the London Review of Books — apparently based on different sources than those used by Hersh.

    • Smuggled Syrian documents enough to indict Bashar al-Assad, say investigators

      A three-year operation to smuggle official documents out of Syria has produced enough evidence to indict President Bashar al-Assad and 24 senior members of his regime, according to the findings of an international investigative commission.

      The prosecution cases against the Syrian leaders focus on their role in the suppression of the protests that triggered the conflict in 2011. Tens of thousands of suspected dissidents were detained, and many of them were tortured and killed in the Syrian prison system.

    • Fox News Defends Jeb Bush’s “Disastrous” Iraq War Answer

      Fox News defended Republican presidential hopeful Jeb Bush after he said he would still have authorized the invasion of Iraq “given what we know now,” claiming that Bush simply misunderstood the question.

  • Transparency Reporting

    • Prince Charles’s letters to ministers to be published

      They’ll be examined for evidence of any pressure brought to bear by a hereditary monarch-in-waiting on elected ministers, and for any evidence that government policy was changed following the prince’s intervention.

    • Prince Charles’s black spider memos to be published on Wednesday

      Prince Charles’ secret letters to British government ministers expressing frank views that the government has warned could undermine his political neutrality will finally be published on Wednesday.

    • Prince Charles Asked By Michael Crick About His Secret ‘Black Spider Memos’, It Didn’t Go Well

      Prince Charles clearly doesn’t want to talk about his ‘black spider’ memos to ministers, which are about to be released, after his aide was filmed body blocking a reporter who tried to ambush to ask about the secret letters.

      The memos, written to various government departments between 2004 and 2005, will be released at 4pm after a 10-year legal battle by The Guardian.

      They are understood to show Charles’ disagreeing with government policy.

      As Charles arrived at Marks and Spencer’s flagship store near Marble Arch on Oxford Street in London, Channel 4 News’ Michael Crick asked if he was “worried” about the letters and if he was still writing to ministers – and whether he thought he was behaving “unconstitutionally” in doing so.

    • A battle over these 27 bits of paper has cost you more than £275,000.

      Secret letters that Prince Charles wrote to Tony Blair’s ministers are finally being revealed after a fight lasting several years.

      It’s a battle that’s cost taxpayers more than £275,000 and needed a ruling by Britain’s highest court.

      So why has there been such a long wrangle over some bits of paper? Here are all your questions answered.

    • Release of Prince Charles’s letters shows the point of freedom of information

      The publication of letters Prince Charles sent to government ministers is a triumph – of sorts – for the Freedom of Information Act.

      The point of the act is to enable the public to understand better how those in authority are governing us. The release of the letters allows us a limited peek behind the curtains to see how the heir to the throne has been seeking to influence government policies.

      But boy, what a struggle. The government has fought very hard for a decade to prevent the disclosure of 27 pieces of correspondence between the prince and ministers in Tony Blair’s government.

    • UK Prince Charles’ letters to ministers finally made public

      Prince Charles said British troops were under-resourced during the war in Iraq, according to letters from him published on Wednesday which the government had tried to keep secret in case they cast doubt over the future king’s political neutrality.

      The comment about the armed forces came in a letter from the 66-year-old prince to former Prime Minister Tony Blair in 2004, one of 27 letters he wrote to former ministers in 2004 and 2005 which were released to the public after a decade of government attempts to block publication.

    • Queen’s restraint is exception to rule of meddling monarchs

      The determination of Queen Elizabeth II to avoid any action or utterance that might be deemed “political” has become the status quo. Little is known about her personal passions or politics. If she has any – and she surely has – she keeps them to herself.

      But monarchs and future monarchs, even since the end of executive monarchy, have always meddled. It is Elizabeth, not her son Charles, who is the exception rather than the rule.

    • Prince Charles ‘Black Spider’ letters released: Heir to the throne described opponents to badger cull as ‘intellectually dishonest’

      People opposing a cull of badgers to prevent the spread of tuberculosis in cattle were described by Charles as “intellectually dishonest” in a letter revealing that he has long been in favour of the controversial process.

      In a letter to the then Prime Minister Tony Blair in 2005, the Prince criticised what he described as the “badger lobby” for objecting to the killing of badgers while disregarding the slaughter of cattle which contract the disease.

    • Prince Charles’s ‘black spider memos’ show lobbying at highest political level

      A cache of secret memos between Prince Charles and senior government ministers has been released after a 10-year legal battle, offering the clearest picture yet of the breadth and depth of the heir to the throne’s lobbying at the highest level of politics.

      The 27 memos, sent in 2004 and 2005 and released only after the Guardian won its long freedom of information fight with the government, show the Prince of Wales making direct and persistent policy demands to the then prime minister Tony Blair and several key figures in his Labour government.

      From Blair, Charles demanded everything from urgent action to improve equipment for troops fighting in Iraq to the availability of alternative herbal medicines in the UK, a pet cause of the prince.

    • Prince Charles ‘black spider’ memos reveal lobbying of Tony Blair

      A cache of secret memos sent by Prince Charles to senior UK ministers has finally been published, following a 10-year freedom of information battle between the Guardian and the government. The letters reveal that Charles lobbied ministers, including the former prime minister Tony Blair, on a wide range of issues, including agriculture, the armed forces, architecture and homeopathy.

    • Prince Charles – Letters finally out – conspiracy theorists disappointed?

      There will be many disappointed people today I’d guess. Clarence House has released a statement that the publication of these letters will “only inhibit” the Princes ability to express concerns. Complete rubbish, if a member of the Royal Family is sending letters of a non-personal nature to those in our government, its of utmost importance that UK citizens are privy to their contents.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Energy and the US Dollar: May Issue of TerraJoule.us

      Imported energy as a share of total US energy consumption last year fell to just 11.16%, continuing a dramatic downtrend since 2005, when dependency stood at 30%. This is nothing short of a revolutionary trend-change, especially when you consider the gargantuan energy consumption of the US, which stands just shy of 100 quadrillion btu per year. Because US energy consumption overall has either bottomed, or is set to advance at least a little, the next dramatic move lower in the energy deficit will come in 2017, as LNG exports really get underway. TerraJoule.us believes global currency markets have not yet discounted these coming changes. Viewpoints overall about energy use, production, renewables, and global trade remains firmly anchored to an era that ended roughly a decade ago. Moreover, it’s astonishing that anyone who was watching markets a decade ago could possibly think the US Dollar is headed for trouble today. The US will become energy independent by 2019, according to the TerraJoule.us forecast. While the swings in fossil fuel trade are the driver for this change, the gains in renewables that will start hitting harder in the latter part of the decade will perfect and ensure this new era. Energy independence has typically been a subject for geo-political analysts. However, for our purposes, it’s the effects on the US Dollar and the impact on energy transition more broadly which are the main concerns for energy-focused investment, and the energy mix to 2020.

    • Nepal needs ‘sustainable aid’, says water charity

      In the aftermath of the 7.3-magnitude tremor in Nepal this week, Seattle-based NGO Splash has launched a campaign to raise $500,000 (£320,000) for its water projects in Kathmandu.

  • Finance

    • The Future of Jobs and Wages: A Conversation with Economist Richard Wolff

      WTO, TPP, NAFTA, CAFTA, and a host of trade agreements are causing America to hemorrhage jobs and the resultant downward pressure on wages. Add the productivity gains realized from automation and technology and the future of jobs in America looks pretty bleak. The government is cutting back on social programs and privatized welfare systems dependent upon the whims of the wealthy didn’t work for Louis the XVI or any other aristocracy throughout history. How will American workers support their families and keep our economy vibrant? There is a way but it will take courage. However, the long-term benefits are sustainable and fair. Professor Wolff talks to Tim Danahey and tells us how.

    • European Union VAT and my bookstore

      I really, really dislike this, but EU law leaves me no choice. I’m not comfortable blatantly ignoring tax law. I don’t think the EU could really do anything to me, but I wouldn’t be shocked if a future EU-US treaty were to suddenly make me responsible for years of back VAT. And I would like the option of visiting the EU in the future, rather than risk trouble because I’m evading taxes.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Groups Add to Evidence in “Whistleblower” Tax Fraud Claim Against ALEC

      Common Cause and the Center for Media and Democracy sent federal authorities new evidence today that the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) is falsely passing itself off as a tax-exempt charity and effectively using taxpayer dollars to subsidize its lobbying on behalf of private interests.

      Common Cause filed a supplement to its three-year-old tax whistleblower complaint against ALEC, and the two groups sent a joint letter to Internal Revenue Service Commissioner John Koskinen demanding an investigation, collection of fines and back taxes, and the revocation of ALEC’s status as a tax-exempt charity. Supporting evidence available here.

  • Censorship

    • Greatest Threat to Free Speech Comes Not From Terrorism, But From Those Claiming to Fight it

      We learned recently from Paris that the western world is deeply and passionately committed to free expression and ready to march and fight against attempts to suppress it. That’s a really good thing, since there are all sorts of severe suppression efforts underway in the west – perpetrated not by The Terrorists but by the western politicians claiming to fight them.

  • Privacy

    • Welcome to the ad business, Verizon

      AOL’s fastest-growing business is advertising technology, which few people understand, like, or value.

      In its acquisition announcement this morning, Verizon Wireless declared its $4.4 billion acquisition of AOL, the Internet stalwart, to be a driver of its “over the top,” or Internet-delivered, content strategy.

    • Feds drop case in which cops nailed webcam to utility pole to spy on house

      The Justice Department on Tuesday withdrew its appeal of a lower court’s December ruling that said it was illegal for police to attach a webcam to a utility pole and spy on a suspected drug dealer’s house in rural Washington state for six weeks.

      The government did not comment on its decision to drop the appeal in a brief filing to the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals.

      The video camera operated 24 hours a day. Footage was synced to the computer of a Kennewick Police Department detective who could operate the camera from afar via its pan-and-zoom capabilities.

  • Civil Rights

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  1. Alice v CLS Bank (SCOTUS, 2014) Has Had a Profound Effect on 2017 as Nearly No Software Patents Upheld at a High Level

    As 2017 nears its end (less than two weeks left), a look back reveals a terrible year for proponents of software patents and a milestone for opponents of software patents



  2. PTAB Helps Defend and Encourage Work by Actual Technology Companies in the US, the Patent Trolls' Lobby is Upset

    The Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB), which continues to invalidate software patents by the thousands, comes under attack from the expected sites, namely those that are fronting for patent trolls and parasites



  3. Patent Misconceptions Promoted in Media Dominated by the Patent Microcosm, Not Actual Innovators

    Examples from the media where popular myths have been promoted over the past few days, taking advantage of passivity and silence among those who actually create and invent



  4. Links 17/12/2017: KStars 2.8.9, GNOME 3.27.3, Parrot Security 3.10

    Links for the day



  5. Raw: Benoît Battistelli Has Long Been Obsessed With 'Alternative Facts' (Lying) Regarding Everything

    The chronic lying by Battistelli’s EPO goes way back and reveals a total lack of integrity, shedding doubt on just about any statement issued by the Office



  6. Raw: At the EPO “Social Democracy” is Actually a Euphemism for Authoritarian Regime

    An old document about the EPO‘s transition to so-called ‘social’ ‘democracy’ and what that means in practical terms



  7. Battistelli's 'UPC Buddy' Michel Barnier Helped Squash EU Intervention in Dysfunctional (Subverted by Battistelli) Administrative Council

    A look back at how Michel Barnier helped cover Battistelli's back, insisting that the Commission cannot do anything to rectify matters at the EPO (Elżbieta Bieńkowska, another UPC proponent, said something similar later)



  8. Raw: “Experienced Examiners Can Examine Anything.” (Even Not in Their Field!)

    An internal document shows how the EPO handles imbalance in filings, in essence shifting examiners to fields they are not familiar with



  9. Andrei Iancu in Charge of the United States Patent Office (USPTO) Would be a Patent Microcosm Coup

    The progression of Andrei Iancu's nomination/appointment is a reason for concern; it is, for a fact, a reason for optimism among patent extremists



  10. The Latest IAM Puff Pieces That Launder the 'Reputation' of Patent Trolls

    The creeping threat of patent extortion (litigation from companies that are empty shells with nothing but patents) does not worry IAM; instead, this is the vision IAM wants to actualise, having been paid by stakeholders in such a nefarious outcome



  11. The EPO Has Found 'Creative' New Ways to Bribe the Media and Promote Software Patents

    From Computer-Implemented Inventions (CII) and "Industry 4.0" the EPO is moving to creative new misnomers for carriers of software patents, SEP (patents-encumbered 'standards'), so-called 'FRAND' etc.



  12. EPO Busy Distracting From Miscarriage/Abuse of Justice at the EPO (Both Office and Organisation)

    The European Patent Organisation continues to be a vassal of the Office (Christoph Ernst is defending Battistelli) and justice is not being honoured; it's being discarded in the darkness (in secret meetings)



  13. Bristows LLP/IP Kat Carrying on With Dead UPC Jingoism

    The same old tune from Bristows not only gets played in Bristows' 'alternate reality' blog but also in other blogs where Bristows staff is 'contributing' (to confusion and misconceptions)



  14. Links 16/12/2017: Mesa 17.2.7, Wine 3.0 RC2, Kdenlive 17.12.0, Mir 0.29

    Links for the day



  15. Patrick Corcoran is Innocent, Yet Battistelli Will/May Have the Power to Sack Him Next Month (in DG1)

    The EPO's Administrative Council does not want to even mention Patrick Corcoran, as merely bringing that up might lead to the suggestion that Benoît Battistelli should be fired (yes, they can fire him), but to set the record straight, at the EPO truth-tellers are punished and those whom they expose are shielded by the Administrative Council



  16. Patent Trolls Are Going Bust in the United States (Along With the 'Protection' Racket Conglomerates)

    RPX continues its gradual collapse and patent trolls fail to find leverage now that software patents are kaput and patent opportunists struggle to access Texan courts



  17. IBM's Manny Schecter is Wrong Again and He is Attempting to Justify Patent Trolling

    In yet another dodgy effort to undermine the US Supreme Court and bring back software patents, IBM's "chief patent counsel" (his current job title) expresses views that are bunk or "alternative facts"



  18. EPO Administrative Council Disallows Discussion About Violations of the Law by Benoît Battistelli

    The EPO crisis is not ending for the Administrative Council does not want to tackle any of the obvious problems; Patrick Corcoran is a taboo subject and Ernst is coming across as another protector of Benoît Battistelli, based on today's meeting (the second meeting he chairs)



  19. Links 13/12/2017: GIMP 2.9.8, Fedora 25 End Of Life, AltOS 1.8.3

    Links for the day



  20. Judge Corcoran Got His User ID/Desk Back (as ILO Asked), But Cannot Perform Actual Work

    The latest update regarding Patrick Corcoran, whose 3-year ordeal is far from over in spite of ILO's unambiguous rulings in his favour



  21. The End of Software Patents and PTAB's Role in Enforcing That End

    Software patents are fast becoming a dying breed and the appeal board (PTAB) of the USPTO accelerates this trend, irrespective of patent immunity attempts



  22. No, China Isn't Most Innovative, It's Just Granting a Lot of Low-Quality Patents

    Patent extremists are trying to make China look like a role model or a success story because China grants far too many patents, spurring an explosion in litigation



  23. Battistelli-Campinos Transition Will Be a Smooth One as the Administrative Council Remains the Same and the Boards Still Besieged

    A rather pessimistic (albeit likely realistic) expectation from tomorrow's meeting of the Administrative Council, which continues to show that no lessons were learned and no strategy will be altered to avoid doom (low-quality patents and stocks running out)



  24. Links 12/12/2017: New BlackArch ISO and Stable Kernels

    Links for the day



  25. German Media Helps Cover Up -- Not Cover -- the Latest EPO Scandal

    EPO-Handelsblatt attention diversion tricks may be effective as German media barely shows interest in one of the EPO's biggest scandals to date



  26. PTAB Haters Fail to Guard Bogus Patents, But They Still Try

    Three Affiliated Tribes probably won't enjoy sovereign immunity from PTAB, Dennis Crouch won't manage to slow down PTAB, and patent litigation will stagnate as bad patents perish before they even land in a lawsuit



  27. Team UPC's Tilmann Defends Rogue Vote at 1 AM in the Morning With Just 5% of Politicians (Those With Vested Interests) Attending

    Just when German democracy is being stolen by a legislative coup (in the dead of night when 95% of politicians are absent/asleep) there's someone 'courageous' enough to rear his ugly head and attempt to justify that coup



  28. The Mask Falls: Lobbyist David Kappos Now Composes Pieces for the Patent Trolls' Lobby (IAM)

    David Kappos, a former USPTO Director who is now lobbying for large corporations that derive revenue from patent extortion, is writing for IAM even if his views are significantly biased by his aggressive paymasters (just like IAM's)



  29. The EPO Protest Tomorrow Isn't Just About Judge Corcoran But About the EPO as a Whole

    PO staff is about to protest against the employer, pointing out that "Battistelli is still showing a total and utter lack of respect not only for his staff and their rights but also for the Administrative Council and for the Tribunal"



  30. Claim: Judge Corcoran to Be Put Under Benoît Battistelli's Control in DG1

    Benoît Battistelli, who openly disregards and refuses to obey judges (while intervening in trials and delivering 'royal decrees' whenever it suits him), may soon gain direct control over the judge he hates most


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