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07.10.15

EPO Appointments: Standards of a Third World Country

Posted in Europe, Patents at 7:20 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

EPO incest

Summary: Rather than combat perception of corruption in appointments around Battistelli, the EPO does more to reinforce this perception

SUEPO has just published [PDF] “Mr Battistelli’s Inner Circle 2.0 – “the spontaneous generation” (09/07/2015)” and as the poster puts it (evident from the graph), “Mr Battistelli’s Inner Circle has evolved since 2014.”

Remember that all of these people receive astronomical (but undisclosed) salaries, sourced from European taxpayers.

Notice not only the professional relationships (bringing one’s old mates to protect oneself) but also the incestuous relationships. It’s like the Binay family (many people of the same family promoted to positions of power through corruption and money laundering). It’s akin to dynasty or royalty/monarchy. And this is the supposedly democratic European Union we’re talking about! It’s not about what you know but about who you know and who’s in your family. That is seemingly the promotion and hiring yardstick at today’s EPO. It’s not just "Balkan standards" but the standards of a third world country.

Corporate Media Frames Microsoft Layoffs as ‘Nokia Layoffs’, Despite Contradictory Facts

Posted in Microsoft at 6:57 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: Microsoft’s ‘damage control’ strategy is working, as the media helps Microsoft disguise company-wide layoffs as layoffs at another company

“So that next firing cycle came today at Microsoft,” wrote Mr. Ahonen, a renowned Nokia expert. It’s about Microsoft. These are Microsoft layoffs and the latest layoffs should be described as such.

Commenting on this subject, some Finnish media chose to focus only on the Nokia aspect. “Microsoft has announced a new round of lay-offs,” it said, “and an ‘impairment charge’ associated with its acquisition of Finnish firm Nokia’s mobile phone business. Some 7,800 jobs are to go, mainly in the devices unit bought from Nokia.”

It also showed the impact on the Finnish government:

The Finnish government will submit a supplementary budget in September to lay out its plans to deal with the fallout from Microsoft’s plans to lay off some 2,300 people in Finland.

This is a bit misleading, however, as our sources indicate that the layoffs are far more wide-reaching than the mobile unit and Nokia. Some reader from Finland claims the publication above (both articles) to be Microsoft-connected in the staff sense (at a high level), so maybe there is an attempt to misdirect and distract. Watch how the Microsoft-friendly ToryGraph frames this as a “Nokia deal” thing. It’s not. Other British media says “Microsoft writes-off Nokia purchase”, but that’s not really the news, is it? The layoffs are news. Not single department is affected and Microsoft is short on details.

“It’s quite clearly a gross propaganda pattern and it has proven effective so far”Microsoft expects (and needs) people to think that Vista 10 will be great and Windows is in good shape whilst announcing these layoffs, so the effort to blame all the layoffs on mobile failure and “Nokia” is a good distraction ahead of Vista 10′s release.

Let us state this again: Microsoft suffers cuts at many divisions other than mobile. Don’t believe the media coverage which tries to blame all of Microsoft’s problems on that. It’s quite clearly a gross propaganda pattern and it has proven effective so far.

Alice Kills Software Patents Yet Again

Posted in America at 6:37 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: The Affinity v. Direct TV case is the latest case to show how software patents can be invalidated, citing the US Supreme Court (SCOTUS)

UPLOADED just now is this decision [PDF] which shows how, yet again, Alice kills software patents. [hat tip: Patent Buddy]

This case involved the capital of patent trolls, Texas, and it it a case between Affinity and Direct TV. Alice is cited in page 5. “These categories are not patent-eligible,” says the document, then citing the Mayo case as well. SCOTUS is quoted as saying that “all inventions… embody, use, reflect, rest upon, or apply laws of nature, natural phenomena, or abstract ideas.” Let’s see how many Web sites run by patents lawyers even bother to mention this outcome…

Microsoft ​Cyanogen Hires ‘Former’ Microsoft Chief Technology Officer (of Google Competitor)

Posted in BSD, GNU/Linux, Google, Microsoft at 6:22 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

MS-CM
Image credit: Linux Veda

Summary: ​Cyanogen continues to expose itself for what it really is and who it is serving, owing to staff background

MICROSOFT took over not only Nokia, inciting it to attack Android (Nokia now attacks Android using patents) but also Cyanogen, the company whose agenda seems to now closely align with Microsoft’s. Many of its employees are based near Microsoft, but that’s not too shocking. It puts the NSA’s leading partner (Microsoft) right at the centre of AOSP whilst smearing Google, which developed AOSP and gave it away as Free software. We previously covered this in posts such as:

Microsoft’s proxy ​Cyanogen has just hired Microsoft’s Lawler, based on this article. What a surprise? Not! To quote CBS ZDNet: “Formerly Lawler was also chief technology officer of Microsoft’s Bing Maps…”

Microsoft’s strategy against Android has become utterly ugly as it includes patent extortion. Some of the media tries to nevertheless characterise Microsoft as a friend of Free software. The latest example is Windows (proprietary) promotion by payments to OpenBSD — a move that is criticised by FOSS Force, which says: “Of course, it isn’t revealed how much, in code, Microsoft is going to contribute going forward, but as long as the money is there…I guess the money is there.”

Microsoft keeps trying to use its money to disrupt Free software projects. It did this in 2006 with Novell (a GNU/Linux actor at the time) and it is still doing that with other companies or nonprofit entities. Cyanogen is one of these and OpenBSD hopefully has the moral strength to bite the new hand that feeds.

Links 10/7/2015: Calligra 2.9.6, Krita 2.9.6, CII Census Project

Posted in News Roundup at 5:15 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • Promoting the creation of open-source software in your business

    Furthermore, the influence of a Github portfolio should not be underestimated. This may seem skin-deep, but importance lies in the fact that a high-quality Github portfolio reflects time and energy spent curating one’s projects. For instance, a good Github project is well-documented, contains a well-written README (or overview) and is well-marketed online so as to gain approval throughout the community (via stars – similar to “likes” on Facebook). The skills required to create and maintain a high-quality project speak loudly.

  • RCom, Sistema Shyam take to open source software to cut costs

    Reliance Communications (RCOM) and Sistema Shyam Teleservices, also known as MTS India, are increasingly adopting open source software as it helps them significantly cut costs.

  • Reliance Communications, Sistema Shyam Teleservices adopting open source softwares to cut costs
  • Making better decisions in tech

    Michelle Brush will talk at OSCON this year about how engineers and architects in tech can make better decisions by understanding their environment. How? Through behavioral economics, a discipline that, in her words, straddles psychology and economics.

  • 5 lessons from the Open Help doc sprints

    Sprints are one of the most effective tools for building momentum and community around an open source documentation project. For the past four years, the Open Help Conference & Sprints has hosted doc sprints for a number of prominent open source projects, and often has been the first sprint venue for a project. Open Help celebrates its fifth year in 2015 with a venue upgrade and space for six doc sprints.

  • 5 open source alternatives to Google Docs

    When you deal with a lot of documents every day, whatever you write—whitepapers, manuals, presentations, different marketing materials, contracts, etc.—at a certain point (most commonly, at the final stage) you have to interact with different people, specifying and discussing details, proofreading and approving them.

  • The truth is just a download away: Why we need open source more than ever

    This is why we need open source more than ever, particularly in the underlying data infrastructure that undergirds the modern enterprise. You don’t need to take my word for it. You can download it. You can trust the code and your own experience.

    While the cardinal virtue of open source may be that anyone is free to modify/fork the code, the reality is that few actually do. But the first virtue—free and unfettered access to code—is powerfully important, too, and it’s the right that most people associate with open source.

  • The magic at work in an open organization

    I suppose it’s rather fitting that I’m mentioned twice in the book, because that’s how many times I’ve worked at Red Hat: initially from 2005 to 2007 (my first “real” job after college) and again from 2012 to the present. In the interim, I happened to write an article for Opensource.com, which ultimately ended up quoted in the book (on page 94).

  • SaaS/Big Data

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

  • Business

  • Funding

    • UC Berkeley, Cal Poly Receive $6 Million for Open Source Project

      Project Jupyter, an open-source software project led by Fernando Perez of University of California, Berkeley and Brian Granger of California Polytechnic University, San Luis Obispo has been granted $6 million over the next three years. The grant will help expand Project Jupyter to support scientific computing and data science applications in more than 40 programming languages.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • The Nonprofit Case for an Common Data Standard

      In order to shift American culture and win our campaigns for social, environmental, and racial justice, we must have the best, latest tools available, and they need to be able to sync-up. As a communications professional who often gets roped into fundraising, website design, and other various aspects of nonprofit work, I’ve been searching for over a decade for the perfect set of tools to handle communications, marketing, and fundraising. It doesn’t exist.

    • Open Data

    • Open Hardware

      • French robot company raising money for open source companion robot “BUDDY”

        Jean-Michel Mourier, CTO of Blue Frog Robotics, wrote in an email to SD Times that, “About 80% of BUDDY will be open source. Today, all of the major components are open source: the brain of the robot, which controls navigation, facial expressions, object and voice recognition, interfaces that control interactions, learning, making connections as well as domotics. In addition, elements of BUDDY’s mechanics are open so that developers can build accessories.”

      • The Next Big Thing in Open-Source May Be Housing

        The open source essence of Beveridge’s idea is not unprecedented. In 2011, London design practice ‘00’ initiated WikiHouse, an open source project for designing and building houses that offers users the opportunity to download customizable Creative Commons-licensed plans. Using a method that has drawn comparisons to Ikea furniture, the building pieces are then cut from plywood by CNC routers and snapped together with wedge and peg connections, to be assembled onsite in less than a day.

Leftovers

  • Security

    • Another day, another OpenSSL patch

      The latest OpenSSL security hole isn’t a bad one as these things go. It’s no Heartbleed, Freak, or Logjam. But it’s serious enough that, if you’re running alpha or beta operating systems, you shouldn’t delay patching it.

      Fortunately, the affected OpenSSL versions are not commonly used in enterprise operating systems. For example, it doesn’t impact shipping and supported versions of Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) or Ubuntu. In the case of Ubuntu, it does affect the 15.10 development release, but the patch is already available.

    • Census Project
    • Linux Foundation’s CII Now Assessing Open-Source Project Risk
    • Open Sourcing the Census Project

      The results are fascinating.The Census Project is very, very good at identifying projects which are still widely popular, but which are hardly maintained. This is the sweet spot for the Core Infrastructure Initiative to look into to try to identify lurking issues and help find a way to fix them before they become problems for our core infrastructure.

    • Linux Foundation’s Core Infrastructure Initiative Launches New Census Project
    • CII’s Census Project to identify essential open-source projects

      The Core Infrastructure Initiative (CII) has announced a new project to help determine which open-source projects are critical to Internet infrastructure, and in need of additional support and funding. The Census Project is an experimental tool meant to gather metrics and prioritize projects for CII review.

    • OpenSSL Patches for ‘Boring’ Certificate Risk

      The open-source OpenSSL cryptographic library project came out today with a high-severity security advisory and patched a single vulnerability, identified as CVE-2015-1793. OpenSSL is a widely used technology that helps to enable Secure Sockets Layer/Transport Layer Security (SSL/TLS) encryption for Web data transport for both servers and end-user devices.

    • High severity bug found in OpenSSL raises fears of another Heartbleed

      A ‘HIGH SEVERITY’ BUG is currently unpatched in OpenSSL, the open source software used to encrypt internet communications, and a new version is due to be released on 9 July.

    • Critical OpenSSL bug allows attackers to impersonate any trusted server

      There’s a critical vulnerability in some versions of the widely used OpenSSL code library that in some cases allows attackers to impersonate cryptographically protected websites, e-mail servers, and virtual private networks, according to an advisory issued early Thursday morning.

    • OpenSSL’s Latest High Severity Issue Exposed

      We heard another big OpenSSL vulnerability would be announced soon and today it’s been made public: OpenSSL’s latest “high” severity security vulnerability.

    • OpenSSL Security Advisory [9 Jul 2015]
    • A new OpenSSL vulnerability

      The OpenSSL project has disclosed a new certificate validation vulnerability.

    • 8 penetration testing tools that will do the job

      If the probability of your assets being prodded by attackers foreign and domestic doesn’t scare the bejesus out of you, don’t read this article. If you’re operating in the same realm of reality as the rest of us, here’s your shot at redemption via some solid preventive pen testing advice from a genuine pro.

    • Could a Presidential Election be Hacked?

      Now that’s an intriguing question, isn’t it? Just about every other computerized process has proven to be vulnerable, and as voting becomes even more technology based, it becomes increasingly vulnerable as well. Computer systems are generic processing hosts, and to a computing platform, data is simply data. The fact that certain information tallies votes rather than credit card transactions does not make it any harder to hack. Moreover, the U.S. has a long history of documented voting fraud, so there’s no reason to assume that politicians, and their backers, have suddenly become paragons of virtue. Indeed, there’s plenty of evidence to the contrary.

      When you come down to it, the only thing that’s different today is that altering votes might be easier, and that those motivated so do so may be harder to catch. So why aren’t we hearing more about that risk?

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • The US is Now Confronted by the Same Sectarian Strife in the Middle East That It Fostered

      For years now, the global jihadist movement centered in the Middle East has been split into two broad factions, represented by the al-Qaeda franchise on the one hand, and the Islamic State (also known as ISIS or ISIL) on the other. The latter is rooted, in part, in the Jama’at al-Tawhid wal-Jihad group founded by the Jordanian Bedouin Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, which was once a rival of Osama bin Laden’s al-Qaeda.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

  • Finance

    • Budget 2015: Benefit changes to hit 13m families, claims IFS

      Thirteen million UK families will lose an average of £260 a year due to Budget changes to working-age benefits, says the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS).

      Tax credit changes could hit three million families, which are likely to lose an average of £1,000, it said.

      Even taking into account higher wages, people receiving tax credits would be “significantly worse off,” said Paul Johnson, director of the IFS.

    • Greek Ex-Finance Minister: Media Is Guilty Of “Terrorism”, Elite Think Democracy Is Irrelevant

      On Sunday, as we reported here, the Greek people voted NO to more loans and increased austerity measures by the ECB and IMF. It was a historic referendum result that revived that old-fashioned idea of democracy in a Europe now controlled by shady financial institutions and faceless international creditors. Winning a NO vote was an enormous victory for Greece’s ruling party Syriza, and yet shortly after the result, Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis resigned (full story here). He had hinted that anonymous, powerful people had forced him out of his job, and in this video Varoufakis makes some more comments that should make all of us feel quite nervous about the future of our political and economic systems.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

  • Privacy

  • Civil Rights

  • Intellectual Monopolies

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