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09.24.15

EPO Managers, Patent Lawyers, Commissioners and Other Non-Technical Personnel Tackle Democracy, Alter Laws in Bulk and in Secret

Posted in Europe, Patents at 5:24 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

The will of the 1% is gradually becoming European law

Brittania Hotel

Summary: The reckless assault on European democracies and long-established laws across Europe are now lucidly demonstrated when it comes to patents

“EPO and OHIM study was saying that 90% of SMEs don’t use patents or trademark,” Benjamin Henrion wrote the other day, “but EPO did not want to put his name on the study” (lies by omission). The EPO is a nasty organisation whose goal is not to provide a service to the public or even to businesses in Europe. Its goal at the moment is to suck up to large corporations from all around the world in an effort to gain more power, or domination, in exchange for favours. The EPO is devouring Europe’s creativity and competitiveness. It’s an institution of occupation. 7 years ago Richard Stallman said that “the European Patent Office is a corrupt, malicious organisation which should not exist.” Now more than ever it should be rather self-evident. This issue is broader than just the EPO itself.

“What the hell,” wrote a TTIP opposer to the European Parliament a few days ago, “they want to create a new court exclusively for big business and you clap? Is democracy a joke to you?”

This was a rant about the likes of the UPC, which the EPO is supporting. “Seriously,” continued this rant, “now they want to create a special court paid by taxpayers exclusively for business to challenge democratic decisions?”

We are disturbed but not surprised to see patent lawyers and patent boosters celebrating and lobbying for the UPC. As Henrion put it, “Finland is ratifying Unitary Patent, I hope Effi can help to challenge it at their Constitutional court” (bullying and blackmail from central European authorities would likely ensue, as seen before in Mediterranean countries which opposed the Unitary Patent in its previous incarnation). Over at IP Magazine, a patents boosters’ site, it is said that “Finland & Lithuania [are] likely to ratify #UPC in coming months. Greece & Ireland in no hurry [...] momentum is building on #UPC. Generally accepted it is when not if the regime will happen” (source).

Boosters of patents, who profit from them without creating anything, are still fast-tracking it all. Lawyers from London say that London is putting the carriage before the horse, vainly assuming that UPC is already a reality and then preparing for it (self-fulfilling prophecies which raise the overall cost of revocation). To quote IP Kat: “After wringing the London rain from her whiskers and tail in the lobby of Aldgate Tower last Wednesday, the AmeriKat bounced up to the 8th floor where she was greeted by a bevy of UPC glitterati who were gathered, at the invitation of Baroness Neville-Rolfe (UK Intellectual Property Minister), to see the site of the UK’s Central Division and local division hosted in London (see previous posts here and here). The space felt cavernous but as soon as the walls are up as per the plan (see below) there won’t be too much room to swing a cat (not that you would ever do that, of course).”

We took note of this disturbing move before and Henrion too is upset that the “UK [is] presenting the building of the future patent court, already ignoring the option that the UK could do a Brexit” (there was not even a democratic process or a public discussion about it).

Dr. Glyn Moody, who is based on London, responded by saying that the “question is whether an ancillary agreement could allow UK to continue with UPC outside EU…”

Henrion then replied, “you mean the obligation to ratify because of the “sincere cooperation”? This was thrown out by the ECJ out of the AG opinion” (to which Moody added that he “was mis-remembering how much the EU’s structure were embedded in UPC; does indeed look a problem for brexit…”).

Linking to this page from the European Commission’s site, Henrion demonstrates that the Commission is now acting more like an agent of corporate power, not European citizens. “Enforcement of IPRs: follow the money,” as he put it.

It is going to be interesting to watch how European bureaucrats like Commissioners and EPO managers handle the ‘burden’ or the ‘nuisance’ of democracy. At the moment it sure looks like their agenda is everything but a public service. We saw that in ACTA some years ago and now we see it in so-called ‘trade’ agreements and ludicrous, gross overwrites of European law, as per the UPC for instance (making software patents legal and widely nforceable).

European law is being changed in secret, against any spirit of public participation, and obviously without a democratic process. Part of this we have seen in the way the EPO treats its employees (violating workers’ basic rights and ignoring court rulings that compel or enforce changes). The problem has broadened well beyond this and probably predates Battistelli’s days.

Europe’s Acceptance of and Resistance to Software Patents, Courtesy of Corporate Front Groups and Courtrooms Respectively

Posted in Courtroom, Europe, IBM, Patents at 4:37 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Printworks

Summary: A snapshot of recent developments and upcoming developments in Europe, regarding software patents in particular

EARLIER this week we chastised IBM for implicitly promoting software patents in India, just as it had done to promote software patents in Europe. Multinationals generally want to have these patents everywhere, especially if these multinationals are vast monopolies that deal with software. They want to crush competition using patents.

The Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE) and a front group of IBM et al want to make software patents and Linux co-exist using so-called “non-aggression” pacts, which in practice barely work at all, not just because they cannot retaliate against patent trolls (see how Oracle sued Google over Android, despite their role in OIN). To quote their statement: “The Free Software Foundation Europe and Open Invention Network, with the participation of the Legal Network and the Asian Legal Network, are presenting two round table events with presentations and panel discussion of industry and community speakers, titled “Open Source and Software Patent Non-Aggression, European Context”. The events will be held in Berlin, Germany on October 21 and in Warsaw, Poland on October 22.”

This was also mentioned here and the FFII’s President reacted much like we did, stating: “Probably those 2 associations are doing nothing to prevent swpatv3, or the unitary patent” (more on that in our next post).

“Someone should tell Battistelli, who is a Frenchman, that the EPO must obey the laws of France and many other countries where software patents are not legal.”Some people seem to have grasped the important role which software patents play in the field of operating systems like Android. Free software is probably harmed the most because software patents are a stab at the heart of free distribution. See this new article titled “Apple, Samsung, Phones and Software Patents” for example. It is gratifying to see that more people now attribute the problem and lay the blame on software patents.

Recently, thankfully enough, April wrote about a decision that was widely overlooked in Europe. 6 days ago it stated that “[o]n June 18th, 2015, the Paris High Court (tribunal de grande instance — TGI) issued a ruling in the Orange versus Free case [fr] (both French ISPs); this ruling was published [fr] on September 1st, 2015. On this occasion, the court reaffirmed that software patents are illegal in Europe under the European Patent Convention (EPC). While this reaffirmation is good news, it nevertheless testifies to the possibility of filing software patent applications today in Europe.”

Someone should tell Battistelli, who is a Frenchman, that the EPO must obey the laws of France and many other countries where software patents are not legal. As we shall show in our next post, the EPO is helping member nations and corporations that operate in them bypass the law and patent software, using for the most part a secretive and undemocratic transition into the UPC.

German Press Explains EPO Investigation Unit (I.U.), Struggles to Openly Speak to the Secretive EPO

Posted in Europe, Patents at 5:36 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: The secretive Investigation/Investigative Unit (I.U.) of the European Patent Office (EPO) is further studied/explored by a recent article from junge Welt, an old and well-established German newspaper (since 1947)

THE EPO-centric coverage at Techrights is going to become more frequent and intensify because the more the EPO’s management cracks down on dissent (even very legitimate dissent), the more passionate its critics will become. On the face of it, more and more critics come out of nowhere now, even in the media (newspapers, radio, and television). The EPO has become the poster child of European institutions going rogue. The abuse happens on many levels and later today (probably this evening) we will write about EPO abuses that relate not just to (mis)treatment of staff. There are far broader issues at hand and these issues mean that today’s EPO does a huge disservice to European citizens, usually at the behest of very large corporations (many of which are not even European).

“The EPO has become the poster child of European institutions going rogue.”SUEPO has shared another set of translations [PDF] of an article from junge Welt, titled “Juristisches Niemandsland” (we are from now on making local copies of documents, having seen the EPO using threats to remove critical material and muzzle critical voices).

As SUEPO puts it, “junge Welt gives on overview of the current climate at the EPO and the repressive reforms put in place by Mr Battistelli: “Employees have a fake sense of security. Protestors are being spied on and prosecuted.” The article reports on the work of the Investigative Unit: “covert surveillance of public or semi-public computers, no right to remain silent and no right to a legal counsel during interrogations”.

“A member of the Boards of Appeal was suspended over allegations of defamation. Staff representatives and/or union executives are subject to investigations by Control Risks and, among them, Elizabeth Hardon, SUEPO Chair. Freedom of expression and of association are under severe attack and the discussions on union recognition are just a sham and a marketing trick. The Dutch Court of Appeal ruled in favour of the union, but Mr Battistelli refused to recognise the Court. And so it goes, in the legal no man’s land.”

In the interests of gathering information in one place for later analysis and cross-referencing, here is the English translation of the entire article:

English translation

From: Edition of 18.09.2015, page 5 / Home News

Legal No-man’s Land

At the European Patent Office, labour and employee rights have literally been suspended. Anyone who tries to fight back gets snooped on and targeted

By Ralf Wurzbacher

EPO HQ

Regular panic on the Titanic?
At the European Patent Office in Munich the Boss looks after everything.
It’s a fiefdom.
Photo: Andreas Gebert/dpa – Bildfunk

The staff at the European Patent Office (EPO) based in Munich have their own union – or somehow they don’t. If you call SUEPO, someone says “I can’t talk to you.” That needs permission from the senior management, or, more precisely from the Boss. That’s Benoît Battistelli, a.k.a. “the Sun King” or the “Dictator”, who rules over a mini-police state. Even the attempt at contact by junge Welt seems not to have met with the approval of his apparatchiks. Conversely, it is known for certain that at the end of last year two publicly- accessible computers were bugged with spyware and cameras for weeks, so as to catch an uppity staff member in the act.

It worked. The perpetrator was caught red-fingered and promptly thrown out. The patent judge in question, as a member of the EPO Board of Appeal, is said to have spread defamatory messages about the President of the Office and other managers. But the guilty party is only one of the critics – and there are a lot of them. When Battistelli took office five years ago the mood among the staff started to get steadily worse, and has now broken out into public protest. Employees from Munich and the office at The Hague in the Netherlands have taken to the streets a number of times to protest the iron-rod rule of their French boss, most recently at the end of June, in their hundreds from the headquarters in Munich. According to the Münchner Merkur, their demands were unambiguous: “He’s got to go.”

Battistelli arrived in 2010 to make the EU patent organization “more effective” and to generate bigger profits. Part of his “reform” is a performance-based career system, under which people who take time off due to illness gets their salary docked. Anyone who nevertheless dares to feel unwell, according to a report in the online portal Telepolis, must be at home at set times so as to be examined by an EPO-appointed doctor. Discipline and control come before anything. This was why what is known as the Investigation Unit came into being, which looks into accusations against staff members. Like a tribunal, witnesses and accused are heard, but there is no right to remain silent, nor are any attorneys allowed to assist. According to SUEPO, the external investigation company Control Risks has been brought in by the management, and the Dutch press claims that a detective agency has been hired to spy on the staff.

It is no coincidence that trade unionists are particular targets for the “sniffers”, above all SUEPO executive Elizabeth Hardon. She has been threatened with legal action due to the disclosure of “confidential information”, which includes, in the EPO interpretation, the disclosure of her summons before the investigation committee. When it comes to fundamental rights such as freedom of opinion and freedom to gather, Battistelli is having none of it. Word has it that he banned a demonstration with the threat of dire consequences for future careers, and he has also taken it upon himself to dictate how strikes can be conducted and how long they can last. He has in fact never even acknowledged SUEPO as the representative body of the employees. Negotiations along those lines were recently curtailed. Staff members regard the so-called peace talks as eyewash and a nothing more than a marketing trick.

How can this be happening on German soil? As an international authority, the EPO is not subject to the law of the host country although German citizens make up a quarter of the workforce, with some 7,000 employees. The Patent Office is not an EU organization either, because not all of the 38 European participant countries are members of the Community. From the legal point of view, the EPO is practically untouchable, but not politically. Federal Minister of Justice Heiko Maas (SPD) is aware of the blatant contraventions of German labour law, and of the data protection guidelines which apply in this country. At the beginning of April his office let it be known that Germany, on the EPO Administrative Council, along with nine other countries, had abstained in the vote on Battistelli’s reforms. That’s what’s called symbol politics.

Conversely, a court at The Hague disagrees. Judges there have recently suspended the legal immunity of the Patent Office, and issued three demands: The EPO may no longer lay down the rules about labour disputes, the E-mail communications of SUEPO members may no longer be blocked, and the negotiations for union recognition must be resumed. Battistelli took due note and declared that the court does not have jurisdiction. And that’s how easy it is to rule in a legal no-man’s land.

Benoît Battistelli and many of his 'bunker mentality' colleagues come from the country that spreads “right to be forgotten” (Internet censorship), so it might not be long before trying to ban news sites or prevent sites like Techrights from appearing in search results (expanding censorship beyond the EPO’s private networks). Stay tuned because we have a lot more coming.

Links 24/9/2015: GNOME 3.18, Fedora 23 Beta, New Firefox

Posted in News Roundup at 5:22 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • More for Less: How the Open Source Software Revolution Can Mitigate Unnecessary Expenditure

    The board may be reluctant to move away from a big, branded, closed source solution. But the fact is, Open Source Software can now do the same for less.

  • Open Source Code May Unite IoT

    A high profile open source project working on software-defined networks has given birth to what could become an important standard for bringing unity to the fragmented Internet of Things.

  • Google launches Brotli, a new open source compression algorithm to speed up the web

    As websites and online services become ever more demanding, the need for compression increases exponentially. Fans of Silicon Valley will be aware of the Pied Piper compression algorithm, and now Google has a more efficient one of its own.

  • Splunk admits open source challengers can’t be ignored, but says it has advantage

    If you type the words ‘open source Splunk’ into Google, you’ll soon find a bunch of articles that talk up the challenge posed to Splunk by cheaper, open source alternatives. One even used the headline “In a world of open source big data, Splunk should not exist”, whilst another says “Splunk feels the heat from stronger, cheaper open source rivals”.

    And it’s true that when you think about big data and the Internet-of-Things (IoT), a number of open source technologies spring to mind. But is Splunk worried?

  • Get your own cloud and reclaim your data

    Frank Karlitschek founded ownCloud, a personal cloud platform that also happens to be open source, in 2011. Why open source? Frank has some strong opinions about how we host and share our data, and with the recent scrutiny on security and privacy, his thoughts are even more relevant. In this interview, I ask Frank some questions I’ve been wondering about my own personal data as well as how ownCloud might play a role in a more open, yet secure, data future.

    A little history on Frank: He is a long time open source contributor and former board member of the KDE e.V. After 10 years of managing engineering teams, today he is the project leader and maintainer of ownCloud. Additionally he is the co-founder and CTO of ownCloud Inc. which offers ownCloud for enterprises.

  • Open source is ugly: Improving UI and UX

    For four years, Garth has been working at Adobe on open source projects as a design and code contributor. These projects include Brackets, Topcoat, and Apache Flex. In addition to his work at Adobe, he also speaks at conferences about the power of design, improving designer/developer collaboration, and the benefits of open source. As part of this effort, Garth founded the Open Design Foundation.

  • Facebook takes Relay JavaScript framework open source

    Facebook this week is open-sourcing Relay, which provides data-fetching for React JavaScript applications. The move could open up new possibilities for the technology, Facebook engineers said.

    Accessible on GitHub, Relay is a JavaScript framework for developing data-driven applications with React, Facebook’s JavaScript library for building user interfaces. “Relay is actually intended to build and do for data-fetching what React does for the user interface rendering,” said Tom Occhino, Facebook engineering manager, in an interview at this week’s @scale conference in San Jose, Calif.

  • Being Thoughtful About FOSS History

    Time to saddle up the rant stallion and take him out of the stable: This comes up from time to time on social media — as it did again several days ago — and it’s really about time it stops.

    Dennis Ritchie and Steve Jobs died pretty close to each other, time-wise. That may sound like the start of a joke — “Dennis Ritchie and Steve Jobs meet at the pearly gates, and…” — but we’re not going there today. Many people are under the impression that while Steve Jobs got all the attention as the “messiah of computing” when he died, Dennis Ritchie was completely ignored.

  • How Open Source and Crowdfunding Are Creating a New Business Niche
  • Google’s new squeeze: Brotli compression open-sourced
  • How Open Source Is Changing Enterprises

    There was once a time when IT vendors shunned the idea of open source. Why wouldn’t they? The idea of sharing their very own programming innovations with others was viewed as detrimental to any competitive business. But nearly 20 years on, open source is now in vogue and has been embraced by some of the biggest IT vendors and their clients. So what changed? We find out.

  • Sorry Microsoft, sometimes open source is just better (and free)

    There can be several reasons to resort to open source software solutions. Sometimes, it’s simply the only suitable offering out there. Others, it’s the best of its breed. And when expense is an issue, you can’t beat a zero dollar price tag. In any case, open source is an option you can’t ignore.

    As regular readers know, we’ve lived in a post-MS Office world for a while now. Free office suite LibreOffice does all we want and its Writer module works better than Word. Version 5, released last month, introduces a better organised command centre, Windows 10 compatibility, a style preview panel, short codes that enable quick insertion of emojis and other symbols and the ability to crop images inside the word processor.

    Whether all these new features matter to every user is not the point. The point is that LibreOffice develops under democratic principles, where users can vote on the features they want most. And since the development team has no commercial reason to hold back new features to maximise the profitability of older versions, enhancements flow through shortly after they’re ready.

  • Three students jump into open source with OpenMRS and Sahana Eden

    We are three students in the Bachelor of Computer Science second degree program at the University of British Columbia (UBC). As we each have cooperative education experience, our technical ability and contributions have increasingly become a point of focus as we approach graduation. Our past couple of years at UBC have allowed us to produce some great technical content, but we all found ourselves with one component noticeably absent from our resumes: an open source contribution. While the reasons for this are varied, they all stem from the fact that making a contribution involves a set of skills that goes far beyond anything taught in the classroom or even learned during an internship. It requires a person to be outgoing with complete strangers, to be proactive in seeking out problems to solve, and to have effective written communication.

  • 3 Open Source Desktop Publishing Tools for Small Businesses

    Small businesses and start-ups are always on the lookout for ways to save money on new and expensive services. Many budget-minded small businesses are returning to the days of hands-on and in-house to keep costs down, and the many open source tools available today can help do just that.

  • 14 tips for teaching open source development

    Academia is an excellent platform for training and preparing the open source developers of tomorrow. In research, we occasionally open source software we write. We do this for two reasons. One, to promote the use of the tools we produce. And two, to learn more about the impact and issues other people face when using them. With this background of writing research software, I was tasked with redesigning the undergraduate software engineering course for second-year students at the University of Bradford.

  • Cloudera’s open source codeathon project with Bay Area Discovery Museum
  • Open source software could help India save Rs 8,254 crore in education alone: Study

    Use of free and open source software could help India save more than Rs 8,300 crore in government expenses on education and police only, says a new study, vindicating the Centre’s move to promote such software as part of its Digital India initiative.

    Schools and other institutions could save an estimated Rs 8,254 crore by adopting free and open source software (FOSS) while police departments could save about Rs 51.20 crore, said a study led by Rahul De, Hewlett-Packard Chair Professor at the Indian Institute of Management Bangalore.

  • No driver, no problem: NJ’s self-driving car developers

    While DriveAI’s work is coming on a much smaller scale than the tech giants of the world, its members take pride in one key aspect: The entire project is open-source.

    The team regularly posts updates on its progress and snags. Anyone can view the DriveAI source code and provide input or suggest changes.

    While other self-driving car divisions and companies are protecting their work behind lock and key, DriveAI’s project will be free for anyone to apply and use for their own work.

    “Google’s going to write a bunch of proprietary code. All these car manufacturers are going to write their own proprietary code,” team member Parth Mehrotra said. “It’s a lot of wasted effort if everybody does the same thing again and again.

    “If ours isn’t up to par or where the industry wants the technology to be, they can contribute the manpower to it,” he said.

    An open-source project allows researchers across the globe to weigh in and suggest changes to the software. The company has already addressed issues raised by someone with a master’s degree in computer science who simply read over the source code.

    “What good is all of this technology if people can’t access it or have control over it?” Shoyoye said. “What good is collecting data if you can’t analyze it? People around the world can analyze this in real time and understand how autonomous vehicles are working in real time. That can only propel it forward.”

  • The only way to ensure the VW scandal never happens again

    Most people realize that computers aren’t going to go away any time soon. That doesn’t mean that people have to put up with these deceptions and intrusions on our lives.

    For years, many leading experts in the software engineering world have been promoting the benefits and principles of free software.

    What we mean by free is that users, regulators and other independent experts should have the freedom to see and modify the source code in the equipment that we depend on as part of modern life. In fact, experts generally agree that there is no means other than software freedom to counter the might of corporations like Volkswagen and their potential to misuse that power, as demonstrated in the emissions testing scandal.

    If Governments and regulators want to be taken seriously and protect society, isn’t it time that they insisted that the car industry replaces all hidden code with free and open source software?

  • Events

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Updates to Firefox Accounts and Firefox Hello Beta

        The latest Firefox update is now available. This release includes minor updates to personalize your Firefox Account and adds a new functionality to Firefox Hello Beta.

        Firefox Accounts provides access to services like Firefox Sync to let you take browsing data such as passwords, bookmarks, history and open tabs across your desktop and mobile devices. The latest update to Firefox Accounts allows you to personalize your Firefox Account profile in Firefox for Windows, Mac, Linux and Android by adding a photo.

      • Firefox 41 integrates WebRTC messaging app as it fights for relevance
      • Firefox 41 arrives, adding instant messaging and personalisation tweaks

        The latest version of the Firefox browser – Firefox 41 – has been released by Mozilla for Windows, Mac, Linux and Android.

        The new release includes updates which allow users to personalise their Firefox account, so they can share web browsing data such as passwords, bookmarks, history, and open tabs across their desktop and mobile devices. It also lets users add a photo to their account.

      • Mozilla Firefox 41.0 Lands in All Supported Ubuntu OSes, Users Urged to Update Now

        Now that Mozilla has officially released the Mozilla Firefox 41.0 web browser for all GNU/Linux distributions, but also for the Microsoft Windows and Mac OS X operating systems, the time has come to update it on your favorite OS.

      • Firefox 41 Released with AdBlock Plus Memory Improvements and More

        Mozilla has just released the stable version of Firefox 41, bringing some pretty cool features like the ability to set up a profile picture for the Firefox account and some memory improvements for AdBlock Plus.

      • Mozilla Firefox 42.0 to Bring GTK3 Integration for GNU/Linux, New Privacy Settings

        Now that Mozilla released version 41.0 of its widely used, open-source and cross-platform web browser for GNU/Linux, Microsoft Windows, and Mac OS X operating systems, the time has come to inform you guys about the upcoming features of Firefox 42.0.

        Mozilla Firefox 42.0 has entered development, with a first Beta build released on September 23, and the first set of features to be implemented in the final version of the software have already been revealed. Among them we can mention GTK3 integration for GNU/Linux systems and one-click muting of audio on active tabs via a new indicator.

  • SaaS/Big Data

  • Databases

    • ScyllaDB Database Emerges Out of Cloudius Systems

      Avi Kivity is well-known in the open-source and Linux communities as the original lead developer of the widely deployed KVM hypervisor. In 2012, Kivity started a company called Cloudius Systems, which develops the OSv operating system for the cloud. Today, Cloudius is being rebranded and refocused under the name ScyllaDB.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

  • Funding

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Autodesk open sources Linux-based 3D printer

      Autodesk has open sourced the electronics and firmware of its resin- and DLP-based Ember 3D printer, revealing it to run Linux on a BeagleBone Black clone.

      In releasing the design of its Ember 3D Printer under open source licensing, Autodesk has revealed a mainboard that runs Linux on a customized spin-off of the BeagleBone Black hacker SBC. In March, the company published the recipe for the printer’s “PR48” Standard Clear Prototyping resin, and in May, it followed through by open sourcing its mechanical files. As promised, Autodesk has now opened up the BeagleBone Black based electronics and firmware.

    • Autodesk Open Sources Ember Hardware and Firmware and Drops a Big Fusion 360 Update

      As with the previous releases Ember’s electronics and firmware are shared under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike license and licensed under GNU GPL. Most of the newly released specs are, frankly, far above my head, but they do reveal some interesting information about the advanced 3D printer. The main control board is a very heavily modified version of a standard BeagleBone Black, a low-cost development board that should be relatively simple for anyone to get their hands on. Using relatively easy to source parts is an ideal scenario for developers looking to incorporate Autodesk printing technology into their own 3D printers. This sends a pretty clear signal that Autodesk really is committed to helping the entire 3D printing industry grow.

    • Beginning the search for ZeMarmot

      We have started a dozen days of research for “ZeMarmot” Open Movie. By this, we mean we are going for a trip to the Alps, where we we will stalk cool marmots! Our goal is to get photos, videos and sounds, of marmots, other animal and awesome mountain landscapes. These will be used for reference for the animation film, to study marmot behavioral patterns, movements, get ideas, and so on.

    • Open Source Hardware Certification Announced

      This certification process means creators must register their project, but it’s free to enter. In the first proposal for the Open Hardware Certification, there was discussion about distinct levels of certification, like ‘Open Bronze’. ‘Open Silver’ and ‘Open Gold’. This was ultimately not implemented, and there is only one level of the Open Hardware Certification.

    • Braintree Founder Unveils Open Source Playbook For Science Investors
    • Open Data

      • Antwerp and Birmingham aim to innovate transport

        OpenTransportNet aims to change the way Europe’s public administrations create and manage transport services. The consortium wants to make geospatial information easily accessible and encourage anyone to use it, and create new, innovative services.

      • Open-source ‘Tree of Life’ includes all known life on Earth

        Combing through records spanning over 3.5 billion years, scientists 11 institutions have complied a ‘tree of life’ that includes the approximately 2.3 million known species of animals, plants, fungi, and microbes.

  • Programming

    • The EPA Deserves Software Freedom, Too

      The issue of software freedom is, not surprisingly, not mentioned in the mainstream coverage of Volkswagen’s recent use of proprietary software to circumvent important regulations that exist for the public good. Given that Volkswagen is an upstream contributor to Linux, it’s highly likely that Volkswagen vehicles have Linux in them.

      Thus, we have a wonderful example of how much we sacrifice at the altar of “Linux adoption”. While I’m glad for some Free Software to appear in products rather than none, I also believe that, too often, our community happily accepts the idea that we should gratefully laud a company includes a bit of Free Software in their product, and gives a little code back, even if most of what they do is proprietary software.

    • VW scandal highlights irony of EPA opposition to vehicle software tinkering

      “I personally am deeply sorry that we have broken the trust of our customers and the public,” Volkswagen Chief Executive Officer Martin Winterkorn said in a statement Monday, addressing the so-called “defeat device” software the automaker built into its vehicles to deceive US air pollution tests. “We will do everything necessary in order to reverse the damage this has caused.”

    • Wisp: Lisp, minus the parentheses
    • Software In Person

      In February, while coworking at the Open Internet Tools Project, I got to talking with Gus Andrews about face-to-face tech events. Specifically, when distributed people who make software together have a chance to get together in person, how can we best use that time? Gus took a bunch of notes on my thoughts, and gave me a copy.

    • Will freelancers beat software development companies soon?
    • From a diary of AArch64 porter — vfp precision
    • phpMyAdmin version 4.5
    • PHP version 5.6.14RC1
    • Taking a spin with Dancer, the lightweight Perl web application framework

      Dancer is a lightweight web application framework for Perl, inspired by the Sinatra framework in Ruby. Dancer bills itself as simple and flexible, but powerful enough to run most any web application you can think up.

Leftovers

  • Hardware

    • HP Will Cut as Many as 30,000 More Jobs After Split

      Hewlett-Packard will shed as many as 30,000 more jobs as it splits into two companies, the company said at a meeting with analysts in San Jose, Calif.

      Tim Stonsifer, the incoming CFO of Hewlett-Packard Enterprise, the company devoted to corporate computing that will emerge from the split on Nov. 1, announced the reductions as part of his presentation on guidance. The restructuring will include a $2.7 billion charge.

  • Security

    • Security advisories for Monday
    • The campaign may only be 15 days old, but thousands of sites are already infected and there are no signs of slowing down.

      Out of thousands of websites infected through the new campaign, the security researchers say 95 percent of them rely on WordPress — and 17 percent of them have already been blacklisted by Google.

      Webmasters should make sure their plugins are all up-to-date to prevent exposure and blacklisting by the web’s most popular search engine.

      SecuriLabs has also provided a scanner for webmasters to check the health of their domains.

    • Seven years of malware linked to Russian state-backed cyber espionage

      For the past seven years, a cyber-espionage group operating out of Russia—and apparently at the behest of the Russian government—has conducted a series of malware campaigns targeting governments, political think tanks, and other organizations. In a report issued today, researchers at F-Secure provided an in-depth look at an organization labelled by them as “the Dukes,” which has been active since at least 2008 and has evolved into a methodical developer of “zero-day” attacks, pulling together their own research with the published work of other security firms to provide a more detailed picture of the people behind a long-running family of malware.

    • iPhones and Macs Vulnerable to Hacking From Airdrop Exploit

      A cyber security researcher has uncovered a significant vulnerability present within a library in iOS. When exploited, an attacker has the means to overwrite arbitrary files and insert a signed applications on a targeted device.

    • Tips for Improving the Linux Desktop Security

      One of the longest-held beliefs is that the Linux desktop comes with invulnerable and foolproof security system.

      A close examination of the security system indicates that this might not be the case after all. The desktop running on Linux Operating System needs enhanced protection to provide it with excellent security and ensure that it can withstand the most vicious attacks from the latest and highly potent malware as well as viruses and spyware of today.

    • Apple removes malware-infected App Store apps after major security breach

      Apple has removed malware-infected apps from the App Store after acknowledging its first sustained security breach. The malware, known as XcodeGhost, worked its way into several apps by convincing developers to use a modified version of Xcode, the software used to create iOS and Mac software.

      “We’ve removed the apps from the App Store that we know have been created with this counterfeit software,” Apple spokesperson Christine Monaghan told Reuters. “We are working with the developers to make sure they’re using the proper version of Xcode to rebuild their apps.”

    • Understanding the World of Linux Foundation Security Checklist

      Although this seemed quite weird to some people, it has become a reason for more and more attention to be drawn to some of the best ways to protect your Linux workstation, even if most IT experts do not welcome all recommendations the checklist has.

      Konstantin Ryabitsev who is the director of collaborative IT services of the foundation created this list for all the users of LF remote sysadmins. This was done to make sure their laptops were always safe against all illegal attacks. Nevertheless, the foundation has not demanded for universal adoptions of the list.

    • ‘Let’s Encrypt’ free encryption project issues first SSL/TLS certificate
    • Important security notice regarding signing key and distribution of Red Hat Ceph Storage on Ubuntu and CentOS
    • Tuesday’s security updates
    • Why is open source software more secure?
    • OpenLDAP Vulnerabilities Closes in All Supported Ubuntu OSes
    • Tech Allies Lobby to Keep U.S. Rule From Fettering Security Research

      When the U.S. Department of Commerce proposed a rule to regulate the international trade and sharing of “intrusion software,” worried security firms immediately went on the defense.

      Industry giants, such as Symantec and FireEye, teamed up with well-known technology firms, such as Cisco and Google, to criticize the regulations. The proposed rules, published in May, would cause “significant unintended consequences” that would “negatively impact—rather than improve—the state of cyber-security,” Cisco stated in a letter to the Commerce Dept.’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS).

    • XcodeGhost apps haunting iOS App Store more numerous than first reported

      Security researchers have both good and bad news about the recently reported outbreak of XcodeGhost apps infecting Apple’s App Store. The bad: the infection was bigger than previously reported and dates back to April. The good: affected apps are more akin to adware than security-invading malware.

    • Wanted alive: $1m for an iOS 9 bug to hijack, er, jailbreak iThings

      Exploit traders Zerodium will pay a million dollars to anyone who finds an unpatched bug in iOS 9 that can be exploited to jailbreak iThings – or compromise them.

      The $1m (£640,000) bounty will be awarded to an individual or team that provides a working exploit to achieve remote code execution on an iOS device via the Safari or Chrome browsers or through an SMS/MMS message.

      This exploit could be combined with other exploitable vulnerabilities to perform an untethered jailbreak on an iPhone or iPad, allowing fans to install any applications they want on their gadgets – particularly software not available on Apple’s App Store.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Feds open criminal probe of Volkswagen’s emissions violations

      During normal driving, the cars with the software — known as a “defeat device” — would pollute 10 times to 40 times the legal limits, the EPA estimated. The discrepancy emerged after the International Council on Clean Transportation commissioned real-world emissions tests of diesel vehicles including a Jetta and Passat, then compared them to lab results.

  • Finance

    • Bitcoin an official commodity: US trade commission

      Digital currencies have been granted the status of an official commodity by the United States Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), which said that bitcoin operators must immediately ensure that their companies are legally registered under the applicable trading laws and regulations.

    • Getting Back to Full Employment

      I found out about this through Paul Krugman, and if you’re a regular reader of Krugman’s columns and blog, not much here will be a surprise. Baker and Bernstein are advocating what I would call conventional-liberal economic policy by US standards (which means that it’s not really that liberal). The short version is that full employment is vital for improving the economic position of the average person, inflation is nowhere near as much of a risk as people claim, and the best economic action the US government can take at present is to aggressively pursue a full employment strategy without worrying excessively about inflation.

  • Censorship

    • France rejects Google’s ‘right to be forgotten’ appeal

      France’s data protection watchdog has rejected an appeal by Google against a decision ordering the internet giant to comply with users’ requests to have information about them removed from all search results.

      Since a European Court of Justice ruling in May 2014 recognising the “right to be forgotten” on the net, Google users can ask the search engine to remove results about them that are no longer relevant.

      However, Google ran into trouble in France over the fact that while it removes these references from its results in searches made in Google.fr or other European extensions, it refuses to do so on Google.com and elsewhere.

  • Privacy

    • Fiber, X, Ad Blocking and Tracking

      My opinion on advertising sours greatly when it comes to the topic of tracking and targeting, which I believe is overstepping the line from advertising to stalking. I don’t like going onto Amazon and finding whatever I looked at spilled over to other sites I visit. I’m disturbed when I use a Google service to realise later I’ll be inundated and pressured into purchasing something until my next pushable product becomes apparent. It’s like browsing physical store to find several random people have followed you back out, taking notes on everything you do and observing where else you’ll go – in the real world those people would be arrested for stalking, how is it acceptable online?

    • India to cripple its tech sector with proposed encryption crackdown

      The Indian government has published a draft of its latest plans for encryption. The proposals spell bad news for domestic software developers and will make other companies looking to do business in the subcontinent very nervous indeed.

      The new National Encryption Policy [PDF] proposed by the nation’s Department of Electronics and Information Technology states that the government will require applications using encryption to store plain text versions of all data for 90 days so that they can be examined by the police if need be.

      “On demand, the user shall be able to reproduce the same plain text and encrypted text pairs using the software/hardware used to produce the encrypted text from the given plain text,” the proposed rules read.

    • Skype Down in Some Countries Updated

      The Skype service is currently down in some countries and Microsoft says that it’s already aware of the problem and a fix is on its way.

    • Skype communication app is down across the globe
    • Skype outage? reSIProcate to the rescue!
    • Encryption you don’t control is not a security feature

      The TL;DR of that article is this: encryption you don’t control is not a security feature. It’s great that Apple implemented encryption in their messaging software but since the user has no control over the implementation or the keys (especially the key distribution, management, and trust) users shouldn’t expect this type of encryption system to actually protect them.

  • Civil Rights

    • This Is What Jeremy Corbyn’s New Labour Coalition Looks Like

      The establishment’s Plan A had been to stop Jeremy Corbyn. Up against three technocrats of the political center, Corbyn—who has run nothing bigger than the planning committee of a town council, though he has been a member of Parliament since 1983—won 60 percent on the first ballot, becoming the new leader of the UK’s Labour Party.

      Plan B had been to hamstring Corbyn if he won by withholding support from Tony Blairite, centrist, pro-Nato, pro-business members of Parliament. Corbyn would be the floundering figurehead for 18 months before returning to business as usual. But 60 percent—from a membership swelled to half a million during Corbyn’s barnstorming summer—gives you a crushing mandate.

      Sixty percent gives you permission to appoint the hardest-left MP in Parliament as your shadow finance minister and put a vegan in charge of handling the farming lobby. Even as the right-wing press derided the mild-mannered and bearded Corbyn as a “weaponized lentil,” the shock was setting in. Corbyn wants to nationalize the railways and energy companies, use quantitative easing to fund public spending, scrap Britain’s nuclear weapons and student tuition fees. He is a lifelong anti-imperialist and supporter of Palestinian liberation. For the first time in 80 years, the establishment does not control the Labour Party.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • Yes, the FCC might ban your operating system

      Over the last few weeks a discussion has flourished over the FCC’s Notification of Proposed Rule Making (NPRM) on modular transmitters and electronic labels for wireless devices. Some folks have felt that the phrasing has been too Chicken-Little-like and that the FCC’s proposal doesn’t affect the ability to install free, libre or open source operating system. The FCC in fact says their proposal has no effect on open source operating systems or open source in general. The FCC is undoubtedly wrong.

    • Internet growth slows; most people still offline: U.N.

      Growth in the number of people with access to the Internet is slowing, and more than half the world’s population is still offline, the United Nations Broadband Commission said on Monday.

      Internet access in rich economies is reaching saturation levels but 90 percent of people in the 48 poorest countries have none, its report said.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Copyright on ‘Happy Birthday’ song thrown out

        A federal judge ruled Tuesday that Warner/Chappell Music’s claim to the 120-year-old song wasn’t legal, therefore freeing it from copyright. The ruling came amid a lawsuit challenging Warner/Chappell’s attempt to fine a group of filmmakers $1,500 for the song’s use.

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