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09.26.15

Links 25/9/2015: GNU/Linux in Indian Government, NeoKylin in China

Posted in News Roundup at 2:42 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • Box, LinkedIn and WhatsApp share open source advice
  • AT&T’s Chiosi: Open source is critical to integrated cloud architecture

    The telecom industry needs to be wary of different versions of open source platforms taking hold in the industry as it moves to the new IP. That was the message from Margaret Chiosi, a distinguished network architect at AT&T Labs (NYSE: T) and president of the Open Platform for NFV Project (OPNFV), at the NFV Everywhere event in Dallas last week.

  • MemSQL makes it easier to hook up to Apache Spark

    Apache Spark may be the fastest data processing engine around for big data, but unless you are conversant in Scala or Java, this cluster computing framework can be a pain to set up and manage.

  • Tectonic Preview is now open to the public

    Tectonic is an enterprise platform that provides out-of-the-box Kubernetes clusters on CoreOS Linux.

    Kubernetes is a Google-sponsored platform for managing clusters of Linux containers, while CoreOS Linux is a container-native operating system for containers, one of several container-native operating systems in active development.

  • World finally ready for USB-bootable OS/2

    eComStation, the Dutch-owned company that offers a PC operating system based on IBM’s OS/2, has floated the idea of a USB-bootable version of the OS.

    The firm keeps the OS/2 torch burning by offering a PC OS that lets users run OS/2 apps. The outfit claims the likes of Boeing, Whirlpool Corporation and VMware use its software, usually in applications where they can upgrade PCs but still need to run OS/2 code.

  • Apache Big Data Preview: Q&A with IBM’s Anjul Bhambhri

    As a preview to the upcoming Apache Big Data Europe conference, we spoke with with Anjul Bhambhri, Vice President, Big Data and Analytics, IBM Silicon Valley Lab, who will be giving a keynote presentation titled, “Apache Spark — Making the Unthinkable Possible.” We talked with Bhambhri about IBM’s involvement with open source and what Big Data really means.

  • Google Launches Service for Managing Hadoop, Spark Clusters

    Cloud Dataproc will make it easier to administer and manage clusters, the company says.
    Big data analytics technologies such as Hadoop and Spark can help organizations extract business value from massive data sets, but they can be very complex to administer and to manage.

    Hoping to help reduce some of that complexity, Google Wednesday announced the launch of a new service dubbed Cloud Dataproc for customers of its cloud platform. The service is currently available only in beta and is designed to minimize the time businesses spend on administering and managing computing clusters in Hadoop and Spark environments.

  • Cloudera is building a new open-source storage engine called Kudu, sources say

    The storage engine, Kudu, is meant as an alternative to the widely used Hadoop Distributed File System and the Hadoop-oriented HBase NoSQL database, borrowing characteristics from both, according to a copy of a slide deck on Kudu’s design goals that VentureBeat has obtained. The technology will be released as Apache-licensed open-source software, the slides show.

  • Inside The GitHub Systems Where Open Source Lives

    Sometimes the best way to cope with scale is to keep things simple and do everything you can to avoid it. This is the approach that GitHub, the repository service for the popular Git source version control tool created by Linus Torvalds a decade ago, has taken as it has grown explosively and become one of the centers of gravity for open source software development.

  • GitHub Open Sources a Tool That Teaches Students to Code

    GitHub is a way for software engineers to share, shape, and collaborate on code. And it’s also a good way of teaching people to do the same thing.

  • Get ready to meet Kudu, a new, open-source storage engine from Cloudera
  • Dronecode Hosts Workshop As Open Source Drones Proliferate

    The Linux Foundation’s Dronecode Project is hosting a workshop in Dublin, Ireland on Oct. 5, as well as a Flight Day event at a nearby airport on Oct. 8, to showcase open source Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) technology. These events bookend LinuxCon + CloudOpen + Embedded Linux Conference Europe, which is being held Oct. 5-7 at Conference Centre Dublin.

  • Introducing Brotli: a new compression algorithm for the internet
  • Introducing Lemur
  • The Volkswagen Scandal Is Just the Beginning

    Last week, the EPA revealed that it had trusted Volkswagen’s diesel cars, without checking to see where they kept their brains. It sent a letter to the carmaker detailing how VW programmed about 500,000 cars over half a decade to cheat on its emissions tests. (The worldwide total, VW has revealed, is now 11 million.) It’s a story of massive corporate fraud but also an object lesson in everything that’s terrifying about a world in which cars and other things can think for themselves.

  • 8 key open source software foundations (and what makes them key)

    Open source software foundations are proliferating: Every month it seems that a new one is announced — Open Contain Initiative (OCI) and Cloud Native Container Foundation (CNCF) are just two of the more recent launches.

  • First look: Facebook’s open source React library
  • Facebook takes Relay JavaScript framework open source
  • What CIOs can learn from Facebook’s use of open source
  • Google’s open source attempt to undercut Facebook

    As much as we like to talk about the open-source community, it might be more accurate to describe it as an open-source club. No, not the kind you join, but rather something you use to pummel someone.

  • Bossies 2015: The Best of Open Source Software Awards

    Whenever you hear someone complain about developer productivity, just slap them. Having slogged through hundreds of open source projects each year for the past several years, I can assure you that developers are extremely productive. Every time we put together this package — InfoWorld’s annual Best of Open Source Awards, aka the Bossies — I end up wishing developers were just a little less on the ball.

  • Pumpiverse community update

    Earlier this week, pump.io creator Evan Prodromou announced that, due to budget and time pressures, he was looking to move pump.io into a community-governed project structure. “Ideally, what I’d like to do is transfer the copyrights, domains and data to a non-profit that could collect donations to keep the servers running. Budget-wise, it’s about $5K/year, including servers, domain registration, and SSL certs. It’d also be great if some of the people who have been sending in pull requests could start working on the software directly. There are a lot of PRs backed up.”

  • Events

    • IT industry: Moot highlights role of open source technologies

      Speakers at a conference have emphasised the importance of developing an annual plan for the promotion and advocacy of open source technologies to reduce the import of licensed software worth millions of dollars.

      A day-long conference was organised by the Open Source Foundation of Pakistan, in collaboration with the Higher Education Commission (HEC), Zong Pakistan, Pakistan Software Export Board, NADRA Technologies Limited and others. Leaders of the industry shared their expertise and shed light on how to use and develop open source technologies. HEC Chairman Dr Mukhtar Ahmed underlined the need of measuring the progress according to the target set in the annual plan. “HEC, on behalf of universities, is always available to extend all kind of support to promote open source technologies in the country,” he said. He added open source had resulted in a paradigm shift which created a lot of opportunities for youth.

    • Enter for a chance to win a free pass to All Things Open 2015
    • The DevConf.cz 2016 Call For Participation is now open
    • Software Freedom Day 2015 Phnom Penh

      Saturday the 19. September was Software Freedom Day, an worldwide organized day full with events on various places. I participated in the event in Phnom Penh, which was hold at the National Institute of Posts, Telecommunications and ICT (NIPTICT). It was the second time this event was hold in Phnom Penh and at this place and it begins to grow. There was around 100 participants. The event started in the afternoon and was just a single track with various talks. Fedora was presented by Leap Sok who hold an talk “Understanding Software Virtualization” and me with “Fedora.next And Beyond – Fedora For Everybody”. We also distributed arround 100 DVD to the audience, we met also some people who already use Fedora on their computer.

    • SFD Phnom Penh 2015 roundup

      It’s the second time I organize Software Freedom Day in Phnom Penh! I would like to thank everyone who volunteered, joined and/or presented yesterday. We had a great event and a nice turnout. It seems we managed to have a better focus on our audience this year.

  • Web Browsers

  • SaaS/Big Data

    • How safe and secure is open-source OpenStack?

      Last month we explored the pros and cons of open-source OpenStack, a platform I admittedly love, but which is not meant for everyone (for reasons laid out in that post). Today the topic shifts to OpenStack security. Why security? Because security is not only a hot media topic, but also one that automatically forces the CIO/CTO to analyze his or her own security situation within the organization. Is your open-source OpenStack network secure?

    • The return of TryStack, life as a PTL, and more OpenStack news
    • 5 new guides for working with OpenStack

      Cloud computing is an immensely complicated subject, and it can be hard to keep pace with the speed of development. When you look at a large collaborative project like OpenStack, it can be easy to become overwhelmed by the sheer number of pieces of the puzzle you need to be able to put together. But don’t worry! There are lots of resources out there to help you, including the official documentation, various OpenStack training and certification programs, as well as tutorials from the community members themselves.

    • Tesora Enterprise 1.5 Expands OpenStack Database as a Service

      New features in Tesora Enterprise 1.5 include several from the upcoming OpenStack Liberty release, providing improved MongoDB and Reddis database support.
      OpenStack database-as-a-service (DBaaS) vendor Tesora released version 1.5 of Tesora Enterprise 1.5 today, providing users with new features including several that are part of the upcoming OpenStack Liberty release.

      Tesora is a venture-backed vendor that has raised $14.5 million in funding to date, including a $5.8 million round announced on Aug. 13. The company is one of the leading contributors to the OpenStack Trove DBaaS project, which is part of the OpenStack Liberty milestone that is set to officially debut on Oct. 15. Among the new updates in Tesora DBaaS Platform Enterprise Edition 1.5 that come from OpenStack Liberty are improved MongoDB and Reddis database support.

    • The official user survey, visualizing your cloud, and more OpenStack news
    • HP Launches New HP Vertica For Big Data Open Source Adoption

      HP has ramped up efforts in the open source big data and analytics space, adding extensive support to open source technologies in the latest release of its HP Vertica analytics engine.

    • Apache Big Data Preview: Q&A with Pivotal’s Roman Shaposhnik
  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

  • CMS

    • Always be shippable

      Drupal will soon be 15 years old, and 5 of that will be spent on building Drupal 8 — a third of Drupal’s life. We started work on Drupal early in 2011 and targeted December 1, 2012 as the original code freeze date. Now almost three years later, we still haven’t released Drupal 8. While we are close to the release of Drupal 8, I’m sure many many of you are wondering why it took 3 years to stabilize. It is not like we didn’t work hard or that we aren’t smart people. Quite the contrary, the Drupal community has some of the most dedicated, hardest working and smartest people I know. Many spent evenings and weekends pushing to get Drupal 8 across the finish line. No one individual or group is to blame for the delay — except maybe me as the project lead for not having learned fast enough from previous release cycles.

    • The keenness of a higher ed Drupal devotee
    • Eloquently coding in Drupal, one line at a time

      For going on two years, Hussain Abbas has been consistently achieving at Axelerant—an India-based, open source incubator—where he holds the title of technical architect. His experience runs the gamut from x86 assembly and C#, to modern PHP-based platforms, to mainly Drupal these days. Hussain happened to be in the middle of a community summit at DrupalCon Los Angeles this year when we began talking about his dedication to the project he contributes to nonstop.

  • Education

    • Getting started with open source machine learning

      What is machine learning? It is the use of both historical and current data to make predictions, organize content, and learn patterns about data without being explicitly programmed to do so. This is typically done using statistical techniques that look for significant events like co-occurrences and anomalies in the data and then factoring in their likelihood into a model that is queried at a later time to provide a prediction for some new piece of data.

    • 6 open source tools to help educators stay organized

      The number of universities and schools that have opted for open source alternatives of popular properties solutions has significantly increased over the last years. We often hear about adopting OpenOffice or LibreOffice as alternatives to Microsoft Office or about replacing Windows with Linux. Nevertheless, the amount of open source software designed specially for teachers still remains limited. Here are some tips on how to make the school life easier with the help of the commonly used open source software.

  • Business

  • Funding

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • Universal Permissive License added to license list

      We recently updated our list of various licenses and comments about them to include the Universal Permissive License (UPL). The UPL is a lax, non-copyleft license that is compatible with the GNU GPL. The UPL contains provisions dealing explicitly with the grant of patent licenses, whereas many other simple lax licenses only have an implicit grant. While making the grant perfectly clear is a reasonable goal, we still recommend using Apache 2.0 for simple programs that don’t require copyleft. For more extensive programs, a copyleft license like the GNU GPL should be used to ensure that all users can enjoy software freedom.

    • September 2015 GNU Toolchain Update
    • GNU Autoconf Archive – News: Noteworthy changes in release 2015.09.25
  • Openness/Sharing

    • Munich app increases political transparency

      A group of volunteers, consisting of OKF (Open Knowledge Foundation) members and developers, has built an alternative web application to the official website of the Munich City Council, the goal of which is to increase the transparency of local political life.

    • Madrid launches eParticipation portal
    • Eco-geeks hold open source alternative to UN climate talks

      Divided by borders, assembled in hierarchies and motivated by the kind of competitive ideology shared by the neoliberal business class, this meeting embodies the self-interested conventions of the old world. Unsurprisingly, the context has resulted in a failure of shameful proportions.

    • Welcome to the era of open source cars

      Even if they’ve been longtime partners, the tech sector’s influence on the automotive industry has never been stronger. OEMs in Detroit, Stuttgart, Seoul, and elsewhere are continually transforming cars to meet the demands of consumers now conditioned to smartphones (and their 18-month refresh cycle). Much of this is being driven by cheap and rugged hardware that can finally cope with the harsh environment (compared to your pocket or an air-conditioned office) that a car needs to be able to handle. Wireless modems, sensors, processors, and displays are all essential to a new car in 2015, but don’t let this visible impact fool you. The tech industry is having a broader influence on the automobile. Hardware is important, but we’re now starting to see larger tech philosophies adopted—like the open source car.

    • Open Data

  • Programming

    • APIs, not apps: What the future will be like when everyone can code

      A couple of decades ago, if you spent every day in chat rooms with your friends, you were a nerd. Today if you do the same thing, you’re just the average Facebook user. And so it’s no surprise there’s a gold rush mentality in the learn-to-code movement. With the tech industry booming and its products so pervasive in our lives, the allure of six-figure tech salaries make plenty of people pack up and head West (literally).

Leftovers

  • FIFA President Sepp Blatter Facing Criminal Proceedings In Switzerland

    FIFA President Sepp Blatter has been the target of U.S. and Swiss corruption probes for months, and allegations of wrongdoing have swirled around him for even longer. Even as criminal probes resulted in the arrest of 14 FIFA officials in May and claimed his right hand man earlier this month, Blatter has largely remained above the fray.

  • Health/Nutrition

    • Cannabis ‘forest’ discovered in south-west London

      A cannabis “forest” has been discovered by police officers in a wealthy borough of south-west London.

      Scores of marijuana plants can be seen surrounded by native plant life in images posted on social media by officers from Kingston upon Thames.

    • Industrial farming is one of the worst crimes in history

      Animals are the main victims of history, and the treatment of domesticated animals in industrial farms is perhaps the worst crime in history. The march of human progress is strewn with dead animals. Even tens of thousands of years ago, our stone age ancestors were already responsible for a series of ecological disasters. When the first humans reached Australia about 45,000 years ago, they quickly drove to extinction 90% of its large animals. This was the first significant impact that Homo sapiens had on the planet’s ecosystem. It was not the last.

      About 15,000 years ago, humans colonised America, wiping out in the process about 75% of its large mammals. Numerous other species disappeared from Africa, from Eurasia and from the myriad islands around their coasts. The archaeological record of country after country tells the same sad story. The tragedy opens with a scene showing a rich and varied population of large animals, without any trace of Homo sapiens. In scene two, humans appear, evidenced by a fossilised bone, a spear point, or perhaps a campfire. Scene three quickly follows, in which men and women occupy centre-stage and most large animals, along with many smaller ones, have gone. Altogether, sapiens drove to extinction about 50% of all the large terrestrial mammals of the planet before they planted the first wheat field, shaped the first metal tool, wrote the first text or struck the first coin.

    • GM Mustard in India: a Case of Monumental Fraud and Unremitting Regulatory Delinquency

      The approval and planting of large-scale field trials of genetically modified (GM) mustard in India is currently taking place. According to environmentalist Aruna Rodrigues, this is completely unconscionable. It is occurring even as the Supreme Court-appointed Technical Expert Committee (TEC) Report awaits adjudication in India’s Supreme Court, which expressly recommends a bar on herbicide-tolerant (HT) crops. As a result, Rodrigues is mounting a legal challenge as the lead petitioner in a Public Interest Litigation.

  • Security

    • Security updates for Thursday
    • Microsoft puts a bullet in blundering D-Link’s leaked key that made malware VIPs on PCs

      Microsoft has finally revoked D-Link’s leaked code-signing key, which gave malware the red carpet treatment on millions of Windows PCs.

      Last week, it emerged that, for six months between February and September, D-Link exposed its private code-signing key to the world in a firmware download. Anyone who stumbled upon this key could use it to dress up malware as a legit-looking D-Link application, tricking Windows and users into trusting it.

      The key expired at the start of this month, meaning it cannot be used to digitally sign new malware. But any software nasties signed using the key earlier in the year would still be trusted and run by Windows PCs.

    • Filling in the holes in Linux boot chain measurement, and the TPM measurement log

      When I wrote about TPM attestation via 2FA, I mentioned that you needed a bootloader that actually performed measurement. I’ve now written some patches for Shim and Grub that do so.

      The Shim code does a couple of things. The obvious one is to measure the second-stage bootloader into PCR 9. The perhaps less expected one is to measure the contents of the MokList and MokSBState UEFI variables into PCR 14. This means that if you’re happy simply running a system with your own set of signing keys and just want to ensure that your secure boot configuration hasn’t been compromised, you can simply seal to PCR 7 (which will contain the UEFI Secure Boot state as defined by the UEFI spec) and PCR 14 (which will contain the additional state used by Shim) and ignore all the others.

    • Would you trust Intel, Vodafone, Siemens et al with Internet of Things security? You’ll have to

      A new non-profit foundation dedicated to improving security in the “internet of things” launched on Wednesday.

      More than 30 companies including Intel, Vodafone, Siemens, and BT are the founding members of the foundation, whose mission is to “make the Internet of Things secure, to aid its adoption, and maximize its benefits.”

      The IoTSF will focus on best practices and knowledge sharing. It will host a conference in London in December on IoT security.

    • Security wares like Kaspersky AV can make you more vulnerable to attacks
    • Friday’s security updates
    • Encryption back doors: Is there more to this debate?

      As the the encryption access debate heats up in the United States and abroad, statements like the one above have become commonplace.

      But this is not just another expert giving an opinion. Rather, it’s the potent observation of Michael Chertoff, former U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security, former Federal Appeals Court judge, ex-Chief of the Criminal Division at the U.S. Department of Justice, and, for almost a decade, a prosecutor.

      Speaking at a conference this summer, Chertoff crystallized what he sees as the risks of heading down such a path (that could likely prevent use of certain kinds of encryption). First, there is increased vulnerability. “You’re basically making things less secure for ordinary people,” he said.

    • Patch Bugzilla! Anyone can access your private bugs – including your security vulns

      That’s because someone’s found a way to easily access private bugs in your codebase – such as critical security holes you’re still working on to fix. An attacker must be able to register for a normal account via email, before exploiting a programming blunder to gain extra access.

  • Censorship

  • Privacy

    • EU-US data flows using “Safe Harbour” may be illegal because of NSA spying

      The “Safe Harbour” framework—which is supposed to ensure data transfers from the EU to the US are legal under European data privacy laws—does not satisfy the EU’s Data Protection Directive as a result of the “mass, indiscriminate surveillance” carried out by the NSA. That’s the opinion of the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) Advocate General Yves Bot, whose views are generally followed by the CJEU when it hands down its final rulings.

    • Mapping How Tor’s Anonymity Network Spread Around the World

      Online privacy projects come and go. But as the anonymity software Tor approaches its tenth year online, it’s grown into a powerful, deeply-rooted privacy network overlaid across the internet. And a new real-time map of that network illustrates just how widespread and global that network has become.

    • Tor becomes extra secure as .onion becomes Special-Use Domain Name

      The dark web browser Tor has now become extra secure as the .onion url has now been assigned special-use status. The Engineering Task Force (IETF) along with Internet Assigned Numbers Authority, part of ICANN, has granted formal recognition to the .onion domain, adding it to the list of Special-Use Domain Names.

    • A key signing party keyserver as a Tor hidden service

      Key signing parties are a pain and hopefully, one day, we will have better ways to authentication keys than reading hexadecimal strings out loud.

      The Zimmermann–Sassaman key-signing protocol makes them much more bearable already by having only one single hexadecimal string read out loud. That string is the cryptographic hash of a document given to every participant listing all participants and their fingerprints. If everyone has the same hash, then we assume that everyone has the same document. Then, participants in turn will confirm that they fully recognize the fingerprint listed in the document.

      Alexander Wirt wrote a small key server dedicated to receive keys from the participants. There is also a script that will generate the document from the submitted keys and a ready-to-use keyring. The latter can be run automatically using inoticoming when a new key arrives. Finally, it would be nice if participants could confirm that their key has been properly added to the document, e.g. by making the list available on a web server.

    • Video: Spy Agency’s Open Source Mapping Tool Helps First Responders Save Lives

      GeoQ organizes geospatial data from multiple sources, which prevents redundancy and determines where help is most needed.

      Project leader Raymond Bauer, with the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, recently won Nextgov’s 2015 People’s Choice Bold Award for his efforts in spearheading GeoQ.

      It’s the first NGA project to leverage open source code-sharing site GitHub.

  • Civil Rights

    • Nigel Farage blames immigrants for Ukip being unpopular in London

      Newly arrived migrants are responsible for Ukip’s underwhelming electoral performance in inner London, the party’s leader has said.

      Nigel Farage argued that it was difficult for his party to beat Labour in the capital because of the city centre’s high proportion of foreign-born residents.

    • Ukip civil war re-erupts as Nigel Farage accuses Douglas Carswell of ‘residual loyalty’ to Tories

      Ukip infighting has broken out again in a row over which campaign the Eurosceptic party has decided to side with ahead of the EU referendum. Nigel Farage accused Douglas Carswell, the Conservative defector and Ukip’s only MP, of “residual loyalty” to his old party for not backing Arron Banks’s Leave.EU organisation.

    • Ukip conference: Farage and Carswell in battle over rival anti-EU campaigns

      Ukip is embroiled in a new civil war over the EU referendum at its annual conference, with Nigel Farage accusing his only MP Douglas Carswell of still having residual loyalties to the Conservatives.

      Farage made the comments amid discontent among some senior Ukip figures about his decision to officially endorse the grassroots Leave.EU campaign, which is being bankrolled by millionaire donor Arron Banks.

    • Nigel Farage mocks David Cameron with ‘piggy in the middle’ jibe

      Nigel Farage has mocked David Cameron over claims he put his genitals in a dead pig’s mouth while at university, referring to the Prime Minister as “piggy in the middle”.

      The prime minister is alleged to have placed “a private part of his anatomy into a dead pig’s mouth” as part of an initiation ceremony, according to a book published by former Conservative party treasurer Lord Ashcroft.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • Jeb Bush Proudly Promises To Axe Net Neutrality If Elected

      The Jeb Bush campaign this week unveiled a major part of the candidate’s technology platform, and it likely includes taking a hatchet to net neutrality rules. The new policy outline on Bush’s website spends some time butchering the very definition of net neutrality as well, parroting several long-standing incumbent ISP narratives that net neutrality is somehow about content companies not paying their fair share, or that modernization of existing rules is somehow “antiquated.”

    • Why you should share your Internet connection

      uProxy is a browser extension that lets you share your Internet connection with people living in repressive societies. Much of the world lives in countries that severely censor and restrict Internet access. uProxy makes it a little easier to bring the free and open Internet to some of the darkest corners of the world.

      How does it work? Find out in this interview with Lucy He, Raymond Cheng, and Salome Vakhtangadze.

    • North America’s IPv4 address supply runs dry

      For the first time, the body responsible for allocating IP addresses in North America says its free pool of IPv4 numerical labels is exhausted.

    • FCC: Open source router software is still legal—under certain conditions

      With the Federal Communications Commission being criticized for rules that may limit a user’s right to install open source firmware on wireless routers, we’ve been trying to get more specifics from the FCC about its intentions.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Pow! Appeals court assigns copyright to the Batmobile

        “Holy copyright law, Batman!” So goes a line in the first paragraph of a federal appeals court ruling announcing that the iconic Batmobile is a character protected by copyright.

        The 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals sided with DC Comics in its copyright infringement suit against Mark Towle, the operator of Gotham Garage, the maker of Batmobile modification kits.

      • Big, Confusing Mess Of A Fair Use Decision Over DMCA Takedowns

        Some potentially good news this morning — which may be undermined by the fine print. After many years of back and forth, the 9th Circuit appeals court has ruled that Universal Music may have violated the DMCA in not taking fair use into account before issuing a DMCA takedown request on a now famous YouTube video of Stephanie Lenz’s infant dancing to less than 30 seconds of a Prince song playing in the background. Because of this, there can now be a trial over whether or not Universal actually had a good faith belief that the video was not fair use.

      • EPA opposed DMCA exemptions that could have revealed Volkswagen Fraud

        We have written previously about the organizations and individuals who opposed exemptions to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act’s (DMCA) anti-circumvention provisions. These drones oppose the rights of users to backup, modify, and study the software and devices that we own. The DMCA’s anti-circumvention provisions create legal penalties for simply accessing your software under your own terms, and raises those penalties even higher should you dare to share the tools needed to do so. It creates real penalties for anyone who wants to avoid Digital Restrictions Management (DRM) controls. The granting of exemptions to these totalitarian rules is a broken and half-hearted attempt to limit the damage these rules bring, granting for 3 years a reprieve for certain specified devices and software.

      • Appeals court strikes a blow for fair use in long-awaited copyright ruling

        The US Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit today issued a ruling that could change the contours of fair use and copyright takedown notices.

      • Documentarian wipes out Warner’s $2M “Happy Birthday” copyright

        More than two years after a documentary filmmaker challenged the copyright to the simple lyrics of the song “Happy Birthday,” a federal judge ruled Tuesday that the copyright is invalid.

        The result could undo Warner/Chappell’s lucrative licensing business around the song, once estimated to be $2 million per year. The company is likely to appeal the ruling to the US Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit.

      • Happy Birthday Is Finally Public Domain, China’s Official Linux Distro…[Tech News Digest]

        The song “Happy Birthday” finally enters the public domain, a look at the Linux distro the Chinese government is hoping to replace Windows with, people are watching fewer season premiers this year, Pebble’s got an attractive new watch, and a cat that is absolutely up to no good.

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  9. For the Fordham Echo Chamber (Patent Maximalism), Judges From the EPO Boards of Appeal Are Not Worth Entertaining

    In an event steered if not stuffed by patent radicals such as Bristows and Microsoft (abusive, serial litigators) there are no balanced panels or even reasonable discussions



  10. EPO Staff Representatives Fired Using “Disciplinary Committee That Was Improperly Composed” as Per ILO's Decision

    The Board of the Administrative Council at European Patent Organisation is being informed of the union-busting activities of Battistelli -- activities that are both illegal (as per national and international standards) and are detrimental to the Organisation



  11. Links 23/4/2017: End of arkOS, Collabora Office 5.3 Released

    Links for the day



  12. Intellectual Discovery and Microsoft Feed Patent Trolls Like Intellectual Ventures Which Then Strategically Attack Rivals

    Like a swarm of blood-sucking bats, patent trolls prey on affluent companies that derive their wealth from GNU/Linux and freedom-respecting software (Free/libre software)



  13. The European Patent Office Has Just Killed a Cat (or Skinned a 'Kat')

    The EPO’s attack on the media, including us, resulted in a stream of misinformation and puff pieces about the EPO and UPC, putting at risk not just European democracy but also corrupting the European press



  14. Yann Ménière Resorts to Buzzwords to Recklessly Promote Floods of Patents, Dooming the EPO Amid Decline in Patent Applications

    Battistelli's French Chief Economist is not much of an economist but a patent maximalist toeing the party line of Monsieur Battistelli (lots of easy grants and litigation galore, for UPC hopefuls)



  15. Even Patent Bullies Like Microsoft and Facebook Find the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) Useful

    Not just companies accused of patent infringement need the PTAB but also frequent accusers with deep pockets need the PTAB, based on some new figures and new developments



  16. Links 21/4/2017: Qt Creator 4.2.2, ROSA Desktop Fresh R9

    Links for the day



  17. At the EPO, Seeding of Puff Piece in the Press/Academia Sometimes Transparent Enough to View

    The EPO‘s PR team likes to 'spam' journalists and others (for PR) and sometimes does this publicly, as the tweets below show — a desperate recruitment and reputation laundering drive



  18. Affordable and Sophisticated Mobile Devices Are Kept Away by Patent Trolls and Aggressors That Tax Everything

    The war against commoditisation of mobile computing has turned a potentially thriving market with fast innovation rates into a war zone full of patent trolls (sometimes suing at the behest of large companies that hand them patents for this purpose)



  19. In Spite of Lobbying and Endless Attempts by the Patent Microcosm, US Supreme Court Won't Consider Any Software Patent Cases Anymore (in the Foreseeable Future)

    Lobbyists of software patents, i.e. proponents of endless litigation and patent trolls, are attempting to convince the US Supreme Court (SCOTUS) to have another look at abstract patents and reconsider its position on cases like Alice Corp. v CLS Bank International



  20. Expect Team UPC to Remain in Deep Denial About the Unitary Patent/Unified Court (UPC) Having No Prospects

    The prevailing denial that the UPC is effectively dead, courtesy of sites and blogs whose writers stood to profit from the UPC



  21. EPO in 2017: Erroneously Grant a Lot of Patents in Bulk or Get Sacked

    Quality of patent examination is being abandoned at the EPO and those who disobey or refuse to play along are being fired (or asked to resign to avoid forced resignations which would stain their record)



  22. Links 21/4/2017: System76 Entering Phase Three, KDE Applications 17.04, Elive 2.9.0 Beta

    Links for the day



  23. Bristows-Run IP Kat Continues to Spread Lies to Promote the Unitary Patent (UPC) and Advance the EPO Management's Agenda

    An eclectic response to some of the misleading if not villainous responses to the UPC's death knell in the UK, as well as other noteworthy observations about think tanks and misinformation whose purpose is to warp the patent system so that it serves law firms, for the most part at the expense of science and technology



  24. Links 20/4/2017: Tor Browser 6.5.2, PacketFence 7.0, New Firefox and Chrome

    Links for the day



  25. Patents on Business Methods and Software Are Collapsing, But the Patent Microcosm is Working Hard to Change That

    The never-ending battle over patent law, where those who are in the business of patents push for endless patenting, is still ongoing and resistance/opposition is needed from those who actually produce things (other than litigation) or else they will be perpetually taxed by parasites



  26. IAM, the Patent Trolls' Voice, is Trying to Deny There is a Growing Trolling Problem in Europe

    IAM Media (the EPO's and trolls' mouthpiece) continues a rather disturbing pattern of propaganda dressed up as "news", promoting the agenda of parasites who drain the economy by extortion of legitimate (producing) companies



  27. The Patent Microcosm Keeps Attacking Every Patent Office/System That is Doing the Right Thing

    Patent 'radicals' and 'extremists' -- those to whom patents are needed solely for the purpose of profit from bureaucracy -- fight hard against patent quality and in the process they harm everyone, including individual customers



  28. Another Final Nail in the UPC Coffin: UK General Election

    Ratification of the UPC in the UK can drag on for several more years and never be done thereafter, throwing into uncertainty the whole UPC (EU-wide) as we know it



  29. Links 19/4/2017: DockerCon Coverage, Ubuntu Switching to Wayland

    Links for the day



  30. Links 18/4/2017: Mesa 17.0.4, FFmpeg 3.3

    Links for the day


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