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12.16.15

Links 16/12/2015: Linux Foundation Expansion, Mesa 11.1

Posted in News Roundup at 3:59 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • “Open-Source Windows” ReactOS 0.4 Steps Closer With A Release Candidate

    ReactOS, the open-source operating system aiming for binary compatibility with Windows programs and drivers, is finally closer to its next big release: v0.4.

    ReactOS 0.4 has been talked about for more than a year and it’s been a while since the last big update, but now it looks like ReactOS 0.4 is on finals with the first release candidate having been pushed out hours ago. If you are anxious for ReactOS 0.4, you can download RC1 right away via SourceForge.

  • Another gaze into the crystal ball..this time, open source

    Open source.

    2015 was a fairly important year for open source technology. There was no doubting that Linux had made major inroads into enterprise computing. Android and Chrome OS continued their dominance, and plenty of other open source projects were gaining serious ground.

  • 9 Open Source Internet of Things Platforms
  • 16 Open Source Hardware Tools for the Internet of Things

    A survey of the open source hardware tools that are enabling the flexible, integrated design that so naturally fits with the Internet of Things.

  • 9 Open Source Operating Systems for the Internet of Things
  • 6 Open Source Middleware Tools for the Internet of Things

    Middleware tends to be the unsung hero of technical infrastructure. Middleware doesn’t prompt great debates, like Windows vs. Apple vs. Linux OS debates of years past, and there are no TV ads for middleware. Yet middleware – the software that sits between the OS and applications – is an essential element, especially for the Internet of Things. Among other tasks, middleware often provides messaging services so different apps can connect with one another. It also helps ease the work involved with the development of apps that get services from other apps. So the six open source middleware tools on the following pages may not stir a lot of argument, but they are highly important in enabling the vast, far-flung world of the Internet of Things.

  • 5 Advantages of Using Open Source Software

    Open source software (OSS) i accessible under a software authorization that enables individuals to access the source code and customize it according to their needs, thus providing the capability to tailor the software for different jobs. The program license keeps the right of the individual to modify and customize it in any way they desire.

  • The Golden Age Of Open Source Has Arrived

    Finally — the golden age of open source has arrived.

    Companies 20 years ago built monopolies on licensed software; today, free and open–source code fertilizes economic growth. The way to win at tech is no longer to own code, but to serve customers — and service has open source at its roots.

    Like cloud storage and hardware components, coding languages hold little value by themselves anymore. The services around the code are what differentiate commodity companies from those with market value in the billions. Tesla released all of its patents to the public in 2014, jump-starting a new ecosystem of electric vehicles without threatening its own dominance.

    Facebook’s entire data-center architecture is available via Open Compute, and its Apache Cassandra, released into the wild, has become a cornerstone of many an enterprise database. And that didn’t stop the social giant from reporting $12.46 billion in revenue last year.

  • Nine Reasons for Using Open Source Software

    For years, I’ve wondered why anyone still bothers with proprietary software. Around the turn of the millennium, they might not have found an open source alternative, but today, that situation is rare enough that it comes as a surprise.

    Force of habit is a likely explanation, but often users simply don’t know what they don’t know. In fact, thanks to obsolete rumors, sometimes what users believe about open source is the exact opposite of the truth.

  • BitPay Releases New Version Of Open Source Bitcoin Wallet

    BitPay, a global bitcoin payment service provider, on Tuesday rolled out version 1.6.1 of its open source bitcoin wallet Copay.

  • Cloud Foundry launches code certification effort, IBM, HPE, Pivotal on board

    The Cloud Foundry Foundation on Wednesday launched a certification program. The certification is the first aimed at ensuring portability across platform-as-a-service offerings across multiple vendors and clouds. The Cloud Foundry Foundation is collectively owned by 55 member companies.

  • Using Blender to prepare for orthopedic surgeries

    The planning of orthopedic surgeries is a difficult process. In a lot of ways, it’s like working while wearing a blindfold; a surgeon can’t see the bone that needs to be worked on until during the actual surgery, when time is most critical. Even with X-rays and CT scans, the raw data can be difficult to interpret correctly. Fortunately, open source software can (and does!) help reduce the guesswork.

  • Web Browsers

  • SaaS/Big Data

    • Open source cloud tools offer risk, reward with AWS

      Logging AWS resources can be cumbersome, but is necessary to ensure nothing goes awry. Open source tools help aggregate and visualize AWS resource data.

    • OpenStack Security and Monitoring Solutions Spread Out

      There is news rolling in on the OpenStack front, especially for organizations interested in cloud monitoring and security. Mirantis and Palo Alto Networks, a company focused on security, have announced a joint partnership and the availability of Palo Alto Networks next-generation security as a virtual network function (VNF) within the Mirantis OpenStack distribution.

  • Databases

    • Google Revamps Cloud SQL Service with New Pricing, Higher Performance
    • Changes Coming For PostgreSQL 9.5

      The PostgreSQL 9.5 release change-log was recently updated in Git to reflect all of the latest changes for this next version of this database server due out in 2016.

      The changes in Git yesterday now provide an up-to-date look at the PostgreSQL 9.5 additions. Some of the PostgreSQL 9.5 features worth mentioning include row-level security control, addition of Block Range Indexes (BRIN), “substantial” performance improvements for sorting, “substantial” performance improvements for multi-CPU machines, and much more.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • ownCloud and Collabora Announce LibreOffice Online for ownCloud Server

      Today, December 15, ownCloud, Inc. and Collabora have just announced a partnership to bring a new tool for LibreOffice and ownCloud users, based on the LibreOffice Online project and the robust, open-source ownCloud Server self-hosting cloud storage solution.

    • Collabora + ownCloud Release CODE For LibreOffice Online

      CODE is a distribution of LibreOffice Online and OwnCloud Server, providing an easy way to let developers/enthusiasts run untested feature additions and updates. CODE is basically for research and development with new features and the pairing of ownCloud and LibreOffice Online. In 2016, the two companies plan to provide a commercial solution based on Collabora CloudSuite and ownCloud Server.

    • Collabora Online Developer Edition (CODE)

      Today we release an easy way to get stuck into playing with LibreOffice online alongside ownCloud – please do checkout the CODE page and have a play. The purpose of my blog here is to credit the people involved in the development so far: currently all of the core work is by Collabora – that’s something we hope that making it easier to get involved will improve.

    • LibreOffice user interface changes

      In our class, I asked students to do their own usability test as a final project, from capturing the Personas, documenting the use Scenarios, defining the Scenario Tasks, and moderating a usability test on their favorite open source software project. To get them ready for the final project, I had students moderate a “mini-project.” I selected the topic for the mini-project, based on what open source software everyone claimed some level of familiarity with.

  • Pseudo-/Semi-Open Source (Openwashing)

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • ARMv8.1 Support Added To GCC Compiler

      While the LLVM Clang compiler has been working on ARMv8.1 support since earlier this year, the developers focusing on GCC have been working on it still but the first bits have been committed to trunk this morning.

  • Public Services/Government

  • Licensing

    • Law schools lag behind on open source law

      Many organizations use at least some open source code within their programs. So it is surprising that recent graduates who work with companies using open source software are usually ill prepared (or not prepared at all) to deal with open source legal issues. However, it is not the attorneys’ fault.

      Open source legal training is not easy to find, and if available it is not cheap. In the Bay Area, some law schools support an “open movement” policy. For example, some of them create and promote their own commons, meaning that the journals’ articles are uploaded and distributed for free online. The schools’ open access policies allow attorneys to stay up-­to-­date on their education, without the stress of paying for a subscription. (See SCU commons and UC Hastings.)

    • Why I’m not using your open source project

      There’s a peculiar mix of altruism and egotism that goes into releasing an open source project. On the one hand, you might be solving a problem that others are struggling with, and sharing your solution will save them a lot of time. On the other, the near-fantastic rock star status of those who have created successful open source projects (think John Resig, Ryan Dahl, and Linus Torvalds) drives people to overshare in the hopes of also achieving such status. This has resulted in a glut of open source projects being released into the wild and their creators venturing out on marketing campaigns to attract users.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Open Hardware

      • 5 favorite 3D printing projects of 2015
      • FAQ: OpenRISC
      • Hands-on with Simblee, connecting things to the cloud through smartphones

        Arduino-compatible chip lets makers embed cloud-connected mobile apps right in their devices.

        Earlier this year, Ars Technica got a demonstration of a technology that seeks to change how we interact with embedded computing technology—tying together Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) communications, Arduino-style microcontroller technology, and mobile Internet connectivity. The chip at the core of the technology, called Simblee, allows device developers to build and deploy their own mobile applications without having to write iOS or Android code or having to publish their applications through an app store. Eight months have passed, and Simblee Corporation’s eponymous chip is now shipping to pre-order customers and is for sale through electronics distributors.

  • Programming

    • The next generation of continuous integration

      This new approach to CI has been implemented at scale in the OpenStack project to manage the CI of all the different sub-projects. To give you an idea of the scale, every day OpenStack handles 1,000 proposed patch sets, 7,500 posted comments and votes on Gerrit, 16,000 test environments spawned, and 250 changes merged (source).

    • GCC 5.3 Optimization Level Tests From -O0 To -Ofast

      Here are some fresh tests of Fedora 23 with the GCC 5.3.1 compiler when running a series of benchmarks after the binaries were compiled each time with an assortment of optimization levels.

    • prpl Foundation Launches prpl.works to Mobilize Open Source Developers

      The prpl Foundation today revealed prpl.works, an online community by and for open source developers and users. Active for just a few weeks, the community has already reached over 40,000 developers from around the world.

Leftovers

  • Science

    • Everything You Know About Latency Is Wrong

      Okay, maybe not everything you know about latency is wrong. But now that I have your attention, we can talk about why the tools and methodologies you use to measure and reason about latency are likely horribly flawed. In fact, they’re not just flawed, they’re probably lying to your face.

  • Security

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Watch: Seth Meyers Explains Why Fox’s Coverage Of The Paris Climate Agreement Was A Joke
    • Indonesia to name firms linked to forest fires

      Indonesia is set to name the companies responsible for illegal fires that led to this year’s transboundary haze crisis. The firms, which mainly run plantations on concession land in Sumatra and Kalimantan, will also have their business licences suspended while a decision is made on whether to initiate legal proceedings against them for breaching environmental laws.

    • Falling Oil And Gasoline Prices Bring Back Memories Of Right-Wing Media Hypocrisy

      With global crude oil prices at their lowest point in seven years, and gasoline prices approaching their lowest point of President Obama’s term of office, Media Matters remembers Fox News’ hypocritical coverage of the relationship between presidential policy initiatives and fuel and energy markets.

    • Indonesia forest fires cost twice as much as tsunami clean-up, says World Bank

      Indonesia’s economy took a $16bn hit this year from forest fires that cloaked south-east Asia in haze, more than double the sum spent on rebuilding Aceh after the 2004 tsunami, according to the World Bank.

      The fires and resulting haze are an annual occurrence caused by slash-and-burn land clearance. But the blazes in 2015 were the worst for some years, causing air quality to worsen dramatically and many to fall ill across the region.

      In a quarterly update on the Indonesian economy, the World Bank said the fires had devastated 2.6 million hectares (6.4m acres) of forest and farmland across the archipelago from June to October.

    • Fires cost Indonesia US$16b, twice the tsunami bill: World Bank

      Indonesia’s economy took a US$16-billion hit this year from forest fires that cloaked Southeast Asia in haze, more than double the sum spent on rebuilding Aceh after the 2004 tsunami, the World Bank said Tuesday (Dec 15).

      The fires and resulting haze are an annual occurrence caused by slash-and-burn land clearance. But the blazes in 2015 were the worst for some years, causing air quality to worsen dramatically and many to fall ill across the region.

      In a quarterly update on the Indonesian economy, the World Bank said the fires had devastated 2.6 million hectares (6.4 million acres) of forest and farmland across the archipelago from June to October.

      The cost to Southeast Asia’s biggest economy is estimated at 221 trillion rupiah (US$16.1 billion), equivalent to 1.9 per cent of predicted GDP this year, it said.

      In contrast, it cost US$7 billion to rebuild Indonesia’s westernmost province of Aceh after it was engulfed 11 years ago by a quake-triggered tsunami, with the loss of tens of thousands of lives, the bank said.

      “The economic impact of the fires has been immense,” said World Bank Indonesia country director Rodrigo Chaves.

    • CNN Debate Ignores Climate Change, Does Not Ask GOP Candidates About Historic Paris Agreement

      Three days before CNN hosted the fifth Republican presidential debate, leaders from every country in the world struck a historic climate change agreement in Paris to reduce fossil fuel emissions and face up to one of the greatest threats facing our country and our planet. The Paris agreement was a front page story in newspapers throughout the U.S. and around the globe. So considering that the Pentagon says climate change “could impact national security” and experts have identified a relationship between global warming and the rise of ISIS, the issue clearly belonged in the December 15 CNN debate, which co-moderator Wolf Blitzer described as a “discussion about the security of this nation.”

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • What Gets Asked at Debates–and Who Gets Asked It?

      The 536 questions asked in the first four Republican debates, four Republican undercard debates and two Democratic debates were divided into six categories: economic, social, international, immigration, environment and non-policy questions. If the same question was asked to multiple candidates, it was counted each time, but clarifying and follow-up questions to the same candidate were not counted.

      FAIR also studied the percentage of questions each candidate was asked. While moderators clearly took candidates’ positions in opinion polls into account when distributing questions, some seemed to get asked more—or less—based on media assumptions about who was and was not a serious contender.

    • Fox’s Sean Hannity To Sen. Rand Paul: “I’m Not So Sure If I Agree With All The Geneva Conventions”
    • Adding to CNN’s Sizeable Dossier of Misreporting on the TWA Flight 800 Crash

      With stunning regularity, CNN’s reporters and producers have, for the last twenty years, egregiously misreported on the evidence and eyewitness accounts pertaining to TWA Flight 800. More recent crashes, this time Metrojet’s demise, are regularly seized upon to craft news packages in which the TWA Flight 800 crash is mentioned at length. These mentions consist of repeating the same “official source” false narrative that CNN and other major news outlets have been promulgating for years, even though the public is now well aware that at least half a dozen key members of the official Flight 800 crash investigation have presented evidence showing that the official probable cause of the crash is untenable and that the physical evidence indicates that explosive ordnance caused Flight 800’s demise.

    • CNN’s John Avlon: “Broad Strokes” Of Marco Rubio’s ISIS “Plan Are Not That Different From Barack Obama”
  • Censorship

    • Senate Passes Bill Banning Non-Disparagement Clauses

      Despite it being transparently obvious that non-disparagement clauses hidden in fine print serve the singular purpose of deterring complaints about bad products and services, companies still deploy them with little fear of retribution. To date, only one state has actually banned the use of non-disparagement clauses: California.

      The issue appears to have finally reached the critical mass needed to propel it onto the national legislative radar. Back in May, multiple representatives started pushing for a federal ban on these clauses, prompted in part by the high-profile KlearGear debacle, in which a couple had their credit rating ruined by the online retailer in its pursuit of a BS $3,500 fee tied to its (nonexistent at the time of the negative review) non-disparagement clause.

  • Privacy

    • EFF confirms that the DEA has deleted its phone call database

      Earlier this year, it was revealed that the NSA’s massive surveillance program had a precursor: the Drug Enforcement Administration’s USTO, which monitored almost every international call American citizens made since the 1990′s. Now, the EFF has confirmed that the program was killed in 2013, and that most of the data it collected had already been purged. The non-profit was able to dig deeper into the situation, since it filed a case against the DEA earlier this year on behalf of Human Rights Watch, and a federal judge has recently ordered the agency to answer all of HRW’s questions about the program.

    • Carly Fiorina says government needs a way to ‘work around’ encryption

      Carly Fiorina wants the government to be able to “work around” encryption to aid intelligence agencies and law enforcement in thier investigations, she told Breitbart News on Monday.

      The Republican presidential candidate and former HP CEO shifted the focus of her campaign to national security two days before the last Republican debate of 2015.

      “One of the places we need help is to deal with all of these encrypted communications,” she said. “You can’t outlaw encryption. Encryption protects American consumers from identity theft, and all the rest of it. But we have to be able to work around it where necessary to give our investigators the information they need. I’d ask the private sector’s help in that.”

    • Congress Drops All Pretense: Quietly Turns CISA Into A Full On Surveillance Bill

      Remember CISA? The “Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act”? It’s getting much, much worse, with Congress and the administration looking to ram it through — in the process, dropping any pretense that it’s not a surveillance bill.

    • Teens face social media ban in EU data protection shake-up

      New data protection rules being discussed on Tuesday mean that teenagers below the age of 16 will have to get permission from parents to access social media websites and apps.

    • Change is coming: are you prepared?

      Specific to the UK, the UK Data Protection Act requires every data controller, from the largest enterprise to a sole trader, to register with the Information Commissioner’s Office (unless exempted). It ensures that organisations are not collecting or using data unduly, and that the data that is collected is protected and used only in a manner that complies with the articles within the Act.

    • NSA Propagandist John Schindler Suggests Boston Marathon Terrorist Attack Not “Major Jihadist Attack”

      NSA propagandist John Schindler has used the San Bernardino attack as an opportunity to blame Edward Snowden for the spy world’s diminished effectiveness, again.

      Perhaps the most interesting detail in his column is his claim that 80% of thwarted attacks come from an NSA SIGINT hit.

    • Fact-Checking the Debate on Encryption

      As politicians and counter-terrorism officials search for lessons from the recent attacks in Paris and San Bernardino, California, senior officials have called for limits on technology that sends encrypted messages.

      It’s a debate that has repeatedly recurred for more than a decade.In the 1990s, the Clinton Administration directed technology companies to store copies of their encryption keys with the government. That would have given the government a “backdoor” to allow law enforcement and intelligence agencies easy access to encrypted communications. That idea was dropped after sharp criticism from technologists and civil liberties advocates.

      More recently, intelligence officials in Europe and the United States have asserted that encryption hampers their ability to detect plots and trace perpetrators. But many have questioned whether it would be practical or wise to allow governments widespread power to read encrypted messages.

    • Twitter Users Hit By ‘State-Sponsored’ Hackers

      It’s the type of message no Twitter user wants to receive: their account has been targeted by “state-sponsored actors” attempting to swipe their email address and phone number.

      But that’s exactly the news that an array of Twitter users, many who do privacy- and security-related jobs, began to get on Friday. Among those targeting: programmers working on Tor, a browser that helps users maintain anonymity online. While Twitter hasn’t revealed how many users were targeted, one public list includes 35 accounts belonging to security researchers, privacy activists, and developers.

    • Christie’s PAC Scoops Up Voter Data Across New Hampshire

      For months, a political action committee supporting New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has been scooping up data about New Hampshire voters who show up at other Republican candidates’ campaign events across the Granite State.

      While voters have been willingly turning over these data — their names, email addresses, zip codes and candidate preferences — it’s unclear whether they realized the information was benefiting Christie.

      The America Leads effort springs from a simple campaign reality: When people want to see political candidates in person, they usually need to show up early. “And then while they’re waiting, they’re on their mobile phones,” said Kurt Luidhardt, who runs digital operations for the America Leads PAC. “And a lot of them are on Facebook, looking at what their friends and other folks are saying on Facebook.”

    • Europe Finally Agrees Tough New Data Protection Rules

      Late yesterday European institutions finally agreed the text of new data protection rules (GDPR), more than three years after new regulation was proposed.
      The 28 Member States of the European Union will have two years to transpose the provisions of the GDPR into their national laws, with the regulation set to come into force from 2018.

  • Civil Rights

    • Saudi Arabia announces 34-state military alliance to fight terrorism

      Saudi Arabia has announced the formation of a 34-state Islamic military coalition to combat terrorism, according to a statement published on the state news agency, SPA.

      “The countries here mentioned have decided on the formation of a military alliance led by Saudi Arabia to fight terrorism, with a joint operations centre based in Riyadh to coordinate and support military operations,” said the statement, which was released on Tuesday.

    • All LA schools shut down over message sent from 8chan’s e-mail host, cock.li

      The “credible” threat that caused the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) to close all schools on Tuesday was sent from cock.li, the “meme” e-mail host that also provides e-mail services for 8chan, the 4chan splinter site.

      School officials in New York and Los Angeles reportedly both received threats from madbomber@cock.li but only LAUSD took it seriously. All 640,000 LAUSD students were unable to attend classes on Tuesday.

      Vincent Canfield, the founder of cock.li, posted a copy of the subpoena he received from a New York detective on his own website and included audio recordings of polite but brief conversations with two officials from the New York Police Department (NYPD) Intelligence Bureau.

    • Jack Straw Responds to Alex Salmond with Blatant Lie

      It has been a source of astonishment to me that journalists are prepared to continue to publish Straw’s denials of involvement in torture, when there is indisputable documentary proof that he is lying. I offered these documents to the Guardian years ago, but was not surprised when that Blairite rag refused to publish.

      I was however surprised by this. When Straw criticised Salmond on Monday, I immediately offered these documents to the National as proof that Straw was lying. The National too refused to publish. Firstly they said that they had to consult their lawyers about whether the government would sue them. Then they said they could not work out how to condense the information into a short article (which begs the question why it had to be short). They then said they were too busy.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • Add Verizon To The Growing List Of Companies Tap Dancing Around Net Neutrality With Zero Rating

      That’s a lot of sponsoring. More simply, the technology lets you pay Verizon to get a leg up over your competitors, who may not be able to afford to pay Verizon for the same privilege. It’s an idea that’s been highly criticized for the fact that it puts smaller companies (and especially independents and nonprofits) at a distinct and immediate market disadvantage. And while some implementations of zero rating may seem better than others (like T-Mobile’s Binge On, which exempts all video from usage caps), the precedent of giving an ISP this kind of authority remains troubling to those intimate with the telecom industry’s long, long history of anti-competitive behavior.

  • DRM

    • Light Bulb DRM: Philips Locks Purchasers Out Of Third-Party Bulbs With Firmware Update

      The world of connected devices is upon us and things have never been better. Criminals can access your email account by breaking into your fridge. Your child’s toys and your television record your conversations and send them to manufacturers’ servers, where criminals are (again) able to access them. Your home thermostat goes HAL 9000 and attempts to set your house on fire. And, now, your light bulbs won’t do the one thing you expect them to do: produce light.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

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  24. In Aatrix v Green Shades the Court is Not Tolerating Software Patents But Merely Inquires/Wonders Whether the Patents at Hand Are Abstract

    Aatrix alleges patent infringement by Green Shades, but whether the patents at hand are abstract or not remains to be seen; this is not what patent maximalists claim it to be ("A Valentine for Software Patent Owners" or "valentine for patentee")



  25. An Indoctrinated Minority is Maintaining the Illusion That Patent Policy is to Blame for All or Most Problems of the United States

    The zealots who want to patent everything under the Sun and sue everyone under the Sun blame nations in the east (where the Sun rises) for all their misfortunes; this has reached somewhat ludicrous levels



  26. Berkheimer Decision is Still Being Spun by the Anti-Section 101/Alice Lobby

    12 days after Berkheimer v HP Inc. the patent maximalists continue to paint this decision as a game changer with regards to patent scope; the reality, however, is that this decision will soon be forgotten about and will have no substantial effect on either PTAB or Alice (because it's about neither of these)



  27. Academic Patent Immunity is Laughable and Academics Are Influenced by Corporate Money (for Steering Patent Agenda)

    Universities appear to have become battlegrounds in the war between practicing entities and a bunch of parasites who make a living out of litigation and patent bubbles



  28. UPC Optimism Languishes Even Among Paid UPC Propagandists Such as IAM

    Even voices which are attempting to give UPC momentum that it clearly lacks admit that things aren't looking well; the UK is not ratifying and Germany make take years to look into constitutional barriers



  29. Bejin Bieneman Props Up the Disgraced Randall Rader for Litigation Agenda

    Randall Rader keeps hanging out with the litigation 'industry' -- the very same 'industry' which he served in a closeted fashion when he was Chief Judge of the Federal Circuit (and vocal proponent of software patents, patent trolls and so on)



  30. With Stambler v Mastercard, Patent Maximalists Are Hoping to Prop Up Software Patents and Damage PTAB

    The patent 'industry' is hoping to persuade the highest US court to weaken the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB), for PTAB is making patent lawsuits a lot harder and raises the threshold for patent eligibility


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