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Links 21/3/2016: PAYDAY 2 for GNU/Linux, PDFBox v2.0

Posted in News Roundup at 7:51 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



Free Software/Open Source


  • Science

    • African Tech Start-Ups Face Many Challenges

      For Assane Gueye, a Senegalese cybersecurity expert based at both University of Alioune Diop in Senegal and University of Maryland in the US, sustainable innovation solutions could emerge from going beyond incubators as people share ideas.

      “Usually in Africa when we talk about infrastructure we always talk about money, it’s not true,” he said.

      If people have enough information about the technology, they can tweak it and make better use of it,” he explained.

  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • UK Teachers Report 4 Year Old Boy To The Terrorism Police For Drawing A Cucumber

      The unintended but entirely predictable consequences from the UK’s disastrous Counter-Terrorism and Security Act keep on a-coming. You will recall that this handy piece of legislation tasked teachers with weeding out possible future-terrorists amongst the young folks they are supposed to be teaching. This has devolved instead into teachers reporting children, usually children that would be peripherally identified as Muslim children, to the authorities for what aren’t so much as transgressions as they are kids being kids. It has even turned some teachers into literal grammar police, because the universe is not without a sense of humor.

      And now we learn that these part-teacher-part-security-agents may be incorporating art criticism into their repertoire, having reported a young Muslim boy of four years old to the authorities because of his inability to properly illustrate a cucumber.

  • Censorship

    • Wicked Campers faces slogan censorship

      The company’s controversial slogans have previously been the subject of numerous complaints to the Advertising Standards Authority.

      Chief Censor Andrew Jack said his office recently received its first complaint about the vans – from the police.

      “I can confirm that we have received a submission in respect of some of the Wicked campervans from the police, and we’ll be working through the classification process and testing those publications against the criteria in the Films, Videos, and Publications Act to determine whether or not they need to be age restricted or might be objectionable.

      “This is the first time a publication, in respect of Wicked Campers, has been submitted to us.”

      He would now consider whether the images need to be banned or restricted.

    • Twitter CEO Dorsey Denies ‘Censorship’ in Today Show Interview; Lauer Fails to Challenge

      Matt Lauer, aka Mr. Softee (when interviewing people with whom he sympathizes), tried to act like a tough guy in his Friday interview with Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey. You’re not fooling us, Matt.

    • ‘Free speech is a left‑wing value’

      A protest urging the UK National Union of Students (NUS) to reform its Safe Space and No Platform policies took place last Thursday in London. A grand coalition of humanists, atheists, liberal Muslims and human-rights activists set up shop on the pavement outside NUS headquarters. Talking to the students and campaigners involved made this reporter hopeful about the free-speech fightback, which has recently erupted on campuses up and down the country.

    • Report: Zuckerberg Meets With China’s Censorship Chief
    • Mark Zuckerberg Met with China’s Propaganda Chief
    • Zuck Meets China Propaganda Chief
    • Can Facebook’s ‘China Dream’ get along with Xi Jinping’s?
    • Facebook might be one step closer to launching in China

      Facebook may now be one step closer to its dream of accessing China’s 720 million Internet users, though I wouldn’t count on a full reconciliation between the two countries just yet.

      Over the weekend, while attending an economic forum in Beijing, Mark Zuckerberg took some time out to meet with Liu Yunshan, China’s propaganda chief, it was reported by Xinhua News Agency, China’s official press agency, over the weekend.

      Liu expressed interest in working with Facebook to “enhance exchanges and share experience so as to make outcome of the internet development better benefit the people of all countries,” it said in the report.

    • Censorship And The CBLDF, At Home And Abroad – The C2E2 Panel Report

      On Sunday, the CBLDF held a panel hosted by Charles Brownstein and Betsy Gomez highlighting the wave of censorship spreading across the world like kudzu, relentless and nearly impossible to stop. And the results are frightening.

    • New Book Traces History of Cinema’s Censorship

      Ever wonder why Hollywood’s married sleuths Nick and Nora Charles retired to separate beds after their comic adventures? We have film censors to thank—or blame—for those twin beds.

      For much of filmmaking history, government entities sliced and diced the movies as they saw fit, cutting out profanity, violence and obscenity until the movies were squeaky-clean. But did this silencing of the salacious protect Americans or control them?

    • Hulk Hogan’s $115 Million Win Against Gawker Raises Serious First Amendment Questions

      Well, this isn’t necessarily a huge surprise, but Friday afternoon a Florida jury sided with Hulk Hogan in his lawsuit against Gawker, awarding him a fairly astounding $115 million (he had asked for $100 million) for posting a short clip of a Hogan sex tape along with an article about it. We hadn’t written about this case recently, as it was getting tons of press coverage elsewhere — but when we discussed it three years ago, when a Florida court first issued an injunction against Gawker, we noted the serious First Amendment issues here. Hogan (real name: Terry Bollea) had originally sued in federal court where it was more or less laughed out of court, mostly on First Amendment grounds. However, he was able to try again in state court, where it’s astounding that it even went to trial in the first place.

    • Hulk Hogan Gets $115M Verdict Against Gawker at Sex Tape Trial

      Hogan brought the case three years ago after Gawker, a 13-year-old digital news site founded by Nick Denton, an entrepreneur with an allergy to celebrity privacy, published a video the wrestler claimed was secretly recorded. The sex tape was sensational, showing Hogan — whose real name is Terry Bollea — engaged in sexual intercourse with Heather Cole, the then-wife of his best friend, Tampa-area radio shock jock Bubba the Love Sponge (real name: Todd Alan Clem). Gawker’s posting of the Hogan sex tape was accompanied by an essay from then–editor-in-chief A.J. Daulerio about celebrity sex and a vivid play-by-play of the encounter between Hogan and Cole.

  • Privacy

    • Review finds Pentagon likely destroyed evidence in NSA whistleblower case

      A federal watchdog has concluded that the Pentagon inspector general’s office may have improperly destroyed evidence during the high-profile leak prosecution of former National Security Agency official Thomas Drake.

      The Office of Special Counsel, which is charged with protecting federal employees who provide information on government wrongdoing, said its review of the handling of the Drake case had determined that there is “substantial likelihood” that there had been “possible violations of laws, rules or regulations” in the destruction of the evidence.

    • DOJ To Court: Hey, Can We Postpone Tomorrow’s Hearing? We Want To See If We Can Use This New Hole To Hack In

      So, this morning we wrote about a new flaw found in the encryption in Apple’s iMessage system — though it was noted that this wouldn’t really have impacted what the FBI was trying to do to get into Syed Farook’s work iPhone.

    • Flaw Discovered In Apple iMessage Encryption, Reminding Us That Compelled Backdoors Are Idiotic

      One of the points that seems to be widely misunderstood by people who don’t spend much time in computer security worlds, is that building secure encryption systems is really hard and almost everything has some sort of vulnerability somewhere. This is why it’s a constant struggle by security researchers, cryptographers and security engineers to continually poke holes in encryption, and try to fix up and patch systems. It’s also why the demand for backdoors is idiotic, because they probably already exist in some format. But purposely building in certain kinds of backdoors that can’t be closed by law almost certainly blasts open much larger holes for those with nefarious intent to get in.

    • Johns Hopkins researchers poke a hole in Apple’s encryption

      Apple’s growing arsenal of encryption techniques — shielding data on devices as well as real-time video calls and instant messages — has spurred the U.S. government to sound the alarm that such tools are putting the communications of terrorists and criminals out of the reach of law enforcement.

      But a group of Johns Hopkins University researchers has found a bug in the company’s vaunted encryption, one that would enable a skilled attacker to decrypt photos and videos sent as secure instant messages.

    • The NSA wanted Hillary Clinton to use this crazy secured Windows CE phone
    • Clinton Rejected Secure Gov’t Cellphone After Denied a President-level Blackberry [Ed: Windows is not secure, NSA controlled]
    • Black Americans and encryption: the stakes are higher than Apple v FBI

      When the FBI branded Martin Luther King Jr a “dangerous” threat to national security and began tapping his phones, it was part of a long history of spying on black activists in the United States. But the government surveillance of black bodies has never been limited to activists – in fact, according to the FBI; you only had to be black.

      In the current fight between Apple and the FBI, black perspectives are largely invisible, yet black communities stand to lose big if the FBI wins. A federal judge in California is set to rule on Tuesday whether the FBI will be granted a request compelling Apple to unlock the iPhone of a San Bernardino shooter.

    • French Police Report On Paris Attacks Shows No Evidence Of Encryption… So NY Times Invents Evidence Itself

      That’s not all that surprising, of course. People have known about burner phones for ages. But the thing that stood out for me was the desperate need of the NY Times reporters to insist that there must be encryption used by the attackers, despite the near total lack of evidence of any such use. Immediately after the attacks, law enforcement and intelligence officials started blaming encryption based on absolutely nothing. Senator John McCain used it as an excuse to plan legislation that would force backdoors into encryption. And Rep. Michael McCaul insisted that the Paris attackers used the encrypted Telegram app, despite no one else saying that. In fact, for months, the only thing we’d heard was that they used unencrypted SMS to alert each other that the attacks were on, and made almost no effort to hide themselves.

    • Paris terrorists used burner phones, not encryption, to evade detection

      New details of the Paris attacks carried out last November reveal that it was the consistent use of prepaid burner phones, not encryption, that helped keep the terrorists off the radar of the intelligence services.

      As an article in The New York Times reports: “the three teams in Paris were comparatively disciplined. They used only new phones that they would then discard, including several activated minutes before the attacks, or phones seized from their victims.”

      The article goes on to give more details of how some phones were used only very briefly in the hours leading up to the attacks. For example: “Security camera footage showed Bilal Hadfi, the youngest of the assailants, as he paced outside the stadium, talking on a cellphone. The phone was activated less than an hour before he detonated his vest.” The information come from a 55-page report compiled by the French antiterrorism police for France’s Interior Ministry.

      Outside the Bataclan theatre venue, the investigators found a Samsung phone in a dustbin: “It had a Belgian SIM card that had been in use only since the day before the attack. The phone had called just one other number—belonging to an unidentified user in Belgium.”

    • GCHQ intervenes to prevent catastrophically insecure UK smart meter plan
    • UK spies looking to protect smart meters against hackers
    • GCHQ steps in to ensure UK smart meter plan has adequate security
    • Customers blame new smart gas meters for higher prices
    • GCHQ treating people in Hester’s Way as ‘second class’ over parking says former Cheltenham mayor

      Hundreds of residents have been asked to give their views on an ‘increase’ in cars parked by GCHQ workers in the Fiddlers Green and Hester’s Way areas of Cheltenham

      Liberal Democrat councillor Wendy Flynn, a former mayor, said she had delivered 400 letters to residents and has set up an online petition and survey.

      Wendy told the Echo: “GCHQ do a vitally important job keeping us safe and their presence helps the local economy.

      “However they also have a responsibility to the community that are situated in and a moral obligation to be a ‘good neighbour.’

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • PETA, Pretending It Can Represent A Photogenic, Selfie-Snapping Monkey In Indonesia, Has Appealed Its Copyright Loss

        Aw, who are we kidding? The monkey has no clue about any of this. It’s a monkey! The case is really about a giant publicity stunt by PETA, which is pretending to represent the monkey and claiming that a monkey taking a selfie can get a copyright. Incredibly, PETA hired a big time, previously well-respected law firm by the name of Irell & Manella, which argued with apparently straight faces that someone must own the copyright, and thus the monkey (and PETA) were the most obvious choice. But, that’s something anyone with even the most marginal knowledge of copyright should know is not true, because we have something called the public domain. No one needs to hold the copyright because there might not be a copyright (and in this case, there is none).

      • Oil Industry Group Claims Copyright On Oil Pricing Data, Gets Twitter To Delete Tweets

        The American Petroleum Institute (API), a group that represents the oil industry, apparently releases a fee-based report on oil prices, which is released to paying subscribers a week before the US government releases “official” data. For obvious reasons, this information is fairly valuable to traders, who are more than willing to pay the monthly fee to get early access to some crucial information on the price of oil. Apparently, last week, some people then took that data, and tweeted about it… leading API to issue DMCA takedown notices, which Twitter promptly complied with.

      • Sean Parker’s New Service Offers Theaters A New Revenue Stream But All They Can See Is Business Model Intereference And Piracy

        Any time anyone routes around Hollywood’s windowed food chain — theatrical release, delay, video release, delay, VOD, longer delay, pay TV, even longer delay (or never), on-demand streaming — studios and theaters get bent out of shape. This terrible system makes major studios and theaters happiest (and their own worst enemies), even though it’s apparent a large percentage of the public would rather enjoy films on their own terms.

        Along with the complaints about the reshuffling of The Schedule come the inevitable cries of “PIRACY!” Sean Parker, formerly the major labels’ worst enemy, is now at the receiving end of motion picture industry hate, even though his plan — the “Screening Room” — involves everyone getting paid.

De Telegraaf Says There is Reorganisation Under Way at the European Patent Office

Posted in Europe, Patents at 10:16 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Confirm or deny

Summary: De Telegraaf, a respected Dutch newspaper, says there is reorganisation under way at the patent office

SENT to us a while ago was a link to the Telegraaf‘s article in Dutch and SUEPO has just published this translation [PDF] in which only the last paragraph adds something new (if it’s true):

Benoît Battistelli
Photo: AFP

Fruitless conversation with patent boss

Yesterday, 20:15

THE HAGUE/RIJSWIJK – Boss Benoit Battistelli is allegedly conducting a reign of terror at the European Patent Office, but a ‘firm’ conversation held with the top boss there by State Secretary Martijn van Dam (Economic Affairs) amounted to nothing. The European Patent Office is an international organisation with 38 member states, including all members of the European Union. There is a branch in Rijkswijk.

“To my disappointment, this conversation did not result in any new insights,” wrote Van Dam to the House of Representatives on Wednesday. Here, as in the cabinet, there are major concerns about the patent boss, described as ‘tyrannical’. These are the concerns Van Dam tried in vain to convey on 4 March.

There will be an investigation into the working conditions at the patent office, Van Dam reported earlier this year. At that time, employees were protesting against the poor work environment and the dismissal of employees who had expressed criticism of Frenchman Battistelli. A reorganisation is under way at the office and the cabinet, as well as the House of Representatives, have already stated that this must be carried out more carefully.

If anyone knows whether the highlighted text is true (confirm or refute), that may help future articles. We are just trying to establish the facts here.

A few articles which were previously translated here have also been translated by SUEPO, e.g. this one [PDF] and that one [PDF], so surely there’s some duplication of effort there [1, 2, 3, 4, 5].

EPO Scandals in British Media: Third Time in Private Eye

Posted in Europe, Patents at 9:43 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Private Eye on EPO

Summary: The Private Eye, a leading paper in the UK, is writing about scandals at the EPO again

“Did you see that Techrights is in Private Eye again?”

That’s what a reader wrote to us this morning, attaching the above photo. The reader said it’s “from the edition dated 18th March 2016.” I shall buy it later today. It’s nice to see that British media doesn’t shy away from EPO matters anymore, but why is the BBC still so reluctant to even mention it?

This above-mentioned leak is a month-old leak. We have had half a dozen more since then.

The good news, all in all, is that the media is catching up, and it is not looking good for Battistelli and his friends, whose bogus narrative (or media strategy) is increasingly being rejected by the media. Among other media coverage across Europe (somehow the media outside Europe has completely avoided touching the subject):






Some readers have sent us the above links over the past few days. There’s no lack of coverage anymore. SUEPO has netted a few more, but many of the rest were already mentioned here, covered here, or translated here before. There’s too many of them to cover exhaustively or translate in totality. We’re usually after new or unique information. If someone is prepared to provide us with more translations, please contact us in advance in order to avoid duplication of effort (e.g. more than one person working on the same article).

Netherlands, Switzerland, Germany and the United Kingdom Urge Benoît Battistelli to Allow Independent Investigation of His EPO Union-Busting Moves

Posted in Europe, Patents at 9:02 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: An article from a national broadcaster in the Netherlands sheds some interesting new light on what happened at the delegates’ meeting last week

THE coverage of EPO scandals is not slowing down because the media is still actively investigating and pursing these increasingly serious matters.

According to “Battistelli is teruggefloten” (it’s behind a paywall, so here is a PDF copy), there’s some new noteworthy information, which we highlight below:

Battistelli brought back into line

European Patent Office

The Member States of the patent office want President Battistelli to be fair.

Eppo König

The disputed punitive measures the European Patent Office can use against employees will be revised. Sources confirm that on Wednesday, apart from 12 abstentions, 26 of the 38 Member States of the Organisation “unanimously” voted in favor of fair sanctions.

The international organisation having 7,000 employees, with a branch located in Rijswijk, examines patent applications and grants European patents. The President of the Office, the Frenchman Benoît Battistelli (65) is under pressure because of his “authoritarian” management style. During a critical first interview with Secretary of State Martijn van Dam (Economic Affairs, PvdA [the Dutch Labour party]) at the beginning of March, Battistelli became angry and ran away, NRC reported this week.

The Administrative Council, the supreme body comprising 38 member states, including the Netherlands, has repeatedly expressed “serious concerns” about the dismissal and demotion of three members of the SUEPO trade union and the staff representation. So far, Battistelli showed himself not receptive to criticism. In leaked minutes, the board of the Administrative Council describes the situation as “a crisis.”

Being an international organization, the Patent Office says not to be bound by national labour law. Battistelli also does not recognise the SUEPO staff union, which represents half of the total staff. The Patent Office has its own disciplinary procedures and an internal investigation unit which investigates workers.

“Battistelli ran away angry during a conversation with State Secretary Van Dam”

The Administrative Council, which met on Wednesday and Thursday in Munich, instructed Battistelli to be fair with disciplinary procedures against workers. The president should consider an external audit, mediation or arbitration. The Council calls Battistelli and the trade union to resume social dialogue and to reach an agreement. The president has welcomed the content of the resolution says the Patent Office.

It is unclear what happens to the trade unionists who have been penalised for a “damage campaign”. The Dutch Elizabeth Hardon, chairwoman of SUEPO Munich, was dismissed and her pension was reduced. Her predecessor, Ion Brumme, was also dismissed and the union’s treasurer, Malika Weaver, received a salary cut. Other members of the union have received official warnings.

In Munich, the Member States The Netherlands, Switzerland, Germany and the United Kingdom recommended to investigate whether these sanctions have been fair.

The union’s lawyer, Liesbeth Zegveld, calls Battistelli to reverse the dismissals and the demotion. “Battistelli abuses of his authority and power if he nevertheless decides to attack the three union officials,” said Zegveld. “He thus acts in direct contradiction with the explicit wish of the Member States to improve social relations and to protect the union.”

The paragraph before the last (above) is seemingly unique. We suppose there was fact-checking involved because the publisher is a leading Dutch paper/broadcaster.

Embrace, Extend, Extinguish (EEE) Alive and Well at Microsoft: Docker, Android, Nokia, and Telstra

Posted in Deception, Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux, Google, Microsoft, Patents at 8:34 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Worth recalling history:

“Where are we on this Jihad?”

Bill Gates

Ballmer on patents
Original cartoon

Summary: Whilst extracting money by extorting the competition, which Microsoft claims to “love”, the company is also hijacking the competition and trying to tilt it Microsoft’s way, using software patents not only as a cash cow but also means of leverage (by pressure)

THIS MONDAY morning Microsoft already googlebombs or ‘spams’/litters “Linux” news feeds with promotion of its proprietary software (there’s no news, just rehash), led by Microsoft boosters who write their headlines accordingly (links omitted, not inadvertently), mirroring what we saw last Monday (also in the morning). We don’t think that’s sheer coincidence; it looks like a media strategy. Nice to see, on the other hand, is that so many Linux sites are now speaking about Microsoft's patent war on Linux/Android — a long war with software patents as a weapon and cash cow (lawyers typically win when there is litigation, but in the case of Microsoft there is no litigation, just blackmail/extortion). There are even high-profile videos on the subject — surely something Microsoft would wish to distract from while Horacio Gutierrez walks away. We have warned about this for many years.

“Look what Microsoft is doing to Android right now (other than the patent extortion). See what Cyanogen is doing for Microsoft. Classic EEE.”Anyone who still honestly believes that Microsoft “loves Linux” must be rather gullible or poorly informed. Remember how Microsoft infiltrated Docker events in 2015 in order to spread the "love" propaganda (even pins, like there’s a voodoo doll somewhere). It’s all nonsense. Now, having infiltrated Docker sufficiently, there is an embrace, extend, extinguish (EEE) strategy with the NSA-friendly Azure (see articles such as “Microsoft continues open-source support with Docker storage plugin for Azure cloud platform”, “Microsoft continues open source push with Docker storage plugin for Azure”, or “Microsoft offers persistent Docker volumes with Azure File Storage”). Shipping people’s data to a proprietary server with NSA surveillance is not an “open source push” as IDG put it in its headline; it’s self-serving EEE. So much for Docker “security” (unless it’s “national security”). Is a proprietary software move evidence of “love” from Microsoft? The EEE strategy always goes like this. First they need to embrace (with “love”), then they’ll take over (“extend”, e.g. Azure or SQL Server), and later they can extinguish (e.g. move SQL Server/Linux setups to Windows, with lower/promotional cost/rate and more features/incentives). It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to ‘get’ it. Look what Microsoft is doing to Android right now (other than the patent extortion). See what Cyanogen is doing for Microsoft. Classic EEE.

“Mr Elop, 52, will have responsibility for leading Telstra’s strategy to become a world class technology company.”
Speaking of EEE, Telstra revealed last week that “Stephen Elop joins Telstra senior leadership team”. To quote its press release: “Mr Elop, 52, will have responsibility for leading Telstra’s strategy to become a world class technology company. He will report directly to Chief Executive Officer Andrew Penn and be based jointly in the United States and Australia.”

Never forget how Microsoft’s Elop killed Nokia while it was exploring a lot of Linux, shortly after it had become one of the top contributors to Linux (the kernel and beyond). Microsoft also used moles to kill Yahoo. Notice how Nokia is being deprecated/taken out of existence, to this date. To quote this new page from HERE, “HERE apps will no longer work on devices running Windows 10 mobile” (so it’s effectively dead, even for Windows).

We previously wrote about Microsoft and Telstra [1, 2, 3, 4]. They’re not far apart, but Elop can mark the beginning of something even worse. There are already many Microsoft executives/influence in Telstra, but that does not mean that it needs another mole. Microsoft’s “love” has always been love for itself; there is no community spirit there, just narcissism.

“I think he [Bill Gates] has a Napoleonic concept of himself and his company, an arrogance that derives from power and unalloyed success, with no leavening hard experience, no reverses [...] They don’t act like grown-ups!”

Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson

Redondeo de Patentes: El Distrito Este de Texas, Cambios de Juridicción, Patentes Dubias, e Incluso Sanciones

Posted in America, Apple, Courtroom, Patents, Samsung at 7:36 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz


Publicado en America, Apple, Courtroom, Patents, Samsung at 12:43 pm por el Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Delaware stop

Sumario: Casos de patentes en Texas, prospecto de reforma de patentes, casos de Delaware, y algunas actualizaciones acerca de casos de gran importancia

Eastern District of Texas

BASADO en los últimos números de Lex Machina, cuyas figuras son típicamente usadas para oponerse a ligigación excesiva y apoyo por una reforma de patentes (simplemente miren quien está detrás de Lex Machina), indica que hay una reducción/decline en prospectos para litigación de patentes. Los máximalistas de patentes interpretan esto como sigue: ¨sabemos que los caso en los US estuvieron de nuevo arriba, no alcanzándo los niveles del 2013 pero todavía fue el segundo record. Sabemos que la actividad en Noviembre fue unprecedente gracias a nuevos, estrictos estandares de pelea a ponerse en efecto en Diciembre. Y también ha sido ampliamente reportado que incluso por sus propios estándares sobresalió en el Distrito Este de Texas, donde 44% de casos nuevos fueron traídos, y el Juez de ese Distrito Rodne Gilstrap quien se anotó un increíble 1686 nuevas demandas”.

“Alguos creen que una reforma en las juridicciones simplemente ayudaría a mitigar/limitar el problema.”El Distrito Este de Texas, la capital de los trolles de patentes, es absolutamente un pozo negro. Incluso se anuncia a sí misma como tal (barra baja de patentes en los tribunales).

Basado en este nuevo artículo from Heather Greenfield (de CCIA): “Senadores Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., Cory Gardner, R-Colo., y Mike Lee, R-Utah, han introducido a bill cuyo objetivo son los trolles de patentes llevando a cabo abusivos casos de patentes en el Distrito Este de Texas, considerado territorio amigable para aquellos cuyo negocio principal son los juicios de patentes en vez de hacer productos. El Distrito Este de Texas tomó 44 por ciento de todos los casos de patentes el 2015. Juez Gilstrap del Distrito Este esta basado en Marshall, Texas, que tiene una población de 24,000 people, sin embargo el esta a cargo de un quinto de todos los casos de patentes en los Estados Unidos.”

Ambos usan las mismas estadísticas y puntos de vista: “El Distrito Este de Texas tomó 44 por ciento de todos los casos de patentes el 2015.”

Algunos creen que una reforma basada en juridicción de patentes simplemente ayudaría a mitigar el problema.

Juicios en Texas Trials y Preguntas de Jurisdicción

Escribimos previamente acerca del caso Metaswitch/Genband y esta de regreso en los titulares de nuevo [1, 2, 3, 4]. Compañías reales (practicantes) de Europe estan siendo afectadas, nos deja preguntándonos por que le toma tanto tiempo al Congreso hacer algo. Uno sugirió una clase de reformas basadas en la vena de juridiscción/cambio, o sanciones en el. Una mejor solución identificaría em modelo de patentes mismas (patentes de software) y trabajan para aplastarlas.

“Un tipo sugerido de reforma se refiere a la jurisdicción/cambio de lugar, o sanciones en él.”Vean este nuevo artículo titulado “Venue and Personal Jurisdiction Updates” y tambien “ANDA llenado crea una Juridiscción Personal a nivel Nacional”, que la precede. Es acerca de génericos, envuelve a la CAFC, y dice: “Los echos aquí envuelven a Mylan buscando a la FDA aprobar su mercadeo de drogas genéricas que eventualmente serán vendidas en Delaware (como también en todos los estados de la Union). Al considerar esa acción, la courte encontró que tiene suficiente juridicción personal para casos irradiando de una aplicación de aprovación de ANDA.”

Aquí esta la parte acerca de jurisdicción: ¨En este caso de jurisdicción personal, el Circuito Federal ha afirmado el juicio emitido por al Corte de Delaware, que la corte tiene específica jurisdicción sobre dos casos paralelos de Mylan. En un super amplia tenencia la corte encuentra que cuando una compañía de genéricos llena una nueva aplicación por genéricos (ANDA) con la FDA, y que su llenamiento abre la puerta a la jurisdicción personal de cualquier estado donde la Compañía Genérica venderá la droga si es aprovada. Esto efectivamente significa que la compañía genérica puede ser enjuiciada en cualquier estado de la Unión.¨

“Una mejor solución identificaría em modelo de patentes mismas (patentes de software) y trabajan para aplastarlas.”Hablando de Delaware, vemos esta nueva actualización acerca de otro caso allí (detrás de la pared de pago). La parte accesible al público dice: “La compañíá de tecnología Wireless Novatel y una compañíá dueña de patentes que la acusó de infringir dos de sus patentes de communicaciones han acordado deshacerce de su caso, una semana después que un juez Federal de Delaware estrechó las pretensiones de la demanda y la tiró a cabo expertos de ambos lados.”

Delaware, a diferencia de Texas, esta al noete, y no es tan amigable como Texas en cuanto se trata de los demandantes.

Patentes Dudosas

Un artículo por Timothy Geigner cubre una materia que hemos tratado aquí dos veces antes. “Es frecuentemente reclamado,” Geigner escribe, “litigaciones de que patente y marcas es empleada frecuentemente como medida de simplemente alejar/bloquear competición libre.” Eso es exáctamente lo que tenemos aquí. Para citar su artículo:

El fundador de Global Archery, John Jackson, en el otro lado, aparece perfectamente voluntario de salir y describir su motivación por llenar un juicio de infringimiento de patentes y marcas contra a LARPing entusiásta que vende flechas no-letales al lado.

Pero primero veamos el marco. LARP representa juego de acción vivo, para aquellos que no lo saben todavía. Para ayudar en el rol de reescenificar batallas, LARPers usarán ¨armas¨ no letales, como espadas y flechas de espuma, y parecidos. Larping.org es un sitio de pasatiempos de fabricantes de tercera parte. Ahora, Global Archer tiene patentes en específicos diseños de flechas, que principalmente se refieren en la manera en que la cabeza de la flecha se asegura al mango. Una mitad del reclamo de la compañíá contra Larping.org es por infringimiento de esas patentes.

¿Porqué fueron tales patentes otorgadas en primer lugar? ¿Cuánto costaría al acusado probar que ellas son falsas?


Apple ha confíado en embargos, o amenazas de embargos, en order de forzar a compañías a pagarles por aparatos Android y/o remover funciones básicas (como un slider que abre la pantalla). La ITC ha sido usada por apple para ello, y Microsoft lo ha hecho también. Ambos están atacando a Linux (especialmente e aparatos) usando patentes de software. Este nuevo artículo sirve para reforzar estimados de tiempo dice que será el Lunes cuando conocerá si Apple [ref 89542 puede llevar Android (actualmente Samsung) a la Corte Suprema). Para citar:

Decisiones en el caso Apple versus Samsung de infringimiento de patentes ha oscilado ampliamente para ambos lados, sugiriendo que las cortes son incapazes de emitir juicios justos para el rápidamente-cambiate sector de alta tecnologíá. Pero dos expertos aconsejan tomar una perspectiva más amplia acerca cambios históricos en la ley de propiedad intelectual, uno de ellos probablemente todavía adelante.

La Corte Suprema de los US podría decider este Lunes (Mar. 21) si escuchará o no una apelación en diseño de patentes envuelta en el caso. ¨No muchos casos han percolado a la cumbre…[pero] hemos visto le perfil de derechos de diseño salir de las aguas al candelero,¨ dijo Christopher V. Carani, un socio e McAndrews Held & Malloy Ltd. (Chicago) quien se especializa en patentes de diseño.

Apple todavía esta tratándo duramente de extraer billones de dolares de Samsung, bajo una intensa presión de embargos y que no. Apple usó HTC como precedente contra Samsung. Si Samsung cae, ¿quién será le próximo en el camino de destrucción de Apple? También consideren el siguiente nuevo artículo:

ZTE se apresta a apelar un ban de exportaciones de los US

ZTE Corp de CHINA apelará unas duras restricciónes de exportaciones en los US impuestos la semana pasada, de acuerdo a una persona familiar con la materia, después de que el esfuerzo de cabildeo del fabricante de equipo de telecomunicaciónes falle de evitar las preocupaciones acerca de sus negocios.

El Departamento de Comercio de los US impuso restricciones a los proveedores de los US proveyendo cruciales componentes a ZTE por supuestas violaciones contra las sanciones contra Iran, un movimiento que disruptirá su cadena de provisión global.

“El Departmento de Comercio de los US y ZTE Corp están en continuas discusiones,” dijo un oficial mayor del Departamento de Comercio. “Estas discusiones han sido constructivas, y continuaremos buscando una resolucion.”

¿Quién se beneficia de tales embargos políticos? Seguramente Apple debe estar a favor, Este caso fue mencionado temprano este mes por IAM, que cree que se relaciona indirectamente a los embargos inducidos por patentes. ¿Cuán lejos irá el sistema de los Estados Unidos? Los embargos o sanciones no ayudan a los consumidores; ¿cuándo se darán cuenta de ello? y ¿cuándo el público se dará cuenta que el exceso de patentes perjudican a todos?

IBM Todavía está Impulsando por Patentes de Software No Sólo en India Pero También en Los Estados Unidos

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


Publicado en Asia, IBM, Patents at 10:40 am por el Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Manny Schecter
Manny Schecter, el Jefe del Consejo de Patentes de IBM

Sumario: La estancia de IBM en las patentes de software, las que militariza cada vez mås, provee causa de preocupación no solo en los Estados Unidos pero también en naciones que sin cesar antagonizan a los cabilderos y abogados de aquellos como IBM

LA USPTO se está alejando de las patentes de software en un sentido que se está adaptando a lo resultados de Alice. Un montón de abogados de patentes, sin embargo, estan asustándose y tratando de esparcir patentes de software en otros países fuera de los Estados Unidos.

Reciéntemente, un se ha dicho y escrito un montón acerca de patentes de software en India. Como este nuevo artículo lo pone, las leyes de India sin patentes de sotware dan ¨esperanzas por innovación en IT, no litigaciones¨. El autor concluye con: ¨Aplaudimos a la Oficina de Patentes de India por revisar las guías y promulgar un test claro para otorgar patentes. Creemos que estas guías son unas de las más claros pasos a llevar en cualquier parte del mundo y creemos que ayudará a la innovación,no a juicios.¨

“Un montón de abogados de patentes, sin embargo, estan asustándose y tratándo de esparcir patentes de software en otros países fuera de los Estados Unidos.”Otro nuevo artículo, este de los medios corporátivos, se pregunta: ¨¿Deberían patentarse el software en un país con más de un billón de personas?

Esto debería ser una pregunta retórica. ¨Observadores de industria,¨ nota el autor, ¨dicen que esto es como si las matemáticas puedan ser patentadas. Puede ser un campo minado para compañías nuevas que terminarán batallando juicios. Esa es precisamente la razón, por que el movimiento de free software ha atraído muchos programadores en todo el mundo. Ha espoleádo a gigantes como Google y Facebook, y parece seguir moviendose adelante.¨

SFLC est también vista como sigue: “SFLC ha dicho en su blog que tal test asegurará que aplicaciones por patentes en el campo de software serán rechazados y sólo aplicaciones genuínas reclamando un componente de hardware juntamente con software serán elegibles por protección de patentes.¨

“Schecter de IBM está dando entrevistas y coqueteándo con los apológistas de los trolles de patentes así como los proponentes de las patentes de software.”Anivar Aravind, un apoyo nuestro por largo tiempo, escribió ayer que las patentes de software están ¨evitando #India guías de CRI son ciertamente noticias dolorosas para muchos startups legales que troll en #innovación. Peron no por #StartUpIndia¨

Como notamos aquí hace unos meses, IBM está todavía tratando de hacer que India se joda a sí misma al aceptar las patentes de software basado this news, IBM is still lobbying for software patents in the US as well (see en estas noticias, IBM todavía esta cabildeando por patentes de software en los Estados Unidos también (vean lo que Manny Schecter escribió). Averguénzate IBM, que se esta conviertiéndo en un agresor de patentes con ellas hoy en día. Schecter de IBM está lamentándose la caída de las patentes de software en los Estados Unidos y la gente lo esta viendo; dejen lloriquear a IBM, dejen que sus moles en la USPTO hagan su cabildeo. Esto sólo sirve para demostrar en que lado realmente IBM está. Schecter de IBM está dando entrevistas y coqueteándo con los apológistas de los trolles de patentes así como los proponentes de las patentes de software.

Links 21/3/2016: Blender 2.77, Libreplanet 2016 Coverage

Posted in News Roundup at 6:43 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



Free Software/Open Source

  • Seriously, the FCC might still ban your operating system

    A few weeks ago Julius Knapp of the FCC responded to the furor in the free, libre and open source software communities related to the agency’s proposed rules on banning WiFi device modification. In his response, he sought to reassure the community that their proposals will not restrict open source firmware on devices.

  • How community building can help an organization’s bottom line
  • 16 resources for measuring open source community ROI
  • Director of Google.org on challenges of unconscious bias

    Their conversation focused on a topic that is near and dear to the open source community: diversity in tech. Google’s workplace is 70% male, so hiring more women and minorities interested in technology is a big issue for them. They know that they will create better products if they have a more diverse team. And, Jacquelline says we’re seeing that companies founded by women are not getting the same results to support their businesses when pitching to venture capitalists. Men are 18% more likely to get funding with the same exact pitch as a woman.

  • Barclays Techstars start-up Seldon drives open source machine learning

    The current “AI summer” is being driven by gargantuan computational power being applied to larger and larger data sets. Housley said that around 2014 he saw a few different market forces at work, “an increasing commoditisation of machine learning and AI technology; popular big data technologies such as Apache Spark and Hadoop were bundling machine learning libraries as part of their systems.”

    He pointed to more of a social trend with consumers expecting smarter apps and increasing automation of work force activities which is driving big data analytics. “Most companies are sitting on massive silos of data. Not just their structured data – their website activities which are very highly ordered – but also all the documents that are flowing through their systems.”

  • Redox: A Rust-Written, Microkernel Open-Source OS

    Redox OS subscribes to a micro-kernel design but part of what makes it so interesting is that it’s written in the Rust programming language. Most features are implemented in Rust for Redox OS and there’s an optional original GUI, Newlib for C programs, drivers are run from user-space, and there’s work underway in supporting the ZFS file-system. Common Unix commands are supported by Redox.

  • Events

    • Day Two of FOSSASIA 2016

      I had to leave early to the venue for day two, as I had a welcome talk in the Python track. The morning started with the “Introduction to GSOC, and GCI” talk from Stephanie Taylor. The room was full with many ex-GSOC and GCI students, and mentors. The students of GCI last year completed more than 4k tasks, among them 1k+ was done by the students under FOSSASIA organization.

  • SaaS/Big Data


    • Library Freedom Project and Werner Koch are 2015 Free Software Awards winners

      The Award for Projects of Social Benefit is presented to a project or team responsible for applying free software, or the ideas of the free software movement, in a project that intentionally and significantly benefits society in other aspects of life. This award stresses the use of free software in the service of humanity.

      This year, it was given to the Library Freedom Project, a partnership among librarians, technologists, attorneys, and privacy advocates which aims to make real the promise of intellectual freedom in libraries. By teaching librarians about surveillance threats, privacy rights and responsibilities, and digital tools to stop surveillance, the project hopes to create a privacy-centric paradigm shift in libraries and the local communities they serve. Notably, the project helps libraries launch Tor exit nodes. Project founders Alison Macrina and chief technology wizard Nima Fatemi accepted the award.

    • Libreplanet 2016: The Last Lighthouse
    • Recapping day zero of LibrePlanet 2016

      …before Daniel could finish the room broke out into clapping and standing ovation. Edward responded with clear emotion by thanking the community for creating free software. Sitting down in front…

      …feeling the energy, emotion and celebration was vibrant in the room. It was a great kick off to the day. Naturally things ran over time and those watching the stream had sound related issues, so Ruben our newest tech team member, made a valiant effort to edit the video to share it amongst all of you.

    • Inessential Weirdnesses in Free Software

      Hi there. I’m Sumana Harihareswara and I’m going to speak with you about “inessential weirdnesses in free software”. Just some housekeeping to start: I am not using any slides today, I will be taking questions at the end, and I’ll be posting the text of my remarks online later today. And there are other good talks happening right now, so to help you decide whether to stay in this room: this talk is going to be more interesting to people who already have been participants in free software for a few years, who can use tools we commonly use in our community, like version control, IRC, mailing lists, bug trackers, and wikis, and who are already familiar with general free software trends and arguments. And this talk is going to be most interesting to people who regularly spend time working to help reach out to new people and get them to use free software and participate in our communities. So if that is not particularly interesting to you then I do encourage you to check out the other talks happening right now — I am particularly jealous that I can’t go to Luis Villa’s talk applying a capability approach to issues of software freedom.

    • autoconf-archive: Noteworthy changes in release 2016.03.20
  • Public Services/Government

    • New York considers tax breaks for developers of open-source software

      Senator Daniel Squadron (D)’s proposed NY senate bill S161, which is also sponsored by Senator Ruth Hassell-Thompson (D), will, if enabled, allow open-source software developers to claim back 20 percent of the expenses they incur for building and distributing free software. However, they’d only be able to claim back $200 a year under the proposed rules.

    • White House Seeks Feedback on GitHub for Government-Wide Open Source Software Policy

      The pilot program proposed in the draft policy would require “covered agencies to release at least 20 percent of their newly-developed custom code, in addition to the release of all custom code developed by Federal employees at covered agencies as part of their official duties.”

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Open Access/Content

      • Elsevier v. Sci-Hub on the Docket

        While searching for information on the next Elsevier Inc. et al. v. Sci-Hub et al. court date (just rescheduled from March 17 to April 27), I discovered that I — and apparently everyone else — have so far overlooked a big pile of public documents from the case. I’ve been checking PlainSite periodically, which hosts Elbakyan’s defiantly self-incriminating letter to Judge Robert W. Sweet and Sweet’s subsequent preliminary injunction against Sci-Hub and LibGen, but I should’ve noticed sooner that their collection is out of date and far from complete. So I ran a query on PACER, where the search tool for the Southern District of New York is so poorly designed and/or broken I couldn’t find what I was looking for. Fortunately, a site called PacerMonitor provides an alternate interface. $37.80 and many right-clicks later, I’d assembled all 122 PDFs released so far. You can download the full 42MB set here.


  • Science

    • Conspiracy theories are for losers: Science explains why conservatives see sneaky cabals in every defeat

      Don’t tell Donald Trump, but conspiracy theories are for losers. Seriously. I mean it. This is huge. And nobody wants to talk about it.

      OK, it’s actually more complicated than that. Other potential explanations paint an even less flattering picture of the current conservative conspiracy craze. But whatever it is, conservatives—at least in the current political moment—are significantly more prone to embrace conspiracy theories, and the more they know, the more they embrace them… at least if the conspiracies make liberals look bad. The same is not true of liberals—at least not now—according to a new paper published in the American Journal of Political Science that takes some major strides toward making sense of conspiracy theories as less of a puzzling black sheep phenomenon than it’s usually taken to be.

  • Health/Nutrition

    • All Eyes on Flint, but Drinking Water Crisis Stretches Nationwide

      While a congressional hearing Thursday focused attention on the drinking water crisis in Flint, Michigan, news reporting from around the country reveals that the problem of lead-contamination afflicts communities nationwide.

      A multi-part USA Today investigation published this week identified almost 2,000 additional water systems in all 50 states where testing has shown excessive levels of lead contamination over the past four years. “The water systems, which reported lead levels exceeding Environmental Protection Agency [EPA] standards, collectively supply water to 6 million people,” according to reporters Alison Young and Mark Nichols.

      The series installment released Thursday details hundreds of educational facilities across the nation “where children were exposed to water containing excessive amounts of an element doctors agree is unsafe at any level.”

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Efficient answers to climate concerns

      European researchers have identified a new “fuel” that by 2030 will be more important than oil. It’s called energy efficiency − the drive to get more bang from each buck spent on power.

      If the European Union member states adopt a 40% energy efficiency target, the sum of energy savings and power from renewable sources such as wind and photovoltaics together would overtake the sum of all imported coal, oil and gas by 2030, according to a new study from the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre.

      With government encouragement, energy efficiency could become a “niche fuel” for investors at a time when fossil fuel prices are low. The drive to wean the community off carbon-based fuels could also lead to the creation of jobs and economic growth if the right investments were made in low-carbon technologies.

    • Western Europe coasts face a pounding

      The Atlantic seas could be getting rougher, with winter storms capable of causing dramatic changes to the beaches of Western Europe.

      And new research shows that the pounding delivered to the shorelines of the UK and France in the winter of 2013-2014 was the most violent since 1948.

      Gerd Masselink, professor of coastal geomorphology at Plymouth University School of Marine Science and Engineering, UK, and colleagues report in Geophysical Research Letters that they decided to switch focus from sea level rise resulting from global warming.

    • Did X Cause Y? A New Look at Attributing Weather Extremes to Climate Change

      In a world filled with high-impact weather events, it’s only natural to wonder exactly why your town was beset with a heat wave, a destructive flood, or a deadly tornado. Today, such events occur in a different global atmosphere–one with more greenhouse gases than at any time in human history, thanks to human activity. A growing branch of atmospheric research is working to quantify the influence of human-induced climate change on various types of extreme weather, and there is real progress being made. “It is now possible to estimate the influence of climate change on some types of specific weather events,” said Rear Admiral David Titley (Pennsylvania State University) at a press briefing in Washington, D.C., last Friday. Titley chaired a U.S. National Academies committee that has just produced an important report, released on Friday. Attribution of Extreme Weather Events in the Context of Climate Change serves as a very useful guide to how this work is carried out, what it can and can’t do, and where the science is heading.

    • TransCanada dismissed whistleblower. Then their pipeline blew up.

      TransCanada Corp put “substandard materials” — made by Quebec manufacturing company, Ezeflow — in an Alberta natural gas pipeline that blew up in 2013, Canada’s pipeline regulator said on Friday as it finally responded to a four-year old warning from a whistleblower with a new industry-wide safety order.

      The order gives all Canadian pipeline companies under federal jurisdiction 60 days to identify whether any of their pipelines are using specific types of pipeline fittings, made by Ezeflow in Quebec as well as fittings by Canadoil Asia produced in Thailand, that were flagged for safety reasons. The order also requires the companies to submit mitigation plans to address potential weaknesses.

    • By rejecting $1bn for a pipeline, a First Nation has put Trudeau’s climate plan on trial

      Canada’s Lax Kw’alaams show us how we can be saved: by loving the natural world and local living economies more than mere money and profit

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • Mysterious, Powerful Lobbying Group Won’t Even Say Who It’s Lobbying For

      The Commercial Energy Working Group (CEWG) is one of the many lobbying organizations in Washington. They make recommendations to federal agencies and try to sway lawmakers on policies. They engage in the basic political work of making the government friendlier to business.

      There’s only one problem: who the Commercial Energy Working Group actually represents is a secret.

      This violates federal lobbying and ethics laws, according to Public Citizen’s Tyson Slocum, who has urged the House and Senate to investigate the matter. “The Commercial Energy Working Group is one of the most active – and secret – organizations seeking to undermine energy market regulations,” Slocum told The Intercept. “The purpose of my complaint is to force the group to start identifying its membership.”

      Under the Honest Leadership and Open Government Act of 2007, all lobbying organizations registered with the federal government must list the names of any business that has contributed more than $5,000 to them in any one quarter. But the CEWG “does not disclose the individual companies or entities that constitute its active membership,” according to Slocum’s letter.

    • Why Bernie’s Revolution Has Just Begun

      Hillary Clinton has always been the favored candidate of the party establishment. And unlike 2008, when the powerful Cook County portion of that establishment broke for Obama, a favorite son, this time the establishment remains unified in the face of the Sanders insurgency. Which would be reason enough for Sanders to carry on his fight all the way to Philadelphia, even if it really were mathematically impossible for him to win the nomination—a point we are still unlikely to reach before California votes on June 7. The strength of Sanders’s challenge, and the enthusiasm of his supporters, have already pulled Hillary Clinton off dead center on police violence, trade policy, access to education, and making the wealthy pay their share of taxes.

    • Bible: 6 Ways Jewish Bernie Sanders is more like Christ, Christian Donald Trump more like anti-Christ

      According to a North Carolina pastor, Bernie Sanders needs to schedule a meeting with Jesus Christ, some people’s lord and savior. When introducing Trump at a rally, televangelist Mark Burns the crowd, “Bernie Sanders… doesn’t believe in God, how in the world (are) we going to let Bernie — I mean, really?” Burns then warned the Senator, “Bernie’s got to get saved, Bernie’s got to meet Jesus. He’s got to have a coming to Jesus meeting.”

    • How Women-Led Movements Are Redefining Power, From California to Nepal

      In her essay “There is No Hierarchy of Oppressions,” black lesbian feminist poet Audre Lorde wrote: “I have learned that oppression and the intolerance of difference come in all shapes and sizes and colors and sexualities; and that among those of us who share the goals of liberation and a workable future for our children, there can be no hierarchies of oppression.”

    • VIDEO: ‘Days of Revolt’: Chris Hedges, ‘Mr. Fish’ Examine the Power of Political Cartoons

      This week’s episode of teleSUR’s “Days of Revolt” features Chris Hedges in conversation with political cartoonist Dwayne Booth, also known as “Mr. Fish.” They sit down to discuss the “unpleasant truth” revealed by political cartoons.

    • The Head of Jeb’s Super PAC Is Tired of the Endless Conservative Con

      Mike Murphy is a longtime Jeb Bush friend and loyalist, and he’s also the guy who ran Right to Rise, the Super PAC that blew through $100 million in an epically futile effort to sell Bush to the masses. So it’s understandable that he might be a little bitter about the success of Donald Trump, who almost single-handedly destroyed Bush.

    • Bernie never stood a chance: The game was always rigged for a Hillary win

      Did you know that if a given political party already has an incumbent in a particular political post, it’s standard practice in the United States for a political party to prohibit its voter-list to be purchased by anyone who’s not an incumbent office-holder in that party — including by someone who wishes to challenge or contest within that party the incumbent, in a primary election?

      Only incumbents have access to that crucial list — crucial for any candidate in a primary election (unless there is no incumbent who is of that party).

  • Censorship

    • Lobby group claims support for muzzling Wicked Campers
    • Government set to crack down on ‘hugely offensive’ Wicked Camper slogans
    • Wicked Campers slogans face censorship ban
    • Wicked Campers: Public Support For G-Rated Billboards
    • Support to clean-up Wicked Campers welcomed
    • PM: Wicked Campers ‘beyond edgy and downright offensive’
    • Wicked Campers dumped for DoC listing
    • “A bit of sexual violence never hurt anyone” – Facebook user to Paula Bennett
    • Associate Tourism Minister Paula Bennett told ‘bit of sexual violence never hurt anyone’
    • Jack Dorsey: You’re A Liar. Censorship Is Rampant On Twitter

      In Shakespearean times, cuckolds were referred to as “he who has horns” — an issue everyone else can see, that’s not obvious to them. Everyone else sees his shame immediately, but the cuckold can only tell by looking closely in a mirror. Perhaps the same is true for censors, who insist that they adore free speech while mercilessly trampling it at the slightest opportunity.

      Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, whom I wouldn’t even right-swipe on Grindr (ironically one of the few social platforms left without Orwellian speech suppression), recently made a visit to The Today Show where he firmly proclaimed that his site doesn’t censor its users. Dorsey made his extraordinary statement following Matt Lauer’s claim that his Twitter followers named censorship as one of the most important issues facing the social media platform.

    • Censoring Palestinian Maps

      One act of censorship denies facts established by scientific research. The other denies the documented violation of international law (for instance, the Fourth Geneva Convention) and multiple United Nations resolutions. So the answer to the question just asked is – there is no difference.


      The maps in question are not new or novel. Nor are they historically inaccurate, despite Zionists’ claims to the contrary. They can be seen individually and in different forms on websites of the BBC and Mondoweiss and are published in a number of history books, such as Mark Tessler’s well-received A History of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict. Perhaps what the Zionists can’t abide is lining up the maps together in chronological order.

      In truth, the objections reported to have been used by those who pressured McGraw-Hill are historically perverse – the sort of grasping at straws that reflects a biased and strained rewriting of history. For instance, an objection was made to the labeling of public land in pre-1948 Palestine as “Palestinian.” Why? Because the Zionist claim is that Palestine before 1948 was a British mandate and so the land was British and not Palestinian.

    • Comrade Michael Rubin Demands the Gulag for Col. Wilkerson

      So Comrade Rubin is demanding a thorough denunciation of Col. Lawrence Wilkerson, former chief-of-staff to Secretary of State Colin Powell (and academic advisor to the Ron Paul Institute). Rubin took to the website of his luxurious neocon Beltway sinecure, the American Enterprise Institute, to call for Wilkerson’s deportation to the gulag for severe ideological deviationism.

    • Turkey plans to make praising violent acts in media a ‘terror crime’

      AKP legal expert says counter-terror laws will be broadened to target those who ‘ideologically support’ terrorist acts, days after Ankara bombing blamed on PKK

    • Critical of Thailand’s censorship, visionary filmmaker Apichatpong Weerasethakul is looking to Latin America

      Thai filmmaker Apichatpong Weerasethakul’s life changed when his dreamlike fantasy Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives won the top prize at the Cannes Film Festival six years ago.

      As well as establishing him as a distinctive voice in cinema – a visionary who blurs reality and fantasy in semi-experimental films that have a meditative pace influenced by an interest in Buddhism – he became his country’s best-known filmmaker internationally.

    • Internet Censorship: Regulating India’s Internet

      Content regulation on the Internet is at the forefront of discussion in India due to a build up of events over the past 12 months. Last August the Centre for Internet and Society (CIS) requested the Department of Telecommunications to prevent telecommunication providers from allowing their customers to access 857 pornographic websites. This mandate was immediately appealed and subsequently overturned by the Supreme Court. Then, just a few weeks ago the Supreme Court has provided further clarification about how existing ‘decency’ law could apply in an online context, and requested CIS to assess this further. Though the CIS said initial mandate to block porn was focused on child pornography the Supreme Court has sought a much wider review.

  • Privacy

    • The Secrets of Surveillance Capitalism

      Governmental control is nothing compared to what Google is up to. The company is creating a wholly new genus of capitalism, a systemic coherent new logic of accumulation we should call surveillance capitalism. Is there nothing we can do?surveillance capitalism


      Google surpassed Apple as the world’s most highly valued company in January for the first time since 2010. (Back then each company was worth less than 200 billion. Now each is valued at well over 500 billion.) While Google’s new lead lasted only a few days, the company’s success has implications for everyone who lives within the reach of the Internet. Why? Because Google is ground zero for a wholly new subspecies of capitalism in which profits derive from the unilateral surveillance and modification of human behavior. This is a new surveillance capitalism that is unimaginable outside the inscrutable high velocity circuits of Google’s digital universe, whose signature feature is the Internet and its successors. While the world is riveted by the showdown between Apple and the FBI, the real truth is that the surveillance capabilities being developed by surveillance capitalists are the envy of every state security agency. What are the secrets of this new capitalism, how do they produce such staggering wealth, and how can we protect ourselves from its invasive power?

    • The Boaty McBoatface Party

      But domestic politics, especially in Westminster, seem to be in a state of chaos. The Conservative Government, in the days after Duncan Smith resigned, is imploding; Labour provides no effective Opposition; and the post-Coalition Liberal Democrats are a discredited irrelevance.

    • Should the government be able to read your encrypted messages?

      As one of the United States’ largest technology companies is battling with the government over access to its cell phones, the federal prosecutor from New Jersey says Apple is seeking to make their products “warrant-proof.”

      On Friday, U.S. Attorney Paul Fishman discussed the ongoing fight between the tech giant and the federal government over access to a device owned by one of the shooters in the San Bernadino, Calif. terror attacks.

    • Expert Says NSA Can Open the San Bernardino Shooter’s iPhone

      Clarke is a former White House official who served as the National Coordinator for Security, Infrastructure Protection, and Counterterrorism for a period during his 30 year career. In an interview on “Morning Edition” with NPR host David Greene, he said that he thinks if the FBI had asked, the National Security Agency could have already opened the encrypted iPhone belonging to San Bernardino shooter Syed Rizwan Farook, Newsweek reports.

    • GCHQ steps in over fear £11bn smart meters being installed in millions of homes may be hacked – leading to gas supplies being cut off
    • Six arrested in firearms raid at home near GCHQ
    • Six arrested near GCHQ in relation to firearms offences and other stories being shared in Cheltenham
    • Police hold six in Cheltenham in relation to firearms offences
  • Civil Rights

    • A confident UK has nothing to fear from free movement of labour

      From an economic point of view, mobility of labour is advantageous in many respects. Allowing workers to move where they are best rewarded is helpful to productive efficiency. It means that, when skill shortages arise, firms can recruit widely and workers can supply labour where their particular abilities are most in demand. British firms benefit, just as do firms in other countries, from being able to recruit from a broader pool for the particular skills needed in their operations. At the same time British workers gain, just as do workers in other countries, from access to a broader pool of possible employers.

    • McConnell: No New Supreme Court Justice Until The NRA Approves Of The Nominee

      Supreme Court justices are nominated by the president and appointed with the advice and consent of the National Rifle Association, according to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY).

      McConnell offered this unusual view of the confirmation process during an interview with Fox News Sunday. In response to a question from host Chris Wallace, who asked if Senate Republicans would consider the nomination of Judge Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court after the election if Hillary Clinton prevails, McConnell responded that he “can’t imagine that a Republican majority in the United States Senate would want to confirm, in a lame duck session, a nominee opposed by the National Rifle Association [and] the National Federation of Independent Businesses.”

    • Police In Maryland Routinely Used Tasers When Suspects Posed No Threat To Their Safety

      Police officers in Maryland frequently did not follow safety guidelines when using Tasers, and often discharged the weapon before their safety was actually at risk, according to a six-month investigation by The Baltimore Sun.

      In the first-ever analysis of Taser use in Maryland, the Sun studied three years of Taser incidents in the state. The study found that nearly 60 percent of the people that police hit with Tasers were described as “non compliant and non-threatening.”

    • Many at Guantanamo apparently not ‘too dangerous’ after all
    • Zombie politics: Europe, Turkey and the disposable human

      Before the European debt crisis, the austerity regimes in Ireland, Spain and Portugal and the meltdown of Greece, large parts of the European Union almost felt like the self-ascribed identity discourse of an enlightened, liberal, tolerant polity cognizant of its own dark pasts and its current diversity. Today, we are facing a very different continent. Right-wing populist, neo-fascist and racist parties have moved from the margins into the centre of politics, and so have their ideas.

      Understandable but diffuse anxieties over globalisation, competition over social services and perceived cultural distance to immigrants have solidified into Islamophobic resentment and racialised ideologies of European supremacy.

      Racist populist parties shape political discourses from the most advanced Scandinavian democracies to the illiberal polities of Hungary or Slovakia. Recently, a member of the European Parliament of the neo-fascist Golden Dawn spoke of Turks as “dirty and polluted … wild dogs” in a plenary session. The President, Martin Schulz, immediately understood the strategy behind the diatribe, i.e. to push the boundaries of acceptable discourse in the European Parliament. He expelled the MEP. His deliberate action, however, only reinforces the tragic state of affairs. One has to be courageous and resolute to stand up to an ideology which has been invented in Europe, destroyed much of it and is now being legally represented in one of the centres of European power.

    • Weimar America?

      Forget Trump. It’s the people who paved the way for him who seem uncomfortably familiar to an expert on pre-Nazi Germany.


      The lessons to be learned from Weimar Germany are not the ones we hear and read about today. Weimar Germany did not collapse under the weight of its various crises. It was actively destroyed by a conservative elite – noble landowners, high-level state officials, businessmen, army officers – that chose to ally with the Nazi Party. As we watch the Republican establishment’s ineffectual flailings to stop Donald Trump, it’s worth remembering that Weimar Germany’s old-style conservatives never really liked Hitler and the Nazis either. To them, the Nazis were too loud, uncouth, low class. But they admired Hitler’s nationalism, his promise to revive Germany’s great power status, his opposition to democracy, and his anti-communism. And they were either indifferent to or actively supported the Nazis’ anti-Semitism.

      The conservative elite got much more than they had bargained for with their willingness to turn political power over to the Nazis. Some would live to regret their choice, many not until American and British bombs rained down on Hamburg, Berlin and other cities and the Red Army approached the gates.

    • Florida Cuts Ties With Private Prison Company Notorious For Abuse

      For nearly 20 years, a for-profit company called Youth Services International Inc. (YSI) has controlled multiple juvenile facilities in Florida. During that time, YSI workers have been accused of a slew of abuses, from slamming kids’ heads into walls to underfeeding them.

      On Wednesday, the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) announced the company is finally getting the boot. According to a DJJ press release, the state will terminate all services and transfer to new providers by August 31, 2016.

    • North Korea sentences US college student to 15 years’ hard labour

      North Korea last year sentenced Canadian pastor Hyeon Soo Lim to life imprisonment with hard labour on sedition charges.

    • Trump Protesters Shut Down Arizona Highway

      Anti-Donald Trump protesters blocked a major highway outside of Phoenix, Arizona Saturday, delaying Trump supporters who were driving to a rally for the presidential hopeful in the state capital.

    • Duncan Smith and the Disabled

      I am prepared to believe that even Iain Duncan Smith has been genuinely sickened by the attack on the disabled in the budget to give yet more tax breaks for higher earners. He is very typical of the officer class of the senior British regiments and while he is instinctively right wing, there is a linit to the amount of suffering he could see unleashed on the poor, because he does have some sense of basic decency. I grant you things had to go very far before it finally took effect, but it has. It should also be remembered that he is not an old Etonian but a real Scot, born in Edinburgh, and state educated.

    • Tennis CEO Makes Waves With Sexist Remarks, Says Women’s Tennis Rides ‘On The Coattails Of The Men’

      Sunday at Indian Wells should have been a day of healing and celebration. Not only were both world’s top-ranked players in action in the men’s and women’s singles finals at the BNP Paribas Open, but for the first time since the racist incident in 2001, both Williams sisters were on hand for the final — Serena on the court, Venus in the stands cheering her on.

      Instead, their return was darkened by a reminder of the ugly sexism that still exists in the sport.

      In a morning meeting with the media, Raymond Moore, the CEO of Indian Wells Tennis Garden, was asked about whether his plans to make the men’s event more prestigious extended to the women’s tournament as well. He clearly found the question amusing.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • CJEU takes moral high ground in copyright row

        Parties asserting copyright claims can also seek compensation for “moral prejudice” suffered from the infringement, the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) has ruled.

        Writer and director Christian Liffers was seeking damages for copyright infringement and moral prejudice suffered when a Spanish broadcaster aired clips from his 2006 documentary “Dos Patrias Cuba y la Noche” (“Two Homelands: Cuba and the Night”).

        The documentary focuses on six stories of homosexual and transsexual inhabitants of Cuba.

        Mandarina, an audiovisual company, produced a documentary on child prostitution in Cuba containing unauthorised clips from Liffers’ film. The documentary aired on Spanish television channel Telecinco, which is owned by broadcaster Mediaset.

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