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03.21.16

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

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

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

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

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • 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.

Leftovers

  • 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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  10. Patents Roundup: Trolls Dominate Litigation, PTAB Crushes Patents, Patent Box Regime Persists, and OIN Explains Itself

    Another roundup of patent news from around the Web with special focus on software patenting



  11. The Cost/Toll of the 'New' EPO and Where All That Money Goes or Comes From

    The European Patent Office has become a servant of the rich and powerful (including large foreign corporations) and even its own employees now pay the price associated with misguided new policies (or 'reforms' as Battistelli habitually refers to these)



  12. Links 19/8/2016: Linux Mint With KDE, Linux Foundation's PNDA

    Links for the day



  13. The End of an Era at the USPTO as Battistelli-Like (EPO) Granting Policies Are Over

    The United States is seeing the potency of patents -- especially software patents (which make up much of the country's troll cases) -- challenged by courts and by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB)



  14. Battistelli's European Patent Office Goes to the United States to Speak About the UPC and Software Patents

    The European Patent Office is showing its utter contempt -- not just disregard -- for the very fundamental rules that put it in its place and brought it into existence



  15. Turkey Subjected to the European Patent Convention (EPC) But Benoît Battistelli is Not?

    The ‘constitutional crisis’ at the European Patent Office in the context of Turkey, which has signed "the EPC and as such recognises the competence and the decisions of the institutions which have been introduced in the convention."



  16. Links 18/8/2016: EFF Slams Vista 10, Linux Foundation Makes PNDA

    Links for the day



  17. Links 17/8/2016: GNOME and Debian Anniversaries

    Links for the day



  18. Personal Audio LLC and Patent Troll Jim Logan Demonstrate the Harms of Software Patents and Why They Must Never Spread to Europe

    Jim Logan of Personal Audio (a notorious Texas-based patent troll) is still fighting with his bogus patent, having already caused enormous damage with a single software patent that should never have been granted in the first place (due to prior art, not just Alice)



  19. The Patent Microcosm Hopes That the Originators of Software Patents Will Undermine the Patent Trial and Appeal Board

    Now that the actions of the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB), which have been consistently upheld by the CAFC in precedential decisions, are suddenly being questioned the patent microcosm gets all giddy and tries to undermine PTAB (again)



  20. That Time When the Administrative Council Helped Battistelli Crush Oversight (Audit Committee) and What ILO Said About It a Month Ago

    Things are becoming ever more troublesome at the EPO as the Administrative Council enjoys inaction from the International Labour Organization (ILO), in spite of its role in destroying much-needed oversight at the behest of Battistelli



  21. The EPO's Administrative Council Keeps Postponing Debate About Grounds for Firing the President

    A recollection of events prior to the latest Administrative Council meeting, where Benoît Battistelli's failings and accountability for failing to correct them never even came up



  22. A Surge of Staff Complaints About the European Patent Office Drowns the System, Disservice to Justice Noted

    Self-explanatory graphs about the state of the justice [sic] system which is prejudiced towards/against EPO workers, based on internal reports



  23. Links 16/8/2016: White House Urged by EFF on FOSS, Go 1.7 Released

    Links for the day



  24. Links 15/8/2016: Linux 4.8 RC2, Glimpses at OpenMandriva Lx 3.0

    Links for the day



  25. Clawing Back the Staff Benefits at the European Patent Office (EPO)

    Staff of the EPO is leaving (or retiring) in droves as abusive management continues to be the norm and staff benefits are being taken away or gradually revoked



  26. The Patent Microcosm is Panicking and Spinning Alice/§ 101 Because US Software Patents Are Still Dying

    A look at recent developments in the software patents scene in the United States, with increased focus on (or fear of) the Patent Trial and Appeal Board



  27. 21,000 Posts in Techrights in Less Than a Decade

    This post is the 21,000th post and the next one will make it more than twenty-one thousand posts in total. We are turning 10 in November.



  28. Patent Microcosm Shuts Out the Poor: Unified Patent Court (UPC) Promotion by Practising Law Institute (PLI) Only for the Wealthy

    The people who are profiting from patent feuds, disputes, lawsuits etc. are still trying to muscle their will into European law and they keep the general public out of it by locking down (or pricing out of reach) their meetings where they influence/lobby decision-making officials



  29. The United States Has a Growing Patent Trolls Epidemic as Very High Proportion of Lawsuits Filed by Them

    A look at the high proportion of patent lawsuits that are filed by entities that make nothing at all and thus serve no role whatsoever in innovation



  30. Pushers of Software Patents Outside the United States (Which is Belatedly Squashing These Patents)

    How patent law firms are distorting the debate about software patents in hope of attracting business from gullible people who misunderstand the harsh (and worsening) reality of software patenting


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