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06.26.16

Links 26/6/2016: IceCat 38.8.0, Wine 1.9.13

Posted in News Roundup at 2:00 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • Q&A with Tracy Hinds: Improving Education and Diversity at Node.js

    To increase developer support and diversity in the Node.js open source community, the Node.js Foundation earlier this year brought in Tracy Hinds to be its Education Community Manager. She is charged with creating a certification program for Node.js, increasing diversity, and improving project documentation, among other things.

  • Startup Snyk Aims to Lockdown Open Source Code in Real Time

    Eight months ago, without a lot of fanfare, a startup company called Snyk, with roots in London and Israel, started talking about its unique focus on helping developers keep open source code secure. Specifically, Snyk monitors vulnerabilities and dependencies in open source code and integrates securing open source into common developer workflows. The bottom line is that code vulnerabilities get checked in real-time, rather than getting focused on during official audits.

    Now, Snyk is coming out of beta with its tools, and releasing some metrics on how successful it has been at finding probems and patching them.

  • Best Open Source Software for Windows 10
  • Open Source Replacements for Windows XP
  • Open Source Business Intelligence Software [Ed: rather old]
  • Open Source Software: Top Sites
  • A DevOps dashboard for all: Capital One’s Hygieia project offers powerful open source resource

    When do you know a technology or process has reached the peak of its hype cycle and crossed over to the mainstream? When there’s an executive dashboard to track key performance indicators.

    US-based financial services company Capital One birthed an open source project that provides a dashboard for DevOps projects. The project, called Hygieia, is notable for several reasons.

  • EU Researchers Are Making a Tool That Fact-Checks Tweets

    Back when people were still using the term “Web 2.0,” everyone was excited about Twitter‘s impact on journalism. After all, anyone could use it. Maybe it could crowd-source journalism starting from the exact moment a newsworthy event happened across the globe!

  • A team of researchers from 7 countries is building an open-source tool to help verify claims on Twitter

    Social media newsgathering and verification are no longer novel practices in the newsroom. But even if publishers now have a person or a team of reporters tasked with monitoring conversations on these platforms and verifying their accuracy, there have still been instances of fake rumours or misrepresented facts spreading online when news breaks.

    A team of researchers, developers and journalists is hoping to solve this through the EU-funded project Pheme, an open-source dashboard they are currently building to help newsrooms detect, track and verify facts and claims the moment they start spreading on Twitter.

  • SaaS/Back End

    • Open Source NFV Part Four: Open Source MANO

      Defined in ETSI ISG NFV architecture, MANO (Management and Network Orchestration) is a layer — a combination of multiple functional entities — that manages and orchestrates the cloud infrastructure, resources and services. It is comprised of, mainly, three different entities — NFV Orchestrator, VNF Manager and Virtual Infrastructure Manager (VIM). The figure below highlights the MANO part of the ETSI NFV architecture.

    • After the hype: Where containers make sense for IT organizations

      Container software and its related technologies are on fire, winning the hearts and minds of thousands of developers and catching the attention of hundreds of enterprises, as evidenced by the huge number of attendees at this week’s DockerCon 2016 event.

      The big tech companies are going all in. Google, IBM, Microsoft and many others were out in full force at DockerCon, scrambling to demonstrate how they’re investing in and supporting containers. Recent surveys indicate that container adoption is surging, with legions of users reporting they’re ready to take the next step and move from testing to production. Such is the popularity of containers that SiliconANGLE founder and theCUBE host John Furrier was prompted to proclaim that, thanks to containers, “DevOps is now mainstream.” That will change the game for those who invest in containers while causing “a world of hurt” for those who have yet to adapt, Furrier said.

    • Is Apstra SDN? Same idea, different angle

      The company’s product, called Apstra Operating System (AOS), takes policies based on the enterprise’s intent and automatically translates them into settings on network devices from multiple vendors. When the IT department wants to add a new component to the data center, AOS is designed to figure out what needed changes would flow from that addition and carry them out.

      The distributed OS is vendor-agnostic. It will work with devices from Cisco Systems, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Juniper Networks, Cumulus Networks, the Open Compute Project and others.

    • MapR Launches New Partner Program for Open Source Data Analytics

      Converged data vendor MapR has launched a new global partner program for resellers and distributors to leverage the company’s integrated data storage, processing and analytics platform.

    • A Seamless Monitoring System for Apache Mesos Clusters
    • All Marathons Need a Runner. Introducing Pheidippides

      Activision Publishing, a computer games publisher, uses a Mesos-based platform to manage vast quantities of data collected from players to automate much of the gameplay behavior. To address a critical configuration management problem, James Humphrey and John Dennison built a rather elegant solution that puts all configurations in a single place, and named it Pheidippides.

    • New Tools and Techniques for Managing and Monitoring Mesos

      The platform includes a large number of tools including Logstash, Elasticsearch, InfluxDB, and Kibana.

    • BlueData Can Run Hadoop on AWS, Leave Data on Premises

      We’ve been watching the Big Data space pick up momentum this year, and Big Data as a Service is one of the most interesting new branches of this trend to follow. In a new development in this space, BlueData, provider of a leading Big-Data-as-a-Service software platform, has announced that the enterprise edition of its BlueData EPIC software will run on Amazon Web Services (AWS) and other public clouds.

      Essentially, users can now run their cloud and computing applications and services in an Amazon Web Services (AWS) instance while keeping data on-premises, which is required for some companies in the European Union.

  • CMS

  • Pseudo-Open Source (Openwashing)

  • BSD

    • FreeBSD 11 Alpha 1 — New Features Coming To This Open Source OS

      For those unfamiliar with FreeBSD, it is considered one of the few operating systems left to be true UNIX. It is a direct descendant of the BELL/AT&T labs UNIX. Much of the software available for Linux is also available for FreeBSD as well, including Gnome and KDE desktop environments and much more user and server software. Despite the amount of software available, it is often thought of as an obscure system with a rather small software library. This is simply

    • FreeBSD 11.0 Alpha 5 Released, Schedule So Far Going On Track

      The fifth alpha release of the huge FreeBSD 11.0 operating system update is now available for testing.

      FreeBSD 11.0 is bringing updated KMS drivers, Linux binary compatibility layer improvements, UEFI improvements, Bhyve virtualization improvements, and a wide range of other enhancements outlined via the in-progress release notes.

    • DragonFly’s HAMMER2 File-System Sees Some Improvements

      The HAMMER2 file-system is going on four years in development by the DragonFlyBSD crew, namely by its founder Matthew Dillon. It’s still maturing and taking longer than anticipated, but this is yet another open-source file-system.

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

  • Public Services/Government

    • North American Cities Are Slow To Adopt Open Source Software

      Government IT departments are often one of the last places that politicians or the general public look to when trying to squeeze more out of the limited public purse. This is not likely intentional. Elected officials and their constituents understand when roads and bridges are in need of repair. But the IT department is often just seen as a bunch of people in a far off building who make desktops work so that employees at the municipality can get their work done.

  • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

    • In-demand dev skills, understanding licensing, and more open source news
    • Open Access/Content

      • Higher ed systems expanding access to open-source materials

        Open-source learning technology is at the core of higher education for institutions that want to reach broader audiences with very strict ideas about how convenient learning should be. But developing these initiatives does not happen quickly or easily. It requires strong leadership in information technology, expertise to determine which solutions work best for a campus, and a financial commitment to making sure the technology is sustainable.

    • Open Hardware/Modding

      • Proxmark Pro Proxmark3 Standalone Open Source RFID Tester (video)

        Rysc Corp has unveiled a new open source board in the form of the Proxmark Pro which now offers a true standalone client and RFID test instrument, check out the video below to learn more.

        The Proxmark Pro will feature an FPGA with 5 times the logic cells of the Proxmark3 and will remove the need to switch between HF and LF bit streams during operation, to use developers.

  • Programming/Development

    • Python gains functional programming syntax via Coconut

      Many Python fans have longed for the language to adopt functional programming features. Now they can get those features without having to switch to a new Python implementation.

      Coconut, a newly developed open source dialect of Python, provides new syntax for using features found in functional languages like Haskell and Scala. Programs written in Coconut compile directly to vanilla Python, so they can be run on whatever Python interpreter is already in use.

    • ECMAScript 2016: New Version of the JavaScript Language Released

      Ecma International, the organization in charge of managing the ECMASCript standard, has published the most recent version of the JavaScript language.

      ECMAScript 2016, or JavaScript 2016, is the first release in the organization’s new release schedule that it announced in 2015, when it promised to provide yearly updates to the JS standard instead of updates years apart.

    • PowerNex: A Kernel Written In The D Programming Language
    • ErupteD Brings Vulkan To The D Programming Language

      The D programming language is just the latest to have support for Vulkan alongside C++, Rust (via Vulkano, if you missed that project), Go, and many other modern languages getting bindings for this Khronos Group high performance graphics API. Should you not be familiar with the D language, see Wikipedia.

Leftovers

  • Printing At Night

    I haven’t touched a Mac in over a decade but one came to my home yesterday in the hands of a visitor. A party was being planned and a document was produced on the Mac. It should have been simple to print over my LAN. I allow all comers. Somehow, it didn’t work. The printer was seen but no driver could be found and there was the “locked” icon beside it. The last time I was in a school that used Mac OS (Pre UNIXy version) printing kept failing to a bog standard HP Laserjet printer so the Macs e-mailed a Mac which had been liberated by me to GNU/Linux. A tech arrived eventually and made the Macs print again but within an hour of his departure printing failed again. Besides connectivity, the Macs butchered every file with a MacOS header of some kind which I had to strip off… MacOS/X is apparently much more sane.

  • Meanwhile, In An Alternate Universe, M$ Defines Reality

    The slaves of Microsoft accept that upgrading a motherboard is “essentially building a new PC”.

  • Health/Nutrition

  • Security

    • Linux Kernel 4.6.3 Has Multiple Networking Improvements, Better SPARC Support

      Today, June 24, 2016, renowned Linux kernel developer Greg Kroah-Hartman has announced the general availability of the third maintenance release for the Linux 4.6 kernel series.

      Linux kernel 4.6.3 is here two weeks after the release of the second maintenance update in the series, Linux kernel 4.6.2, to change a total of 88 files, with 1302 insertions and 967 deletions. Unfortunately, very few GNU/Linux distributions have adopted the Linux 4.6 series, despite the fact that Greg Kroah-Hartman urged everyone to move to this most advanced kernel branch as soon as possible from Linux 4.5, which reached end of life.

    • Teardrop Attack: What Is It And How Does It Work?

      In Teardrop Attack, fragmented packets that are sent in the to the target machine, are buggy in nature and the victim’s machine is unable to reassemble those packets due to the bug in the TCP/IP fragmentation.

    • Updating code can mean fewer security headaches

      Organizations with high rates of code deployments spend half as much time fixing security issues as organizations without such frequent code updates, according to a newly released study.

      In its latest annual state-of-the-developer report, Devops software provider Puppet found that by better integrating security objectives into daily work, teams in “high-performing organizations” build more secure systems. The report, which surveyed 4,600 technical professionals worldwide, defines high IT performers as offering on-demand, multiple code deploys per day, with lead times for changes of less than one hour. Puppet has been publishing its annual report for five years.

    • Over half of world’s top domains weak against email spoofing

      Over half of the world’s most popular online services have misconfigured servers which could place users at risk from spoof emails, researchers have warned.

      According to Swedish cybersecurity firm Detectify, poor authentication processes and configuration settings in servers belonging to hundreds of major online domains are could put users at risk of legitimate-looking phishing campaigns and fraudulent emails.

    • Friday’s security updates
    • A couple of unpleasant local kernel vulnerabilities

      As part of a kernel fuzzing project by myself and my colleague Tim Newsham, we are disclosing two vulnerabilities which have been assigned CVEs. Full details of the fuzzing project (with analysis of the vulnerabilities) will be released next week.

  • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

    • Emails Show Hillary Clinton’s Email Server Was A Massive Security Headache, Set Up To Route Around FOIA Requests

      While trial-and-error is generally useful when solving connection problems, the implication is undeniable: to make Clinton’s private, insecure email server connect with the State Department’s, it had to — at least temporarily — lower itself to Clinton’s security level. The other workaround — USE A DAMN STATE DEPARTMENT EMAIL ADDRESS — was seriously discussed.

      This latest stack of emails also exposed other interesting things… like the fact that Clinton’s private email server was attacked multiple times in one day, resulting in staffers taking it offline in an attempt to prevent a breach.

    • Post Gag Order, Lavabit Founder Reveals Non-Secret That Feds Were After Ed Snowden’s Emails

      Want some unsurprising news? Apparently a three year gag order has just lapsed, allowing Ladar Levison, the founder and former operator of Lavabit, the secure email service Ed Snowden famously used, to finally say that yes, the feds asked him to turn over his encryption key in order to access Ed Snowden’s emails.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife/Nature

    • Democrats Ignore Urgency Of Climate Crisis, Vote Against Adding Fracking Ban To Platform

      Democrats appointed to the Democratic Party’s Platform Committee by Hillary Clinton and the party’s chairwoman, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, defeated a ban on fracking on June 24.

      Former U.S. Representative Howard Berman, American Federation of State, County, and Muncipal Employees executive assistant to the president, Paul Booth, former White House Energy and Climate Change Policy director Carol Browner, Ohio State Representative Alicia Reece, former State Department official Wendy Sherman, and Center for American Progress President Neera Tanden all raised their hands to prevent a moratorium from becoming a part of the platform.

      Those who voted against the ban were met with a cry of, “Shame on you! Shame on you!” from the audience.

  • Finance

    • European Parliament to Britain: Don’t let the door hit you as you Leave

      The leaders of three of the European Parliament’s largest groups have called for exit talks with Britain to begin immediately, and Members of Parliament are likely to vote on a resolution on the matter at a voting session on Tuesday, sources told POLITICO.

    • The British are frantically Googling what the E.U. is, hours after voting to leave it

      The whole world is reeling after a milestone referendum in Britain to leave the European Union. And although leaders of the campaign to exit Europe are crowing over their victory, it seems many Britons may not even know what they had actually voted for.

      Awakening to a stock market plunge and a precipitous decline in the value of the pound that Britain hasn’t seen in more than 30 years, voters now face a series of economic shocks that analysts say will only worsen before they improve. The consequences of the leave vote will be felt worldwide, even here in the United States, and some British voters say they now regret casting a ballot in favor of Brexit.

    • British Lose Right to Claim That Americans Are Dumber

      Across the United Kingdom on Friday, Britons mourned their long-cherished right to claim that Americans were significantly dumber than they are.

      Luxuriating in the superiority of their intellect over Americans’ has long been a favorite pastime in Britain, surpassing in popularity such games as cricket, darts, and snooker.

    • Brexit could be Scotland’s ticket into the EU as an independent state

      In times like these, political journalists like me tend to reach for the collected works of WB Yeats. “All changed, changed utterly,” he wrote after Ireland’s Easter rebellion, and those words could not be more appropriate as a description of Scottish politics in the wake of yesterday’s Brexit vote. The Yeats poem captured a decisive moment that altered everything in its wake; for Scotland that moment was the 2014 independence referendum.

    • Blimey, it is Brexit!

      A striking victory for what I dubbed ‘Maggyism’ has taken place. It seeks the “liberation” of Europe from a ‘super-state’, not isolation. It might even succeed, this being a time of surprise, as the EU is struggling with a dysfunctional currency and has other electorates already enflamed by its rigid policies and lack of democracy. In England for sure, under the banner of Maggyism’s alluring yet chilling command to ‘take back control’, a new form of populist Toryism will be tested. The challenge for the left across England will go deep and it will have to discard its attachment to the ruins of Labourism if it is to recover.

    • Oil prices plunge 5 percent as Britain votes to leave EU

      Oil prices settled 5 percent lower on Friday after Britain’s vote to leave the European Union spurred massive risk aversion and a rally in safe havens like the U.S. dollar that threatened to cut short a three-month-long recovery in global oil markets.

      Financial markets have been worried for months about what a British exit from the European Union, dubbed widely as ‘Brexit,’ would mean for Europe’s future, but were clearly not fully factoring in the risk of a ‘leave’ vote.

    • Five legal points about the Leave victory
    • Reality Check: ‘Do I need a new passport?’ and other Brexit questions

      A Reality Check reader gets in touch to ask about what happens to his Italian wife. “My wife has lived and worked in the UK for 15 years having come over from Sardinia, Italy. We got married in March of this year.”

      It seems unlikely that your wife will be forced to return to Italy – nobody has suggested there will be deportations of people already living and working in the UK.

      If there were to be problems, she may be eligible to apply for British citizenship as she is married to a British citizen and has been in the country for more than three years.

    • DisUnited Kingdom

      This is a man-made disaster. The EU is a mess but it is fixable. Breaking up the UK will be a bigger mess and it isn’t fixable.

    • Brexit won the vote, but for now we remain in the EU

      The most significant announcement David Cameron made this morning was not that he plans to resign in October. It was that he will not be triggering article 50 of the Lisbon treaty in the meantime. When to “start the formal and legal process of leaving the EU” would be a matter for the new prime minister, he said.

    • Petition for London independence signed by thousands after Brexit vote

      A petition calling for Sadiq Khan to declare London an independent state after the UK voted to quit the EU has been signed by thousands of people.

      The petition’s organiser James O’Malley, said the capital was “a world city” which should “remain at the heart of Europe”.

      Nearly 60% of people in the capital backed the Remain campaign, in stark contrast to most of the country.

    • Post-Brexit – The What Now?

      Out of 46,500,001 electorate 17,410,742 voted to leave, which is a mere 37.4% or just over a third.

    • To mitigate poverty, Y Combinator set to launch minimum income plan

      Earlier this month, Y Combinator, the famed Silicon Valley incubator dropped a bombshell: it had selected this city to be the home of its new “Basic Income” pilot project, to start later this year.

      The idea is pretty simple. Give some people a small amount of money per month, no strings attached, for a year, and see what happens. With any luck, people will use it to lift themselves out of poverty.

      In this case, as Matt Krisiloff of Y Combinator Research (YCR) told Ars, that means spending about $1.5 million over the course of a year to study the distribution of “$1,500 or $2,000″ per month to “30 to 50″ people. There will also be a similar-sized control group that gets nothing. The project is set to start before the end of 2016.

    • America’s national priorities: Police thuggery, broken schools, and the ‘wages of whiteness’

      A budget is a statement of priorities and values. In a political community, a budget also prioritizes the interests of some individuals and groups over those of others.

      For example, the city of Chicago has spent more than $ 500 million since 2014 in literal blood money for the victims of police brutality. Collectively, the 10 largest American cities have paid out hundreds of millions of dollars to settle police misconduct cases during the same time period.

      These sums of money are the macro-level reflections of individual tragedies and needless deaths that include names such as Tamir Rice, Freddie Gray, Laquan McDonald, and Rekia Boyd.

  • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • Republican delegate sues to avoid voting for Donald Trump at convention

      One of Virginia’s delegates to the Republican National Convention has filed a federal lawsuit in an effort to avoid voting for presumptive nominee Donald Trump at the party convention next month.

      The delegate, Carroll Correll Jr of Winchester, Virginia, argued in the suit that being forced to vote against his conscience was a violation of his constitutional rights.

    • Osborne Told LBC Last Week He Had No Plan For Brexit

      The Chancellor told LBC earlier this week that he has no plan for the UK economy should the nation vote to leave the European Union.

      He said: “Britain does not have a plan for Brexit. It’s not for me to come up with [Leave's] plan.

      “It wouldn’t just be when we left in two years time that the economic hit would come,” said Osborne. “It would start to come this coming Friday.

      “That’s when the uncertainty would start.”

      Iain says that means he shouldn’t stay in his job.

      Speaking on Britain Decides, LBC’s results show, Iain said: “As far as I’m concerned – and I like the man and have a lot of respect for him – but his credibility has to be shot after this.

  • Censorship/Free Speech

  • Privacy/Surveillance

    • New Service Sends Summaries of Your Social Media to Landlords, Employers to ‘Assess’ You

      Here’s a shout out to all of you who said “If I’ve got nothing to hide I’ve got nothing to fear” after the Snowden revelations. And this little gem deals only with publicly available information about you. Imagine what it’s like when it gets into the good stuff you think is private.

      An Orwellian startup called Tenant Assured will to take a deep dive into your social media, including chats, check-ins, how many times you’ve posted words like pregnant, wasted, busted, no money, broke, moving back in with the parents, weed, or loan, and deliver to potential landlords and employers a “personality score.”

    • Judge Says FBI Can Hack Computers Without A Warrant Because Computer Users Get Hacked All The Time

      The FBI’s use of a Network Investigative Technique (NIT) to obtain info from the computers of visitors to a seized child porn site has run into all sorts of problems. The biggest problem in most of the cases is that the use of a single warrant issued in Virginia to perform searches of computers all over the nation violated the jurisdictional limits set down by Rule 41(b). Not coincidentally, the FBI is hoping the changes to Rule 41 the DOJ submitted last year will be codified by the end of 2016, in large part because it removes the stipulation that limits searches to the area overseen by the magistrate judge signing the warrant.

      For defendant Edward Matish, the limits of Rule 41 don’t apply. He resides in the jurisdiction where the warrant was signed. He had challenged the veracity of the data obtained by the NIT, pushing the theory that the FBI’s unexamined NIT was insecure (data obtained from targets was sent back to the FBI in unencrypted form) and info could have been altered in transit.

  • Civil Rights/Policing

  • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

    • OECD Ministerial On Internet Wraps Up: Openness A Concern

      The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) should not wait 8 or 10 years before its next Internet Ministerial, said OECD Secretary General Angel Gurria at the closing session in Cancun Mexico yesterday. Gurria called for a faster pace for government and regulators to adapt to the digital markets. Better data on the data economy will help, as reflected in the new Cancun Declaration.

    • Tell Europe’s regulators: Net neutrality isn’t just for the US and India!

      Net neutrality exists when Internet service providers (ISPs) must allow equal access to everything on the Web, rather than favoring some sites over others. It’s a bedrock condition for Internet freedom, but ISPs generally oppose it because it prevents them from charging companies extra for privileged access to the network — making a video from one Web site load faster than video on other sites, for example.

  • DRM

    • Oculus reverses course, dumps its VR headset-checking DRM

      The Oculus team has reversed course on one of its most unpopular decisions since launching the Rift VR headset in April: headset-specific DRM. After weeks of playing cat-and-mouse to block the “Revive” workaround that translated the VR calls of Oculus games to work smoothly and seamlessly inside of the rival HTC Vive, Oculus quietly updated its hardware-specific runtime on Friday and removed all traces of that controversial DRM.

    • Oculus Reverses DRM Course After Public Backlash

      Weeks back, Karl Bode wrote about the curious position Oculus Rift had taken in updating its software to include system-checking DRM. VR headset technology and game development, experiencing the first serious attempt at maturity in years, needs an open ecosystem in which to develop. What this DRM essentially did was remove the ability for games designed to run on the Rift from running on any other VR headset, with a specific targeting of community-built workarounds like Revive, which allowed HTC Vive owners to get Rift games running on that headset. Oculus, it should be noted, didn’t announce the DRM aspect of the update; it just spit out the update and the public suddenly learned that programs like Revive no longer worked.

      The backlash, to put it mildly, was swift and severe. Oculus having been acquired by Facebook likely didn’t help what were already negative perceptions, supercharging the outcry with allegations of the kind of protectionism and the lack of care for the public that Facebook has enjoyed for roughly ever. Still, many saw the whole thing as peons screaming at a feudal lord: Oculus would simply ignore the whole thing. Just weeks ago, in fact, Oculus was working journalists at E3 in defense of the DRM.

    • Sony agrees to pay millions for removing Linux support from the PlayStation 3
    • Sony settles with PS3 owners over Linux lawsuit
  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Sequencing the future of IP in genomics [Ed: Bristows cannot see the issue with patents on genomics yet?]

      Genomic technology has rapidly created a multi-billion dollar growth industry. With life sciences companies scrambling in US and European courts for a share of the lucrative market, in-house IP counsel should start preparing for the next wave of IP litigation, explain Dominic Adair and Annsley Merelle Ward

    • Key amendments to Russian patent legislation

      Federal Law No 35-FZ of March 12 2014 introduced several substantial amendments into Part IV of the Civil Code of the Russian Federation which regulates intellectual property. Some of the amendments came into force on October 1 2014, and others did so on January 1 2015. We provide a review of the key amendments that involve patents.

    • Trademarks

      • Dweezil Zappa Renames His Tour Again: Dweezil Zappa Plays Whatever The F@%k He Wants; The Cease & Desist Tour

        Oh boy. A few weeks back, we wrote about the absolutely ridiculous story in which the four children of Frank Zappa appear to be fighting over the Zappa name. The story is somewhat complex and involved and is actually somewhat more nuanced than the unfortunately-all-too-typical “heirs of famous artist fight over splitting up the proceeds of that artist’s legacy.” In that original article, we noted that the dispute seemed to focus on two specific claims: first that the Zappa Family Trust (run by Ahmet and Diva, but to which all four children are beneficiaries) had a trademark on the tour name “Zappa Plays Zappa,” under which Dweezil Zappa had toured for years. After some fairly public back and forth online, it became clear that there was an underlying dispute that had simmered for years here: Frank’s wife Gail, who had controlled the ZFT, had trademarked Zappa Plays Zappa and charged Dweezil to use it, but had (according to Dweezil) then reneged on an agreement to share the proceeds from
        merchandise sales. Ahmet insisted that he’d allow Dweezil to continue to use the name for just $1, but it didn’t seem that there was any interest in clearing up the older dispute about merch sales, or to allow Dweezil to get some of the proceeds from ongoing merch sales.

      • Is it safe to bring abandoned brands back to life?

        What trade mark issues arise with the resurrection of zombie brands? Carrie Bradley and Tony Dylan-Hyde examine the position in Europe and the United States

      • Super Slimey: Comodo Tries To Trademark ‘Let’s Encrypt’ [Updated]

        Almost two years ago, we excitedly wrote about the announcement behind Let’s Encrypt, a free certificate authority that was focused on dramatically lowering the hurdles towards protecting much more of the internet with HTTPS encrypted connections. It took a while to launch, but it finally did and people have been gobbling up those certificates at a rapid rate and getting more and more of the web encrypted. This is a good thing.

        [...]

        Update: And… of course, after this goes public, Comodo suddenly backs down. Of course that doesn’t explain why it refused to do so when asked months ago.

    • Copyrights

      • A Bug in Chrome Makes It Easy to Pirate Movies

        For years Hollywood has waged a war on piracy, using digital rights management technologies to fight bootleggers who illegally copy movies and distribute them. For just as long, hackers have found ways to bypass these protections. Now two security researchers have found a new way, using a vulnerability in the system Google uses to stream media through its Chrome browser. They say people could exploit the flaw to save illegal copies of movies they stream on Chrome using sites like Netflix or Amazon Prime.

      • As CBS/Paramount Continue Lawsuit Over Fan Film, It Releases Ridiculous & Impossible ‘Fan Film Guidelines’

        We’ve been covering the still going lawsuit by CBS and Paramount against Axanar Productions for making a crowdfunded fan film that they claim is infringing because it’s looking pretty good. Things got a little weird last month when the producer of the latest Star Trek film, JJ Abrams, and its director, Justin Lin, basically leaked a bit of news saying that after they had gone to Paramount, the studio was going to end the lawsuit. At the time, Paramount said that it was in “settlement discussions” and that it was “also working on a set of fan film guidelines.”

        We pointed out that we were concerned about what those guidelines might entail, and worried that they would undermine fair use. In the meantime, as settlement talks continued, the case moved forward. I’m still a little surprised that the two sides didn’t ask the court for more time to continue settlement talks, as that’s not that uncommon, and it’s something that a judge often is willing to grant if it looks like the two sides in a dispute can come to an agreement. But, without that, the case has continued to move forward with ongoing filings from each side.

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  3. Links 29/4/2017: Endless OS, Pinebook, and New Mozilla Foundation Board Members

    Links for the day



  4. Links 28/4/2017: Subsurface 4.6.4, GNOME Shell & Mutter 3.25.1

    Links for the day



  5. Kather Augenstein and Bristows Shift Attention to Germany in an Effort to Ram the Dying UPC Down Everyone's Throats

    Down the throat, hopes Team UPC, the Unitary Patent system will go, even though Britain cannot ratify, throwing the whole thing into grave uncertainty



  6. United for Patent Reform Defends USPTO Director Michelle Lee From Attacks by the Patent Microcosm

    Michelle Lee is finally (if not belatedly) shielded by a bunch of large technology companies; The deep-pocketed industry finally steps in line with our position, which is usually when things turn out the way we advocate for



  7. Team UPC and CIPA Are Lobbying, Publishing Puff Pieces, and Rewriting the Law for Unitary Patent (UPC) Behind Closed Doors

    A collection of the latest news and views on the UPC, which is being lied about by those who stand to benefit from it and is probably going nowhere because Brexit means that the UK stays out, in which case it must be reset and pertinent ratifications done all over again



  8. China's Suffering From Patent Maximalism Has Europe Forewarned

    The parasitic elements inside China -- those that just want lots of litigation (even if from patent trolls) -- are winning over, much to the detriment of the Chinese economy, and Team UPC threatens to do the same in Europe with help from Battistelli



  9. Links 27/4/2017: Mesa 17.0.5 RC1, Git 2.13.0 RC1, and Linkerd 1.0

    Links for the day



  10. The Latest Expensive PR Blitz of the EPO, Led by Jana Mittermaier and Rainer Osterwalder Under the 'European Inventor Award' Banner

    The PR agencies of the Corsican in Chief, who appears to be buying political support rather than earning any, are very busy this week, as yet another reputation laundering campaign kicks off



  11. Links 26/4/2017: SMPlayer 17.4.2, Libreboot Wants to Rejoin GNU

    Links for the day



  12. PatentShield is Not the Solution and It Won't Protect Google/Android From Patent Trolls Like Microsoft's

    A new initiative called "PatentShield" is launched, but it's yet another one of those many initiatives (Peer-to-Patent and the likes of it, LOT Network, OIN, PAX etc.) that serve to distract from the real and much simpler solutions



  13. Patent Quality Crisis and Unprecedented Trouble at the European Patent Office (EPO) Negatively Affect Legitimate Companies in the US As Well

    The granting en masse of questionable patents by the EPO (patent maximalism) is becoming a liability and growing risk to companies which operate not only in Europe but also elsewhere



  14. Blog 'Takeovers' by Bristows and Then Censorship: Now This Firm Lies About the Unitary Patent (UPC) and Then Deletes Comments That Point Out the Errors

    Not only are Bristows employees grabbing the mic in various high-profile IP blogs for the purpose of UPC promotion (by distortion of facts); they also actively suppress critics of the UPC



  15. Links 25/4/2017: Kali Linux 2017.1 Released, NSA Back Doors in Windows Cause Chaos

    Links for the day



  16. Astoundingly, IP Kat Has Become a Leading Source of UPC and Battistelli Propaganda

    The pro-UPC outlets, which enjoy EPO budget (i.e. stakeholders' money), are becoming mere amplifiers of Benoît Battistelli and his right-hand UPC woman Margot Fröhlinger, irrespective of actual facts



  17. EPO Fiasco to be Discussed in German Local Authority (Bavarian Parliament) Some Time Today as the Institution Continues Its Avoidable Collapse

    Conflict between management and staff -- a result of truly destructive strategies and violations of the law by Benoît Battistelli -- continues to escalate and threatens to altogether dismantle the European Patent Office (EPO)



  18. In the US and Elsewhere, Qualcomm's Software Patents Are a Significant Tax Everyone Must Pay

    The state of the mobile market when companies such as Qualcomm, which don't really produce anything, take a large piece of the revenue pie



  19. In South Asia, Old Myths to Promote Patent Maximalism, Courtesy of the Patent Microcosm

    The latest example of software patents advocacy and patent 'parades' in India, as well as something from IPOS in Singapore



  20. Links 24/4/2017: Linux 4.11 RC8, MPV 0.25

    Links for the day



  21. Why Authorities in the Netherlands Need to Strip the EPO of Immunity and Investigate Fire Safety Violations

    How intimidation and crackdown on the staff representatives at the EPO may have led to lack of awareness (and action) about lack of compliance with fire safety standards



  22. Insensitivity at the EPO’s Management – Part IX: Testament to the Fear of an Autocratic Regime

    A return to the crucial observation and a reminder of the fact that at the EPO it takes great courage to say the truth nowadays



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

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



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

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



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

    Links for the day



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

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



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

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



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

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



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

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



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

    Links for the day


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