EditorsAbout the SiteComes vs. MicrosoftUsing This Web SiteSite ArchivesCredibility IndexOOXMLOpenDocumentPatentsNovellNews DigestSite NewsRSS


EPO’s Board 28 Notes Battistelli’s “Three Current Investigations/Disciplinary Proceedings Involving SUEPO Members in The Hague.”

Posted in Europe, Patents at 9:19 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Decapitation and union-busting strategies carry on unabated at the EPO


Summary: The attack on SUEPO (EPO staff representatives) at The Hague appears to have been silently expanded to a third person, showing an obvious increase in Battistelli’s attacks on truth-tellers

THE level of distortion of the facts inside the EPO is truly flabbergasting. People are expected to believe that all is well because staff representatives are fired, terrified, or both.

Thankfully, we sometimes get a word from the inside. Mr. Prunier, for instance, is being falsely accused and in his own words, he faces “demonstrably fabricated accusations,” as we noted earlier this month. He’s not alone though. People all across the EPO (various branches, including independent ones) have come under attack. Here is a new comment (published today) about how Battistelli might be planning to get rid of a judge whom he considered to be a thorn on his side because he had allegedly spoken about abuses by Team Battistelli (like, simple facts):

After the nomination of the BoA president, it will be easy to dismiss a BoA member.

Art. 21. (…) “the President of the BOA will be responsible for proposing disciplinary action to the Administrative Council with regard to the members, including the Chairmen, of the BOA and the members of the EBA”.

Just keep the case pending until the nomination of a BB friend as BoA president then the BoA suspended member will be dismissed.

Earlier this year we wrote about defamation complaint/s on behalf of the judge. A “criminal complaint for defamation allegedly filed with the state prosecutor in Munich,” says the following comment, “was reported in the Süddeutsche Zeitung in December 2014 and elsewhere in the German press.” Well, as far as we know the EPO too came under complaints of defamation, after it had allegedly ‘planted’ defamatory claims about the judge, including in Süddeutsche Zeitung. Here is the comment in full:

Another rumour currently doing the rounds in Munich concerns a criminal complaint for defamation allegedly filed with the state prosecutor in Munich by a senior official of the EPO some time ago. This was reported in the Süddeutsche Zeitung in December 2014 and elsewhere in the German press.

It is now rumoured that this complaint was recently rejected by the state prosecutor who seems to have taken the view that no act of defamation had been committed.

Maybe this is the new element referred to by the President ?

The following new comment says rather clueful things about aforementioned claims:

@One of those

Point 18 of the decision in case Art 23 1/16 makes it clear that at least the Enlarged Board of Appeal takes the issue of res judicata seriously, even if they did not apply it in that case. Of course, ILO-AT is a completely different kettle of fish.

@Anon 06:03

What you are suggesting is that “a proposal from the Enlarged Board of Appeal” (Article 23(1) EPC) could soon simply be interpreted as “a proposal from the President of the Enlarged Board of Appeal”. Interesting suggestion. That certainly would not be my interpretation of Article 23(1) EPC. The EBoA and its president are not synonymous, and so my view is that the one cannot stand in for the other when it comes to explicit provisions of the EPC.

Trouble is, what recourse would there be if (yet again) the EPO and the AC took action that arguably contravened the provisions of the EPC? Who is there to hold them to account? Perhaps this particular lacuna will prove to be the worst mistake of all by the founding fathers of the EPC.

@Nolle prosequi

I see that you have your tongue firmly in your cheek when suggesting that the (alleged) dismissal of VP3′s defamation claims could amount to the “new element”.

But perhaps we should not rule out a link. If the defamation claims have been rejected, then it becomes clear that there is no sound legal basis for dismissing the accused member on the grounds of defamation. It is undoubted that this development could prove to be a major embarrassment for BB and his coterie (who, by the way, could stand safe behind their immunities if it ever were determined that they defamed anyone). What better way to take the sting out of this threat by going on the offensive and dragging up new “allegations” (related to the other allegation in case Art 23 1/16) that provide renewed justification for the investigation into the BoA member?

With the disciplinary case closed, and with one of the allegations against the member (allegedly) being dismissed by an independent body, it is very hard to come up with a valid reason why the Office would adopt a “press on regardless” tactic. The actions of the Office therefore provide ample material for the generation of theories involving sinister conspiracies. So much for defending the reputation of the Office!

Not to worry. No doubt there will be an “independent” study issued in which it is confirmed that the Office has acted with utmost propriety… oh wait, it has already issued! I am particularly impressed by PwC’s range of expertise. If an above commentator (Empty) is correct, then it appears that “PWC have found that the office’s actions have met the requirement of the EPO’s legal framework”. Amazing. I never realise that PwC employed individuals who were experts in patent law. Or, based upon what some allege is standard practice of certain accountancy firms (when producing financial audits), perhaps should we should instead interpret their statement to mean “this is what the EPO has told us and we have no reason to doubt the accuracy of their statement (though, sotto voce, we have not conducted any form of independent verification)”. In this context, the rather odd choice of an accountancy firm to conduct a social study starts to make a lot more sense.

Here’s more:

“this development could prove to be a major embarrassment for BB and his coterie”

Pray, a major embarrassment in front of whom exactly? It appears that, given their supposed “immunity”, these people don’t give a s*§t about what the external word thinks.

And for the AC, it will certainly not be informed of this major development but lavishly showered at the next meeting with fabulous production figures and the deriving money.

Nothing to see here, move along …

The most interesting bit however was this comment which claims to quote the secretive board. See the bit highlighted below:

Have you seen this one in MICADO ?

of the 74th meeting of the
Munich, 8 September 2016

under 4. Concerning AC and General Affairs

“the Board noted information provided by the President about three current investigations/disciplinary proceedings involving SUEPO members in The Hague.”

This serves to reinforce the belief expressed in the followup comment. It states that Team Battistelli basically “decapitated the ranks of SUEPO in Munich and now they go for those in The Hague”. Here is the full comment:

“the Board noted information provided by the President about three current investigations/disciplinary proceedings involving SUEPO members in The Hague.”

Yep. They decapitated the ranks of SUEPO in Munich and now they go for those in The Hague – of course, “a simple coincidence” as VP1 would say.

And since the Investigation Unit is there to conveniently provide proof of guilt to the President, they are already dead meat.

The AC will obviously look the other side …

A lot of new information is contained above. Some of it is speculative, but some of it quotes an internal document which we hope to get a full copy of. These comments in IP Kat are very hard to find because they’re buried in some additional pages in a comment thread of a very old article (these deserve more attention, hence we often repost these here). Sadly, since the EPO banned IP Kat for almost a whole working day (perhaps some kind of a warning sign) there has been virtually no criticism of the EPO over there. Tomorrow we’ll show just to what degree the pro-EPO element has grown at IP Kat.

Links 28/9/2016: Alpine Linux 3.4.4, Endless OS 3.0

Posted in News Roundup at 7:47 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



Free Software/Open Source

  • Open source is not to blame for a lack of industry standards

    Carol Wilson wrings her hands over the “boring” nature of open source standardization, declaring that “Open source processes can take the fun out of everything, particularly technology wars.” Putting aside for a minute the irony of expecting standards to ever be anything more than mind-numbingly dull, Wilson’s larger argument misses the point.

    The problem with open source standards aren’t that they’re boring; it’s that they’re largely the same as the proprietary standards that preceded them. In practice, this presents no problem at all.

  • Down the rabbit hole, part 2: To ensure security and privacy, open source is required

    If my goal is to secure all of my computing devices, I need access to the source code in order to do a complete and effective security appraisal of the software I am running.

    It really is that simple. The need for open source software, in this case, has nothing to do with any ethical implications of software freedom—nor do the benefits of open source to software developers enter into this discussion. But having access to the source code is an undeniable benefit in ensuring the security of a piece of software.

  • Linaro organisation, with ARM, aims for end-end open source IoT code
  • Linaro start open-source development for IoT on ARM Cortex-M
  • ARM open source group address IoT software confusion

    Linaro has worked with ARM, Canonical, Huawei, NXP, RDA, Red Hat, Spreadtrum, STMicroelectronics, Texas Instruments and ZTE on the new IoT software, as part of what it calls the Linaro IoT and Embedded (LITE) Segment Group.

    Group says it wants to address the design problems created by the proliferation of choices for IoT device operating systems, security infrastructure, identification, communication, device management and cloud interfaces.

    It hopes to be able to reduce fragmentation in operating systems, middleware and cloud connectivity software, through the creation of open source device reference platforms.

    Initial technical work will be focused on delivering an end to end, cross­vendor solution for secure IoT devices using the ARM Cortex-­M architecture.

  • Open Source Community Continues Fight Against Cybercrime with Apache Spot (incubating)
  • Apache Spot Aims to Fetch Open Network Insights

    The project formerly known as Open Network Insights moves to the Apache Software Foundation and gets a new name—Apache Spot. It now includes support for DNS and Proxy in addition to Netflow.

    The Open Network Insight (ONI) project, backed by Cloudera, Intel and others and focused on helping organizations use big data for security insights, became generally available earlier this year. The ONI project is now being donated to the Apache Software Foundation (ASF)—home to Hadoop and many big data efforts—and is now getting a new life as the Apache Spot project.

  • Meet Apache Spot, a new open source project for cybersecurity

    Hard on the heels of the discovery of the largest known data breach in history, Cloudera and Intel on Wednesday announced that they’ve donated a new open source project to the Apache Software Foundation with a focus on using big data analytics and machine learning for cybersecurity.

    Originally created by Intel and launched as the Open Network Insight (ONI) project in February, the effort is now called Apache Spot and has been accepted into the ASF Incubator.

    “The idea is, let’s create a common data model that any application developer can take advantage of to bring new analytic capabilities to bear on cybersecurity problems,” Mike Olson, Cloudera co-founder and chief strategy officer, told an audience at the Strata+Hadoop World show in New York. “This is a big deal, and could have a huge impact around the world.”

  • Meet Apache Spot, a new open-source project for cybersecurity
  • Strata + Hadoop World: Apache Spot looks to tackle cybersecurity
  • Cloudera Approves First Grant Applications for Precision Medicine Initiative
  • Cloudera Broadens its Collaboration with Thorn to Include Software and Services to Fight Child Sexual Exploitation
  • Open source storage hits the mainstream

    Open source storage has gained mainstream acceptance in high performance computing, analytics, object storage, cloud (OpenStack) and NAS use, but can it crack the enterprise?

  • Rogue Wave Improves Support for Open Source Software with IBM
  • Rogue Wave Software to improve open-source software support with IBM

    Rogue Wave Software announces it is working with IBM to help make open source software (OSS) support more available. This will help provide comprehensive, enterprise-grade technical support for OSS packages.

  • Vendors and Customers Gettin’ Open Sourcey With It

    Basically, “open source enablement” seems to be about teaching customers how to embrace open source principles, both in terms of internal processes as well as external communities and ecosystems. As I’ve worked with many engineering and product teams over the years, I’ve seen many open source initiatives fail to reach their potential because of ingrained cultural obstacles that usually manifest in the form of corporate inertia that blocks forward progress.

  • Digium Announces Asterisk 14 Open Source Communications Software

    Digium®, Inc., the Asterisk® Company, today at its annual AstriCon users and developers conference, announced Asterisk 14, the next major release of the world’s most popular open source communications platform. Asterisk 14 continues the track of previous major releases, such as Asterisk 12 and Asterisk 13, by offering developer- and administrator-focused features and capabilities to simplify the scaling and deployment of Asterisk within large, service-based ecosystems.

  • Announcing the open source release of MORI, from Chalkbeat

    In 2014, Chalkbeat developed and started using a WordPress plugin for tracking impact. We called it MORI — Measures of Our Reporting’s Influence. As we wrote then, MORI grew out of one of our key beliefs: Journalists can make a difference, but the ability to measure the difference we make can multiply our impact over time. If we can document how, why, when, and where we made a difference, we are more likely to repeat our success.

    The quantitative data we track in MORI lets us see the big picture of how our work affects the world, beyond raw readership analytics; the qualitative narrative we record helps us tell the story. Our editorial teams can put important impacts in the hands of our fundraising team and others to turn around and share with the broader education community.

  • ODL: Open Source Hastens Software Usability

    Open Daylight Summit — Open source is connecting users and developers more intimately, and that’s a good thing, OpenDaylight Executive Director Neela Jacques said here today.

    In kicking off the OpenDaylight Summit, Jacques said the ability of users and developers to work side-by-side is evolving, and helping drive the faster pace at which open source can bring solutions to the industry.

    “Users can sit next to the developers of the code they use, and the interaction doesn’t go one way,” he said. “The real difference is the way users interact with developers. This is why we are able to get production-grade solutions so much faster than you ever would in proprietary world.”

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Mozilla has “stopped all commercial development of Firefox OS”

        Remember when Mozilla said it was ceasing development of Firefox OS for smartphones, but that it wasn’t giving up on the browser-based operating system altogether? Yeah, now the organization has pretty much thrown in the towel.

        After shifting the focus from phones to smart TVs and other Internet of Things products for a while, Mozilla senior engineering program manager Julie McCracken says development of the operating system was “gradually wound down” and that as of the end of July Mozilla has “stopped all commercial development of Firefox OS.

      • Firefox’s Test Pilot Program Launches Three New Experimental Features

        Earlier this year we launched our first set of experiments for Test Pilot, a program designed to give you access to experimental Firefox features that are in the early stages of development. We’ve been delighted to see so many of you participating in the experiments and providing feedback, which ultimately, will help us determine which features end up in Firefox for all to enjoy.

        Since our launch, we’ve been hard at work on new innovations, and today we’re excited to announce the release of three new Test Pilot experiments. These features will help you share and manage screenshots; keep streaming video front and center; and protect your online privacy.

  • Pseudo-Open Source (Openwashing)


    • GNU Tools Cauldron 2016, ARMv8 multi-arch edition

      That is what my England trip for the GNU Tools Cauldron was, but that only seemed to add to the pleasure of meeting friends again. I flewin to Heathrow and started on an almost long train journey to Halifax,with two train changes from Reading. I forgot my phone on the trainbut the friendly station manager at Halifax helped track it down andgot it back to me. That was the first of the many times I forgotstuff in a variety of places during this trip. Like I discovered thatI forgot to carry a jacket or an umbrella. Or shorts. Or full lengthpants for that matter. Like I purchased an umbrella from Sainsbury’s but forgot to carry it out. I guess you got the drift of it.

  • Standards/Consortia

    • FAQ: What’s so special about 802.11ad Wi-Fi?

      Here are the broad strokes about 802.11ad, the wireless technology that’s just starting to hit the market.

    • 2.5 and 5 Gigabit Ethernet Now Official Standards

      In 2014, multiple groups started efforts to create new mid-tier Ethernet speeds with the NBASE-T Alliance starting in October 2014 and MGBASE-T Alliance getting started a few months later in December 2014. While those groups started out on different paths, the final 802.3bz standard represents a unified protocol that is interoperable across multiple vendors.

      The promise of 2.5 and 5 Gbps Ethernet is that they can work over existing Cat5 cabling, which to date has only been able to support 1 Gbps. Now with the 802.3bz standard, organizations do not need to rip and replace cabling to get Ethernet that is up to five times faster.

      “Now, the 1000BASE-T uplink from the wireless to wired network is no longer sufficient, and users are searching for ways to tap into higher data rates without having to overhaul the 70 billion meters of Cat5e / Cat6 wiring already sold,” David Chalupsky, board of directors of the Ethernet Alliance and Intel principal engineer, said in a statement. “IEEE 802.3bz is an elegant solution that not only addresses the demand for faster access to rapidly rising data volumes, but also capitalizes on previous infrastructure investments, thereby extending their life and maximizing value.”


  • Yahoo Mail is down for some across the UK and Europe

    POOR OLD Yahoo can’t catch a break after users reported that its webmail service appears to be down.

    Some here at the INQUIRER are unable to access Yahoo Mail, while others have flocked to Twitter to moan that it’s not currently accessible.

  • Science

    • Never forget a face? You might be a super recogniser

      Your recognition skills are supported by a complex network of brain regions that rapidly develop during infancy and childhood, finally peaking at the age of 30.

    • Google swallows 11,000 novels to improve AI’s conversation

      When the writer Rebecca Forster first heard how Google was using her work, it felt like she was trapped in a science fiction novel.

      “Is this any different than someone using one of my books to start a fire? I have no idea,” she says. “I have no idea what their objective is. Certainly it is not to bring me readers.”

      After a 25-year writing career, during which she has published 29 novels ranging from contemporary romance to police procedurals, the first instalment of her Josie Bates series, Hostile Witness, has found a new reader: Google’s artificial intelligence.

      “My imagination just didn’t go as far as it being used for something like this,” Forster says. “Perhaps that’s my failure.”

    • The Power Paradox: The Surprising Science of How We Gain and Lose Influence

      What causes us to mishandle the power paradox, Keltner argues, is our culture’s traditional understanding of power — a sort of time-capsule that no longer serves us. Predicated on force, ruthlessness, and strategic coercion, it was shaped by Niccolò Machiavelli’s sixteenth-century book The Prince — but it is as antiquated today as the geocentric model of the universe that dominated Machiavelli’s day. What governs the modern world, Keltner demonstrates through two decades of revelatory studies, is a different kind of power — softer, more relational, predicated on reputation rather than force, measured by one’s ability to affect the lives of others positively and shift the course of the world, however slightly, toward the common good.

    • How a Pythagoras Cup works

      His YouTube channel is packed with similarly excellent videos wherein lab assistant Neil is persuaded to execute unnerving experiments. (previously.)

  • Health/Nutrition

    • CDC whistleblower claims agency has been using wrong Zika test

      In the midst of the fight to control Zika, the top public health agency in the United States has been engaged in an intense internal debate about the best way to test whether someone has been infected with the mosquito-borne virus.

      At the center of the debate at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is one of the leading experts on Zika virus. Robert Lanciotti is chief of the CDC lab responsible for developing tests to diagnose viral diseases such as Zika that are transmitted by mosquitoes, ticks and fleas.

  • Security

    • Security advisories for Wednesday
    • Facebook, Uber, Slack, and Pandora Pros Praise Free Security Tools

      Proponents of open source software argue that by letting passionate developers get involved and tweak underlying code, the tools they create are stronger and more reliable. Plus, for companies looking to bolster their digital defenses, the software has the added benefit of being free.

    • LibreSSL 2.5
    • LibreSSL 2.5 Released With New Features, iOS Support

      LibreSSL 2.5.0 is available today as the newest version of this growing fork of OpenSSL led by the OpenBSD project.

      LibreSSL 2.5′s libtls implementation now supports ALPN and SNI while handling four cipher suite groups, there is tightened error handling in some areas, support for OCSP intermediate certificates, initial support for Apple’s iOS platform, and a variety of other fixes and functionality improvements.

    • A quick fix for stupid password reset questions

      It didn’t take 500 million hacked Yahoo accounts to make me hate, hate, hate password reset questions (otherwise known as knowledge-based authentication or KBA). It didn’t help when I heard that password reset questions and answers — which are often identical, required, and reused on other websites — were compromised in that massive hack, too.

      Is there any security person or respected security guidance that likes them? They are so last century. What is your mother’s maiden name? What is your favorite color? What was your first pet’s name?

    • French hosting provider hit by DDoS close to 1TBps

      A hosting provider in France has been hit by a distributed denial of service attack that went close to one terabyte per second.

      Concurrent attacks against OVH clocked in at 990GBps.

      The attack vector is said to be the same Internet-of-Things botnet of 152,464 devices that brought down the website of security expert Brian Krebs.

      OVH chief technology officer Octave Klaba tweeted that the network was capable of attacks up to 1.5TBps.

    • Latest IoT DDoS Attack Dwarfs Krebs Takedown At Nearly 1Tbps Driven By 150K Devices

      If you thought that the massive DDoS attack earlier this month on Brian Krebs’ security blog was record-breaking, take a look at what just happened to France-based hosting provider OVH. OVH was the victim of a wide-scale DDoS attack that was carried via network of over 152,000 IoT devices.

      According to OVH founder and CTO Octave Klaba, the DDoS attack reached nearly 1 Tbps at its peak. Of those IoT devices participating in the DDoS attack, they were primarily comprised of CCTV cameras and DVRs. Many of these types devices’ network settings are improperly configured, which leaves them ripe for the picking for hackers that would love to use them to carry our destructive attacks.

  • Defence/Aggression

    • Senate Votes to Override Obama Veto on 9/11 Victims Bill

      A sweeping bipartisan majority in the Senate on Wednesday rejected President Obama’s veto of legislation that would allow families of those killed in the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks to sue Saudi Arabia for any role in the plot, all but assuring that Mr. Obama would suffer the first override vote of his presidency.

      The vote was 97 to 1, with only Senator Harry Reid, Democrat of Nevada, siding with the president.

      With the House nearly certain to follow the Senate later on Wednesday, the 9/11 bill will become law in a remarkable yet complicated bipartisan rebuke. Still, the measure itself remains contentious, and even some of those who cast a vote against Mr. Obama conceded that they did not fully support it.

      Mr. Obama’s greatest allies on Capitol Hill, who have labored for nearly eight years to stop most bills he opposes from even crossing his desk, turned against him, joining Republicans in the remonstrance.

    • Orlando Terror Attack ‘Triggered’ by Pentagon Drone Strike

      The domestic terrorist behind the Orlando nightclub massacre was motivated by a Pentagon drone strike in Iraq a month before the shooting, according to police transcripts made public last week.

      Conversations between Omar Mateen and an Orlando police negotiator on June 12 were kept secret by FBI and local police until Friday. The secrecy contributed to misleading media accounts of the terrorist’s motives in the days after the killings.

      The transcripts were released by Orlando police Friday after a Florida court hearing held in response to a lawsuit filed by several news organizations.

      Mateen killed 49 people during the attack on the Pulse, a gay nightclub, and wounded 53 others. Police eventually stormed the club and killed Mateen in a shootout after talks aimed at convincing him to surrender failed.

    • Senate overwhelmingly votes to override Obama veto on 9/11 bill

      The Senate voted overwhelmingly on Wednesday to override President Obama’s veto of legislation allowing lawsuits against foreign sponsors of terrorism, setting up an almost certain and historic defeat for the White House on the bill.

      The House is expected to follow suit within hours, making it the first veto of Obama’s presidency that has been overturned by Congress.

      Obama vetoed the legislation Friday because he said the bill — known as the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act, or JASTA — would infringe on the president’s ability to conduct foreign policy. It was the 12th veto of his presidency.

    • After 9/11 Bill, Could Saudi Arabia Really Sell All Its U.S. Assets?

      It’s easier to make a $750 billion threat than carry it out.

      The Senate on Tuesday unanimously passed a bill that would allow families of 9/11 victims to sue Saudi Arabia for its alleged connection to the attacks, pushing the kingdom one step closer to having to follow through on its pledge to sell hundreds of billions of dollars of United States assets that could be frozen by the courts. Carrying out that divestment pledge will be a long, difficult, complicated and likely costly process.

      “The idea that they could just flip a switch and sell them all, it just doesn’t compute,” George Pearkes of Bespoke Investment Group, an independent research firm, told HuffPost. “It’s just too much. No one’s going to be able to take that risk off your book,” Pearkes said, using the industry term for a portfolio.

      “You’re going to lose money doing it because everyone knows you’re going to do it, and … it immediately has an impact on your currency and balance of payments,” he added, noting that the Saudi currency is pegged to the U.S. dollar and the kingdom continually receives dollars for its oil exports.

    • US Senate Overrides Obama’s Veto – Chaos Imminent

      The Saudis have promised to pull their assets out of USA, hundreds of $billions in treasury bills and many other investments. 2016 could undo the tidy recovery USA has made in Obama’s term. Even a gradual withdrawal could lower the value of the dollar, raise interest rates, ding the stock-market, possibly trigger a nuclear arms race in the region and raise the price of gold.

    • Armed Forces personnel suspected of IS ties comprise just 1pct of militants detected

      Armed Forces personnel suspected to be involved with Islamic State (IS) make up just one per cent of militants detected by authorities so far.

      Defence Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein said despite the low number, the Ministry takes the matter seriously and has ordered that comprehensive action be taken to curtail the terrorist group’s ideology from spreading to security personnel.

      He said the Armed Forces Religious Corps and Royal Intelligence Corps have been tasked to detect soldiers who show interest in extremist groups, and warn members of the security forces against terrorism.

      The initiative includes educating soldiers on the true meaning of Islam and jihad.

      Hishammuddin, who spoke to reporters after launching the 40th Pacific Armies Management Seminar at a hotel here earlier today, however, did not reveal the exact number of soldiers who have been detected to be influenced by IS.

  • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

    • Journalists must fork over $200 for Wi-Fi at presidential debate

      News organizations attending Monday evening’s presidential debate must pay $200 for a “Secure Wireless Internet Connection” at Hofstra University in New York state. The debate is set to begin at 9pm Eastern.

      While profiteering during a high-profile occasion such as this is not unheard of—$15 for a patch cable?—what’s worse is that event staff at Hofstra University are reportedly using a $2,000 device to actively scan for hotspots and other ad-hoc Wi-Fi networks.

    • FCC official: “Something’s not right” with Wi-Fi at Monday’s debate

      One of the members of the Federal Communications Commission, Jessica Rosenworcel, has asked the agency to investigate the Monday evening ban on journalists’ Wi-Fi personal hotspots at the presidential debate held at Hofstra University.

      As Ars reported on Monday evening, the host venue demanded that journalists pay $200 to access the event’s Wi-Fi and were told to shut down their own hotspots or leave the debate. At least one photo, taken by Kenneth Vogel of Politico, showed a handheld device that was being used to scan for and locate “rogue” Wi-Fi networks.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife/Nature

    • The world passes 400ppm carbon dioxide threshold. Permanently

      Because carbon pollution has been increasing since the start of the industrial revolution and has shown no signs of abating, it was more a question of “when” rather than “if” we would cross this threshold. The inevitability doesn’t make it any less significant, though.

      September is usually the month when carbon dioxide is at its lowest after a summer of plants growing and sucking it up in the northern hemisphere. As fall wears on, those plants lose their leaves, which in turn decompose, releasing the stored carbon dioxide back into the atmosphere. At Mauna Loa Observatory, the world’s marquee site for monitoring carbon dioxide, there are signs that the process has begun but levels have remained above 400 ppm.

      Since the industrial revolution, humans have been altering this process by adding more carbon dioxide to the atmosphere than plants can take up. That’s driven carbon dioxide levels higher and with it, global temperatures, along with a host of other climate change impacts.

  • Finance

    • BEANO: Brexit Existing As Name Only

      This speech follows the recent statement of the Chancellor of the Exchequer that EU funding will be guaranteed until 2020.

      Could it be that the United Kingdom is not heading for a Hard Brexit or a Soft Brexit, but a Brexit existing as a name only?

      Could there be a BEANO Brexit?

    • Greece asks for suspension of TTIP negotiations

      Temporary suspension of negotiations on the Transatlantic Partnership Trade and Investment (TTIP) asked the Minister of Economy, Development and Tourism, George Stathakis, the Council of Foreign Affairs Ministers for Trade, held today in Bratislava.

      The Minister stressed that in the negotiations on the TTIP «has not seen any progress in sensitive European issues” regarding reciprocity in the liberalization of public procurement, the shipping issues, farm products with a geographical indication, the protection of consumers against genetically modified products, and complex environmental protection issues.

      It acknowledged that the TTIP is a major political issue for the European Union and that this time there are a number of important issues pending. Closed the placement of saying “need a new framework for negotiations, a new start on a new basis and at the appropriate time.”

    • Saudi Arabia’s monarch cuts ministers’ pay by 20%

      Saudi Arabia cancelled bonus payments for state employees and cut ministers’ salaries by 20 per cent, steps that further spread the burden of shoring up public finances to a population accustomed to years of government largesse.

      The government also decided to suspend wage increases for the lunar year starting next month and curbed allowances for public-sector employees, according to royal decrees and a cabinet statement published by state media.

      The salaries of members of a legislative body that advises the monarchy were cut by 15 per cent.

  • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • Clinton campaign in ‘panic mode’ over Florida black voters

      To kill Donald Trump’s chances of capturing the White House, Hillary Clinton needs to win Florida. And to do that, she needs a big minority turnout.

      But Democrats are beginning to worry that too many African-American voters are uninspired by Clinton’s candidacy, leading her campaign to hit the panic button this week and launch an all-out blitz to juice-up voter enthusiasm.

      Bill Clinton, once nicknamed the “first black president,” embarks on a North Florida bus tour Friday in an attempt to draw African-American crowds. At the same time, Clinton herself will host events in Broward and St. Lucie counties, which have black populations higher than the statewide average.

    • 5 Conspiracy Theories That PROVE This Election Is The Worst

      The 2016 presidential election is well on its way to cementing its place in history’s annals of crazy. But do you know who finds it even crazier? Crazy people! Conspiracy nutjobs and other tinfoil hat cases follow political news too, and just as is the case with everyone else, there are candidates they do and don’t like. As such, the dark, sticky underbelly of the internet is inundated with madcap election theories that are somehow even more far-fetched than the accusations the actual candidates have been throwing around.

    • Michael Moore to Clinton supporters: Trump ‘won’

      Documentary filmmaker Michael Moore is telling Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton’s supporters to treat the first presidential debate of 2016 as a Donald Trump victory and to not get complacent.

      Moore took to Twitter Tuesday, arguing that Clinton had “too much preparation, too much class,” and he wished she had gone “full throttle” on Trump, the Republican presidential nominee.

    • FBI silent on pending Clinton perjury probe

      FBI Director James Comey on Wednesday refused to provide the House Judiciary Committee with any clue about whether the bureau will comply with a request to investigate Hillary Clinton for perjury.

      “You cannot tell us whether you are indeed investigating?” Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) asked during a hearing on FBI oversight.

      Comey said he would not comment on a pending referral.

      “When do you expect you will be able to tell us?” Goodlatte asked.

      “I don’t know,” Comey said.

      Goodlatte, along with Oversight Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah), in July issued a criminal referral to U.S. District Attorney Channing Phillips, asking him to investigate whether Clinton lied to Congress during her marathon 11-hour testimony before the Select Committee on Benghazi.

    • I sold Trump $100,000 worth of pianos. Then he stiffed me.

      At Monday night’s debate, Donald Trump was called out for stiffing the people who work for him. Trump has been accused of failing to pay hundreds of contractors. And so far, he hasn’t seemed very sorry. When asked about failing to pay someone by Hillary Clinton this week, Trump replied, “Maybe he didn’t do a good job and I was unsatisfied with his work.”

      I take that attack personally. I’m one of the many small business owners who’ve been used by Trump, exploited and forced to suffer a loss because of his corporation’s shady practices.

      My relationship with Trump began in 1989, when he asked me to supply several grand and upright pianos to his then-new Taj Mahal casino in Atlantic City. I’d been running a music store for more than 30 years at that point, selling instruments to local schools and residents. My business was very much a family affair (my grandsons still run the store). And I had a great relationship with my customers — no one had ever failed to pay.

    • Jill Stein EXCLUSIVE: The debate through the Green Party lens

      Despite the efforts to silence the competition for the two establishment parties by excluding us from the televised presidential debates, we were able to reach millions of voters with our message using the open Internet and a cutting edge social media campaign.

      The debates sponsored by the Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD), a front group created by the Democratic and Republican parties to fool the American public, are anti-democratic. The two parties should not have the power to decide that their opponents cannot debate. That is not what democracy looks like.

      When the CPD was founded by former chairs of the Democratic and Republican National Committees, both made it clear their goal was to keep challengers out of the debate. Republican Frank Fahrenkopf, who remains a co-chair, indicated at the news conference that the CPD was “not likely to look with favor on including third-party candidates in the debates.”

      The NY Times quoted Democrat Paul Kirk, who was more blunt: “As a party chairman, it’s my responsibility to strengthen the two-party system.” Kirk’s successor as co-chair is Michael McCurry, former press secretary for Bill Clinton. The arbitrary criteria set by the secretive CPD are not designed to exclude “non-viable candidates”, but rather to prevent any candidate outside the Democratic-Republican duopoly from becoming viable in the eyes of the public.

    • Bernie Sanders’s brother to fight David Cameron’s seat for Green party

      Larry Sanders, the older brother of Democrat politician Bernie Sanders, is hoping to emulate his sibling’s success by standing for the Green party in David Cameron’s Oxfordshire seat.

      Bernie Sanders gave Hillary Clinton an unexpectedly tough fight in the Democratic presidential primaries, riding a wave of idealism among a predominantly young voter base.

      Now his brother Larry, 82, a retired social worker and former Green party councillor, plans to attempt a similar feat for the Greens in the byelection for the rock-solid Conservative constituency of Witney.

      It will be a tall order. “It hasn’t always been the richest turf for the Green party,” a party spokesman said. To become MP for Witney, he would have to overturn Cameron’s 22,700-vote majority in a seat where the last Green candidate won just 5.1% of the vote.

    • The Great Debate That Never Was

      If the Green Party’s Jill Stein had been allowed in this week’s presidential debate, it would have transformed the discussion and altered the race. That’s why Democrats and Republicans kept it a duopoly-only affair. “The only circumstances in which either Trump or Clinton can muster a minimally compelling argument, is against each other.” Thanks to Democracy Now!, we got a glimpse at what a real debate might be like. Clinton and Trump would lose.

  • Censorship/Free Speech

  • Privacy/Surveillance

  • Civil Rights/Policing

    • AP: Across US, police officers abuse confidential databases

      No single agency tracks how often the abuse happens nationwide, and record-keeping inconsistencies make it impossible to know how many violations occur.

      But the AP, through records requests to state agencies and big-city police departments, found law enforcement officers and employees who misused databases were fired, suspended or resigned more than 325 times between 2013 and 2015. They received reprimands, counseling or lesser discipline in more than 250 instances, the review found.

      Unspecified discipline was imposed in more than 90 instances reviewed by AP. In many other cases, it wasn’t clear from the records if punishment was given at all. The number of violations was surely far higher since records provided were spotty at best, and many cases go unnoticed.

    • Justice Department Is Fighting Fired FBI Agent’s Use of Whistleblower Defense

      John Parkinson, an Iraq War veteran who led a special operations unit in FBI’s Sacramento field office, first filed whistleblower complaints almost a decade ago when he became concerned with his coworkers’ behavior. He identified a colleague as having “a career-long pattern of soliciting prostitutes,” who used an FBI’s surveillance plane to travel to Reno to pay for sex. He alleged another colleague had a porn habit, even viewing explicit material at work. At one point, Parkinson removed furniture from an FBI office to keep it from getting soiled by the colleague, according to court documents.

      After filing his complaint, Parkinson found himself the subject of what he says was a retaliatory investigation, and was eventually fired. He has been fighting that decision for the past four years through a Kafkaesque maze of courts and internal appeals.

      On Monday, his attorneys filed a brief to the U.S. Federal Circuit Court of Appeals arguing for his right to raise a whistleblower retaliation defense.

    • Letter From CIA Whistleblower Jeffrey Sterling Details Federal Prison’s Scandalous Treatment

      Dear Jeffrey,

      I have followed your case closely, and I have also read recent updates from John Kiriakou, whose case I also covered extensively. I published his prison letters from FCI Loretto. Thank you for taking the time to answer some questions I have about your current struggle to obtain proper medical treatment for your heart condition.

      As of September 26, what is your current condition? What symptoms do you continue to endure? How critical do you believe it is that FCI Englewood take your symptoms seriously and grant you access to proper medical treatment? In other words, what do you need FCI Englewood to do for you now?

      How has your condition changed over the past months, and how responsive are officers within FCI Loretto to your insistence or requests for medical treatment? When you complain about pain, how long does it take until you finally see a doctor or medical professional?

      I understand you are expected to exhaust the administrative process before going outside this system to force the prison to give you proper medical treatment. What do you think of this process?

      I also recognize you, and your wife, Holly, have attempted other actions to convince the prison to take care of your urgent medical needs. What have you tried and what effect do you believe these actions have had?

      John Kiriakou reported on August 28 that Warden Deborah Denham had reversed her decision and would put a request into the “Bureau of Prisons Regional Office in Denver” that you “be taken to an outside cardiologist for testing.” Did you get to see a cardiologist? Is that how you found out you had high levels of Troponin?

    • The Proper Channels For Whistleblowing Still Mostly A Good Way For Messengers To Get Shot

      Whistleblower protections offered by the federal government are great in theory. In practice, they’re a mess. This administration has prosecuted more whistleblowers than all previous administrations combined. The proper channels for reporting concerns are designed to deter complaints. Those that do use the proper channels are frequently exposed by those handling the complaints, leading to retaliatory actions that built-in protections don’t offer an adequate remedy for.

      Perhaps the ultimate insult is that the proper channels lead directly to two committees that have — for the most part — staunchly defended agencies like the NSA against criticism and any legislative attempts to scale back domestic surveillance programs. The House and Senate Intelligence Committees are the “proper channels,” whose offered protections can only be seen as the hollowest of promises, especially after the House Intelligence Committee’s lie-packed response to calls for Snowden’s pardon.

      What the federal government offers to whistleblowers is a damned if you do/don’t proposition. Bypass the proper channels and brace yourself for prosecution. Stay within the defined lanes and expect nothing to change — except maybe your security clearance, pay grade, or chances of advancement within the government.

  • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

    • ISP Feebly Tries To Defend Usage Caps By Comparing Them To…Oreos

      Earlier this month, we noted how Netflix had complained to the FCC about broadband usage caps, quite-correctly noting they’re little more than price hikes on uncompetitive markets. Netflix also was quick to highlight how caps can be used anti-competitively against streaming video providers, something the FCC opened the door to when it decided to turn a blind eye to the practice of zero rating (or exempting your own or a paid partners’ content from counting against the cap). As such, Netflix urged the FCC to finally crack down on usage caps using its authority under Section 706 of the Telecom Act.

    • AT&T Sues Nashville To Keep Google Fiber At Bay

      We’ve been talking about how the latest front in the battle for better broadband competition is the boring old utility pole. As Susan Crawford highlighted last month, getting permission from an ISP that owns a city’s utility poles can be a slow, bureaucratic nightmare, since the incumbent ISP has every incentive to stall would-be competitors. As such, Google has been pushing for “one touch make ready” proposals that use an insured, third-party contractor agreed to by all ISPs to move any ISP’s gear during fiber installs (often a matter of inches).

      But again, because this would speed up Google Fiber’s time to market, incumbent ISPs like Comcast, AT&T, Frontier and Time Warner Cable have all been fighting these reform efforts. Excuses provided by the ISPs range from claims that such reform violates their Constitutional rights, to unsubstantiated claims that such a policy would result in massive new internet service outages. AT&T has taken things one step further, and has been suing cities like Louisville for passing such reform laws.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • 10 highlights from the MARQUES Annual Conference in Villaitana

      Indigenous rights, EU trade mark reforms, geographical indications, design rights and much more were discussed at the recent MARQUES Annual Conference.

    • Trademarks

    • Copyrights

      • BBC iPlayer: New TV licence rules come into force

        All viewers who use the iPlayer to watch any BBC programmes must now be covered by a TV licence after new rules came into force on Thursday.

        Previously, iPlayer users only needed a licence if they were using the service to watch live broadcasts.

        That meant it was legal to watch programmes after broadcast on catch-up without paying the annual £145.50 fee.

        But the TV licence requirements have now been extended to include catch-up, online premieres and online-only shows.

      • Cloudflare: We Can’t Shut Down Pirate Sites

        As one of the leading CDN and DDoS protection services, Cloudflare is used by millions of websites across the globe.

        This includes thousands of “pirate” sites, including The Pirate Bay, who rely on the U.S. based company to keep server loads down.

        Copyright holders are generally not happy that Cloudflare is doing business with these sites. While most stop at complaining, adult entertainment outfit ALS Scan took the matter to court.

Cementing Autocracy: The European Patent Office Against Democracy, Against Media, and Against the Rule of Law

Posted in Europe, Law, Patents at 7:23 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Rule of law
Reference: Rule of law

Summary: The European Patent Office (EPO) actively undermines democracy in Europe, it undermines the freedom of the press (by paying it for puff pieces), and it undermines the rule of law by giving one single tyrant total power in Eponia and immunity from outside Eponia (even when he breaks his own rules)

THE situation at the EPO has gotten so bad that the EPO is now buying the media for some Milan spin (among other spin) to help sell the UPC to the gullible public officials. This culmination in lobbying demonstrates the moral depravity to which Battistelli and his goons are willing to sink.

The UPC is an assault on EU democracy (and in the UK what we are seeing in that regard is total disregard for the referendum), which is effectively being stolen by lobbyists and patent lawyers of large corporations. The “UPC [is] on the Council agenda of this Friday,” Benjamin Henrion wrote, “I told you so. Italian minister seems to lobby for Milan without even a discussion in Parliament.”

We first wrote about it last night. Italians should protest that day, along with their media (already covered UPC).

Was the public consulted on this? Why does the media, which was paid by the EPO, support this with some puff pieces that involve Team UPC? How corrupt can things get and when will European politician start to genuinely care? And not just because they perceive it as an opportunity to promote their political party, e.g. in France…

The Battistelli regime has gotten so oppressive recently that SUEPO is silent (not a single word for three weeks) and the attack on the appeal boards intensifies behind closed doors (the secretive Board 28). “This Office has really become a banana republic,” one comment says today. “Looks like a last, desperate attempt of Battistelli and his henchmen to avoid that at the next AC the disciplinary case is closed,” this person notes, in relation to the news about Battistelli trying to prevent the scapegoat from getting his job back (or basically return to work before the end of his term). Here is another new comment about it:

If the matter were not so serious for the accused (or should that be former accused and/or victim?), this Wile E Coyote-esque persistence would draw a chuckle.
As one person has pointed out, late filed submissions are required to be prima facie relevant and OK, maybe, if you can give us another reasoning because the one you have come with isn’t good enough, isn’t normally the procedure to follow.
I note that, in the Social Study (?), PWC have found that the office’s actions have met the requirement of the EPO’s legal framework. The mind boggles about what wouldn’t.

We wrote about the PWC 'study' just after its release on Friday. It’s hogwash. It’s just ammunition for lobbying in next month’s Administrative Council’s meeting (there are also court rulings from the Netherlands coming up very soon).

One person added that “there is no “Res Judicata” at the EPO, nor does ILO-AT require this of its member organisations (and the EPO is not a member of ILO-AT).”

Another person remarked on “the issue of res judicata” as follows:

They would not go for the same accusations.

Actually, rumors were circulating around the last meeting of the AC that the president had a completely new strategy to deal with the suspended member of the AC, since the first one did not work.

A new accusation would have been made according to which the suspended member had discussed with an external IP lawyer a case in front of the BoA, thus contravening the requirement of confidentiality for anyone working at the office.

That would have been considered as “misconduct” – the punishment for which we all know is dismissal.

I have no further details – such as “when did this discussion take place”, “was at an informal meeting”, “which proof did they have”, “did the office require the Lawyer to testify” or anything else.

I understand the defense of the suspended member was aware of these rumors.

We shall be keeping a close eye on this. If anyone out there has access to internal affairs of Board 28, please consider getting in touch with us. Information lapses and secrecy currently achieve nothing but harm staff. This also harms the EPO as a whole by making redemption improbable.

Links 28/9/2016: New Red Hat Offices, Fedora 25 ‘Frozen’

Posted in News Roundup at 6:11 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Linux Users v Windows Users, Debian Mourns Another

    The Debian project today shared the news of the passing of a long time contributor on September 17. In other news, the Linux Journal offered a free digital copy of their September 2016 magazine. Bruce Byfield compared Linux users to Windows users and My Linux Rig spoke to elementary OS founder Daniel Foré about his “Linux Setup.”

  • Asian Penguins turn failed program into a Linux success

    The Community School of Excellence (CSE) Asian Penguins are the world’s first and only Linux user group based in a Hmong charter school. A failed Windows laptop program at the school was turned by the Asian Penguins into a Linux success.

    Stu Keroff is the technology coordinator at the Community School of Excellence, a middle school located in St. Paul, Minnesota. He is a licensed elementary education and middle school social studies teacher, and a long-time Linux enthusiast. Stu founded and advises the Asian Penguins.

  • Free Today: September Issue of Linux Journal (Retail value: $5.99)
  • Desktop

    • 7 Ways Linux Users Differ from Windows Users

      To casual users, one person at a keyboard looks much the same as any other. Watch for a while, however, and the differences start to emerge — and whether they are using Linux or Windows is the least of them.

      The fact is, Linux users are different from Windows users in attitude as much as their choice of operating system. Originating as a Unix-type operating system and in opposition to Windows, Linux has developed an expectation and a philosophy in direct opposition to those promoted by Windows. Although many new Linux users have come directly from Windows, average Linux users simply do not react in the same way as Windows users.

    • Microsoft paid me $650 to scrub Windows 10 from my grandpa’s PC, says man

      Microsoft has paid the relative of an Alzheimer’s patient for having to scrub his PC clean of Windows 10.

      Jesse Worley said he’d received a cheque for $650 from Microsoft – seen by The Register – which he told us he’d received after threatening the giant with court action over an unwanted Windows 10 upgrade.

      Tech consultant Worley sought payment from the vendor for the 10 hours it took to rebuild his grandfather’s custom-build PC, re-installing Windows 7 to resemble Windows XP, in order to banish Windows 10.

      However, Worley – inspired by the case of a Californian woman over the unauthorised upgrade of her PC to Windows 10 – told The Reg he wasn’t interested in the money.

      He’d wanted to Microsoft to acknowledge it had slipped up with its notorious Get Windows 10 (GWX) nagware notifications, which he branded “deliberately misleading”.

      “Had Microsoft not gone out of their way to be deceptive, my grandfather pretty clearly wouldn’t have been updated to Windows 10,” he said.

    • Why kid hackers should have a Linux computer

      Kids these days are quite amazing in how fast they learn how to use computers. And what better system for a young hacker than a Linux computer? A writer at Medium recently shared the story of how his young nephew got his very own Linux computer.

  • Server

    • ​Kubernetes 1.4: One DevOps tool to rule all the containers
    • Kubernetes 1.4 promises to make container orchestration easier, more powerful
    • Canonical Releases ‘Core’ Kubernetes Container Distribution
    • Canonical launches Kubernetes public beta distribution
    • Canonical steps up enterprise courtship with Kubernetes bundle
    • Kubernetes 1.4 makes container orchestration bigger — and simpler
    • Canonical Expands Enterprise Container Portfolio with Commercially Supported Distribution of Kubernetes
    • Strategies for Running Stateful Applications in Kubernetes: Volumes

      Mesosphere DC/OS emphasizes running transactional workloads alongside cloud-native applications. Robin Systems, one of the container management companies, is aiming to containerize Oracle and other enterprise databases. The Kubernetes container orchestration engine is gearing up to run stateful workloads through a new concept called Pet Sets, which is a pod of stateful containers. Pet Sets was introduced as an alpha feature in Kubernetes 1.3, released in July.

      Kubernetes abstracts the underlying infrastructure building blocks into compute, storage and networking. When developers and operations teams get started with Kubernetes, they typically get exposed to objects such as pods, labels, services, deployments and replica sets, which provide a mechanism to deal with compute and networking. When it comes to persistence in Kubernetes, users should get familiar with the concepts of volumes, persistent volumes, persistent volume claims (PVC) and the upcoming Pet Sets.

      This article will be a first in a series that discusses the strategies and use cases for each of the storage choices available in Kubernetes. In this chapter, we will take a closer look at volumes, that provide the easiest migration path to Kubernetes.

    • Docker Doubles Down on Microsoft Windows Server [Ed: recall “DockerCon 2015 Infiltrated by Microsoft”]

      Docker for Windows debuts alongside a new commercial support relationship with Microsoft.
      For the most part, the Docker container phenomenon has been about Linux, with the majority of all deployments on Linux servers. But that could soon be changing as Docker Inc. today is announcing the general availability of Docker Engine on Windows Server 2016, alongside a new commercial support and distribution agreement with Microsoft.

      Docker containers rely on the host operating system for certain isolation and process elements in order to run. On Linux, those elements have always been present as part of the operating system, but the same was not true for Windows, which has required several years of joint engineering effort between Docker Inc. and Microsoft.

    • Hadoop Sandboxes and Trials Spread Out

      We all know that there is a skills gap when it comes to Hadoop in the Big Data market. In fact, Gartner Inc.’s 2015 Hadoop Adoption Study, involving 284 Gartner Research Circle members, found that only 125 respondents who completed the whole survey had already invested in Hadoop or had plans to do so within the next two years. The study found that there are difficulties in implementing Hadoop, including hardship in finding skilled Hadoop professionals.

    • Use models to measure cloud performance

      When I was young, I made three plastic models. One was of a car—a ’57 Chevy. Another was of a plane—a Spitfire. And a third was of the Darth Vader TIE Fighter. I was so proud of them. Each one was just like the real thing. The wheels turned on the car, and the plane’s propeller moved when you blew on it. And of course, the TIE Fighter had Darth Vader inside.

      When I went to work on the internet, I had to measure things. As I discussed in my last post, Measure cloud performance like a customer, when you measure on the internet you need to measure in ways that are representative of your customers’ experiences. This affects how you measure in two ways. The first is the perspective you take when measuring, which I talked about last time. The second way is the techniques you use to perform those measurements. And those techniques are, in effect, how you make a model of what you want to know. Those childhood plastic models turn out to offer some solid guidance after all.

    • ODPi Adds Apache Hive to Runtime Specification 2.0

      Today, ODPi announced that the ODPi Runtime Specification 2.0 will add Apache Hive and Hadoop Compatible File System support (HCFS). These components join YARN, MapReduce and HDFS from ODPi Runtime Specification 1.0

      With the addition of Apache Hive to the Runtime specification, I thought it would be a good time to share why we added Apache Hive and how we are strategically expanding the Runtime specification.

    • Ubuntu’s OpenStack on IBM’s Big Iron

      If I were Red Hat I would be looking over my shoulder right now; it appears that Ubuntu might be gaining. In just a few years the Linux distribution has gone from being non-existent in the enterprise to being a powerhouse. This is especially true in the cloud, where it’s a dominant force on both sides of the aisle. Not only is it the most deployed operating system on public clouds, its version of OpenStack accounts for over half of OpenStack cloud deployments, used by the likes of Deutsche Telekom, Bloomberg and Time Warner Cable.

  • Kernel Space

  • Applications

    • Linux and Open Source Hardware for IoT

      Most of the new 21 open source software projects for IoT that we examined last week listed Linux hacker boards as their prime development platforms. This week, we’ll look at open source and developer-friendly Linux hardware for building Internet of Things devices, from simple microcontroller-based technology to Linux-based boards.

      In recent years, it’s become hard to find an embedded board that isn’t marketing with the IoT label. Yet, the overused term is best suited for boards with low prices, small footprints, low power consumption, and support for wireless communications and industrial interfaces. Camera support is useful for some IoT applications, but high-end multimedia is usually counterproductive to attributes like low cost and power consumption.

    • nginx

      Case in point: I’ve been using the Apache HTTP server for many years now. Indeed, you could say that I’ve been using Apache since before it was even called “Apache”—what started as the original NCSA HTTP server, and then the patched server that some enterprising open-source developers distributed, and finally the Apache Foundation-backed open-source colossus that everyone recognizes, and even relies on, today—doing much more than just producing HTTP servers.

      Apache’s genius was its modularity. You could, with minimal effort, configure Apache to use a custom configuration of modules. If you wanted to have a full-featured server with tons of debugging and diagnostics, you could do that. If you wanted to have high-level languages, such as Perl and Tcl, embedded inside your server for high-speed Web applications, you could do that. If you needed the ability to match, analyze and rewrite every part of an HTTP transaction, you could do that, with mod_rewrite. And of course, there were third-party modules as well.

    • Etcher Image Writer Is Now Better Than Ever

      Back in may we spotlighted Etcher, a stylish open-source USB image writer app for Windows, macOS and Linux.

      In the months since our feature the app has released a over 10 small beta updates, with Etcher 1.5 Beta being the most recent release at the time of writing.

    • Audacious 3.8 released

      Audacious 3.8 was released on September 21, 2016.

    • New Version of Audacious Music Player Released

      A new version of Audacious, a popular lightweight audio player, is now available for download.

      Audacious 3.8 introduces a small set of features, including the ability to run more than one instance of the app at the same time. Quite why… no idea.

      New audtool commands have been added, including stream recording toggles, and cue sheet support is said to be “more seamless”.

    • Rambox Puts All Your Favorite Messaging Services In One App

      Rambox is a free, open-source messaging and email app that groups all your favourite web apps into one easy-to-manage window.

      Sound familiar?

      We’ve highlighted apps like Rambox before, with Franz and the Gmail-specific Wmail being but two.

    • Stylish Markdown Editor ‘Typora’ Is Now Available for Ubuntu

      In the market for a desktop markdown editor for Linux? You may have helped but notice that you’re rather spoilt for choice. From Abricotine and Scratch to Simplenote, Springseed and Remarkable. Even Gedit can render markdown with the right plugin! With so much choice it can be difficult to know which app to pick.

    • YoutPlayer Floats Your Fave YouTube Videos on The Desktop [Ed: just an Electron app]

      Looking for a neat-o way to play YouTube playlists on your desktop, outside your browser? Take a looksie at Yout, an Electron app that lets you add and watch YouTube playlists on your desktop, floating window stylee. Yout is not the most user-friendly of apps.

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Games

      • Avoid the pile-up in ‘Clustertruck’, a first-person platformer with day-1 Linux support, it’s great

        We have been steadily getting more 3D “beat the timer” games where you’re up against others times, which is great because they really can be fun. I do love getting competitive in certain games, especially with some of my Steam friends and friends in the wider community. Games like this recently have been something I’ve been repeatedly going back to for a break from life.

        Clustertruck is not only about beating the times of other people, but it’s also a “the floor is lava” game, so if you touch the floor you have to start again. The really funny thing is that the safe pads are moving trucks you have to keep up with. You can at least grab onto the back of a truck if you just about touch it, so it’s not always instant death.

      • Fusion 3, the next generation game engine and editor from Clickteam will support Linux

        The difference between their tools and others, is the event system. Instead of needing to program every single line, you can stack up events and link them together to create a game. It works quite well and I’m pretty excited to give Fusion 3 a go on Linux myself to see what random games I can create for fun.

      • SteamOS 2.93 Brewmaster Beta Adds New Security Fixes from Debian GNU/Linux 8.6

        Valve’s SteamOS 2 gaming operating system is still getting goodies, and it looks like a new Beta update has been pushed on September 26, 2016, to the brewmaster_beta channel for public beta testers.

        That’s right, SteamOS 2.93 Brewmaster Beta is here to replace the previous build announced earlier this month, SteamOS 2.91 Brewmaster Beta, and add the latest security fixes and updates from upstream. This means that SteamOS is now officially based on the recently released Debian GNU/Linux 8.6 “Jessie” operating system.

        “SteamOS brewmaster update 2.93 pushed to brewmaster_beta. Corrects a build issue where the last kernel updates were not actually included. Also updates from the Debian 8.6 release[www.debian.org] and the usual security fixes,” says John Vert, Valve engineer, in the release announcement.

      • There Are Around 2,000 Steam Linux Games Available
      • Steam now has above 2,500 Linux & SteamOS games available

        I’ve seen some posts on reddit and across the wider net about Steam hitting around 2,000 games for Linux. The truth is the number is actually quite a lot higher.

        People seem to be using SteamDB numbers which aren’t up to date. The problem here is that SteamDB is unofficial and a manual process for people to let them know a game works. So you need to own the game and manually tell them, which makes their numbers rather different to the reality.
        Note: SteamDB do truly excellent work, this isn’t a bash attempt, but to let people know how they work and how their list is different.

        The other problem is that the Steam Search when filtering only for Games and only for Linux is still incorrect. It actually lists games that are due soon, or due this month and haven’t released yet. It also still lists games that haven’t updated their release date that were supposed to release before today, but didn’t actually release yet.

      • ‘Farabel’, a turn based strategy game is officially coming to Linux after a days work

        The developers of Farabel [Official Site, Steam, itch] sent word that their game is now officially coming to Linux. They asked for testers and in a single day got the game working properly on Linux and it’s now official.

      • RADV Vulkan Driver Can Now Correctly Render Talos Principle
      • The Talos Principle now renders correctly in ‘radv’, the open source AMD Vulkan driver

        Good news for Vulkan and AMD GPU fans, as David Airlie has put up a new blog post letting us know that The Talos Principle now renders correctly in this new open source AMD Vulkan driver.

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

      • GNOME 3.22 Supports Flatpak Cross-Linux Distribution Framework

        GNOME 3.22, the second major update this year to the GNOME desktop environment, debuted Sept. 21—and since then, has made its way into the repositories of Linux distributions, including Fedora and openSUSE. Much as was the case with the GNOME 3.20 update earlier this year, many of the changes in the latest iteration of the popular open-source desktop environment are incremental. Among the most significant capabilities in GNOME 3.22 is support for the Flatpak framework, which is designed to allow an application to be installed on various Linux distributions. The GNOME Builder integrated development environment (IDE) can now also be used by developers to build Flatpak-compatible applications. Flatpak is an alternative approach to Snappy, which provides similar capabilities and was originally developed by Ubuntu. The GNOME Files application continues to evolve and, in this release, adds new capabilities that enable users to open compressed files automatically. Files also enables users to compress files easily in common compression formats. Additionally, Files gained the ability to batch rename files and folders on a user’s system. Here’s a look at the key features of the GNOME 3.20 desktop update.

      • [GNOME Maps:] Planning a trip
  • Distributions

    • The Linux Setup – Daniel Foré, elementary OS

      Daniel is the founder of elementary OS, the distribution that’s famous for its own look. Daniel came to Linux through a love of customizing Windows XP, so it’s no surprise he also came to appreciate the flexibility of Linux. Interestingly, especially given the strong visual aesthetic of elementary, Daniel’s favorite app is the Scratch text editor!

    • New Releases

      • Solus Gets MATE 1.16 Desktop Environment and Linux Kernel 4.7.5, Up-to-Date Apps

        Joshua Strobl from the Solus Project published a new installation of the distribution’s weekly newsletter, This Week in Solus 36, to inform Solus users about the latest software updates and other important changes in the Linux OS.

      • Proxmox VE 4.3 released

        Proxmox Server Solutions GmbH today announced the general availability of Proxmox Virtual Environment 4.3. The hyper-converged open source server virtualization solution enables users to create and manage LXC containers and KVM virtual machines on the same host, and makes it easy to set up highly available clusters as well as to manage network and storage via an integrated web-based management interface.

        The new version of Proxmox VE 4.3 comes with a completely new comprehensive reference documentation. The new docu framework allows a global as well as contextual help function. Proxmox users can access and download the technical documentation via the central help-button (available in various formats like html, pdf and epub). A main asset of the new documentation is that it is always version specific to the current user’s software version. Opposed to the global help, the contextual help-button shows the user the documentation part he currently needs.

      • Proxmox VE 4.3 Officially Released with New Reference Documentation, Updated GUI

        Today, September 27, 2016, Proxmox Server Solutions GmbH proudly announced the immediate availability of the Proxmox VE (Virtual Environment) 4.3 open source, Linux-based hyper-converged server virtualization solution.

        The biggest new feature of the Proxmox VE 4.3 release appears to be a new reference documentation that users can download in various formats, including as EPUB, PDF or HTML, helping newcomers get started with Proxmox much faster. However, it looks like it is based on the Debian GNU/Linux 8.6 “Jessie” and Ubuntu 16.04 LTS (Xenial Xerus) operating systems, running LXC 2.0 and Linux kernel 4.4 LTS.

    • OpenSUSE/SUSE

    • Red Hat Family

      • How Red Hat is making money on the public cloud with a hybrid approach

        Red Hat hasn’t traditionally played much of a part in public clouds, a fact its CEO Jim Whitehurst underscored in Red Hat’s recent earnings call. Though the company is now dabbling in a true elastic/consumption-based delivery and pricing model via OpenShift, Red Hat remains a primarily on-premises business that only feints toward a true cloud model in terms of service delivery.

        Ironically, the hybrid cloud may be the trend that gets Red Hat fully planted in the public cloud.

      • Red Hat Software Adding Fort Point Offices

        The new location will include an immersive briefing center for visiting executives, the first East Coast location for the company’s innovation labs and a new engineering lab, which will augment Red Hat’s 175,000-square-foot engineering and product headquarters in Westford. The engineering lab will provide collaborative space to take advantage of Boston’s tech ecosystem, Raleigh, North Carolina-based Red Hat said in a statement.

      • Finance

      • Fedora

        • Fedora Join meetings to begin this week

          We’ve had the Fedora Join SIG around for a bit now, but we haven’t been very active. Recently we’ve seen an increase in community members willing to participate in the SIG, and in combination with the work that CommOps is doing to improve the “joining experience” for newbies, we thought that it’s a good time to gain some traction.

        • Fedora 25 Alpha and processing.

          Is simple to use. You can used with java also with python and android mode.
          Come with many examples and tutorials.
          Today I tested with Fedora 25 alpha.

        • Fedora 24 — The Best Distro for DevOps?

          If you have been to any DevOps-focused conferences — whether it’s OpenStack Summit or DockerCon — you will see a sea of MacBooks. Thanks to its UNIX base, availability of Terminal app and Homebrew, Apple hardware is extremely popular among DevOps professionals.

          What about Linux? Can it be used as a platform by developers, operations, and DevOps pros? Absolutely, says Major Hayden, Principal Architect at Rackspace, who used to be a Mac OS user and has switched to Fedora. Hayden used Mac OS for everything: software development and operations. Mac OS has all the bells and whistles that you need on a consumer operating system; it also allows software professionals to get the job done. But developers are not the target audience of Mac OS. They have to make compromises. “It seemed like I had to have one app that would do one little thing and this other app would do another little thing,” said Hayden.

        • Fedora 25 Goes Into Beta Freeze Today, New Features Need To Be Completed

          Today is a big day along the Fedora 25 schedule and stepping towards its official debut in November.

          The Fedora 25 Beta freeze is today ahead of the planned beta release on 11 October. Also very important is today’s the 100% code complete deadline for Fedora 25 changes.

        • Fedora 25 Beta Freeze
        • Fedora 25 Linux Beta Might Land on October 11, 2016, Beta Freeze Now in Effect

          Fedora Project’s Mohan Boddu announced on September 26, 2016, that the upcoming Fedora 25 Beta milestone, which is scheduled for release next month on the 11th, is now officially in freeze stage.

          Fedora 25 is the next major release of the Red Hat-sponsored computer operating system for power users and anyone else who wants a well-designed Linux-based OS. It has been in development since July 2016, and the Alpha snapshot has hit the streets on August 30, after being delayed by a week due to some nasty regressions and bugs that have been patched quickly.

          The next stop in the Fedora 25 Linux development cycle is the Beta, which, according to the official release schedule, is now in freeze state. The Beta Freeze stage means that developers won’t be allowed to add any other features to the upcoming Beta release, but only to fix blockers and other annoyances that might not offer users a quality product.

    • Debian Family

      • Debian Project mourns the loss of Kristoffer H. Rose

        Kristoffer was a Debian contributor from the very early days of the project, and the upstream author of several packages that are still in the Debian archive nowadays, such as the LaTeX package Xy-pic and FlexML. On his return to the project after several years’ absence, many of us had the pleasure of meeting Kristoffer during DebConf15 in Heidelberg.

      • Derivatives

        • Parsix GNU/Linux 8.5 “Atticus” to Reach End of Life on September 30, 2016

          The Parsix GNU/Linux developers announced that the end-of-life status is approaching fast for the Parsix GNU/Linux 8.5 “Atticus” operating system, urging users to upgrade to the latest release immediately.

          Dubbed Atticus and based on the Debian GNU/Linux 8.5 “Jessie” operating system, Parsix GNU/Linux 8.5 was unveiled seven months ago, on February 14, 2016. Running the long-term supported Linux 4.1.17 kernel injected with TuxOnIce 3.3 and BFS patches, it was built around the GNOME 3.18 desktop environment with the GNOME Shell 3.18.3 user interface.

          The end of life (EOL) will be officially reached on September 30, 2016, which means that users of the Parsix GNU/Linux 8.5 “Atticus” operating system will no longer receive security and software updates. Therefore, they are urged today to upgrade to the latest, most recent version of the Debian-based distribution, Parsix GNU/Linux 8.10 “Erik.”

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Ubuntu 16.10 Final Beta Officially Released with Linux Kernel 4.8, Download Now

            Delayed six days, the Final Beta release of the upcoming Ubuntu 16.10 (Yakkety Yak) operating system launched today, September 28, 2016, as the final development snapshot in the series.

            Today’s Final Beta is in fact the first Beta pre-release version of Ubuntu 16.10, and the only development milestone that you’ll be able to test if you want to see what’s coming to the next major release of Ubuntu Linux. However, we can tell you that it is powered by Linux kernel 4.8, contains up-to-date applications, and still uses the Unity 7 UI.

            “The Ubuntu team is pleased to announce the final beta release of Ubuntu 16.10 Desktop, Server, and Cloud products. Codenamed “Yakkety Yak”, 16.10 continues Ubuntu’s proud tradition of integrating the latest and greatest open source technologies into a high-quality, easy-to-use Linux distribution. The team has been hard at work through this cycle, introducing new features and fixing bugs,” reads the announcement.

  • Devices/Embedded

Free Software/Open Source

  • GitHub open-sources internal load-balancing software

    GitHub will release as open source the GitHub Load Balancer (GLB), its internally developed load balancer.

    GLB was originally built to accommodate GitHub’s need to serve billions of HTTP, Git, and SSH connections daily. Now the company will release components of GLB via open source, and it will share design details.

  • GE, Bosch and open source could bring more IoT tools

    Partnerships that could shape the internet of things for years are being forged just as enterprises fit IoT into their long-term plans.

    A majority of organizations have included IoT as part of their strategic plans for the next two to three years, IDC said last week. No one vendor can meet the diverse IoT needs of all those users, so they’re joining forces and also trying to foster broader ecosystems. General Electric and Germany’s Bosch did both on Monday.

    The two companies, both big players in industrial IoT, said they will establish a core IoT software stack based on open-source software. They plan to integrate parts of GE’s Predix operating system with the Bosch IoT Suite in ways that will make complementary software services from each available on the other.

  • Industrial IoT leaders work towards interoperability and open source collaboration
  • GE and Bosch Sign Agreement for Interoperability and Open Source Collaboration
  • Free PPMP from Bosch makes Industry 4.0 open for all
  • Open source tools can help small businesses cut costs and save time

    Imagine if there was a global community of tech experts who were independently building and improving digital tools that you could use for free. Tools that could help you provide a service for, and communicate with, your customers.

    Well, there is. The open source community is made up of amateur and professional computer coders who work on publicly available computer code. Businesses can then take these lines of code from websites such as Github, to use in their software, products and services.

    Open source projects are helping small businesses all over the world to save time and money.

  • OPNFV Colorado platform bolsters open source NFV efforts

    The Linux Foundation’s Open Platform for NFV project claims its third platform release targets accelerating development of NFV apps and services

    The telecom market’s continued move towards integrating network functions virtualization received a boost as the Linux Foundation’s Open Platform for NFV project released its latest Colorado platform release, the third from the open source-based organization.

  • Open-source NFV Project delivers third platform release

    The OPNFV Project, an open source project that facilitates the development and evolution of Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) components across various open source ecosystems through integration, deployment, and testing today announced the availability of OPNFV Colorado, the project’s third platform release.

  • Inocybe Technologies Launches Community Version of their Open Networking Platform
  • Open Source Getting on My Nerves

    Open source people are generally not dirt dishers, however. Take Phil Robb of OpenDaylight , where he is senior technical director. Robb was on that MANO panel in Denver, and he spoke to me shortly afterward in an interview on ODL’s new Boron software release. I specifically asked him about the “messy MANO situation” right now.

    His response was frustratingly calm. “I would equate the MANO space with where the controller space was three years ago,” he says. “One of the great things about open source is that real code is going to be up, going to be used, stuff will work or it will fall over. But we’ll fail fast and move on.” (See Carriers Driving ODL’s Boron Release.)

    So having multiple versions in process isn’t a bad thing, Robb says, because it might be that one approach works better for a set of use cases than another. What the industry will come around to “sooner rather than later” is that one approach likely addresses the broadest set of use cases and will be more widely adopted, while others address niches and either are used alongside the major approach or incorporated into it.

  • GENIVI Alliance launches new open source vehicle simulator project
  • Choosing the right metrics for your project

    Last month we discussed setting goals for your community metrics program. These goals serve as a constant reminder of what you want to achieve in the program and should be used as metrics themselves when deciding exactly what you are going to measure.

    This month we’ll document a basic strategy for deciding what to measure, and give examples of specific community metrics we’ve used in practice. Using our knowledge of our community and the goals we previously came up with, we’ll make sure the metrics we choose are relevant.

  • An Open Source Shopping Cart Can Boost Your Online Commerce Efforts
  • Open Source Projects Must Work Together to Survive

    Open source software is in danger of being beaten at its own game by upstart services that are tightly integrated, less complex, and easier to use. That message was at the heart of the cautionary tale told by Stephen O’Grady in his keynote at this year’s ApacheCon North America in May.

    O’Grady, Principal Analyst & Cofounder of RedMonk, recalled his years as a systems integrator, pointing out that open source software took a big bite out of the enterprise software market when it became more accessible and easier to use.

  • Contributing to an Open Source Project

    If you’re interested gaining some tips and insights into how to contribute to open source, this video of a presentation given on September 19 at the JavaOne conference in San Francisco by Gunnar Wagenknecht, a software engineer at Salesforce, and Wayne Beaton, director at the Eclipse Foundation, might be useful to you.

  • Facebook Debuts Open Source Detection Tool for Windows

    Facebook debuted the open source tool in 2014 as cross-platform, but for the last two years it was only supported on Ubuntu, CentOS, and Mac OS X operating systems. Facebook isn’t the biggest Windows shop, but the company confirmed in March that because so many users were asking for it, it was building a version of the tool for Windows 10.

  • Events

    • Report for Software Freedom Day 2016 – China Academy Science

      This year I am asked to present SFD in China Academy Science by the company, so unlucky I am not proper to deliver a Fedora talk then. I bring some DVDs and stickers there, as well as a roll up poster. However there are people asking questions about Fedora so finally I still do some Q&A after the event.

      SFD in China Academy Science this year is hold in Huairou Campus, suburbs of Beijing. So with another Red Hatter, Shiyang, we took train there. Their campus is not easy to find and by the time we arrived at the event it’s 10 minutes before the start of the event.

      Talks started on 2:00 PM. After the hostess introduced the event, Shiyang is the first to talk. He introduces the basic usage of Git and Github. During the Q&A part of his talk, I found that in fact most students not paying much attention to distributions already. They are just users of Linux.

    • OpenDaylight Symposium 2016
    • Keynote: Join or Die! – Stephen O’Grady, Principal Analyst & Cofounder, RedMonk
  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • B2G OS and Gecko Annoucement from Ari Jaaksi & David Bryant

        In the spring and summer of 2016 the Connected Devices team dug deeper into opportunities for Firefox OS. They concluded that Firefox OS TV was a project to be run by our commercial partner and not a project to be led by Mozilla. Further, Firefox OS was determined to not be sufficiently useful for ongoing Connected Devices work to justify the effort to maintain it. This meant that development of the Firefox OS stack was no longer a part of Connected Devices, or Mozilla at all. Firefox OS 2.6 would be the last release from Mozilla. Today we are announcing the next phase in that evolution. While work at Mozilla on Firefox OS has ceased, we very much need to continue to evolve the underlying code that comprises Gecko, our web platform engine, as part of the ongoing development of Firefox. In order to evolve quickly and enable substantial new architectural changes in Gecko, Mozilla’s Platform Engineering organization needs to remove all B2G-related code from mozilla-central. This certainly has consequences for B2G OS. For the community to continue working on B2G OS they will have to maintain a code base that includes a full version of Gecko, so will need to fork Gecko and proceed with development on their own, separate branch.

      • Firefox 53 Will Drop Support for Windows XP and Windows Vista

        Software companies are one by one giving up on Windows XP support for their products, and now it appears that it’s Mozilla’s turn to switch the focus to newer versions of Windows.

        Firefox 53 will be the first version of the browser which will no longer support Windows XP and Windows Vista, so users who haven’t yet upgraded to Windows 7 or newer will have to either stick with Firefox 52 or move to a different browser.

      • Boot 2 Gecko Being Stripped From Mozilla’s Codebase

        At the end of 2015 Mozilla effectively put an end to Firefox OS / Boot 2 Gecko by concluding things weren’t working out for Mozilla Corp and their commercial partners to ship Firefox OS smartphones. All commercial development around it has since stopped and they are now preparing to strip B2G from the mozilla-central code-base.

        The news to report on now is that Ari Jaaksi and David Bryant have announced, “Today we are announcing the next phase in that evolution. While work at Mozilla on Firefox OS has ceased, we very much need to continue to evolve the underlying code that comprises Gecko, our web platform engine, as part of the ongoing development of Firefox. In order to evolve quickly and enable substantial new architectural changes in Gecko, Mozilla’s Platform Engineering organization needs to remove all B2G-related code from mozilla-central. This certainly has consequences for B2G OS. For the community to continue working on B2G OS they will have to maintain a code base that includes a full version of Gecko, so will need to fork Gecko and proceed with development on their own, separate branch.”

  • SaaS/Back End

  • CMS

    • Open source application portal adds new ITS applications for download

      The Open Source Application Development Portal (OSADP) web-based portal provides access to and supports the collaboration, development, and use of open-source ITS-related applications. The OSADP has added a number of new ITS-related applications that are available free to the public, including:

  • Public Services/Government

    • Wyoming’s open source enterprise code library a secret no more

      Wyoming’s 250-person Enterprise Technology Services (ETS) group knew it had a good thing in its Enterprise Extensible Code Library, but it chose to keep things under wraps outside of the state until last week when members of that team attended an annual confab for state government CIOs.

      It was at the National Association of State Chief Information Officers (NASCIO) convention in Orlando that the ETS code library project was honored with a Recognition Award for Enterprise IT Management Initiatives, and the inquiries from other states and organizations started streaming in.

  • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

    • Inside the Drone Journalism Lab’s open source operations manual

      Across the world, journalists are increasingly using drone technology to augment their reporting at a fairly inexpensive price.

      In order to help journalists become more adept drone users, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s Drone Journalism Lab recently released a free operations manual online.

      The manual, produced by Matt Waite, founder of the Drone Journalism Lab, is open source and Creative Commons licensed.

    • Open Source Malaria’s First Paper

      Open Source Malaria (OSM) publishes its first paper today. The project was a real thrill, because of the contributors. I’d like to thank them.

      Skepticism about open source research is often based on assumptions: that people will be too busy or insufficiently motivated to participate, or that there will be a cacophony of garbage contributions if a project is open to anyone. I’m not sure where such assumptions come from – perhaps people look first for ways that things might fail. We can draw upon many experiences of the open source software movement that would suggest such assumptions are poor. We can draw on successful examples of open collaboration in other areas of science, such as the Human Genome Project and the projects it has spawned, as well as examples in mathematics and astrophysics. This OSM paper addresses open source as applied to drug discovery, i.e. experimental, wet lab science in an area where we normally expect to need secrecy, for patents. It is based on the experience of 4-5 years of work and describes the first series examined by OSM.

    • Open Access/Content


  • Video claiming drilling into iPhone 7 will reveal hidden headphone port goes viral

    A video claiming that users can add a headphone socket to the iPhone 7, which only has a Lightning port, by drilling into the bottom of their phone has been watched almost 10m times.

    The prank video shows a man drilling a 3.5mm hole into the bottom left edge of the iPhone 7 held in a vice. It points to the row of small holes on the left side that replaced the headphone socket present on the iPhone 6S and claims that drilling into the second hole on the left reveals a hidden socket.

    Once the hole has been drilled the video shows an iPhone 7 playing music, although the sound comes out of the speakers, not the white headphones now inserted in the DIY hole.

  • Tempers flare in Venice as angry protesters block cruise ships

    Hundreds of demonstrators have taken to the water in Venice to protest against visiting cruise ships, as relations between tourists and locals reach a new nadir.

    Flare-waving protestors used gondolas and small boats to prevent cruise ships, including a vessel belonging to Thomson, from passing through the lagoon on Sunday.

    During peak season some 30,000 cruise ship passengers disembark in Venice every day, which locals claim is ruining their city, both environmentally and culturally.

  • Disney Is Working With an Adviser on Potential Twitter Bid

    Walt Disney Co. is working with a financial adviser to evaluate a possible bid for Twitter Inc., according to people familiar with the matter.

    After receiving interest in discussing a deal, Twitter has started a process to evaluate a potential sale. Salesforce.com Inc. is also considering a bid and is working with Bank of America on the process, according to other people, who asked not to be named because the matter is private.

    Representatives for Twitter and Disney didn’t respond to requests for comment.

    Speculation that Twitter will be sold has been gathering steam in recent months, including last week’s news of Salesforce’s interest, given the social-media company’s slumping stock and difficulties in attracting new users and advertising revenue. Disney, the owner of ABC and ESPN, could obtain a new online outlet for entertainment, sports and news. Jack Dorsey, chief executive officer of Twitter, is on the board of Disney.

  • Science

    • Archaelogists discover 200-year-old underground pub in Manchester

      Archaelogists have discovered a 200-year-old underground pub during building work on a office building in central Manchester.

      Excavators discovered untouched bottles full of of brandy and crockery branded with the 18th-century landlord of the Astley Arms.

      Archaelogists were brought to the site of a future 13-storey skyscraper as part the planning process and found the remains of houses as well as the pub.

  • Security

    • Tuesday’s security updates
    • New Open Source Linux Ransomware Divides Infosec Community

      Following our investigation into this matter, and seeing the vitriol-filled reaction from some people in the infosec community, Zaitsev has told Softpedia that he decided to remove the project from GitHub, shortly after this article’s publication. The original, unedited article is below.

    • Fax machines’ custom Linux allows dial-up hack

      Party like it’s 1999, phreakers: a bug in Epson multifunction printer firmware creates a vector to networks that don’t have their own Internet connection.

      The exploit requirements are that an attacker can trick the victim into installing malicious firmware, and that the victim is using the device’s fax line.

      The firmware is custom Linux, giving the printers a familiar networking environment for bad actors looking to exploit the fax line as an attack vector. Once they’re in that ancient environment, it’s possible to then move onto the network to which the the printer’s connected.

      Yves-Noel Weweler, Ralf Spenneberg and Hendrik Schwartke of Open Source Training in Germany discovered the bug, which occurs because Epson WorkForce multifunction printers don’t demand signed firmware images.

    • Google just saved the journalist who was hit by a ‘record’ cyberattack

      Google just stepped in with its massive server infrastructure to run interference for journalist Brian Krebs.

      Last week, Krebs’ site, Krebs On Security, was hit by a massive distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack that took it offline, the likes of which was a “record” that was nearly double the traffic his host Akamai had previously seen in cyberattacks.

      Now just days later, Krebs is back online behind the protection of Google, which offers a little-known program called Project Shield to help protect independent journalists and activists’ websites from censorship. And in the case of Krebs, the DDoS attack was certainly that: The attempt to take his site down was in response to his recent reporting on a website called vDOS, a service allegedly created by two Israeli men that would carry out cyberattacks on behalf of paying customers.

    • Krebs DDoS aftermath: industry in shock at size, depth and complexity of attack

      “This attack didn’t stop, it came in wave after wave, hundreds of millions of packets per second,” says Josh Shaul, Akamai’s vice president of product management, when Techworld spoke to him.

      “This was different from anything we’ve ever seen before in our history of DDoS attacks. They hit our systems pretty hard.”

      Clearly still a bit stunned, Shaul describes the Krebs DDoS as unprecedented. Unlike previous large DDoS attacks such as the infamous one carried out on cyber-campaign group Spamhaus in 2013, this one did not use fancy amplification or reflection to muster its traffic. It was straight packet assault from the old school.

    • iOS 10 makes it easier to crack iPhone back-ups, says security firm

      INSECURITY FIRM Elcomsoft has measured the security of iOS 10 and found that the software is easier to hack than ever before.

      Elcomsoft is not doing Apple any favours here. The fruity firm has just launched the iPhone 7, which has as many problems as it has good things. Of course, there are no circumstances when vulnerable software is a good thing, but when you have just launched that version of the software, it is really bad timing.

      Don’t hate the player, though, as this is what Elcomsoft, and what Apple, are supposed to be doing right.

      “We discovered a major security flaw in the iOS 10 back-up protection mechanism. This security flaw allowed us to develop a new attack that is able to bypass certain security checks when enumerating passwords protecting local (iTunes) back-ups made by iOS 10 devices,” said Elcomsoft’s Oleg Afonin in a blog post.

    • After Tesla: why cybersecurity is central to the car industry’s future

      The news that a Tesla car was hacked from 12 miles away tells us that the explosive growth in automotive connectivity may be rapidly outpacing automotive security.

      This story is illustrative of two persistent problems afflicting many connected industries: the continuing proliferation of vulnerabilities in new software, and the misguided view that cybersecurity is separate from concept, design, engineering and production.

      This leads to a ‘fire brigade approach’ to cybersecurity where security is not baked in at the design stage for either hardware or software but added in after vulnerabilities are discovered by cybersecurity specialists once the product is already on the market.

    • Sloppy programming leads to OpenSSL woes
    • OpenSSL Fixes Critical Bug Introduced by Latest Update

      OpenSSL today released an emergency security update after a patch in its most recent update issued last week introduced a critical vulnerability in the cryptographic library.

    • The Internet Of Poorly Secured Things Is Fueling Unprecedented, Massive New DDoS Attacks

      Last week, an absolutely mammoth distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack brought down the website of security researcher Brian Krebs. His website, hosted by Akamai pro bono, was pulled offline after it was inundated with 620Gbps of malicious traffic, nearly double the size of the biggest attack Akamai (which tracks such things via their quarterly state of the internet report) has ever recorded. Krebs was ultimately able to get his website back online after Google stepped in to provide DDoS mitigation through its Project Shield service.

    • Trump Offers More Insight On His Cybersecurity Plans: 10-Year-Old Relatives Vs. 400-lb Bedroom Dwellers

      Look, anyone who refers to cybersecurity or cyberwarfare as “the cyber” is probably better off not discussing this. But Donald Trump, in last night’s debate, felt compelled to further prove why he’s in no position to be offering guidance on technological issues. And anyone who feels compelled to portray hackers as 400-lb bedroom dwellers probably shouldn’t be opening their mouth in public at all.

      With this mindset, discussions about what “the Google” and “the Facebook” are doing about trimming back ISIS’s social media presence can’t be far behind. Trump did note that ISIS is “beating us at our game” when it comes to utilizing social media. Fair enough.

    • New, stronger crypto standard lacks backward compatibility

      The Internet Engineering Task Force is on the verge of approving a new standard for encrypted internet traffic that will make the web a safer place to shop, bank and browse — but it could also break a lot of stuff for people who don’t update their browsers. Transport Layer Security, or TLS, is an encryption protocol that works with web browsers. It’s the math, and the shared standards, that underlie the green padlock users see — the symbol which gives users the confidence that they are connected to the right site and is private enough to share personal or financial data. TLS supersedes SSL, or Secure Sockets Layer — a protocol dating back to 1995 that has proven to be thoroughly broken. But the latest TLS version was finalized in 2008 and in recent years has been the subject of many high profile attacks and newly discovered bugs.

  • Defence/Aggression

    • Duterte ‘about to cross the Rubicon’ with US, wants alliances with Russia & China

      Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte has reiterated his intention to distance his country from the US, its former colonial master, saying he is about to pass “the point of no return” with the US.

      “I am about to cross the Rubicon between me and the US,” the controversial Pacific leader told reporters, without elaborating.

      Duterte reiterated that the Philippines would seek closer ties with Russia and China, the two nations that challenged American ambition for global leadership. But, he added, the ties with the US would not be broken completely, only driven to a point that would allow Manila to have an independent policy.

    • Carter: Afghanistan War Supplemental Request Coming in November

      Defense Secretary Ash Carter plans to present Congress with a request for a supplemental spending measure to fund US troops in Afghanistan come November, he said Monday.

      However, Carter would not give a sense of how large the monetary request may be, saying only that there is a “range” that the department’s budgetary experts are considering.

    • Jordanian writer on trial for ‘anti-Islam’ cartoon shot dead outside court

      A gunman on Sunday killed prominent Jordanian writer Nahed Hattar outside a court where he was facing charges for sharing a cartoon deemed offensive to Islam, state news agency Petra reported.

      Hattar was struck by three bullets before the assailant was arrested, said Petra. Witnesses told AFP that a man had opened fire in front of the court in Amman’s Abdali district.

      The 56-year-old Christian was arrested on August 13 after posting a cartoon mocking jihadists on his Facebook account.

      He was charged with inciting sectarian strife and insulting Islam before being released on bail in early September.

    • Writer Charged With Insulting Islam Is Killed as Extremism Boils Over in Jordan

      Some of the most extreme elements in Jordan made clear in recent weeks that Nahed Hattar should pay for a provocative cartoon he posted online depicting a bearded man in bed with two women ordering God to bring him cashews and wine.

      So when Mr. Hattar, 56, a prominent writer from a Christian family, showed up at a court on Sunday to face criminal charges of insulting Islam, at least one man with a gun decided a trial was not enough. As three bullets ripped through the writer in front of the courthouse, Jordan’s simmering tensions boiled over.

    • France: What Is Hidden Behind the “Burkini Ban”

      In Sisco, Corsica, on August 13, a group of Muslim men arrived on a beach in the company of women wearing “burkinis” (full-body bathing costumes). The Muslim men firmly asked the tourists on the beach to leave and posted signs saying “No Entry”. When a few teenagers resisted, the Muslim men responded with a harpoon and baseball bats. The police intervened — but it was just the beginning.

      In the following days, on beaches all over France, Muslim men showed up, accompanied by women in burkinis, and asking beachgoers to leave. Tourists packed up and fled. Several mayors of seaside resorts decided to ban the bathing costume, and the “burkini ban” scandal was born.

      Some politicians said that banning the burkini “stigmatized” Muslims and infringed on their “human rights” to wear whatever they liked. Other politicians, including Prime Minister Manuel Valls and former President Nicolas Sarkozy, called the burkini a “provocation”, and asked for a law to ban it. The Council of State, the highest legal institution, eventually declared that banning the burkini was against the law; the ban was lifted.

      What is important to explain is what lies behind the “burkini ban.”

      Thirty years ago, France was a country where Islam was present but where Islamic demands were virtually absent and Islamic veils were rare.

      Then, in September, 1989, in a northern suburb of Paris, three female students decided to attend high school with their heads covered by a scarf. When the dean refused, the parents, with the support of newly created Muslim associations, filed a complaint. The parents won.

    • One dead and three injured in Malmo shooting as bomb found outside primary school

      Witnesses reported hearing 20 gunshots fired in bursts of three during a football derby at around 7pm local time between Malmö FF and Helsingborgs IF on Sunday.

      One eyewitness claimed the shots were fired by people in an Audi which drove off at high speed.

      Police found shell casings at the scene in Censorgatan and say the suspects may have escaped by moped – four people were injured, including one who was shot in the head.

    • Liberals’ MP hit by hate messages
    • India Says Pakistan Believes Terror Will Bring Territory

      Pakistan continues to believe terrorist attacks will allow it to obtain territory it covets in Jammu and Kashmir, India’s foreign minister said Monday.

      In her speech before the U.N. General Assembly, Sushma Swaraj also rejected accusations made by Pakistan’s prime minister from the same podium last week that India violates human rights, calling them “baseless.”

      She said India has a man in custody “whose confession is a living proof of Pakistan’s complicity in cross-border terror. But when confronted with such evidence, Pakistan remains in denial.”

      “It persists in the belief that such attacks will enable it to obtain the territory it covets,” Swaraj said. “My firm advice to Pakistan is: abandon this dream. Let me state unequivocally that Jammu and Kashmir is an integral part of India and will always remain so.”

    • Pakistani journalist suing US for killing his son, brother in drone attack

      A Pakistani journalist has sued the United States government in Pakistani courts alleging that the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) had killed his brother and a son in a drone strike in the tribal region of the country in 2009.

      According to Karim Khan, his brother and the son were innocent and had no terror links at all. His brother Asif Iqbal had Masters degree in Modern Languages and was a teacher at a local school. The 16-year-old son, Zahinullah, was a student of grade 10.

      In an interview with Al Jazeera, Khan vowed to pursue the case against the CIA and the US government. “We would show their tyrannous face to the whole world…that’s all. They cannot bring back my brother or my son…but I will fight against them as far as I can,” he said.

      Since 2004, the Central Intelligence Agency has conducted over 400 drone attacks in Pakistan, killing about 3,000 people. The London-based Bureau of Investigative Journalism claims that at least 966 civilians, including 207 children were also among those killed by the drones.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife/Nature

    • Evolution of global temperature over the past two million years

      Reconstructions of Earth’s past climate strongly influence our understanding of the dynamics and sensitivity of the climate system. Yet global temperature has been reconstructed for only a few isolated windows of time, and continuous reconstructions across glacial cycles remain elusive. Here I present a spatially weighted proxy reconstruction of global temperature over the past 2 million years estimated from a multi-proxy database of over 20,000 sea surface temperature point reconstructions. Global temperature gradually cooled until roughly 1.2 million years ago and cooling then stalled until the present. The cooling trend probably stalled before the beginning of the mid-Pleistocene transition3, and pre-dated the increase in the maximum size of ice sheets around 0.9 million years ago. Thus, global cooling may have been a pre-condition for, but probably is not the sole causal mechanism of, the shift to quasi-100,000-year glacial cycles at the mid-Pleistocene transition. Over the past 800,000 years, polar amplification (the amplification of temperature change at the poles relative to global temperature change) has been stable over time, and global temperature and atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations have been closely coupled across glacial cycles. A comparison of the new temperature reconstruction with radiative forcing from greenhouse gases estimates an Earth system sensitivity of 9 degrees Celsius (range 7 to 13 degrees Celsius, 95 per cent credible interval) change in global average surface temperature per doubling of atmospheric carbon dioxide over millennium timescales. This result suggests that stabilization at today’s greenhouse gas levels may already commit Earth to an eventual total warming of 5 degrees Celsius (range 3 to 7 degrees Celsius, 95 per cent credible interval) over the next few millennia as ice sheets, vegetation and atmospheric dust continue to respond to global warming.

    • Singaporeans are choking on smoke floating over from Indonesia – here’s why this is happening

      Every year, forest fires from Indonesia choke a swathe of Southeast Asia with a smoky haze for weeks. This phenomenon harms the planet and angers neighbors. It is also a health hazard.

      So what is fueling this? The world’s desire for palm oil.

      The edible oil is used in cookies, noodles and other packaged foods as well as soaps, shampoos, lipsticks and many other consumer goods.

      Farmers in Indonesia, the world’s biggest supplier of the commodity, often illegally burn the world’s oldest rainforest or use fire to clear old oil palms on existing plantations, and the smoke from the flames drifts across Singapore and Malaysia.

  • Finance

    • Dingell seeks transparency in trade deal negotiations

      Automakers such as Ford Motor Co. and Fiat Chrysler oppose the deal, in part because it doesn’t go far enough in addressing currency manipulation by other nations. Michigan lawmakers have suggested the state has lost tens of thousands of jobs in part because of currency manipulation by China, Japan and other countries.

      The office of U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman declined to comment on Dingell’s bill.

      Froman’s office has highlighted its transparency efforts regarding TPP, including the publication of detailed summaries of U.S. objectives in negotiating the agreement; the solicitation of public input on negotiating priorities; and the holding of public hearings to gather input on the negotiations.

    • TTIP: Negotiations ‘in the void’

      Negotiations on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) are forging ahead, despite opposition from a number of countries. And the American elections are almost certain to compromise the deal. EurActiv France reports.

      Despite attempts by citizens and several governments to derail TTIP, EU member states have confirmed their aim of finalising the free trade deal with Canada (CETA) and pushing ahead with talks with the United States, despite the approaching elections.

    • Ministers aim to wrap up services trade deal in early December

      Countries negotiating an international agreement on trade in services plan to meet in early December to try to finalize the deal, U.S. Ambassador to the World Trade Organization Michael Punke told reporters on Monday.

      The Trade in Services Agreement (TiSA), which would provide stronger international rules for sectors such as communications and banking, is being negotiated among 23 WTO members, including the 28-country European Union, that account for 70 percent of global services trade.

      “The TiSA ambassadors met today and agreed to a ministers’ meeting on Dec. 5 and 6 in Geneva to conclude TiSA,” Punke said, adding: “Establishing 21st century trade rules for services, for 70 percent of the globe’s services economy, is a big deal.”

  • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • Asymmetry between the major parties fries the circuits of the mainstream press

      On the eve of the first debate between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, I thought I would write down some of the precepts and maxims I have used to understand press behavior during this long and startling campaign season. If I have done this right, you should be able to test the usefulness of my list in the final six weeks of the U.S. election. (And during coverage of the debates!)

      A word on how I came up with this list. I’ve been a close reader and critic of campaign coverage American-style since 1988. That’s eight “cycles,” as people in the industry say. After I started PressThink in 2003, I could write about the gatekeepers without their permission — hurray for blogging! — and so my pace increased during the 2004, 2008, and 2012 elections. This year I have done a little less at my blog (eight pieces since May 2015, plus one for the Washington Post) and put more into the real time conversation on Twitter, which includes most of the people doing campaign coverage, as well as the heaviest users of it.

    • Fact Check: Has Trump declared bankruptcy four or six times?

      Trump’s companies have filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, which means a company can remain in business while wiping away many of its debts. The bankruptcy court ultimately approves a corporate budget and a plan to repay remaining debts; often shareholders lose much of their equity.

      Trump’s Taj Mahal opened in April 1990 in Atlantic City, but six months later, “defaulted on interest payments to bondholders as his finances went into a tailspin,” The Washington Post’s Robert O’Harrow found. In July 1991, Trump’s Taj Mahal filed for bankruptcy. He could not keep up with debts on two other Atlantic City casinos, and those two properties declared bankruptcy in 1992. A fourth property, the Plaza Hotel in New York, declared bankruptcy in 1992 after amassing debt.

      PolitiFact uncovered two more bankruptcies filed after 1992, totaling six. Trump Hotels and Casinos Resorts filed for bankruptcy again in 2004, after accruing about $1.8 billion in debt. Trump Entertainment Resorts also declared bankruptcy in 2009, after being hit hard during the 2008 recession.

    • 24 Arrested Outside Hofstra University While Demanding An Open Presidential Debate

      Hundreds protested the exclusion of alternative ideas and candidates from the first presidential debate

    • Colin Kaepernick: ‘Embarrassing’ that Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton are candidates

      Colin Kaepernick watched “a little bit” of Monday’s presidential debate, and he didn’t come away impressed with either candidate.


      “It was embarrassing to watch that these are our two candidates,” Kaepernick told reporters Tuesday. “Both are proven liars and it almost seems like they’re trying to debate who’s less racist.

      “And at this point … you have to pick the lesser of two evils. But in the end, it’s still evil.”

  • Censorship/Free Speech

  • Privacy/Surveillance

    • When cyber gets physical: why we need the NSA [Ed: This shallow article (must enable JS) conflates cyberdefence with mass surveillance (which is what NSA does)]
    • Kuwait lawyers fight world’s first mandatory DNA sampling law

      Lawyers in Kuwait have issued a legal challenge to the only law in the world forcing citizens and visitors to give samples of their DNA to the government.

      The Kuwait government has said that the law is needed to combat terrorism. DNA testing is reportedly due to begin within weeks.

      When the law was passed in July last year, Adel AbdulHadi of the Kuwaiti law firm Adel AbdulHadi & Partners and his colleagues began researching and drafting their challenge to it. Their principal argument is that the law violates privacy and human rights provisions in the country’s own constitution, as well as those enshrined in international treaties to which Kuwait is a signatory.

    • Local Lawyers Challenge New Kuwaiti Law Creating Mandatory DNA Database Of All Citizens And Visitors
    • Snowden movie ‘preposterous’, says former NSA deputy director

      The former deputy director of the National Security Agency has taken issue with Oliver Stone’s biopic of one-time NSA employee Edward Snowden.

      Speaking to National Public Radio, Chris Inglis, who retired in 2014 after 28 years at the agency, said the film’s narrative “was a gross mischaracterisation of what NSA’s purposes are. And a gross exaggeration of Edward Snowden’s own particular role in that. To the point where you could come away from looking at that movie, saying, ‘Why are 50,000 people at the NSA dead wrong? And one is absolutely correct?’”

      An NSA deputy director does feature in the film, played by Patrick Joseph Byrnes, and commissions Snowden to lead an important project in Hawaii.

    • Military pressing for broader surveillance mandate

      New legislation is being prepared at the Ministry of Defense for inclusion in a broader package of laws aimed at upgrading surveillance by security officials that would include the possibility of monitoring data carried by cables crossing the country.

      At present, Finland does not have a law providing the military with a mandate to carry out these kinds of intelligence operations. The new legislation in the works will include this, and spell out oversight of intelligence gathering and the division of duties among various officials and agencies.

      The Finnish military has a signals intelligence unit known as the Finnish Intelligence Research Establishment which organizationally falls under the Air Force.

      The head of Finnish military intelligence services, Major General Harri Ohra-aho told Yle that operations are not only concerned with information gathering about the military picture in the region, but also with assessing social developments.

      “We don’t count tanks, rather create a broad analysis of the situation in our vicinity. Technological advances are changing the security environment,” said Ohra-aho.

    • Swiss endorse new surveillance powers

      Swiss voters have given a strong approval to a law on new surveillance powers for the intelligence agencies.

      The new law would allow the authorities to tap phones, snoop on email and deploy hidden cameras and bugs.

      It would help Switzerland catch up with other countries, supporters say.

      Opponents have feared it could erode civil liberties and put Swiss neutrality at risk by requiring closer co-operation with foreign intelligence agencies.

      Some 65.5% of voters agreed to accept the proposal. It will allow the Federal Intelligence Service and other agencies to put suspects under electronic surveillance if authorised by a court, the defence ministry and the cabinet.

    • Microsoft goes AI crazy: Now Office 365 can track what you really get up to in meetings

      At its annual Ignite conference this week in Atlanta, GA, Microsoft is showing off new AI features across its core products for the enterprise. According to CEO Satya Nadella, this AI-everywhere strategy amounts to Microsoft “democratizing AI” for everyone to solve the world’s most pressing challenges.

      “To do this, we’re infusing intelligence into everything we deliver, from the agent to applications, services and infrastructure,” said Nadella.

  • Civil Rights/Policing

    • A New Intelligence Award for “Reporting Wrongdoing” [Ed: this is a trap]

      Professional integrity may be welcome everywhere, but “speaking truth to power” is rarely welcomed by “power.” Often it is not even acknowledged as “truth.” (Apparently, the IC envisions itself here as the domain of truth, and not of power. Or will those who challenge the IC leadership itself be eligible for the new award?) Meanwhile, “reporting wrongdoing” often seems to end badly for the reporter, as the frequency of whistleblower reprisal claims indicates.

    • House Intelligence Panel Gets Dozens of Whistleblower Complaints Every Year

      Critics of leakers have often argued that whistleblowers have legitimate channels through which they can report their grievances, but in the murky world of intelligence, it’s hard to know how many complaints are filed, and what, if anything, happens as a result. Now, the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence says it sees “dozens” of such complaints every year.

      The committee will not disclose details on individual cases, however.

      “We receive whistleblower-type complaints both through the [Intelligence Community inspector general] — which includes complaints filed through the Intelligence Community Whistleblower Protection Act — and via individuals who approach the committee directly,” said Jack Langer, communications director for Committee Chair Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif. Those complaints number in the “dozens” each year, he added.

      The legal process for whistleblowing has been at the center of renewed debate following public disclosures made by Edward Snowden in 2013. Snowden, who worked as an NSA contractor, insists he tried to raise complaints internally, but eventually gave up on the system, for fear of reprisal or dismissal.

    • Torture and False Testimony Leaves Mexico on a Journey to Nowhere

      For many in Mexico, the disappearance of 43 young students from the Ayotzinapa teaching college two years ago remains a painful emblem of a profound national failure—the failure of the state to protect its own people. Among other things, the case highlighted collusion among drug gangs, local politicians, and police, the failure of federal authorities to carry out a credible investigation, and—glaringly—the degree to which torture remains part of the standard operating procedure of criminal investigation.

      Take the case of Patricio Reyes Landa, an alleged member of the Guerrero Unidos criminal gang. Two years ago, Mexico’s attorney general called a press conference and showed a video in which Reyes Landa and three other suspects demonstrated how they supposedly threw the students’ ashes in a river, after incinerating their bodies at a garbage dump. Now, Reyes Landa and some 90 other suspects detained during the investigation say they were tortured into making false confessions about what they did or saw.

  • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

    • Verizon Claims Nobody Wants Unlimited Data, Wouldn’t Be Profitable Anyway

      Back in 2011, Verizon and AT&T eliminated unlimited wireless data plans, instead pushing users toward share data allotments and overage fees as high as $15 per gigabyte. And while the companies did “grandfather” many of these unlimited users at the time, both companies have made at art form out of harassing or otherwise annoying these customers until they convert to costlier shared plans. And despite the fact that such overage-fee-based plans confuse the living hell out of most customers (who have no idea what a gigabyte is), both companies continue to insist that customers don’t actually want unlimited data.

  • DRM

    • EFF calls on HP to disable printer ink self-destruct sequence

      HP Inc. should apologize to customers and restore the ability of printers to use third-party ink cartridges, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) said in a letter to the company’s CEO yesterday.

      HP has been sabotaging OfficeJet printers with firmware that prevents use of non-HP ink cartridges and even HP cartridges that have been refilled, forcing customers to buy more expensive ink directly from HP. The self-destruct mechanism informs customers that their ink cartridges are “damaged” and must be replaced.

    • Demand that HP make amends for its self-destructing printers [SIGN AND SHARE!]

      I’ve written an open letter to HP CEO Dion Weisler on behalf of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, asking him to make amends for his company’s bizarre decision to hide a self-destruct sequence in a printer update that went off earlier this month, breaking them so that they would no longer use third-party ink cartridges.

      The letter points out that this is bad business — and it’s also bad for security. HP printers have previously been shown to be vulnerable to malware that spreads through sneaky codes in documents you print, that can steal your private data, raid your network, and become part of website-killing botnets.

      HP hid its self-destruct sequence in a software update, making future updates — like those that patch this kind of defect — suspect, and decreasing the likelihood that HP’s customers will install them.

      Worse still: HP can use Section 1201 of the DMCA to threaten security researchers who reveal similar defects, and to attack competitors who restore full functionality to your printer.

    • Capcom Releases DRM For Street Fighter 5, Promptly Rolls It Back When It Screws Legitimate Customers

      It should be quite clear by now that DRM is a fantastic way for video game makers to keep people from playing their games. Not pirates, though. No, those folks can play games with DRM just fine, because DRM doesn’t actually keep piracy from being a thing. No, I’m talking about legitimate buyers of games, who in example after example after example suddenly find that the games they bought are unplayable thanks to DRM tools that work about as well as the American political system. And yet DRM still exists for some reason, as game makers look for some kind of holy grail piece of software that will turn every past pirate into a future dollar sign.

      This search for the perfect DRM continues, as we have just the latest story of DRM gone wrong. This story of the Street Fighter V DRM, though, is a special kind of stupid because it was put in place via a software update release, meaning that a game that worked perfectly one day was bricked the next.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Copyright Theft Is Grounds For Deportation, Board Says
      • Immigration Board Says You Can Be Deported For Copyright Infringement

        While we still wait to see if Kim Dotcom can be taken against his will from another country into the US for “copyright infringement” claims, apparently the DOJ has also decided that it can work the other way. The Justice Department’s Board of Immigration Appeals has said that people can be deported for copyright infringement. Apparently the law (the Immigration and Nationality Act) says that non-citizens can be deported if they commit crimes “involving moral turpitude” but had never weighed in on whether or not copyright infringement counted.


        To be fair, this was a case of criminal copyright infringement, and not civil copyright infringement — and the board noted that because criminal copyright infringement requires the showing of “willfulness,” it suffices for the “moral turpitude” question. The person in question, Raul Zaragoza-Vaquero, had been arrested for selling 800 copied CDs to an RIAA investigator. He received 33 months in prison and had to pay $36,000… and was then told he had to leave the country.

      • EFF White Paper Hopes To Educate Cops On The Difference Between An IP Address And A Person

        Judges have pointed out to copyright trolls on multiple occasions that an IP address is not a person. Trolls still labor under this convenient misconception because they have little else in the way of “proof” of someone’s alleged infringement.

        Unfortunately, law enforcement agencies also seem to feel an IP address is a person — or at least a good indicator of where this person might be found. This assumption leads to blunders like ICE raiding a Tor exit node because it thought an IP address was some sort of unique identifier. After having IP addresses explained to it by the EFF, ICE returned the seized hard drives and promised to make the same mistake in the future.

        In another case, the Seattle PD raided a Tor exit node in search of a person downloading child porn. It didn’t find the target it was looking for, but went ahead and demanded passwords so it could search files and logs at the unfortunate citizen’s home before realizing it had the wrong person.

        The EFF is kind of sick of having to explain the difference between an IP address and a person to government entities. It has put together a white paper [PDF] that should be required reading anywhere government employees feel compelled to act on “evidence” as useless as IP addresses.

      • The EU’s Proposed Copyright Directive Is Likely To Be A Wonderful Gift — For US Internet Giants

        Even if the Copyright Directive manages to pass through the EU legislative system without any changes — which seems unlikely — Google would be in a strong position, because it already has the content ID technology in place that will allow it to comply. Although McNamee suggests that as a result Google would be “uniquely placed to license such software to European internet providers,” it’s more likely that it would keep it for its own exclusive use. However, the US company Audible Magic would doubtless be more than happy to license its widely-used content identification system as an alternative. And irrespective of whether it’s based on technology from Google or from Audible Magic, it’s hard to see how this outcome helps the European tech industry.

RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channels: Come and chat with us in real time

New to This Site? Here Are Some Introductory Resources




Samba logo

We support

End software patents


GNU project


EFF bloggers

Comcast is Blocktastic? SavetheInternet.com

Recent Posts