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Translation of Latest Rant From French MP Philip Cordery About Benoît Battistelli’s Abuses at the EPO

Posted in Europe, Patents at 11:36 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

The likes of Laurent Prunier may still have someone to turn to

Philip Cordery

Summary: Philip Cordery crosses horns with Benoît Battistelli, who has become a source of embarrassment for France with his autocratic tendencies and misguided policies that rapidly ruin the European Patent Office (EPO)

AS we noted here last week and the week before that, a French politician had intervened and supported EPO protesters. He is not Pierre-Yves Le Borgn’, the politician who represents or is responsible for French staff working abroad (usually in Europe/EU, not overseas) but another one, whom we also wrote about in the past [1, 2]. He wrote about the subject earlier this month.

Earlier today on we asked if someone can translate from French (to English) for Techrights to publish. Petra Kramer is a Dutch speaker who understands EPO terminology, so she provided the following imperfect translation:

On October 13, I was backed some 600 employees of the European Patent Office (EPO) marching peacefully through the streets of The Hague to express dissatisfaction with the authoritarian and arbitrary management of the organization.

Unhealthy production pressure, drastic limitation of the right to strike, varied threats of sanctions, Trade union representatives of staff laid off. This is the daily life in this international organization that has been abusively hiding for 3 years behind the functional immunity to violate with impunity basic and fundamental principles of labor law.

The EPO, like many other international organizations, enjoys immunity from jurisdiction and execution that no law or decision can be imposed, in order to guard against any national interference, this part the performance of his duties (i.e. Batistelli’s mission to impose patent maximalism and increasing of production thereby lowering patent quality, PK) . Immunity as the main official, the French President Benoît Battistelli brandished as a defense. However, as I have said and repeated many times: “Immunity should not mean impunity.”

I prefer to speak of the EPO which is at the heart of this mission, that is to say, a great organization of which all employees are devoted to the service of industry and innovation in Europe for almost 40 years, including the seriousness of their work is a measure of competence in the highly demanding business of intellectual property rights. Unfortunately, the social pressure coupled with the brutal imposition of ever higher productivity of recent years finally rub off on the quality of the work, the risk ultimately seriously affects the trust of users.

In this poisonous atmosphere and anxiety, I went several times to The Hague to support staff there. I stood face to face with many staff members who informed me all about what happens behind the beautiful facade of this organization. I interacted tirelessly for 3 years with the French authorities to alert them of the industrial, social, and moral implications.

The latest developments are both disturbing and unacceptable. In January, three staff representatives were dismissed or degraded in Munich. Today is the turn of those from The Hague to be under threat. It may be a coincidence. This hunt on representatives of all members of staff of the majority union is unworthy of an organization in a democratic country.

The governance [or mismanagement, PK] of the management team is not only a pain for staff and limiting the effectiveness of the EPO, it has also has become long overdue to intervene for the image of France in Europe and the world. Enough is enough. Battistelli has to go.

NB. I was forced to blur the photo to protect employees who have had the courage to come to the event.

This is similar to what he also posted in Facebook (and we quoted here before). Kramer asked how to reform the Office [1, 2], but this is a question best addressed at actual EPO staff, not clueless management that forms Battistelli’s circle. My personal view is that i) patent scope must be tightened, ii) appeal boards strengthened/broadened (to help with (i)), iii) the Administrative Council needs to be flushed (particularly at the top) to ensure it’s not in the pocket of the Office, iv) the whole of Team Battistelli needs to be dismissed and v) the Office should seek to recruit lost staff and attract new talent while making their unions stronger and recognising that the Office should be staff-driven, not Battistelli-driven. All of these changes would bring the EPO closer in line with the law, with the EPC, and with human dignity.

Battistelli-Commissioned PwC ‘Study’: Leaked Document Shows PwC’s Dishonesty and Misrepresentation of EPO Staff

Posted in Deception, Europe, Patents at 10:47 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

A leaked document about PwC

Summary: An in-depth analysis (but not comprehensive, just preliminary) of the so-called ‘study’ from PwC, which basically did what it was paid for (pay to say)

THE OTHER day we published some raw material from PwC. Soon afterwards, in part 2 of this little 'series', we presented a comparison that had been leaked to us. Well, an insider has also just leaked to us a much more comprehensive document (from which the latter material had been snapped), pertaining to those so-called 'studies' which are accessible only internally. With literally thousands of disgruntled employees it’s no wonder almost everything ends up being sent to us.

We have uploaded the leaked document [PDF] and wish to highlight some bits from it: “Obviously, the EPO management’s usual “market-driven” mantra has been taken on board by PwC without any form of critical analysis. In doing so, PwC has simply missed the elephant in the room which is the original mission of the EPO as defined in the preamble of the EPC: the EPO is a public service entity put in place to protect inventions and serve innovation in the interest of the public at large. The real aim of a public service is not to “win”, or to “compete”, or to “grow” or to “propel business forward”.” [page 1]

“At the start, the study is presented as being based on an objective survey, solid fact-finding and the application of genuine, independent analysis. Further reading begins to cast serious doubts about these three assertions.” [page 2]

Second, the study is remarkable for what it conceals: it is incomprehensible how a consultant can produce a 300-page analysis of the EPO social situation without once mentioning the main union SUEPO who represent more than 50% of its staff. [page 2]

“Last, most of the key starting-points of the study, such as the information produced by the administration 8 , present policy mantra and top management philosophy, are simply taken for granted i without question.” [page 2]

As a conclusion, criticising the “us and them” mentality in the Office comes in handy when identifying the culprits in the Office. By coincidence, PwC shares the approach used by top management over the last years over and over again to always never blame themselves but instead point fingers at others. [page 4]

Fact is that, leaving the PwC comments and recommendations aside, the objective parts of the social study correlates well with the outcome of the Technologia survey in 2016; it confirms the clear worsening of the situation, in particular in terms of Staff dissatisfaction (see Annex). It is in line with the opinion expressed on numerous occasions by Staff and their Representatives and complements the ample media coverage on the present situation. It is all the more remarkable then that at no stage the reforms themselves come under scrutiny. [page 5]

We may have a lot more to say about PwC’s so-called ‘study’. EPO staff is rightly angry about blatant propaganda being cast as “study”. Propaganda mills or liars for hire have no room in an inherently scientific institution such as the EPO.

Links 22/10/2016: Deus Ex for GNU/Linux, Global DDoS (DNS)

Posted in News Roundup at 11:24 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Server

    • Puppet Rolls Out New Docker Image Builds

      Folks who are focused on container technology and virtual machines as they are implemented today might want to give a hat tip to some of the early technologies and platforms that arrived in the same arena. Among those, Puppet, which was built on the legacy of the venerable Cfengine system, was an early platform that helped automate lots of virtual machine implementations. We covered it in depth all the way back in 2008.

      Earlier this year, Puppet Labs rebranded as simply Puppet, and also named its first president and COO, Sanjay Mirchandani, who came to the company from VMware, where he was a senior vice-president. Now, at PuppetConf, the company has announced the availability of Puppet Docker Image Build, which “automates the container build process to help organizations as they define, build and deploy containers into production environments.” This new set of capabilities adds to existing Puppet functionality for installing and managing container infrastructure, including Docker, Kubernetes and Mesos, among others.

  • Kernel Space

    • Intel Has Been Working On MIPI SoundWire Support For Linux

      An Intel developer has published testing patches for providing a SoundWire bus driver within the Linux kernel, which implements the MIPI SoundWire 1.1 specification.

      For those unfamiliar with SoundWire as was I when coming across these patches, “The SoundWire protocol is a robust, scalable, low complexity, low power, low latency, two-pin (clock and data) multi-drop bus that allows for the transfer of multiple audio streams and embedded control/commands. SoundWire provides synchronization capabilities and supports both PCM and PDM, multichannel data, isochronous and asynchronous modes. SoundWire does borrow a number of concepts from existing interfaces such as HDAudio, AC97, SLIMbus, which already provide control/audio on the same wires, or legacy interfaces such as I2C/I2S, TDM, PDM.”

    • Linux Perf Gets New “C2C” Tool For False Sharing Detection

      The perf code for Linux 4.10 is set to receive a new “c2c” tool.

      The C2C tool within the perf subsystem is aimed to track down cacheline contention and has already been used by developers in tracking down false sharing of large applications, readers/writes to cachelines, and related information to assist NUMA shared-memory applications.

    • OpenTracing: Turning the Lights On for Microservices

      Those building microservices at scale understand the role and importance of distributed tracing: after all, it’s the most direct way to understand how and why complex systems misbehave. When we deployed Dapper at Google in 2005, it was like someone finally turned the lights on: everything from ordinary programming errors to broken caches to bad network hardware to unknown dependencies came into plain view.

    • Linux Foundation Spurs JavaScript Development
    • Graphics Stack

      • Radeon vs. Nouveau Open-Source Drivers On Mesa Git + Linux 4.9

        For your viewing pleasure this Friday are some open-source AMD vs. NVIDIA numbers when using the latest open-source code on each side. Linux 4.9-rc1 was used while Ubuntu 16.10 paired with the Padoka PPA led to Mesa Git as of earlier this week plus LLVM 4.0 SVN. As covered recently, there are no Nouveau driver changes for Linux 4.9 while we had hoped the boost patches would land. Thus the re-clocking is still quite poor for this open-source NVIDIA driver stack. For the Nouveau tests I manually re-clocked each graphics card to the highest performance state (0f) after first re-clocking the cards to the 0a performance state for helping some of the GPUs that otherwise fail with memory re-clocking at 0f, as Nouveau developers have expressed this is the preferred approach for testing.

      • NVIDIA 375.10 Linux Driver Released, Supports GTX 1050 Series
      • Nvidia 375.10 Beta Linux Graphics Driver Released with GeForce GTX 1050 Support

        On October 20, 2016, Nvidia published a new Beta graphics driver for the Linux platform, adding support for some new GPUs the company launched recently, as well as various improvements and bug fixes.

        The Nvidia 375.10 Beta is now available for early adopters, but we don’t recommend installing it just yet if you’re looking for a stable and reliable gaming experience, adding support for Nvidia’s recently announced Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 and GeForce GTX 1050 Ti graphics cards, as well as Nvidia Quadro P6000 and Nvidia Quadro P5000 GPUs.

        Another interesting change implemented in the new Beta video driver, which should hit the stable channels next month, is the addition of two new X11 configuration options, namely ForceCompositionPipeline and ForceFullCompositionPipeline, overriding the MetaMode tokens with the same names.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

  • Distributions

    • New Releases

      • Open-Source Budgie Desktop Sees New Release

        The pet parakeet of the Linux world, Budgie has a new release available for download. in this post we lookout what’s new and tell you how you can get it.

      • Solus Linux Making Performance Gains With Its BLAS Configuration

        Those making use of the promising Solus Linux distribution will soon find their BLAS-based workloads are faster.

        Solus developer Peter O’Connor tweeted this week that he’s found some issues with the BLAS linking on the distribution and he’s made fixes for Solus. He also mentioned that he uncovered these BLAS issues by using our Phoronix Test Suite benchmarking software.

      • SalentOS “Luppìu” 1.0 released!

        With great pleasure the team announces the release of SalentOS “Luppìu” 1.0.

      • Slackel “Live kde” 4.14.21

        This release is available in both 32-bit and 64-bit architectures, while the 64-bit iso supports booting on UEFI systems.
        The 64-bit iso images support booting on UEFI systems.
        The 32-bit iso images support both i686 PAE SMP and i486, non-PAE capable systems.
        Iso images are isohybrid.

    • OpenSUSE/SUSE

      • openSUSE Tumbleweed – Review of the Week 2016/42

        This was week 42 – The openSUSE LEAP week of the Year. It can’t be a co-incidence that the Release Candidate 1 was announced in Week 42, on the 2nd day (42.2 – European counting, we start our week on Monday, not on Sunday).

        But also in Tumbleweed things are not standing still: of course many of the things are well in line with what Leap received (like for example Plasma updates), but Tumbleweed rolls at a different pace ahead of the game.

    • Red Hat Family

    • Debian Family

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Flavours and Variants

            • Ubuntu MATE, Not Just a Whim

              I’ve stated for years how much I dislike Ubuntu’s Unity interface. Yes, it’s become more polished through the years, but it’s just not an interface that thinks the same way I do. That’s likely because I’m old and inflexible, but nevertheless, I’ve done everything I could to avoid using Unity, which usually means switching to Xubuntu. I actually really like Xubuntu, and the Xfce interface is close enough to the GNOME 2 look, that I hardly miss the way my laptop used to look before Unity.

              I wasn’t alone in my disdain for Ubuntu’s flagship desktop manager switch, and many folks either switched to Xubuntu or moved to another Debian/Ubuntu-based distro like Linux Mint. The MATE desktop started as a hack, in fact, because GNOME 3 and Unity were such drastic changes. I never really got into MATE, however, because I thought it was going to be nothing more than a hack and eventually would be unusable due to old GNOME 2 libraries phasing out and so forth.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Renesas spins 3rd Gen automotive starter kits, adds new M3 SoC

      Renesas has launched two Linux-ready R-Car starter kits optimized for AGL and GENIVI: an R-Car H3 based “Premier” and a “Pro” with a lower-end M3 SoC.

      Later this month, Renesas will begin selling two third-generation starter kits for its 64-bit ARM-based R-Car automotive SoCs. The kits are designed for ADAS, infotainment, reconfigurable digital clusters, and integrated digital cockpits.

      The two kits are optimized for open source Linux standards like Automotive Grade Linux (AGL) and GENIVI, but they also support QNX. Earlier R-Car automotive starter kits include last year’s R-Car H2 ADAS Starter Kit, based on its earlier H2 automotive SoC.

    • Yocto driven camera design taps octa-core Snapdragon

      Qualcomm and Thundercomm unveiled a Linux-supported, 4K camera reference design with an octa-core Snapdragon 625 and video analytics software.

      Qualcomm and hardware partner Thundercomm Technology announced an IP Connected Camera reference design called the Snapdragon 625 IP Camera built around its 14nm-fabricated, octa-core Cortex-A53 Snapdragon 625 system-on-chip. This is Qualcomm’s first Connected Camera design to support Linux instead of Android.

Free Software/Open Source

  • The Open Source Way

    “Open source”, in the world of IT, is program code that is meant for collaboration and open contribution. Intended to be modified and shared, because by design and spirit, it is meant for the public at large.

    It’s been said that “”open source” intimates a broader set of values—what we call “the open source way.” Open source projects, products, or initiatives embrace and celebrate principles of open exchange, collaborative participation, rapid prototyping, transparency, meritocracy, and community-oriented development.” So it is a natural conclusion that in this age of open and transparent government, that the government IT manager or technician would be one of the first to want to embrace this new role of collaborative team member within a larger community.

  • Another rift in the open source BPM market: @FlowableBPM forks from @Alfresco Activiti

    In early 2013, Camunda – at the time, a value-added Activiti consulting partner as well as a significant contributor to the open source project – created a fork from Activiti to form what is now the Camunda open source BPM platform as well as their commercial version based on the open source core.

  • Pydio, an Open Source File Sharing and Sync Solution, Out in New Version

    If you’ve followed us here at OStatic, you’ve probably seen our coverage of open source file sharing, cloud and synchronization tools. For example, we’ve covered ownCloud and Nextcloud extensively.

    Not so many people know about Pydio, though, which is out in a new version Pydio7. It’s an open source file sharing & sync solution that now has a host of new features and performance upgrades. It’s worth downloading and trying.

    Through a new partnership with Collabora Productivity (the LibreOffice Cloud provider), Pydio7 now combines file sharing, document editing and online collaboration. Users can now not only access documents online, but also co-author new content and work collaboratively.

  • Web Browsers

  • SaaS/Back End

    • Open-Source Innovations Driving Demand for Hadoop

      AtScale, provider of BI (Business Intelligence) on Hadoop, has released its study titled “The Business Intelligence Benchmark for SQL-on-Hadoop engines,” which is a performance test of BI workloads on Hadoop. The report also studies the strengths and weaknesses of Hive, Presto, Impala and Spark SQL, which are the most popular analytical engines for Hadoop.

  • Pseudo-Open Source (Openwashing)

  • BSD

    • Lumina Desktop 1.1 Released

      The BSD-focused, Qt-powered Lumina Desktop Environment is out with its version 1.1 update.

      The developers behind the Lumina Desktop Environment consider it a “significant update” with both new and reworked utilities, infrastructure improvements, and other enhancements.

      Lumina 1.1 adds a pure Qt5 calculator, text editor improvements, the file manager has been completely overhauled, system application list management is much improved, and there is a range of other improvements.

  • Public Services/Government

    • EU-Fossa project submits results of code audits

      The European Commission’s ‘EU Free and Open Source Software Auditing’ project (EU-Fossa) has sent its code review results to the developers of Apache HTTP server target and KeePass. The audit results are not yet made public, however, no critical vulnerabilities were found.

  • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

    • Open Hardware/Modding

      • New SafariSeat wheelchairs made from bicycle parts help East Africans roam rough terrain
      • SafariSeat, an Open Source Wheelchair for Rural Offroading

        If you’re disabled in a poorly developed part of the world, even a great modern wheelchair may be next to useless. What’s needed is a more off-road design that’s made to be easy to manufacture and repair than something built for a city with sidewalks.

        SafariSeat is a newly designed open-source wheelchair that hopes to make a big impact for disabled people the world over. It uses push bars for power and has large front wheels and small rear ones to easily roll over large objects.

        In a novel move, the designers included a moving seat that shifts bit every time you push the bars to help prevent pressure sores on the butt.

      • Five 3D printing projects for Halloween

        With Halloween fast approaching I figured it was time to add some 3D printed decorations to the office. Below are some of my pictures for fun Halloween-themed prints. I tried to pick some models that demonstrate varied printing techniques.


  • Health/Nutrition

  • Security

    • OOPS! Sometimes Even Linus Gets It Wrong!
    • Free tool protects PCs from master boot record attacks [Ed: UEFI has repeatedly been found to be both a detriment to security and enabler of Microsoft lock-in]

      Cisco’s Talos team has developed an open-source tool that can protect the master boot record of Windows computers from modification by ransomware and other malicious attacks.

      The tool, called MBRFilter, functions as a signed system driver and puts the disk’s sector 0 into a read-only state. It is available for both 32-bit and 64-bit Windows versions and its source code has been published on GitHub.

      The master boot record (MBR) consists of executable code that’s stored in the first sector (sector 0) of a hard disk drive and launches the operating system’s boot loader. The MBR also contains information about the disk’s partitions and their file systems.

      Since the MBR code is executed before the OS itself, it can be abused by malware programs to increase their persistence and gain a head start before antivirus programs. Malware programs that infect the MBR to hide from antivirus programs have historically been known as bootkits — boot-level rootkits.

      Microsoft attempted to solve the bootkit problem by implementing cryptographic verification of the bootloader in Windows 8 and later. This feature is known as Secure Boot and is based on the Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI) — the modern BIOS.

    • DDOS Attack On Internet Infrastructure

      I hope somebody’s paying attention. There’s been another big DDOS attack, this time against the infrastructure of the Internet. It began at 7:10 a.m. EDT today against Dyn, a major DNS host, and was brought under control at 9:36 a.m. According to Gizmodo, which was the first to report the story, at least 40 sites were made unreachable to users on the US East Coast. Many of the sites affected are among the most trafficed on the web, and included CNN, Twitter, PayPal, Pinterest and Reddit to name a few. The developer community was also touched, as GitHub was also made unreachable.

      This event comes on the heels of a record breaking 620 Gbps DDOS attack about a month ago that brought down security expert Brian Krebs’ website, KrebsonSecurity. In that attack, Krebs determined the attack had been launched by botnets that primarily utilized compromised IoT devices, and was seen by some as ushering in a new era of Internet security woes.

    • This Is Why Half the Internet Shut Down Today [Update: It’s Getting Worse]

      Twitter, Spotify and Reddit, and a huge swath of other websites were down or screwed up this morning. This was happening as hackers unleashed a large distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack on the servers of Dyn, a major DNS host. It’s probably safe to assume that the two situations are related.

    • Major DNS provider Dyn hit with DDoS attack

      Attacks against DNS provider Dyn continued into Friday afternoon. Shortly before noon, the company said it began “monitoring and mitigating a DDoS attack” against its Dyn Managed DNS infrastructure. The attack may also have impacted Managed DNS advanced service “with possible delays in monitoring.”

    • What We Know About Friday’s Massive East Coast Internet Outage

      Friday morning is prime time for some casual news reading, tweeting, and general Internet browsing, but you may have had some trouble accessing your usual sites and services this morning and throughout the day, from Spotify and Reddit to the New York Times and even good ol’ WIRED.com. For that, you can thank a distributed denial of service attack (DDoS) that took down a big chunk of the Internet for most of the Eastern seaboard.

      This morning’s attack started around 7 am ET and was aimed at Dyn, an Internet infrastructure company headquartered in New Hampshire. That first bout was resolved after about two hours; a second attack began just before noon. Dyn reported a third wave of attacks a little after 4 pm ET. In all cases, traffic to Dyn’s Internet directory servers throughout the US—primarily on the East Coast but later on the opposite end of the country as well—was stopped by a flood of malicious requests from tens of millions of IP addresses disrupting the system. Late in the day, Dyn described the events as a “very sophisticated and complex attack.” Still ongoing, the situation is a definite reminder of the fragility of the web, and the power of the forces that aim to disrupt it.

    • Either IoT will be secure or the internet will be crippled forever

      First things first a disclaimer. I neither like nor trust the National Security Agency (NSA). I believe them to be mainly engaged in economic spying for the corporate American empire. Glenn Greenwald has clearly proven that in his book No Place to Hide. At the NSA, profit and power come first and I have no fucking clue as to how high they prioritize national security. Having said that, the NSA should hack the Internet of (insecure) Things (IoT) to death. I know Homeland Security and the FBI are investigating where the DDoS of doomsday proportions is coming from and the commentariat is already screaming RUSSIA! But it is really no secret what is enabling this clusterfuck. It’s the Mirai botnet. If you buy a “smart camera” from the Chinese company Hangzhou XiongMai Technologies and do not change the default password, it will be part of a botnet five minutes after you connect it to the internet. We were promised a future where we would have flying cars but we’re living in a future where camera’s, light-bulbs, doorbells and fridges can get you in serious trouble because your home appliances are breaking the law.

    • IoT at the Network Edge

      Fog computing, also known as fog networking, is a decentralized computing infrastructure. Computing resources and application services are distributed in logical, efficient places at any points along the connection from the data source (endpoint) to the cloud. The concept is to process data locally and then use the network for communicating with other resources for further processing and analysis. Data could be sent to a data center or a cloud service. A worthwhile reference published by Cisco is the white paper, “Fog Computing and the Internet of Things: Extend the Cloud to Where the Things Are.”

    • Canonical now offers live kernel patching for Ubuntu 16.04 LTS users

      Canonical has announced its ‘Livepatch Service’ which any user can enable on their current installations to eliminate the need for rebooting their machine after installing an update for the Linux kernel. With the release of Linux 4.0, users have been able to update their kernel packages without rebooting, however, Ubuntu will be the first distribution to offer this feature for free.

    • ​The Dirty Cow Linux bug: A silly name for a serious problem

      Dirty Cow is a silly name, but it’s a serious Linux kernel problem. According to the Red Hat bug report, “a race condition was found in the way the Linux kernel’s memory subsystem handled the copy-on-write (COW) breakage of private read-only memory mappings. An unprivileged local user could use this flaw to gain write access to otherwise read-only memory mappings and thus increase their privileges on the system.”

    • Ancient Privilege Escalation Bug Haunts Linux
    • October 21, 2016 Is Dirty COW a serious concern for Linux?
    • There is a Dirty Cow in Linux
    • Red Hat Discovers Dirty COW Archaic Linux Kernel Flaw Exploited In The Wild
    • Linux kernel bug being exploited in the wild
    • Update Linux now: Critical privilege escalation security flaw gives hackers full root access
    • Linux kernel bug: DirtyCOW “easyroot” hole and what you need to know
    • ‘Most serious’ Linux privilege-escalation bug ever discovered
    • New ‘Dirty Cow’ vulnerability threatens Linux systems
    • Serious Dirty Cow Linux Vulnerability Under Attack
    • Easy-to-exploit rooting flaw puts Linux PCs at risk
    • Linux just patched a vulnerability it’s had for 9 years
    • Dirty COW Linux vulnerability has existed for nine years
    • ‘Dirty Cow’ Linux Vulnerability Found
    • ‘Dirty Cow’ Linux Vulnerability Found After Nine Years
    • FakeFile Trojan Opens Backdoors on Linux Computers, Except openSUSE

      Malware authors are taking aim at Linux computers, more precisely desktops and not servers, with a new trojan named FakeFile, currently distributed in live attacks.

      Russian antivirus vendor Dr.Web discovered this new trojan in October. The company’s malware analysts say the trojan is spread in the form of an archived PDF, Microsoft Office, or OpenOffice file.

  • Defence/Aggression

    • [Older] US Air Force Carries Out Mock Nuclear Bomb Tests in Nevada Desert

      Two surveillance flight tests using mock B61-7 and B61-11 nuclear bombs were successfully carried out in the Nevada desert several weeks ago, according to a release last week.

      The mock bombs did not carry any nuclear devices but instead recorded information on how the bombs performed during the test runs. The tests were jointly conducted at Tonopah Test Range by the U.S. Air Force’s Global Strike Command and the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA).

      Two B-2A Spirit stealth bombers dropped the mock bombs to “allow scientists and engineers from national laboratories to assess their performance” and they “contain no nuclear materials and are not capable of nuclear yield,” the NNSA said in a news release on Oct. 6.

    • Sweden’s unethical – and unlawful ­­– arms deals with ISIS-backing Saudis

      Prime Minister of Sweden Stefan Löfven, and with him the Swedish arms-dealer magnate Jacob Wallenberg, are travelling to Saudi Arabia in official visit. The meetings with the Saudis, as announced by the Swedish Radio, shall aim to “increase the exchange” between the two countries. [1] At the same time, the Chairman of the Defence Committee in the Swedish Parliament, Mr Allan Widman, is now demanding that Sweden should send arms to US-backed Pershmerga, integrating the US & Saudi-led coalition in Iraq. [2]

      The above-mentioned issues are not only connected in its timing, but also produced against the backdrop of the US and Saudi’s instigated Syria war aimed to depose the legitimate government of Assad, and the confrontation pursued by NATO and its political front EU against Russia. Evidence put forward in the US, among other by Senator Richard Black, show that Saudi Arabia has been financing/arming ISIS jihadists. [3] The Senator revealed also that “Saudi Arabia and Turkey formed the Army of Conquer and coordinated ISIS and Al-Qaida”. Further, emails published by WikiLeaks’ Podesta series revealed that Hillary Clinton has been fully aware – already since 2014 – of the fact that both Saudi Arabia and Qatar were financing ISIS.[3] On the other hand, the US government has claimed the responsibility for financing, training and arming so-called “moderate rebels” – the “moderate terrorists” – which together with ISIS maintain a common war against the government of Syria.

    • Philippine President’s Most Searing Insults to World Leaders

      Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte is known for saying things that are quite scandalous and many would consider unsayable. However, his outspoken style and crime-fighting record is making him quite popular with many Filipinos. Here are some of his most outrageous statements.

  • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

    • A Quick Logic Lesson For Confused WikiLeaks Haters

      I know the following might be difficult to grasp for all you amateur internet logicians out there, but give it the ol’ college try anyhow. (I also know there’s a strand of Ironic Twitter commentary which immediately discounts the invocation of “Logic!” as somehow inherently foolhardy, and while I’ve often found such memes funny, logic is an important field of philosophy and everyone should study it. For serious.)

      Tonight, in his infinite wisdom, Sean Hannity tweeted out an approbation of WikiLeaks.


      Drawing attention to Hannity’s change of heart on WikiLeaks — he unsurprisingly called Chelsea Manning treasonous back in 2010 when WikiLeaks published the Iraq/Afghanistan logs and the State Department cable trove — is just the heroes’ latest attempt to show that WikiLeaks is now Bad with a capital B, after having previously been Good with a capital G. Let’s work out how their logical theorem progresses.

      Sean Hannity is Bad
      Sean Hannity likes WikiLeaks
      WikiLeaks is therefore bad

      Wow, good stuff here — the type of staggeringly incisive philosophizing that would’ve made W. V. Quine envious. I guess we should briefly “unpack” why this logic is faulty, for the edification of very desperately confused people on the internet.

      Hannity might indeed be bad with a capital B, but his being Bad doesn’t ipso facto make anything he likes Bad. For instance, Hannity may well also like dogs. I’ll be damned if dogs are Bad because Bad Hannity likes them. Please do not sully our canine friends by dint of their association with Hannity.

      Let’s go to another extreme. Genocide is not bad because Hitler did it, genocide is bad because there are all sorts of reasons that can be marshaled to prove its badness: it’s bad to kill people on account of their inborn characteristics, etc. Hitler is also bad, but his being bad is not what inherently makes genocide bad.

    • Just How Wise Is It When Marco Rubio Promises To Swear Off Factual Information From Wikileaks?

      Amidst the reporting and fervor over the email hack of Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman, John Podesta, there has been something of a recent discussion that has begun over the ethics of circulating what is in that hacked cache. Some within the media itself have worried about about reporting either too much on the hacked emails, or even at all in some cases, with still others going for a more nuanced position of encouraging the reporting of information in the public interest while leaving all the personal stuff in the emails undisclosed to whatever degree is possible.

  • Finance

    • What’s scarier than Donald Trump? Hillary Clinton’s plans to gut Social Security

      As the sun sets on Donald Trump’s presidential ambitions, a likely Hillary Clinton victory means her intent to defund Social Security may come to fruition.

      The Democratic nominee recently came under fire in revealing articles by Naked Capitalism’s Yves Smith and International Business Times’ David Sirota, for her potential plans to introduce mandatory retirement savings accounts set up to enrich Wall Street — rather than expanding Social Security.

    • CETA Talks Break Down: “It is Evident that the EU Is Incapable of Reaching an Agreement”

      International Trade Minister Chrystia Freeland has walked out of talks aimed at addressing Belgian opposition to the Canada-EU Trade Agreement, stating:

      I have personally worked very hard, but it is now evident to me, evident to Canada, that the European Union is incapable of reaching an agreement – even with a country with European values such as Canada, even with a country as nice and as patient as Canada. Canada is disappointed and I personally am disappointed, but I think it’s impossible. We are returning home.

      Leaving aside the odd reference to how nice Canada is, this is remarkable language that lays bare the obvious frustration and disappointment for the government which prioritized the CETA agreement above all others. The prospect of the deal falling apart has been evident for months. I wrote in July that the agreement was in more trouble than the Canadian government would admit, noting that opposition from any national or regional government could kill CETA altogether. Canadian officials downplayed the risk, but it was obvious that CETA faced stiff opposition that would not be easy to overcome.

  • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • WikiLeaks: Bill Clinton took home ‘expensive gifts’ from foundation donors

      Emails made public Thursday by WikiLeaks suggest Bill Clinton accepted “expensive gifts” from Clinton Global Initiative donors and kept them at his home.
      In a November 2011 email to John Podesta, currently Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman, complaining of the conflicts of interest that plagued the Clinton Global Initiative, longtime confidante Doug Band mentioned that the former president had several undisclosed conflicts.

      “He is personally paid by 3 cgi sponsors [sic], gets many expensive gifts from them, some that are at home etc,” Band wrote.

      Band had recently left a position at the foundation to co-found a consulting firm called Teneo Strategies. In his email, he lamented that he had been forced to sign a disclosure form as a board member of the Clinton Global Initiative, while Bill Clinton had not.

    • Leaked Email Reveals Sady Doyle, Other Liberal Bloggers Coordinated with Clinton Campaign on Sanders Hits

      As WikiLeaks continues to leak emails from the Clinton campaign, new lights are shed on the tactics that the campaign has employed. In one such email, the Clinton campaign describes a call with several bloggers who discussed attacks that could be made against Clinton’s primary opponent Bernie Sanders related to racial and reproductive rights.


      With Clinton’s lead in the polls solid, it’s unclear if these new leaks will do substantial damage, even if they don’t necessarily help her. After all, her opponent is degrading democracy itself by spurning the peaceful transition of presidential power.

    • WikiLeaks emails part curtain on a nearly elected Obama considering White House staff

      The anti-secrecy group WikiLeaks on Thursday released a handful of Barack Obama’s emails from a period immediately before he was elected in 2008, including several that revealed names of people Obama was considering for senior roles and one that reflected care in avoiding a transition conflict with President George W. Bush.

      The emails span a period from Oct. 6, 2008, until Election Day that year, Nov. 4, and several include comments from “Barack,” who used the email address: bobama@ameritech.net.

    • No, Hillary, 17 U.S. Intelligence Agencies Did Not Say Russia Hacked Dem E-mails

      Hillary Clinton in last night’s presidential debate tried to avoid talking about the substance of the damaging WikiLeaks disclosures of DNC and Clinton campaign officials by claiming 17 U.S. intelligence agencies determined that Russia was responsible for this. After Clinton made this claim, she scolded Trump for challenging U.S. intelligence professionals who have taken an oath to help defend this country.

      What Clinton said was false and misleading. First of all, only two intelligence entities – the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (DNI) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) – have weighed in on this issue, not 17 intelligence agencies. And what they said was ambiguous about Russian involvement.

    • WikiLeaks: Clinton Foundation Paid Women Less Than Men

      The Clinton Foundation in 2011 employed more women than men but paid them less, on average, according to a salary schedule included in an email released Friday by WikiLeaks.

      A foundation employee emailed the payroll schedule to board Chairman Bruce Lindsey and John Podesta, who currently chairs Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign. It included then-Chief Operating Office and Chief of Staff Laura Graham’s salary recommendations for 2012 for rank-and-file employees.

    • Dublin school board member linked to WikiLeaks

      A local school board member, whose father is head of Hillary Clinton’s campaign, has been connected to allegations sprung from WikiLeaks.

      Megan Rouse, a Dublin school board member elected in 2014, was mentioned in the hacked email allegations that her father, John Podesta, at one time had stocks connected to a firm that had ties to Russia. Documents show that Podesta received 75,000 shares of Joule Unlimited Technologies. Podesta is Clinton’s campaign chair.

      The hacked Jan. 3, 2014 document shows that Podesta transferred more than 25,000 of these shares to Leonidio Holdings LLC, which had an address listed as Rouse’s Shannon Court home in Dublin. Rouse operates Megan Rouse Financial Planning from that same address.

    • What The WikiLeaks Emails Reveal About Branding Hillary

      Pundits all across America are poring over the Podesta emails, emails released by WikiLeaks that show the behind-the-scenes dealings of Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign. At the end of the day, those emails might end up containing more tasty risotto recipes than actual scandals.

      But for design lovers, there’s at least one bombshell: If not for a passionate email written by one of Coca-Cola’s chief marketing gurus, renowned design firm Pentagram could have lost Hillary Clinton as a client just two months before her logo debuted to the world.

      Reporting on leaked emails is justifiably contentious, as conversations that participants had every reason to believe were private are given scrutiny they were never meant to have. (Pentagram partner Michael Bierut, who oversaw designing the identity, declined to comment on the record when we reached out to him.) Still, we think this exchange—already, at this point, a matter of public record as part of the greater Podesta email leaks—is worth highlighting. Not just because it’s a rare glimpse behind the design process of a major political campaign, but because some of the arguments could be assigned reading in any branding class.

      The exchange in question involves Wendy Clark, a Coca-Cola marketing veteran who consulted on Hillary’s branding before becoming the North American president and CEO of the ad agency DDB Worldwide, and Joel Benenson, the chief strategist for the Clinton 2016 campaign.

    • Leaked email: Hillary Clinton told “radical environmentalists” to “get a life,” defended fracking and pipelines

      Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton condemned the “radical environmentalists” behind Bernie Sanders’ campaign, indicating they should “get a life,” according to a transcript of her comments at a September 2015 meeting with a construction union.

      Clinton also reaffirmed her support for fracking and pipelines and made it clear that her opposition to the Keystone XL pipeline was a calculated political move.

      The transcript was included in an email to Clinton campaign chair John Podesta released this week in a trove of documents by the whistleblowing journalism organization WikiLeaks.

      “You know from my perspective, this is just one of these issues,” Clinton said of the Keystone XL pipeline at the meeting. “It’s symbolic and it’s not going to go away.”

      “They’re all hanging on to it,” she continued. “So you know Bernie Sanders is getting lots of support from the most radical environmentalists because he’s out there every day bashing the Keystone pipeline.”

    • WikiLeaks Reveals DNC Elevated Trump to Help Clinton

      In June 2015, Donald Trump announced his presidential campaign.

      According to an email from Marissa Astor, Clinton campaign manager Robby Mook’s assistant, to Clinton campaign chair John Podesta, the campaign knew Trump was going to run, and pushed his legitimacy as a candidate. WikiLeaks’ release shows that it was seen as in Clinton’s best interest to run against Trump in the general election. The memo, sent to the Democratic National Committee (DNC) also reveals the DNC and Clinton campaign were strategizing on behalf of their candidate at the very beginning of the primaries. “We think our goals mirror those of the DNC,” stated the memo, attached to the email under the title “muddying the waters.”

      The memo named Trump, Sen. Ted Cruz, and Ben Carson as wanted candidates. “We need to be elevating the Pied Piper candidates so that they are leaders of the pack and tell the press to them seriously,” the memo noted.

  • Censorship/Free Speech

    • Freedom Of Expression Under Attack, Says UN Special Rapporteur

      Governments worldwide are engaging in censorship and punishing those who report or post opinions, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the freedom of opinion and expression, David Kaye, says in a report on the widespread global assault on the freedom of expression to be presented to the UN General Assembly today.

    • Tripura: No magisterial-level interference in media censorship and news dissimination

      According to the video footage, Jhumu Sarkar, Barjala candidate fielded by the ruling party was seen fighting with females in drunken condition. The incident occurred at Lankamura on October 12 centering immersion of Durga idol.

      After that, the TV channel was censored in visuals for few minutes. The by-elections in Barjala seat and Khowai seat would be held on November 19. Results of the elections would be declared on November 22.

    • Blocking of RT Accounts in UK is ‘Censorship and Example of Double Standards’

      RT’s Editor-in-Chief Margarita Simonyan said Monday that the international broadcaster’s accounts had been blocked in the United Kingdom. RT UK said it had been informed by NatWest that its banking arrangements with RT were null and void.

  • Privacy/Surveillance

    • Google’s ad tracking is as creepy as Facebook’s. Here’s how to disable it

      Google has changed the way it tracks users across the internet so that it can now link people’s personally identifiable information from Gmail, YouTube and other accounts with their browsing records across the web. The company had previously pledged to keep these two data sets separate to protect individuals’ privacy.

      As first reported by Propublica, Google quietly updated its privacy settings in June to delete a clause that said “we will not combine DoubleClick cookie information with personally identifiable information unless we have your opt-in consent”.

      DoubleClick is an advertising serving and tracking company that Google bought in 2007. DoubleClick uses web cookies to track browsing behaviour online by their IP address to deliver targeted ads. It can make a good guess about your location and habits, but it doesn’t know your true identity.

  • Civil Rights/Policing

    • S’pore prison to look into alleged abuse of jailed blogger Amos Yee

      Singapore prison authorities said today that investigations are being launched into allegations that jailed teenage blogger Amos Yee has been assaulted by prison inmates.

      Yee began a six-week jail term on Sept 29 after he pleaded guilty to six charges of wounding the religious feelings of Muslims and Christians, through comments made on social media.

      But on Wednesday a Facebook post from the activist group Community Action Network (CAN) said that the group had been informed that Yee had been threatened, slapped and kicked by inmates.

      In a statement to dpa, the Singapore Prisons Service confirmed they were “aware” of the allegations made by Amos Yee, emphasising that the prison is committed to inmate safety and security.

    • Actress Shailene Woodley Reveals She Was Strip-Searched After Her Arrest Protesting Dakota Pipeline

      Actress Shailene Woodley pleaded not guilty on charges related to the resistance to the $3.8 billion Dakota Access pipeline on Wednesday. She was arrested along with 27 others in North Dakota on October 10 during actions to mark Indigenous Peoples’ Day. Woodley was strip-searched and then put in an orange jump suit in the Morton County jail, which appears to be a common practice even for low-level misdemeanor charges. Woodley told Democracy Now!, “Never did it cross my mind that while trying to protect clean water, trying to ensure a future where our children have access to an element essential for human survival, would I be strip-searched. I was just shocked.” Standing Rock Sioux Tribal Chair Dave Archambault II and others have also been strip-searched after being arrested for nonviolent civil disobedience against the pipeline.

    • FBI Director: We Need More Data On Police Shootings So Law Enforcement Can ‘Change The Narrative’

      FBI Director James Comey didn’t dig into his bag of “Ferguson Effect” rhetorical devices during his comments to a law enforcement conference on Sunday, but he came close. Under that theory, the possibility of being held accountable by citizens and their recording devices has apparently been holding officers back from enforcing laws, making arrests, or otherwise earning their paychecks.

      The problem now is a lack of data, Comey claims. Law enforcement has lost control of the narrative, he stated, as if a one-sided portrayal of every police use of excessive/deadly force was somehow beneficial to the nation.

  • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

    • FTC Warns AT&T Court Victory On Throttling Could Screw Consumers For Decades

      AT&T stopped selling unlimited wireless data plans back in 2011, and instead started pushing more expensive capped and metered plans. Existing unlimited users at the time were “grandfathered,” but AT&T went out of its way to make life as unpleasant as possible for these users, ranging from blocking them from using Facetime unless they subscribed to metered plans, to throttling these “unlimited” users after only consuming a few gigabytes of data. Ultimately AT&T faced a $100 million fine by the FCC (currently being contested by AT&T), and a 2014 lawsuit by the FTC for misleading consumers and dramatically changing the terms of service while users were under contract.

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