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03.17.17

Links 17/3/2017: ‘Guetzli’ JPEG Encoder, Updates From Munich

Posted in News Roundup at 5:16 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • Announcing Guetzli: A New Open Source JPEG Encoder

    At Google, we care about giving users the best possible online experience, both through our own services and products and by contributing new tools and industry standards for use by the online community. That’s why we’re excited to announce Guetzli, a new open source algorithm that creates high quality JPEG images with file sizes 35% smaller than currently available methods, enabling webmasters to create webpages that can load faster and use even less data.

  • Guetzli: Google Rolls Out A New JPEG Encoder

    Google has announced Guetzli, not a German cookie, but rather a new open-source algorithm for creating high-quality JPEGs that are 35% smaller than currently available methods.

  • Google releases open source ‘Guetzli’ JPEG encoder

    Google is one of the biggest champions of open source. Not only does the search giant use open source software in its products, but it contributes to the community too. There are many projects made open source by the company, which helps the greater good.

    Today, Google releases yet another open source project. Called “Guetzli,” it is a JPEG encoder that aims to produce even smaller image file sizes. In fact, the search giant claims a whopping 35 percent improvement over existing JPEG compression. If you are wondering why smaller file sizes are important, it is quite simple — the web. If websites can embed smaller images, users can experience faster load times while using less data.

  • How an open source Gitter could challenge Slack

    It sure sounds like a match made in dev heaven.

    Yesterday, GitLab — maker of an open source competitor to GitHub — announced it had acquired Gitter, a Slack-like chat service aimed mainly at software developers.

  • GitLab scoops up developer communication and collaboration platform Gitter
  • GitLab gets more social, buying open source developer community Gitter
  • Surprise: Only 12% of top websites are using header bidding
  • Rubicon Project Pushes for Industry-wide Adoption of Prebid.js Open Source Wrapper in Header Bidding
  • Open Source in the Enterprise: Challenges and Myths

    One of the most commonly cited challenges with open source in the enterprise is a lack of support, but Wright said that’s really more of a myth.

  • Events

    • Linux Plumbers Conference Call for Refereed Presentations

      We are pleased to announce the Call for Refereed Presentation
      Proposals for the 2017 edition of the Linux Plumbers Conference, which
      will be held in Los Angeles, CA, USA on 13-15 September in conjunction
      with The Linux Foundation Open Source Summit.

      Refereed Presentations are 45 minutes in length and should focus on a
      specific aspect of the “plumbing” in the Linux system. Examples of
      Linux plumbing include core kernel subsystems, core libraries,
      windowing systems, management tools, device support, media
      creation/playback, and so on. The best presentations are not about
      finished work, but rather problems, proposals, or proof-of-concept
      solutions that require face-to-face discussions and debate.

    • Bosch Connected Experience: Eclipse Hono and MsgFlo

      Since this is a hackathon, there is a competition on projects make in this event. To make the Hono-to-MsgFlo connectivity, and Flowhub visual programming capabilities more demoable, I ended up hacking together a quick example project — a Bosch XDK controlled air theremin.

    • Codes of Conduct

      These days, most large FLOSS communities have a “Code of Conduct”; a document that outlines the acceptable (and possibly not acceptable) behaviour that contributors to the community should or should not exhibit. By writing such a document, a community can arm itself more strongly in the fight against trolls, harassment, and other forms of antisocial behaviour that is rampant on the anonymous medium that the Internet still is.

      Writing a good code of conduct is no easy matter, however. I should know — I’ve been involved in such a process twice; once for Debian, and once for FOSDEM. While I was the primary author for the Debian code of conduct, the same is not true for the FOSDEM one; I was involved, and I did comment on a few early drafts, but the core of FOSDEM’s current code was written by another author. I had wanted to write a draft myself, but then this one arrived and I didn’t feel like I could improve it, so it remained.

    • Keynote: Building and Motivating Engineering Teams – Camille Fournier, Senior Thinker and Raconteur

      Maintaining respect is key to building a successful team, according to Camille Fournier, at the Open Source Leadership Summit in February.

    • Keynote: An Exploration of Citrix Delivery Networks by Danny Phillips
    • Growing Up Node by Trevor Livingston, HomeAway

      Trevor Livingston, principal architect at HomeAway, offers insight on how to introduce Node into companies at Node.js Interactive.

  • Web Browsers

    • Chrome

      • Chrome Could Start Using Native Notifications on Linux

        Google Chrome could soon use native notifications on Linux desktops. A bug report asking for the browser to use a Linux desktop environment’s notification system was filed late last year but recently become active again. Google Chrome (and Chromium) currently use the Chrome Notification API to show alerts from websites, extensions and Chrome Apps on Windows, macOS and Linux.

    • Mozilla

      • Firefox Goes PulseAudio Only, Leaves ALSA Users With No Sound

        If you’re a Linux user who upgraded to Firefox 52 only to find that the browser no longer plays sound, you’re not alone.

        Firefox 52 saw release last week and it makes PulseAudio a hard dependency — meaning ALSA only desktops are no longer supported.

        Ubuntu uses PulseAudio by default (as most modern Linux distributions do) so the switch won’t affect most — but some Linux users and distros do prefer, for various reasons, to use ALSA, which is part of the Linux kernel.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • LibreOffice 5.3 Office Suite Gets First Point Release with 100 Improvements

      Softpedia was informed today by The Document Foundation about the general availability of the first point release to the LibreOffice 5.3 open-source office suite for all supported platforms, including GNU/Linux, macOS, and Windows.

      LibreOffice 5.3.1 comes one and a half months after the release of LibreOffice 5.3, a major branch that introduced exciting new features for users of the popular office suite. These include the experimental MUFFIN user interface with a Microsoft Office-like Ribbon UI, as well as the first source release of LibreOffice Online.

      During these past six weeks, LibreOffice 5.3.1 received two Release Candidate (RC) development versions, which fix about 100 bugs and regressions that have been either discovered by the LibreOffice developers/contributors or reported by users from the previous version.

    • The Document Foundation announces LibreOffice 5.3.1
  • Pseudo-Open Source (Openwashing)

  • BSD

    • NetBSD 7.1 Is Out with Support for Raspberry Pi Zero, Better Linux Compatibility

      The development team behind the BSD-based NetBSD free operating system were proud to announce the official and general availability of the NetBSD 7.1 release.

      NetBSD 7.1 entered development only two months ago, when we reported the availability of the first Release Candidate (RC) build, which brought various improvements and bug fixes. It’s the first point release to the stable NetBSD 7 series and comes with a bunch of exciting new features.

    • DragonFlyBSD’s HAMMER File-System Gets Important Write Performance Boost

      Matthew Dillon has discovered an important bug in the DragonFlyBSD kernel’s VFS cluster code affecting the HAMMER file-system write performance.

      Dillon explained in the commit that landed in DragonFly last week, “A bug in the cluster code was causing HAMMER to write out 64KB buffers in 32KB overlapping segments, resulting in data being written to the media twice.”

    • DragonFlyBSD On NVMe SSDs: Samsung Good, Intel 600p Not

      DragonFlyBSD lead developer Matthew Dillon has been testing out various NVMe M.2 SSDs under his BSD operating system to see how these latest-generation storage devices perform.

    • LLD Linker Declared Ready For Production On x86_64 ELF Platforms

      LLVM developer Rui Ueyama is encouraging the “dogfeeding” of their linker, LLD, that should now be ready for production use on some platforms/architectures with this week’s LLVM 4.0 release.

      Rui Ueyama believes that the LLD linker is ready for production with ELF platforms — namely as Linux and BSDs — on at least x86_64 but the AArch64 and MIPS architecture support should be in good shape too.

    • vBSDcon 2017 CFP Open

      Verisign is hosting its 3rd vBSDcon, scheduled for September 8 – 9, 2017, in Reston, VA. A Call For Presentations is currently open and submissions are being accepted at vBSDcon.com. CFP administration is being conducted through EasyChair, which require accounts to upload submissions for consideration. Our call is open through April 30, 2017. So get your submissions in soon!

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • GNU Guile 2.2.0 released

      We are pleased to announce GNU Guile 2.2.0, the first of a new stable release series. More than 6 years in the making, Guile 2.2 includes a new optimizing compiler and high-performance register virtual machine. Compared to the old 2.0 series, real-world programs often show a speedup of 30% or more with Guile 2.2.

      Besides bringing the compiler and virtual machine, Guile 2.2 removes limitations on you and your programs by lowering memory usage, speeding up the “eval” interpreter, providing better support for multi-core programming, and last but not least, removing any fixed stack size limit. With Guile 2.2, you can recurse to your heart’s content!

  • Licensing/Legal

    • Do GitHub’s updated terms of service conflict with copyleft?

      GitHub’s updated terms caused a great deal of concern, but while they are confusing, they do not appear to be incompatible with copyleft. The Free Software Foundation (FSF), though, still recommends using other code hosting sites.

      GitHub recently updated their terms of service (ToS). Users of the site are raising many concerns over the new terms, fearing that the ToS could be incompatible with the copyleft licenses on works uploaded to GitHub. In particular, section D of the new terms, which handles rights granted to GitHub and GitHub users, makes many hackers very uncomfortable.

      Section D.4 states, “You grant us and our legal successors the right to store and display your Content and make incidental copies as necessary to render the Website and provide the Service. ” At first glance that might appear to grant permissions on your work without the concomitant protective guarantees found in copyleft licenses like the GNU General Public License (GPL). Users who care about ensuring that their software never becomes proprietary would not want to give such unconditional permission. And those uploading works that incorporate third-party copylefted code may not even be able to grant such permissions.

      But licenses like the GNU GPL already give the necessary permissions to make, use, and modify local copies of a work. Are the new GitHub ToS asking for more than that? It’s not fully clear. While the grant language could fit within the scope of the GPL, other words used in the section like “share” or “distribute” could be understood to mean something that wouldn’t line up with the GPL’s terms.

    • How to Maintain Open Source Compliance After Code Changes

      The previous article in this series covered how to establish a baseline for open source software compliance by finding exactly which open source software is already in use and under which licenses it is available. But how do you make sure that future revisions of the same product (or other products built using the initial baseline) stay compliant once the baseline is established?

  • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

  • Programming/Development

    • What is the point of learning C?

      Take a look at the TIOBE Programming Community Index — an indicator of the popularity of programming languages — and you’ll see that Google’s Go and, to a lesser extent, Dart and Perl are trending up. The venerable C, however, is a language whose popularity is plummeting, according to the index.

      In a world where there is huge demand for mobile and web applications coded in higher-level languages that are easy to learn and debug and difficult to make mistakes in — at least compared to C — one might assume there’s no reason to bother with a low-level language that’s going out of fashion.

Leftovers

  • Science

    • Out of the gate, health and research apps face-plant

      Tracking the effectiveness of an asthma health app created using Apple’s ResearchKit, researchers reported problems with participant selection bias, extremely low participant retention, missing data, and data security.

  • Hardware

  • Health/Nutrition

  • Security

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife/Nature

    • These ‘Transparency’ Bills Would Gut the EPA

      “The result of each bill will be the same—worse science at EPA and less public health protections for American citizens,” says Eddie Bernice Johnson, ranking Democrat member of the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology. “If these bills become law, the ultimate result will be more sick Americans and more dead Americans.”

    • Secretary of State Tillerson used e-mail alias as Exxon CEO

      Attorney General Schneiderman has subpoenaed Exxon for internal documents and communications that might show the thought process behind these decisions, and he is currently tussling with the company over the documents they’ve handed over—and the ones they may not have. In a letter to the judge on the case Monday, the Attorney General’s Office said it discovered that former Exxon chairman and CEO (and current Secretary of State) Rex Tillerson used an e-mail alias of “Wayne Tracker” to communicate with other Exxon executives. Now the office wants those e-mails, too.

  • Finance

    • Uber is using in-app podcasts to dissuade Seattle drivers from unionizing

      Uber spokesperson Nathan Hambley pushed back on a story from The Wall Street Journal over the weekend that suggested Uber drivers in Seattle were forced to choose whether or not to listen to the company-produced podcasts every day before they can begin picking up riders.

      The notification remains at the bottom of the driver screen regardless of whether it is ignored, or if the podcast is listened to or not.

    • When was (or will be) the Article 50(1) decision?

      Today the Bill giving the Prime Minister the legal power to make the Article 50 notification will be given royal assent. The Bill will become an Act.

      (Contrary to popular belief, including some news outlets, the Queen does not give the royal assent in person. No monarch has done this since 1854. The elaborate process employed instead is under this 1967 Act.)

  • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

  • Censorship/Free Speech

    • Facebook—in hate-crime clash with MPs—claims it’s “fixed” abuse review tool
    • Crushing Free Speech (Oh, Let’s Save Democracy That Way!)

      The actions above, and the quote above, were written by an author for Slate, in justification for the students of Middlebury College, and “activists” elsewhere, using acts like violence and shouting down speakers to stop speech they personally judged as hate and/or offensive or dangerous.

      The latest specific case involved some guy named Charles Murray. I have no idea who he is, but a lot of people say he is a racist so let’s go with that. But I don’t care.

      I simply cannot believe that it is the left, or progressives, or whatever name is best, that are attacking people’s speech. I’ve written extensively about what I call “Post-Constitution America,” an era that started on 9/11 where the rights enshrined in the Bill of Rights no longer applied. I never imagined it would play out this way.

    • RSF publishes report on censorship and surveillance of journalists on World Day Against Cyber-Censorship

      Reporters Without Borders (RSF for its acronym in French) recently published the report “Censorship and surveillance of journalists: an unscrupulous business,” in which it denounces several cases of digital surveillance of journalists by both democratic and authoritarian governments around the world.

    • PM Nawaz orders removal of blasphemous content from social media

      Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Tuesday said that blasphemy is an unpardonable offence and directed the state machinery to find those responsible for putting blasphemous content on social media and bring them to justice without any delay.

      The National Assembly on Tuesday passed a resolution condemning the blasphemous content appearing on social media and unanimously agreed to the formation of a committee of parliamentary leaders to monitor such content.

    • Google tells army of ‘quality raters’ to flag Holocaust denial

      Google is using a 10,000-strong army of independent contractors to flag “offensive or upsetting” content, in order to ensure that queries like “did the Holocaust happen” don’t push users to misinformation, propaganda and hate speech.

      The review of search terms is being done by the company’s “quality raters”, a little-known corps of worldwide contractors that Google uses to assess the quality of its systems. The raters are given searches based on real queries to conduct, and are asked to score the results on whether they meet the needs of users.

    • Mormon Church Tries To Censor MormonLeaks Using Copyright, Streisand Effect Takes Over

      The Mormon Church has been somewhat flip-floppy when it comes to criticism against it. On the one hand, the notoriously tight-knit Church has been admirably tolerant of many attempts to parody it, including public commentary and a certain Broadway show of world renown. On the other hand, it seems the Church tends to draw a line in the sand when it comes to disseminating official church documents, even when this is done by journalists and organizations dedicated to commentary and news. In the past, the Mormon Church has attempted to utilize copyright law to have those documents removed from such sites as Wikimedia and Wikileaks, which of course resulted in the wider viewership of those same documents as news of the threats wove through the media. The Streisand Effect, it seems, offers no quarter of religious institutions.

    • Actor James Woods Now On The Receiving End Of Questionable Twitter Defamation Claim

      Remember James Woods? The Hollywood actor sued a Twitter troll for $10 million, claiming defamation, because that troll had sarcastically referred to Woods as a “cocaine addict.”

  • Privacy/Surveillance

    • Once Again, Senator Wyden Wants To Know How Many Americans Are Being Surveilled By The NSA

      Many people seem to forget that before Ed Snowden came along, Senator Ron Wyden was beating the drum in Congress about how the NSA was abusing Section 702 of the FISA Amendments Act to spy on Americans. Here’s a story we did back in 2011 concerning Wyden raising concerns about the failure of the Director of National Intelligence to say how Section 702 was being used on Americans. Even earlier in 2011, we wrote about then Director of National Intelligence, James Clapper, refusing to answer this question, saying that “it is not reasonably possible to identify the number of people located in the United States whose communications may have been reviewed.”

    • Rep. Devin Nunes’ Hypocrisy On Display In ‘Concerns’ Over NSA Surveillance

      We’ve talked about the astounding hypocrisy of Rep. Devin Nunes a few times in the past. He heads the House Intelligence Committee, which is supposed to be conducting “oversight” of the intelligence community, but has generally been a cheerleader for mass surveillance in recent years. Nunes, in fact, has regularly slammed any attempt to cut back on surveillance, to the point of actively misleading the public in making false claims about how NSA surveillance programs work. The hypocrisy became clear when Nunes flipped out following the firing/resignation of Mike Flynn as National Security Advisor, arguing that it was somehow unprecedented that an American’s phone calls with Russian officials were recorded by the intelligence community. Of course, that suggests either near total ignorance of the programs he’s supposedly in charge of overseeing, or just blatant political pandering.

      And now it’s getting worse. Reporter Katie Bo Williams got her hands on an interesting letter that Nunes, along with ranking member Rep. Adam Schiff, just sent to the heads of the CIA, NSA and FBI, continuing to dig in on the whole “recorded Mike Flynn” thing. The target now is Executive Order 12333, which we’ve spoken about quite a lot. That’s the executive order signed by President Reagan, that more or less gives the intelligence community total free rein in conducting surveillance overseas. As an ex-State Department official revealed back in 2014, the vast majority of NSA surveillance actually is done under 12333, and it just uses other programs — like Section 215 of the PATRIOT Act and Section 702 of the FISA Amendments Act — to fill in the gaps of what they can’t get via 12333. Executive Order 12333, for example, was used to hack into Yahoo and Google’s servers overseas, allowing the NSA to scoop up lots of info without any oversight by US courts.

    • No, Evil Hackers Aren’t After You

      I know a lot of people who worry about the CIA, NSA, DIA, and other agencies illegally spying on them. In fact, somebody I thought knew better just told me that he’s worried about Gang Stalking. Umm… okay. We’re talking about somebody who is a pretty good tile layer and all-around construction guy, but there is no conceivable reason an intelligence agency would be interested in him.

      My gang-stalked friend has been lonely lately, and he was short of work for a while so he doesn’t have much money right now. He’s almost a poster boy for low self-esteem. What if he really is being gang-stalked, whether by a government or a (dare I say it) gang? That would mean someone was taking an interest in him. And that would make him feel a lot better about himself. He might even believe he’s important.

    • There were more device searches at US border last month than all of 2015

      According to new figures released by Customs and Border Patrol, the number of electronic devices searched at the border has jumped by five times between 2015 and 2016.

    • Court Says FBI Doesn’t Have To Hand Over Its Rules For Surveilling Domestic Journalists

      A couple of years ago, the Freedom of the Press Foundation sued the DOJ over its refusal to release its secret rules governing spying on the nation’s journalists. This was prompted by revelations the FBI had used National Security Letters to obtain information on AP and Fox News journalists. The DOJ then issued new rules on the do’s and don’ts of surveilling journalists, but once again (a) redacted them into uselessness and (b) granted the FBI an NSL exception, undercutting the entire point of the recrafted rules.

      The OIG report — in which the Inspector General disputed the DOJ’s extensive redactions — still has yet to be released in a less-redacted form. Sadly, it now appears it will never be any less redacted than the unintelligible mess the DOJ handed over a few years ago. A federal judge has sided with the government, finding its investigative techniques and methods are too sensitive to be handed over to the public, much less journalists it may or may not have surveilled using NSLs.

    • City Of Tacoma To Pay $50,000 To Privacy Activist For Over-Redacting FBI’s Stingray Non-Disclosure Agreement

      In the fall of 2015, privacy activist Phil Mocek and the Center for Open Policing sued the city of Tacoma for its response to a request for Stingray documents. The documents Mocek obtained were heavily-redacted, despite there being several mostly-unredacted versions of the FBI’s Stingray non-disclosure agreement already in public circulation.

      (This would be the standard NDA the FBI appends to every Stingray purchase by local law enforcement agencies — one that says all public records requests should be forwarded to the feds and encourages locals to toss cases rather than expose Stingray use. It’s also the same contract the FBI was shocked to hear agencies were complying with after signing on the dotted line to take ownership of their new cell tower spoofers.)

      The lawsuit was filed under the state’s open records law, with Mocek challenging the Tacoma PD’s use of the “investigative records” exemption to withhold significant amounts of a mostly bog-standard nondisclosure agreement. As was noted back then, the continued withholding of this information could become costly (for taxpayers): the state’s public records law allows for fines of $500/day for violations.

    • Snowden won’t be invited to Germany after all

      In November the BGH ruled that Snowden should be invited to Berlin and that the government make preparations to ensure his safety, raising the intriguing possibility that Berlin would have to provide protection to one of the most wanted men in the US. But then the Social Democrats and Christian Democrats appealed the decision.

      But in the new ruling the court stated that the two parties would have needed the support of a quarter of MPs in the Bundestag (German parliament) to challenge the decision by the committee not to invite Snowden.

    • Great: Now your sex toys are used to spy on you and sell your private habits, too

      The makers of an Internet-connected sex toy have settled to pay a small amount to some 300,000 owners of a vibrator which was used to spy on their sex habits, which the manufacturer collected as individually identifiable data. Additionally, the bluetooth-controlled sex toy device was utterly insecure, allowing remote anonymous administration. In the mess of IoT devices spying on us, we now need to add the bedroom.

      [...]

      Maybe the most egregious thing about this story is that the vibrator maker continues to collect the private data, just with an obscure-and-opt-out privacy policy saying so.

    • WhatsApp flaw allowed hackers to hijack accounts using malware-laced images

      This gives, if exploited, hackers could potentially gain access to a user’ messages, shared files, contacts list and more.

  • Civil Rights/Policing

  • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

    • Open letter to EU policy makers on community networks – joint press release
    • Google Fiber’s About-Face Provides Useful Lessons For A Broken Broadband Industry

      Last fall, Alphabet/Google announced that the company would be notably scaling back its Google Fiber ambitions. The company axed its CEO, laid off a small number of employees, and froze a number of anticipated fiber builds (in Portland and a few other locations). Numerous reports indicated that there were growing concerns among many executives about the high costs and slow pace of deploying fiber, so the company was considering an overall pivot to next-generation gigabit wireless while it continued building out most already-announced markets.

      While it’s hard to call this pivot a failure until we see a real wireless product, ISPs like AT&T were of course quick to suggest Google Fiber was little more than folly (ignoring that AT&T’s anti-competitive behavior played a starring role in Google Fiber’s struggles in many cities). This has contributed to an overall air of “we told you so” smugness emanating from numerous quadrants of the telecom status quo.

      That take, however, is short-sighted. One, the launch of Google Fiber put an unrelenting spotlight on the lack of broadband competition in countless markets, driving many large ISPs (like AT&T) to deploy gigabit broadband service that had previously been unheard of. Google Fiber also managed to shine a bright spotlight on the way many large ISPs use our broken legislative and regulatory systems to keep things broken, whether that’s by using utility pole beaurocracy to slow competitors’ installs, or writing awful state protectionist law hamstringing what your local town and city can do about it.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Brazilian Legend Celso Amorim Recounts Negotiation For TRIPS Flexibilities

      Minister Celso Amorim of Brazil has had a significant impact on the state of global negotiations in his professional lifetime, including on global intellectual property rights.

      As his new book, Acting Globally: Memoirs of Brazil’s Assertive Foreign Policy, sets out, in the first decade of the 2000s Brazil played an assertive role in foreign policy in areas such as the Iran nuclear issue, relations in the Middle East, and the Doha Round of multilateral trade negotiations at the World Trade Organization.

      Amorim (see bio here) was at the centre of that, and reaching back to the early 1990s, took the lead role in negotiating the 1994 WTO Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS).

    • Copyrights

      • Ed Sheeran Vs. The CopyBots: Artist Goes To Bat For Musician That Covered His Song On Facebook

        In our recent conversation about Ed Sheeran’s rise to fame, we chiefly focused on his claim that music piracy helped him be discovered by the public and his generally lax views on filesharing of his music. While that modern view on how music is consumed is refreshing, we focused less on another chief part of the equation: Ed Sheeran is really good to his fans. Between engaging with them directly via social media, having a generally congenial attitude towards them, and producing music his fans love, he’s built up quite a connection with his listeners.

      • Bill Gates And Other Major Investors Put $52.6 Million Into Site Sharing Unauthorized Copies Of Academic Papers

        As that notes, authors are typically only allowed to post certain versions of their papers — usually early ones. But most researchers don’t bother with that detail, and simply upload the final version to ResearchGate, which is probably why the recent analysis mentioned by the Tea and Velociraptors blog found so many unauthorized copies. Along with laziness, or ignorance of the niceties here, another factor driving this phenomenon may be that academics are aware that much of their work has been paid for by the public, and therefore feel the definitive results should be disseminated as widely as possible.

        Still, the contrast between ResearchGate, which has received major investments from some rather big names, and Sci-Hub, which is currently being pursued in the courts by Elsevier, is stark, given that their respective holdings turn out to be so similar. It’s another indication that the academic publishing system is broken, and that copyright is an irrelevance as far as millions of researchers are concerned.

      • MPAA and RIAA Present Plan to Recover Megaupload’s Failing Hard Drives

        [...] as time has dragged on, the condition of the hard drives has significantly deteriorated. Last year, Cogent first warned that sixteen of them have actually become unreadable.

      • BREIN Takes Usenet Provider to Supreme Court Over “Piracy Liability”

        And so, after eight years, the case is still not over yet. Whatever the outcome at the Supreme Court will be NSE will remain out of business. The company previously stated that it’s not relaunching its Usenet service.

      • Court Orders ISP to Hand Identities Behind 5,300 IP Addresses to Copyright Trolls

        An initiative, fronted by Danish law firm Njord and backed by known international copyright trolls Guardaley, made headlines when it began targeting the customers of several ISPs, including Telia, Tele2 and Bredbandsbolaget, the provider that was previously ordered to block The Pirate Bay.

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    35 U.S.C. § 101 (Section 101), the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) and other factors are making the patent system in the US a lot more sane



  10. Today's USPTO Grants a Lot of Fake Patents, Software Patents That Courts Would Invalidate

    The 35 U.S.C. § 101 effect is very much real; patents on abstract/nonphysical ideas get invalidated en masse (in courts/PTAB) and Director Andrei Iancu refuses to pay attention as if he's above the law and court rulings don't apply to him



  11. A Month After Microsoft Claimed Patent 'Truce' Its Patent Trolls Keep Attacking Microsoft's Rivals

    Microsoft's legal department relies on its vultures (to whom it passes money and patents) to sue its rivals; but other than that, Microsoft is a wonderful company!



  12. Good News: US Supreme Court Rejects Efforts to Revisit Alice, Most Software Patents to Remain Worthless

    35 U.S.C. § 101 will likely remain in tact for a long time to come; courts have come to grips with the status quo, as even the Federal Circuit approves the large majority of invalidations by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board’s (PTAB) panels, initiated by inter partes reviews (IPRs)



  13. Florian Müller's Article About SEPs and the EPO

    Report from the court in Munich, where the EPO is based



  14. EPO Vice-President Željko Topić in New Article About Corruption in Croatia

    The Croatian newspaper 7Dnevno has an outline of what Željko Topić has done in Croatia and in the EPO in Munich; it argues that this seriously erodes Croatia's national brand/identity



  15. The Quality of European Patents Continues to Deteriorate Under António Campinos and Software Patents Are Advocated Every Day

    The EPC in the European Patent Office and 35 U.S.C. § 101 in the USPTO annul most if not all software patents; under António Campinos, however, software patents are being granted in Europe and the USPTO exploits similar tricks



  16. Team UPC is Still Spreading False Rumours in an Effort to Trick Politicians and Pressure Judges

    Abuses at the European Patent Office, political turmoil and an obvious legislative coup by a self-serving occupation that produces nothing have already doomed the Unitary Patent or Unified Patent Court (UPC); so now we deal with complete fabrications from Team UPC as they're struggling to make something out of nothing, anonymously smearing opposition to the UPC and anonymously making stuff up



  17. Patents on Life and Patents That Kill the Poor Would Only Delegitimise the European Patent Office

    After Mayo, Myriad and other SCOTUS cases (the basis of 35 U.S.C. § 101) the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office is reluctant to grant patents on life; the European Patent Office (EPO), however, goes in the opposite direction, even in defiance of the European Patent Convention



  18. EPO 'Untapped Potential'

    "Campinos is diligently looking for ways to further increase the Office’s output without increasing the number of examiners," says the EPO-FLIER team



  19. Links 9/12/2018: New Linux Stable Releases (Notably Linux 4.19.8), RC Coming, and Unifont 11.0.03

    Links for the day



  20. Links 8/12/2018: Mesa 18.3.0, Mageia 7 Beta, WordPress 5.0

    Links for the day



  21. The European Patent Organisation is Like a Private Club and Roland Grossenbacher is Back in It

    In the absence of Benoît Battistelli quality control at the EPO is still not effective; patents are being granted like the sole goal is to increase so-called 'production' (or profit), appeals are being subjected to threats from Office management, and external courts (courts that assess patents outside the jurisdiction of the Office/Organisation) are being targeted with a long-sought replacement like the Unified Patent Court, or UPC (Unitary Patent)



  22. Links 7/12/2018: GNU Guix, GuixSD 0.16.0, GCC 7.4, PHP 7.3.0 Released

    Links for the day



  23. The Federal Circuit's Decision on Ancora Technologies v HTC America is the Rare Exception, Not the Norm

    Even though the PTAB does not automatically reject every patent when 35 U.S.C. § 101 gets invoked we're supposed to think that somehow things are changing in favour of patent maximalists; but all they do is obsess over something old (as old as a month ago) and hardly controversial



  24. The European Patent Office Remains a Lawless Place Where Judges Are Afraid of the Banker in Chief

    With the former banker Campinos replacing the politician Battistelli and seeking to have far more powers it would be insane for the German Constitutional Court to ever allow anything remotely like the UPC; sites that are sponsored by Team UPC, however, try to influence outcomes, pushing patent maximalism and diminishing the role of patent judges



  25. Many of the Same People Are Still in Charge of the European Patent Office Even Though They Broke the Law

    "EPO’s art collection honoured with award," the EPO writes, choosing to distract from what actually goes on at the Office and has never been properly dealt with



  26. Links 6/12/2018: FreeNAS 11.2, Mesa 18.3 Later Today, Fedora Elections

    Links for the day



  27. EPO, in Its Patent Trolls-Infested Forum, Admits It is Granting Bogus Software Patents Under the Guise of 'Blockchain'

    Yesterday's embarrassing event of the EPO was a festival of the litigation giants and trolls, who shrewdly disguise patents on algorithms using all sorts of fashionable words that often don't mean anything (or deviate greatly from their original meanings)



  28. The Patent Litigation Bubble is Imploding in the US While the UPC Dies in Europe

    The meta-industry which profits from feuds, disputes, threats and blackmail isn't doing too well; even in Europe, where it worked hard for a number of years to institute a horrible litigation system which favours global plaintiffs (patent trolls, opportunists and monopolists), these things are going up in flames



  29. Links 5/12/2018: Epic Games Store, CrossOver 18.1.0, Important Kubernetes Patch

    Links for the day



  30. Links 4/12/2018: LibrePCB 0.1.0, SQLite 3.26.0, PhysX Code

    Links for the day


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