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03.25.17

Links 25/3/2017: Maru OS 0.4, C++17 Complete

Posted in News Roundup at 6:00 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • Communities of Communities: The Next Era of Open Source Software

    We are now about 20 years into the open source software era. You might think that open source simply means publishing the source code for something useful. While this is correct by definition, the most important component of any open source project is its community and how it works together.

    Open source projects are not isolated islands. In fact, it’s common for them to depend on each other. As new projects are created, it is also common that members come from related projects to work on something new. Apache Arrow is an example of a new project that worked across many related projects, creating a new community that from the beginning knew it needed to build a community of communities.

  • 9 Open Source Storage Solutions: A Perfect Solution To Store Your Precious Data

    Whatever business nature you have, there must be some precious data which you want to store in a secured place. Finding a right storage solution is always critical for business, especially for small and medium, but what if you get a perfect solution at no cost.

    There is no doubt that business cant runs without data, but while looking for a solution, you might need to spend a fortune to cover all your storage requirements. Open source tools come as the viable solution where you won’t spend money yet get a suitable solution to store your precious data. And don’t worry we will help you to find one of the best.

  • 15 Open Source Solutions To Setup Your Ecommerce Business

    In the past few years, there is a rapid growth in the online sales. According to a survey, more than 40% people are now shifted to online stores and majorly buying products from their smartphones and tablets.

    With the expeditious rise in the online marketplace, more business introducing online stores. For the big fishes in the industry, the expenses of setting up an online store is like spending peanuts, but for the small or startups, it appears to be a fortune.

    The smart move could be open source platforms, to begin with as they are not only free also reliable and scalable. One can set up the online store not only quickly as well as, in future if you want to add some of the functionalities, which are available with only premium, can be done by paying quite a small amount.

  • An Industry First: Teradata Debuts Open Source Kylo to Quickly Build, Manage Data Pipelines
  • Why You Should Consider Open Sourcing Your Software

    Free & Open source software have grown so rapidly in the last few years. Just compare the situation of being ignored and considered like a nerds-movement in the early 2000’s to the situation today in 2017. We surly made a huge advancement so far. Thanks to the amazing ecosystem of open source which links both communities and enterprises together.

    However, when it comes to individuals, a lot of people are hesitant when it comes to open-sourcing their software. They think that the “secret” behind it will be stolen. They think that they will be releasing their work “for nothing in return” when they do so. That’s definitely false.

  • Events

    • Speaking at FOSSASIA’17 | Seasons of Debian : Summer of Code & Winter of Outreachy

      I got an amazing chance to speak at FOSSASIA 2017 held at Singapore on “Seasons of Debian – Summer of Code and Winter of Outreachy“. I gave a combined talk with my co-speaker Pranav Jain, who contributed to Debian through GSoC. We talked about two major open source initiatives – Outreachy and Google Summer of Code and the work we did on a common project – Lumicall under Debian.

    • Notes from Linaro Connect

      The first of two 2017 Linaro Connect events was held March 6 to 10 in Budapest, Hungary; your editor had the privilege of attending. Reports from a number of the sessions there have appeared in separate articles. There were a number of discussions at the event that, while not being enough to fill an article on their own, were nevertheless worthy of some attention.

      Connect is an interesting event, in that it is a combination of an architecture-specific kernel developers’ gathering and a members-only meeting session. Not being a member, your editor only participated in the former aspect. Sessions at Connect are usually short — 25 minutes — and focused on a specific topic; they also routinely run over their allotted time. There is an emphasis on discussion, especially in the relatively unstructured “hack sessions” that occupy much of the schedule. Many of the sessions are focused on training: how to upstream code, for example, or kernel debugging stories in Mandarin (video).

    • Your guide to LibrePlanet 2017, wherever you are, March 25-26

      The free software community encompasses the globe, and we strive to make the LibrePlanet conference reflect that. That’s why we livestream the proceedings of the conference, and encourage you to participate remotely by both watching and participating in the discussion via IRC chat.

      If you are planning to attend LibrePlanet in Cambridge, we encourage you to register in advance through Tuesday morning at 10:00 EST (14:00 UTC) — advance registration helps us plan a better event. Walk ups are also welcome. Students and FSF members receive gratis admission.

    • IBM Interconnect 2017 first day keynote recap
    • Community Leadership Summit 2017: 6th – 7th May in Austin

      Secondly, the bulk of the event is an unconference where the attendees volunteer session ideas and run them. Each session is a discussion where the topic is discussed, debated, and we reach final conclusions. This results in a hugely diverse range of sessions covering topics such as event management, outreach, social media, governance, collaboration, diversity, building contributor programs, and more. These discussions are incredible for exploring and learning new ideas, meeting interesting people, building a network, and developing friendships.

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • MUA++ (or on to thunderbird)
      • Caspia Projects and Thunderbird – Open Source In Absentia

        What does this have to do with Thunderbird? I sat in a room a few weeks ago with 10 guys at Clallam Bay, all who have been in a full-time, intensive software training program for about a year, who are really interested in trying to do real-world projects rather than simply hidden internal projects that are classroom assignments, or personal projects with no public outlet. I start in April spending two days per week with these guys. Then there are another 10 or so guys at WSR in Monroe that started last month, though the situation there is more complex. The situation is similar to other groups of students that might be able to work on Thunderbird or Mozilla projects, with these differences:1) Student or GSOC projects tend to have a duration of a few months, while the expected commitment time for this group is much longer.

  • BSD

    • Make Dragonfly BSD great again!

      Recently I spent some time reading Dragonfly BSD code. While doing so I spotted a vulnerability in the sysvsem subsystem that let user to point to any piece of memory and write data through it (including the kernel space). This can be turned into execution of arbitrary code in the kernel context and by exploiting this, we’re gonna make Dragonfly BSD great again!

  • Licensing/Legal

    • OpenSSL Re-Licensing to Apache License v. 2.0

      The OpenSSL project, home of the world’s most popular SSL/TLS and cryptographic toolkit, is changing its license to the Apache License v2.0 (ASL v2). As part of this effort, the OpenSSL team launched a new website and has been working with various corporate collaborators to facilitate the re-licensing process.

  • Programming/Development

Leftovers

  • We need a software revolution for the greater social good

    Five years ago, tech entrepreneur and venture capitalist Marc Andreessen famously wrote, “Software is eating the world.” It’s hard to think of more prophetic words coming out of Silicon Valley, and new players that have software at their core continue to reinvent entire industries. Uber disrupting the taxi industry and Airbnb the hospitality industry are just two examples.

  • FedEx Caught Off-Guard By Browsers Blocking Flash, Will Give Customers $5 To Enable It

    FedEx will give customers that use the Chrome 56 and Safari 10 browsers or newer a $5 discount once they enable the Flash plugin. The offer comes after both Chrome and Safari have started blocking Flash content by default in the past few months.

  • Science

    • Robots are stronger, faster, more durable… and hackable

      We hear a lot about robots getting smarter as the AI juggernaut rolls on, but less about significant gains in strength and durability thanks to better electric motors and batteries.

      That growing physical prowess raises risks to people near them should something go wrong, which means it is more vital than ever that these devices, set to share our living and working spaces, remain entirely under our control.

  • Hardware

    • Five reasons why I’m excited about POWER9

      There’s plenty to like about the POWER8 architecture: high speed interconnections, large (and flexible) core counts, and support for lots of memory. POWER9 provides improvements in all of these areas and it has learned some entirely new tricks as well.

  • Security

    • Google Threatens to Distrust Symantec SSL/TLS Certificates

      Google is warning that it intends to deprecate and remove trust in Symantec-issued SSL/TLS certificates, as Symantec shoots back that the move is unwarranted.

    • Hackers Stole My Website…And I Pulled Off A $30,000 Sting Operation To Get It Back

      I learned that my site was stolen on a Saturday. Three days later I had it back, but only after the involvement of fifty or so employees of six different companies, middle-of-the-night conferences with lawyers, FBI intervention, and what amounted to a sting operation that probably should have starred Sandra Bullock instead of…well…me.

    • Google Summer of Code

      The Linux Foundation umbrella organization is responsible for this year’s WireGuard GSoC, so if you’re a student, write “Linux Foundation” as your mentoring organization, and then specify in your proposal your desire to work with WireGuard, listing “Jason Donenfeld” as your mentor.

    • Takeaways from Bruce Schneier’s talk: “Security and Privacy in a Hyper-connected World”

      Bruce Schneier is one of my favorite speakers when it comes to the topic of all things security. His talk from IBM Interconnect 2017, “Security and Privacy in a Hyper-connected World“, covered a wide range of security concerns.

    • [Older] Make America Secure Again: Trump Should Order U.S. Spy Agencies to Responsibly Disclose Cyber Vulnerabilities

      Last week, WikiLeaks released a trove of CIA documents that detail many of the spy agency’s hacking capabilities. These documents, if genuine (and early reports suggest that they are), validate concerns that U.S. spy agencies are stockpiling cybersecurity vulnerabilities. The intelligence community uses undisclosed vulnerabilities to develop tools that can penetrate the computer systems and networks of its foreign targets. Unfortunately, since everyone uses the same technology in today’s global economy, each of these vulnerabilities also represents a threat to American businesses and individuals. In the future, rather than hoard this information, the CIA and other intelligence agencies should commit to responsibly disclosing vulnerabilities it discovers to the private sector so that security holes can be patched.

    • Announcing Keyholder: Secure, shared shell access

      The new software is a ssh-agent proxy that allows a group of trusted users to share an SSH identity without exposing the contents of that identity’s private key.

      [...]

      A common use of the ssh-agent is to “forward” your agent to a remote machine (using the -A flag in the OpenSSH client). After you’ve forwarded your ssh-agent, you can use the socket that that agent creates to access any of your many (now unencrypted) keys, and login to any other machines for which you may have keys in your ssh-agent. So, too, potentially, can all the other folks that have root access to the machine to which you’ve forwarded your ssh-agent.

    • pitchfork

      After years of training journalists and NGOs communication and operational security, after years of conducting research into the tools and protocols used, it took some more years developing a reasonable answer to most of the issues encountered during all this time.

      In todays world of commercially available government malware you don’t want to store your encryption keys on your easily infected computer. You want them stored on something that you could even take into a sauna or a hot-tub – maintaining continuous physical contact.

      So people who care about such things use external smartcard-based crypto devices like Ubikey Neos or Nitrokeys (formerly Cryptosticks). The problems with these devices is that you have to enter PIN codes on your computer that you shouldn’t trust, that they are either designed for centralized use in organizations, or they are based mostly on PGP.

  • Defence/Aggression

    • Lawsuits blaming Saudi Arabia for 9/11 get new life

      Sovereign immunity usually protects governments from lawsuits, but the bill creates an exception that lets litigants hold foreign governments responsible if they support a terrorist attack that kills U.S. citizens on American soil.

    • Westminster killer left jail a Muslim – childhood friend [iophk: “UK jails are incubators for Islam”
    • Cornerstone of Afghan Reconstruction Effort — Roads — is Near-Total Failure

      One of the planned cornerstones of the 15+ year Afghan Reconstruction Effort was to be an extensive, nationwide network of roads.

      The United States’ concept was roads would allow the Afghan economy to flourish as trade could reach throughout the country, security would be enhanced by the ability to move security forces quickly to where they were needed, and that the presence of the roads would serve as a literal symbol of the central government’s ability to extend its presence into the countryside.

    • Right-Wing Foundation, Scary Nuke Maps Drive Narrative on North Korea ‘Threat’

      Tensions between the United States and North Korea are making their way back into the news after a series of missile tests and presidential Twitter threats. Meanwhile, a conservative think tank—previously thought all but dead—has seen a resurgence in relevancy, thanks to its alignment with Donald Trump. The result is that the Heritage Foundation has provided much of the narrative backbone for North Korean/US relations in the age of Trump, making the rounds in dozens of media articles and television appearances.

      Heritage talking heads have been featured in North Korea stories in the Washington Post (2/28/27, 3/19/17), New York Times (3/16/17), AP (3/19/17), Christian Science Monitor (3/17/17), Boston Herald (3/9/17), BBC (3/17/17), Fox News (3/10/17), CNN (3/15/17), MSNBC (3/19/17), CNBC (3/7/17), Voice of America (2/24/17) and Vox (3/17/17).

      The most prominent of Heritage’s experts is former CIA analyst Bruce Klingner, who plays the part of the Reasonable Hawk, insisting North Korea is “growing [its] nuclear and missile capabilities” and is an “existential threat to South Korea and Japan and will soon be a direct threat to the continental United States,” but opposes preemptive bombing or invasion until the threat is “imminent”—a term he never quite defines (but one, it’s worth noting, the current Secretary of State uses to describe the situation.)

  • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

    • INTERNATIONAL JOURNALISM PRIZE AWARDED BY MEXICO FOR JULIAN ASSANGE INTERVIEW

      John Pilger has been awarded the International Journalism Prize by the Press Club of Mexico in the XLIV National and International Competition of Journalism, founded in 1951 by Antonio Saenz de Miera. The citation reads, “The exclusive interview with WikiLeaks founder, Julian Assange, through which international public opinion was able to ascertain the extent of the key issues of the current political situation [is] journalism that allows people to defend themselves against powerful, clandestine forces.”

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife/Nature

    • Earth’s worst-ever mass extinction of life holds ‘apocalyptic’ warning about climate change, say scientists

      According to a paper published in the journal Palaeoworld, volcanic eruptions pumped large amounts of carbon dioxide into the air, causing average temperatures to rise by eight to 11°C.

      This melted vast amounts of methane that had been trapped in the permafrost and sea floor, causing temperatures to soar even further to levels “lethal to most life on land and in the oceans”.

    • TransCanada Drops Keystone XL NAFTA Lawsuit One Hour After Trump Approves Pipeline Project

      [...] Donald Trump reversed the Obama Administration’s rejection of the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline, and within the hour, TransCanada, the company behind the massive pipeline project, announced it will drop its $15 billion North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) complaint against the U.S. over the project’s rejection.

      [...]

      TransCanada dropped this NAFTA lawsuit only after Donald Trump caved on his demand that Keystone XL will be built with American steel.

  • Finance

    • Singapore will ratify Trans-Pacific Partnership: PM Lee [iophk: “stupid and dangerous for all”

      Singapore will push forward with ratification of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), said Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on Friday (24 March), at the end of a four-day official visit to Vietnam.

    • Pay crash expected in online gig economy as millions seek work

      The report argues that because only a handful of countries are responsible for the demand in digital work, concentrated mostly in North America and western Europe, it should be these countries that enforce a minimum standard. That way, workers would have their rights protected regardless of their location.

    • Guy Who Wants Everyone To Believe He Created Bitcoin, Now Patenting Everything Bitcoin With An Online Gambling Fugitive

      As you may recall, there was a giant fuss last year, when an Australian guy named Craig Wright not only claimed that he was “Satoshi Nakamoto” — the pseudonymous creator of Bitcoin — but had convined key Bitcoin developer Gavin Andresen that he was Nakomoto. That was a big deal because Andresen was one of the first developers on Bitcoin and regularly corresponded with Nakamoto (Andresen’s own name sometimes popped up in rumors about who Nakamoto might be). Even with Andresen being convinced, plenty of others soon picked apart the claims and found the claims severely lacking in proof.

      Then, last summer, Andrew O’Hagan published an absolutely massive profile of Wright that only served to raise a lot more questions about Wright, his businesses, his claims to having created Bitcoin, and a variety of other things. However, as we noted at the time, buried in that massive article was a bizarre tidbit about how Wright was actively trying to patent a ton of Bitcoin related ideas. As we noted, the article stated that Wright’s plan was to patent tons of Bitcoin stuff, reveal himself as Nakamoto and then sell his patents for a billion dollars.

    • Ukip’s only MP Douglas Carswell quits party

      Ukip’s only member of parliament, Douglas Carswell, has quit the party to become an independent MP, prompting a backlash from within Ukip and among its supporters.

      Carswell, who defected from the Conservative party to Ukip in August 2014, said he was leaving “amicably, cheerfully and in the knowledge that we won”.

      He said he would not be standing down before the next general election, and claimed there was no need for a byelection because he was not joining another party. Ukip, he added, had achieved its founding aims with the vote to leave the EU. “After 24 years, we have done it. Brexit is in good hands,” he said.

    • Tens of thousands march against Brexit

      Unite for Europe campaigners marched through central London to Westminster, the scene of floral tributes to those killed and injured in Wednesday’s atrocity.

      Opening the event, Alastair Campbell said: “Before we talk about Brexit, before we call on any of the speakers, we need to recognise that something really bad happened not far from here just the other day.”

      Campaigners stood with their heads bowed for a minute-long silence on Saturday, with the only sound the chiming of Big Ben.

    • Brexit talks will fail without compromise: José Manuel Barroso

      Brexit negotiations are on course to fail unless both Britain and the European Union ditch their winner-takes-all approach to the coming talks, the former president of the European commission José Manuel Barroso has said.

      With just days to go before Theresa May formally notifies Brussels of the UK’s intention to leave the EU, Jean-Claude Juncker’s predecessor said the two sides were playing a dangerous game.

      The UK’s prime minister has said she believes “no deal is better than a bad deal”, and some in her cabinet have openly talked up the prospect of walking away from the negotiating table.

      Michel Barnier, the EU’s chief negotiator, has placed the settlement of Britain’s £50bn in financial liabilities as the prerequisite for any progress. Last week the French former minister conjured up a vision of queues of Dover, nuclear fuel shortages and chaos for citizens as a consequence of Britain’s failure to live up to its responsibility.

  • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • Trump: Liar, Loser, Not A Leader

      The debacle of Trump and Ryan being unable to pass their “sicknesscare” bill through a Congress that the GOP controls is diagnostic.

    • Michael Moore warns Dems: Now is not the time to gloat

      “This is not the time for the Democrats to gloat,” Moore said. “This is the time we have to now double down. [...]”

    • The Political Economy of ‘Moral Authority’

      The implication of this phrase, of course, is that the United States derives its greatness from a presumed moral authority. Corporate media are now sounding the alarm that the US’s moral authority is suddenly under attack by the Trump administration.

    • Black Man Stabbed to Death by White Supremacist–Then Smeared by Media

      According to police, white 28-year-old Maryland man James Harris Jackson took a Bolt bus up to New York City Friday for the express purposes of killing black men and did just that, stabbing 66-year-old Timothy Caughman in Hell’s Kitchen Monday night. Police say the suspect, an ex-military member of a white supremacist hate group, asked police to arrest him, warning he would attack again if they didn’t.

    • Dan Goldberg on Neil Gorsuch, Marianne Lavelle on Climate Change Denial

      This week on CounterSpin: When Neil Gorsuch’s name was first announced as a candidate for the Supreme Court, corporate media’s focus was on his “eloquence” and “intelligence.” The Washington Post published 30 articles, op-eds, blog posts and editorials in the 48 hours after the announcement—not a single one overtly critical or in opposition to his nomination. That changed somewhat when Gorsuch actually faced questions, but have we learned enough about the record and the ideas of the man who may get one of the most powerful jobs in the country? We’ll talk about Gorsuch with Dan Goldberg from Alliance for Justice.

    • Trump advisor Steve Bannon ordered conservative Republicans to vote for Trumpcare and they just laughed at him

      The general consensus seems to be that the failure to replace Obamacare is unexpectedly bad for both president and GOP: he’s exposed as a crêpe leopard, and them as a bunch of unprincipled bickering morons with nothing to show for 7 years’ empty ranting about Obamacare.

    • Advice for Trump: It’s All About the Infrastructure
    • You Can Be a Journalist, Too, Just Calling Names Like 7th Graders

      The New York Times employs a columnist named Charles Blow (above). Blow writes the same column twice a week, about 800 words of simple name calling directed at Trump. That’s what his job is. He gets paid a lot of money for something that must take him about 15 minutes to type up. It is an amazing world we’ve entered since November.

      [...]

      He continues to have explosive Twitter episodes — presumably in response to some news he finds unflattering or some conspiracy floated by fringe outlets — that make him look not only foolish, but unhinged.

      Trump’s assaults on the truth are not benign. Presidential credibility is American credibility. There is no way to burn through one without burning through the other.

      And when he’s not making explosive charges, he’s taking destructive actions.

  • Censorship/Free Speech

  • Privacy/Surveillance

    • Data Privacy: 7 Trackers Collecting Your Personal Data

      Whether we think about it or not, there’s an agreement at work behind the scenes when you visit some websites and use many popular apps. Call it the price of “free.” For every website visit and app use, you agree to give up certain personal data in exchange for whatever information or service you’re using.

      The problem isn’t only that these activities are taking place, it’s that many apps or services are lax in clearly disclosing that they’re monetizing your personal data. And in many cases, doing so without your explicit approval. We’re automatically being opted in when we agree to Terms of Service and Privacy Policies. Even the most conscientious reader can struggle to make sense of those agreements and the data collection activities they describe.

    • Ban on electronic devices Disproportional and Impractical

      In a written statement yesterday the Secretary of State for Transport, Chris Grayling, announced a ban on “Phones, laptops and tablets larger than 16.0cm x 9.3cm x 1.5cm in the cabin on flights to the UK from Turkey, Lebanon, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, and Tunisia.”

      The United States issued a similar ban earlier in the day. It was not long after that that the UK followed suit, however the UK ban is structured around any inbound flights from the afore mentioned countries rather than specific airports, which is the case with the US ban.

      Whilst security is increased on these items coming into the UK, Chris Grayling does state that “These new measures apply to flights into the UK and we are not currently advising against flying to and from those countries.” so anyone travelling to any of the countries on the list is still able to do so, and there is no change to the Foreign Office’s advice against travelling there.

    • The Ad Industry Is Really Excited About Plans To Gut Broadband Privacy Protections

      The broadband, advertising and marketing industries are absolutely thrilled about plans to kill the FCC’s new broadband privacy protections for consumers. Passed last year, the rules simply require that ISPs provide working opt-out tools, go to reasonable lengths to protect data and notify users of hack attacks, and be transparent about what data they collect and who they sell to. The rules also require that ISPs obtain opt-in consent (public enemy number one for marketing folks) for the collection and sale of more personal data like financial details or browsing histories.

    • How ISPs can sell your Web history—and how to stop them

      The House is also controlled by Republicans, but “we think we’ve got a shot at killing it off,” Gillula said. The House is expected to vote on the measure next week, but there’s still time to contact your legislator before a vote.

      “If we kill it [in the House], we don’t have to worry about any of this creepy tracking,” Gillula said.

    • Encryption Workarounds Paper Shows Why ‘Going Dark’ Is Not A Problem, And In Fact Is As Old As Humanity Itself

      That analogy reveals something profound: that the supposedly new problem of “going dark” — of not being able to find out information — has existed as long as humans have been around. After all, there is no way — yet, at least — of accessing information held in a person’s mind unless some kind of interrogation technique is used to extract it. And as the analogy shows us, that is exactly like needing to find some encryption workaround when information is held on a digital device. It may be possible, or it may not; but the only difference between the problems faced by those demanding answers thousands of years ago and today is that some of the required information may be held external to the mind in an encrypted digital form. Asking for guaranteed backdoors to that digital data is as unreasonable as demanding a foolproof method to extract information from any person’s mind. We accept that it may not be possible to do the latter, so why not accept the former may not be feasible either?

    • Three privacy tools that block your Internet provider from tracking you

      Recently, the United States Senate saw fit to allow Internet Service Providers to sell your web browsing history and other data to third parties. The action has yet to pass the House, but if it does, it means anyone concerned about privacy will have to protect themselves against over zealous data collection from their ISP.

  • Civil Rights/Policing

  • DRM

    • It’s happening! It’s happening! W3C erects DRM as web standard

      The World Wide Web Consortium has formally put forward highly controversial digital rights management as a new web standard.

      Dubbed Encrypted Media Extensions (EME), this anti-piracy mechanism was crafted by engineers from Google, Microsoft, and Netflix, and has been in development for some time. The DRM is supposed to thwart copyright infringement by stopping people from ripping video and other content from encrypted high-quality streams.

      The latest draft was published last week and formally put forward as a proposed standard soon after. Under W3C rules, a decision over whether to officially adopt EME will depend on a poll of its members.

    • The End of Ownership

      The internet of things, End User License Agreements, and Digital Rights Management are increasingly being used to give electronics manufacturers control and ownership over your stuff even after you buy it. Radio Motherboard talks to Aaron Perzanowski and Jason Schultz, authors of The End of Ownership about what we stand to lose when our songs, movies, tractors, and even our coffee makers serve another master. 

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Why You Should Care About The Supreme Court Case On Toner Cartridges

      [...] the crux of a Supreme Court case that will answer a question with far-reaching impact for all consumers: Can a company that sold you something use its patent on that product to control how you choose to use after you buy it?

    • Copyrights

      • Another Loss For Broadcast TV Streaming, And A Dangerous Shift Of Decision-Making Power

        Another court has ruled that streaming local broadcast TV channels to mobile devices is something that only traditional pay-TV companies can do—startups need not apply. The Ninth Circuit appeals court has ruled that FilmOn, an Internet video service, cannot use the license created by Congress for “secondary transmissions” of over-the-air TV broadcasts. That likely means that FilmOn and other Internet-based services won’t be able to stream broadcast TV at all. That’s a setback for local TV and the news, weather, local advertising, and community programming it carries.

      • Brazil Proposes New Digital Copyright Rules for the WTO

        Copyright rules don’t belong in trade agreements—so where do they belong? For the most part, the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) is probably the right place; it’s a fully multilateral body that devotes its entire attention to copyright, patent, and other so-called intellectual property (IP) rules, rather than including them as an afterthought in agreements that also deal with things like dairy products and rules of origin for yarn. Although we don’t always like the rules that come out of WIPO, at least we can be heard there—and sometimes our participation makes a tangible difference. The landmark Marrakesh Treaty for blind, visually impaired and print disabled users provides a good example.

        But there’s another multilateral international body that can also lay claim to authority over international intellectual property rules—the World Trade Organization (WTO). When the WTO first covered copyright and patent rules in a dedicated agreement called TRIPS, it was decried by activists as being far too strict. Today, ironically, those same activists (even EFF) often tout TRIPS as a more appropriate baseline standard for global IP rules, in contrast to the stricter (or “TRIPS-plus”) rules demanded for inclusion in preferential trade agreements such as the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) and the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).

      • Netflix Gets Serious About Its Anti-Piracy Efforts
      • [Older] ‘Plan B’ to get Dotcom out of New Zealand drags on for 29 months

        An inquiry into deporting Kim Dotcom has been underway for 29 months and is set to be the longest, most drawn out investigation of its type.

Judge and Justice Bashing in the United States, EPC Bashing at the EPO

Posted in Europe, Patents at 12:30 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

The EPO took it even further by illegally suspending a judge, putting him on a "house ban" with no foreseen redemption

Gorsuch on Trump
Reference: SCOTUS Nominee Gorsuch Calls Trump’s Judge-Bashing ‘Disheartening’ and ‘Demoralizing’

Summary: Enforcement of the law based on constitutional grounds and based on the European Patent Convention (EPC) in an age of retribution and insults — sometimes even libel — against judges

THE informal mouthpiece (still) of the EPO, IAM, published this article just before the weekend. It’s about a Supreme Court decision (impacting courts more than the USPTO) which can help patent trolls. IAM was of course jubilant and the article boils down to the typical IAM propaganda. It’s just a selection of quotes from just one side of the argument. It’s propaganda disguised as news.

Trolls’ and maximalists’ news [sic] sites quote only other trolls and maximalists, as might be expect. But what’s noteworthy is the following part in which a former USPTO Director says that the “so-called judge” (infamous phrase from Trump) is a hypocrite. IAM uses that to attack (mind the headline) a nonconformist (patent sceptic) Justice, Mr. Breyer, whom the patent microcosm likes to attack over Alice and the his remarks on the Lexmark case. Here is the relevant part:

One critic, former USPTO Director Todd Dickinson, now a partner at Polsinelli, pointed out what he sees as the hypocrisy in Breyer’s comments in SCA and Star Athletica, and the court’s recent mangling of the law around patent eligible subject matter.

Notice how IAM is quoting some of the worst trolls but not actual industry people (producers and productive firms, i.e. anything other than parasites). We have grown accustomed to this, particularly from IAM.

Patent maximalists want more patents, more lawsuits, and more money for themselves (the latter requires more of both). They couldn’t care any less about the raison d’être and core purpose of patents as originally envisioned. They’re like clueless Battistelli, who would have us believe that converting a fine patent examination office into a rubberstampting operation like INPI is a great thing, even if that entails decrease in applications and devaluation of EPs. He’s a hyperinflation politician, not a President; he’s a tyrant like Mugabe and his impact on the EPO is already devastating (brain drain, reputation issues and so on).

Facing the reality of the EPC, the EPO already acknowledged it had granted bogus patents on plants/seed and then decided to stop it (very belatedly and probably due to mounting public pressure). The EPC is like the constitution to examiners, but they are bossed and instructed by Battistelli loyalists, not a legal document. There is clearly a constitutional crisis here, hence the need for whistleblowers.

Tobias Cohen Jehoram, Tjibbe Douma, Gertjan Kuipers and Oscar Lamme from De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek N.V. have just published this article about it. They also take note of the EPC towards the end, along with the EU Biotech Directive:

The patentability of plant varieties has been a recurring topic of discussion over the years. Despite some pro-patentability decisions by the European Patent Office, the European Commission recently set out its restrictive views on this subject in a Notice. This led to the European Council stating its Conclusions on the Notice in February 2017. The outcome is clear: both EU bodies conclude that no patents should be allowed for plant products obtained through essentially biological processes, for example genetically modified plants.

[...]

Under the EU Biotech Directive and the European Patent Convention (EPC), plant varieties and essentially biological processes for the production of plants are not patentable. Plant varieties can be protected by “plant variety rights”, which grant exclusivity to the right holder while leaving room for others to use the protected material as a starting point for further breeding (the breeders’ exemption).

The EPC is a non-EU convention and the Biotech Directive was implemented in the EPC by the EPC Implementing Regulations. Those Regulations also provide that the examining and opposition divisions of the European Patent Organisation (EPO) use the Directive as a supplementary means of interpretation when examining European patents and patent applications for EPC compliance. In addition, the EPO Guidelines provide that judgments of the Court of Justice of the European Union on the interpretation of the Directive may be “considered as being persuasive”.

Also take note of this Turkish law firm writing about the EPC in relation to Turkey; this was published already in IAM and we took note of it the other day. We bemoaned the wrong assumption that the EPO was still following and obeying the EPC; the judges whose job it is to enforce this have already complained openly that they are unable to do it under Battistelli.

Battistelli’s men have already gloated that they would disregard court rulings, they pretty much ignore ILO rulings, and much like Recep Tayyip Erdoğan they oust or drive to exile judges whom they don’t agree with.

Looking for EPO Nepotism? Forget About Jouve and Look Closely at Europatis Instead.

Posted in Europe, Patents at 11:42 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Jouve logoSummary: Debates about the contract of Jouve with the EPO overlook the elephants in the room, which include companies that are established and run by former EPO chiefs and enjoy a relationship with the EPO

THE EPO has many big scandals including privacy violations as covered here months ago, back when we wrestled with a lot of EPO scandals and had already written a great deal about Europatis, e.g. in:

  1. Jacques Michel (Former EPO VP1), Benoît Battistelli’s EPO, and the Leak of Internal Staff Data to Michel’s Private Venture
  2. Europatis: “Turnover of €211,800 and Zero Employees”
  3. Loose Data ‘Protection’ and Likely Privacy Infringements at the EPO: Here’s Who Gets Employees’ Internal Data
  4. Summary of the EPO-Europatis Series
  5. Revolving Doors of High-Level EPO Management: Jacques Michel and the Questel Deal With the EPO

Europatis, in short, is an EPO-connected company of a former EPO Vice-President from France.

Mark Schweizer recently asked about a French company called Jouve. To quote:

If there ever was a first world problem, then this is it. But whenever (okay, not every single time) I walk to the printer in our office and pick up a freshly printed European patent application or European patent, I read the line at the very bottom of the first page which reads “Printed by Jouve, 75001 PARIS (FR)”, and I think “no, it isn’t. It’s printed by my Cannon makeupsomenumber in Zurich, Switzerland. I wish I was in Paris”. Why does it say “Printed by Jouve” on every single European patent (application)?

Jouve is a group of companies headquartered in Paris providing, in their own words, “customers with cross-media solutions for designing, enriching, showcasing and distributing content”, whatever that means. Those services include on-demand printing and web-to-print services. I would assume that Jouve has some kind of contract with the European Patent Office. However, are they printing anything for the EPO, much less patents and patent applications?

Jouve seems to be getting EPO data, but Europatis gets very personal data about staff and there is also the possibility of nepotism (Jacques Michel, former EPO VP1)

Read the latest comments which attempt to answer Schweizer’s question, notably this person who says “I imagine that Jouve still do the typesetting – OCR’ing the scanned specification pages (yes even if you printed them nicely to pdf) and turning them into the published spec.”

Is this another EPO scandal in the making? We don’t think so. But some people latch onto the nationality of the company,e.g.:

Interesting, a French Company not doing what they claim to be doing on every title page of a European Patent.
I always wondered who authorized that after the change to electronic publishing. Why not also the provider of the paper and of the printing ink? Why not the company providing the software for generating the pdf?
Great Ad for Jouve anyway, and a French company deserves this, doesn’t it? The French seemingly have a tradition of having related people doing nothing but the gouvenement paying for it, at least when you read the newspaper you get that impression. Presidential order? Honi soit qui mal y pense

“Here is some background to the EPO contract with Xerox/Jouve for bedtime reading,” says the latest comment, pointing to a Xerox contact with the EPO (which has many Xerox equipment on site). It said that Xerox, as of 1990, would “capture and publish 65%” of EPs and the remainder would be “processed by a French company, Jouve.”

Is there some sort of scandal here? We don’t think so. As it goes back so many years, it’s unlikely to have anything to do with Battistelli. But by all means, someone should look more closely into Europatis.

Depressing EPO News: Attacks on Staff, Attacks on Life, Brain Drain, Patents on Life, Patent Trolls Come to Germany, and Spain Being Misled

Posted in America, Europe, Patents at 4:50 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: A roundup of the latest developments at the EPO combined with feedback from insiders, who are not tolerating their misguided and increasingly abusive management

THE thousands of EPO workers are concerned. The tens if not hundreds of thousands of EPO stakeholders are concerned too. Software developers like myself are growingly concerned about software patents in Europe, seeing what could soon become the European ‘Eastern District of Texas’ with Battistelli as its boss, having granted a lot of bogus patents. This article is an assorted mix of interrelated topics that we have sat on for a while, combined with the latest news. Readers might find these interesting.

“First We Take Munich then we take the Hague”

Tu quoque mi fili“, one person wrote to us, “I just remembered this song,” tweaking Leonard Cohen’s First We Take Manhattan:

They sentenced me to twenty years of boredom
For trying to free the system from the plague
I’m coming now I’m coming now to reward them
First We Take Munich then we take the Hague.

The famous original lyrics said:

They sentenced me to twenty years of boredom
For trying to change the system from within
I’m coming now, I’m coming to reward them
First we take Manhattan, then we take Berlin

“With a bit of humour and philosophy,” our reader noted, “one would notice that history repeats and many don’t learn from the past mistakes. It is sad.”

“Battistelli is Playing With Death Not Only With the Suicides That He Has Directly or Indirectly Provoked”

Let’s talk about the “BBB effect,” wrote another reader, in reference to “Bikes brakes and Battistelli” (BBB).

thank you again for the excellent coverage of EPO matters. Your contributions are certainly a key toward the solution.

Allow to comment on one of the recent publications
.
About the brakes story (again!):

It is now clear for anyone that this incident was created by Team Battistelli in order to introduce additional security measures. However that was an insult to the staff (again) and an extremely dangerous move. It is an insult because the staff of the EPO are utterly pacifists and if they really wanted to “illegally” get rid of the tyrant they could do it and no one would find who did it. After all you have there more than 4000 scientists and engineers and I am pretty sure they could have Battistelli “disappeared” in a far more efficient way than cutting brakes. It was thus an insult to their competence.
The point that worries me is that by alluding that one may want to harm the boss, the management creates that perception that such things are possible and you know if there is a foolish thing to do, you will find a fool to do it. This is a recipe for a disaster. Mr. Battistelli is playing with death not only with the suicides that he has directly or indirectly provoked but also by orchestrating a, yet imaginary, plot against himself. Hence no wonder that he turns paranoid: his life must be a nightmare. He would be afraid to be in any public place, of traveling, taking a taxi, being in an airport, even being in the EPO basement carpark (which I would shut off as a precautionary measure because is is really a dangerous place), being in the lift or even shaking hands. All that is really dangerous, Monsieur le President, are you so tired of living? What about a stay in your beloved Haar nuthouse?

Brain Drain and Collapse of ‘Demand’ for Patents

“Brain drain,” another reader noted, is real, as “the figures the Euro Patent Office doesn’t want you to see” are as follows:

I have just heard this impressive figure: in 2016 over 60 persons retired at ages younger than 55, compared to 5 persons in 2015. Who says there is no brain drain?

We are sad to see the EPO failing so badly. The USPTO, by contrast, is improving. US applications for EPs have in fact just nosedived; even ‘artistic’ statistics by the EPO could not hide this.

EPO Patent Quality (or Scope) Now Worse Than USPTO

To clarify, as I did even a decade ago, I am not against patents (I never was), nor am I against patent offices. I just think that the US is improving patents-wide, whereas the EPO is a travesty that will damage Europe’s competitiveness. Patent quality sucks so badly under Battistelli that patents on life, which are rejected in the USPTO these days, are being accepted by the EPO. There was a new article about this yesterday at The Scientist. To quote the summary: “The European Patent Office will grant patent rights over the use of CRISPR in all cell types to a University of California team, contrasting with a recent decision in the U.S.” The confirmation goes one day earlier. To quote: “The European Patent Office (EPO) yesterday (March 23) announced its intention to award a broad-strokes patent for CRISPR gene-editing technology to the University of California, Berkeley, the University of Vienna, and the Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research. The claims include the use of CRISPR across prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells and organisms, hitting upon the point of contention in a recent patent interference decision in the United States. In that case, the US Patent and Trademark Office’s Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) denied UC Berkeley the rights over the use of the technology in eukaryotes—the money-making application for CRISPR—leaving that intellectual property with the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard.”

What a disaster. See our index about CSIRO and CRISPR. This will almost certainly bring patent trolls to Europe pretty soon.

Germany Already Attracts Patent Trolls

Speaking of CSIRO, see this new article from IAM (EPO and trolls proponent), which finally admits that patent trolls now infest Germany, attacking legitimate companies using patents. The Battistelli effect? Here is the relevant part:

Recent research from IP analytics firm Darts-ip has identified China and Germany as the two major patent jurisdictions in which NPEs enjoy the most success in infringement proceedings. However, the relatively low volume of cases being filed by NPEs in China suggests that significant monetisation activity is still some way off – though there are already signs that it is picking up.

The Darts-ip study looks at lawsuits filed by NPEs in several major jurisdictions outside of the United States from 2011 to 2016. The researchers pinpointed just over 250 non-US NPE cases over that period, compared to more than 12,000 US cases. While the number may seem “trivial”, as Darts-ip concedes, it is the trend over the five-year timeframe that is telling.

See what the EPO is doing to Europe? Same thing SIPO is doing to China. It’s destroying the domestic industry. Under Battistelli the EPO became just "SIPO Europe", as we dubbed it back in December.

The EPO moves from bad to worse while the USPTO is at least trying to improve. This new piece from Patently-O (also yesterday) speaks of “Regulatory Reform” using a new working group — like the sorts of groups that existed when Battistelli seized power and then proceeded to shutting down. “Under the direction of the White House,” Patently-O wrote, “the USPTO has formed a “Working Group on Regulatory Reform.” To implement the 2-for-1 regulatory agenda previously outlined on Patently-O. According to a release from Dir. Michelle Lee’s office…”

Lee has done a lot to improve the image of the USPTO. It became a lot saner and among the reforms was the suppression of software patent trolls.

Spain and the EPO

In Europe we are now receiving the exact opposite (see the news about Germany, to be further exacerbated and expand scope-wise with the UPC) and Barker Brettell LLP (mentioned before in relation to the EPO [1, 2] and its advocacy of software patents) insinuates that Spain becoming more like the EPO is desirable. To quote the relevant part from “Will the new Spanish patent law bring harmony in Europe?”

The changes will also alter the opposition process; this will move to a post-grant system like the EPO, except that the term for filing an opposition will be six months from grant rather than the EPO’s nine months. Harmony with the EPO is also achieved when it comes to ‘second medical use’ inventions; when patenting already known substances or compositions for use in new therapeutic applications the ‘Swiss type’ form of claim is no longer needed. Also mirroring the changes that EPC2000 brought in, there remains an exclusion from patent protection for surgical, therapeutic and diagnostic treatment methods but the legal fiction that these methods lack industrial application is removed.

The option will be available for post-grant limitation or revocation of the patent by the patentee. As with a central limitation or revocation at the EPO, a request can be made at any time during the life of the patent and will be retroactive in its effect.

“Since when are the Spanish people asking Franco for a comeback?”

That is what an EPO insider thought of it. As we noted yesterday, Spain continues to reject the UPC. Seeing what happens in Germany right now should be a strong defense of this decision. it’s possible that 4 days from now the UPC will be more or less officially dead in the water.

It Certainly Looks Like Microsoft is Already Siccing Its Patent Trolls, Including Intellectual Ventures, on Companies That Use Linux (Until They Pay ‘Protection’ Money)

Posted in GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Patents at 4:00 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

The patent strategy of Bill, Steve and Horacio seems to be alive and well even in their absence

Ballmer on patents
Full, 6-frame explanation of Microsoft’s strategy

“People that use Red Hat, at least with respect to our intellectual property, in a sense have an obligation to compensate us.”

Steve Ballmer

Summary: News about Intellectual Ventures and Finjan Holdings (Microsoft-funded patent trolls) reinforces our allegations — not mere suspicions anymore — that Microsoft would ‘punish’ companies that are not paying subscription fees (hosting) or royalties (patent tax) to Microsoft and are thus in some sense ‘indebted’ to Microsoft

THE analysis we presented here last month turns out to be very accurate. Our predictions didn’t take long to materialise.

Let’s start with some background. In spite of courts in the US limiting the patentability of software, the USPTO keeps granting these and failing to invalidate those already granted, unless someone petitions PTAB to look into particular patents. This means that, for the time being, even bogus patents continue to exist and they can be used for litigation. Challenging them, especially if they are used in bulk, can be very expensive (legal fees). Recently, some companies challenged Intellectual Ventures‘ claims against them and won. All of the software patents of Intellectual Ventures were found to be invalid. But at what cost? These cases had to be escalated all the way up to CAFC before that happened. How many companies out there can afford justice and how rarely would that be an option cheaper than just settling?

“How many companies out there can afford justice and how rarely would that be an option cheaper than just settling?”Nowadays, a lot of small companies choose the so-called ‘cloud’ for hosting. There are numerous reasons for this and they don’t typically receive legal protections or indemnification from the host. There have already been cases where companies got hit with a lawsuit (or more) for a bunch of virtual machines.

This new article by Richard Kemp, providing a good example of what we mean by cloudwashing of software patents (adding something like “on the cloud”, in order to fool examiners into granting software patents, thinking these are novel and combined with a machine).

“Cloud software patent claims will likely increase as more users migrate to the cloud,” it says in the summary, alluding in particular sections about trolls to this phenomenon. Here are the relevant parts:

As the public cloud services market continues to mature and grow – up from $178bn in 2015 to $209bn in 2016 according to research company Gartner – the concentration of computing resources into cloud data centres is increasingly attracting the attention of Non-Practising Entities (NPEs) as a target for patent litigation. At a time when data security and privacy risks are front of mind for cloud service providers (CSPs) and their users, the intellectual property (IP) risks to cloud service availability posed by NPE patent claims are rising up the business agenda.

NPEs are businesses that assert patents through litigation to achieve revenues from alleged infringers without practising or commercialising the technology covered by the patents they hold. NPEs are uniquely well placed to monetise their patents at each stage of the litigation cycle. They have access to capital and all necessary forensic and legal resources; and an NPE doesn’t practise its patents so is immune to a counterclaim that a defendant might otherwise be able to bring against a competitor, or a cross-licence that the defendant could otherwise offer.

[...]

From the CSP’s standpoint all this is bad enough, but software patent risks are further exacerbated by increasing use of open source software (OSS) in the cloud. OSS, long in the mainstream, now commonly powers cloud computing systems. OSS developments are created by communities of individual developers. With no single holder of software rights, patent infringement issues are unlikely to be top of mind, and if they are, developers will generally lack the resources to help them navigate the risks. Simply because they are open, OSS developments and communities are easier targets for NPEs than proprietary software as they don’t need to go to the same lengths to discover potential infringement. The softness of the target increases risk for CSPs using OSS and their users.

Cloud software patent risk is evident and growing, so it is perhaps surprising that it has figured so little in the register of perceived risks up to now, especially when data protection, privacy and information security figure so high. Yet an unsettled cloud software patent claim runs risks to cloud service availability that are arguably of the same order as information security risks. The reason why cloud computing IP risks have had little public airing so far is probably that, while implicitly acknowledged, they have yet to be thoroughly expressed and articulated. For example, in UK financial services, now one of the most heavily regulated sectors, cloud computing is treated as outsourcing and in its cloud guidance, the FCA (Financial Conduct Authority, the UK regulator) states that regulated firms should, amongst other things: “monitor concentration risk and consider what action it would take if the provider failed ….”

How does that relate to Microsoft? Now comes the key part. Microsoft is trying to turn Azure into its new cash cow and it is also trying to turn its patents into cash cows. It’s now doing in the cars what it’s planning to do in the ‘cloud’, namely demand payments for patents (where [GNU/]Linux is used), otherwise send a bunch of trolls to make a legal mess. The Mafia model.

“It’s now doing in the cars what it’s planning to do in the ‘cloud’, namely demand payments for patents (where [GNU/]Linux is used), otherwise send a bunch of trolls to make a legal mess. The Mafia model.”The other day we wrote about what Microsoft and its biggest troll (Intellectual Ventures) had been doing lately, having recently written about Microsoft marketing of “Azure IP Advantage” [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7] — eerily similar in many ways to the Microsoft-Novell patent deal.

It looks like Microsoft is already siccing its patent trolls on companies that don't pay 'protection' money, we noted, and now it looks like we have another new example, as covered yesterday by friends of Intellectual Ventures, IAM magazine. To quote the relevant bits:

The auto industry has been a hive of patent activity for several years. Manufacturers and suppliers are far more sophisticated players in terms of their own patenting, have become more assertive in fighting claims and are increasingly signing-up to defensive initiatives such as the LOT Network and Unified Patents. The emerging dynamics in the sector were on full display in two separate developments this week.

First up, on Monday, Intellectual Ventures filed seven lawsuits in Delaware against Toyota, Honda and BMW, and the suppliers Denso, Nidec, Aisin Seiki and Mitsuba. Each has been accused of infringing between one and five patents. IV has been attempting to license the auto sector for several years and in a significant boost to its efforts did a deal with Ford in 2015. Obviously not everyone in the industry has been as willing as Ford, hence this week’s move.

[...]

On Wednesday Microsoft announced that it had agreed a new patent licensing deal with Toyota that includes broad coverage for connected car technologies. That deal, the software giant says, is the first in its new auto licensing programme; and so we can presumably expect some similar announcements in the coming months. The deal release was light on details, but the two companies have an existing IP relationship thanks to Microsoft’s recent Azure IP Advantage initiative, which Toyota was quick to sign up to. What will be interesting to follow is how any upcoming deals are structured given that Microsoft’s recent focus has been on using its IP as leverage in getting more of its products onto devices rather than as a driver of licensing dollars.

The Japanese car giant is clearly looking to ensure it has freedom to operate in a rapidly changing market. That strategy, so far, has not included signing a licence with IV — which Microsoft was an early investor in — but the Delaware lawsuit might bring things to a head.

The Microsoft-Toyota patent deal was mentioned here the other day. We later said that Microsoft is using software patents against GNU/Linux and relies on secrecy around what’s covered (Android, file systems, etc.); for those who don’t yet know, Toyota was historically close to Microsoft, but it recently defected to the Linux camp. Microsoft can’t be too happy about that. Here are three items from the news:

  • Toyota licenses Microsoft’s portfolio of connected car patents

    In a blog post, Microsoft Intellectual Property Group chief IP Counsel Erich Anderson suggests the company’s software patents will play a significant role in the automotive industry’s “digital transformation” as more vehicles are connected to the internet and cloud services.

  • Microsoft expands connected car push with patent licensing

    Rather than trying to build a high-tech automobile of its own, Microsoft is focusing on providing carmakers with the tools they need to create smarter vehicles and the Toyota deal is the first of what it hopes will be a series of such agreements.

    [...]

    The deal signed with Toyota includes intellectual property {sic} related to information processing technology and communication technology used in connected cars. In typical Microsoft fashion, the terms of the deal beyond that have been kept secret.

  • Daimler Jumps on Linux Bandwagon

    Not long ago, if a major corporation were to take out membership in an open source project, that would be big news — doubly so for a company whose primary business isn’t tech related. Times have changed. These days the corporate world’s involvement in open source is taken for granted, even for companies whose business isn’t computer related. Actually, there’s really no such thing anymore. One way or another, computer technology is at the core of nearly every product on the market.

    So it wasn’t surprising that hardly anyone noticed earlier this month when Daimler AG, maker of Mercedes-Benz and the world’s largest manufacturer of commercial vehicles, announced it had joined the Open Invention Network (OIN), an organization that seeks to protect open source projects from patent litigation. According to a quick and unscientific search of Google, only one tech site covered the news, and that didn’t come until a full 10 days after the announcement was made.

That third one is particularly noteworthy as Daimler may be looking for some sort of protection though OIN — a protection that will not come for reasons we explained some days ago. There’s no redemption from trolls there, by OIN’s own admission. OIN has in fact done nothing against Microsoft’s latest patent manoeuvres against Linux. Nothing.

“Our prediction is that in various fields, be it security, car navigation, or anything “on a cloud” Microsoft will send trolls to wreak havoc unless/until the victims join some Microsoft ‘protection’ scheme such as “Azure IP Advantage”.”To clarify, Intellectual Ventures is not the only Microsoft-connected troll which is storming and suing companies that Microsoft dislikes, particularly Linux distributors (e.g. devices). There are a lot of Microsoft-armed and Microsoft-funded trolls out there (we’ve named many over the years). Last night in the news for example, we saw this patent troll which is connected to Microsoft (even financed by it) settling with Avast. Based on the wording, it’s maybe a settlement or ‘protection’ money (they don’t say), but the text does say “Finjan remains, in various capacities, involved in patent-associated cases against FireEye, Sophos, Symantec, Palo Alto Networks, Blue Coat Systems, ESET (and affiliates) and Cisco Systems.”

Finjan is a troll (as last mentioned earlier this year) and it seems to be going after every security company out there, equipped with nothing but software patents which we looked at closely in the past. Our prediction is that in various fields, be it security, car navigation, or anything “on a cloud” Microsoft will send trolls to wreak havoc unless/until the victims join some Microsoft ‘protection’ scheme such as “Azure IP Advantage”.

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