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04.11.17

Links 11/4/2017: Black Lab Linux 8.2, Slackel 7.0 Live Openbox Beta

Posted in News Roundup at 4:48 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • New Survey: Cloud Providers in Open Source

    Some of today’s most dynamic and innovative free and open source software (FOSS) projects boast significant investment and involvement by well-known cloud service and solution providers. We are launching a survey to better understand the perception of these solution providers by people engaging in open source communities.

    In both enterprise and tech, FOSS adoption and deployment rates today reach 78%, with 65% of companies also contributing to FOSS projects, according to The Future of Open Source survey (2016 and 2015). Leading edge, innovative organizations make even greater investments in open source, fielding software stacks comprised of over 90% FOSS (Gartner.)

  • Eric S. Raymond says you probably fit one of eight tech archetypes

    Open source luminary Eric S. Raymond has given the world eight “Hacker Archetypes” that he thinks offer useful ways to categorise your colleagues and by doing so help them to understand their strengths and weaknesses.

    Raymond says he thinks that’s a worthwhile exercise because a friend of his says categorising people helps her to work with young martial artists.

    Just how martial arts and IT cross over is anyone’s guess, but let’s get into the categories anyway.

  • Haiku OS Picks Up Mesa 17, LLVM 4.0

    For fans of BeOS-inspired Haiku OS, the operating system now has Mesa 17.0 and LLVM 4.0 for the latest graphics driver and compiler support.

  • XRTL: A Google Developer Working On New Real-Time Rendering Library

    A new, unofficial project at Google is XRTL, creating a cross-platform real-time rendering library, with support for Vulkan and other graphics APIs.

  • How Google’s Borg Inspired the Modern Datacenter

    Kubernetes is distinguished from similar container orchestration systems, such as Apache Mesos and Google Swarm, by its Google heritage. Kubernetes was inspired by Borg, the very advanced internal datacenter management system used by Google for a decade. Nearly all of Google’s services run in containers, both internal and external services such as Gmail, Google search, Google Maps, MapReduce, Google File System, and Google Compute Engine. Think of Borg as the giant brain that manages Google’s datacenters as a single pool of resources to fuel Google’s giant fleet of services, and manages them so efficiently it saves Google the cost of an entire datacenter.

  • Battery Ventures Unveils New Index Tracking Popular Open-Source Software Projects

    The Battery Open-Source Software (BOSS) Index — believed to be the first of its kind in the open-source community — highlights the increasing reliance on freely available, open-source technology by big and small enterprises alike, and also the challenges in building commercially viable companies on top of these projects.

  • The Battery Open-Source Software Index, Acquia Cloud CD, and Skytap Container Management — SD Times news digest: April 10, 2017
  • Open Source Clues to Google’s Mysterious Fuchsia OS

    It’s not often that one of the world’s leading software companies decides to develop a major new operating system. Yet in February 2016, Google began publishing code for a mysterious new platform, known as Fuchsia.

    Google has officially said very little about Fuchsia, and the company did not respond to my request for comment. But since it’s being developed as an open source project, its source code is entirely in the open for anyone to view. Indeed, anyone can download Fuchsia right now and try to run it.

  • RoundCube Next Hasn’t Seen Any Commits So Far In 2017

    Last September we wrote about RoundCube-Next being woefully behind schedule even after they raised more than one hundred thousand dollars for this massive overhaul to the RoundCube webmail software. Sadly, not much has changed since and the project has yet to see any Git commits in 2017.

    A Phoronix reader — and backer to RoundCube’s IndieGoGo campaign that raised $103,541 of their $80k USD goal from 871 backers — pointed out that the project remains at a stand-still. The GitHub repositories haven’t seen any activity in months. The RoundCube Server hasn’t been touched since last November, the mail application and client side code since October, etc.

  • Mastodon—The free software, decentralized Twitter competitor

    My life is filled with conundrums.

    One of those conundrums is the fact that I spend a huge amount of my time promoting and advocating free and open-source software. Yet in order to reach a large audience with that advocacy, I end up needing to use social networks (such as Twitter and Google Plus) which are—not free software.

    If I’m going to be speaking at a conference about GNU, Linux and other free software-y topics, I announce it on Twitter. And, perhaps rightly so, my freedom-loving friends toss a little (usually good-natured) mockery my way for doing so.

  • Mastodon.social: Why does every new “Twitter” fail?
  • Will Mastodon succeed in killing Twitter?
  • Mastodon: Band or Social Network?
  • Mastodon: The New Twitter?
  • Mastodon Is What Disruption Looks Like Right Before It Happens
  • Target: Open Source Leads to ‘Tighter Control’

    America is seeing a retail meltdown, with even stalwart brands like Macy’s and Sears in bad shape. Target is looking to open source as a means of weathering the collapse.

    Amazon and other online shopping options are, of course, part of retail’s difficulties. But there’s more to it than that. While overall retail spending is growing steadily but slowly, retailers are hurt by the rise of e-commerce, oversupply of malls and a shift in discretionary spending away from buying and toward acquiring new experiences.

  • Golden Code Development Releases FWD as Open Source Software

    Golden Code Development Corporation today announced it has released its FWD technology as open source software. FWD is an alternative to Progress OpenEdge, featuring a range of unique enhancements that add new capabilities to ABL applications. Powerful code analytics, automated transformation tooling and a Java-based runtime enable organizations to modernize their applications and deploy them in the web in a fraction of the time of existing approaches.

  • Encouraging new community members

    My friend and colleague Stormy Peters just launched a challenge to the community – to blog on a specific community related topic before the end of the week. This week, the topic is “Encouraging new contributors”.

    I have written about the topic of encouraging new contributors in the past, as have many others. So this week, I am kind of cheating, and collecting some of the “Greatest Hits”, articles I have written, or which others have written, which struck a chord on this topic.

  • [Old] Why Systemd is so bad ?

    Ultimately, systemd’s spread is symbolic of something more than systemd itself. It shows a radical shift in thinking by the Linux community. Not necessarily a positive one, either.

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • More Screenshots of Firefox’s Photon Redesign Surface Online

        More screenshots of Firefox’s Photon redesign have surfaced online. The new screenshots continue to reveal more details about the upcoming redesign, including the purpose of the library button, the behaviour of side panels, and the new-look main menu.

  • Pseudo-Open Source (Openwashing)

  • Funding

    • Mozilla Awards $365,000 to Open Source Projects as part of MOSS

      At Mozilla we were born out of, and remain a part of, the open source and free software movement. Through the Mozilla Open Source Support (MOSS) program, we recognize, celebrate, and support open source projects that contribute to our work and to the health of the Internet.

  • Public Services/Government

    • Developers Italia – an open source operating system ‘of’ the country

      A casual search for similar projects in the UK will turn up the British governments ‘progressive’ approach for adopting OpenOffice… not quite the open API ecosystem that they are envisaging in Italy. That being said, the work carried out at Gov.UK and technology at GDS is arguably just as progressive.

    • UNESCO add support to INRIA’s Software Heritage

      Unesco, the UN’s education, science and cultural organisation, is throwing its weight behind the Software Heritage project. Unesco will help the project become more widely-known, by (co)organising debates and conferences, and with other promotion activities.

      The Software Heritage project started in 2016 by Inria – France’s national computer science institute. The institute is a public organisation which promotes the collaboration of scientists on computing sciences and mathematics.

    • DG Digit: ‘Sharing and reuse a key instrument’

      Sharing and reuse of IT solutions is one of the key instruments to achieve the Digital Single Market, and for interoperable eGovernment services, said Gertrud Ingestad, Director-General of the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Informatics (DIGIT). “Sharing and reuse should become the default approach in the public sector,” she said in her opening address at the Sharing and Reuse Conference in Lisbon on 29 March.

  • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

    • Open Hardware/Modding

      • Niryo One – Open Source, Six Axis Robotic Arm

        Marc Frouin and Eduardo Renard from Niryo want to make sure everyone can learn robotics and programming, and enjoy the benefits or robotics in their lives. Their robot Niryo One was built to push the idea that functional robots can be low-cost and user-friendly. Niryo One is currently running a successful Kickstarter campaign to fund their first run of production components.

  • Programming/Development

    • Kotlin Language Gets Experimental Native Compilation Support

      The Kotlin programming language continues to be developed by JetBrains and while it originated as a new language built atop the Java Virtual Machine (JVM), there is now experimental support for native compilation.

      With the tech preview offered last week, the Kotlin/Native initiative allows compiling Kotlin directly to machine code, thereby not relying upon any virtual machine. This Apache2-licensed compiler is based atop LLVM for code generation.

    • Review, not Rocket Science

      About a week ago there where 2 articles on LWN, the first coverging memory management patch review and the second covering the trouble with making review happen. The take away from these two articles seems to be that review is hard, there’s a constant lack of capable and willing reviewers, and this has been the state of review since forever. I’d like to counter pose this with our experiences in the graphics subsystem, where we’ve rolled out a well-working review process for the Intel driver, core subsystem and now the co-maintained small driver efforts with success, and not all that much pain.

    • Free at last! D language’s official compiler is open source

      The D language, long an underdog among programmers, got a significant boost this past week when its developers received permission to relicense its reference compiler as an open source project.

      DMD, the reference compiler for D, has been encumbered by legacy licensing, courtesy of Symantec. The license made it problematic to distribute the compiler in conjunction with other open source software — for instance, in a Linux distribution — and often sparked confusion about what it permitted.

    • 5 reasons Node.js rules for complex integrations

      Because software solutions rarely operate in a vacuum, integration is a necessary fact of life for many developers. Sometimes it’s easy. Anyone who has integrated an application into Slack, for example, will have been treated to an incredibly smooth experience. In many cases it’s as simple as filling in a form (a URL or two, an authentication key) and hitting the Submit button. That’s plain awesome.

    • Cloud: The Greatest Business Metamorphosis in a Generation Needs Developers

      We are at the beginning of what is arguably the greatest business metamorphosis in a generation. As more organizations become essentially software companies, they need developers to write the cloud apps that will enable them to thrive as they evolve.

      As a developer, you’re at the forefront of this transformation, determining how to integrate cloud-based applications and infrastructure into your business. You are changing the way companies interact and engage with your users, their community, and their customers. You are the fundamental shift in how organizations are building out a new way of business.

    • Mender

      The new production release of Mender 1.0, an open-source tool for updating embedded devices safely and reliably, is now available. Mender’s developers describe the tool as the “only open-source over-the-air (OTA) software updater for embedded Linux devices that integrates both an updater client and deployment management server”, both of which are licensed under Apache 2.0.

  • Standards/Consortia

    • POCL 0.14 OpenCL Implementation Released

      The Portable Computing Language (POCL) has issued a new release of their open-source CPU-based OpenCL implementation.

      This new version of POCL continues relying upon LLVM and with this release adds support for LLVM/Clang 4.0 and 3.9.

Leftovers

  • Diss United

    This poor guy did nothing wrong but book a flight on United. He shouldn’t have been assaulted and kidnapped because of that.

    I think everyone should check their itineraries to make sure United flies only their dead-heading employees until they go bankrupt.

  • Hardware

    • [Older] How the PC Industry Screws Things Up

      I was recently involved in investigating a problem that turns out to be a complete SNAFU which nicely illustrates the chaos that is the PC platform. It’s about the NX/XD bit. Let’s start with a bit of history.

  • Security

    • Security updates for Monday
    • The obvious answer is never the secure answer

      One of the few themes that comes up time and time again when we talk about security is how bad people tend to be at understanding what’s actually going on. This isn’t really anyone’s fault, we’re expecting people to go against what is essentially millions of years of evolution that created our behaviors. Most security problems revolve around the human being the weak link and doing something that is completely expected and completely wrong.

      This brings us to a news story I ran across that reminded me of how bad humans can be at dealing with actual risk. It seems that peanut free schools don’t work. I think most people would expect a school that bans peanuts to have fewer peanut related incidents than a school that doesn’t. This seems like a no brainer, but if there’s anything I’ve learned from doing security work for as long as I have, the obvious answer is always wrong.

    • BrickerBot malware zeroes in on Linux-based IoT devices

      In its 2017 malware forecast, SophosLabs warned that attackers would increasingly target devices connected to the Internet of Things (IoT) – everything from webcams to internet-connecting household appliances. Late last week, we saw another example of how the trend is playing out.

    • Brick House? New Malware Destroys Vulnerable IoT Devices
    • The New BrickerBot Internet of Things Malware
    • IoT malware starts showing destructive behavior
    • Georgia Tech finds subtle Linux vunerability

      Uninitialised variables are a critical attack vector that can be reliably exploited by hackers to launch privilege escalation attacks in the Linux kernel, according to research at the Georgia Institute of Technology.

    • The Root Cause of Input-Based Security Vulnerabilities – Don’t Fear the Grammar

      Input-based attacks like Buffer Overflows, Cross-Site Scripting (XSS), and XXE are common in today’s software. And they do not go away. But why is that? Shouldn’t one assume that existing frameworks handle input correctly, and free developers from struggling with correctly implementing input handling over and over again? Sadly, the answer is no.

    • Hackers Set Off Dallas’ 156 Warning Sirens Dozens Of Times

      So we’ve talked repeatedly how the shoddy security in most “internet of things” devices has resulted in increasingly-vulnerable home networks, as consumers rush to connect not-so-smart fridges, TVs and tea kettles to the home network. But this failure extends well beyond the home, since these devices have also resulted in historically-large DDoS attacks as this hardware is compromised and integrated into existing botnets (often in just a matter of minutes after being connected to the internet).

      Whether it’s the ease in which a decidedly-clumsy ransomware attacker was able to shut down San Francisco’s mass transit system, or the fact that many city-connected devices like speed cameras often feature paper mache security, you can start to see why some security experts are worried that there’s a dumpster fire brewing that will, sooner rather than later, result in core infrastructure being compromised and, potentially, mass fatalities. If you ask security experts like Bruce Schneier, this isn’t a matter of if — it’s a matter of when.

    • OLE 0day affects nearly all versions of Microsoft Word

      McAfee revealed some details of the attack just before the weekend

    • NATO warns of IPv6 security concerns that network intrusion detection systems may miss

      Namely, NIDS such as Bro, Moloch, Snort, and Suricata were found to be ineffective against the researchers’ proofs of concept.

    • Banks scramble to fix old systems as IT ‘cowboys’ ride into sunset

      The stakes are especially high for the financial industry, where an estimated $3 trillion in daily commerce flows through COBOL systems. The language underpins deposit accounts, check-clearing services, card networks, ATMs, mortgage servicing, loan ledgers and other services.

  • Defence/Aggression

    • [Old] John Tower’s FBI file reveals role in Iran-Contra cover-up

      While a recently released copy of John Tower’s FBI file dealt mostly with the background check performed by the FBI, it also includes several important revelations concerning the Senator. While most reviews of his nomination process and the scrutiny that he received focused on allegations of heavy drinking and womanizing …

    • The CIA’s emergency Cold War cash reserves

      In 1951, the federal government began paying increased attention to emergency planning, both for natural disasters, warfare or even invasion of the United States. This included a plan to provide for short-term emergency funds for critical agencies like the CIA. The proposal was initially tabled until the Agency Emergency Plan was ready.

    • Why ISIS Declared War on Egypt’s Christians

      Four months after an Islamic State suicide bomber killed 28 Christian worshipers in Cairo, the group struck Egypt’s Christians again—this time with a double church bombing on Palm Sunday that left at least 44 dead and scores injured. The attacks, only hours apart, targeted a church in the Delta city of Tanta as well as a church in Alexandria where Coptic Pope Tawadros II was leading a service. It was the single deadliest day of violence directed against the Middle East’s largest Christian community in decades.

      When the ISIS claim of responsibility came within hours of the attacks, it wasn’t a surprise. For months, the Islamic State has been accelerating the import of Iraq-style sectarian tactics to Egypt. In doing so, the group hopes to destabilize the Middle East’s most populous country and expand the reach of its by now clearly genocidal project for the region’s minorities.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife/Nature

  • Finance

    • Microsoft’s Minecraft Set to Launch its Own Currency

      By adopting an in-app payment model, Microsoft is moving into a territory well-trodden by so-called freemium mobile apps.

    • Microsoft will open a Minecraft Marketplace and start printing Minecraft money

      To make all of this happen, we’re introducing Minecraft Coins, which players can buy using in-app purchases with real currency on their device

    • Will London Fall?

      London is ancient yet new. It is as much city-state as city, with a culture and economy that circulate the world. London manages to be Los Angeles, Washington and New York wrapped into one. Imagine if one American city were home to Hollywood, the White House, Madison Avenue, Wall Street and Broadway. London is sort of that.

  • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • A New McCarthyism: Julian Assange Accuses Democrats of Blaming Russia & WikiLeaks for Clinton Loss

      As President Trump’s presidency nears its first 100 days, Trump and his campaign are facing multiple investigations over whether the campaign colluded with Russian officials to influence the 2016 presidential election. In a Democracy Now! exclusive, we speak with a man who has been at the center of much discussion of Russian election meddling: Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks.

      Just before the Democratic National Convention last July, WikiLeaks published 20,000 internal emails from the Democratic National Committee. Then, between October 7 and Election Day, WikiLeaks would go on to publish 20,000 of Clinton campaign chair John Podesta’s emails, generating a rash of negative stories about the Clinton campaign. Intelligence agencies have pinned the email hacking on Russians. WikiLeaks maintains Russia was not the source of the documents.

    • Macron takes aim at ‘extreme right’ Le Pen

      French presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron on Monday described rival Marine Le Pen as “the true face of the extreme right” for playing down France’s role in rounding up Jews for deportation during World War II, Le Figaro reported.

      In response to Le Pen’s comments on Sunday, when she said France was “not responsible” for rounding up 13,000 Jews at a Paris stadium, Macron said: “Marine Le Pen is truly the daughter of Jean-Marie Le Pen,” the former leader of the National Front who used anti-Semitic rhetoric.

      He added: “It’s this face [of the extreme right] that I am fighting.”

    • What did Putin know and when did he know it?

      As U.S. Tomahawk missiles soared over the Mediterranean toward Syria’s al-Shayrat airbase, speculation was already flying about how the attack would affect the thaw in U.S.-Russia relations anticipated since Donald Trump took office. Was this a first sign that America’s new president was willing to stand up to Putin?

      Arguably the more critical factor in the equation is Russia. To understand the Kremlin’s response to the U.S. strike, and to the preceding chemical attack in Syria, it’s important to face some brutal truth about Russia in Syria.

      The U.S. warned Russian forces about the coming strike because we knew they were there. We knew Russians were at Shayrat airbase since at least November 2015. This is why Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev warned that this strike was “on the brink of combat clashes with Russia”: We were bombing a base from which he knew Russian forces guided operations.

  • Censorship/Free Speech

  • Privacy/Surveillance

    • Canada’s National Police Force Officially Confirms Ownership, Use Of Stingray Devices

      Just days after Montreal prosecutors cut loose 35 suspected Mafia members rather than disclose the details of Stingray device use by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), the RCMP is admitting that, yes, it does use Stingrays.

      It’s not like it’s not known the RCMP owns Stingrays. It has for nearly a decade now. It’s just that it would rather not discuss it in court… or in public… or in public records responses.

      The official revelation occurred in Ontario, and it didn’t come as the result of a multitude of alleged criminals being released back into the general population. Instead, the (unwelcome) discussion of the RCMP’s cell tower spoofers was prompted by a CBC investigation into “suspicious signals” and apparent cell phone tracking around the nation’s capital.

    • Internet Society tells G20 nations: The web must be fully encrypted

      The Internet Society has called for the full encryption of the internet, decrying the fact that securing the digital world has increasingly become associated with restricting access to law enforcement.

      In a blog post aimed at the leaders of the G20 economies, ISOC CEO Kathryn Brown argues that the digital economy “will only continue to thrive and generate opportunities for citizens if the Internet is strong, secure, and trusted,” adding: “Without this foundation, the global digital economy is at risk.”

    • We Need More Alternatives to Facebook

      About 10 years after TVs began to be ubiquitous in American homes, television broadcasting was a staggering financial success. As the head of the Federal Communications Commission observed in a 1961 speech to broadcast executives, the industry’s revenue, more than $1 billion a year, was rising 9 percent annually, even in a recession. The problem, the FCC chairman told the group, was the way the business was making money: not by serving the public interest above all but by airing a lot of dumb shows and “cajoling and offending” commercials. “When television is bad, nothing is worse,” he said.

      That speech would become known for the pejorative that the FCC chairman, Newton Minow, used to describe TV: he called it “a vast wasteland.” It’s a great line, but there are other reasons to revisit the speech now, about 10 years after the emergence of another communications service—Facebook—that has become ubiquitous in American homes, a staggering financial success, and a transmitter of a lot of pernicious schlock. What’s striking today is why Minow said the vast-wasteland problem mattered—and what he wanted to do about it.

    • Newly declassified CIA materials reveal: Americans hardly knew any Israeli secrets

      Some 1 million papers show what the U.S. knew, or didn’t know, about Israeli leaders’ health, IDF maneuvers and Moshe Dayan’s celebrity status

    • Longhorn: Tools used by cyberespionage group linked to Vault 7

      Spying tools and operational protocols detailed in the recent Vault 7 leak have been used in cyberattacks against at least 40 targets in 16 different countries by a group Symantec calls Longhorn. Symantec has been protecting its customers from Longhorn’s tools for the past three years and has continued to track the group in order to learn more about its tools, tactics, and procedures.

      The tools used by Longhorn closely follow development timelines and technical specifications laid out in documents disclosed by WikiLeaks. The Longhorn group shares some of the same cryptographic protocols specified in the Vault 7 documents, in addition to following leaked guidelines on tactics to avoid detection. Given the close similarities between the tools and techniques, there can be little doubt that Longhorn’s activities and the Vault 7 documents are the work of the same group.

    • Found in the wild: Vault7 hacking tools WikiLeaks says come from CIA

      Longhorn, as Symantec dubs the group, has infected governments and companies in the financial, telecommunications, energy, and aerospace industries since at least 2011 and possibly as early as 2007. The group has compromised 40 targets in at least 16 countries across the Middle East, Europe, Asia, Africa, and on one occasion, in the US, although that was probably a mistake.

    • NSA hacked Pakistani mobile system: Wikileaks
    • US spy agency hacked Pakistani cellular networks, shows leaked data
    • US National Security Agency hacked into Pak mobile networking system, claims Wikileaks
    • This Passover, I’m setting myself free from technology
    • British visitors to US may be asked for passwords and phone contacts at airports

      British visitors to the US may be asked for social media usernames and passwords and their phone’s address book under new border checks being considered at US airports.

    • UK tourists to US may get asked to hand in passwords or be denied entry

      British travellers to the United States face the uncomfortable choice of handing over personal information, including social media passwords and mobile phone contacts, or running the risk of being denied entry to the country, under a new “extreme vetting” policy being considered by the Trump administration.

    • Facebook friend requests from dead people hint at horrifying truth of ‘profile cloning’

      Such scams work either by cloning an account — stealing the information from someone’s profile and then using it all to set up a new account that is actually controlled by someone else — or by hacking into and taking control of an old one.

      Both techniques give scammers the ability to send messages, posing as someone’s friend. Once that happens, a range of different hoaxes, cons and scams are possible.

    • Facebook stores vast amounts of information about its users — and it can all be downloaded [iophk: "this data is also available for rent"]

      The site’s data tools allow anyone to head into the site and see everything it has collected — including locations, activity, personal data and everything you’ve ever said to anyone else.

  • Civil Rights/Policing

  • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

    • FCC Boss Wants ‘Voluntary’ ISP Net Neutrality Promises Instead Of Real Rules

      Surprising nobody, FCC boss Ajit Pai has been privately meeting with large broadband providers, informing them he’ll be taking an axe to net neutrality protections soon. What exactly this will look like isn’t yet clear, especially given the massive support for the rules, and the fact that Pai can’t just roll back net neutrality (and the FCC’s Title II reclassification) without justifying it to the courts.

    • Americans support letting cities build their own broadband networks, Pew finds

      [...] despite the support, in much of the US, building out municipal networks just isn’t possible. More than 20 states have passed laws banning local governments from starting their own broadband service, largely at the behest of internet providers that want to avoid competition at all cost.

  • DRM

    • Farmers Look For Ways To Circumvent Tractor Software Locks [iophk: "tbl wants to bring this kind of problem to the web"]

      Modern tractors, essentially, have two keys to make the engine work. One key starts the engine. But because today’s tractors are high-tech machines that can steer themselves by GPS, you also need a software key — to fix the programs that make a tractor run properly. And farmers don’t get that key.

    • Portugal Passes Bill to Restrict Use of DRM, Grant Circumvention Right

      Portugal’s parliament has approved a bill that will restrict how Digital Rights Management is applied to some creative works, including those in the public domain or funded by public entities. Even when DRM is present, citizens will be able to circumvent the protection for education and private copying purposes.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Feminists and Pirates make breakthrough to Helsinki municipal council

        Sunday’s local government saw the installation of completely new faces to the Helsinki city council, as electors elevated candidates from the Feminist and Pirate parties to office. The Centre’s evergreen ex-MP and minister Paavo Väyrynen also returned to municipal politics running on a Christian Democratic ticket.

      • Finland’s Pirate Party wins first council seats

        The Pirate Party won its first two seats in the municipal elections held on Sunday, after coming up empty-handed in the first three elections organised after its foundation in 2008.

        Arto Lampila won a seat on the Jyväskylä City Council with a tally of 147 votes and Petrus Pennanen a seat on the Helsinki City Council with a tally of 1,048 votes. Both Lampila and Pennanen are deputy chairpersons of the Pirate Party of Finland.

      • Copyright expansion plans would kill EU startups

        The law introduces new hurdles that only big internet companies can handle, making it much harder for new startups to raise funding and grow, experts and stakeholders warn

      • Kim Dotcom Takes Fight Over Seized Millions to US Supreme Court

        If left undisturbed, the Fourth Circuit’s decision enables the Government to obtain civil forfeiture of every penny of a foreign citizen’s foreign assets based on unproven allegations of the most novel, dubious United States crimes

      • Kim Dotcom Asks US Supreme Court Not To Allow US Government To Steal All His Stuff Without Due Process

        Over the past few years we’ve covered what may seem like a side issue in the many legal issues facing Kim Dotcom, but it’s an important one: is the US able to legally take all of his money and stuff, despite (1) him not being found guilty of anything and (2) that stuff not being anywhere near the US? As we’ve said, even if you think Dotcom is guilty of horrible crimes and should rot in jail, how the US is going about taking his assets should concern you massively. The fact that courts have blessed the DOJ’s actions doesn’t make it any less concerning.

        On Friday, Dotcom (along with some powerhouse legal help) asked the Supreme Court to review this issue. The real issue here is one that we’ve covered a lot in other contexts: civil asset forfeiture, in which the US seizes and sues stuff rather than people. That’s why this lawsuit is not actually against Kim Dotcom (there are other such lawsuits), but rather the United States v. All Assets Listed in Attachment A (no, really, that’s the case). Of course, “Attachment A” is all of Dotcom’s assets, mostly in Hong Kong. But the situation with Dotcom takes the normal questions about asset forfeiture and adds layer upon layer of complexity.

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    In yet another dodgy effort to undermine the US Supreme Court and bring back software patents, IBM's "chief patent counsel" (his current job title) expresses views that are bunk or "alternative facts"



  4. EPO Administrative Council Disallows Discussion About Violations of the Law by Benoît Battistelli

    The EPO crisis is not ending for the Administrative Council does not want to tackle any of the obvious problems; Patrick Corcoran is a taboo subject and Ernst is coming across as another protector of Benoît Battistelli, based on today's meeting (the second meeting he chairs)



  5. Links 13/12/2017: GIMP 2.9.8, Fedora 25 End Of Life, AltOS 1.8.3

    Links for the day



  6. Judge Corcoran Got His User ID/Desk Back (as ILO Asked), But Cannot Perform Actual Work

    The latest update regarding Patrick Corcoran, whose 3-year ordeal is far from over in spite of ILO's unambiguous rulings in his favour



  7. The End of Software Patents and PTAB's Role in Enforcing That End

    Software patents are fast becoming a dying breed and the appeal board (PTAB) of the USPTO accelerates this trend, irrespective of patent immunity attempts



  8. No, China Isn't Most Innovative, It's Just Granting a Lot of Low-Quality Patents

    Patent extremists are trying to make China look like a role model or a success story because China grants far too many patents, spurring an explosion in litigation



  9. Battistelli-Campinos Transition Will Be a Smooth One as the Administrative Council Remains the Same and the Boards Still Besieged

    A rather pessimistic (albeit likely realistic) expectation from tomorrow's meeting of the Administrative Council, which continues to show that no lessons were learned and no strategy will be altered to avoid doom (low-quality patents and stocks running out)



  10. Links 12/12/2017: New BlackArch ISO and Stable Kernels

    Links for the day



  11. German Media Helps Cover Up -- Not Cover -- the Latest EPO Scandal

    EPO-Handelsblatt attention diversion tricks may be effective as German media barely shows interest in one of the EPO's biggest scandals to date



  12. PTAB Haters Fail to Guard Bogus Patents, But They Still Try

    Three Affiliated Tribes probably won't enjoy sovereign immunity from PTAB, Dennis Crouch won't manage to slow down PTAB, and patent litigation will stagnate as bad patents perish before they even land in a lawsuit



  13. Team UPC's Tilmann Defends Rogue Vote at 1 AM in the Morning With Just 5% of Politicians (Those With Vested Interests) Attending

    Just when German democracy is being stolen by a legislative coup (in the dead of night when 95% of politicians are absent/asleep) there's someone 'courageous' enough to rear his ugly head and attempt to justify that coup



  14. The Mask Falls: Lobbyist David Kappos Now Composes Pieces for the Patent Trolls' Lobby (IAM)

    David Kappos, a former USPTO Director who is now lobbying for large corporations that derive revenue from patent extortion, is writing for IAM even if his views are significantly biased by his aggressive paymasters (just like IAM's)



  15. The EPO Protest Tomorrow Isn't Just About Judge Corcoran But About the EPO as a Whole

    PO staff is about to protest against the employer, pointing out that "Battistelli is still showing a total and utter lack of respect not only for his staff and their rights but also for the Administrative Council and for the Tribunal"



  16. Claim: Judge Corcoran to Be Put Under Benoît Battistelli's Control in DG1

    Benoît Battistelli, who openly disregards and refuses to obey judges (while intervening in trials and delivering 'royal decrees' whenever it suits him), may soon gain direct control over the judge he hates most



  17. The European Patent Organisation Refrains (For Nearly a Week) From Speaking About Battistelli's Abuses as Judged by ILO Tribunal

    The EPO's silence on the matter of Patrick Corcoran is deafening; to make matters worse, the EPO continues to pollute media and academia with money of stakeholders, with the sole intention of lobbying and misleading news coverage (clearly a disservice to these stakeholders)



  18. Carl Josefsson Lets Judge Patrick Corcoran Come Back to Work at the EPO

    After initial reluctance to obey/respect the rulings from the ILO (security staff declining access) there is official permission for Patrick Corcoran to enter and resume work (following 3 years of injustice against him)



  19. Bristows is Being Hammered With Negative Comments For Its Unitary Patent (UPC) Lies

    The Unified Patent Court (UPC) is practically dead in the UK and Ireland; Bristows, nevertheless, continues with its desperate spin



  20. Links 11/12/2017: Linux 4.15 RC3, Debian 8.10 and Debian 9.3

    Links for the day



  21. Judge Corcoran Turns to His Government for Help and EPO 'House Ban' is Finally Lifted

    Sources that are very reliable say that Patrick Corcoran is coming back to work, however it's now clear when and how long for



  22. Raw: Battistelli's Control/Domination Over the Boards of Appeal

    An old EPO document internally voicing concerns about the lack of independence at the Boards of Appeal



  23. Raw: Conflicts of Interest of EPO Vice-President

    An old EPO concern regarding structural collisions and mixed loyalties



  24. Microsoft-Connected Patent Trolls Are Increasingly Active and Microsoft is Selling 'Protection' (Azure Subscriptions)

    There are several indications that Microsoft-connected shells, which produce no products and are threatening a large number of companies, are inadvertently if not intentionally helping Microsoft sell "indemnification" ("Azure IP Advantage," which echoes the Microsoft/Novell strategy for collecting what they called "patent royalties" one decade ago)



  25. Yes, RPost is Definitely a Patent Troll and Its Software Patents Are at Risk Thanks to Alice

    The latest whitewashing (or reputation-laundering) pieces from Watchtroll, which tries to justify patent-trolling activities with software patents, typically in the Eastern District of Texas



  26. The Latest Scams in the Patent World

    Examples of 'dirty laundry' of the patent microcosm, which it understandably does not like covering (as it harms confidence in their services/advice)



  27. Patents Are Becoming a Welfare System for the Rich and Powerful

    A culture of litigation and more recently the patenting of broad industry standards may mean that multi-billion dollar corporations are cashing in without lifting a finger



  28. Unlike the Mobile Domain, When it Comes to Cars Patent Lawsuits Remain Rare

    An optimistic note regarding the relatively low-temperature legal landscape surrounding advanced automobiles, even though patents are being amassed on software in that domain



  29. The Federal Circuit Rules (Again) in Favour of Section 101/Alice, Koch-Funded CPIP Tries to Overturn Alice at the Supreme Court

    The US Supreme Court's decision on Alice continues to have a profoundly positive impact (except for trolls) and Koch-funded academics try hard to compel the US Supreme Court to reverse/override Alice (so far to no avail)



  30. Next Director of the USPTO Parrots Talking Points of Patent Extremists and Their Lobbyists

    The next USPTO boss (still subject to official confirmation) may be little more than a power grab by the litigation and patenting 'industry', which prioritises not science and technology but its own bottom line


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