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04.26.17

Links 26/4/2017: SMPlayer 17.4.2, Libreboot Wants to Rejoin GNU

Posted in News Roundup at 5:02 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Desktop

    • What was Linux like ten years ago?

      Linux has improved by leaps and bounds over the last decade, and more and more people have come to appreciate its power and flexibility. But a redditor recently wondered what it was like to run Linux ten years ago, and he got some very interesting responses from Linux veterans.

  • Kernel Space

    • Testing F2FS With Its Multi-Drive Capabilities

      Late last year F2FS picked up multiple device support for this Flash-Friendly File-System. This F2FS multi-drive capability isn’t native RAID support like Btrfs but just allows a single F2FS file-system to span multiple devices. But it’s more than that in that block allocation and the garbage collection policy is modified to boost I/O performance by taking advantage of the multiple SSD/flash devices.

    • EdgeX Foundry Promises IoT Security and More
    • EdgeX brings open source interoperability to IoT

      In a ground-breaking development, the Linus Foundation and 50 other companies announced the launch of an open-source Internet of Things (IoT) interoperability framework to standardise and simplify edge computing through the new open-source consortium EdgeX Foundry. IoT hasn’t enjoyed the predicted positive market growth due to lack of conformity and fragmented edge computing development resulting in non-compatibilities of applications and security reservations. Adapting IoT technology to business needs is fraught with difficulties and integration issues due to separate development and discordant systems. The evolution of edge computing, however, provides a standardised framework in which to integrate business applications of significant value-adds or standalone systems.

    • What Is The Year 2038 Problem In Linux? Will Unix Clocks Fail On Jan. 19, 2038?

      If you follow the developments of Linux world closely, you must be knowing about the Year 2038 bug. This problem exists because the latest time that can be represented in Unix’s signed 32-bit integer time format is 03:14:07 UTC on Jan. 19, 2038. After that, the C programs that use the standard time library will start to have problems with dates.

    • Graphics Stack

      • Radeon RX 580: AMDGPU-PRO vs. DRM-Next + Mesa 17.2-dev

        Last week I posted initial Radeon RX 580 Linux benchmarks and even AMDGPU overclocking results. That initial testing of this “Polaris Evolved” hardware was done with the fully-open Radeon driver stack that most Linux enthusiasts/gamers use these days. The AMDGPU-PRO driver wasn’t tested for those initial articles as it seems to have a diminishing user-base and largely focused for workstation users. But for those wondering how AMDGPU-PRO runs with the Radeon RX 580, here are some comparison results to DRM-Next code for Linux 4.12 and Mesa 17.2-dev.

      • AMD Is Hiring More Developers For Their Open-Source Graphics Team
    • Benchmarks

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • KDE Plasma 5.9.5 Is the Last in the Series, KDE Plasma 5.10 Is Coming End of May

        As expected, today KDE announced the availability of the fifth maintenance update to the current stable, yet short-lived KDE Plasma 5.9 desktop environment for GNU/Linux operating systems, versioned 5.9.5.

        KDE Plasma 5.9.5 is here more than a month after the release of the KDE Plasma 5.9.4 update, which most probably many of you use on your favorite GNU/Linux distributions. But the time has come to update your installations to KDE Plasma 5.9.5, the last point release in the series, adding more than 60 improvements across various components.

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

      • GStreamer 1.12 Multimedia Framework to Support Intel’s Media SDK and CineForm

        The GStreamer 1.12 major release is coming next month, but Collabora’s Olivier Crête is sharing with us today some of the most important new features implemented so far by various developers.

        Collabora made several contributions to the widely-used open-source and cross-platform multimedia framework, and now that many of you already managed to get an early taste of the new features coming with the GStreamer 1.12 release during the RC (Release Candidate) testing phase, let’s take a look at the upcoming changes.

      • Receiving an AES67 stream with GStreamer

        GStreamer is great for all kinds of multimedia applications, but did you know it could also be used to create studio grade professional audio applications? For example, with GStreamer you can easily receive a AES67 stream, the standard which allows inter-operability between different IP based audio networking systems and transfers of live audio between profesionnal grade systems.

  • Distributions

    • New Releases

      • Void GNU/Linux Operating System Adopts Flatpak for All Supported Architectures

        Void Linux, an open-source, general-purpose GNU/Linux distribution based on the monolithic Linux kernel, is the latest operating system to adopt the Flatpak application sandboxing technologies.

      • Kali Linux 2017.1 Security OS Brings Wireless Injection Attacks to 802.11 AC

        Offensive Security, the developers of the BackTrack-derived Kali Linux open-source, security-oriented operating system announced the availability of the Kali Linux 2017.1 rolling release.

        Since Kali Linux become a rolling distro, the importance of such updated images was never the same, but Kali Linux 2017.1 appears to be a major release of the ethical hacking distro, adding a bunch of exciting new features and improvements to the Debian-based operating system.

      • Kali Linux 2017.1 Released With New Features | Download ISO Files And Torrents Here

        Offensive Security has updated the Kali Linux images with new features and changes. Termed Kali Linux 2017.1, this release comes with support for wireless injection attacks to 802.11ac and Nvidia CUDA GPU. You can simply update your existing installation by running few commands if you don’t wish to download the updated images from Kali repos.

    • OpenSUSE/SUSE

    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat repackages its application management tech into software containers

        A year after buying application connectivity startup 3scale Inc., Red Hat Inc. is making the technology that it obtained through the deal available in a new form geared toward tech-savvy firms.

        Unveiled on Thursday, Red Hat 3scale API Management – On Premise runs on the company’s OpenShift Container Platform and is designed to be deployed inside Docker instances. It’s an alternative to the original cloud version of 3scale for organizations that wish to keep their operations behind the firewall. The software should be particularly appealing to government agencies and firms in regulated industries, which often can’t move certain workloads off-premises due to security obligations.

    • Debian Family

      • Derivatives

        • Debian-Based Q4OS 1.8.4 Operating System Lets Users Select Alternative Desktops

          Today, April 26, 2017, the developers behind the Debian-based Q4OS GNU/Linux distribution announced the release of the fourth stability and security update of the Q4OS 1.8 “Orion” series.

          Q4OS 1.8.4 comes almost two months after the release of the previous point release, and besides incorporating all the security patches backported from the upstream repositories of the Debian GNU/Linux 8 “Jessie” operating system series, it adds an exciting new feature, namely the integration of alternative desktop environments.

        • Which is Free, Which is Open … [Also]

          Devuan and Debian need not defer to the Open Source Initiative regarding
          what is Open Source, since the OSI is just using Debian’s Free Software
          Guidelines. Debian’s Free Software Guidelines are a definition of Free
          Software, not specifically Open Source. At the time they were created, RMS
          personally approved of them as “a good definition of Free Software”.

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • 12 Features That Made Unity The Best Linux Desktop

            There I said it. So, naturally, I am feeling a little sad that Unity is retiring from its role as the default Ubuntu desktop. It will be replaced by (the also-awesome) GNOME Shell in Ubuntu 17.10 onwards.

            For the past 6 and a half years I, like millions of Ubuntu users, have been able to rely on Unity. From Qml to Compiz, from controversy to controversy, the Unity desktop has held firm. As (arguably) the one element that helped to define and mould the Ubuntu identity it’s only natural that one wonders what Ubuntu is without it.

          • Ubuntu 17.10 (Artful Aardvark) Daily Build ISO Images Now Available to Download

            Canonical’s Adam Conrad announced that Ubuntu 17.10 (Artful Aardvark) is officially open for development, and it looks like the first daily build ISO images are already available for download.

          • Ubuntu 17.10 Daily Build Downloads Now Available

            Ubuntu 17.10 daily build images are available to download.

          • This Script Can Make GNOME Shell Look like Windows, Mac, or Unity

            GNOME Shell’s stock experience is fairly vanilla, but with the right ingredients you can give it an entirely different flavour. GNOME Layout Manager is a new script in development that takes advantage of this malleability.

          • Flavours and Variants

            • Qiana Studio Complete Multimedia Production

              ​Qiana Studio is a Ubuntu and Linux Mint based system for multimedia productions. It comes with many powerful tools and applications that make it a media creation powerhouse. The developers seek to make a lightweight – but powerful A/V-distro basing on Linux Mint! Let us take a look at this distro if it’s worth your time.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Huawei, Google supercharge Android with new Raspberry Pi-like board

      Prepare to run Android at blazing fast speeds on a new Raspberry Pi-like computer developed by Huawei.

      Huawei’s HiKey 960 computer board is priced at US$239 but has some of the latest CPU and GPU technologies. Google, ARM, Huawei, Archermind, and LeMaker all played roles in developing the board.

      The HiKey 960 is meant to be a go-to PC for Android or a tool to develop software and drivers for the OS. The board development was backed by Linaro, an organization that develops software packages for the Android OS and ARM architecture.

    • Bash Bunny: Big hacks come in tiny packages

      Bash Bunny is a Debian Linux computer with a USB interface designed specifically to execute payloads when plugged into a target computer. It can be used against Windows, MacOS, Linux, Unix, and Android computing devices. It features a multicolor RGB LED that indicates various statuses and a three-position selector switch: Two of the positions are used to launch payloads, while the third makes Bash Bunny appear to be a regular USB storage device for copying and modifying files.

    • Most powerful 96Boards SBC yet offers M.2 expansion

      Archermind and LeMaker have launched a “Hikey 960” 96Boards CE SBC for AOSP using HiSilicon’s 4x -A73, 4x -A53 Kirin 960 SoC, and featuring M.2 expansion.

      The Hikey 960 design from Linaro’s 96Boards.org is now available from Archermind and LeMaker, which sell the boards via their Alpha Star and Lenovator sites respectively. The SBC is also available on Amazon ($240) and Seed ($239), among other venues. The open source boards comply with the same 85 x 55mm 96Boards CE spec adopted by LeMaker’s Hikey SBC, and run Android Open Source Project (AOSP). Linaro plans to add Linux support over time (see farther below).

    • 96Boards Officially Launches The HiKey 960 ARM Board

      The 96Boards organization has announced the official launch and shipping of the HiKey 960.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Top 4 CDN services for hosting open source libraries

    A CDN, or content delivery network, is a network of strategically placed servers located around the world used for the purpose of delivering files faster to users. A traditional CDN will allow you to accelerate your website’s images, CSS files, JS files, and any other piece of static content. This allows website owners to accelerate all of their own content as well as provide them with additional features and configuration options. These premium services typically require payment based on the amount of bandwidth a project uses.

    However, if your project doesn’t justify the cost of implementing a traditional CDN, the use of an open source CDN may be more suitable. Typically, these types of CDNs allow you to link to popular web-based libraries (CSS/JS frameworks, for example), which are then delivered to your web visitors from the free CDN’s servers. Although CDN services for open source libraries do not allow you to upload your own content to their servers, they can help you accelerate libraries globally and improve your website’s redundancy.

  • Codesmith Students Garner National Praise for Open-Source Contributions

    Reactide is an Integrated Development Environment built for React, which intends to make React development easier for Software Engineers. The project has been widely praised, amassing over 6,000 stars on GitHub.

  • Airbnb’s new open source library lets you design with React and render to Sketch

    Today, Airbnb’s design team open sourced its internal library for writing React components that easily render directly to Sketch. Instead of trying to get Sketch to export to code, the Airbnb team spent its time on the opposite — putting the paintbrush in the hands of the engineer.

  • [Older] Telecoms copying cloud providers make beeline for open source, say analysts

    The supersonic growth of Amazon Web Services and other cloud providers in the past few years owes much to open-source communities that fed them cutting-edge tech free-of-charge. Now telecom is mimicking this strategy through involvement with the Linux Foundation, according to Scott Raynovich (@rayno) (pictured, right), guest host of theCUBE, SiliconANGLE Media’s mobile live streaming studio.

  • Events

  • SaaS/Back End

    • Users stand up, speak out, and deliver data on OpenStack growth

      Last week, the OpenStack Foundation announced the results of its ninth user survey. OpenStack users responded in record-breaking numbers to participate, and their voices as revealed in the data tell the real story of OpenStack. The OpenStack community is growing, thriving with new users, deployments, code contributions, and collaborations, all on the rise. User diversity is expanding across geographies and organizational sizes. And OpenStack’s ability to integrate with innovative technologies is paving the way for advancements not even dreamed of just five years ago.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • Oracle draws curtains on OmniOS

      With its openly stated operational remit of ‘aggressive acquisitions’ (albeit positively aggressive), Oracle is (very) arguably a firm known for buying, swallowing, acquiring those companies it decides to consume.

  • Healthcare

  • Pseudo-Open Source (Openwashing)

  • BSD

    • The many ways of running firefox on OpenBSD

      Maybe i haven’t talked about it enough on the lists, but since i’ve been maintaining the various mozillas in the portstree (cvs log says i started around firefox 3.6.something… 7 years ago. *sigh*) a lot of things changed, so i wanted take the 6.1 release as an occasion to sum up the various ways one could run which version of which firefox on which version of OpenBSD.

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • Libreboot Applies to Rejoin GNU

      Last week we reported that after reorganization, Libreboot was considering rejoining GNU and was seeking input from its community to determine the amount of support it had for such a move. From reading the comments posted both on our article on FOSS Force and on Libreboot’s website, it comes as no surprise that the project’s core members feel they have the necessary consesus to proceed.

      Last night, FOSS Force received an email — sent jointly to us and Phoronix — letting us know of the decision.

      Rather than repeat what’s already been written and said on the subject (for that, follow the first link above), we’re publishing a slightly edited version of the email, which will pretty much bring everyone up to date on the situation.

  • Programming/Development

Leftovers

  • Wikitribune is Jimmy Wales’ solution to the Donald Trump cavalcade of bullsh*t [iophk: "those with the most money to hire people to camp on articles will continue to win out"]

    Wikitribune will combine professional journalism with volunteers to offer ‘factual and neutral’ articles. It will be offered ad-free and free-to-use, relying on donations, as Wikipedia does.

    The service will require the same levels of fact-checking as Wikipedia, with sources cited and linked. Which basically is going to screw Donald Trump in the most splendid way.

  • Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales is launching a news website

    Wikitribune says it will be transparent about its sources. It will post the full transcripts of interviews, as well as video and audio, “to the maximum extent possible.”

  • An interview with Cory Doctorow on beating death, post-scarcity, and everything

    Cory Doctorow’s new book Walkaway centers on the rise of a counterculture built on open-source technology that fabricates nearly everything from the “feedstock” provided by the refuse and wreckage of a world ravaged by climate change and economic ruin.

  • Science

  • Health/Nutrition

    • Lesson from Flint: ‘Test your dang water’ [iophk: "there are no safe levels of lead in drinking water or food"]

      “You still can’t drink the water, you still can’t cook with the water and bathing. … You get bumps and rashes from the water,” said Jones, 39, as he showed the red marks on his neck in the parking lot of the water station at the far north end of Flint. “It’s still a struggle, a day-to-day struggle. Even if we get cases of water, you don’t know how long that’s going to last.”

    • ‘Fossil’ groundwater is not immune to modern-day pollution

      Groundwater that has lingered in Earth’s depths for more than 12,000 years is surprisingly vulnerable to modern pollution from human activities. Once in place, that pollution could stick around for thousands of years, researchers report online April 25 in Nature Geoscience. Scientists previously assumed such deep waters were largely immune to contamination from the surface.

    • ‘There is no place for any religious organisation in 21st century care’ – Irish midwives

      A representative for Irish midwives said they want relocation but they do not want any religious order to have a say in modern hospitals.

      Ally Murphy, of the Irish Midwives Association told Breakfast Newstalk that they want what is best for Irish women.

      She was speaking as the controversy over the decision to give ownership of the new €300m National Maternity Hospital to the Sisters of Charity rumbled on.

  • Security

    • NSA backdoor detected on >55,000 Windows boxes can now be remotely removed

      After Microsoft officials dismissed evidence that more than 10,000 Windows machines on the Internet were infected by a highly advanced National Security Agency backdoor, private researchers are stepping in to fill the void. The latest example of this open source self-help came on Tuesday with the release of a tool that can remotely uninstall the DoublePulsar implant.

    • Turns out, pacemaker security is terrifying

      Ultimately, St. Jude Medical’s stock plunged as much as 10 percent in the aftermath. The company launched a lawsuit against MedSec and Muddy Waters, and the three firms skirmished in the press again when MedSec’s findings were allegedly reproduced by security firm Bishop Fox. What’s more, the second set of researchers claimed they could take over the pacemakers at a distance of around 10 feet.

    • Chrome, Firefox, and Opera users beware: This isn’t the apple.com you want
    • [Older] Phishing with Unicode Domains

      From a security perspective, Unicode domains can be problematic because many Unicode characters are difficult to distinguish from common ASCII characters. It is possible to register domains such as “xn--pple-43d.com”, which is equivalent to “аpple.com”. It may not be obvious at first glance, but “аpple.com” uses the Cyrillic “а” (U+0430) rather than the ASCII “a” (U+0061). This is known as a homograph attack.

    • New Strain of Linux Malware Could Get Serious [Ed: ECT thinks that people having default username+password is a “Linux” issue? Seriously?

      A new strain of malware targeting Linux systems, dubbed “Linux/Shishiga,” could morph into a dangerous security threat.

      Eset on Tuesday disclosed the threat, which represents a new Lua family unrelated to previously seen LuaBot malware.

    • Security updates for Wednesday
    • GrSecurity Kernel Patches Will No Longer Be Free To The Public

      The GrSecurity initiative that hosts various out-of-tree patches to the mainline Linux kernel in order to enhance the security will no longer be available to non-paying users.

      GrSecurity has been around for the better part of two decades and going back to the 2.4 kernel days. In 2015 the stable GrSecurity patches became available to only commercial customers while the testing patches had still been public. That’s now changing with all GrSecurity users needing to be customers.

    • Passing the Baton: FAQ

      This change is effective today, April 26th 2017. Public test patches have been removed from the download area. 4.9 was specifically chosen as the last public release as being the latest upstream LTS kernel will help ease the community transition.

    • grsecurity – Passing the Baton

      Anyone here use grsecurity and have any thoughts about this?

  • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

    • CIA director Mike Pompeo repeatedly cited WikiLeaks to attack Clinton during campaign

      Donald Trump’s administration has taken a tough stance on WikiLeaks in recent weeks.
      US officials told CNN last week that the Justice Department has prepared charges to seek the arrest of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. Attorney General Jeff Sessions said at a news conference on Thursday that Assange’s arrest is a “priority” of the administration.

      But no Trump administration official went further in condemning the group than CIA Director Mike Pompeo, who, in a speech two weeks ago, called WikiLeaks a “hostile intelligence service.”
      Pompeo’s comments immediately drew attention to a tweet from July 2016 in which he linked to the WikiLeaks document dump of emails from the Democratic National Committee. Critics used the tweet to call out Pompeo for his dramatic reversal on WikiLeaks.

    • Julian Assange: The CIA director is waging war on truth-tellers like WikiLeaks

      Mike Pompeo, in his first speech as director of the CIA, chose to declare war on free speech rather than on the United States’ actual adversaries. He went after WikiLeaks, where I serve as editor, as a “non-state hostile intelligence service.” In Pompeo’s worldview, telling the truth about the administration can be a crime — as Attorney General Jeff Sessions quickly underscored when he described my arrest as a “priority.” News organizations reported that federal prosecutors are weighing whether to bring charges against members of WikiLeaks, possibly including conspiracy, theft of government property and violating the Espionage Act.

    • Chomsky: CIA Targeting of Julian Assange of WikiLeaks is “Disgraceful Act”

      NOAM CHOMSKY: If the charge is true, he should be honored for it. Chelsea Manning and Edward Snowden carried out heroic, courageous acts. They fulfilled the responsibility of somebody who takes citizenship seriously—that is, who believes that the people of a country ought to know something about what their government is up to. OK? Like if their government is carrying out murderous, brutal attacks in Iraq, people should know about it. Takes us back to Martin Luther King’s talk in 1967. If the government is, and corporations, too, incidentally, are listening in to your telephone conversations and what you’re doing, you know, tapping this discussion and so on, we should know about it. Governments have no right to do things like that. And people should know about it. And if they think it’s OK, fine, let them decide, not do it in secret. And I think people wouldn’t agree to it. That’s why it’s kept secret. Why else keep it secret? You know? And these are people who exposed it at great risk to themselves. So those are heroic, courageous acts. If WikiLeaks was abetting them, more power to them. That’s what they should be doing.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife/Nature

    • Winners Of Ideas4Change For UN Sustainable Development Goals

      Inventions to contribute to the 2030 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals have been rewarded. A reactor which converts carbon dioxide into ethanol, a method for the detection of pesticides and contaminants in food, and renewable leather created from bacteria won the heart of the jury.

  • Finance

    • Outgoing Yahoo chief executive Marissa Mayer will likely get $186m payout

      Shareholders will be asked to approve a huge payout for Mayer, as Yahoo is currently being sold to Verizon, the US’s largest telecom company, for $4.49bn

    • CETA bringing changes to pharma patents in Canada

      On Oct. 30, 2016, Canada signed the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement with the European Union. Just one day later, Bill C-30: An Act to implement the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement between Canada and the European Union and its Member States and to provide for certain other measures was introduced.

      Among other changes, Bill C-30 introduces significant amendments to the existing regulatory scheme by which generic drugs are granted market authorization and new provisions for extending the term of certain pharmaceutical patents. The following provides a brief overview of the upcoming changes for pharmaceutical patents.

    • Here Comes The Attempt To Reframe Silicon Valley As Modern Robber Barons

      It’s difficult for me to read Jonathan Taplin’s cri de coeur about Google and other technology companies that have come to dominate the top tier of successful American corporations without wincing in sympathy on his behalf.

      But the pain I feel is not grounded in Taplin’s certainty that something amoral, libertarian and unregulated is undermining democracy. Instead, it’s in Taplin’s profound misunderstanding of both the innovations and social changes that have made these companies not merely successful but also—for most Americans—vastly useful in enabling people to stay connected, express themselves and find the goods and services (and, even more importantly, communities) they need.

    • E-Commerce Serving Mostly Rich Economies; UNCTAD Launches Online Platform For Inclusivity

      Electronic commerce is booming but mostly for high income economies, speakers said at the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), which is holding a weeklong event on digital trade. Technical assistance is needed for developing countries to hop on the e-commerce train, they said, as UNCTAD launched a platform designed to help developing countries navigate the arcane of electronic trade.

    • Trump’s ‘huge tax cut for the rich’ would slash taxes for businesses and wealthy

      The Trump administration unveiled what it called the biggest tax cuts “in history” on Wednesday in a move that will simplify the US tax system, slash taxes for businesses large and small (including his own), eliminate inheritance taxes and set the president on a collision course with Congress over the likely $2tn-plus cost of the proposal.

      Critics immediately called it “basically a huge tax cut for the rich”.

  • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • Democracy campaigner: governments are scared of the participation revolution [iophk: "FB is part of the problem"]

      “But over the last few years we’ve been issuing alarms about the UK, US, Hungary and Poland. What’s begun to emerge is that we really think there is a global emergency around civil space, that for a variety of reasons governments and sometimes non-state actors are going out of their way to shut down the ability of citizens to collectively organise and mobilise.”

    • The Media Bubble Is Worse Than You Think

      How did big media miss the Donald Trump swell? News organizations old and new, large and small, print and online, broadcast and cable assigned phalanxes of reporters armed with the most sophisticated polling data and analysis to cover the presidential campaign. The overwhelming assumption was that the race was Hillary Clinton’s for the taking, and the real question wasn’t how sweeping her November victory would be, but how far out to sea her wave would send political parvenu Trump. Today, it’s Trump who occupies the White House and Clinton who’s drifting out to sea—an outcome that arrived not just as an embarrassment for the press but as an indictment. In some profound way, the election made clear, the national media just doesn’t get the nation it purportedly covers.

    • Putin Derangement Syndrome Arrives

      He will explain that Donald Trump, compromised by ancient deals with Russian mobsters, and perhaps even blackmailed by an unspeakable KGB sex tape, made a secret deal. He’ll say Trump agreed to downplay the obvious benefits of an armed proxy war in Ukraine with nuclear-armed Russia in exchange for Vladimir Putin’s help in stealing the emails of Debbie Wasserman-Schultz and John Podesta.

  • Censorship/Free Speech

  • Privacy/Surveillance

    • NSA Blimp Spied in the United States

      To residents of Maryland, catching an occasional glimpse of a huge white blimp floating in the sky is not unusual. For more than a decade, the military has used the state as a proving ground for new airships destined for Afghanistan or Iraq. But less known is that the test flights have sometimes served a more secretive purpose involving National Security Agency surveillance.

    • The Intercept publishes details on Maryland’s other surveillance blimp

      According to The Intercept, the NSA tested a blimp at an airfield near Solomons Island in Southern Maryland back in 2004. It’s the latest revelation to be published from the site’s “Snowden Archive.”

    • The NSA’s Eye in the Sky: Blimp Spies on Americans

      The surveillance hawks — it would appear — are never satisfied. When it comes to harvesting the data of American citizens, their mantra seems to be “too much is never enough.” The most recently revealed tool in the considerable arsenal of the surveillance state is a three-engine blimp equipped with eavesdropping apparatus.

      As the online magazine The Intercept is reporting, the 62-foot diameter airship — ominously named the Hover Hammer — was fitted “with an eavesdropping device” back in 2004. The Intercept published a classified document on Monday as part of the Snowden Archive. That classified document shows that the Hover Hammer “can be manned or remotely piloted and has already done demonstration flights up to 10,700 feet” including a test in which “the airship launched from an airfield near Solomons Island, Maryland and was able to intercept international shipping data emanating from the Long Island, New York area, including lines of bearing.” Just to clarify, both Maryland and Long Island, New York, are in the United States, so the fact that the Hover Hammer intercepted “international shipping data” is considerably less than the whole story. In sweeping up that data, the “Digital Receiver Technology model 1301 receiver onboard the airship” undoubtedly also picked up domestic communications — including mobile phone calls, texts, mobile data traffic, and presumably WiFi and other signals.

    • NSA’s ‘Hover Hammer’ Spied on ‘International’ New York Shipping Data

      A 62-foot-diameter blimp deployed by the US National Security Agency was able to “intercept international shipping data emanating from the Long Island, New York, area” after taking flight from Solomons Island, Maryland, according to a classified NSA document published on Monday.

    • Leaked Documents Reveal the NSA Spying on Scientists to Find ‘Nefarious’ Genetic Research

      A new document made public this week via Edward Snowden’s leak of NSA documents reveals a fascinating aim of signals intelligence program: The agency, it turns out, monitored international scientific developments in hopes of detecting “nefarious” genetic engineering projects more than a decade ago.

      SIGINT is intelligence collected by monitoring electronic and communications signals. In 2013, documents leaked by NSA contractor Edward Snowden revealed the extent of the agency’s reliance on this kind of intelligence to provide insight into the capabilities and intentions of foreign entities, as well as domestic targets. In the years since, documents have continued to trickle out of the Snowden leak that shed additional light on those efforts.

    • Man suspected in wife’s murder after her Fitbit data doesn’t match his alibi

      The arrest warrant shows a detailed breakdown of all her movements and locations from waking up through the time she was killed. From the sync locations and activity monitor, investigators were able to produce a timeline down to the minute of when she left for the gym, the duration of her trip home, when she walked into the garage, her intermittent moving around in the home, and when her body stopped moving.

    • Service Faces Backlash Over a Widespread Practice: Selling User Data

      In 2014, after concluding its investigation, the F.T.C. called on Congress to protect consumers against the unchecked collection and marketing of their digital data. The F.T.C. report detailed how some of the companies classify consumers in data-driven social and demographic groups for marketing purposes with labels like “financially challenged,” “diabetes interest” and “smoker in the household.” The concern is that such classifications could be used to limit fair access to financial services or health insurance.

      The F.T.C. recommendation, which was endorsed in a separate report by the Obama administration, was not taken up in Congress.

    • How Online Shopping Makes Suckers of Us All

      They have ample means to do so: the immense data trail you leave behind whenever you place something in your online shopping cart or swipe your rewards card at a store register, top economists and data scientists capable of turning this information into useful price strategies, and what one tech economist calls “the ability to experiment on a scale that’s unparalleled in the history of economics.” In mid-March, Amazon alone had 59 listings for economists on its job site, and a website dedicated to recruiting them.

  • Civil Rights/Policing

    • Hatred against non-Muslims grows as radical movements expand

      Throughout the election campaign, the most extremist Islamic leaders tried to influence the vote by manipulating the religious sentiment of voters (pictured). This led to many street demonstrations, which often turned violent.

      “They want to adopt laws inspired by Sharia, and their demands will become more and more radical,” Sinta Wahid warned. This trend represents a serious threat to national unity and to the pluralist spirit on which the country was founded.

    • Hyderabad man dies after being set ablaze in Riyadh, kin seeks govt intervention

      Abdul Qader, who was working in Riyadh, was allegedly set on fire following dispute with a family member of his employer.

    • TSA: Tiny Little Thugocrats Need To Show Travelers Who’s Boss

      This confirms what security expert Bruce Schneier has said for years — that this is security theater, not meaningful security.

    • ‘Mass murder’ complaint filed against Philippines’ President Duterte at ICC

      In the first publicly known filing to the Hague court against Duterte, Jude Sabio submitted the 77-page complaint that says the president has “repeatedly, unchangingly and continuously” committed extra-judicial executions or mass murders over three decades, amounting to crimes against humanity.

    • British woman jailed in Iran loses final appeal
    • Iran rejects detained British-Iranian woman’s final appeal, family says

      She still has not been allowed to know the exact charges for which she was convicted, Ratcliffe said.

    • US government lodges appeal on Amos Yee’s asylum case

      US government attorneys are appealing a Chicago immigration judge’s decision to grant asylum to Amos Yee.

      That means 18-year-old Yee remains in US custody. The judge concluded in March that Yee had a “well-founded fear” of being persecuted upon return to Singapore. He was first detained by US immigration authorities in December at O’Hare International Airport.

    • British ‘hacker’ Lauri Love can appeal extradition to US, solicitors announce

      No date has yet been set for the challenge, which will be heard at the High Court in London.

    • Lauri Love can appeal his extradition ruling

      The High Court has granted Lauri Love permission to appeal against his extradition to the United States.

      Liberty have also been granted permission to intervene in the appeal. A hearing date has still to be scheduled.

    • IGD: Black Bloc Defends Berkeley As Trump Supporters Give Nazi Salutes

      Clashes erupted in Berkeley, CA today as anarchists and antifascists fought with members of the Alt-Right, neo-Nazis, and Trump supporters. Trump supporters openly carried anti-Semitic signs, fascist symbols, and gave neo-Nazi salutes.

      Police had stated the day before that they would search people coming into the park for weapons and other items that could be used for “rioting,” however it was clear that police by and large had failed to do so – much less police the area. Law enforcement also set up plastic barriers in the park that gave the Trump supporters access to a “stage” area, in effect, protecting them from counter-demonstrators and enforcing a permit, although one was never obtained, as they focused on policing antifascists.

    • White Nationalists, Neo-Nazis & Right-Wing Militia Members Clash with Antifa Protesters in Berkeley

      In Berkeley, California, at least 20 people were arrested as fights broke out between white nationalist Trump supporters and antifascist protesters during competing rallies on Saturday. Photos show some of the Trump supporters posing with the Nazi salute. Police say at least one person was stabbed during the clashes. Several more were injured. In one instance, a known white supremacist was videotaped punching a young antifascist woman named Louise Rosealma in the face. The man who is seen punching her is Nathan Damigo, a former marine who founded the white supremacist organization known as “Identity Europa.” For more, we speak with award-winning reporter Shane Bauer. His most recent article is titled “I Went Behind the Front Lines with the Far-Right Agitators Who Invaded Berkeley.”

    • Prosecutors Overturn More Than 21,000 Drug Convictions In Wake Of Massive Drug Lab Misconduct

      Back in 2012, it was discovered that a Massachusetts state drug lab technician had falsified thousands of tests submitted as evidence in criminal cases. Technician Annie Dookhan was able to “produce” three times as many test results as her coworkers, mostly by never actually testing the submitted substance — something that went unquestioned for far too long. Dookhan went to jail for three years, but many of those convicted on faulty evidence spent far more time locked up.

      Dookhan’s prolific fakery resulted in a list of 40,000 cases possibly tainted by her work. This list was turned over to prosecutors, who managed over the next few years to trim it down to 23,000 possibly-tainted convictions. Faced with the daunting task of sorting this all out and notifying former defendants, the district attorney’s office decided the best approach was to do as little as possible.

    • Security Forces Put On Alert As Trump Set To Ban Laptops On Planes Originating From Europe

      In late March U.S. intelligence sources announced that terrorist organizations have found a novel and deadly way to smuggle explosives onto airplanes utilizing everyday laptops. Though officials declined to provide additional details, some believe that the intelligence highlighting the new threat was the result of President Trump’s raid on an Al Queda compound in Yemen that left at least 14 Al Queda fighters. Navy SEAL Ryan Owens was also killed in the raid. The President called it a “winning mission,” and officials said the mission’s stated purpose, to gather information, had been accomplished.

  • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

    • Cord Cutting Is Very Real, And 25% Of Americans Won’t Subscribe To Traditional Cable By Next Year

      For years the traditional cable and broadcast industry has gone to great lengths to deny that cord cutting (getting rid of traditional cable TV) is real. First, we were told repeatedly that the phenomenon wasn’t happening at all. Next, the industry acknowledged that sure — a handful of people were ditching cable, but it didn’t matter because the people doing so were losers living in their mom’s basement. Then, we were told that cord cutting was real, but was only a minor phenomenon that would go away once Millennials started procreating.

      Of course none of these talking points were true, but they helped cement a common belief among older cable and broadcast executives that the transformative shift to streaming video could be easily solved by doubling down on bad ideas. More price increases, more advertisements stuffed into each minute, more hubris, and more denial. Blindness to justify the milking of a dying cash cow instead of adapting.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Trademarks

      • More IP Attorneys Predict More Craft Beer Trademark Disputes As The Industry Continues To Grow

        If you want to take the temperature on where the craft beer brewing industry is on the convergence of an exploding industry and the greater use of trademark law, you need only look at what intellectual property lawyers are saying. We had just discussed a Q&A with several IP attorneys in wine country lamenting on how trademark law is throwing up roadblocks to a likewise expanding wine industry and the need for a more nuanced interpretation of marketplaces within the alcohol industries. Even within the craft beer industry itself, IP attorneys are starting to recognize that the industry has a problem.

    • Copyrights

      • Five Million Brits Go Crazy For Illegal Streaming
      • Five years later, legal Megaupload data is still trapped on dead servers

        The files on Megaupload should have just been backups for Goodwin, but unfortunately he experienced a hard drive failure just days before the 2012 Dotcom arrest. That means the “backup” files on Megaupload are the only copies available for some of his material. In addition to losing video that he provided to parents of their kids’ sports achievements, he’s been unable to complete a documentary he was making about a girls’ soccer team in Strongville, Ohio. OhioSportsNet also lost its promotional videos and other news packages.

      • Kim Dotcom Asks Police to Urgently Interview FBI Director Jim Comey

        Kim Dotcom has filed a formal complaint with police in New Zealand after FBI director James Comey arrived in the region for a conference. Dotcom’s complaint says that Comey should be urgently interviewed over the unlawful removal of hard drive clones obtained following the raid on Megaupload in 2012.

      • Dutch Court Rules That Freely Given Fan-Subtitles Are Copyright Infringement

        For some reason, there has been a sub-war raging for more than a decade between anti-piracy groups and fans who create free subtitles for content so other regions can enjoy that same content. While much of this war has been fought for years on the anime front of all places, the conflict has spread to mainstream movies and television as well. And it is a painfully dumb war to fight at all for the content creators, whose publishers have failed to provide the subtitle translations that are obviously in demand, and which would open up new markets at no cost for them. Instead, they typically choose to scream “Copyright infringement!” at these fans instead.

      • Why Is Congress In Such A Rush To Strip The Library Of Congress Of Oversight Powers On The Copyright Office?

        In the past few weeks, we’ve written a few times about this weird urgency among some in Congress to rush through a pretty major change to Copyright Office oversight. I wrote a deep dive piece over at The Verge discussing the issues at play, but Congress is pushing a bill to stop the new Librarian of Congress, Carla Hayden, from appointing a new head of the Copyright Office. Instead, the Congressional plan is to make the position a political appointee, nominated by the President, and approved by Congress. In that Verge piece, we explained why it was a major change, and scratched our heads at the fact that there appears to be no reason for pushing for this change other than (1) the legacy copyright industries know that their lobbying power will mean that the appointment will be to their liking and (2) they fear who Hayden might appoint. But, what’s really odd is how quickly Congress is trying to push this through. As if the matter is incredibly urgent. There have been no hearings on the matter. There’s been no public discussion on the pros and cons of such a move. Just a mad dash by a bunch of people in Congress to make this change official before Hayden can appoint someone.

PatentShield is Not the Solution and It Won’t Protect Google/Android From Patent Trolls Like Microsoft’s

Posted in America, Google, Microsoft, Patents, Red Hat at 7:24 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

The problem is the underlying software patents and trolls

PatentShield

Summary: A new initiative called “PatentShield” is launched, but it’s yet another one of those many initiatives (Peer-to-Patent and the likes of it, LOT Network, OIN, PAX etc.) that serve to distract from the real and much simpler solutions

FIGHTING patents with patents is a worthless exercise of endless war and sometimes just reckless stockpiling which accomplishes nothing at all. We wrote about this in relation to Red Hat 8 years ago.

“This is why Microsoft loves using trolls as satellites, including Intellectual Ventures, which has thousands of satellites of its own and is controlled by Microsoft.”A decade or more ago, around 2005, Red Hat helped fight against software patents at the EPO, but later on both Red Hat and Google started accumulating software patents of their own, falsely arguing that they need these for “defence”. Acacia, a patent troll with Microsoft connections, repeatedly disproved them. One cannot sue trolls; there’s nothing to sue over. This is why Microsoft loves using trolls as satellites, including Intellectual Ventures, which has thousands of satellites of its own and is controlled by Microsoft.

“There is a lot of hype this morning about PatentShield, which wrongly assumes that what we need to shield us from patent attacks are more patents.”Not too long ago Google bragged about something called “PAX” (or Pax, i.e. peace), which we criticised several times. It doesn’t really help address the underlying problems. It tackles neither trolls nor software patents. See this latest new example where the buzzword “AI” gets used as a loophole for post-Alice software patent grants. There were two puff pieces about it this morning [1, 2], the latter of which says: “A new patent for “whole brain” systems for autonomous robotic control has been issued by the U.S. Patent Office to Neurala, the software company that invented The Neurala Brain, a deep learning neural networks platform. This new invention will enable AI to function more like a human brain because it integrates multiple brain areas.”

I have personally developed programs in this area (machine learning, autonomous vehicles etc.) and it’s abundantly clear that it’s all about software.

“What PatentShield is likely to accomplish is little but distraction from the real solutions (which Google isn’t genuinely interested in).”There is a lot of hype this morning about PatentShield, which wrongly assumes that what we need to shield us from patent attacks are more patents. We found quite a few articles early this morning [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6], accompanying several copies of the press release (there was clearly a large, well-coordinated effort to get the word out, including paid press releases and probably PR agencies). No doubt there are many more articles on the way and almost none will go beyond repeating quotes from the press release (and those who paid for these, or their PR agents).

For those who think that PatentShield is a sort of “Eureka moment” or some brilliant thing “to Defend Startups from Patent Litigation” (as the headline of the press release claims) we have a good offer; land on the Moon and on Mars!

“Microsoft, for instance, habitually sends out trolls to attack its competition.”What PatentShield is likely to accomplish is little but distraction from the real solutions (which Google isn’t genuinely interested in). Meanwhile, MOSAID (now known as Conversant) gears up for more litigation. IAM has just been writing about this Microsoft-fed patent troll that pays IAM too. “According to USPTO data,” IAM wrote yesterday, “Conversant was assigned 29 US patent assets by Seoul-based semiconductor foundry Dongbu HiTek and its affiliate Dongbu Electronics in a transfer executed at the end of last year. The patents appear to relate to CMOS image sensor technology.”

It’s not hard to imagine what will happen next. The industry is already suffering from trolls abundance (there is a new site called “Don’t Bully My Business”) and Conversant/MOSAID is just one of many. Microsoft, for instance, habitually sends out trolls to attack its competition. It’s a convenient loophole. Microsoft is like Qualcomm in that sense and regarding the FTC (critic of PAEs in its recent report) which we wrote about some days ago, IAM says this:

The FTC’s case against Qualcomm was filed amid the dying embers of the Obama White House and accused the chipmaker of anti-competitive practices in the supply of its baseband processors and in its patent licensing. But the move was not without controversy. In a 2-1 decision in favour of bringing the suit, Commissioner Maureen Ohlhausen wrote a strongly worded dissent in which she claimed the court action was “based on a flawed legal theory”. Trump has appointed Ohlhausen the acting FTC chairman as the administration searches for a permanent appointee and, should the new head share her sentiments, the government’s support of the suit against Qualcomm may become lukewarm at best. The letter is a clear attempt to try to ensure that doesn’t happen.

We very much doubt that a corporations’ government — be it Obama’s or Trump’s — will tackle the underlying issues. So far it has been mostly SCOTUS which contributed to progress with decisions like Alice and hopefully TC Heartland some time soon.

The bottom line is, small trolls and ‘institutionalised’ trolls continue to prey on the system, both directly and indirectly. PatentShield is more like a PR ploy of Google and Intertrust; it won’t actually help victims of trolling. Ignore and move on.

Patent Quality Crisis and Unprecedented Trouble at the European Patent Office (EPO) Negatively Affect Legitimate Companies in the US As Well

Posted in America, Europe, Patents at 5:53 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“Patent monopolies are believed to drive innovation but they actually impede the pace of science and innovation, Stiglitz said. The current “patent thicket,” in which anyone who writes a successful software programme is sued for alleged patent infringement, highlights the current IP system’s failure to encourage innovation, he said.”

IP Watch on Professor Joseph Stiglitz

Summary: The granting en masse of questionable patents by the EPO (patent maximalism) is becoming a liability and growing risk to companies which operate not only in Europe but also elsewhere

THE USPTO isn’t perfect, but at least it’s improving. We have repeatedly commended its Director for steering the Office in a positive direction which is widely supported by most of the industry, just not the patent microcosm (which is eager to oust her and undo all the progress).

At IP Watch, Steven Seidenberg has just published behind paywall this piece about a SCOTUS decision which he says “will benefit patent trolls and other unscrupulous patent owners, at the expense of companies,” citing “few observers” of the SCA Hygiene Prods. Aktiebolag v First Quality Baby Prods case. We wrote about this before.

“…the EPO’s inability to operate in a capacity other than rubber-stamping has wide-ranging and long-ranging (beyond Europe) ramifications.”“On the positive side,” he added, “the ruling brings US patent law more in line with Europe’s patent law.”

So what? That in itself is not necessarily a positive thing. Watch what the EPO has become and how flagrantly it disregards European patent law, including its founding document, the EPC. The dysfunctions of the EPO are in fact becoming a headache and a liability even well outside the continent of Europe. This new article, titled “Planning to Request Discovery for a European Patent Office Proceeding? Not So Fast, Rules the District of Massachusetts”, says the following:

The Hon. F. Dennis Saylor, IV of the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts recently denied a petitioner’s request under 28 USC § 1782 to take discovery related to patent inventorship in connection with an Opposition proceeding pending before the European Patent Office (EPO). The court, in exercising its discretion under the U.S. Supreme Court’s so-called Intel factors set forth in Intel Corp. v. Advanced Micro Devices, Inc., 542 US 241, 264 (2004), denied the petitioner’s request for discovery because the EPO generally does not allow the type of discovery requested by the petitioner in an Opposition proceeding, thus the petitioner’s requested discovery would have no place in an EPO Opposition.

Put in simple terms, based on a x86 case from 13 years ago, it is not possible for US entities to look into the reckless actions (widely known by now) of the EPO, where patents are granted in error.

The author, Alison C. Casey from Nutter McClennen & Fish LLP, says this “illustrates the need for inventors to be familiar with patent laws, procedures, and proceedings in foreign jurisdictions.” That’s like saying, “come to me! Give me business, I’ll advise you.”

But between the lines we see that the person affected in his capacity as an attorney is actually European. To quote:

The petitioner, George Schlich, is a European patent attorney who brought this action as an agent of Intellia Therapeutics, Inc., a genome editing company based in the United States. Schlich petitioned the district court to order discovery under 28 USC § 1782 in connection with a proceeding before the European Patent Office related to an EPO-issued patent for an invention known as the CRISPR/Cas9 system, which provides scientists with an inexpensive and precise method of editing DNA for biological and medical research. The underlying dispute in the EPO is whether The Broad Institute, Inc., a biomedical and genomic research institute affiliated with MIT and Harvard, can rely on its U.S. provisional applications filing date for priority in its European patents.

We wrote a great deal about this CRISPR fiasco in the US and in the EPO. The above is a reminder that the EPO’s inability to operate in a capacity other than rubber-stamping has wide-ranging and long-ranging (beyond Europe) ramifications.

Blog ‘Takeovers’ by Bristows and Then Censorship: Now This Firm Lies About the Unitary Patent (UPC) and Then Deletes Comments That Point Out the Errors

Posted in Deception, Europe, Patents at 5:00 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Related: Bristows-Run IP Kat Continues to Spread Lies to Promote the Unitary Patent (UPC) and Advance the EPO Management’s Agenda

Brian Cordery
Photo credit: Managing IP

Summary: Not only are Bristows employees grabbing the mic in various high-profile IP blogs for the purpose of UPC promotion (by distortion of facts); they also actively suppress critics of the UPC

THE EPO‘s management isn’t alone; some people do in fact stand to benefit from its so-called ‘reforms’, notably Team UPC. But only if the UPC ever becomes a reality, which seems far-fetched a concept. They try to make it desirable and inevitable, but it’s anything but.

IP Kat does censor comments, but apparently not as zealously as Kluwer.”Bristows, a core part of Team UPC in the UK, is exploiting external blogs for marketing, as almost nobody reads (or even knows about) its own blog. They’re doing this not just in IP Kat (two more puff pieces from the Bristows lobbyist there yesterday and another one this morning, with pro-trolls bias) but also in Kluwer, which doesn’t seem to mind poor track record of the messengers (they may also be falsifying quotes). Brian Cordery (Bristows) published something in Kluwer some days ago and it didn’t go too well, especially if commenters are not denied a voice. In IP Kat, for example, whenever there is an article promoting the UPC we find that almost every single comment refutes it. IP Kat does censor comments, but apparently not as zealously as Kluwer.

“Have you seen the discussion in the comment section here,” one reader asked us, pointing to this puff piece which boils down to amplifying Team Battistelli. “Very remarkable,” our reader called it. Here is the key part from this echo chamber, which excluded critical voices as usual:

The second session looked at the topic of Brexit and IP. Margot Fröhlinger, the Principal Director of Patent Law and Multilateral Affairs, spoke first. She addressed the state of implementation of the Agreement. 12 have ratified so far but not Germany and the UK. Both however are on track – according to the latest reports. Turning to the impact of Brexit, Margot noted that most commentators had initially assumed Brexit was the death knell for the UK’s participation in the UPC and possibly for the whole project. Over time, these views had softened but it was still a surprise when the UKIPO announced on 28 November 2016 that the UK was going to proceed with ratification. Nevertheless this was seen as very positive news by proponents of the system. Margot considered that the UK’s participation could be secured if there was sufficient political will, given the marginal influence of the CJEU in the UPC regime. Moreover in the unlikely event that the UK left the system, arrangements will be put in place to ensure that participants are not prejudiced. Margot felt that the system would be impoverished without the UK judges and practitioners. Panellist Joel Smith thought that there was political will for the UK participation but it was just one of many pieces in a very complicated puzzle. Panellist Trevor Cook wondered if we may end up with the UPC system applying in the UK but not unitary patents. Judge Klaus Grabinski thought that all options remained on the table and Margot Fröhlinger pointed to Denmark’s involvement in the Brussels Regulation as a precedent.

The ‘fun’ part starts in the comments, which help highlight — however difficult these things tend to be — that there is suppression in the comments.

Read the first comment:

UPC and the Brexit

Declaring that the influence of the CJEU in the UPC regime will be marginal is quite daring and has more to do with wishful thinking than a robust analysis of the situation.

That a lot of stakeholders, especially UK law firms, would like UK to stay in the UPC is understandable but does not make it more likely.

In any case, it is a bare minimum to consider that arrangements will be put in place to ensure that participants are not prejudiced should UK leave the UPC. The contrary would be astonishing.

Overall, it is nevertheless doubtful that that UK will stay in the UPC after Brexit. If this would be the case, it would mean that EPLA is revived in a different form. It is anything but sure and certain that the CJEU would agree on this. Ever heard of Opinion 1/09? It makes it even more strange to decide upfront about the marginal influence of the CJEU….

I hope that this post will be published, contrary to my earlier one. In the contrary I would like to be told the reasons for non-publication. If only nice things can be said in a blog, then it is not a blog….

So Bristows, a key lobbyist for the UPC, not only lies about the UPC but also engages in censorship of UPC critics. “Having had two comments blocked,” as the above person points out, means that it’s no accident. Here is another comment:

Having had two comments blocked, I take it for acquired that any comment slightly critical of the UPC and hence not corresponding to the interests of Brystows is not to be published in this blog.

I find this appalling. A blog is there to confront points of view, not to exclusively express a positive opinion on the UPC and/or considering a post-Brexit participation of UK in the UPC highly likely.

Even IPKat accepts dissenting opinions.

I am therefore not agreeing with Techrights that IPKat has been taken over by Brystows. I am even of the opinion that often Techrights deserves the cause it wants to help in being apodictic and extreme in its view.

Should I not get a reply giving me the reasons as to why my comments were blocked, I will make the matter public.

In our defense, in the context of the UPC, we view ourself as counterpropaganda, or the voice that helps counter the propaganda, without being propaganda on its own. The only thing we have at stake is fear of patent trolls, which UPC would make possible here.

The above commenter continues, later adding:

The above comment was not to made public at once. I want a detailed reply first.

That’s when “Kluwer Blogger” weighed in to say:

The author would like to point out that he was just reporting the views of those expressed by the speakers at the conference. Personally, he feels that where there is a political will, a way will be found. Though he recognises that there is a long road ahead.

As a reminder, this is who leads this echo chamber, based on a screenshot taken 3 days ago:

Bristows and Microsoft

Here is another person complaining about censorship:

Daniel Thomas laments that his postings were “blocked”. I sympathise with him. But readers will be aware that blocking is sometimes appropriate. For example, if you follow the lively Patently-O blog (or the Comments threads on the UK newspaper The Guardian), you will know that some posters are offensive and so it is appropriate to “block” their offensive outpourings.

Of course, it is a difficult judgement, what has to be “blocked”. Me, I cannot imagine Daniel Thomas ever being offensive. In my experience he is an exceedingly courteous man.

Daniel, the blockings on Patently-O are done by a computer and often for me inexplicable. Perhaps something like that happened here, with your non-appearing postings?

The best comment we’ve found mentions the impact on IP Kat as well:

Please note that, unfortunately, this “blog” is primarily not an academic playground, but rather a marketing tool for Kluwer and their authors, trying to push public opinion in a way suiting their needs. Another example for such tool is the above mentioned IPkat blog after Jeremy’s departure.

As a consequence, it should not come as too much of a surprise that comments expressing a view contradicting that of Kluwer et al are swept under the blanket. For instance, they have long abandoned publishing critical voices on the UPC as it would be required for an open debate and instead prefer presenting their exclusive narrative on how things stand and where they go. Of course, usually this has not much to do with reality which allows certain deductions to be made as regards the UPC project as a whole if it can only be kept alive based on skewed perspectives and the input of obviously biased individuals, apparently having to be protected from an open discussion.

From an academic standpoint and the perspective of free speech, this is a rather depressing situation, but clearly it is the path Kluwer et al have chosen to follow. We will see if this comment makes it to publication or whether it will be suppressed as many others. In the latter case, there will at least be a screenshot confirming that it has been successfully submitted.

For the record, here in Techrights we have 33,894 comments. We never in our entire history censored even one comment. Not even extremely rude ones!

IP Kat used similar excuses as well. They censored me several times — to the point where I complained to the blog’s founder and altogether stopped commenting there.”Bristows are, as always, utterly terrible liars and the more they do this shameful suppression of speech, the more eager we are to expose what they’re up and stop them. Brian Cordery and his colleagues long ago abandoned facts; all they care about is money. Cordery concluded the thread with: “The author reiterates that all non-derogatory comments will be published and apologises for any delay caused due to his travel schedule.”

Well, there was probably nothing derogatory in them (nobody can see to verify); that’s just a typical excuse after removing ‘unwanted’ comments. IP Kat used similar excuses as well. They censored me several times — to the point where I complained to the blog's founder and altogether stopped commenting there.

“Proverbs are always platitudes until you have personally experienced the truth of them.”

Aldous Huxley

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