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05.04.17

Links 4/5/2017: 250,000th Raspberry Pi Zero W, New Man Pages Releases

Posted in News Roundup at 7:58 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • OpenIndiana Hipster 2017.04 is here
  • OpenIndiana Hipster 2017.04 Adds USB 3.0 Support

    The OpenIndiana crew maintaining this open-source Solaris/Illumos operating system is out with their first release of 2017 and it comes with new features and updated packages.

    First of all, OpenIndiana Hipster 2017.04 is their first release adding support for USB 3.0 devices. In addition to the long overdue USB3 support, their Intel kernel mode-setting driver ported from the Linux kernel was reworked and should now work for most Intel graphics hardware.

  • OpenIndiana 2017.04 Operating System Integrates Support for USB 3.0 Devices

    Alexander Pyhalov from the OpenIndiana project, an open-source, community-driven illumos Solaris operating system that continues the vision of OpenSolaris, announced today, May 3, 2017, the release of OpenIndiana Hipster 2017.04.

    OpenIndiana 2017.04 represents a new major update to the “Hipster” series of the distribution, implementing various new features and updating several core components and applications. The most prominent change of this release being the integration of support for USB 3.0 devices.

  • Bareflank Hypervisor 1.1 Brings Windows Support

    Bareflank 1.1 is now available as the newest release of this open-source lightweight hypervisor written in C++.

    Bareflank 1.1 introduces its own new build system catered towards its needs, adds Windows 8.1/10 OS support, openSUSE 42.2 support, VMM isolation capabilities, multi-core support, VMCall support, the VMM can now be cross-compiled using LLVM/Clang, various SSE and AVX optimizations, and testing improvements.

  • Events

  • Databases

  • BSD

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • GRUB 2.03 Begins Development

      With GRUB 2.02 released after five years in development, this GNU bootloader code has now been bumped for GRUB 2.03 as development begins with new features.

      As of today, the version in Git master is now GRUB 2.03 for marking the new development cycle in the eventual road to GRUB 2.04. Since the version bump to GRUB 2.03 a few hours ago, a number of patches have begun landing that were queued until the 2.02 release.

    • GCC 7.1 Released With New Features — Marks 30th Anniversary Of GCC 1.0

      GNU’s Jakub Jelinek has announced the release of GCC 7.1, which is the first stable release of GCC 7. This major release also marks the 30th anniversary of first stable GCC release. Talking about the new features, there’s experimental C++17 support, improvements in optimizers, emitted diagnostics, and Address Sanitizer, etc. You can download GCC 7.1 compiler from GNU servers.

  • Licensing/Legal

    • Is The GPL Really Declining? [Ed: Remember all those lies from Black Duck that’s paid by and comes from Microsoft?]

      At the huge FOSDEM developer meetup in Brussels in early February, I attended a panel where speakers discussed whether the use of “permissive” open source licenses like the Apache License is now outstripping use of “viral” licenses, such as the GPL. The discussion was spirited, with advocates associated with the Free Software Foundation pushing back on the assertion the GPL is “dying”.

  • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

    • New Open Source Project Enlists Students To Find Cures For Neglected Diseases

      The Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative (DNDi) has launched a collaborative project with five universities in India, United Kingdom, and the United States to help with the research on a debilitating neglected disease.

      According to a DNDi’s press release, the project named “the Open Synthesis Network (OSN)” includes 25 undergraduate and master’s students in chemistry from the participating universities, expected to work on improving chemical compounds for the neglected disease visceral leishmaniasis.

      Visceral leishmaniasis is a potentially fatal disease which is characterised by irregular bouts of fever, substantial weight loss, swelling of the spleen and liver, and anaemia, according to the World Health Organization.

    • New open source project engages universities in neglected diseases drug discovery
    • Imperial students collaborate on drug discovery for neglected diseases

      Chemistry students are making compounds that may help treat diseases thanks to an open collaboration with the Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative.

      The Open Synthesis Network (OSN) is a partnership between the non-profit research and development organisation Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative (DNDi) and five universities from the UK, US and India.

    • Open Data

      • Mapillary opens up 25k street-level images to train automotive AI systems

        As more companies wade into the business of building artificial intelligence systems to help you drive (or do the driving for you), a startup founded by an ex-Apple computer vision specialist is open sourcing a huge dataset that can help them on their road to autonomy.

        Mapillary, a Swedish startup backed by Sequoia, Atomico and others that has built a database of 130 million images through crowdsourcing — think open-source Street View — is releasing a free dataset of 25,000 street-level images from 190 countries, with pixel-level annotations that can be used to train automotive AI systems.

    • Open Hardware/Modding

      • Aaron Louis Technology to launch first open-source 3D printer with closed loop motor on Kickstarter

        As the 3D printer market becomes more and more inundated with machines at a range of different price points, and as previously advanced features are now the standard for most 3D printers, it is getting more and more difficult for smaller manufacturers to find a niche. That doesn’t seem to have been the case for Aaron Louis Technology, however. It is soon to launch a crowdfunding campaign for its OP1720 and CL1720 3D printers, the latter of which is one of the first available open-source machines to offer a closed loop motor control system.

Leftovers

  • Health/Nutrition

  • Security

    • Security updates for Wednesday
    • Serverless Security implications—from infra to OWASP
    • Xen hypervisor faces third highly critical VM escape bug in 10 months

      The Xen paravirtualization mode is proving to be a constant source of serious vulnerabilities, allowing attackers to escape from virtual machines

    • Security like it’s 2005!

      The 2017 world has a solution to these problems. Use the cloud. Stuff as a Service is without question the way to solve these problems because it makes them go away. There are plenty who will naysay public cloud citing various breeches, companies leaking data, companies selling data, and plenty of other problems. The cloud isn’t magic, but it lets you trade a lot of horrible problems for “slightly bad”. I guarantee the problems with the cloud are substantially better than letting most people try to run their own infrastructure. I see this a bit like airplane vs automobile crashes. There are magnitudes more deaths by automobile every year, but it’s the airplane crashes that really get the attention. It’s much much safer to fly than to drive, just as it’s much much safer to use services than to manage your own infrastructure.

    • Security Sessions: Why CSOs should care about machine learning
    • Reproducible builds folks: Reproducing R packages
    • Hacker Extortion Attempt Falls Flat Because Netflix Actually Competes With Piracy

      A hacking group calling itself TheDarkOverlord (TDO) has tried, and failed (so far) to extort Netflix and several other companies after stumbling onto a server of unreleased content. TDO was apparently able to compromise the servers of an audio post-production company by the name of Larson Studios. Among the content acquired from the hackers were ten episodes of the as-yet-unreleased new season of the popular Netflix show “Orange is the New Black,” which isn’t supposed to see full release until June. Outside of some free advertising in the news media and some wasted calories, the group’s efforts don’t appear to have culminated in much.

    • Free search engine tool hunts down malware-infected computers

      Internet search engine Shodan provides enterprise security teams a wealth of information about open ports on servers and other internet-connected devices. Now, as part of a partnership with threat intelligence company Recorded Future, security analysts and researchers can work with Shodan to uncover systems manipulated to control malware-infected devices.

    • Report says 135m Indian govt payment card details leaked

      “Based on the numbers available on the websites looked at, the estimated number of Aadhaar numbers leaked through these four portals could be around 130-135 million and the number of bank accounts numbers leaked at around 100 million from the specific portals we looked at,” the report said.

    • Reproducible builds folks: Reproducible Builds: week 105 in Stretch cycle

      On April 26th Chris Lamb gave a talk at foss-north 2017 in Gothenburg, Sweden on Reproducible Builds.

    • Don’t trust OAuth: Why the “Google Docs” worm was so convincing [iophk: "benefits of The Cloud (tm) and of not-using native distributed file systems"]

      The interesting thing about this worm was just how convincing it was. The e-mail was great—it used the exact same language as a Google Docs sharing e-mail and the exact same “Open” button. Clicking on the link brought up an authentic Google log-in page, served up from Google’s servers. Then you were presented a real Google OAuth permissions page, also from Google’s servers. The trick was that the app claiming to be “Google Docs” wasn’t really Google Docs. The screen showed a third-party app with the name “Google Docs” and a profile picture that matched the Google Docs logo.

    • Thieves drain 2fa-protected bank accounts by abusing SS7 routing protocol

      The unidentified attackers exploited weaknesses in Signalling System No. 7, a telephony signaling language that more than 800 telecommunications companies around the world use to ensure their networks interoperate. SS7, as the protocol is known, makes it possible for a person in one country to send text messages to someone in another country. It also allows phone calls to go uninterrupted when the caller is traveling on a train.

    • All your Googles are belong to us: Look out for the Google Docs phishing worm
    • Don’t click that Google Docs link! Gmail hijack mail spreads like wildfire
  • Defence/Aggression

    • Why Do North Koreans Hate Us? One Reason — They Remember the Korean War.

      It’s a question that has bewildered Americans again and again in the wake of 9/11, in reference to the Arab and Muslim worlds. These days, however, it’s a question increasingly asked about the reclusive North Koreans.

      Let’s be clear: there is no doubt that the citizens of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) both fear and loathe the United States. Paranoia, resentment and a crude anti-Americanism have been nurtured inside the Hermit Kingdom for decades. Children are taught to hate Americans in school while adults mark a “Struggle Against U.S. Imperialism Month” every year (it’s in June, in case you were wondering).

      North Korean officials make wild threats against the United States while the regime, led by the brutal and sadistic Kim Jong-un, pumps out fake news in the form of self-serving propaganda, on an industrial scale. In the DPRK, anti-American hatred is a commodity never in short supply.

    • India must be cautious, the China-Pakistan corridor has a geopolitical subtext
    • Devon student guilty of planting homemade bomb on London tube

      A student from Devon has been found guilty of planting a homemade bomb filled with ball bearings on the tube, after a jury rejected his claim that it was meant to be a prank.

      Damon Smith, 20, pleaded guilty to perpetrating a bomb hoax but said he intended the device to work as a smoke bomb to stop the train “for a bit of fun”. He pleaded not guilty to possession of an explosive substance with intent, contrary to the 1883 Explosive Substances Act. He decided not to give evidence at the trial.

      Smith has Asperger syndrome and took a keen interest in weapons, which might have been connected to his condition, a jury at the Old Bailey in London heard during his five-day trial. He was also interested in gambling and Islam, and had collected photos of extremists, including the ringleader of the 2015 Paris attacks.

  • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

    • Comey Says Only Reason Assange Not ‘Apprehended Yet’: He’s Out of Reach

      Testifying before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday, FBI director James Comey said that while he wouldn’t “confirm whether or not there are charges” pending against the WikiLeaks founder and publisher Julian Assange, the reason he “hasn’t been apprehended is because he’s inside the Ecuadorean embassy in London.”

      While speculation has long been that the U.S. government has a sealed indictment against Assange, the government refuses to openly say whether or not criminal charges exist against the man whose media organization has published troves of classified material, much of which has exposed secrets that paint the global superpower—and many of its top political leaders—in a negative light.

    • FBI chief knows ‘intelligence porn’ when he sees it, and it’s WikiLeaks

      FBI Director James Comey said Wednesday that the radical transparency group WikiLeaks should not be considered a legitimate journalistic organization because it trafficked in “intelligence porn” and sought to damage the United States.

      “There’s nothing that even smells journalistic about some of this conduct,” Comey told a hearing of the Senate Judiciary Committee.

    • Comey slams WikiLeaks as ‘intelligence porn’

      FBI Director James Comey slammed WikiLeaks as “intelligence porn” on Wednesday, accusing the anti-secrecy group of serving as a conduit for Russian and other foreign intelligence agencies to publish stolen information intended to damage the United States.

      Testifying before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Comey was asked why the United States had not charged WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange with a crime. Comey said he had to be careful with his answer, because he did not want to confirm whether there were charges pending against Assange, but then responded: “He hasn’t been apprehended because he is inside the Ecuadorian embassy in London.”

    • Tear up detention order: Assange lawyer

      Julian Assange’s lawyer has asked a Swedish court to rescind a detention order against the WikiLeaks founder over an alleged rape and allow him to go to Ecuador to be safe from extradition to the US.

      Assange, 45, has been holed up in the Ecuadorean Embassy in London since 2012, after taking refuge there to avoid extradition to Sweden over allegations of rape, which he denies.

      He fears Sweden will in turn hand him over to the US to face prosecution over WikiLeaks’ publication of thousands of classified military and diplomatic documents in one of the largest information leaks in US history.

    • Courage marks World Press Freedom Day

      Wednesday 3 May marks World Press Freedom Day, amid a growing consensus that press freedoms are at risk internationally. Since 1993, the UNESCO-initiatied event has been used to draw attention to threats to free expression. The past year journalists have found themselves at severe risk in many countries, with the situation in Turkey, Syria and Azerbaijan being particularly acute.

    • WikiLeaks’ Assange to Clinton: ‘Blame yourself’ for election loss

      WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange told Hillary Clinton on Wednesday to blame herself for losing the 2016 presidential election.

      Assange sent a tweet Wednesday pushing back on Clinton a day after she blamed the anti-secrecy organization in part for her election loss.

    • [Older] US steps up campaign against Julian Assange

      On Thursday, CNN reported, citing unnamed US officials, that the Trump Justice Department has prepared charges against Assange based on supposed “proof” that WikiLeaks actively assisted former NSA contractor Edward Snowden in releasing classified documents exposing the agency’s vast and illegal spying operations.

      At a press conference on Thursday, Attorney General Jeff Sessions indirectly gave credence to the report, saying, “We’ve already begun stepping up our efforts [against leakers] and whenever a case can be made, we will seek to put some people in jail.”

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife/Nature

    • Greens call for emergency intervention into air pollution crisis

      The Green Party is calling for an emergency intervention into the air pollution crisis ahead of the publication of the Government’s draft air quality plan [1].

      Jonathan Bartley, Green Party co-leader, spoke at an assembly at a London school this morning and called on the Government to clean up the UK’s filthy air, which is linked to 40,000 early deaths every year.

  • Finance

    • Tim Cook says Apple is investing $1 billion in US manufacturing [iophk: "anything to avoid US taxes apparently"]

      “It’s $1 billion of our US money, which we have to borrow to get. That’s another whole topic…”

    • Apple joins ‘Made in America’ trend with $1 billion fund to promote U.S. manufacturing [iophk: "how about paying some US taxes from time to time?"]

      In a Wednesday interview with Jim Cramer on CNBC’s Mad Money, Apple CEO Tim Cook announced that Apple is creating a fund to promote advanced manufacturing in the United States, and seeding it with $1 billion to start.

    • Brexit: This is what having no leverage looks like

      For nearly a year now the British government has been acting like a drunk man in a bar trying to start a fight with a guy twice his size. Whenever one of his sober friends tells him to maybe tone it down a little, he shouts at him to shut up. Whenever they say he’s in no fit state for this, he starts pushing them around and calling them names. But now the time for mouthing off is over and he has to actually fight.

      Britain isn’t powerless. On a good day, it’s actually pretty strong. It is towards the bottom of the top tier of countries. It has a big market, big security spend and a willingness to use it, it has huge reserves of soft power and long-nurtured diplomatic influence. It has key global alliances, not least with the US. It has a seat on the Security Council, nuclear weapons, is in the G7, is well regarded at the WTO. It is part of the cultural life of almost every single person on this planet, whether it’s because they watch Downton Abbey, or follow the Premier League, or listen to the Rolling Stones. It punches above its weight, as it always has done.

    • Czech government to resign amid finance minister row

      Czech Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka announced the resignation of his government after a row with Finance Minister Andrej Babiš, local media reported Tuesday.

      Sobotka, who has been leading the country’s coalition government since 2014, said it was not possible for him to continue to bear responsibility for Babiš, leader of the centrist ANO party.

  • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • FBI’s Comey says he is “mildly nauseous” to think he influenced election

      FBI Director James Comey told a Senate panel on Wednesday that it would have been “catastrophic” for the bureau to not have disclosed in October, just 11 days before the presidential election, that the agency was revisiting the Hillary Clinton e-mail scandal.

    • Trudeau backer endorses Gina Miller’s tactical voting campaign

      The founder of a strategic voting initiative that helped propel Justin Trudeau’s Liberal party into office in Canada believes Gina Miller’s campaign for tactical voting in the UK election has a “great chance” of blunting Theresa May’s bid to consolidate power.

      Hisham Abdel-Rahman has already been in touch with Miller’s Best for Britain team, which launched its campaign last week with a £300,000 war chest raised through crowdfunding.

      “I would absolutely love to be involved and to come to Britain and help Gina. We’ve had one conversation already and I believe if the progressives get their act together they have a great chance,” said Abdel-Rahman, who is an IT consultant and self-confessed “political junkie”.

  • Censorship/Free Speech

  • Privacy/Surveillance

    • Mounting Privacy Problems In Europe For Facebook’s Acquisition Of WhatsApp

      When it comes to online privacy, the European data protection authorities tend to be quite interventionist as they try to police the movement of personal data within and out of the EU. The concerns over the Safe Harbor and Privacy Shield frameworks are one manifestation of this. Another is the increasing EU scrutiny of Facebook’s purchase of WhatsApp.

    • Facebook Reports More Than Half Of Gov’t Demands For Content And Data Come With Gag Orders Attached

      US government requests for Facebook data are up, according to the company’s latest biennial transparency report. Total requests jumped from 23,000 to 26,000, as compared to the first six months of 2016. Overall, it’s an increase of about 12,000 requests over 2015′s total.

      At this point, Facebook is fielding about 1,000 more requests a month as compared to 2015. While there’s not a whole lot of detail in the presented data, the social media platform is now able to report something it hadn’t been able to do before the passage of the USA Freedom Act. Both of the 2016 reports now show what percentage of data requests come with a gag order attached.

    • Back to the roots: FidoNet

      A FidoNet system (node) usually consists of a mailer that does the exchange with other systems, a tosser that “routes” the mail to the recipients, and a reader with which you can finally read and write messages to others. Back in the old days I ran my mailbox on my Amiga 3000 with a Zyxel U-1496E+ modem, later with an ISDN card called ISDN-Master. The software used was first TrapDoor as mailer and TrapToss as a tosser. Later replaced by GMS Mailer as a mailer and MailManager as a tosser and reader.

      [...]

      Yes, FidoNet is maybe outdated technology, but it’s still alive and I would like to get a FidoNet node running again. Are there any other FidoNet nodes running on Debian and give assistance in setting up? There are maybe some fully integrated solutions like MysticBBS, but I’m unsure about those.

    • At Senate Hearing, Comey Hints At Expanded NSL Powers And Encryption Backdoors

      James Comey testified in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee today where he faced an oddly-unified bipartisan group of senators irritated with the FBI (but for different reasons). Most senators took a large amount of the their time during the first round of questions to not actually ask questions, but to express their displeasure with the Clinton email investigation and the ongoing Trump-Russia investigation.

      The opening statements varied depending on the party of the senator addressing James Comey. Comey had very few answers about various Trump-related investigations (which are still ongoing), but made the most of his opening statement by dodging the questions and making a sales pitch for the renewal of Section 702 — the statute permitting the NSA’s internet data/communications collection the FBI makes frequent use of.

      According to Comey, the 702 collection is essential to national security. Possibly true. But not so essential that concerns about Fourth Amendment violations should be swept aside. This was only one of the sales pitches Comey managed to squeeze in during questioning.

    • US Intelligence “transparency report” reveals breadth of surveillance by NSA, others

      A report issued by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) yesterday provides a sobering set of statistics on the breadth and depth of US intelligence surveillance of targets both overseas and within the United States. Even after steps were taken to reduce the collection of phone call metadata—ending bulk collection of phone company records and limiting collection to specific requests against records held by telecommunications providers—the National Security Agency collected over 151 million phone call records while tracking only 42 targets.

    • NSA still collecting Americans’ phone call data
    • NSA called out for continued tracking of millions of phone records
    • Obama’s team ‘asked for NSA secrets on more than 30,000 Americans in 2016 and circulated 6,000 intelligence reports WITHOUT removing their names’

      Barack Obama’s team used NSA technology to examine data gathered on tens of thousands of Americans abroad during the election, it has emerged.

    • Russia Tries To Deliver The Killing Blow To VPN Use

      Last year Russia passed a new surveillance bill that promised to bring greater security to the country. As is par for the course for these types of bills, the legislation did the exact opposite by not only mandating new encryption backdoors, but by also imposing harsh new data-retention requirements on ISPs and VPN providers. As a result, some VPN providers like Private Internet Access wound up leaving the country after finding their entire function eroded and having some of their servers seized. The end result? Russia’s pledge to shore up security wound up making everybody in the country notably less secure.

      And now Russia appears poised to dramatically up the ante.

    • Florida judge rules that compelling a suspect to reveal smartphone pin passcodes doesn’t violate the Fifth Amendment

      A Florida judge has granted a motion to compel two suspects in an ongoing case to reveal their smartphone passcodes. Prosecutors were granted a motion to compel two defendants to give up their smartphone pin passcodes to search for evidence related to an extortion allegedly carried out by a couple, Victor and Voigt. The two devices in question are an iPhone and a Blackberry. The suspects’ attorneys argued that passwords are protected as testimonial content by the Fifth Amendment of the US Constitution.

      Judge rules that passcodes aren’t protected by the Fifth Amendment

    • Sextortion suspect must unlock her seized iPhone, judge rules

      A Miami-Dade county judge has ruled that two defendants in a sextortion case must provide police with the passwords to their respective iPhones so authorities can unlock the devices and execute a search warrant.

      Whether or not courts can force individuals to give up passwords to their locked computers or phones is not a settled matter. In essence, the question it boils down to is: “Is giving up a password testimonial, and therefore in violation of the Fifth Amendment? Or is it more like being asked to give up a key to a safety deposit box?”

      “For me, this is like turning over a key to a safety deposit box,” said Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Charles Johnson, who ruled from the bench during a Wednesday hearing, according to the Miami Herald.

    • This tool shows the political parties targeting you on Facebook

      The Google Chrome browser extension can scan users’ Facebook profiles and tell them the political parties that are advertising to them the most.

  • Civil Rights/Policing

  • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

    • Don’t Get Fooled: The Plan Is To Kill Net Neutrality While Pretending It’s Being Protected

      Back in February, we had former top FCC staffer Gigi Sohn on our podcast and she laid out the likely strategy of Ajit Pai and Congress to kill net neutrality while pretending that they were protecting net neutrality. And so far, it’s played out exactly according to plan. Each move, though, seems to be getting reported by most of the tech press as if it’s some sort of surprise or unexpected move. It’s not. There’s a script and it’s being followed almost exactly. So, as a reminder, let’s go through the exact script:

    • RIP About.com: A Look at the Tumultuous Life of a Web Legend

      About.com didn’t die of natural causes. It was killed by its CEO despite still being profitable. The story of why it had to die in order for this new thing to be born tells you a lot about the way the internet has changed since its earliest days.

    • Examining Decentralized Social Networks

      “Social networks” have been around a lot longer than many folks realize. My own first experience was a “bulletin board system” back in the 80’s using a dial-up modem where you registered on a computer and could interact with, and send messages to other users on that system. This expanded into more mainstream email accounts and ushered in the era of AOL, CompuServe and others. These spun off into other community-based web sites which launched ideas into larger and larger platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+ and so on.

      These platforms are “centralized” in the sense that there is only one entity responsible for your account access, and managing access to any content you choose to upload and share privately or publicly on their platform. Many users aren’t crazy at the idea of large entities controlling access to their content, which has resulting in many viral ownership claims that get recycled from time to time. It’s a valid concern, especially when the platform isn’t 100% clear on how they’ll use your content for additional monetization efforts.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Game Maker Sues Milwaukee Over Permit Requirement To Make Augmented Reality Games

      One of the great stories in unintentional consequences in technology in the past few years has been Pokemon Go. The augmented reality game application has resulted in all kinds of legal action and consequences, including New York declaring playing it to be a sex offender parole violation, lawsuits stemming from players of the game wandering onto private property and annoying the residents there, and even the DOD releasing guidelines for safe Pokemon hunting.

    • Enlisting Government Help To Protect Your Trade Secrets [Ed: When government helps corporations with secrecy]

      Most businesses think protecting their intellectual property is their own responsibility, and it is. But what about when your intellectual property rights are violated by an evildoer? Who are you going to call?

    • The MP3 Format is now Patent Free [iophk: "still sucks compared to Ogg and the others, but at least now it is unencumbered"]

      MP3 decoding was already free and got recently included in Fedora. But now, encoding is also free according to Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Circuits IIS: “On April 23, 2017, Technicolor’s mp3 licensing program for certain mp3 related patents and software of Technicolor and Fraunhofer IIS has been terminated.” The Wikipedia MP3 article confirms that.

    • Copyrights

      • Copyright infringement now punishable with up to 10 years in jail

        While the overzealous new rules were keenly disputed by the Open Rights Group (ORG) when a draft of the bill was published last year, the government refused to soften its approach.

        As a result, in theory it’s now possible for copyright holders to pursue criminal cases for an infringer of any size [...]

      • Copyright Troll Sends DMCA Notices Targeting Anti-Troll Websites & Lawyers

        We talk a lot around here about the many problems with the copyright trolling industry. Those problems take several forms, but they can be best globalized as a problem of the copyright troll’s basic business model. These groups claim to tackle piracy in defense of the content creators with whom they contract, but they do so not by spear-fishing confirmed infringers with sound evidence, but rather they cast as wide a net as possible based on flimsy evidence at best, all in the hopes of producing enough settlement money from scared recipients to make some coin. This bird-shot approach, to further mix my hunting analogies, inevitably creates serious collateral damage and exposes how poorly constrained the technology used to identify infringement is to reality.

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  10. Patent Laws -- and Especially Eligibility of Software Patents -- Are Being Hijacked by Large Corporations and Their Front Groups

    Intervention by large multinational corporations and their lawyers, front groups, etc. (like the classic lobbying model) gives room for concern in multiple continents where most software development is done



  11. Links 18/5/2017: Catching Up With the Past Three Days

    Links for the day



  12. The US Supreme Court Consults USPTO Director Michelle Lee Regarding the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) Which is Invalidating Software Patents With CAFC's Approval

    Software patents continue to get knocked out by the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act (AIA) whose introduction of PTAB gave a helping hand to companies that are susceptible to abusive litigation (with bogus patents)



  13. IBM and Its Revolving Doors Lobby Are Plotting to Undermine Supreme Court Rulings to Restore Patentability of Software

    IBM has become so evil that it is now trying to steal democracy, label programmers "thieves", and basically attack the rule of law by extra-judicially overturning a Supreme Court decision



  14. 3 Years After the Alice Case at the Supreme Court the Plague of Software Patents is Easier to Cope With

    Litigation figures are down, rejection rates of software patents remain high, and only spin (e.g. cherry-picking) or constant lobbying can save those who used to profit from software patents



  15. The Attacks of Patent Trolls as Outlined in the Media This Past Week

    An outline of some of the latest troll cases to be aware of and their consequences too (e.g. software patents being used to literally shut down entire programs)



  16. Links 14/5/2017: Linux 4.12 RC1 and KDE Frameworks 5.34.0

    Links for the day



  17. Industry Giants Challenge Qualcomm's Patent Practices While the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Closely Examines Such Behavior

    Scrutiny of Qualcomm's patent aggression and coercion -- scrutiny that can profoundly change the way software patents, SEPs and FRAND are viewed -- as seen in various amicus briefs (amici) from industry giants that are affected



  18. Professor Lisa Larrimore Ouellette Questions Whether Patents Work When Patent Scope is Too Broad

    Citing MIT economist (and MacArthur “genius”) Heidi Williams, Professor Lisa Larrimore Ouellette from Stanford challenges old myths and quotes: “we still have essentially no credible empirical evidence on the seemingly simple question of whether stronger patent rights—either longer patent terms or broader patent rights—encourage research investments.”



  19. OIN is Still a Distraction Unless We Want GNU/Linux to Coexist With Software Patents (Rather Than Eliminate Those)

    Another wave of media coverage by/for the Open Invention Network (OIN) necessitates a reminder of what OIN stands for and why it is not tackling the biggest problems which Free/Open Source software (FOSS) faces



  20. Links 13/5/2017: Neptune Plasma 5 ISO, a Shift to Free (FOSS) Databases

    Links for the day



  21. Countries With a Dozen European Patents Are an Easy Photo-Op 'Sell' for Battistelli While the EPO's Demise is Largely Ignored by the Patent Microcosm

    Behind the façade of legitimacy, the EPO suffers from an incompetent, insecure and delusional boss, whose actions will almost certainly lead to the collapse of both the Office and the entire Organisation (whose founding document he routinely shreds to pieces)



  22. Our Assessment: Unitary Patent (UPC) Will Crumble Along With Battistelli's Regime at the EPO

    A reflection and an opinion on where the EPO stands and what it means for the UPC, which doesn't seem to be going anywhere (it's all talk and lobbying)



  23. The European Patent Office Has a Long History/Track Record of 'Screwing' Contractors

    The European Patent Office (EPO) appears to have quite an extensive track record/reputation for ‘screwing’ contractors and then misusing immunity to get away with it



  24. Links 12/5/2017: Wine 2.8, Kdenlive 17.04.1, NHS Windows Syndrome

    Links for the day



  25. Links 11/5/2017: New OpenShot, GIMP, and GNOME (3.24.2)

    Links for the day



  26. The Sickness of the EPO – Part IX: Using Confidential Medical Records as a Weapon Against Staff

    In defiance/violation of labour laws and medical oaths etc. the EPO is passing around medical information, either for dismissal pretexts or a sort of blackmail -- a serious abuse in its own right



  27. The EPO is in Disarray and Additional Complaints to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) May Be Imminent

    Team Battistelli reaps what it has sown, as complaints are being made to a court with “47 member states [that] are contracting parties to the Convention,” (European Convention on Human Rights) according to Wikipedia



  28. By Promoting the UPC, in Defiance of Public Will, the EPO Has Become Patent Trolls' Best Friend

    The patent–industrial complex, aided by the EPO under Battistelli's iron-fisted reign, is trying to convince us that the UPC is coming soon and that it is desirable (it's neither of those things)



  29. Links 10/5/2017: Mesa 17.1, Git 2.13, Qt Creator 4.3 RC1, MINIX 3.4 RC6

    Links for the day



  30. Team UPC Still Twists and Fabricates Statements to Make It Seem Like Unitary Patent is Happening Soon

    The Unified Patent Court (UPC), a terrible system which was envisioned and covertly constructed by those who stand to benefit/profit from injunctions and trolling, is not going anywhere, but media which is dominated by Team UPC would have us believe otherwise


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