EditorsAbout the SiteComes vs. MicrosoftUsing This Web SiteSite ArchivesCredibility IndexOOXMLOpenDocumentPatentsNovellNews DigestSite NewsRSS

05.08.17

The European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) Against the European Patent Office (EPO), Lower House to Debate the Issue Today

Posted in Europe, Law, Patents at 8:37 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

The House of Representatives in the Netherlands, along with top European courts, to imminently tackle the chronic abuse?

House of Representatives (Netherlands)

Summary: Things are getting hot and heavy at Eponia, as the truly urgent matters escalate upwards and threaten to shake up the entire European Patent Organisation, whose head has just announced that he is stepping down [1, 2]

SOMETHING rather big is happening at the EPO. It’s truly a turning point. A few days ago we saw Battistelli’s ‘boss’ walking away and hours ago someone told us that big legal action is coming, apparently involving the Dutch government (not long after all Members of the European Parliament got notified). Maybe not a bad time for people who protected Battistelli to walk away (to avoid deposition and so on)? For background, here is what happened some months ago:

  1. Battistelli is an Autocrat Above the Law and It’s OK, Holland’s High Council Says
  2. EPO Abuses Now Make the Netherlands Look Like a Facilitator of Human/Labour Rights Abuses
  3. Media Blasts EPO Over Immunity Amid Suicides, Battistelli’s Behaviour Compared to Dominique Strauss-Kahn’s
  4. Leaked: Team Battistelli, Exploiting a Controversial Decision From the Netherlands, is Trying to Squash SUEPO
  5. The EPO’s Freedom to Disregard the Law and Abuse Employees is “Being Taken up by the Council of Europe”
  6. The Netherlands With Its Bizarre Decision to Let the EPO Violate Dutch Law, Now in English
  7. “Team Battistelli Continues With Intimidation Tactics”
  8. The European Patent Office Officially Dishonours Justice, So It’s Time for SUEPO to Become Clandestine
  9. Culture of Terror at The European Patent Office Escalates Thanks to Dutch Government’s Complicity

The latest development is very major and was covered by Dutch media earlier on. It certainly seems like timing is critical here, as based on a purely automated translation (unedited):

The Lower House talks about the situation at the patent office on Tuesday.

Petra Kramer,a Dutch speaker who is supportive of the cause, kindly produced the following translation of the entire article:

RIJSWIJK (ANP) Are employees of the European Patent Office allowed to resist the repression of their right by taking the case to the Dutch court? (Please note that previous verdicts said their rights were not imposed upon because they could always go to court in Geneva. PK.) The High Council recently ruled that they don’t because EPO is granted immunity. But two unions do not agree and are now taking the case to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg.

The complaint is directed against the Dutch state because it has actively strengthened to maintain the immunity of the EPO, Liesbeth Zegveld, the lawyer of the unions, says. According to her, the government has a diplomatic interest because they want international organizations to settle in the Netherlands.

EPO staff suffers under the leadership of topman Benoît Battistelli, who is accused of terrorizing the office. The government is concerned about it and urged previously to improve the conditions at the organization in Rijswijk, where about 2700 people work.

Lower House

International organizations are granted immunity, but there must be an internal court to solve disputes according to Zegsveld, and that is not the case. (This again contradicts the High Council that basically said go to the court in Geneva. PK.) As a result, the trade unions and employees can not use their right to strike, their right to negotiate or their freedom of expression.

According to the Supreme Court, the Netherlands, according to Zegveld, now violates the right of access to justice, as enshrined in the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR).

The Lower House will debate the situation at the patent office on Tuesday.

Wow. We didn’t know they would really take it this far. Zegveld did mention this as a possibility, but it wasn’t clear whether she and her clients would actually pursue this (SUEPO receives outside help here). But they do! This could soon become a very serious issue and a topic in the mainstream media, not just in the Netherlands. It’s truly a shame that sites like IP Kat cover none of these developments.

Links 8/5/2017: Debian GNU/Linux 8.8, Chromebook Shipments Up 38%

Posted in News Roundup at 4:17 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Building a “real” Linux distro

    I recently saw a post on Hacker News: “Build yourself a Linux”, a cool project that guides you through building a simple Linux system. It’s similar to Linux from Scratch in that it helps you build a simple Linux system for personal use. I’d like to supplement this with some insight into my experience with a more difficult task: building a full blown Linux distribution. The result is agunix, the “silver unix” system.

    For many years I’ve been frustrated with every distribution I’ve tried. Many of them have compelling features and design, but there’s always a catch. The popular distros are stable and portable, but cons include bloat, frequent use of GNU, systemd, and often apt. Some more niche distros generally have good points but often have some combination of GNU, an init system I don’t like, poor docs, dynamic linking, or an overall amateurish or incomplete design. Many of them are tolerable, but none have completely aligned with my desires.

    I’ve also looked at not-Linux – I have plenty of beefs with the Linux kernel. I like the BSD kernels, but I dislike the userspaces (though NetBSD is pretty good) I like the microkernel design of Minix, but it’s too unstable and has shit hardware support. plan9/9front has the most elegant kernel and userspace design ever made, but it’s not POSIX and has shit hardware support. Though none of these userspaces are for me, I intend to attempt a port of the agunix userspace to all of their kernels at some point (a KFreeBSD port is underway).

  • Desktop

    • Galago Pro on the Go: Emma’s System76 Laptop Review

      I’m so excited to talk about this little precious Galago Pro! I like to name my laptops, and nothing is more fitting for this machine (in my use case) than the name ‘Princess’ because my experience with the Galago so far has been royally spectacular. After more than a month of frequent use, I’ve found the Galago to be an excellent choice for the mobile worker. I’m frequently on a train, plane or bus, so portability is an absolute must-have for me. Although the portability is my favorite feature, I’m fond of a few other things the Galago Pro has to offer.

    • Chromebook shipments surge by 38 percent, cutting into Windows 10 PCs
  • Server

    • Why the Largest Companies in the World Count on Linux Servers

      Linux started its life in the data center as a cheaper alternative to UNIX. At the time, UNIX operating systems ruled the industry and for good reason. They were performant, fault tolerant and extremely stable. They also were very expensive and ran on very proprietary hardware. A lot of the familiar utilities and applications developed for those UNIX platforms eventually were ported over to Linux. So, once Linux ran services like Apache, it came as no surprise that Linux would usurp and replace the very same technologies that once inspired its creation. The very best part was that Linux ran on commodity x86 hardware. At the end of the day, anyone could deploy a Linux server at a fraction of the cost to deploy something from Sun Microsystems, Silicon Graphics (SGI) or from any other UNIX distributor.

      Fast-forward to the present, and Linux continues to maintain a strong competitive lead over other server offerings, including the very popular Microsoft Windows. But why is that the case? In order to answer that question, one first must understand what Linux is.

  • Audiocasts/Shows

  • Kernel Space

    • ARM64 Updates For The Linux 4.12 Kernel

      The ARM64 architecture (AArch64) updates have been queued for the Linux 4.12 kernel.

    • PowerPC 64-bit To Support Up To 512TB Virtual Address Space On Linux 4.12

      While Intel is working on 5-level paging support to allow a virtual address space up to 128 PiB and physical address space of 4 PiB, the PowerPC guys are working on upping their address space capabilities too.

      With the Linux 4.12 kernel, POWER 64-bit server CPUs can now support up to 512TB of virtual address space compared to a previous limit of 128TB.

    • Staging Tree For Linux 4.12 Adds 350k Lines Of New Code

      Greg KH has submitted the staging changes for the Linux 4.12 kernel.

      Greg wrote of the staging work for 4.12, “Here is the big staging tree update for 4.12-rc1. And it’s a big one, adding about 350k new lines of crap^Wcode, mostly all in a big dump of media drivers from Intel. But there’s other new drivers in here as well, yet-another-wifi driver, new IIO drivers, and a new crypto accelerator. We also deleted a bunch of stuff, mostly in patch cleanups, but also the Android ION code has shrunk a lot, and the Android low memory killer driver was finally deleted, much to the celebration of the -mm developers.”

    • Linux’s Hyperledger Invites Community to Construction of Blockchain-Making Tool

      Hyperledger Composer, centered on Blockchain technology, has been accepted into incubation by Hyperledger’s Technical Steering Committee.

      Hyperledger Composer, which is a collaborative effort, will be a tool that will help to build Blockchain business networks.

      It’ll help in the development of smart contracts and their deployment across distributed ledgers.

    • A formal kernel memory-ordering model (part 2)
    • Device power management with the OPP library

      During the 4.6 development cycle, the operating performance points (OPP) framework gained the infrastructure to do dynamic voltage and frequency scaling (DVFS) on behalf of device drivers. This helps in reducing the complexity of those drivers, which can instead focus on platform-specific details. The rest of this article discusses what has changed and how can we use it to simplify our device drivers.

      Until Linux kernel release 4.5, the OPP framework was acting as a helper library that provided a table of voltage-frequency pairs (with some additional information) for the kernel. Kernel frameworks, like cpufreq and devfreq, used these OPP tables to perform DVFS for the devices. The OPP framework creates this table dynamically via platform-specific code and statically from device-tree blobs.

    • Two new block I/O schedulers for 4.12
    • The MuQSS CPU scheduler

      The scheduler is a topic of keen interest for the desktop user; the scheduling algorithm partially determines the responsiveness of the Linux desktop as a whole. Con Kolivas maintains a series of scheduler patch sets that he has tuned considerably over the years for his own use, focusing primarily on latency reduction for a better desktop experience. In early October 2016, Kolivas updated the design of his popular desktop scheduler patch set, which he renamed MuQSS. It is an update (and a name change) from his previous scheduler, BFS, and it is designed to address scalability concerns that BFS had with an increasing number of CPUs.

    • The New Features So Far For The Linux 4.12 Kernel
    • XFS In Linux 4.12 Adds GETFSMAP Support

      The XFS file-system changes have been submitted for Linux 4.12 and includes one main feature change.

      The prominent new feature for XFS in Linux 4.12 is support for the GETFSMAP ioctl. This new ioctl has been under discussion since last year’s Linux Storage summit and is the first Linux file-system seeing mainline support for it. GETFSMAP is used for returning all known space mapping details for that file-system.

    • 2038: only 21 years away

      Sometimes it seems that things have gone relatively quiet on the year-2038 front. But time keeps moving forward, and the point in early 2038 when 32-bit time_t values can no longer represent times correctly is now less than 21 years away. That may seem like a long time, but the relatively long life cycle of many embedded systems means that some systems deployed today will still be in service when that deadline hits. One of the developers leading the effort to address this problem is Arnd Bergmann; at Linaro Connect 2017 he gave an update on where that work stands.

    • EXT4 For Linux 4.12 Gets GETFSMAP Support, Performance Improvements

      Ted Ts’o has sent in the EXT4 file-system updates targeting the Linux 4.12 kernel merge window.

      First up as a new feature for EXT4 is support for the new GETFSMAP ioctl. This comes just after XFS getting GETFSMAP support too for the Linux 4.12 kernel; see that earlier article for more details on this new capability for Linux file-systems.

    • Graphics Stack

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • KDE FreeBSD CI

        The next-generation of KDE CI is nearly here. Ben Cooksley from the KDE Sysadmin team has announced that it is nearly ready to go. On the FreeBSD side, Ben has done the heavy lifting on the CI side and I’ve done a little futzing around to get the build node in working order by installing system-wide dependencies.

      • KDE dinner in Berlin – 13th May

        In a few days (May 13th-14th) the KDE e.V. board will be having an in-person board meeting in Berlin.

      • LaKademy 2017: expanding horizons

        On May 1, another edition of LaKademy, the Latin American KDE Summit, came to an end. This was the 5th edition of the event, which continues to attract new people interested in being part of the community. This time we had 6 beginners, which is a great number, considering that the event itself is small, since it is not an event of talks or courses, but a concentrated one, in the contribution sprint style.

      • Plasma 5.9.5 by KDE now available in Chakra

        The Plasma 5.9.5 update provides another round of bug-fixes and translations to the 5.9 release, which will probably be the last one before 5.10 is out by the end of May.

      • KIO will get Polkit support this summer

        Hello world! For those who don’t know me, I am Chinmoy, a first year undergraduate student studying computer science at Dr. Ambedkar Institute of Technology, Bangalore, India. I am one of the 1,318 students selected for this years Google Summer of Code. I will be working with Arnav Dhamija and Elvis Angelaccio (my mentors) on the KDE project “Polkit Support in KIO”.

      • The Craft Cache

        In the last days we created a stable Craft branch which builds Qt 5.62 and KDE Frameworks 5.33.0 (KF5), and backported all important patches for the 5.33.0 release.

        This is the branch you should use when ever you want to provide an application installer. Providing builds of unstable KF5 git versions isn’t really a good practice, but was done never the less.

      • Meet the authors of WikiToLearn: Daniele Pannozzo
      • QtWebKit is coming back (part 2)
    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

      • GNOME Recipes to Receive Interface Improvements, New Recipes and Cuisines

        A few months back we took a look at the new GNOME Recipes app that’s currently in heavy development. Matthias Clasen has announced that along with a growing team of developers, some further improvements are on the way, both in terms of user experience and the selection of recipes and cuisines available.

      • Not running for Board this year

        As the other directors are aware, I’ve over-committed myself. I think I did a good job keeping up with GNOME Board issues, but it was sometimes a real stretch. And due to some budget and planning items happening at work, I’ve been busier in 2017 than I planned. I’ve missed a few Board meetings due to meeting conflicts or other issues.

      • Try Aurora-Next And Aurora-Nuevo Theme Suites, You May End Up Using Them

        Aurora-Next theme isn’t new but it’s initial release was back in early 2015 and it looked great at that time and looks even more better, there are three variants in this suite and support almost every desktop such as Unity, Gnome Shell, Xfce, Cinnamon, Mate and so on but not compatible with KDE. You can choose from Blue, Green and Red variant from this suite as per your requirements. There are three Gnome Shell themes and Cinnamon theme with every variant, the supported versions of GTK are 3.20 and up. Numix-White icons used in the following screenshots. You can use Unity Tweak Tool, Gnome-tweak-tool to change icons.

      • Make your Gnome Shell Transparent and Better with Mist Theme [PPA]

        Now a days there are much themes are in development for Gnome Shell because every new release of Gnome Shell makes old theme highly incompatible and bit difficult for creators to manage their themes for newer version of Gnome Shell. But there are still some people who are working on Gnome Shell themes. Here is one of the theme called Mist, basically this theme is inspired by the appearance of the GDM3 login manager, the main goal of this theme is to make Gnome Shell fully transparent. This means a panel that blends right into the desktop, simple flat, transparent buttons, and the bare minimum when it comes to menus and elements that overlap the work-space. This theme is compatible with Gnome Shell 3.24/3.22/3.20/3.18/3.16 and 3.14 versions, you need to enable user-themes extension in Gnome-Tweak-Tool to change Shell theme.

      • Did GNOME team just remove the transparent background option from the Terminal in 3.24?
      • GNOME Recipes App to Soon Offer More Recipes, Cuisines, and Inline Editing

        GNOME Project’s Matthias Clasen is reporting on the development of the recently introduced GNOME Recipes application, an open-source and easy-to-use program that’ll help you to discover what to cook.

        GNOME Recipes has been in development during the GNOME 3.24 cycle, with which it was first introduced to the public in its final, production-ready state. The graphical user interface of the app should be very familiar to GNOME users as it resemblance the look and feel of the GNOME Software package manager.

  • Distributions

    • Apricity OS [shuts down]

      Like all good things, Apricity OS must come to an end. It has been our privilege to develop the operating system, and to be a part of a community as great as our own. But unfortunately, we no longer have time for its required upkeep. We hope that your time using our operating system has been enjoyable, and that you continue to explore using Linux in the future. You all, our users, have made this experience incredible for us, and we cannot thank you enough for the support.

    • Arch Linux Based Apricity OS Shuts Down

      The Arch Linux based distribution, Apricity OS, has announced in an undated notice on its website that it’s shutting down. I learned the of news today when given a heads-up by a follower on Twitter.

    • Arch Linux-Based Apricity OS GNU/Linux Distribution Is Now Officially Dead

      We’re extremely sorry to inform our readers that the team of developers behind the Apricity OS has ceased the development of the Arch Linux-based operating system.

      We were the first to introduce you guys to Apricity OS about 20 months ago, on the 6th of September, 2015, and, shortly after, the GNU/Linux distro become hugely popular among those who wanted to install an Arch Linux-based operating system on their personal computer with an easy-to-use graphical interface.

    • Chakra GNU/Linux Users Get KDE Plasma 5.9.5 Desktop Environment and Wine 2.7

      The development team behind the Chakra GNU/Linux operating system, through Neofytos Kolokotronis, is reporting on the latest updates that landed in the stable software repositories of the GNU/Linux distribution.

      Chakra GNU/Linux users will be glad to learn that the latest KDE Plasma 5.9.5 desktop environment, which is the last maintenance update in the series, has landed in the repos, bringing them a great number of patches for their beloved KDE apps and utilities.

    • Reviews

      • GNU/Linux Security: A look at QubesOS

        Using GNU/Linux is by default more secure than using Microsoft Windows, this is common knowledge; however just because you use GNU/Linux, does not mean that your system is secure, and that is why some distributions have been created in order to maximize security; such as QubesOS.

        QubesOS is very different from your typical run of the mill distro, such as Ubuntu or even the more hardcore like Arch Linux and Gentoo. QubesOS runs multiple virtual machines linked together under a single user-interface, to form a container based / compartmentalized operating system.

        The purpose of this, is hypothetically speaking if an adversary were to gain remote access into your machine, they would be bound to only having access to the compartment they broke into.

      • [Video] Linux Deepin 15.4 Review – Fancier and Faster
      • [Video] Feren OS 2017.0 Review
      • [Video] Using [Snap] channels to support releases
    • New Releases

      • 4MLinux 21.2 Distro Released with Linux Kernel 4.4.63 LTS, Wi-Fi AP Improvements

        4MLinux developer Zbigniew Konojacki is informing us today about the immediate availability of the second point release of the 4MLinux 21 GNU/Linux operating system.

        4MLinux 21.2 is yet another minor update of the independently-developed distribution, coming about five weeks after the 4MLinux 21.1 release. It’s here with a new kernel from the long-term supported Linux 4.4 series, namely Linux kernel 4.4.63 LTS, a bunch of updated packages, and better support for wireless APs that are protected with passwords.

      • OSMC’s April update is here

        OSMC’s slightly belated April update is here with a variety of improvements and fixes.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat Summit 2017

        A quick recap with self reminders of session links.

        Sunday night was dinner with a couple of other instructors. Always a blast.

        Monday night was the Ansible (Red Hat Management) Social. The venue (Coppersmith) was really cool. Their description is as a vintage warehouse but it looked to me like it had once been a firehouse. The kitchen was in a pair of old food trucks welded together. And there was draft cider.

      • Finance

      • Fedora

        • Fedora Linux getting native MP3 support, but who really cares?

          Fedora is a wonderful Linux distribution, as it is both stable and modern. One of the biggest selling points of the operating system is that is relies on truly free open source software. This means it won’t have patented or closed-source non-free packages by default. Of course, in-the-know Fedora users often added these needed packages after the fact by using third-party repositories, such as RPM Fusion.

    • Debian Family

      • Debian GNU/Linux 8.8 Officially Released with 90 Security Updates, 68 Bug Fixes

        Those of you using the Debian Stable a.k.a. Debian “Jessie” operating system series will be glad to learn that the eighth point release was just launched today, Debian GNU/Linux 8.8, with more than 150 bug fixes and security updates.

      • Debian GNU/Linux 8.8 Released
      • Updated Debian 8: 8.8 released
      • Debian GNU/Linux 8.8 “Jessie” Live & Installable ISOs Are Available to Download – Exclusive

        As reported the other day, the Debian Project launched the eighth maintenance update for the stable Debian GNU/Linux 8 “Jessie” operating system series, which brings a total of 90 security updates and more than 60 miscellaneous bug fixes.

        We promised that you’d be the first to know when Live and installation ISO images of the Debian GNU/Linux 8.8 release will be available for download, so here you go. The Debian Project just finished uploading all the Debian GNU/Linux 8.8 “Jessie” Live CDs and installation mediums for all supported hardware architectures.

      • Debian GNU/Linux 8.8 Released With Tons Of Updates And Fixes

        The Debian Project has announced the release of eight stable update of Debian 8 jessie. Debian GNU/Linux 8.8 comes with many package updates, 60+ bug fixes, and 90 security fixes. As it’s not a new major version release, the existing users who are already having all the latest security updates installed don’t need to do anything. The interested users can use the aptitude (or apt) package tool to perform the upgrade.

      • New in Debian stable Stretch: GitHub’s Icon font, fonts-octicons
      • Debian 8.8 released

        The Debian Project has launched the eighth update of its stable distribution Debian 8, codename Jessie.

        The update adds corrections for security problems to the stable release, along with a few adjustments.

      • Debianistas get Jessie mass package update

        Debian hasn’t released a new version of Jessie, but its Version 8.8 that landed over the weekend repairs more than 100 package bugs.

        As the announcement notes: “Those who frequently install updates from security.debian.org won’t have to update many packages and most updates from security.debian.org are included in this update.”

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Which email client for Ubuntu 17.10?

            An email client was once a mandatory offering for any operating system, but that may be changing. A discussion on the ubuntu-desktop mailing list explores the choices for a default email client for Ubuntu 17.10, which is due in October. One of the possibilities being considered is to not have a default email client at all.

            Jeremy Bicha raised the issue in mid-April. He noted that Ubuntu had switched from Evolution to Thunderbird in 2011 and thought it time to revisit that decision. For one thing, while an email client is useful, it may not be “useful enough to enough people to justify it being installed for everyone”. If there is to be a default email client, though, which should it be?

          • A new hope for Ubuntu Phone: The community

            Well, I have to say that Ubuntu Phone was dead for me after the Mark’s announcement a few weeks ago. I even posted the end of uNav and I switched to Android. But my post was a trigger for myself: because the community will not allow uNav to die so easily and of course, the Ubuntu Phone :) You opened my eyes mates!

          • Flavours and Variants

            • Ubuntu MATE 17.10 – Default layout decisions

              Thank you to everyone who commented and voted. While the votes are useful the comments (from all the online Ubuntu MATE communities) are what have been most useful.

            • [elementary OS] Loki Updates for April

              You can now control paired Bluetooth devices (like phones!) from the sound indicator. Additionally, we now show an icon in the panel when an app is using the microphone, making it easy to see at a glance if something starts listening in.

            • [elementary OS] AppCenter Spotlight: More Beta Testers

              A couple of weeks ago I shared my AppCenter Spotlight: Beta Testers piece and got a great response. People continue to be excited to see the progress of AppCenter and how it’s coming together end-to-end.

              Since that story, I’ve been playing around with four more apps that have been added by our awesome beta testers. I think my favorite thing about AppCenter right now (besides how easy it is!) is that each new app I try seems to be unique and category-defining. When there are orders of magnitude more apps in AppCenter, these are the ones that set the bar. And so far, they’ve done a great job.

            • Lubuntu 17.04 – simple evolution

              Lubuntu 17.04 continues to deliver a nice and friendly environment for those who like a light and snappy uncomplicated experience without many graphical bells and whistles. And it still lacks a common theme for applications and their design, because LXDE is not fully a “desktop environment” per se.

              The Live session of Lubuntu 17.04 felt quick and snappy for me, which is no wonder on my new laptop.

              The only small problem I mentioned in this review was the set of default applications. But that’s easy to fix, isn’t it?

              How do you find Lubuntu 17.04 yourself?

  • Devices/Embedded

    • USB Network Gate 4.0 for Linux – an essential accessory for working with remote USB ports over network

      Do you still think that to work with a certain USB device you have to have it physically attached to your computer? In this case you haven’t heard of USB Network Gate yet! USB Network Gate is available for different platforms, which includes USB Network Gate for Linux. The latest version 4.0 allows working with any USB device even in those “seems impossible” situations when a USB device is oceans away from you.

    • 250,000 Pi Zero W units shipped and more Pi Zero distributors announced

      This week, just nine weeks after its launch, we will ship the 250,000th Pi Zero W into the market. As well as hitting that pretty impressive milestone, today we are announcing 13 new Raspberry Pi Zero distributors, so you should find it much easier to get hold of a unit.

    • SiFive Launches CPU IP Industry into the Cloud with New RISC-V Cores and an Easy Online Business Model
    • Phones

      • Android

        • Are Android devices really easier to hack? We asked the experts

          It’s hard to say how long it will be before most Android devices are running Nougat, or a later version of Android, but even then the slow pace of updates from some manufacturers and carriers will remain an issue.

        • T-UI Launcher – Turns Android Device into Linux Command Line Interface

          Are you a command line guru, or do you simply want to make your Android device unusable for friends and family, then check out T-UI Launcher app. Unix/Linux users will definitely love this.

        • Motorola Moto G4 review – Extremely refined

          In this case, I must praise both Motorola for assembling a great phone and Google for improving Android to a very high degree. In its vanilla form, it’s most palatable, and this combo just works great. And this for only about 200-odd dollars, which is about one half or even one third of what you’d pay for top-end devices, and you sure don’t get 2x or 3x more. Clean, simple, secure, fast, I only have positive attributes to share here. This from a Linux guy who loves Windows Phone and does not like mobile devices at all. Sounds mad, but that’s what it is. Now, off you go, enjoy your lives and apps and such. 9.5/10. Color me surprised, Motorola Moto G4 is an excellent product. Most recommended.

        • Millions of Android Devices Could Be Secretly Spying on Users, Researchers Claim
        • How to Get Stock Android on a Galaxy S8 Without Rooting
        • Android Pay could use your face to authenticate loyalty programs

          It’s not that hard to add points to your loyalty cards on Android Pay, but it looks like Google is mulling on an experimental feature to automate the process. 9to5google has torn the latest version of the app apart and found lines of code that hint at a feature called “Visual ID,” which authenticates your loyalty points by using facial recognition. Based on the strings the publication found, you’ll have to create a “face template” when you activate the feature. Participating stores that have Visual ID cameras installed will then confirm your identity when you walk in. Once the system determines that it’s you, and it ascertains your location using Bluetooth, Google will send them your loyalty details.

        • New Android security report is alarming, but not because of the amount of malware

          Better cooperation between Google and its major OEMs is essential to ensure that as many phones as possible are kept up to date with security patches. Most of the 3.5 million instances of malware that crop up this year will never get close enough to infect your phones, but it only takes one.

        • VAIO Launches Phone A: Snapdragon 617, 3 GB RAM, 5.5” FHD, Android
        • Why the guy who made Android is now betting on hardware

          Inside what used to be an abandoned Fry’s Electronics warehouse in Palo Alto, California, Andy Rubin, the creator of Android, and three other Silicon Valley veterans are trying their hands at one of the tech industry’s biggest challenges: building hardware.

          The four co-founded Playground Global, a startup “accelerator,” in 2015. That’s techspeak for a company that helps nurture young startups by providing support like mentorship, office space, and — in the case of Playground, which works mostly with hardware startups — machinery for prototyping.

        • Google kills Android Nougat beta – Android Oreo incoming?

          There will be no more beta-tested versions of Android Nougat software, as Google has finally killed off the beta program. Instead, we’re now hanging around for the full launch of Google’s Android O, following the release of the Developer Preview on March 21.

          Developers subscribed to the new Developer Preview are currently in ‘Preview 1’, which is basically an alpha phase. We’re not expecting to see a beta until the official Android O launch, which is likely to take place on May 17 during Google’s annual I/O developer conference.

Free Software/Open Source

  • The Pros and Cons of the Free Software and Open Source Movements

    The opposition to the orthodox view is based on the liberal belief that an author has the legal (or moral) right to copyright protection and does not have a societal obligation to share what the author considers a secrets — even to the consumers of the code. This ideology opposed what it considers to be a forceful tactic on the part of GPL-like licenses to compel authors to share code they don’t otherwise want to share. They see licenses like the GPL as overreaching against their right to make money in a manner that preserves “intellectual property” rights. Since orthodox free software advocates do not believe in intellectual property rights, their licenses intentionally threaten to erode the marketplace of proprietary software. Thus, the Free Software movement is bad for those who seek to thrive in the proprietary marketplace.

  • Open-source software startups still struggling to reach escape velocity

    Two years earlier, Sun had acquired MySQL, the open-source relational database engine ranked as second only to Oracle’s as the world’s most popular database. MySQL was a potential rival to Oracle’s cash cow, and its developers feared that the database giant would starve it to death. So they took out an insurance policy, building a drop-in replacement called MariaDB that quickly flourished, capturing customers such as Google Inc. MariaDB Corp. was founded to commercialize its namesake product with a business model built on packaging, support and training.

  • Events

    • Android/Mobile microconference accepted into Linux Plumbers Conference

      The Android/Mobile microconference has been accepted for this year’s Linux Plumbers Conference (LPC), which will be held in Los Angeles, CA, US on 13-15 September in conjunction with The Linux Foundation Open Source Summit.

    • CI and Infrastructure hackfest 2017 next week

      Tomorrow I’m traveling out to Raleigh, NC for a gathering to work on CI and Infrastructure for Fedora and will be out there all next week. We will of course be around on IRC and hope to pull in remote folks that are interested in participating, but if you need us for something and can’t find anyone, please file a ticket and we will get back to you as soon as we can.

  • Web Browsers

  • CMS

    • Turmoil for Drupal

      The Drupal content management system (CMS) has been an open-source tool of choice for many web site owners for well over a decade now. Over that time, it has been overseen by its original developer, Dries Buytaert, who is often referred to as the benevolent dictator for life (BDFL) for the project. Some recent events have led a sizable contingent in the Drupal community to question his leadership, however. A request that a prominent developer leave the Drupal community, apparently over elements of his private life rather than any Drupal-related misstep, has led to something of an outcry in that community—it may well lead to a change in the governance of the project.

  • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

    • Open Hardware/Modding

      • Open Source Firmware For Hoverboards

        2015 was two years ago, and to the surprise of many, we actually had hoverboards at the time. Of course, these weren’t Back to the Future-style hovering skateboards; they were crappy two-wheeled balancing scooters that suffered a few battery explosions and were eventually banned from domestic flights by some carriers. But oh boy, there were some funny Vines of these things.

        While the rest of the world moved on from hoverboards, [Casainho] has been working on Open Sourcing the firmware for these interesting bits of electronics and motors. Now, his work is wrapping up and he has new firmware for electric unicycles and hoverboards.

  • Programming/Development

Leftovers

  • Flying taxis or futuristic tunnels won’t save us from the misery of traffic
  • The BMW Addiction That Completely Destroyed This Man’s Life

    The personnel at the ER reacted swiftly.

    “They put me on a 72-hour psych hold and sent me to a psychiatric hospital, which I’ll tell you is much worse than prison. They don’t want you to leave,” Terrance told me. “If you have good insurance, they want to keep you there. So after my 72-hour hold was up, they asked me to commit myself voluntarily. And when I refused to do that, they got a judge’s order to keep me locked up.”

    Terrance felt he was being held against his will. So he came up with a plan. “I told them I was calling my insurance company and canceling my insurance.”

    They released him immediately.

  • Science

    • An alternative to lithium-ion batteries

      Researchers at the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) developed the nickel-zinc (Ni-Zn) batteries in which a three-imensional Zn “sponge” replaces the powdered zinc anode, or positively charged electrode, traditionally used.

      With 3D Zn, the battery provides an energy content and rechargeability that rival lithium-ion batteries while avoiding the safety issues that continue to plague lithium.

  • Health/Nutrition

    • Every Republican who voted for this abomination must be held accountable

      It is no exaggeration to say that if it were to become law, this bill would kill significant numbers of Americans. People who lose their Medicaid, don’t go to the doctor, and wind up finding out too late that they’re sick. People whose serious conditions put them up against lifetime limits or render them unable to afford what’s on offer in the high-risk pools, and are suddenly unable to get treatment.

    • Measles outbreak rages after anti-vaccine groups target vulnerable community

      Minnesota is experiencing its largest measles outbreak since the 1990s following a targeted and intense effort by anti-vaccine groups there to spread the false belief that vaccinations cause autism.

      As of Thursday, health officials reported 41 confirmed cases, nearly all unvaccinated children from a Somali immigrant community in Hennepin County. The community has for years been a target of anti-vaccine groups, aided by Andrew Wakefield, a fraudulent former physician.

    • Plain Packaging For Tobacco Products: WTO Dispute Settlement Body Allegedly Backs Australia

      According to many media this morning, citing anonymous sources, the World Trade Organization Dispute Settlement Body has reached a decision in a dispute challenging Australia’s tobacco product plain packaging law. Australia appears to have won the case. The WTO is non-committal and says only a “confidential interim report” has been circulated. Australia is not commenting.

      The much-awaited, postponed decision by the WTO Dispute Settlement Body on the case pitting Australia against Honduras, the Dominican Republic, Cuba and Indonesia has, according to sources, been delivered, apparently backing Australia’s argument that its law requiring plain packaging for tobacco does not violate any WTO rules, including those on intellectual property rights.

  • Security

    • The Intel remote vulnerability is much, much worse than you thought

      Let’s take that again: a blank password to an always-open port sidesteps every single bit of authentication and security that is otherwise present.

    • The hijacking flaw that lurked in Intel chips is worse than anyone thought

      A remote hijacking flaw that lurked in Intel chips for seven years was more severe than many people imagined, because it allowed hackers to remotely gain administrative control over huge fleets of computers without entering a password. This is according to technical analyses published Friday.

    • The enduring myth of the hacker boy-band

      If it had seemed to infosec that the magazine might’ve had to go out of its way to find such an un-diverse group of hackers … turns out, it did. Thompson’s social media post revealed that during the course of reporting the story, there was “a meeting with the woman who runs the college’s official hacking group.”

    • SS7 flaw exploited by hackers to drain customers’ bank accounts

      The weakness within the protocol has been known about since 2014, and in January, criminals exploited it to bypass the two-factor authentication method that banks use to protect unauthorised withdrawals from online accounts, German newspaper Suddeutsche Zeitung has reported.

    • Google phishing attack was foretold by researchers—and it may have used their code

      The “Google Docs” phishing attack that wormed its way through thousands of e-mail inboxes earlier this week exploited a threat that had been flagged earlier by at least three security researchers—one raised issues about the threat as early as October of 2011. In fact, the person or persons behind the attack may have copied the technique from a proof of concept posted by one security researcher to GitHub in February.

    • WPSeku – A Vulnerability Scanner to Find Security Issues in WordPress

      WordPress is a free and open-source, highly customizable content management system (CMS) that is being used by millions around the world to run blogs and fully functional websites. Because it is the most used CMS out there, there are so many potential WordPress security issues/vulnerabilities to be concerned about.

    • Types of DDoS Attacks

      Distributed Denial of Service attacks (DDoS) are a favorite attack method of hackers and hacktivists, in large part due to their simplicity. We list the different types of DDoS attacks and offer resources to stop DDoS attacks.

    • Using Emoji for fingerprint verification

      The messaging app Telegram recently introduced end-to-end encrypted voice calls. As most of you probably know, encryption without verification is pretty useless since there is the risk of man-in-the-middle attacks. I don’t want to get too much into details about this. The point I want to make is, that you should verify your partners fingerprint (hash of the used key) in order to be secure.

      The interesting part of Telegrams new feature is the way they verify fingerprints. Traditionally you are presented with a String of (typically hexadecimal – 0-9,A-F) characters. In the case of Conversations the fingerprint are 64 hexadecimal characters. Telegram on the other hand introduced the way of displaying 4 out of a set of 333 emojis (1). Note that this is only used to verify that the current voice call is secure. The next call would have a different fingerprint, so keep in mind, that we are talking about two different use cases here.

      Still, how do those two methods compare? Could we use emoji in conversations to verify the fingerprint of identity keys?

    • HandBrake For Mac Mirror Server Was Compromised And Infected With PROTON Malware

      HandBrake is an open-source and free transcoder for digital video files. It makes ripping a film from a DVD to a data storage device such as NAS boxes easier. HandBrake works Linux, macOS, and Windows. A Recent version of Handbrake for Mac and possibly other downloads at the same site infected with malware. If you have downloaded HandBrake on Mac between 2/May/2017 and 06/May/2017, you need to delete the file ASAP. HandBrake infected with a new variant of OSX.PROTON malware.

  • Defence/Aggression

    • Pakistani, Saudi channels beam into Kashmiri homes, stoke ‘azadi’ rage

      Over 50 Saudi and Pakistani channels, including Zakir Naik’s banned Peace TV preaching Salafist Islam, and others indulging in anti-India propaganda are running without necessary clearances via private cable networks in Kashmir.

      All this is happening under the nose of the PDP-BJP government, which even subscribes to these cable services in some of its offices and buildings.

    • Trucks Don’t Kill People; Terrorists Driving Trucks Kill People

      The latest pretend protection of us by the TSA is to ask truck rental agencies to be more vigilant about who’s renting — though anyone with an IQ over room temperature realizes that somebody could just shoot somebody who’s already driving a truck and then go murder a bunch of people.

    • Germany searches all army barracks for Nazi material

      Inspections have been ordered at every German army barracks, after Nazi-era memorabilia was found at two of them.

      The defence ministry said the command came from the inspector general of the Bundeswehr (Germany’s armed forces).

      All barracks will be searched for material linked to the Wehrmacht, the army which served Adolf Hitler.

    • North Korea detains another U.S. citizen amid rising tensions, state media reports

      North Korea claimed it detained another U.S. citizen on Sunday, stoking further discord as the two countries face their biggest tensions in years.

      The North’s state media said Kim Hak Song, who worked at Pyongyang University of Science and Technology, was arrested on Saturday on charges of “hostile acts” against the country. This would bring the tally to four U.S. citizens held by the reclusive nation.

  • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

    • Laura Poitras on Julian Assange: ‘Admirable, Brilliant, and Flawed’

      Laura Poitras’s new film Risk opens May 5. It documents six years in the life of Julian Assange, founder of WikiLeaks and controversial inhabitant of the Ecuadorian embassy in London. Laura Poitras received the Oscar for Best Documentary for her previous film, Citizenfour, about Edward Snowden. She also won a Pulitzer Prize in 2014, and a MacArthur “Genius” Grant in 2012. This interview has been edited and condensed.

    • The government wants Julian Assange in jail. That could hurt the rest of us.

      Lady Gaga — all in black and wearing a witch’s hat — is interviewing Julian Assange in the Ecuadorian embassy in London, where he’s been holed up for years.

      As the pop star, in a bizarre scene from a new documentary, quizzes the WikiLeaks founder about everything from his legal problems to his favorite food, Assange interrupts: “Let’s not pretend for a moment I’m a normal person.”

      Indeed, in Laura Poitras’s film about Assange, “Risk,” he comes across as neither normal nor particularly sympathetic.

      Consider: He has been accused of rape in Sweden (he says he was entrapped and had to seek asylum from extradition); he has published leaked information that has intruded into private lives; and he may have helped Russian agents try to get Donald Trump elected president.

      But everyone who cares about the free press in America needs to understand something else, too.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife/Nature

    • Could making climate change a ‘pro-life’ issue bring conservatives on board?

      The terms “pro-life” and “pro-environment” are not normally linked, but a growing number of Christian leaders insist they should be.

      Pope Francis said so in his 2015 encyclical on the environment and human ecology. Now, the Evangelical Environmental Network (EEN), a nondenominational organization committed to “creation care,” is promoting the argument that if you value life from its conception, you should value a clean Earth for the rest of a child’s life and for future children.

    • Newly-signed federal spending bill spares energy research for 4 months

      On Friday afternoon, President Trump signed a bipartisan spending bill negotiated in the House to fund the federal government through September 30, 2017. The bill contained funding for energy-related programs and offices that the president has called to be defunded. And, late this week, the Department of Energy (DOE) internally announced a cancellation of its grant freeze.

    • EPA chief promises to recuse himself from lawsuits, advocates for coal

      Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) administrator Scott Pruitt sent a memo to agency employees last week saying that he would recuse himself from lawsuits that he brought against the Agency as Oklahoma Attorney General, according to Reuters. Pruitt sued the EPA more than a dozen times under the Obama Administration, challenging policy from the Clean Power Plan to the Waters of the United States rule.

  • Finance

    • Greg Palast: Trump’s tax cuts are more evidence America’s greedy billionaires have staged a political coup

      Trump’s call for massive corporate tax cuts doesn’t just revive failed Reagan-era economic policies, it’s another sign of how America’s super-rich have staged a coup.

    • NYC’s New Tech to Track Every Homeless Person in the City

      New York is facing a crisis. The city that never sleeps has become the city with the most people who have no home to sleep in. As rising rents outpace income growth across the five boroughs, some 62,000 people, nearly 40 percent of them children, live in homeless shelters—rates the city hasn’t seen since the Great Depression.

    • Justice Department opens criminal probe into Uber

      In its earlier years, the company employed cutthroat tactics against its competitor Lyft At one point, Uber employees would summon Lyft drivers and then cancel rides. Kalanick once bragged about a feature, called “God View,” which it used to track a journalist and other noteworthy individuals. He has charged into legal battles with transportation regulators and taxi drivers in cities across the world.

    • OMG! TTIP, JEFTA, CEPA are DOA

      The European Commission is changing its approach to trade deals after strong headwinds jeopardized agreements with the U.S. and Canada.

    • The great British Brexit robbery: how our democracy was hijacked

      In June 2013, a young American postgraduate called Sophie was passing through London when she called up the boss of a firm where she’d previously interned. The company, SCL Elections, went on to be bought by Robert Mercer, a secretive hedge fund billionaire, renamed Cambridge Analytica, and achieved a certain notoriety as the data analytics firm that played a role in both Trump and Brexit campaigns. But all of this was still to come. London in 2013 was still basking in the afterglow of the Olympics. Britain had not yet Brexited. The world had not yet turned.

      [...]

      In Britain, we still trust our government. We respect our authorities to uphold our laws. We trust the rule of law. We believe we live in a free and fair democracy. Which is what, I believe, makes the last part of this story so profoundly unsettling.

  • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • Emmanuel Macron stresses national unity in victory speech

      French President-elect Emmanuel Macron used his victory speech on Sunday to tell supporters of his far-right opponent that he understood their anger and promised to prioritize security and social policy.

      After being attacked for a seemingly over-the-top reaction to his first round win, Macron delivered a sober speech after defeating Marine Le Pen in a runoff vote. He stressed national unity and expressed respect to Le Pen for her campaign.

    • FCC to investigate, ‘take appropriate action’ on Colbert’s Trump rant [iophk: "Trump administration bends for Big Gay"]

      “The only thing your mouth is good at is being [Russian President] Vladimir Putin’s c—k holster,” he said of Trump.

    • Authorities vow to investigate hacking attack in French presidential campaign as voting begins Sunday

      It described the leak as a “real attempt to disrupt the French presidential election” and said it would be taking all steps to find out who was behind the “unusual operation.”

    • French election: Emmanuel Macron on course to defeat Marine Le Pen

      The paper said it was impossible to check the leaked files in time before the vote and the release of the files had the clear goal of harming the validity of the ballot at a time when the main interested parties are legally forbidden from responding to the allegations.

    • Fiery Le Pen or novice Macron?

      Le Pen firmly backs the Syrian regime and distanced herself from US President Donald Trump over recent US airstrikes targeting President Bashar Assad’s regime, and she is friendly with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Macron wants international pressure on Assad and to maintain sanctions against Russia over Ukraine.

    • France heads to polls after presidential race rocked by hacking scandal

      The vote is also being seen as a test for global populism and the future of the European Union.

    • Voting begins in final round of French presidential election

      Voting is underway in the final round of France’s presidential race after a massive online dump of frontrunner Emmanuel Macron’s campaign data delivered a final dramatic twist to the country’s most bruising, divisive and significant election in decades.

      The French election watchdog warned that it could be a criminal offence to publish the tens of thousands of hacked emails and other documents – some reportedly fake – amid an electioneering blackout lasting from midnight on Friday until polls close at 8pm on Sunday.

      The hack, on which neither Macron or his opponent, far-right leader Marine Le Pen, were allowed to comment publicly, was “clearly an attempt at democratic destabilisation, like that seen during the last presidential campaign in the US,” according to his En Marche! campaign team.

    • Nils Torvalds announces bid for presidency as Swedish People’s Party candidate

      Member of the European Parliament Nils Torvalds of the Swedish People’s Party of Finland has announced his bid for the presidency.

      The Swedish People’s Party of Finland will nominate its official presidential contender in June.

      According to Torvalds, the upcoming election will define Finland’s path in an ”increasingly complicated world”. In a press release, Torvalds writes that the debate around the elections will focus on foreign and security policy, global insecurities and environmental questions.

    • ProPublica’s Homophobic Witchhunt

      ProPublica writes “Steven Munoz [above] allegedly assaulted five freshmen. His hiring at the State Department raises further questions about the Trump administration’s vetting process.” The story lists accusations of unwanted sexual touching from 2009 that first surfaced in 2012 via a leaked email, when Munoz did some work for the Rick Santorum campaign. Munoz claimed the acts were consensual. All of the information is available via Google searches; no investigative journalism is needed.

      Upshot? A South Carolina prosecutor reviewed the case and its 200 pages of evidence and declined to seek an indictment in 2013.

      Accusations and an investigation that lead to no charges. That’s it.

      [...]

      If it’s that the military academy did a poor job of investigating the allegations, then write that story. If the local prosecutor failed in her responsibilities, then investigate and write that story. If you have evidence Munoz is sexually assaulting people in his political appointee job today in Washington, let’s hear it. If you can find that the Trump vetting process uncovered evidence of Munoz’ guilt and hired him anyway, let’ see that headlined.

      But if all you are doing is resurfacing old, dismissed allegations of a salacious nature in hopes of embarrassing the administration and making yourself look like The Resistance for a news cycle, then, no, you are just conducting an old-fashioned witch hunt.

      Shame on you, ProPublica, and your organization’s otherwise proud record.

    • Reporters barred from Kushner Companies’ visa-for-investment event in China

      Organizers barred journalists on Sunday from a publicly advertised event in Shanghai that offered Chinese investors the chance to get U.S. immigrant visas if they put money in a real estate project linked to the family of President Donald Trump’s son-in-law.

      The two-tower luxury apartment complex in New Jersey, One Journal Square, is being developed by KABR Group and the Kushner Companies, which until recently was headed by senior White House advisor Jared Kushner, the husband of Trump’s daughter Ivanka.

    • #MacronLeaks Campaign Hits Resistance

      Extreme right-wing Twitter users in the United States and France continued to attack the centrist candidate in France’s presidential election, Emmanuel Macron. On Saturday, however, it appeared they were losing ground to opponents countering their attacks with mockery and accusations of Russian involvement.

    • French election: Turnout sharply down in Le Pen-Macron battle

      Turnout in the French presidential election is so far sharply down on the past two polls as voters choose between Emmanuel Macron and Marine Le Pen.

      A turnout of 65.3% was recorded at 17:00 local time (15:00 GMT) in an unpredictable campaign that has divided the country.

      The bitterly fought poll was concluding on Sunday amid massive security.

      The final polling stations close at 20:00 (18:00 GMT), with the result set to be reported immediately afterwards.

    • French election authorities warn media – and public – not to publish #MacronLeaks documents
    • The Macron Leaks Probably Came Too Late to Change the French Election
    • French election: Le Pen to be crushed by Macron, early exit polls indicates
    • Emmanuel Macron wins election to become French president

      Le Pen says she has called Emmanuel Macron to congratulate him on his victory.

    • Macron wins French presidency by decisive margin over Le Pen
    • Five reasons why Macron won the French election

      Emmanuel Macron has triggered a political earthquake in French politics.

      A year ago, he was a member of the government of one the most unpopular French presidents in history.

      Now, at 39, he has won France’s presidential election, defeating first the mainstream centre left and centre right and now the far right as well.

  • Censorship/Free Speech

  • Privacy/Surveillance

    • NSA stops one abuse, but many remain
    • Debate brews over eavesdropping on American citizens
    • Cyber-insecurity is a gift for hackers, but it’s our own governments that create it

      The political legitimacy of democratic capitalism, that unlikely political formation that has brought us the end of history and now presents itself as the only bulwark against rightwing extremism, rests on a clear distribution of functions between governments and corporations. The former take on the role of regulating the latter in order to protect the customers from the occasional harmful effects of the otherwise beneficial business activity.

    • Former NSA executive urges public vigilance against government overreach

      Thomas Drake still thinks about waking up a free man, instead of the lifelong prison term he was promised by the government he used to work for.

      Drake woke up Wednesday in a guesthouse on the campus of Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, Minn. The former senior executive of the National Security Agency spoke at the college’s annual MAYDAY! Peace Conference last week as part of his second career: the whistleblower warning the nation about the rise of mass surveillance.

    • Feds propose heightened social media vetting of visa applicants

      The US State Department is opening the public comment period for a proposal that seeks to inspect social media accounts and other data of visa applicants the government believes may pose a danger.

      The new vetting, the State Department said, likely will only impact about 0.5 percent of visa applicants per year—roughly 65,000 people. The new vetting being proposed would apply to applicants “who have been determined to warrant additional scrutiny in connection with terrorism or other national security-related visa ineligibilities,” according to a notice in the Federal Register by the State Department.

    • Miami Judge Says Compelling Password Production Isn’t A Fifth Amendment Issue

      Another small dart has been lodged in the thigh of the Fifth Amendment by the courts. A Miami, FL federal judge has ruled that defendants in a sex video extortion case must turn over their phones’ passwords.

    • Lawyer: Cops “deliberately misled” judge who seemingly signed off on stingray

      Defense attorney Martha Boersch has strong words for federal law enforcement’s warrantless use of cell-site simulators, better known as stingrays.

      Her client, Purvis Ellis, charged with attempted murder and racketeering, was tracked down to an East Oakland apartment in January 2013 with the help of not just one stingray, but two. Prosecutors initially insisted that only one stingray was used, but as was revealed last summer, that turned out to not be the case. The Oakland Police Department’s own stingray was seemingly insufficient, so officers then called in the FBI, both times without a warrant.

    • Are we heading for a new encryption war?

      More details of how the UK’s new surveillance law will operate have been revealed, in details about the use of encryption.

      Under draft regulations to support the new Investigatory Powers Act, the government will be able to issue ‘technical capability notices’ to companies with more than 10,000 UK users to make it easier for police, spy agencies and other government bodies to access their customers’ communications.

    • Government lays out plans for real time surveillance without encryption in leaked document
    • Snooper’s Charter: What you need to know about the Investigatory Powers Act

      A leaked draft statutory instruments document has detailed how the government is seeking to compel telecommunications operators to provide real time access to named individuals’ communications within one working day under the recently passed Investigatory Powers Act. This includes encrypted messages.

      The government also asks for the capability to “provide and maintain the capability to simultaneously intercept, or obtain secondary data” from 6,500 people at any one time.

    • Google’s dominance of search ads puts it ahead of Facebook, despite the latter’s fast growth
    • Facebook wants to launch its big attack on TV next month — here’s what we know

      Facebook plans to have roughly two-dozen shows for this initial push and has greenlit multiple shows for production, according to people familiar with the discussions. They said that the social network has been looking for shows in two distinct tiers: a marquee tier for a few longer, big-budget shows that would feel at home on TV, and a lower tier for shorter, less expensive shows of around 5-10 minutes in length that refreshes every 24 hours.

  • Civil Rights/Policing

    • Germany set to ban Turkish citizens from voting in death penalty referendum
    • Dutch work to prevent Turkish death penalty vote
    • Dutch government will on voting rights if Turkey holds death penalty vote
    • Watch a cop’s staged body cam footage made “to look like it was done in real-time“

      In the footage, provided to Ars by Cajar’s attorney, Jensen reenacts the vehicle search at a local tow yard. Jensen later texted (PDF) a local Pueblo County prosecutor telling her that the video was staged. That prosecutor then alerted her superiors, and charges against Cajar were dropped.

    • Indian village bans women from using mobile phones outside homes

      The elders’ council or khap pranchayat of a predominantly Muslim village, Madora, have set the fine as large as 21,000 rupees (around $330) on those who break the ruling.

    • Majority of men in Middle East survey believe a woman’s place is in the home
    • Dozens of speakers to attend major conference on secularism and freedom of expression

      Organisers said the event will “highlight the voices of people on the frontlines of resistance – many of them persecuted and exiled – as well as address challenges faced by activists and freethinkers, elaborate on the links between democratic politics and free expression and conscience, promote secular and rights-based alternatives, and establish priorities for collective action.”

    • Boy, 10, killed in attempted blasphemy lynching in Pakistan

      A 10-year-old boy has been killed and five other people wounded after a mob attacked a police station in an attempt to lynch a Hindu man charged with blasphemy in south-west Pakistan, officials said. It was the third major vigilante attack linked to accusations of insulting Islam in less than a month, as law enforcement agencies struggle to deal with a surge in violence.

    • [PDF] Understanding Masculinities: Results from the International Men and Gender Equality Survey (Images) – Middle East and North Africa

      Support for female genital mutilation is high. Some 70 per cent of men, and more than half of women, approve of the practice.

    • FGM silences a woman’s most primal voice

      The cradle of Islamic civilization is rooted in tribalism, and in many tribal communities a woman’s anatomy is viewed through the periscope of reproduction, service, and control. Contained sexuality, including through FGM, is designed to limit a woman’s sexual experience to the framework of marriage and reproduction. Destroying the clitoris means destroying a woman’s ability to fully experience and enjoy sex, including using that experience to communicate her desire and enjoyment even with her husband. She exists simply for reproductive purposes or to service the needs of her husband. What it comes down to is control; it is much easier to control someone who cannot feel. This is not acceptable. We must all stand up for the right of women in all societies to fully develop all aspects of their being.

    • Courts Save Girl, 14, Abducted and Converted to Islam

      Sumbal’s family as well as the entire Christian community in the town now live in constant fear that Ahmed could involve the family or another community member in a false case of blasphemy, a routine occurrence used against minorities in Pakistan for settling personal scores.

    • Muslim Brotherhood in Desperate Campaign in US

      He said the Brotherhood is engaged in a fight for its life, playing all its cards – including using financial support from Turkey and Qatar and the Brotherhood lobby in America – to avoid being designated as a terror organization.

    • All India Muslim Personal Law Board should be abolished for the sake of Muslims: Taslima Nasreen

      AIMPLB was forced to take this stand in the face of searing criticism from different quarters for not ending a regressive practice like triple talaq. It wants to save its credibility. So, it asks for a social boycott of people divorcing wives through pronouncement of triple talaq in a single sitting. The decision to ask for social boycott is a slap in their face as it proves that the practice is despicable. But still they don’t want to dispense with it, perpetuating misogyny in the name of religion.

    • Police Union Sues Toy Gun Maker For Not Doing Enough To Keep Cleveland Cops From Killing 12-Year-Old Boys

      In the world of law enforcement, there’s very little more ridiculous than police unions. That’s the unfortunate side effect of feeling compelled to defend every “bad apple,” no matter how rotten they are. The Cleveland police union has reached the apotheosis of law enforcement spin — this time taking the form of a lawsuit that looks like a punchline.

    • Oklahoma Governor Signs Anti-Protest Law Imposing Huge Fines on “Conspirator” Organizations

      A statute aimed at suppressing protests against oil and gas pipelines has been signed into law in Oklahoma, as a related bill advances through the state legislature. The two bills are part of a nationwide trend in anti-protest laws meant to significantly increase legal penalties for civil disobedience. The Oklahoma law signed this week is unique, however, in its broad targeting of groups “conspiring” with protesters accused of trespassing. It takes aim at environmental organizations Republicans have blamed for anti-pipeline protests that have become costly for local governments.

      The statute Oklahoma governor Mary Fallin approved Wednesday was rushed into immediate effect under a provision that declared the situation “an emergency.” It will dramatically increase penalties against protesters who trespass on property containing a “critical infrastructure facility.”

    • Man: border agents threatened to “be dicks,” take my phone if I didn’t unlock it

      As he sat in a darkened corner of a neighborhood bar, Aaron Gach, an artist and lecturer at a local art college, told Ars about what happened to him in February 2017 episode at San Francisco International Airport, where he agreed to unlock his iPhone and have it be searched by border agents rather than risk being detained and delayed further.

      [...]

      After he unlocked his iPhone SE, agents took it out of sight for five to 10 minutes before giving it back and sending him on his way. Gach still has no idea why.

  • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

    • It’s Not Too Late to Save Net Neutrality From a Captured FCC

      The debate over net neutrality has always been much more than a technocratic squabble over controlling Internet pipes. What it’s really about is a far larger power struggle over access to information and people’s rights to express themselves politically and creatively. It’s also about the government’s role in ensuring a level playing field and preventing corporate monopolies from abusing a socially vital infrastructure.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Paper: National Laws, UPOV, Should Be Revised To Ensure Farmers Rights

      The right of farmers to use, exchange and sell farm-saved seeds should be ensured through national laws and a revision of the International Union for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants (UPOV), so the objectives of another United Nations international treaty on plant genetic resources can be fulfilled, a recent research paper states.

      The South Centre recently published a research paper [pdf] entitled, “Implementing farmers’ rights relating to seeds,” authored by Carlos Correa, special advisor on trade and intellectual property at the intergovernmental South Centre.

    • Trademarks

      • US Entertainment Firm Milks Croatian Concert Promoter With Trademark Rights It May Never Have Owned

        We see all kinds of dumb and frustrating examples of trademark bullying here at Techdirt. From questionable claims of infringement entirely, to the over-policing of broad or generic terms that never should have been granted trademark protection to begin with, to vice-like licensing terms that appear to be designed more to put licensees out of business rather than building any kind of long-term business model out of trademark rights. That said, at least in most of these stories the offending party has the trademark its bullying with. That may not be the case when it comes to Worldwide Entertainment Group Inc., which is being sued by a Coatian festival promoter after being milked over a trademark the promoter says Worldwide doesn’t actually have.

    • Copyrights

      • The six worst recent hypocrisies of the copyright industry

        The copyright industry has been pushing for tougher penalties since at least 1905, and against access for the public to culture and knowledge since at least 1849, when they opposed public libraries in the UK. The message from this industry has been remarkably consistent. However, the actions of this industry are as consistently hypocritical as that lobbying message. Here are some of the worst recent examples

      • Microsoft Patents Technology to Block Pirated Content, Track Repeat Offenders

        With an overview of the infringements, the hosting provider can choose to limit the sharing permissions of users, or terminate their accounts if warranted.

      • ISP Lands Supreme Court Win Over Copyright Trolls

        This is an important decision that sends an important message to the licensees and Njord Law that the rule of law can not be set aside in their eagerness to deal with illegal file-sharing.

Death of ‘IP’ Media: Front Groups of Microsoft Described as “Representing SME Developers” by Bristows

Posted in Deception, Free/Libre Software, Microsoft, Patents, RAND at 3:58 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

European Digital SME AllianceSame people who lied to us about UPC being beneficial to SMEs (the very opposite is true)

Summary: Fake groups (AstroTurfing) whose purpose is to hijack and misrepresent the views of one’s competition (e.g. SMEs) are being echoed if not amplified by Annsley Merelle Ward at IP Kat this morning, distracting from real representatives of SMEs (like the European Digital SME Alliance)

THE state of IP Kat has gotten so bad that it’s not even amusing. Now that there is very major news at the EPO, namely the withdrawal of Battistelli’s ‘boss’ [1, 2], nothing at all is being said (nor will be said).

Here is a new comment about it:

Seems like the sands are shifting at the top of the Administrative Council …

Translations and Speculations About Jesper Kongstad’s Planned Departure From the EPO

And what curious timing !

Just before the kick-off of the next Presidential election campaign …

All we need now are some hacked e-mails or maybe a USB stick with compromising data …

What a shame that the IPKat no longer reports on these exciting developments in the land of EPOnia …

Well, the Bristows-run IP Kat has been busy marketing the UPC, patent trolls in the UK, FRAND and so on. In other words, it stands for pretty much everything that harms British companies, which already complain about this. Microsoft has long exploited FRAND (while lobbying for it) as a tool for combating adoption of Free/Libre open source software. That’s no secret. It’s a widely-known fact and we reported/wrote about it many times around 2008-2010. We also published leaked material related to this (demonstrating how Microsoft front groups had been altering laws to promote FRAND behind closed doors).

“…the Bristows-run IP Kat has been busy marketing the UPC, patent trolls in the UK, FRAND and so on.”This morning, to make things even worse, Annsley Merelle Ward took it a step further by spreading a lie about Association for Competitive Technology (ACT), Microsoft’s villainous proxy for a couple of decades. She was saying it’s “pro-FRAND tech trade association representing SME developers,” but that’s an utter lie. SMEs are not pro-FRAND. Microsoft is. And this is yet another attempt by ACT to hijack the voices of one’s opposition/competition. What is the content of this so-called ‘article’? It’s just a copy-paste job for this AstroTurfing front. Incredible!

“Microsoft has long exploited FRAND (while lobbying for it) as a tool for combating adoption of Free/Libre open source software.”Look what IP Kat has become! Is IP Kat now reprinting and amplifying Microsoft lobbying fronts? Coming from an author who professed admiration for Microsoft’s chief patent extortionist? What next? Guest posts from Microsoft?

This issue of Microsoft propaganda isn’t limited to IP Kat (Microsoft was the sole chief sponsor of that recent event Bristows flew to). There are similar issues with Microsoft-connected media like IAM. They’re an extensive network of lobbying, not news or information. It makes it hard to trust all sorts of publications, for quite a few of them receive money that affects their coverage. Someone recently advised us to speak to Taz, a German publication which may be interested in covering EPO scandals. “I don’t know if I can trust Taz with material,” I replied, as “IAM betrayed some before.” Back then we weren’t quite aware of IAM’s deep ties to the EPO, including financial strings. “I don’t know who owns Taz,” I continued. “After the experience with IAM I am very picky where I send information/stuff.” Yes, I do try to encourage the media to cover EPO scandals and often these endeavors are successful.

“This issue of Microsoft propaganda isn’t limited to IP Kat (Microsoft was the sole chief sponsor of that recent event Bristows flew to).”In summary, here’s a word of caution. Whatever IP Kat published under the name “Merpel”, it’s no longer the same Kat and media should in general be treated very cautiously unless one knows who is really behind it and where loyalties lie. One sure thing is, IAM is still very much in bed with the EPO, even if it doesn’t write much about it. See what happened in Korea a couple of weeks ago.

All Members of the European Parliament Get Warned About the Deterioration at the European Patent Office (EPO)

Posted in Europe, Patents at 1:07 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

USF to parliament

USF to parliament

Summary: Union Syndicale Fédérale, which is no stranger to the EPO scandals [1, 2, 3, 4], writes to every Member of the European Parliament (MEP) regarding the untenable situation which hurts Europe and specifically the role played by Benoît Battistelli

THE EPO is under observation, including but not limited to the Dutch Foreign Minister. All Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) have just been sent the above letter. SUEPO republished the original along with translations in German, French and Dutch. The English version has no OCR.

“They want Battistelli replaced next year, though rumours suggest he intends to stay, again in direct violation of the rules.”Based on this letter, USF counts not on dismissal (firing) of Battistelli; the only person capable of doing that is in fact about to leave (in autumn) [1, 2]. They want Battistelli replaced next year, though rumours suggest he intends to stay, again in direct violation of the rules. He was not eligible for extension of his term the last time, for numerous reasons.

RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channels: Come and chat with us in real time

New to This Site? Here Are Some Introductory Resources

No

Mono

ODF

Samba logo






We support

End software patents

GPLv3

GNU project

BLAG

EFF bloggers

Comcast is Blocktastic? SavetheInternet.com



Recent Posts