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06.30.17

Links 30/6/2017: Ubuntu 17.10 Alpha 1, Mozilla Employee Denied Entry to the United States

Posted in News Roundup at 11:08 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Desktop

    • The beefy Dell Precision 7520 DE can out-muscle a growing Linux laptop field

      Project Sputnik has done an admirable job over the years of bringing a “just works” Linux experience to Dell Ultrabooks like the XPS 13 Developer Edition—in fact, we’ve tested and largely enjoyed those experiences multiple times now. But while the XPS 13 is a great machine that I would not hesitate to recommend for most Linux users, it does have its shortcomings. The biggest problem in my view has long been the limited amount of RAM; the XPS 13 tops out at 16GB. While that’s enough for most users, there are those (software developers compiling large projects, video editors, even photographers) who would easily benefit from more.

    • System76 Announces Pop!_OS, Their Own Linux Distro Based on Ubuntu and GNOME

      This came from nowhere! System76 today announced that they’ve been working lately on their own GNU/Linux distribution, based on Ubuntu and the GNOME desktop environment.

    • System76 Announces Pop!_OS Linux Distribution, To Be Shipped On Their Future PCs
    • System76 unveils its own Ubuntu-based Linux distribution called ‘Pop!_OS’

      When Canonical announced the death of the Unity desktop environment, it sent shock waves through the Linux community. After all, Ubuntu is probably the most popular Linux-based desktop operating system and switching to GNOME was changing its trajectory. With Unity, Canonical was promising Ubuntu would be an OS that could scale from smartphone to desktop with a focus on convergence, and then suddenly, it wasn’t. Overnight, Ubuntu became just another desktop distro — not necessarily a bad thing.

    • System76 Announce Their Own Linux Distribution called Pop!_OS

      Meet Pop!_OS, a brand new Linux distribution from System76. Yes, the company best known for selling Linux laptops that come pre-loaded with Ubuntu now rolling their own path with a homespun based on Ubuntu 17.04 and using the GNOME desktop environment. But why?

    • System76 Announces Its Own Linux Distribution Named Pop!_OS

      Linux machine vendor System76 has launched their own operating system named Pop!_OS. Based on Ubuntu GNOME, this new Linux distro’s Alpha version is right now available for download. The first final release of Pop!_OS will be shipped on October 19, 2017. System76 has described it as an operating system built for creators.

  • Server

    • What is Docker? Linux containers explained

      Like FreeBSD Jails and Solaris Zones, Linux containers are self-contained execution environments—with their own, isolated CPU, memory, block I/O, and network resources—that share the kernel of the host operating system. The result is something that feels like a virtual machine, but sheds all the weight and startup overhead of a guest operating system.

      In a large-scale system, running VMs would mean you are probably running many duplicate instances of the same OS and many redundant boot volumes. Because containers are more streamlined and lightweight compared to VMs, you may be able to run six to eight times as many containers as VMs on the same hardware.

    • Linux on IBM Power Systems Beats Market Growth Performance by 3X
    • Platform9 Raises $22M to Make Open Source Cloud Infrastructure Tech Easier

      Platform9, a startup whose Software-as-a-Service platform takes much of the pain out of using open source cloud infrastructure technologies, has raised $22 million in Series C funding. It supports frameworks like Kubernetes, OpenStack, and Fission.

      The funding round was led by Canvas Ventures, along with existing investors Redpoint Ventures and Menlo Ventures, with Hewlett Packard Enterprise also participating. In 2015 Platform9 raised $10 million in Series B funding. The company says the current round will be used to scale its sales force, product and marketing teams, as well as put resources toward expanding its product line, which it calls “open source as a platform.”

    • Kubernetes as a service offers orchestration benefits for containers

      Docker containers have a steep learning curve because of the intrinsic paradigm shift from hardware virtualization to OS-level abstraction. Developers and IT pros know how to interact with line-of-business applications through VMs, but Docker packages an application with all its dependencies into portable containers that share an OS and run on different host servers with different hardware platforms.

    • SPEC/HPG hardware acceleration benchmark adds OpenMP Suite
    • What’s new in PiCluster 1.9

      PiCluster is a great platform to manage and orchestrate Docker containers. Although it started as a way to manage my Raspberry Pi’s, it can be run on any operating system that supports Node.js and Docker. PiCluster has been under heavy development lately and I like to share what is new in v1.9.

  • Kernel Space

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • Nomad desktop – You’ll never walk alone

      If you’ve been using Linux for a while, you have probably heard or even played with various desktop environments; Unity, Gnome, Plasma, Xfce, Cinnamon, and others. A personal quest of finding the most suitable interface between YOU and the system. But I bet you half a shilling you have not yet had a chance to experiment with Nomad.

      Nomad Desktop is the face of a new Linux distribution named Nitrux. The naming choice is a little tricky, because Nomad is already heavily used to brand a range of software products, and the domain name for Nitrux has the magical NX combo in there. But it does look very interesting. The JS-heavy homepage offers a lot of visual candy, the screenshots are shiny, and Nitrux aims to carve its own niche in a small world saturated with desktop environments. The backbone behind this effort relies on Ubuntu and Plasma and cutting-edge Qt5 solutions, similar to KDE neon. Let’s see what it does.

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

      • Improving productivity with GNOME Builder

        as you can guess, I’m a heavy user of GNOME Builder. I use it every day to build various things, most of which you guys know of already

        Because I spend so much time on it, it is essential that Builder simply Just Works, and perfectly. Builder sometimes shows a rough edge here and there, but all in all, it’s a masterpiece. It’s awsome in many aspects! Christian Hergert really deserves our respect (and, why not?, many free beers too!)

      • Magic Wormhole improvements in Keysign

        I started to write some automated unit tests that utilize the python module “nose”. Right now they tests a wormhole transfer checking the key integrity after the download.

      • The GNOME Foundation Statement on Immigration Ban

        The GNOME Project is responsible for the software that is used by hundreds of thousands of people, companies, and organizations around the world. Anyone can participate in the development of our software, and that equality of opportunity is an essential part of GNOME’s mission.

        Our project and our software exist thanks to the GNOME community: a diverse, multinational group of people who share a common interest and passion. We recognize and celebrate the strength we gain from our diversity and seek to defend and extend it wherever possible. In doing so, we reject discrimination including that based on nationality, race, gender, religion, or sexual orientation.

  • Distributions

    • Reviews

      • Review: IPFire as a home router

        IPFire is a Linux distribution that is focused on delivering a starting point for a router and firewall solution with a web interface. It can be made to do a whole lot, but it may not be the best fit for the needs of a home network.

        I’ll not go in to performance testing at all in this review as this will vary based on your hardware. You can use any x86_64 (or armv5tel) system with at least two Ethernet ports. You may need a third Ethernet port if you want to use an external wireless access point rather than configuring the box you want to use with IPFire as your access point.

    • OpenSUSE/SUSE

      • Fujitsu and SUSE Unveil ‘SUSE Business Critical Linux’ Support Service to Meet Industry Demand for Highly Reliable Support

        “SUSE Business Critical Linux” will be provided jointly by Fujitsu and SUSE to address customers’ evolving needs with a highly reliable, 24/7 support framework that significantly extends current support periods, from five years to up to eight years per SUSE service pack.

      • openSUSE Tumbleweed Users Get Latest Mesa 17.1.3 Release for Better Gaming, More

        It’s been only a week since our last report on the latest package updates that landed in the stable repositories of the openSUSE Tumbleweed operating system, and Douglas DeMaio is back with some fresh info.

        According to his report, only three snapshots saw the light of day since last week, but they brought some major package updated to the openSUSE Tumbleweed rolling distribution. First off, the graphics stack was updated to the latest Mesa 17.1.3 3D Graphics Library, which should add an extra layer of performance improvements for better gaming with AMD Radeon or Intel GPUs.

      • GStreamer, Mesa Packages Updated in Tumbleweed

        Three openSUSE Tumbleweed snapshots this week brought a few major release packages and a clear example for how the automated testing tool openQA can prevents a snapshot from being released.

        The unicode character map Gucharmap, which uses the gtk+ toolkit and runs on any platform that gtk+ supports, was updated to version 10.0.0 in the repositories in the 20170625 snapshot. The GNOME project updated translations and support of editors like Bluefish as well as many others. Other major release were also in the 20170625 snapshot. An update of net-tools to version 2.0 dropped the network statistics (netstat) Extended Internet Daemon (xinetd) service to phase out xinetd. Users of the proc file-system get cgroup namespaces with the arrival of the psmisc 23.0 package.

    • Red Hat Family

    • Debian Family

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Canonical Outs Important Kernel Update for All Supported Ubuntu Linux Releases

            After patching a recently discovered systemd vulnerability in Ubuntu 17.04 and Ubuntu 16.10, Canonical today released a new major kernel update for all of its supported Ubuntu Linux operating systems, including Ubuntu 17.04, Ubuntu 16.10, Ubuntu 16.04 LTS, Ubuntu 14.04 LTS, and Ubuntu 12.04 LTS (HWE), patching up to fifteen security flaws.

          • Ubuntu 17.10 Alpha 1 (Artful Aardvark) Out for Opt-in Flavors, Here’s What’s New

            Today, Canonical announced the availability of the first Alpha release of the upcoming Ubuntu 17.10 (Artful Aardvark) operating system, but only for opt-in flavors that are willing to participate in the Alpha milestones.

          • Ubuntu 17.10 Alpha 1 Released

            Ubuntu 17.10 “Artful Aardvark” Alpha 1 is now available as the first official development release (sans the daily ISOs) for this upcoming milestone.

          • Ubuntu Linux 17.10 ‘Artful Aardvark’ Alpha 1 now available for download

            There has been tons of Ubuntu news lately, with the death of Unity continuing to be felt in the Linux community. Just yesterday, a company that is one of Ubuntu’s biggest proponents — System76 — announced it was creating its own operating system using that distribution as a base. While some might see that as bad news for Canonical’s distro, I do not — some of System76′s contributions should find their way into Ubuntu upstream.

          • Flavours and Variants

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Linux-friendly COM Express duo taps PowerPC based QorIQs

      Artesyn’s rugged line of COMX-T modules debut with COMs using NXP’s quad-core QorIQ T2081 and QorIQ T1042 SoCs, clocked to 1.5GHz and 1.4GHz, respectively.

      Artesyn Embedded Computing has launched a line of 125 x 95mm COM Express Basic Type 6 COMX-T Series computer-on-modules that run Linux on NXP’s Power Architecture based QorIQ T processors: The COMX-T2081 offers a quad-core, dual threaded QorIQ T2081 for eight virtual cores, and the COMX-T1042 has a quad-core, single-threaded QorIQ T1042. Both of these pin-compatible SoCs have appeared in products such as the X-ES Xpedite 6101 mezzanine module.

    • Linux Rolls Out to Most Toyota and Lexus Vehicles in North America

      In his keynote presentation at Automotive Linux Summit, AGL director Dan Cauchy proudly announced that the 2018 Toyota Camry will offer an in-vehicle infotainment system based on AGL’s UCB.
      The Linux Foundation

      At the recent Automotive Linux Summit, held May 31 to June 2 in Tokyo, The Linux Foundation’s Automotive Grade Linux (AGL) project had one of its biggest announcements in its short history: The first automobile with AGLs open source Linux based Unified Code Base (UCB) infotainment stack will hit the streets in a few months.

      In his ALS keynote presentation, AGL director Dan Cauchy showed obvious pride as he announced that the 2018 Toyota Camry will offer an in-vehicle infotainment (IVI) system based on AGL’s UCB when it debuts to U.S. customers in late summer. Following the debut, AGL will also roll out to most Toyota and Lexus vehicles in North America.

    • Orange Pi Plus 2e OS Installation

      Similar to the Raspberry Pi is the Orange Pi series of single board systems.

      These single boards are not compatible with the Operating System (OS) images for Raspberry Pi. In this article we will cover installing and setting up an OS.

    • New Libre-Focused ARM Board Aims To Compete With Raspberry Pi 3, Offers 4K

      There’s another ARM SBC (single board computer) trying to get crowdfunded that could compete with the Raspberry Pi 3 while being a quad-core 64-bit ARM board with 4K UHD display support, up to 2GB RAM, and should be working soon on the mainline Linux kernel.

      The “Libre Computer Board” by the Libre Computer Project is this new Kickstarter initiative, in turn is the work of Shenzhen Libre Technology Co. Through Kickstarter the project is hoping to raise $50k USD. The board is codenamed “Le Potato.”

      Le Potato is powered by a quad-core ARM Cortex-A53 CPU while its graphics are backed by ARM Mali-450. Connectivity on the board includes HDMI 2.0, 4 x USB 2.0, 100Mb, eMMC, and microSD. Sadly, no Gigabit Ethernet or USB 3.0. Unlike the Raspberry Pi 3, it also goes without onboard WiFi/Bluetooth.

    • Open spec, sandwich-style SBC runs Linux on i.MX6UL based COM

      Grinn and RS Components unveiled a Linux-ready “Liteboard” SBC that uses an i.MX6 UL LiteSOM COM, with connectors compatible with Grinn Chiliboard add-ons.

      UK-based distributor RSA Components is offering a new sandwich-style SBC from Polish embedded firm Grinn. The 60-Pound ($78) Liteboard, which is available with schematics, but no community support site, is designed to work with the separately available, SODIMM-style LiteSOM computer-on-module. The LiteSOM sells for 25 Pounds ($32) or 30 Pounds ($39) with 2GB eMMC flash. It would appear that the 60-Pound Liteboard price includes the LiteSOM, but if so, it’s unclear which version. There are detailed specs on the module, but no schematics.

    • Tesla starts pushing new Linux kernel update, hinting at upcoming UI improvements

      Albeit being about 6 months late, Tesla finally started pushing the new Linux kernel update to the center console in its vehicles this week.

      While it’s only a backend upgrade, Tesla CEO Elon Musk associated it with several long-awaited improvements to the vehicle’s user interface. Now that the kernel upgrade is here, those improvements shouldn’t be too far behind.

      Sources told Electrek that the latest 8.1 update (17.24.30), upgraded the Linux Kernel from the version 2.6.36 to the version 4.4.35.

    • Is Ubuntu set to be the OS for Internet of Things?

      The Internet of Things has enjoyed major growth in recent years, as more and more of the world around us gets smarter and more connected.

      But keeping all these new devices updated and online requires a reliable and robust software background, allowing for efficient and speedy monitoring and backup when needed.

      Software fragmentation has already become a significant issue across the mobile space, and may threaten to do so soon in the IoT.

      Luckily, Canonical believes it can solve this problem, with its IoT Ubuntu Core OS providing a major opportunity for manufacturers and developers across the world to begin fully monetising and realising the potential of the new connected ecosystem.

    • What’s New in Intel Media SDK 2017 R2 for Embedded Linux

      Among the key features this release enables is the Region of Interest (ROI) for HEVC encoder in constant and variable bitrate modes.

      Developers can now control the compression rate of specific rectangular regions in input stream while keeping the bitrate target. This makes it possible, for example, to reduce compression of the areas where the viewer needs to see more details (e.g. faces or number plates), or to inrease it for the background with complicated texture that otherwise would consume majority of the bandwidth. ROI can also be used to put a privacy mask on certain regions that have to be blurred (e.g. logos or faces).

    • Phones

Free Software/Open Source

  • AT&T Passive Optical Network Trial to Test Open Source Software

    AT&T is set trial 10-gigabit symmetric passive optical network technology (XGS-PON), tapping its growing virtualization and software expertise to drive down the cost of next-generation PON deployments.

    The carrier said it plans to later this year conduct the XGS-PON trial as part of its plan to virtualize access functions within the last mile network. Testing is expected to show support for multi-gigabit per second Internet speeds and allow for merging of services onto a single network. Services to be supported include broadband and backhaul of wired and 5G wireless services.

  • Intel Begins Prepping Cannonlake Support For Coreboot

    The initial commit happening this morning that is mostly structuring for the Cannonlake SoC enablement and some boilerplate work while more of the enablement is still happening. Landing past that so far is the UART initialization while more Cannonlake code still has yet to land — this is the first of any post-Kabylake code in Coreboot.

  • 4 cool facts you should know about FreeDOS

    In the early 1990s, I was a DOS “power user.” I used DOS for everything and even wrote my own tools to extend the DOS command line. Sure, we had Microsoft Windows, but if you remember what computing looked like at the time, Windows 3.1 was not that great. I preferred working in DOS.

  • Windstream Formally Embraces Open Source

    Windstream is dipping its toe into the open source waters, joining the Open Network Automation Project (ONAP), its first active engagement in open source. (See Windstream Joins ONAP.)

    The announcement could be the sign of broader engagement by US service providers in the open source effort. At Light Reading’s Big Communications Event in May, a CenturyLink speaker said his company is also looking closely at ONAP. (See Beyond MANO: The Long Walk to Network Automation.)

    Windstream has been informally monitoring multiple open source efforts and supporting the concept of open source for some time now, says Jeff Brown, director of product management and product marketing at Windstream. The move to more actively engage in orchestration through ONAP was driven by the growing influence of Windstream’s IT department in its transition to software-defined networking, he notes.

  • Why Do Open Source Projects Fork?

    Open source software (OSS) projects start with the intention of creating technology that can be used for the greater good of the technical, or global, community. As a project grows and matures, it can reach a point where the goals of or perspectives on the project diverge. At times like this, project participants start thinking about a fork.

    Forking an OSS project often begins as an altruistic endeavor, where members of a community seek out a different path to improve upon the project. But the irony of it is that forking is kind of like the OSS equivalent of the third rail in the subway: You really don’t want to touch it if you can help it.

  • Events

    • openSUSE.Asia Summit 2017 Tokyo, Japan

      It is our great pleasure to announce that openSUSE.Asia Summit 2017 will take place at the University of Electro Communications, Tokyo, Japan on October 21 and 22.

      openSUSE.Asia Summit is one of the great events for openSUSE community (i.e., both contributors, and users) in Asia. Those who usually communicate online can get together from all over the world, talk face to face, and have fun. Members of the community will share their most recent knowledge, experiences, and learn FLOSS technologies surrounding openSUSE.

      This event at Tokyo is the fourth in openSUSE.Asia Summit. Following the first Asia Summit in Beijing 2014, the Asia Summit has been held annually. The second summit was at Taipei in Taiwan, then in Yogyakarta in Indonesia last year. The past Asia Summits have had participants from China, Taiwan, India, Indonesia, Japan, and Germany.

    • Program Announced for The Linux Foundation Diversity Empowerment Summit North America

      The Linux Foundation, the nonprofit organization enabling mass innovation through open source, today announced the program for the Diversity Empowerment Summit North America, taking place September 14 in Los Angeles, CA as part of Open Source Summit North America. The goal of the summit is to help promote and facilitate an increase in diversity, inclusion, empowerment and social innovation in the open source community, and to provide a venue for discussion and collaboration.

    • Technoshamanism in Aarhus – rethink ancestrality and technology
    • Last Chance to Submit Your Talk for Open Source Summit and ELC Europe
  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Mozilla Employee Denied Entry to the United States [iophk: "says a lot about new Sweden"]

        Daniel Stenberg, an employee at Mozilla and the author of the command-line tool curl, was not allowed to board his flight to the meeting from Sweden—despite the fact that he’d previously obtained a visa waiver allowing him to travel to the US.

        Stenberg was unable to check in for his flight, and was notified at the airport ticket counter that his entry to the US had been denied.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

  • Pseudo-Open Source (Openwashing)

    • What happens with Arduino project?

      Arduino is always pointed as example for successful Open Source Software and Hardware project.

      With thousands of contributors and millions of users this project is bespoken leader among microcontroller development.

      No one remembers the tools used before Arduino.

      There were few attempts to fork it for other platforms like Maple for STM32, Energia for MSP430, MPIDE for PIC32 but they never managed to make enough critical mass outside the main Arduino project and then simply were absorbed in Ardino IDE when it got possibility to merge different processor platforms. That was the end of all forks.

    • Azure Site Recovery now supports Ubuntu
    • Linux on Azure: What are your choices? [Ed: Wanna give GNU/Linux back doors while paying Microsoft patent tax?]
  • BSD

    • d2k17 hackathon report: Martin Pieuchot on moving the network stack out of the big lock

      I came to unlock the forwarding path and thanks to the multiple reviews from bluhm@, sashan@ and claudio@ it happened! It started as a boring hackathon because I had to review and fix all the abuses of splnet() in pseudo drivers but then it went very smoothly. I still haven’t seen a bug report about the unlock and Hrvoje Popovski even reported a 20% forwarding performance increase.

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

  • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

Leftovers

  • Microsoft teams with eBay on virtual store

    Microsoft says with 1 in 2 Australia online shoppers already coming to eBay, the launch offers consumers a convenient, secure and complementary shopping experience to its physical flagship store in Pitt Street Sydney, and online retail platform, microsoft.com.

  • Health/Nutrition

  • Security

  • Defence/Aggression

    • The President Wants to Keep Us in the Dark

      iUnfortunately, the slow death of the daily press briefing is only part of a larger assault by the Trump administration on a precious public resource: information.

    • Lawmakers applaud after panel approves language revoking war authority

      The House Appropriations Committee on Thursday approved an amendment that would revoke a 2001 law giving the president authority to undertake war against al Qaeda and its affiliates unless a replacement provision is created.

      Lawmakers applauded when the amendment was added by voice vote to the defense spending bill, highlighting the frustration many members of Congress feel about the Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF), which was initially approved to authorize the response to the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife/Nature

  • Finance

    • Number of Britons over 65 living in Spain more than doubles in 10 years

      The number of Britons living in Spain over the age of 65 has more than doubled in the past 10 years, according to official statistics.

      The joint research by Britain and Spanish statisticians shows there were over twice as many British citizens living in Spain at the time of the EU referendum than there were Spanish citizens resident in Britain.

      The special report by the Office for National Statistics and the Instituto Nacional de Estadistica says there were 296,000 British citizens who had been living in Spain for more than 12 months in 2016, while the UK was home to an average of 116,000 Spanish people between 2013 and 2015.

    • Jack Ma’s Shadow Looms Large for Banks Across Southeast Asia

      China stands as a looming reminder of what happens when banks don’t respond quickly enough. Alipay and an offering from Tencent carved up more than 90 percent of the country’s $5.5 trillion mobile payments market between them in just four years.

    • Grenfell Tower fire: Survivors banned from Kensington and Chelsea council meeting

      Survivors of the Grenfell Tower disaster are to be banned from the first meeting of senior councillors since the fire amid fears of “disruption”.

      The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea (RBKC) said Thursday’s cabinet meeting will be held in private, chaired by the under-fire council leader.

    • Why is Corbyn Pro-Brexit?

      Jeremy Corbyn, despite what many supporters believe, has historically been opposed to the EU. When this is discussed however generally rail nationalisation is raised as an example and it’s then pointed out that the EU doesn’t prevent state owned railways. It’s then also pointed out that Labour policies aren’t really that radical and that many Scandinavian states have similar left wing policies.

      This leads to the hope that either a) Corbyn isn’t really pro-brexit or b) as soon as he understands that he can nationalise the railyways or utilities or have a larger State under the Single Market rules he’ll be OK with the EU again.

  • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • Information overload makes social media a swamp of fake news

      A group of researchers from the Shanghai Institute of Technology, Indiana University, and Yahoo wanted to investigate the tradeoffs that happen on social media. Their simulated social network allowed them to tweak different parameters to see what would happen.

    • Democrats: Sessions violated terms of his recusal, could be removed from office

      House Democrats are suggesting that Attorney General Jeff Sessions could be removed from office for the role he played in President Donald Trump’s firing of FBI Director James Comey.

      The suggestion, made in a letter released Thursday by two senior Democrats and signed by 32 others, is directed to Department of Justice Inspector General Michael Horowitz, who investigates misconduct. The letter asks Horowitz to consider “whether Attorney General Jeff Sessions violated his recusal from matters relating to the presidential campaigns in 2016 when he participated in President Trump’s decision to fire FBI Director James Comey.”

      The letter notes an intent to “make clear that our request is separate and apart from Special Counsel [Robert] Mueller’s investigation which concerns only whether any criminal acts occurred.”

  • Censorship/Free Speech

    • Instagram cracks down on trolls by hiding abusive comments from users

      The algorithm will read every comment posted on Instagram and hide them if they are deemed abusive. The comments will still be visible to the person who wrote them, but will be hidden to other users.

    • Canada’s Supreme Court Orders Google to Remove Search Results Worldwide

      In a landmark ruling, the Supreme Court of Canada has ordered Google to remove a company’s websites from search results. The case had nothing to do with copyright but according to music industry group IFPI, the implications are clear. When search engines link to illegal content, courts can compel them to permanently remove results, globally.

    • Canadian Supreme Court decision forces Google to participate in censorship by removing search results worldwide

      Even if this particular site violated Canadian law and is rightfully delisted within its jurisdiction, being able to extend Canadian law onto the global internet is a huge stretch and sets us on a very slippery slope.

    • McMansion Hell returns, ditches all Zillow images to prevent legal battle

      In a brief statement, Zillow said it will “not pursue any legal action.” The company issued the statement shortly after an Electronic Frontier Foundation attorney representing Kate Wagner fired back at Zillow in a five-page letter. Wagner is behind the viral architecture blog, McMansion Hell.

    • Germany has declared war on internet freedom

      These days of action are only the latest German clampdowns on speech deemed unpleasant or potentially dangerous. ‘Our constitutional democracy cannot tolerate such agitation’, said the interior minister of Saxony, Markus Ulbig. The justice minister, Heiko Maas, who has been at the forefront of the debate about hate speech, says hateful commentary poses a grave threat to Germany’s political culture.

    • Vietnamese blogger jailed for 10 years for ‘defaming’ regime

      A prominent Vietnamese blogger has been sentenced to 10 years in prison after being found guilty of distorting government policies and defaming the communist regime in Facebook posts and in interviews with foreign media, her lawyer said. Nguyen Ngoc Nhu Quynh, also known as “Mother Mushroom”, was sentenced at the end of a one-day trial in the south-central province of Khanh Hoa, her lawyer, Vo An Don, said.

      The conviction related to the content of 18 articles on her Facebook page and interviews with foreign news outlets such as Voice of America and Radio Free Asia, Don said.

      Quynh, 37, co-founded a network of bloggers and is very popular in Vietnam. She has written about human rights, civilian deaths in police custody, and the release of toxic chemicals by a Taiwanese-owned factory that killed thousands of fish in one of Vietnam’s worst environmental disasters.

    • Counter-terrorism was never meant to be Silicon Valley’s job. Is that why it’s failing?

      Counter-terrorism is being slowly privatized and carried out by low-paid workers at technology companies such as Facebook, Google and Twitter.

      Although these companies hire expert advisers and former government agents to tackle extremist propaganda and recruitment enabled by their platforms, much of the grunt work is carried out by contractors earning $15 an hour or, in YouTube’s case, volunteers.

  • Privacy/Surveillance

    • The Encryption Debate Should End Right Now

      When law enforcement argues it needs a “backdoor” into encryption services, the counterargument has typically been that it would be impossible to limit such access to one person or organization. If you leave a key under the doormat, a seminal 2015 paper argues, a burglar eventually finds it. And now recent events suggest an even simpler rebuttal: Why entrust a key to someone who gets robbed frequently?

    • Australia to join ranks of cyber warfare warriors

      The Australian Defence Force will soon launch a separate unit that will serve to both defend military targets against cyber attacks and also launch offensive operations as required.

    • Cyber warfare unit set to be launched by Australian Defence Forces

      A key part of information warfare is psychological and undermining and influencing the adversary.

      This will be a key part of the new unit’s role, and its arsenal of cyber weaponry will be able to be used to defend, gather intelligence or launch attacks.

    • Wildfires’ ‘killer haze’ tracked with Twitter as it spreads [iophk: "deeper surveillance"]

      During peatland fires, government sensors on the ground monitor the air quality in local areas. Lee says data from the tweets matched up with readings from the sensors.

    • Google will look through your photos to find out who’s in them

      It’s also working on a product called Lens, which will give the company greater insight into our daily lives than ever before, turning people’s phone cameras into search engines.

    • [Older] UK surveillance law raises concerns security researchers could be ‘deputised’ by the state

      Provision in the UK’s controversial surveillance laws create a potential means for the UK government to press-gang “any” UK computer expert into working with GCHQ. Computer scientists and researchers are concerned about the provision – even though the consensus is that it is unlikely to be applied in practice because it would damage wider co-operation.

      The potential ramifications of the bulk interception warrants were brought to our attention by Reg reader Simon Clubley. More specifically, Clubley is concerned about the Bulk Equipment Interference Warrants section of the Investigatory Powers Act 2016 (section 190).

    • NSA Appears To Be Seducing Sen. John Cornyn With Personal Tours And One-On-One Meetings

      Officials “familiar with the situation” (possibly read “jealous as hell”) expressed concern about Cornyn’s personal NSA tour. And for good reason. If Rogers and other NSA officials were feeding Cornyn information the rest of the NSA’s Congressional oversight isn’t privy to, that’s a problem. It’s more of a problem as the date for Section 702′s reauthorization approaches. And it seems even more problematic that Cornyn was given a personal walk-and-talk while oversight members were failing to get substantive answers from the DNI during a Senate hearing.

    • Hacks Raise Fear Over N.S.A.’s Hold on Cyberweapons

      Twice in the past month, National Security Agency cyberweapons stolen from its arsenal have been turned against two very different partners of the United States — Britain and Ukraine.

  • Civil Rights/Policing

    • Programmers in India Have Created the Country’s First Tech-Sector Union

      The glimmer of hope to come out of this moment, however, is that India’s coders have been building new organizing platforms. Workers have been organizing regionally in Karnataka, Telangana, Maharashtra and West Bengal for fair contracts and improved working conditions. One formal union has emerged—the Communist New Democratic Labor Front (NDLF) launched an IT Employees (ITE) wing in January. So far there are only 200 members, established recently in Tamil Nadu, which has a tech workforce of roughly 200,000, according to organizer S. Kumar, writing via e-mail from Tamil Nadu.

    • Turkey Acquits 2 Men in Berlin ‘Honor Killing’ of Their Sister

      The sister, Hatun Surucu, 23, was killed at a Berlin bus stop when her youngest brother fired three bullets into her head. The brothers said the family’s honor had been offended because she divorced the man her family had forced her to marry at age 16 and then began dating and refused to wear a head scarf.

    • As Predicted, Cox’s Latest Appeal Points To SCOTUS’ Refusal To Disconnect Sex Offenders From Social Media

      Last week the Supreme Court managed to hold its nose long enough to properly assert that banning convicted sex offenders from social media was plainly an infringement on their First Amendment rights. While much of the media coverage focused on the question of sex offenders having access to these well-trafficked websites, the real implications of the ruling were always likely to be far more reaching. We specifically pointed to the reasonable question: if sex offenders can’t be blocked from internet sites due to their First Amendment rights, how can we possibly require ISPs to disconnect those accused of piracy from the internet under even the most tortured reading of 512(i) of the DMCA?

  • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

    • Tom Wheeler defends Title II rules, accuses Pai of helping monopolists

      Former Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler spoke out against the FCC’s proposed repeal of net neutrality rules this week, saying the repeal will help monopoly broadband providers abuse their dominant position.

      There’s “a monopoly provider for three-quarters of the homes in America, and no choice,” Wheeler said in a forum (video) in Arlington, Virginia Monday hosted by US Rep. Don Beyer (D-Va.). “When you’ve only got one provider, who makes the rules? The provider makes the rules.”

      Wheeler was referring to FCC data that shows most Americans live in areas with either one provider of high-speed broadband (at least 25Mbps downstream and 3Mbps upstream) or none at all.

      With the FCC’s new Republican leadership seeking to overturn net neutrality rules, “the question becomes, will giant companies be able to exploit their monopoly position?” Wheeler said. “Who is going to stand up for consumers? Who is going to stand up for innovation? And who is going to stand up for the most important network for determining our future in the 21st century?”

  • DRM

    • What’s wrong with the Copyright Office’s DRM study?

      The Copyright Office, by contrast, fails to even show that DRM does anything useful in the world, but still advises against allowing people to buy or share tools to let them bypass DRM in order to do the kinds of things the Copyright Office endorses, from repairs to security research.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • New Lawsuit Demands ISP Blockades Against ‘Pirate’ Site Sci-Hub

        Shortly after Sci-Hub was ordered to pay $15 million in piracy damages to Elsevier, the American Chemical Society filed a lawsuit of its own against the “Pirate Bay for Science.” The scientific society would also like to see a cut of the loot. In addition, it asks the court for a broad injunction which would require ISPs to block the site.

      • Global publishing giant wins $15 million damages against researcher for sharing publicly-funded knowledge

        The fact that a global academic publishing company could be awarded millions in damages against someone trying to help other scientists to spread and access publicly-funded knowledge – exactly as science is supposed to work – is an indication of how broken copyright is today. Until that massive problem is fixed, Sci-Hub will remain what one leading academic called a “necessary, effective civil disobedience“.

Caricature: Charlie EPO

Posted in Europe, Patents at 2:29 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

End of Minnoye

Summary: The end of Minnoye’s career (that’s today) at the EPO is celebrated by the above cartoon

Former ‘Kats’ Debunk IP Kat (Bristows) on Unitary Patent, Insisting It May Even be Dead

Posted in Europe, Patents at 1:37 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Also: The Tide Has Turned Against the Unified Patent Court (UPC) and It Finally Looks as ‘Alive’ as TPP

David PearceSummary: Team UPC, whose entire raison d’être is to promote the UPC, struggles to reinvent itself and instead tries drawing blood from a stone, causing all sorts of disagreements among patent professionals (those who aren't in Team UPC)

THE EPO continues to remain silent about the UPC. That silence is due to the fact that the UPC — like the EPO under Battistelli’s atrocious leadership — may be dying. It’s an existential crisis.

Team UPC, however, refuses to remain silent, except when it comes to Germany (it just doesn’t want to even touch the subject). Watching Bristows, for example, has become pure comedy/hilarity! Bristows are so technically incompetent that their main RSS feeds are broken (to the point of being not parse-able at all) and their UPC blog is nearly abandoned. It’s actually syndicated in such a way that the RSS feed is so bloated that it goes all the way back to 2013! They can’t even figure out how to use a decent CMS!

“Team UPC, however, refuses to remain silent, except when it comes to Germany (it just doesn’t want to even touch the subject).”Anyway, Bristows remains the last hope of UPC hopefuls. IAM keeps citing Bristows as if it’s an accurate source of information (IAM itself is supported by the EPO for UPC propaganda) and based on the Estonia mirage (or Slovenia being the latest distraction vector), Bristows staff wrote this anonymously in Kluwer Patent Blog (after getting caught deleting comments in Kluwer Patent Blog). How much worse can it get? They don’t have audience in their blog (they have in fact mostly dropped their own Twitter hashtag after it had been used to debunk them) and now they prey on other blogs! We have already debunked the latest talking points from Bristows twice [1, 2], first based on Bristows’ blogs and then IP Kat (where Bristows intruded, as usual). But they can’t stop, can they? Even former ‘Kats’ criticise this, not to mention commenters in IP Kat (those whose comments don’t get deleted).

Well, yesterday we spoke to (or exchanged a word with) a former (IP) ‘Kat’, David Pearce (better known as “Tufty the Cat”). He isn’t too happy with the unwarranted UPC optimism and he wrote: “I wonder, do these #upc people have an inside track on #brexit negotiations? If not, their guess is as good as anyone else’s. [] Educated guesswork, but nonetheless just guessing. I predict it’s dead, but I’m just guessing too.”

“We have already debunked the latest talking points from Bristows twice…”He later said: “I think Barnier and Juncker are desparate not to make brexit a success. If they prevail, I can’t see how #upc could go ahead.”

Barnier was actually one of the main forces behind UPC.

This isn’t the first time that Pearce expresses discomfort over Team UPC’s claims. He even links to our responses to these UPC claims sometimes.

Meanwhile at IP Kat (yesterday), Annsley Merelle Ward from Bristows continues to write about the UPC as though it’s a done deal just waiting to be sealed/approved. To quote from an ‘interview’ (advertisement): “Also, as reported previously on the IPKAT the European Trade Secrets Directive will be implemented in Denmark through an entirely new and independent act on trade secrets.”

Will be?

“Misattributing claims to Alexander Ramsay, some already pretend that UPC will kick off at the start of next year.”As if it’s inevitable? The word “would” could be excused, but not “will”.

Denmark seems to have just sacked its own head of PTO (DKPTO). Nothing is certain.

Nowadays, Alex Robinson‏ is emerging as a raving fan of UPC and defender of Bristows’ spin. Responding to this baseless prediction (which upset Pearce), he later wrote (after challenge): “This seems to me to be a diplomatic way of saying “we have as much idea as the rest of you” – i.e. little to none…”

Misattributing claims to Alexander Ramsay, some already pretend that UPC will kick off at the start of next year. Is this what they tell clients too? Will they lie to them? Will it be like those infamous scenarios where lawyers give clients the “professional advice” which it to give more money to lawyers for more “professional advice”?

“I heard that the Constitutional Court should decide within ~6m whether the action has merit.”
      –Glyn Truscott
There are more comment on these tweets from Mr. Pearce, whose honesty on these matters we’ve always appreciated (standing out from the crowd that worships a naked emperor isn’t easy).

Glyn Truscott‏, a Patent Attorney/Partner at Elkington + Fife, wrote [1, 2]: “I heard that the Constitutional Court should decide within ~6m whether the action has merit. If so, will then be passed to another court….whether this is correct remains to be seen. All a bit opaque at the moment!”

Yes, obviously. In light of the situation at the EPO, it’s looking grimmer. What are the chances of a UPC any time next year? Even raving fans like IAM think that the chances are slim.

Regarding the situation in the UK, see the following new comment which stresses the impact of Brexit:

Before the UK parliament debates the affirmative SI , would it not make sense for the JCSI to first check whether there is any possibility of the UK staying in the UPC post-Brexit?

Even if one assumes that Gordon and Pascoe are correct and that the UK’s continued participation is possible, there are a number of preconditions that must be met. The problem for the government is that some of those preconditions might be (politically or practically) impossible, or inconsistent with the government’s Brexit policy in another area.

Problematic areas that immediately spring to mind are the jurisdiction of the CJEU (both Mrs May and, more worryingly, Mr Hunt have said that this must come to an end) and the time that it will take to get all relevant parties to agree upon and ratify a revised version of the UPC Agreement. The latter point is particularly challenging, as I would question whether there is already too little time – and there will certainly be too little by the time that we might actually know what the UK’s exit agreement looks like (and so precisely how the UPCA needs to be re-written).

To me, it would seem to be the worst of all possible worlds for the UK to help bring the UPP to life, only then to (shortly afterwards) exit the EU and (likely) both leave the unitary patent system and bring into doubt the continued validity of anything done under the UPC Agreement. That would take the levels of uncertainty for rights holders and third parties to truly stratospheric levels.

Of course, to take any of this into consideration would require joined-up thinking within government… and so I guess that I had better not hold my breath waiting for that to happen!

A lot of these comments keep citing Gordon and Pascoe, but they too have a financial objective and eggs in the UPC basket. As the above notes, Brexit expectation makes “Unitary” patents rather unattractive a prospect in the UK and brings “the levels of uncertainty for rights holders and third parties to truly stratospheric levels.”

We don’t expect Team UPC’s dedicated writers to quit blogging about the UPC (probably writing about some nations with a very small number of European Patents) if only just to justify their existence. They accomplish nothing by doing this; it merely disgraces their employer and sullies their reputation.

The EPO Has Officially Confirmed That Christoph Ernst Will ‘Boss’ (and Soon Replace) Battistelli

Posted in Europe, Patents at 12:33 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Mathieu Klos from Juve (photo below) got an important confirmation

Mathieu Klos‏

Summary: Now that Ernst’s appointment is official (effective within a few months), it remains to be seen where he stands regarding Battistelli, the staff representation, the defunct UPC campaign and more

THE EPO never speaks to us. In fact, it blocked us from its network not because we published incorrect things but because our reporting offers ‘too much’ transparency — something that Battistelli and his goons are unable to tolerate. They are incapable of introspection.

“A new comment has just said that the new (or next) Chairman of the Administrative Council “did not appear to show any particular concern for” last week’s suicide in “his home country” (Germany).”We don’t think that things will improve after this week’s meeting at The Hague. We said so all along. A new comment has just said that the new (or next) Chairman of the Administrative Council “did not appear to show any particular concern for” last week's suicide in “his home country” (Germany).

To quote in full:

Mr Ernst is a man with a proven record of performance

Yes indeed.

It’s quite telling that the strongest intervention concerning the recent suicide in Munich at yesterday’s AC meeting came from the Dutch delegate …

Mr. Ernst did not appear to show any particular concern for an incident which happened on the territory of his home country … true to form …

To remove any doubts about Christoph Ernst’s upcoming role, Mathieu Klos‏ from Juve asked the EPO (citing Techrights) and then wrote that “@EPOorg confirms Christoph Ernst from German Ministery [sic] of Justice is new Chair of Administrativ [sic] Council…”

“In the long disciplinary proceedings against a suspended judge of the Boards of Appeal, there has been no decision. Apparently, the judge will not be re-appointed by the Administrative Council after the end of his term.”Finally, to our surprise, someone else covers it. Not a single article (yet) about today’s strike, except in IP Watch. Not even the EPO said anything (anywhere!)…

The article from Klos‏ is a well-informed one, as Klos‏ and a colleague have long covered EPO scandals (not puff pieces). “I noticed that SUEPO published the article,” one reader told us about SUEPO, “and my guess is that it will take just a few days before translations are published.”

Either way, we looked at the text of the article (we were first to cover this news) and picked out some interesting bits, namely:

  • Ernst is within the Ministry of Justice responsible for the UPC.
  • Ernst is currently the head of the German delegation at the Administrative Council of the European Patent Office. The lawyer manages the unit for commercial and business law, which is also responsible for the EPO and the UPC preparations as Assistant Director in the Federal Ministry of Justice. It is unclear whether his appointment as Chair of the Administrative Council is somehow connected to the constitutional complaint against the German law related to the Unified Patent Court (UPC). Currently, it blocks the German ratification of the UPC.
  • Regarding the grounds of appeal, the Federal Constitutional Court is completely silent (currently). In professional circles it is suspected that the grounds of appeal are something about the EPO’s own court as the Boards of Appeal are not independent enough and lack a legal hearing. Therefore, at least four constitutional complaints in Karlsruhe have been pending for a long time. The EPO may, in the future, give the new EU patents, which then establish the UPC. Former Federal Constitutional Law Prof. Dr. Siegfried Broß therefore recently classified the situation at the EPO in a JUVE interview as a constitutional concern.
  • Regarding the “New job: finding Battistelli’s successor,” the article says that Ernst is just at the beginning of his term but already facing difficult tasks: the relationship between the Trade Union’s leadership and Battistelli is regarded as broken. Also, some controversial disciplinary proceedings are pending — especially against former heads of the influential Trade Union SUEPO. In the long disciplinary proceedings against a suspended judge of the Boards of Appeal, there has been no decision. Apparently, the judge will not be re-appointed by the Administrative Council after the end of his term. Above all, the most difficult task for Ernst will be to find a successor for Battistelli. His term ends in June 2018 and a successor has to be found by then.

Can someone out there translate the whole article for us? In case SUEPO does not publish a translation?

We shall cover the UPC in our next post, having already written about Ernst's connection to the UPC last year. Vigilance is crucial now.

06.29.17

Lack of Patent Quality at the EPO Already Leads to the Axing of Many European Patents (EPs) in Bulk

Posted in Europe, Patents at 11:50 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

So any person granted a European Patent can expect that his/her patent may be revoked/subjected to axing without even a pertinent review/trial

Argentine great depression.
Reference: 1998–2002 Argentine great depression (few Argentinians deposit anything in a bank account since)

Summary: The EPO takes away from people something which they thought they had, spurring distrust and anger at the Office and ultimately devaluing EPs (perceived value)

YESTERDAY we wrote, however briefly, about CIPA's objections to the narrowing of patent scope where the patents pertain to life (not even the USPTO is that stupid). In spite of CIPA’s views (it is basically a nasty lobbying group of patent maximalists), the EPO made is official (warning: epo.org link) that, in its own words: “On a proposal of the European Patent Office its Administrative Council took a decision to amend the relevant Regulations in order to exclude from patentability plants and animals exclusively obtained by an essentially biological breeding process.”

“What does that do to confidence in EPs and the EPO in general?”So basically, after people spent a fortune pursuing patents on such things the EPO formally admits that it granted patents in error. It’s not merely a suspension but a de facto axing of patents.

Holy ****.

What does that do to confidence in EPs and the EPO in general? That’s a pretty major change at the Administrative Council. As someone put it in response to a tweet: “Can you change the law retroactively and at one days notice? Can the administration council change what can be patented?”

Well, apparently so.

This has already been covered by IP Watch and apparently nowhere else (that we could find). It mostly reproduces the official statement. To quote:

The European Patent Office today issued a clarification about the patenting of plant and animal products, putting it in line with a European Commission clarification that such products obtained through a biological breeding process should not be patentable.

Further reporting will follow as more details emerge. The documents are still in the hands of the EPO Administrative Council, but will be made available to the public soon, according to the EPO.

We will report on this as soon as we know more, but herein lies the danger of overgranting patents — something which Battistelli actively strives for in the name of so-called ‘production’.

Feedback From the Administrative Council Meeting at The Hague: Worse Than Anyone Expected

Posted in Europe, Patents at 11:24 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Installing abject tyranny, one step at a time

Balance of justice

Summary: Staff of the European Patent Office loses yet more of its basic rights, after the Administrative Council basically nods at/accepts one of Battistelli’s most controversial proposals

THE EPO is in shambles. We at Techrights hope to save it from the tyranny, but 3 years down the line it seems like “mission impossible” because national representatives, namely heads of national patent offices, are largely complicit (with few exceptions here and there).

“…34 Delegations (with 4 abstentions BTW the 4 who abstained are NL, IT, IE, LI) in favour of Battistelli authoritarian reforms…”
      –Anonymous
“Devastating for the staff!”

That’s how one person described what happened yesterday at The Hague. “The nail in the coffin,” the person added. To quote a source that is familiar with what happened:

the propositions of Battistelli related to the RFPSS (change of structure and composition) is not supported. Copy is back on table for later…

an amazing (read appalling) 34 Delegations (with 4 abstentions BTW the 4 who abstained are NL, IT, IE, LI) in favour of Battistelli authoritarian reforms and changes of ServRegs with regards to internal appeal committee, disciplinary procedures, new dismissal procedure for incompetence (be assured that this will not apply to top managers but to Fussvolk for sure), possibility to cease personal belongings in your office, 200 EUR fees for lodging internal appeals from 01.07 etc etc etc)

sighs………. another day in paradise

It’s as if delegates did not listen at all to what SUEPO an the Staff Committee had warned them about.

“To be clear, this is still Kongstad’s Council, but the votes from delegates are not his own.”Responding to “Silence is Golden,” a new comment said: “And then the states voted 34-0 to pass BB’s [Battistelli's] new and ridiculous discipline and investigation rules. Power corrupts. Some people.”

To be clear, this is still Kongstad’s Council, but the votes from delegates are not his own. So what hope is there that things will improve under the new boss, who many EPO insiders try to study these days? We will write more about him later…

Apparently, on top of all that, the Council decided or agreed on getting rid of the “irksome” judge, whose dismissal (or “house ban”) was described as “irksome” by his colleagues.

“This week is a very bad week for EPO staff, many of whom will be on strike today (until Tuesday).”Does the Council care about staff of the EPO? Well, demonstrably no.

This week is a very bad week for EPO staff, many of whom will be on strike today (until Tuesday). Some of them already look into applying for a job elsewhere, realising perhaps that there won’t be much left after Battistelli leaves. Will the vacancy for his job be published next week as planned? We shall see…

The UPC’s Figurehead, Alexander Ramsay, Admits UPC is Stuck, Bristows LLP Comes Up With ‘Alternative Facts’

Posted in Deception, Europe, Patents at 9:11 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Older: UPC Preparatory Committee Puts the Brakes on UPC Amid Brexit and Growing Uncertainty

Alexander Ramsay, Bristows, and the UPC gold rush
Alexander Ramsay, Bristows, and the UPC gold rush

Summary: The Unified Patent Court (UPC) isn’t making progress, but those who are keen to spin, mislead, distort facts and even falsify/fabricate statements would have us believe otherwise

THE UPC is stuck. It may in fact be dead like the TPP. But will Team UPC give up and admit defeat? Of course not. They have been lying about the UPC for a living for a number of years; they lied to officials, they lied to businesses, they lied to the media and so on.

“They have been lying about the UPC for a living for a number of years; they lied to officials, they lied to businesses, they lied to the media and so on.”Expecting Team UPC to abandon the UPC is like expecting a carpenter to abandon the hammer, the shoemaker to stop obsessing over shoes or asking a model to stop staring at the mirror. No matter what happens, Team UPC will always lie, if not just to others than at least to itself. Self deception can be a moralising exercise. Without the UPC, their whole raison d’être (or at least lobbying) was all in vain.

The EPO has said absolutely nothing about what happened in Germany. Who can blame the EPO? It’s so accustomed to outright lying, so lies by omission are a lesser offense.

“Is UPC ratification back on track in the UK? In a nutshell, no. Not even close.”Yesterday, in IP Kat comments, some jokes started to surface about DUP. Is the “UP” in “DUP” “Unitary Patent”? Well, basically, Bristows are at it again, having lied, cheated, etc. They gave the illusion of UPC progress first in their blog and then in IP Kat (which actually attracts some readers, unlike their lousy blog). They would have us believe that the UK officially resumes UPC ratification and all is back on track. But as always, look at what Bristows is hiding or distracting from. A lot of wishful thinkers (as we noted yesterday) have already relayed the propaganda from Bristows. Debunking is important because few sites out there have both the interest and the information required to refute the nonsense (of which there have been heaps for a number of years).

Our rule of thumb: whenever hearing something about UPC always fact-check and trace things back to the source (with extra scepticism when those who stand to personally gain from the UPC speak).

Is UPC ratification back on track in the UK? In a nutshell, no. Not even close.

“The longer it [the UPC] is delayed, the less its value.”
      –Anonymous
The comments are joking about the Conservative government, especially in light of its desperate deal with an antiscientific political party. “I suppose the DUP were in favour if the UPC then,” one comment joked. “Very progressive.”

Another asked: “Does anybody know what the DUP’s policy on IP is? Do they have a stance on the Unitary Patent?”

One answer was this: “I’ll go out on a limb and presume that they are not particularly concerned by IP or the UPC, as long as they don’t involve popery or dinosaurs…”

Suffice to say, DUP has nothing to do with it. In fact, UPC is not at all on the agenda as Tories scramble to merely survive and form a government. To believe otherwise is to either be misinformed or very, exceedingly gullible. Just unfold any British newspapers these days; it’s pretty chaotic. UPC is mentioned nowhere. At all! The EPO says not a word about it, except when Battistelli lies to impress a docile crowd.

“Better to say, the greater the delay, the less likely it is to happen. Ever!”Regarding the “DUP Bribe” (the latest scandal here, since Monday), one person wrote this: “Agreed, but as they aren’t particularly concerned, there is every possibility that if they believe the government thinks the UPC or any other IP issue is particularly important they will ask for another few £100m to agree to it.”

Someone in another thread, seemingly a UPC proponent, wrote somewhat panicky that “The longer it [the UPC] is delayed, the less its value.”

Better to say, the greater the delay, the less likely it is to happen. Ever!

Another new comment about it alludes to the deadlock in Germany, which adds perhaps another half a year in delays (and may result in Germany abandoning the UPC in its current form).

To quote:

In my understanding, the “imbalance” is that an opponent in EP opposition proceedings after unsuccessfully going through the full EPO proceedings can try again in DE nullity proceedings. The opponent gets two shots and needs only one hit.

As far as I know, it is not different for an opponent in DE opposition proceedings. I don’t see why it should matter that DE opposition proceedings have one more instance.

There is a difference in that both DE opposition proceedings and DE nullity proceedings are handled by the BPatG (and reviewed by the BGH). But is the BPatG/BGH in nullity proceedings in any way bound by the final decision in the DE opposition proceedings between the same parties on the same patent?

Only if the BPatG/BGH is legally bound (to the extent that the facts are the same etc.) would I agree that the EP/DE imbalance is not present in the DE/DE system. But then, if the imbalance in the EP/DE system really is a problem, the solution is simple: make sure that the BPatG/BGH is legally bound in the same way by a final decision in EPO opposition proceedings.

(It seems the German courts don’t require much in the way of standing in nullity proceedings and do not mind strawmen. So imbalance appears to be ingrained in the German national patent system. Likely there is nothing unconstitutional about it.)

One could think that any reasonable person would accept that Europe’s largest economy is now the centre of attention (or deadlock), not somewhere like Estonia (Bristows pays for nonsensical ‘articles’ about Estonia, to give an illusion of progress).

“We assume IP Kat doesn’t want accuracy anymore, just marketing.”
Yesterday, citing UPC propagandists (the UPC Preparatory Committee, which is essentially a misnomer as it's a bunch of moles), IP Kat again allowed propagandists from Bristows replicate and expand propaganda from their misleading blog. In our last article about the UPC we debunked what they had published in their blog. But on they go at IP Kat, never mind if commenters will identify all the holes very quickly (they can always just delete ‘inconvenient’ comments, as they habitually do these days).

The first comment, which was miraculously approved, was responding to the propagandists from Bristows by gently and politely debunking them as follows: “What difference will the Conference recess (Parliament breaks up again for party conferences between 14 September and 9 October) make to this estimate? It leaves a very short time to sort out the committees (a process which is only barely starting now and won’t be complete until at least September) and have them consider the legislation. Isn’t it more likely this will happen in October – and we are not certain how long it will take. And won’t the Scottish order have to be in place too? When is that realistically expected to happen? January sunrise seems a little optimistic to me. I suspect a month or two later but we’re all guessing…”

“Amid German constitutional challenge on UPC – what happened to Ireland’s constit[utional] referendum on the esoteric subject of patents and the UPC?”
      –Luke McDonagh‏
It’s worse than guessing. It’s lobbying. We assume IP Kat doesn’t want accuracy anymore, just marketing. It’s reputational downfall. Bristows can’t help leaving a mess of fake news and propaganda in at least 3 blogs and paid-for ‘articles’ (they pay some sites to repost their fake news). Frankly, someone needs to clean up this mess. That someone certainly isn’t Alex Robinson, who wrote to me a couple of days ago to defend Bristows, just before he too started relaying that fake optimism. Citing Bristows, Alex Robinson said that “a draft Order was laid before the Westminster Parliament. This is subject to the so-called “affirmative resolution” procedure, requiring scrutiny by both Houses of Parliament. Despite the “Brexit” vote, no serious opposition is expected to the passage of the legislation.”

He wrote about that again, under the banner “preparatory work continues” and he also tweeted a lot about it [1, 2, 3, 4], totally ignoring the part about Germany (not alternative facts but inconvenient facts).

“UPC (Unified Patent Court) comes to a screeching halt due to Germany…”
      –Rolf Claessen‏
How could he miss it, omitting the parts that don’t suit Team UPC? Well, linking to the same text from Ramsay (himself a core part of Team UPC, sometimes appearing in conjunction with the EPO’s dedicated UPC liar, Margot Fröhlinger), some people took note of his comments on Germany.

Dr. Luke McDonagh‏ asked: “Amid German constitutional challenge on #UPC – what happened to Ireland’s constit referendum on the esoteric subject of #patents & the #UPC?”

Even a UPC proponent from Germany moaned as follows: “#GRUR2017 – Germany’s most important IP conference. 3 days. More than 1000 attendees. Number of session on #UPC: 0 #spilledmilk”

Maybe because they know that it’s anything but certain. It’s a dead dream perhaps…

“UPC/UP project runs into more trouble as suit lodged in the German Constitutional Court…”
      –Anne Hargreaves‏
Rolf Claessen‏ wrote that the “UPC (Unified Patent Court) comes to a screeching halt due to Germany http://bit.ly/2tnhAUS” (linking to the same text as Bristows but interpreting it differently).

Another professional, Anne Hargreaves‏, said that the “UPC/UP project runs into more trouble as suit lodged in the German Constitutional Court https://www.unified-patent-court.org/news/message-chair” (again, linking to the same text as Bristows but interpreting it differently).

Bristows staff should apply for a job at Donald Trump’s office. Apparently they need people to help distort reality.

European Patent Office is on Strike Until Tuesday and Insiders Study the New Head of the Organisation

Posted in Europe, Patents at 7:39 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Christoph Ernst will take over the Organisation within 3 months

Battistelli and strikes
Battistelli bragged to the Council about lack of strikes (after he had passed rules to restrict those), but for the second year in a row he is the cause of strikes

Summary: The demise of the EPO as a desirable employer, as an accountable employer, and a reputable employer that actually examines patent applications properly to assure high quality of European Patents (EPs)

SUEPO has not been saying much recently, but the EPO will be on strike tomorrow and Mr. Ernst has just been chosen to replace Kongstad. As far as we are aware, no media has covered that; only one publication, IP Watch, mentioned the strike, which will last 4 days (including the weekend).

Citing the report from IP Watch, which in turn references Techrights, one person wrote (correctly) that “EPO staff will be on strike soon again (sadly) since there is still absolutely ZERO social dialogue but more of the same despicable authoritarian policies, in an Orwellian atmosphere by the current French direction team.”

Another person indicated that he or she is looking to leave the EPO. Here is the full message:

The new disciplinary rules have been criticized by the anonymous “Flyer team”. Internally, we have access to the proposed text. It foresees absolutely no check and balance. On a superficial reading, it appears reasonable as there are various committees which are supposed to give an opinion. But it is like patents: the claims actually define a very short procedure after which the President can fire you without justification and without recourse.

It is an open secret in the Office that the President is trying to get rid of everyone over 40 and replace them with far cheaper examiners, younger and more docile. Word is that they would be on 3-years contracts, but that is not even necessary if they can be fired at will.

But firing people is always messy and it is far easier if they leave “voluntarily”. To ensure “voluntary” compliance, the title under which you can now be fired is called “professional incompetence”. “Professional incompetence”, as defined in the proposed text, simply means you failed to meet the production objective your superior set for you. It is public knowledge that last year objective was to grant 40% more patents.

But everything will happen behind closed doors. I expect that the older examiners in my directorate will have a nice visit of their new boss after summer which will simply tell them that they can leave “voluntarily” or get fired for “professional incompetence” before the end of the year. Because being declared “incompetent” by the EPO means that nobody will ever hire you for doing patent work, people will “voluntarily” comply.

Signed: an examiner over 40, looking for a new job outside the Patent world.

With Battistelli at the helm, many layoffs seem inevitable anyway. Maybe that was just Battistelli’s intention all along; maybe he wanted to destroy the EPO and bring rise to the UPC.

Either way, staff is truly fed up and today is the last day at the EPO until Tuesday (for those who go on strike). Why is the press ignoring this? We already notified some people in the media, yet they seem quite reluctant to point this out. Shouldn’t stakeholders be informed? Why is the EPO saying nothing (in its news section, Twitter and so on)?

Attention has meanwhile turned to Christoph Ernst. Ernst’s “main quality seems to be his aptitude to discretion which in a corrupt organisation like the EPO,” one new comment says today. It was composed yesterday, but it didn’t show up until today (due to moderation). Here it is in full, hidden well inside a very old post — the final post:

News from the 1st day of the Administrative Council in Den Haag :

1 – Christoph Ernst (DE) former head of the German Delegation at the Administrative Council of the EPO is the new Chair of the Administrative Council.

Mr Ernst is a man with a proven record of performance: indeed his silence during the entire mandate of Battistelli was remarkable, close to perfection. Mr Ernst never found the need to voice concerns when colleagues committed suicide (like for 10 days in Munich), when fundamental rights of staff were violated, when the DG3 Judge was suspended (more than 2 years…), when 3 staff reps were fired and other 3 downgraded after Orwellian trials, when quality of patents dropped due to unhealthy production pressure etc etc etc). His main quality seems to be his aptitude to discretion which in a corrupt organisation like the EPO explains that he just got promoted.

2 – Alberto Casado (SP, current VP2) becomes new VP1 in replacement of the flemmish dinausor Minnoye. Casado is known (and praised) for its exceptional competence in the various Patent Procedures as well as extensive mastering of Patent Law. No doubt that he was THE expert to task with managing 55000 highly educated examiners and formality officers. Some will say that his capacity to express himself in English may be close to that of Manuel in Falwty Towers but they are pathetic losers. In fact Alberto Casado speaks fluently Spanish which is alreaddy something.

And during this time, as the Titanic was sinking, the Orchestra was playing music…

“Mr Ernst (DE) is the new chief of AC at the EPO,” said the next comment. “Is this the beginning of the end for the French dictator?”

There is at least one more year of Battistelli; we very strongly doubt Ernst will work to oust him any earlier than that.

“Battistelli and Bergot ought to see their immunity lifted and sued for what they did,” said the next comment, which is also quoteworthy:

Battistelli and Bergot (PD HR) clais that psycho related sicknesses at EPO have decreased… Sure since they fire (mentally but not only) sick staff.

Fortunately the first case has arrived at ILO this week and the judges are not amused : http://www.ilo.org/dyn/triblex/triblexmain.fullText?p_lang=en&p_judgment_no=3887&p_language_code=EN

Battistelli and Bergot ought to see their immunity lifted and sued for what they did

We are going to examine what comes out of ILO. This may take some time to analyse. Either way, ILO is in many ways viewed as complicit (and rightly so, as we have shown recently). Secret meetings with EPO management and not with staff representatives of the EPO say quite a lot about ILO’s bias.

Ernst gives glimmer of hope, but not hope that Battistelli will be ousted, held accountable etc. He will hold Battistelli accountable as much as Obama held Bush accountable (e.g. for torture, Iraq war). As we pointed out before (last year), Ernst has little to say on Battistelli’s proposals (usually abstains), almost nothing to say about patent scope, and based on what we have shown here recently, the EPO is overgranting for those who are overpatenting, devaluing the whole lot (EPs) with shoddy, rushed assessments (the fault of management that pressures examiners to do this). Even the USPTO is stricter than the EPO now.

Here is a spammy ‘article’ or press release from yesterday. Is it still something to show off when an EP is granted/confirmed/defended? Considering how shallow the examination (or search) can be these days? Even the examiners are complaining; they must do this or lose their job (which may also mean losing one’s home, relocating the whole family to another country again).

We were deeply disgusted to see this tweet from CIPA yesterday. CIPA, as we put it last night, is a “pile of trash pretending to be a legitimate lobby” (also lobbying a lot for the UPC by lying to and manipulating officials). CIPA has been running over everything, including truth itself, for the UPC (the subject of our next post). It recently infiltrated IP Kat as well.

“We have “grave concerns” about EPO proposals to exclude certain organisms from patentability,” CIPA wrote, linking to its site and copying on it some patent maximalists, even IP Kat.

Well, the EPO publicly admitted that it went too far and decided that obeying laws was more important in this case than faking ‘production’.

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