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10.06.17

Links 6/10/2017: Systemd 235, Cockpit 152, More Kirigami

Posted in News Roundup at 4:51 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • Amdocs launches open source-based software and services portfolio for carriers

    Amdocs has announced Amdocs Network Function Virtualization (NFV) powered by Open Network Automation Platform (ONAP) – a portfolio featuring modular capabilities that accelerate service design, virtualization and operating capabilities on demand.

    As the communications and media industry moves from static appliance-based networks to software based, elastic networks, carriers will be increasingly capable of providing services and capacity on demand or based on predictive traffic patterns.

    Instead of building networks for high peak periods, carriers want to spin them up dynamically to provide better network services in the right locations at lower price points. Service providers using technologies developed in ONAP and its ecosystem of capabilities can provide enterprises the ability to design their own networks as part of a richer set of service features.

  • Tevora Releases Free, Open-Source Penetration Testing Tool, SecSmash

    SecSmash is available free of charge on GitHub. Its modular framework allows for integration with any available technology solutions.

  • Open source gaining momentum in Singapore

    If you live in Singapore and have started using the newly-minted parking.sg app developed by the government to pay for street parking at public car parks, you may have noticed something in fine print in one corner of the app’s menu that says “built with open source software”.

  • Open Source Health IT App Development Cuts Back Costs

    Cloud Foundry Applications Runtime is an open source application development platform for cloud-native application. The platform is used and modified constantly to help organizations quickly gain access to the latest development technology.

    The tool has been a part of the Cloud Foundry Foundation for three years. It was originally created at VMware in 2010 and then moved to Pivotal in 2013 before it was donated to Cloud Foundry.

  • Large-Scale Governance – 10 Apache Lessons

    Even if one of these applies, you still might be smarter to join an existing “umbrella” like Software Freedom Conservancy in the US or Public Software in the UK. But if you do end up devising your own organization, you won’t go far wrong my starting with the Apache Software Foundation’s principles.

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Mozilla extends, and ends, Firefox support for Windows XP and Vista

        Mozilla has announced it will end support for its Firefox browser on Windows XP and Windows Vista.

        The organisation offers Firefox Extended Support Releases (ESRs) that keep getting bug fixes for 54 weeks, even though nine new versions of Firefox should come along during that time. Mozilla offers ESR releases so that organisations with standard desktop environments can pick a version of Firefox and run it for a year, without the need to update their gold images.

        Enterprise software vendors also like this arrangement: Oracle only certifies its wares for ESRs because keeping up with a six-weekly release cycle is too much effort.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • Who Won at OpenWorld? Oracle, or Amazon and Splunk?

      As this year’s Oracle OpenWorld 2017 draws to a close, I’m convinced that the best seat in the house to watch this one wasn’t anywhere near San Francisco’s Moscone Convention Center, the event’s venue, but sitting in front of a computer in your home or office.

  • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

    • Open Hardware/Modding

      • How a university’s 3D-printed prosthetics club provides devices for amputees

        Last fall, one of the co-founders of Duke University eNable published an article describing our club’s beginnings and visions for the future. In the spring of 2016, we started out as six engineering students with a passion for innovation and design, supported by a small stipend from the Innovation Co-Lab and a grant from OSPRI (Open Source Pedagogy, Research and Innovation), a project supported by Red Hat.

        Since then we have established ourselves as a presence on campus, grown into a large interdisciplinary team, and connected with multiple recipients—including a young boy in Milot, Haiti. The resources offered through Duke and the sponsorship we’ve received allow us to continuously transform our ideas into things we can share with open source enthusiasts, makers, and dreamers alike.

  • Programming/Development

    • Double Your Development Velocity without Growing Your Team

      The Developer Experience team at SendGrid is a small, but mighty force of two. We attempt to tackle every problem that we can get our hands on. This often means that some items get left behind. At the outset, we surveyed everything that was going on in our open source libraries and we quickly realized that we needed to find a way to prioritize what we were going to work on. Luckily, our team lives, organizationally, on the Product Management team, and we had just received a gentle nudge and training on the RICE prioritization framework.

      On our company blog, I wrote an article about how employing this framework, using a spreadsheet, helped us double our velocity as a team within the first sprint. Our development velocity doubled because the most impactful things for the time spent are not always the biggest things, but the biggest things tend to attract the most attention due to their size.

    • Review by many eyes does not always prevent buggy code

      Writing code is hard. Writing secure code is harder—much harder. And before you get there, you need to think about design and architecture. When you’re writing code to implement security functionality, it’s often based on architectures and designs that have been pored over and examined in detail. They may even reflect standards that have gone through worldwide review processes and are generally considered perfect and unbreakable.*

      However good those designs and architectures are, though, there’s something about putting things into actual software that’s, well, special. With the exception of software proven to be mathematically correct,** being able to write software that accurately implements the functionality you’re trying to realize is somewhere between a science and an art. This is no surprise to anyone who’s actually written any software, tried to debug software, or divine software’s correctness by stepping through it; however, it’s not the key point of this article.

    • Java Moving Forward With Faster Pace Release Schedule, Modular System
    • Onwards to Valhalla: Java ain’t dead yet and it’s only getting bigger

      Scale was big at the JavaOne conference this week. Spotify lauded its success scaling with Java, and Oracle execs practically squealed as they reeled off adoption statistics. Big Red believes the next ten years belong to Java.

      “We want the next decade to be Java first, Java always,” vice president Mark Cavage said on stage.

      Of course Java is already big and among those on stage was Alibaba, one of the world’s largest Java users, which talked up its ability to run more than a million JVM instances at once.

Leftovers

  • Why the Internet is worried that Microsoft’s consumer services are doomed

    Today, Microsoft sells more to businesses and enterprises than it does to consumers. The emphasis today is on subscriptions and abstract services, rather than on shrinkwrapped products it can put on store shelves.

  • A Pre-History of Slashdot

    I registered the domain name ‘Slashdot.org’ 20 years ago today. I really had no idea.

  • 20 Years of Stuff That Matters

    Today we’re marking Slashdot’s 20th birthday.

  • The U.S. Senate just took the next step to creating a national standard for testing and deploying self-driving cars

    The Senate Commerce Committee just took the next step in creating what could be the new national standard for the testing and deployment of self-driving cars. The committee unanimously agreed to send its bill, called AV Start, to the Senate floor on Wednesday.

    The bipartisan bill would establish nation-wide regulations for how companies like Uber, Tesla, Lyft, GM and others safely and legally test and then roll out their self-driving cars on public roads.

  • Science

    • Algorithm designer among those honored with the Chemistry Nobel

      The highest possible resolution we can get in a typical image is limited by the wavelength of the light we’re using. Although there are some clever ways around this limit, one alternative has been to use something with a smaller wavelength. That “something” turns out to be electrons, and the electron microscope has provided a glimpse of the details inside cells, showing us how their parts are ordered and structured.

      But this year’s Nobel Prize in Chemistry went to a group of individuals who pushed the electron microscope to its very limit, figuring out how to use it to determine the position of every single atom in large, complex molecules. The award goes partly to a researcher who successfully used electron microscopes to image proteins. But it also goes to two people who developed some of the techniques to make the whole thing work: figuring out how to freeze water quickly enough that it formed a glass and developing an algorithm that could take a large collection of random data and convert it into a coherent picture.

    • ‘Our minds can be hijacked’: the tech insiders who fear a smartphone dystopia

      Google, Twitter and Facebook workers who helped make technology so addictive are disconnecting themselves from the internet. Paul Lewis reports on the Silicon Valley refuseniks who worry the race for human attention has created a world of perpetual distraction that could ultimately end in disaster

    • Do smartphone alerts make you angry? There may actually be a scientific reason for that

      According to a paper published by a team of academics from Nottingham Trent University, digital alerts from smartphones and tablets can have a direct and immediate effect on mood.

    • Growing social media backlash among young people, survey shows

      Almost two-thirds of pupils say they would not care if the technology did not exist and talk of negative impact on wellbeing

  • Health/Nutrition

    • Trump Guts Requirement That Employer Health Plans Pay For Birth Control

      The Trump administration is rolling back the Obama-era requirement that employer-provided health insurance policies cover birth control methods at no cost to women.

      According to senior officials with the Department of Health and Human Services, the goal of the new rule is to allow any company or nonprofit group to exclude the coverage for contraception if it has a religious or moral objection.

      “This provides an exemption, and it’s a limited one,” said Roger Severino, director of the HHS Office of Civil Rights. “We should have space for organizations to live out their religious identity and not face discrimination.”

  • Security

    • Security updates for Friday
    • Apple fixes Keychain vulnerability, but only in macOS High Sierra

      The zero-day vulnerability in macOS’s Keychain has been addressed by Apple, along with some other issues in High Sierra. But other recent versions of the operating system are still vulnerable.

    • macOS High Sierra bug exposes APFS passwords in plain text

      A Brazilian software developer has uncovered a bug in Apple’s macOS High Sierra software that exposes the passwords of encrypted Apple File System (APFS) volumes in plain text.

    • The September 2017 WordPress Attack Report

      This edition of the WordPress Attack Report is a continuation of the monthly series we’ve been publishing since December 2016. Reports from the previous months can be found here.

      This report contains the top 25 attacking IPs for September 2017 and their details. It also includes charts of brute force and complex attack activity for the same period, along with a new section revealing changes to the Wordfence real-time IP blacklist throughout the month. We also include the top themes and plugins that were attacked and which countries generated the most attacks for this period.

    • Step aside, Windows! Open source and Linux are IT’s new security headache [Ed: Microsoft propagandist Preston Gralla is back from the woods. The typical spin, lies. Deflection. Windows has back doors.]
    • Sex Toys Are Just As Poorly-Secured As The Rest Of The Internet of Broken Things

      At this point we’ve pretty well documented how the “internet of things” is a privacy and security dumpster fire. Whether it’s tea kettles that expose your WiFi credentials or smart fridges that leak your Gmail password, companies were so busy trying to make a buck by embedding network chipsets into everything, they couldn’t be bothered to adhere to even the most modest security and privacy guidelines. As a result, billions upon billions of devices are now being connected to the internet with little to no meaningful security and a total disregard to user privacy — posing a potentially fatal threat to us all.

  • Defence/Aggression

  • Finance

    • This ICO for an AI blockchain is the most tech-hype idea of the year
    • ‘Kleptocracy Tour’ Spotlights Nigerian Corrupt Money Funneled Through Britain

      Anti-corruption activists hoping to shine a light on the hundreds of millions of dollars funneled through London every year are organizing tours of properties allegedly bought with dishonest money.

    • Amazon Is Testing Its Own Delivery Service to Rival FedEx and UPS

      The service began two years ago in India, and Amazon has been slowly marketing it to U.S. merchants in preparation for a national expansion, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the U.S. pilot project is confidential. Amazon is calling the project Seller Flex, one person said. The service began on a trial basis this year in West Coast states with a broader rollout planned in 2018, the people said. Amazon declined to comment.

    • Average Fortune 500 CEO gets a pension of $253,088 every month until they die

      The average American worker has $95,000 in their 401(k), which will not even allow them to starve with dignity; this is a sharp contrast from earlier generations of American workers, whose employers provided defined-benefits pensions — but it also is quite a distance from the CEOs of the biggest US companies, whose average pension benefit is $253,088/month.

    • Average CEO has to make do with $253,088 in monthly pension payments

      Wiseman said it’s not much of a stretch to call this “collusion.”

    • Goldman Sachs is one step closer to making Frankfurt its new European home post-Brexit

      Goldman Sachs is pushing ahead with making Frankfurt, Germany, its key European base. This week, the Wall Street giant agreed to lease multiple floors for offices in a 38-storey building, as part of its Brexit contingency plans.

      The Marienturm tower is located in the heart of Frankfurt’s business district and Goldman is looking to take around the top eight floors, which is said to accommodate around 1,000 workers. “This expanded office space will allow us to grow our operations in Germany to serve our clients, as well as provide us with the space to execute on our Brexit contingency plan as needed,” said a Goldman Sachs spokesman to Bloomberg. Quartz also contacted Goldman for comment.

    • Brexit deadlock looms as European negotiators say they have lost faith in May

      Britain will refuse to tell Europe how much it is prepared to pay to settle the so-called “Brexit bill” when Brexit negotiations re-open in Brussels next week, the Telegraph can reveal, in a move that risks plunging the Brexit talks into fresh crisis.

      The British move comes as doubts emerged across Europe that Theresa May has the political clout to seal a Brexit deal following her disastrous party conference speech and public disagreements with Boris Johnson.

      Senior Whitehall sources said that negotiators will refuse to say which financial “commitments” Britain will honour, setting up a fresh showdown with Brussels.

  • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • Someone hacked [sic] the White House chief of staff’s personal phone

      Notably, the compromised phone was Kelly’s personal device, rather than the secure phone issued by the government. The White House told Politico that Kelly rarely used the device since joining the administration, although even occasional use could have exposed sensitive government information to attackers.

    • John Kelly’s personal cellphone was compromised, White House believes

      White House tech support discovered the suspected breach after Kelly turned his phone in to tech support staff this summer.

    • John Kelly’s phone was breached as early as December: report
    • Donald Trump’s passion for cruelty

      He revels in a public discourse that threatens, humiliates and bullies.

      He has used language as a weapon to humiliate women, a reporter with a disability, Pope Francis and any political opponent who criticizes him. He has publicly humiliated members of his own cabinet and party, including Attorney General Jeff Sessions and a terminally ill John McCain, not to mention the insults and lies he perpetrated against former FBI Director James Comey after firing him.

      Trump has humiliated world leaders with insulting and belittling language. He not only insulted North Korean leader Kim Jong-un with the war-like moniker “Rocket Man,” he appeared before the United Nations and blithely threatened to address the nuclear standoff with North Korea by wiping out its 25 million inhabitants.

    • Suspending the Catalan Parliament, Spain Destroys the EU’s “Rule of Law” Figleaf.

      It takes a very special kind of chutzpah systematically to assault voters, and drag them from polling booths by their hair, and then say that a low turnout invalidates the vote. That is the shameless position being taken by the Europe wide political Establishment and its corporate media lackeys. This Guardian article illustrates a refinement to this already extreme act of intellectual dishonesty. It states voter turnout was 43%. That ignores the 770,000 votes which were cast but physically confiscated by the police so they could not be counted. They take voter turnout over 50%.

      That is an incredibly high turnout, given that 900 voters were brutalised so badly they needed formal medical treatment. The prospect of being smashed in the face by a club would naturally deter a number of people from voting. The physical closure of polling stations obviously stopped others from voting. It is quite incredible that in these circumstances, over 50% of the electorate did succeed in casting a vote.

    • Lobbyists Tied to Trump Cash In on Their Connections

      The day after the presidential election, the Washington lobbying firm Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck touted its Republican team’s “significant relationships … with those who will steer the incoming Trump administration.” It highlighted Marc Lampkin, managing partner of its Washington office and a Trump fundraiser.

      Such efforts are among the ways lobbyists advertise their connections and ability to influence. One posted a pre-inauguration photo with the president on his firm’s website; another maintained a former campaign title on Facebook; others made sure to stress the backgrounds of their connected staff members online or in press releases.

      Despite Donald Trump’s campaign vow to “drain the swamp” of lobbyists and special interests, Washington’s influence industry is alive and well — and growing. Former members of the Trump transition team, presidential campaign and administration, as well as friends have set up shop as lobbyists and cashed in on connections, according to a new report compiled by Public Citizen, a public interest group, and reviewed by The Associated Press.

      Records through Aug. 31 showed at least 44 registered federal lobbyists with ties to Trump or Vice President Mike Pence. These firms have collectively billed nearly $41.8 million to clients — seven of the 10 most lucrative being foreign interests, according to the analysis of federal lobbying disclosure filings.

    • Catalan parliament to defy Spanish ban on independence debate, official says

      Catalonia’s parliament will defy a Spanish court ban and go ahead on Monday with a debate that could lead to a declaration of independence, a regional government official said, as Spain’s worst political crisis in decades looked set to deepen.

      “Parliament will discuss, parliament will meet. It will be a debate, and this is important,” the Catalan government’s head of foreign affairs, Raul Romeva, told BBC radio on Friday.

      It was the pro-independence regional government’s first clear response to a Constitutional Court decision on Thursday to suspend Monday’s planned parliamentary session, and it raised the prospect of a tough response from the central government.

    • Here’s How Breitbart And Milo Smuggled Nazi and White Nationalist Ideas Into The Mainstream

      In August, after a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville ended in murder, Steve Bannon insisted that “there’s no room in American society” for neo-Nazis, neo-Confederates, and the KKK.

      But an explosive cache of documents obtained by BuzzFeed News proves that there was plenty of room for those voices on his website.

      During the 2016 presidential campaign, under Bannon’s leadership, Breitbart courted the alt-right — the insurgent, racist right-wing movement that helped sweep Donald Trump to power. The former White House chief strategist famously remarked that he wanted Breitbart to be “the platform for the alt-right.”

    • The Rising of Britain’s ‘New Politics’

      Delegates to the recent Labour Party conference in the English seaside town of Brighton seemed not to notice a video playing in the main entrance. The world’s third biggest arms manufacturer, BAe Systems, supplier to Saudi Arabia, was promoting its guns, bombs, missiles, naval ships and fighter aircraft.

      It seemed a perfidious symbol of a party in which millions of Britons now invest their political hopes. Once the preserve of Tony Blair, it is now led by Jeremy Corbyn, whose career has been very different and is rare in British establishment politics.

      Addressing the conference, the campaigner Naomi Klein described the rise of Corbyn as “part of a global phenomenon. We saw it in Bernie Sanders’ historic campaign in the US primaries, powered by millennials who know that safe centrist politics offers them no kind of safe future.”

    • EU Official Warns War a Possibility in Catalonia

      The team captain of Spain’s storied football club Barcelona, which has become a focal point of secessionist Catalan sentiment, is urging politicians in Madrid and the Catalan capital to start negotiating about the future of Spain’s restive northeast province.

      “Before we do ourselves more damage, those in charge must open dialogue with each other. Do it for all of us. We deserve to live in peace,” Andrés Iniesta wrote on his Facebook page, apologizing at the same time for weighing in on “situations that are complex.”

      His appeal came as a top EU official Thursday warned that the separatist dispute, exacerbated by Catalan secessionists holding an illegal independence referendum Sunday, risks escalating into armed conflict.

    • Report: Facebook removed references to Russia from fake-news report

      Back in April, Facebook published a report called “Information Operations and Facebook” that detailed the company’s efforts to combat fake news and other misinformation campaigns on the site. The report was released in the midst of an uproar over potential Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential campaign. But the report doesn’t mention Russia by name, saying only that Facebook’s data “does not contradict” a January report by the Obama administration detailing Russian meddling in the election.

      On Friday, The Wall Street Journal reported that the decision not to mention Russia was hotly debated inside Facebook. An earlier draft of the report discussed what Facebook knew at that time about Russian meddling, but that material was ultimately removed from the report before publication.

    • Obama, in Brazil, Offers Familiar Slogan to Corporate Audience
  • Censorship/Free Speech

    • The Latest On Shiva Ayyadurai’s Failed Libel Suit Against Techdirt

      We have a quick update today on the defamation lawsuit that Shiva Ayyadurai filed against us earlier this year. Last month, Judge Dennis Saylor dismissed the lawsuit, pointing out that everything we said concerning Ayyadurai’s claim to have invented email (specifically us presenting lots and lots of evidence of email predating Shiva’s own work) was clearly protected speech under the First Amendment. Unfortunately, despite us being a California corporation, Judge Saylor did not grant our separate motion to strike under California’s anti-SLAPP law — which would have required Ayyadurai to pay our legal fees.

    • Harvey Weinstein to Sue N.Y. Times, Says His Attorney

      On the heels of The New York Times’ bombshell exposé published Thursday about “decades of harassment” on the part of Harvey Weinstein, the mogul’s attorney Charles Harder says he’s preparing a lawsuit against the paper.

      “The New York Times published today a story that is saturated with false and defamatory statements about Harvey Weinstein,” he writes in an email to The Hollywood Reporter. “It relies on mostly hearsay accounts and a faulty report, apparently stolen from an employee personnel file, which has been debunked by nine different eyewitnesses. We sent the Times the facts and evidence, but they ignored it and rushed to publish. We are preparing the lawsuit now. All proceeds will be donated to women’s organizations.”

      Harder is perhaps most famous as the lawyer who represented Hulk Hogan in the litigation that brought down Gawker. He also represented Melania Trump in a defamation action against the parent company of The Daily Mail. That case settled earlier this year. Harder also sent a cease-and-desist letter last year on behalf of Roger Ailes to New York Magazine, and in his career, he has represented many popular stars in entertainment including Reese Witherspoon and Sandra Bullock.

    • Decades of Sexual Harassment Accusations Against Harvey Weinstein
    • Censorship Board warns ‘nude’ performers

      Responding to University of Zimbabwe lecturer, Ruby Magosvongwe’s concerns over the suitability of “semi-naked” Brazilian Samba girls performing at the Harare International Carnival, Chigwedere told a stakeholders meeting that his board would take corrective measures.

    • Dirty Chinese Restaurant mobile game canceled after racism criticism

      Developer Big-O-Tree games has halted development and promotion of a planned mobile game called Dirty Chinese Restaurant after the title drew negative attention from sources including a US Congresswoman for racist portrayals of Asian-Americans.

    • Return of the algorithm monster: YouTube auto-promoted conspiracy theory videos
    • Netizen Report: LGBTQ People Face Online Censorship and Threats in Egypt

      Egypt’s broadcast regulator, the Supreme Council for Media Regulation, has banned all forms of support to the LGBTQ community, allegedly to “maintain public order.” The move came after a rainbow flag was raised at a concert of the Lebanese band Mashrou’ Leila in Cairo on Sept. 11. The band supports LGBTQ rights, and its lead singer, Hamed Sinno, is openly gay.

  • Privacy/Surveillance

  • Civil Rights/Policing

    • That Flag-Burning NFL Photo Isn’t Fake News. It’s a Meme

      The photo was fake, but that didn’t seem to matter; within a day, it had racked up more than 10,000 shares, likes, and comments from furious people all over the country.

    • Trump Urges Supreme Court To Throw Out Prior Muslim Ban Rulings

      With a third version of the Muslim ban set to go into effect on October 18, President Donald Trump’s administration has asked the Supreme Court to vacate lower court rulings on previous versions of the ban.

      If allowed to stand, the lower courts’ decisions threaten to undermine the executive’s ability to deal with sensitive foreign policy issues in strategically important regions of the world,” Solicitor General Noel J. Francisco writes in a letter to Scott S. Harris, the clerk of the Supreme Court.

      Francisco adds, “The court should not permit that unnecessary consequence, especially when the rulings below are preliminary injunctions litigated on a highly expedited basis.”

      The letter celebrates supposed “time limits” on entry and refugee suspensions as features that were not part of any attempts to “evade judicial review.” They were “temporary measures to facilitate the government’s inter-agency review processes and to protect national security in the interim.”

    • Hundreds Of Cases Dismissed Thanks To Baltimore PD Misconduct

      After years of listening to tough-on-crime legislators and the tough-on-crime lawmen that love to hear them talk about filthy criminals beating the system by getting off on technicalities, it’s somewhat funny to discover lots of what’s complained about is nothing more than good old-fashioned due process and/or the collateral damage of crooked, inept, or lazy cops.

      We’ve seen a lot of en masse criminal case dismissals recently. Thousands of convictions and charges were dropped in Massachusetts as the result of a state crime lab tech’s years of faked drug tests. All over the nation, cops are letting perps walk rather than discuss law enforcement’s worst-kept secret: Stingray devices.

    • Baltimore prosecutor says more than 850 cases impacted by questionable police conduct
    • Miami Beach cops arrest man for Twitter parody of police spokesman

      A Miami Beach man is facing criminal charges after he created a parody account purporting to be Ernesto Rodriguez, a spokesman for the Miami Beach Police Department. The defendant, Ernesto Orsetti, is charged with impersonating a law enforcement officer, a third-degree felony, according to a press release posted by the Miami New Times.

      “Defendant falsely created and assumed the identity of the victim (active police officer/police information officer) via Twitter,” the police report says. “The Twitter account, @ernierodmb, had a marked Miami Beach police vehicle and a photo of the victim in uniform.”

    • John Kiriakou, CIA Officer in Torture Leak Case, Injured in Serious Traffic Accident

      John Kiriakou, a prominent ex-CIA officer, and among the first to reveal the agency’s torture program, was seriously injured in a motorcycle accident earlier this week in Washington, D.C., according to one of his attorneys.

      Kiriakou suffered broken ribs, a fractured clavicle and lumbar spine damage, according to Jesselyn Radack, one of the attorneys who represented him when he was charged in 2012 with leaking classified information about CIA waterboarding of an Al-Qaeda suspect at a secret site in Thailand. He eventually pleaded guilty to one count of leaking the identity of a fellow CIA officer to a reporter and was sentenced to 30 months in prison.

  • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

    • Anybody Claiming Net Neutrality Rules Killed Broadband Investment Is Lying To You

      In 2015 the FCC passed some fairly basic net neutrality rules designed to keep broadband duopolies from abusing a lack of broadband competition to hamstring internet competitors. Despite the endless pearl clutching from ISP lobbyists and allies, the rules were relatively modest, falling well short of the more comprehensive rules we’ve seen passed in places like Canada, Japan, and India. Still, ISPs have spent every day since trying to claim that the rules somehow utterly devastated broadband sector investment, despite the fact that independent economists and journalists have repeatedly proven that to be a lie.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Members Of Congress: Court Was Wrong To Say That Posting The Law Is Copyright Infringement

        Back in February, we wrote about a disturbing court decision that said that standards that are “incorporated by reference” into law, could still be copyright infringing if posted to the internet. In that earlier post I go into much more background, but the short version is this: lots of laws point to standards put together by private standards bodies, and say, effectively, “to be legal, you must meet this standard.” For example, fire codes may be required to meet certain standards put together by a private standards body. Carl Malamud has spent years trying to make the law more accessible, and he started posting such standards that are “incorporated by reference” into the law publicly. His reasoning: once the government incorporates the standard into the law, the standard must be publicly available. Otherwise, you have a ridiculous situation in which you can’t even know what the law is that governs you unless you pay (often a lot) to access it.

        Standards bodies weren’t happy about this — as some of them make a large chunk of money from selling access to the standards. But from a straight up “the law should be public” standpoint, the answer should be “too bad.” Unfortunately, the district court didn’t see it that way, and basically said it’s okay to have parts of our laws blocked by copyright. We thought that ruling had some serious problems, and Malamud and his organization Public.Resource.Org appealed. A bunch of amicus briefs have been filed in the case — which you can see at EFF’s case page on the lawsuit. There’s a good one from some law professors about how the lower court got it wrong, as well as a ton of library associations (and also other law professors and former gov’t officials). Public Citizen also filed a good brief on the importance of having access to the law. It’s worth reading them all.

      • Iran Cracks Down On Movie Pirates In The Most Inception-Esque Manner Possible

        For those of us that pay attention to copyright matters throughout the world, a story out of Iran has had us riding a strange sort of roller coaster. Late in September, the Iranian government arrested six people it says run the movie-streaming site TinyMoviez. That site is like many others on the web, focusing on the streaming of Hollywood movies in a manner that is pretty clear-cut piracy. Iran does have copyright laws on the books, which include punishments for “anyone who publishes, distributes or broadcasts another person’s work without permission,” ranging from imprisonment for a few months to three years for violating that law. There are, however, no agreements on copyright between American and Iran, for obvious reasons, so the application of Iranian copyright law tends to be focused on Iranian content. Many were left scratching their heads wondering why the arrest had been made.

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  6. Links 19/7/2018: Krita 4.1.1, Qt Creator 4.7.0, and Microsoft-Led Lobby Against Android in EU

    Links for the day



  7. IAM is Pushing SEPs/FRAND Agenda for Patent Trolls and Monopolists That Fund IAM

    The front group of patent trolls, IAM, sets up an echo chamber-type event, preceded by all the usual pro-FRAND propaganda



  8. “Trade Secrets” Litigation Rising in the Wake of TC Heartland, Alice, Oil States and Other Patent-Minimising Decisions

    Litigation strategies are evolving in the wake of top-level decisions that rule out software patents, restrict venue shifting, and facilitate invalidation of patents even outside the courtroom



  9. The EPO -- Like the Unified Patent Court (UPC) and Unitary Patent System -- is an Untenable Mess

    The António Campinos-led EPO, nearly three weeks under his leadership, still fails to commit to justice (court rulings not obeyed), undo union-busting efforts and assure independence of judges; this, among other factors, is why the Office/Organisation and the UPC it wants to manage appear more or less doomed



  10. Links 18/7/2018: System76's Manufacturing Facility, Microsoft-Led Lobby for Antitrust Against Android

    Links for the day



  11. What Patent Lawyers Aren't Saying: Most Patent Litigation Has Become Too Risky to be Worth It

    The lawyers' key to the castle is lost or misplaced; they can't quite find/obtain leverage in courts, but they don't want their clients to know that



  12. Software Patents Royalty (Tax) Campaign by IBM, a Serial Patent Bully, and the EPO's Participation in All This

    The agenda of US-based patent maximalists, including patent trolls and notorious bullies from the United States, is still being served by the 'European' Patent Office, which has already outsourced some of its work (e.g. translations, PR, surveillance) to the US



  13. The European Council Needs to Check Battistelli's Back Room Deals/Back Door/Backchannel With Respect to Christian Archambeau

    Worries persist that Archambeau is about to become an unworthy beneficiary (nepotism) after a Battistelli setup that put Campinos in power, supported by the Belgian delegation which is connected to Archambeau, a national/citizen of Belgium



  14. PTAB and § 101 (Section 101) Have Locked the Patent Parasites Out of the Patent System

    Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) inter partes reviews (IPRs) have contributed a great deal to patent quality and have reduced the number of frivolous patent lawsuits; this means that firms which profit from patent applications and litigation hate it with a passion and still lobby to weaken if not scuttle PTAB



  15. Patents on Computer Software and Plants in the United States Indicative of Systemic Error

    The never-ending expansion of patent scope has meant that patent law firms generally got their way at the patent office; can the courts react fast enough (before confidence in patents and/or public support for patents is altogether shattered)?



  16. Yesterday's Misleading News From Team UPC and Its Aspiring Management of the Unified Patent Court (UPC)

    The Unified Patent Court (UPC) enthusiasts — i.e. those looking to financially gain from it — continue to wrestle with logic, manipulate words and misrepresent the law; yesterday we saw many law firms trying to make it sound as though the UPC is coming to the UK even though this isn’t possible and UPC as a whole is likely already dead



  17. Time for the European Commission to Investigate EPO Corruption Because It May be Partly or Indirectly Connected to EU-IPO, an EU Agency

    The passage of the top role at the EU-IPO from António Campinos to Christian Archambeau would damage confidence in the moral integrity of the European Council; back room deals are alleged to have occurred, implicating corrupt Battistelli



  18. Links 17/7/2018: Catfish 1.4.6 Released, ReactOS 0.4.9, Red Hat's GPL Compliance Group Grows

    Links for the day



  19. Links 16/7/2018: Linux 4.18 RC5, Latte Dock v0.8, Windows Back Doors Resurface

    Links for the day



  20. Alliance for US Startups and Inventors for Jobs (USIJ) Misleads the US Government, Pretending to Speak for Startups While Spreading Lies for the Patent Microcosm

    In the United States, which nowadays strives to raise the patent bar, the House Small Business Committee heard from technology firms but it also heard from some questionable front groups which claim to support "startups" and "jobs" (but in reality support just patents on the face of it)



  21. 'Blockchain', 'Cloud' and Whatever Else Gets Exploited to Work Around 35 U.S.C. § 101 (or the EPC) and Patent Algorithms/Software

    Looking for a quick buck or some low-quality patents (which courts would almost certainly reject), opportunists carry on with their gold rush, aided by buzzwords and hype over pretty meaningless things



  22. PTAB Defended by the EFF, the R Street Institute and CCIA as the Number of Petitions (IPRs) Continues to Grow

    Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) inter partes reviews (IPRs) come to the rescue when patently-bogus patents are used, covering totally abstract concepts (like software patents do); IPRs continue to increase in number and opponents of PTAB, who conveniently cherry-pick Supreme Court (SCOTUS) decisions, can't quite stop that



  23. IAM/Joff Wild May Have Become a de Facto Media Partner of the Patent Troll iPEL

    Invitation to trolls in China, courtesy of the patent trolls' lobby called "IAM"; this shows no signs of stopping and has become rather blatant



  24. Cautionary Tale: ILO Administrative Tribunal Cases (Appeals) 'Intercepted' Under António Campinos

    The ILO Administrative Tribunal (ILO-AT) is advertised by the EPO's management as access to justice, but it's still being undermined quite severely to the detriment of aggrieved staff



  25. Asking the USPTO to Comply With 35 U.S.C. § 101 is Like Asking Pentagon Officials to Pursue Real, Persistent Peace

    Some profit from selling weapons, whereas others profit from patent grants and litigation; what's really needed right now is patent sanity and adherence to the public interest as well as the law itself, e.g. Supreme Court (SCOTUS) decisions



  26. BT and Sonos Are Still Patent Bullies, Seeing Patents as a Backup Plan

    The companies seeking to complement their business (or make up for their demise) using patents are still suing rivals while calling that litigation "research and development" (the same old euphemism)



  27. Jim Skippen, a Longtime Patent Troll, Admits That the Trolling Sector is Collapsing

    Canada's biggest patent troll (WiLAN) bar BlackBerry doesn't seem to be doing too well as its CEO leaves the domain altogether



  28. From East Asia to the Eastern District of Texas: XYZ Printing, Maxell, and X2Y Attenuators

    The patent aggression, which relies on improper litigation venues, harms innocent parties a great deal; only their lawyers benefit from all this mess



  29. Links 14/7/2018: Mesa 18.1.4, Elisa 0.2.1, More on Python's Guido van Rossum

    Links for the day



  30. Number of Oppositions to Grants/Awards of European Patents at the EPO Has Skyrocketed, Based on Internal Data

    The number of challenged patents continues to soar and staff of the EPO (examiners already over-encumbered by far too much work, due to unrealistic targets) would struggle to cope or simply be compelled to not properly deal with oppositions


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