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10.23.17

In the European Patent Office, One Gets Rewarded for Mentally Torturing (‘Interrogating’) Staff

Posted in Europe, Patents at 8:43 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Sebastian Bauer ‘spying’ on an EPO staff’s protest

Sebastian Bauer in an EPO protest

Summary: Elodie Bergot and her “Gestapo” have both enjoyed spectacular promotions, broadening the reach of Battistelli’s “police state” culture

IT was almost exactly 2 years ago that we wrote about the EPO‘s very own "Gestapo". Things have not improved since; this “Gestapo” just attempted to maintain a low profile and not be mentioned anywhere. It has actually hired additional staff since.

SUEPO has also, since then, been ‘decapitated’. Its leaders lost their jobs. Spying contributed to this. A witch-hunt! It is SUEPO that had repeatedly extended an olive branch. What about EPO management? Nothing. Only entrapment. Bad faith and publicity stunts.

“SUEPO has also, since then, been ‘decapitated’. Its leaders lost their jobs. Spying contributed to this.”SUEPO is very patient and tolerant. It’s a lot more reasonable than EPO management has been since the Battistelli ‘coup’.

“The EPO declined to comment on the claims set out in that letter,” according to WIPR, which actually sought comment. This was said in relation to Battistelli’s end of service, which Monika Ermert wrote about earlier today (she has been writing a lot about the EPO lately). To quote:

Looking ahead, the union recommended a multilateral working group between management and staff to address a number of issues. The working group should set out on a truth-finding mission and consider, according to SUEPO’s call, “concrete action where necessary” on violations of law and staff welfare.

It should also consider reversing rather politically motivated sanctions of all staff representatives and union leaders and identify problems with reforms initiated by Battistelli to push efficiency, it said. Suepo, the letter states, is prepared to fully support such efforts.

If SUEPO thinks that things are about to change for the better, then it should look no further than the latest moves from Bergot and her “Gestapo”.

“If SUEPO thinks that things are about to change for the better, then it should look no further than the latest moves from Bergot and her “Gestapo”.”“Competence and hard work finally rewarded at the EPO,” a reader of ours said sarcastically, remarking on Bauer’s promotion.

“Having participated to (some would say guided but they are only jealous losers) all investigations targeting the SUEPO officials and the Staff Representatives in particular (but not only), working hand in hand with Mrs. Bergot (PD HR) for the past years, it is highly appreciable to see that the true honesty and high respect for the rule of law are finally rewarded at their just value at EPO,” this reader added.

The following was posted three days ago (i.e. late on Friday, as usual):

Ethics and Compliance

20.10.2017

New unit established and new Director appointed

I am pleased to announce that Mr. Sebastian Bauer has been appointed as Director, Ethics and Compliance, reporting to me, effective 1.11.2017.

The INT/EXT recruitment competition was launched following the unanimous decision of the Administrative Council in June to approve the new Internal Justice System, (AC Decision CA/D 7/17) and resulting creation of the Ethics and Compliance function.

The change is explained more fully on the IAO Intranet pages (0.6.4 – Directorate Ethics and Compliance).

Mr. Bauer joined the Office’s Legal Service in 2012 from the World Bank Group Office of Ethics and Business Conduct. At the EPO, he worked as a lawyer in the working group with social partners on the Policy for the prevention of harassment and the Investigation Guidelines (circulars 341 and 342). He has been part of the Investigative Unit (IU) since 2013, as an investigator and recently as Head of the IU (ad interim). He has conducted investigations in all five continents, and previous experience includes private law practice in the field of Compliance. He holds a Master of Law (Hons.) from the University of Cambridge and a law degree from the University of Munich, and certifications as a Fraud Examiner (ACFE) and in public administration. He participated in the drafting of the revision of the standards of conduct in the Service Regulations which created the Ethics and Compliance function. The task of this independent Ethics and Compliance function is to promote good ethical conduct, to increase awareness of the risks of harassment, frauds, etc., and to carefully investigate any allegations of fraud and/or any misconduct in a correct and legally secure way following due process.

Please join me in congratulating Mr. Bauer on his appointment.

In terms of organisation, the current investigative unit and its staff will be absorbed into the Directorate Ethics and Compliance, now incorporating its new focus.

Internal Audit and Oversight (0.6) will be reorganised slightly to accommodate this as follows:

PD 0.6 Internal Audit & Oversight will consist of 4 functions, namely:

· 0.6.1 – Internal Auditing

· 0.6.2 – Directorate Quality Audit

· 0.6.3 – Assurance Services (Compliance Assurance & Risk Assurance for the RFPSS)

· 0.6.4 – Directorate Ethics and Compliance

The IAO intranet site, the Charter for IAO, and the Organigram will be updated accordingly in line with the above.

John Martin

PD Internal Audit and Oversight

So here we go. Rather than sociopaths being demoted, they are being promoted ahead of Battistelli’s departure. What could possibly go wrong? Notice the part which says Bauer was “Head of the IU (ad interim).” Well, at least people can recognise him in the hallway or whatnot, usually in extravagant clothing, suggestive of self-importance.

IP Kat Participates in Deletion of Information About EPO Scandals

Posted in Europe, Patents at 8:12 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

The name “Merpel” is another person now

IP Kat gags

Summary: IP Kat has just deleted nearly 40 comments (some of them very detailed); we bring these back to life for the sake of history and preservation

“Something weird at IPKat,” one reader of ours has called it. Another asked: “Where are all the IPKat comments?”

People are noticing this. They’re telling us. IP Kat silences the most popular topic in that blog.

“All of the comments on the Campinos thread appear to have been deleted,” we got told. “Attempts to post a new comment give this result: “No comments yet. New comments have been disabled for this post by a blog administrator.”

“Seems like some high-level censorship is at work,” a reader explained.

Coming from IP Kat, this does not exactly shock us.

Here’s a response I sent to one reader:

It’s a good thing we copy and repost almost all of them. Exactly because of expectation of such stuff happening (censorship).

It’s quite likely that someone “up high” like EPO or Stephen (CIPA/IP Kat) did not like where this was going.

They also recently deleted comments in a commenting thread about the UPC complaint in Germany, after the filer’s name had been revealed.

IP Kat is a blog of spineless cowards or supine “pussies” who are trying to appease Power to advance their own careers (Bristows coming to mind).

Remember that “Merpel” was supposed to have a “last post”. But the name showed up again, with an entirely different tone and almost certainly another person narrating (Merpel was always several people, it’s just a mask).

It has only been a couple of months since the last IP Kat censorship incident (that we know of); there’s a long tradition to it.

As usual, we can retrieve everything from Google cache, missing only some of the latest comments, such as the last comment (that we could see). It said that the EPO‘s national delegates are “38 other adults who are supposed to be exercising oversight on the actions” (but don’t). To quote in full:

The pathetically human and cheap human behavior of one individual is nothing extraordinary.

However when such behavior is tolerated, indulged and even encouraged by 38 other adults who are supposed to be exercising oversight on the actions of that individual then it would seem that something deeper and more sinister is involved.

It may be just a coincidence but it is difficult to believe.

Grabbed on Sunday around 4AM was this snapshot of the page as it appeared (on 22 Oct 2017 04:20:13 GMT) [PDF], so if someone — some time in the future — wants to revisit these comments he or she can. It’s important that history doesn’t just get ‘wiped’ out of existence. Will that blog ever delete older posts about the EPO? Or comments? It might be hard to detect such deletions. Seeing that similar things have happened (in the very distant past even, including an article about the EPO threatening yours truly), we have adopted a pessimistic approach and make copies of things. It isn’t quite paranoia when it comes handy quite so often. SUEPO too has been censored by threats on occasions.

Here is a recent important article about Campinos [PDF] while we’re at it. Here is Gabi Schmidt’s letter to the EPO’s President [PDF], which we’ve also turned into an image:

Gabi Schmidt's letter to the EPO's President

A long history of deletionism when it comes in the EPO can generally help secure another Battistelli-like era. We want to prevent that from happening. SUEPO has described the above as “[l]etter dated 17 October 2017 from Ms Gabi Schmidt, member of the Bavarian State Parliament to Mr Benoît Battistelli, President of the European Patent Office.” It was published today.

Links 23/10/2017: Wine Staging 2.19, GNOME 3.27.1

Posted in News Roundup at 5:05 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Desktop

    • Containers And Chromebooks: The Future Of Chrome OS

      Last month, I penned my thoughts on what the future of Chrome OS could look like and how devices like the Pixelbook could play a big part in the implementation of containers on Chromebooks. Running non-native apps on top of the Chrome operating system without the need for hacky workarounds would be a monumental watershed for Google who has now tossed a hat in the ring to capture their share of the consumer PC market.

      Virtual Machines, like VMWare, aren’t new and as a third-party solution work very well. However, the development we have been tracking goes well beyond a traditional, web-based solution. The work being done here seems to remove the third-parties and eliminate a browser by creating a built-in container system that can run, in theory, any app the hardware will support.

  • Server

  • Audiocasts/Shows

    • Linux Users Discuss DRM 1 on 1 – Unleaded Hangout

      Linux Users Discuss DRM. Today my Brandon and I discuss encrypted media extensions, digital rights management and our freedom on the Linux desktop. So join Brandon and I as we as Linux Users Discuss DRM.

  • Kernel Space

    • ZenStates Allows Adjusting Zen P-States, Other Tweaking Under Linux

      ZenStates is an independent effort to offer P-States-based overclocking from the Linux desktop of AMD Ryzen processors and other tuning.

      ZenStates-Linux is an open-source Python script inspired by some available Windows programs for offering Ryzen/Zen CPU overclocking from the desktop by manipulating the performance states of the processor.

    • Civil Infrastructure Platform Announces the Release of CIP Core

      Hosted by The Linux Foundation, CIP addresses the needs of long-term software for the power generation and distribution, water, oil and gas, transportation and building automation industries. CIP members such as Codethink, Hitachi, Plat’Home, Renesas, Siemens and Toshiba are working to create a reliable and secure Linux-based embedded software platform that can be sustained more than 10 years and up to 60 years.

    • Linux Foundation Launches OpenMessaging Project

      ​Through a shared exertion bnb m from endeavors and groups put resources into the cloud, enormous information, and standard APIs, I’m eager to welcome the OpenMessaging project from The Linux Foundation. The OpenMessaging group will likely make a comprehensively embraced, merchant impartial, and open standard for dispersed informing that can be conveyed in the cloud, on-commence, and half and half utilize cases.

    • The Linux Foundation Releases Three New Open Source Guides for the Enterprise

      The Linux Foundation, the nonprofit organization enabling mass innovation through open source, has released the next three in a series of Open Source Guides for the Enterprise, created to help executives, open source program managers, developers, attorneys and other decision makers learn how to best leverage open source. These three new guides add to the six released last month at Open Source Summit North America.

    • Graphics Stack

      • AMDGPU DC Gets A Final Batch Of Changes Before Linux 4.15

        The AMDGPU DC display code has a final batch of feature updates that were sent in this weekend for DRM-Next staging and is the last set besides fixes for the “DC” code for the 4.15 target.

      • Valve Developer Lands VK_EXT_global_priority For RADV Vulkan Driver
      • Vulkan 1.0.64 Adds In Another AMD-Developed Extension

        Vulkan 1.0.64 is out this weekend as the newest specification refinement to this high-performance graphics/compute API.

        As usual, most of the changes for this minor Vulkan revision are just documentation clarifications and corrections. This week’s update brings just under a dozen fixes.

      • NVIDIA TX2 / Tegra186 Display Support Isn’t Ready For Linux 4.15

        While the Jetson TX2 has been out since this past March and it’s a phenomenal ARM development board, sadly the Direct Rendering Manager (DRM) driver support for it still isn’t ready with the mainline Linux kernel.

        Thierry Reding of NVIDIA sent in the Tegra DRM driver changes for DRM-Next that in turn is staged for Linux 4.15. Reding commented that there is prepatory work for the TX2 (Tegra186) but it’s not all ready for upstream yet.

      • i965 Shader Cache Revised As It Still Might Squeeze Into Mesa 17.3

        Intel’s Jordan Justen has sent out his third revision to the recently renewed patches for allowing an OpenGL on-disk shader cache for the “i965″ Mesa driver.

        Just a few days back Jordan sent out a revised Intel shader cache implementation for this code that’s long been baking on the Intel side but yet to be merged for mainline Mesa while the RadeonSI shader cache and co has been present now for many months.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

  • Distributions

    • Reviews

      • ArchLabs Linux Mínimo

        ArchLabs is a great combination of lightweight and, thanks to its Arch base, constantly up-to-date software. While probably not for everyone, ArchLabs is a polished distribution that anyone looking for an Arch-based distribution that has a pre-configured desktop and software selection should check out. The only drawback is that, like many lightweight distributions, selecting applications based on what is deemed best for an individual task can result in an odd hodgepodge of applications that all behave differently. Of course, the choice of what to install is up to the user, so that might not be a problem for some, but having applications from Xfce, GNOME, KDE, etc., can lead to a jumbled user experience.

    • OpenSUSE/SUSE

    • Red Hat Family

      • Open source innovation in the public sector

        With digitalization, open source technology is gaining momentum and governments are increasingly embracing open source solutions. In open government initiatives, open source has led to greater citizen participation and contribution. eGov Innovation speaks to Damien Wong, Vice President & General Manager ASEAN, Red Hat, on how government agencies can tap on open source to foster innovation, accelerate digital transformation and benefit citizens.

      • InFluxData Teams With IBM And RedHat To Simplify Analyzing The IOT Data Deluge
      • Finance

        • Career Briefs: Red Hat Inc. Board of Directors Appoints Narendra K. Gupta as Chairman of the Board

          Red Hat Inc. announced that its board of directors has appointed Narendra K. Gupta as chairman of the board. Gupta, who has served on Red Hat’s board of directors since 2005, is a technology industry veteran with more than 40 years’ experience. In 2006, the Indian American entrepreneur co-founded Nexus Venture Partners, a leading venture capital fund, and he currently serves as the firm’s managing director. Gupta co-founded Integrated Systems Inc. in 1980 to develop products for embedded software development. He served as ISI’s president and CEO from its founding until 1994 and as chairman until 2000 when ISI merged with Wind River Systems Inc. He currently serves on the board of trustees of the California Institute of Technology, the advisory board of the Asia Society Northern California, and on the boards of several privately held companies.

    • Debian Family

      • pk4: a new tool to avail the Debian source package producing the specified package

        UNIX distributions used to come with the system source code in /usr/src. This is a concept which fascinates me: if you want to change something in any part of your system, just make your change in the corresponding directory, recomile, reinstall, and you can immediately see your changes in action.

      • Freexian’s report about Debian Long Term Support, September 2017

        Like each month, here comes a report about the work of paid contributors to Debian LTS.

      • Sal Mubarak 2074

        Wishing all Debian people a prosperous and auspicious Gujarati new year (V.S. 2074 called Saumya.)

      • APT 1.6 alpha 1 – seccomp and more

        I just uploaded APT 1.6 alpha 1, introducing a very scary thing: Seccomp sandboxing for methods, the programs downloading files from the internet and decompressing or compressing stuff. With seccomp I reduced the number of system calls these methods can use to 149 from 430. Specifically we excluded most ways of IPC, xattrs, and most importantly, the ability for methods to clone(2), fork(2), or execve(2) (or execveat(2)). Yes, that’s right – methods can no longer execute programs.

      • Debian Policy call for participation — October 2017

        Here’s are some of the bugs against the Debian Policy Manual. In particular, there really are quite a few patches needing seconds from DDs.

      • Free Software Efforts (2017W42)

        Here’s my weekly report for week 42 of 2017. In this week I have replaced my spacebar, failed to replace a HDD and begun the process to replace my YubiKey.

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Mir running on Fedora

            Last week we released Mir 0.28 and this week we settled down to tidy up a few bugs fixes and feature requests that didn’t make the release. I’ve started collecting these for a Mir 0.28.1 release to come in the next few weeks.

            The most interesting of these comes from conversations at the Ubuntu Rally: there were several requests from community members around getting Mir working (or even building!) on other distributions.

          • Ubuntu Developer Gets Mir Running On Fedora

            Lead Mir developer Alan Griffiths has spent the time getting the Mir display server running on Fedora. This is part of a broader feature request of getting Mir running on more Linux distributions than just Ubuntu.

            The changes to get Mir running on at least Fedora should be merged for the upcoming Mir 0.28.1 point release. Mir 0.28.1 will also incorporate other bug fixes.

          • A look at Ubuntu 17.10 Artful Aardvark

            I’m going to preface this review, and say that I liked Ubuntu 17.10 after using it for a few days. However, there were multiple issues with it, that ultimately ruined my experience; however, your mileage my vary.

            Ubuntu 17.10, code-named Artful Aardvark, is the latest Ubuntu Linux release from Canonical, and was released Oct. 19.

            It’s the first desktop release of the pure Ubuntu flavor, to not feature the Unity desktop, since Ubuntu 11.04. Now, Ubuntu uses the GNOME desktop environment now.

          • Ubuntu 17.10 (Artful Aardvark) Desktop Installation Guide with Screenshots
          • Ubuntu 17.10 Artful Aardvark Has Been Released (Download Links)
          • Winners of the Ubuntu 17.10 Free Culture Showcase

            Every new Ubuntu cycle brings many changes, and the arrival of Ubuntu 17.10, the “Artful Aardvark” release, brings more changes than usual. The default desktop has changed to GNOME Shell, with some very thoughtful changes by the desktop team to make it more familiar. And of course, the community wallpapers included with this exciting new release have changed as well!

            Every cycle, talented artists around the world create media and release it under licenses that encourage sharing and adaptation. For Ubuntu 17.10, 50 images were submitted to the Ubuntu 17.10 Free Culture Showcase photo pool on Flickr, where all eligible submissions can be found.

          • Flavours and Variants

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Samsung is adding Linux support for DeX with the new ‘Linux on Galaxy’ app

      Since Samsung debuted the DeX feature earlier this year with the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+ smartphones, the company has been making small changes to improve the whole experience of using your smartphone as a PC. In order to further enhance Samsung DeX, the company has announced “Linux on Galaxy”, an app that will let developers run Linux-based distributions on their mobile device, allowing them to code on-the-go. The app is DeX-enabled, which means developers can code on a bigger device, powered by their Galaxy S8, Galaxy S8+ or Galaxy Note8.

    • You can run any Linux distro on Samsung smartphones using Linux with Galaxy App

      The convergence of a smartphone with a PC/laptop is not new and has been in making for several years. In fact, the idea of such a convergence started with Nokia’s Communicator phone launched in 1996 when it was the undisputed king of feature phone and mobile phone arena.

      Ubuntu devs tried a similar theme with the now-dead Ubuntu for smartphones and tablets. The Ubuntu os was launched with the idea to run full Linux apps on your smartphone. The smartphone even gave users an option to connect a keyboard, mouse, and display. However, that did not sell.

    • Success! Beelink S1 Running Linux – Courtesy of the Open Source Community

      We recently published a post summarizing why the Beelink S1’s hardware specs look so promising for an inexpensive Linux mini PC. But I hit a brick wall when trying to install any flavour of Linux on the machine. I simply could not get the machine to boot a live Linux distro, either from a USB DVD or USB key.

      I contacted Shenzhen AZW Technology Co. Ltd., the manufacturer of the Beelink S1, twice to see if they could offer any support. They replied recommending I get used to running Windows 10, as they contend Ubuntu is difficult to install on this mini PC. The second email has yet to elicit a response. I must have exhausted my support quota. Undeterred, I made a call for help to Linux enthusiasts. And half a dozen good folk promptly stepped forward to offer a simple solution, which I’ll detail below. This is one reason why I love Linux; the community.

    • Purism Librem 5 Linux Smartphone Campaign Set To End At Around $2 Million

      Tomorrow marks the end of the crowdfunding campaign for Purism’s Librem 5 smartphone campaign.

      The campaign is looking like it will close at around two million dollars with the current tally as of this morning being at $1,962,517 in funds raised for this effort to build an original GNU/Linux smartphone stack with either GNOME Shell or KDE Plasma Mobile comprising the UI/UX elements.

    • Librem 5 Linux Phone to Include Nextcloud’s End-to-End Encrypted File Storage

      Purism and Nextcloud announced partnership to bring Nextcloud’s end-to-end encrypted file sync and sharing services to Purism’s mobile and desktop computing products

    • Librem 5 Privacy-Focused Linux Phone Crowdfunding Campaign Ends with $2 Million
    • Nextcloud to be available on ‘free’ smartphone
    • Android

Free Software/Open Source

  • Canada’s Spy Agency Releases its Cyber-Defense Tool for Public
  • Canadian govt spooks open source anti-malware analytics tool

    The Communications Security Establishment (CSE) said the AssemblyLine tool is designed to analyse large volumes of files, and can automatically rebalance workloads.

  • Microservices served on blockchain, in open source

    Cloud application marketplace company Wireline is working with open source blockchain project developer Qtum

    The new union is intended to provide a conduit to consuming microservices at [web] scale using blockchain at the core.

    As we know, microservices offer the ability to create Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) without having to manage the underlying hardware and software infrastructure.

    [...]

    The Qtum a blockchain application platform combines the functions of Bitcoin Core, an account abstraction layer allowing for multiple virtual machines and a proof-of-stake consensus protocol aimed at tackling industry-use cases.

    The Qtum Foundation, headquartered in Singapore, is the decision-making body that drives the project’s development.

  • Party Like It’s 1987 – PC-MOS/386 Goes Open Source

    The idea of a multi-user operating system is almost a tautology today but back in the 1980s it wasn’t all that common – at least when it came to personal computing. PC-MOS was a multi-user operating system that, like DR-DOS and others, competed with Microsoft’s MS-DOS before eventually disappearing at the Redmond juggernaut crushed almost all its competition. Now, Roeland Jansen, Gary Robertson and Rod Roark have put the operating system onto GitHub as an open source project so we can all mess with its source code.

  • How to manage casual contributors to open source projects

    Increasingly, people want to contribute to projects casually—when they want to, rather than adhering to a schedule. This is part of a broader trend of “episodic volunteering” noted by a wide range of volunteer organizations and governments. This has been attributed not only to changes in the workforce, which leave fewer people able to volunteer with less spare time to share, but also to changes in how people perceive the act of volunteering. It is no longer seen as a communal obligation, rather as a conditional activity in which the volunteer also receives benefits. Moreover, distributed revision-control systems and the network effects of GitHub, which standardize the process of making a contribution, make it easier for people to contribute casually to free/libre/open source software (FLOSS) projects.

  • Events

    • openSUSE.Asia Summit 2017 in Tokyo
    • GStreamer Conference 2017 Videos

      Taking place this weekend in Prague has been the 8th annual GStreamer Conference, which is preceding next week’s Linux Foundation Embedded Linux Conference Europe.

    • Call for sessions at the FSFE assembly during 34C3

      With the CCC moving from Hamburg to Leipzig, there are not only logistic changes to be done but also some organisational changes. We are still figuring out the details, but in the context of this call, one of the major changes will be the loss of free available rooms to book for self-organised sessions. Instead, assemblies that match with each other are asked to cluster around 1 of several stages and use that as a common stage for self-organized sessions together. To make the most of this situation, the FSFE will for the first time not join the Noisy Square this year but form a new neighbourhood with other freedom fighting NGOs – in particular with our friends from European Digital Rights. However, at this point of time, we do not yet have more information about the concrete or final arrangements.

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Rendering HTML5 video in Servo with GStreamer

        At the Web Engines Hackfest in A Coruña at the beginning of October 2017, I was working on adding some proof-of-concept code to Servo to render HTML5 videos with GStreamer. For the impatient, the results can be seen in this video here

  • Education

    • 5 ways to invigorate education with Raspberry Pi

      A couple of years ago, I was talking to PayPal senior director of software development Harper Reed at All Things Open in Raleigh, N.C., when he suggested that the best way to invigorate education would be to purchase Raspberry Pis en masse and put them in public libraries.

      Although many schools have made sizeable investments in classroom technology, those investments have done little to advance students’ understanding of how the technology works. That’s where the Raspberry Pi comes in, as it’s the ideal vehicle to demonstrate the educational efficacy of open source software and open hardware in the classroom.

  • Pseudo-Open Source (Openwashing)

    • Ikea’s Open-Source Showrooms

      Ikea Group will also roll out a new digital platform called ‘Co-Create Ikea’ which mimics its IT division’s open-source software development, where customers have the chance help develop and test new products.

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • Working Intel CET Bits Now Land In GCC8

      A few days back I wrote about Intel’s work on Control-flow Enforcement Technology beginning to land in GCC. This “CET” work for future Intel CPUs has now landed in full for GCC 8.

      The bits wiring up this control-flow instrumentation and enforcement support are now all present in mainline GCC SVN/Git for next year’s GCC 8.1 release.

    • Using Gitea and/or Github to host blog comments

      After having moved from FSFE’s wordpress instance I thought long about whether I still want to have comments on the new blog. And how I would be able to do it with a statically generated site. I think I have found/created a pretty good solution that I document below.

    • Glibc Picks Up Some More FMA Performance Optimizations

      The GNU C Library, glibc, has picked up support for some additional functions as FMA-optimized versions.

      The newest functions now getting the fused multiply-add (FMA) support are powf(), logf(), exp2f(), and log2f(). The FMA instruction set is present since Intel Haswell and AMD Piledriver generations and like past FMA optimizations, the benefits can be quite noticeable.

  • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

    • Open Data

      • Linux Foundation Debuts Community Data License Agreement

        he Linux Foundation, the nonprofit advancing professional open source management for mass collaboration, today announced the Community Data License Agreement (CDLA) family of open data agreements. In an era of expansive and often underused data, the CDLA licenses are an effort to define a licensing framework to support collaborative communities built around curating and sharing “open” data.

    • Open Access/Content

      • Landmark release of Termination of Transfer tool from Creative Commons and Authors Alliance

        For more than a decade, Creative Commons has developed and stewarded legal tools that give creators the opportunity to share their work on open terms. We have focused on tools that empower sharing at the moment of publication, leaving out an important group of creators: what about those who previously signed away their rights to their works long ago, but who now want to share on open terms under a CC license or renegotiate unfavorable publishing terms?

  • Programming/Development

    • linl 0.0.1: linl is not Letter

      Aaron Wolen and I are pleased to announce the availability of the initial 0.0.1 release of our new linl package on the CRAN network. It provides a simple-yet-powerful Markdown—and RMarkdown—wrapper the venerable LaTeX letter class. Aaron had done the legwork in the underlying pandoc-letter repository upon which we build via proper rmarkdown integration.

Leftovers

  • Several women accuse tech pundit Robert Scoble of sexual assault, harassment

    By 2003, Scoble took a job at Microsoft as a tech evangelist, and later worked at other tech and media firms, including Rackspace and Fast Company. In 2014, he publicly wrote about his own experience as a child victim of sexual abuse. More recently, Scoble was the company’s “entrepreneur-in-residence” at a company called Upload VR. Scoble, who in his Twitter profile calls himself an “authority on the future,” also founded a consultancy called “Transformation Group” earlier this year.

  • Health/Nutrition

    • Who Profits from the Opioid Crisis? Meet the Secretive Sackler Family Making Billions from OxyContin

      This week, President Donald Trump’s nominee for drug czar, Republican Congressmember Tom Marino, had to withdraw from consideration after a Washington Post/”60 Minutes” investigation found he led a drug industry-backed effort to pass a law that weakened the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration’s ability to crack down on addictive opioids. Meanwhile, calls are growing to look at the major pharmaceutical companies that have fueled the opioid crisis. A new investigation by Esquire magazine reveals how the secretive Sackler family, owners of the company that invented OxyContin, downplayed the risks of addiction and exploited doctors’ confusion over the drug’s strength. We speak with Christopher Glazek, the Esquire reporter behind the story.

    • THE SECRETIVE FAMILY MAKING BILLIONS FROM THE OPIOID CRISIS

      The descendants of Mortimer and Raymond Sackler, a pair of psychiatrist brothers from Brooklyn, are members of a billionaire clan with homes scattered across Connecticut, London, Utah, Gstaad, the Hamptons, and, especially, New York City. It was not until 2015 that they were noticed by Forbes, which added them to the list of America’s richest families. The magazine pegged their wealth, shared among twenty heirs, at a conservative $14 billion. (Descendants of Arthur Sackler, Mortimer and Raymond’s older brother, split off decades ago and are mere multi-millionaires.) To a remarkable degree, those who share in the billions appear to have abided by an oath of omertà: Never comment publicly on the source of the family’s wealth.

      That may be because the greatest part of that $14 billion fortune tallied by Forbes came from OxyContin, the narcotic painkiller regarded by many public-health experts as among the most dangerous products ever sold on a mass scale. Since 1996, when the drug was brought to market by Purdue Pharma, the American branch of the Sacklers’ pharmaceutical empire, more than two hundred thousand people in the United States have died from overdoses of OxyContin and other prescription painkillers. Thousands more have died after starting on a prescription opioid and then switching to a drug with a cheaper street price, such as heroin. Not all of these deaths are related to OxyContin—dozens of other painkillers, including generics, have flooded the market in the past thirty years. Nevertheless, Purdue Pharma was the first to achieve a dominant share of the market for long-acting opioids, accounting for more than half of prescriptions by 2001.

    • Why Isn’t Pharma Paying for the Opioid Addiction Epidemic It Caused?

      By now, the contours of Pharma’s opioid prescription scam which has driven a heroin epidemic have emerged. Between 1996 and 2002, Purdue Pharma, who makes OxyContin, funded more than 20,000 pain-related “educational” programs reports Vox Media and “launched a multifaceted campaign to encourage long-term use of [opioid painkillers] for chronic non-cancer pain.” It gave money to groups like the American Pain Society, the American Academy of Pain Medicine, the Federation of State Medical Boards and “grassroots” patient groups to advocate “for more aggressive identification and treatment of pain,” says Vox.

    • Thousands of DIY foodies sickened in outbreak from poor agricultural practices

      Since 2015, the number of Salmonella infections from contact with backyard poultry has quadrupled across the nation. This year, nearly every state has been pecked by outbreak strains; only Alaska and Delaware can crow about dodging them. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has confirmed 1,120 cases. Nearly 250 of those involved hospitalization, and one person died.

      But that is likely just scratching the surface of the real numbers, according to CDC veterinarian Megin Nichols. “For one Salmonella case we know of in an outbreak, there are up to 30 others that we don’t know about,” she told the AP.

    • Zimbabwean activists condemn ‘absurd’ World Health Organization honour for Robert Mugabe

      Zimbabwean human rights activists have accused the World Health Organization of hypocrisy after it appointed Robert Mugabe as a goodwill ambassador.

      Mr Mugabe, who regularly flies abroad for his own medical treatment and has been accused of running his country’s health system into the ground, received the honour at a conference on non communicable diseases in Montevideo, the capital of Uruguay, on Wednesday.

  • Security

    • Where Did That Software Come From?

      The article explores how cryptography, especially hashing and code signing, can be use to establish the source and integrity. It examines how source code control systems and automated build systems are a key part of the software provenance story. (Provenance means “a record of ownership of a work of art or an antique, used as a guide to authenticity or quality.” It is increasingly being applied to software.)

    • Judge: MalwareTech is no longer under curfew, GPS monitoring [Updated]

      A judge in Milwaukee has modified the pre-trial release conditions of Marcus Hutchins, also known online as “MalwareTech,” who was indicted two months ago on federal criminal charges.

      Under US Magistrate Judge William Duffin’s Thursday order, Hutchins, who is currently living in Los Angeles, will no longer be subject to a curfew or to GPS monitoring.

    • [Older] Leicester teen tries to hack CIA and FBI chiefs’ computers

      A teenager attempted to hack senior US government officials’ computers from his home.

      Kane Gamble, 18, from Coalville, Leicestershire, pleaded guilty to 10 charges relating to computer hacking.

      His targets included the then CIA director John Brennan and former FBI deputy director Mark Giuliano.

    • The recent catastrophic Wi-Fi vulnerability was in plain sight for 13 years behind a corporate paywall

      The recent Wi-Fi “KRACK” vulnerability, which allowed anyone to get onto a secure network (and which was quickly patched by reputable vendors), had been in plain sight behind a corporate-level paywall for 13 years. This raises a number of relevant, interesting, and uncomfortable questions.

  • Defence/Aggression

    • Qatar: Cambridge Analytica And Trump Working In Russia’s Interests

      On the 5th of June 2017, Saudi Arabia, the U.A.E., Egypt, and Bahrain suddenly “cut diplomatic and commercial ties with Qatar …accusing it of supporting terrorism, meddling in their internal affairs and advancing the agenda of regional foe Iran.”
      Qatar vehemently denies the allegations and has been working with both US and UK security services in the wake of a Russian hacking and disinformation offensive.
      According to extensive reporting “The following day, Trump stunned lawmakers on both sides of the aisle by unexpectedly joining in on the Qatar-bashing.”

    • Gloucester man charged with terrorism in connection to Williamsburg IED explosion

      A Gloucester man was arrested and charged late Friday with setting off an improvised explosive device in a parking lot Thursday evening near Colonial Williamsburg.

      Stephen Powers, 30, was arrested at his home in Gloucester and was charged with possessing and using an explosive device and committing an act of terrorism, according to Williamsburg Police.

    • Man Bites Dog: NYT Does Journalism

      But there are occasional moments when some reporter at an MSM outlet behaves responsibly and those instances should be noted at least under the classic definition of “news” – something that is unexpected – or as the old saying goes, “dog bites man is not news; man bites dog is news.”

      One such moment occurred earlier this month when a Times science editor assigned science reporter Carl Zimmer to look into the mysterious illnesses affecting U.S. diplomats in the recently reopened U.S. embassy in Cuba.

      About two dozen U.S. diplomats supposedly were suffering hearing loss and cognitive difficulties due to what has been labeled a “sonic attack.” The Trump administration blamed the Cuban government even though the Cubans claimed to be mystified and would seem to have little motive for disrupting a long-sought détente with Washington along with the expected boon to their tourist industry. President Trump “retaliated” by expelling 15 Cuban diplomats.

    • EXCLUSIVE: US Preparing to Put Nuclear Bombers Back on 24-Hour Alert

      The U.S. Air Force is preparing to put nuclear-armed bombers back on 24-hour ready alert, a status not seen since the Cold War ended in 1991.

      That means the long-dormant concrete pads at the ends of this base’s 11,000-foot runway — dubbed the “Christmas tree” for their angular markings — could once again find several B-52s parked on them, laden with nuclear weapons and set to take off at a moment’s notice.

      “This is yet one more step in ensuring that we’re prepared,” Gen. David Goldfein, Air Force chief of staff, said in an interview during his six-day tour of Barksdale and other U.S. Air Force bases that support the nuclear mission. “I look at it more as not planning for any specific event, but more for the reality of the global situation we find ourselves in and how we ensure we’re prepared going forward.”

    • Donald Trump Is Rush-Shipping Condolences to Military Families

      The Trump administration is scrambling to defend the president’s characterization of his communications with grieving military families, including rush-delivering letters from the president to the families of servicemembers killed months ago. Donald Trump falsely claimed this week that he had called “virtually” all fallen servicemembers’ families since his time in office.

      Timothy Eckels Sr. hadn’t heard anything from President Trump since his son Timothy Eckels Jr. was killed after a collision involving the USS John S. McCain on August 21. But then, on October 20, two days into the controversy over the president’s handling of a condolence call with an American soldier’s widow, Eckels Sr. received a United Parcel Service package dated October 18 with a letter from the White House.

    • John Brennan’s Police State USA

      Did US agents and diplomats warn their Russian counterparts that Russian troops would “come home in body bags” and that the western media would launch a propaganda campaign against them?

      Yes, again.

      Did US officials say the western media would concoct a phony story about “Russian hacking” that would be used to persuade the American people that Russia was a dangerous enemy that had to be reigned in with harsh economic sanctions, provocative military maneuvers, and threats of violence?

  • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

    • Seeking To Root Out Leakers, The Intelligence Community Is Destroying Official Routes For Whistleblowers

      The Trump Administration is continuing its war on leakers. It’s probably meant to keep whistleblowers at bay as well. This isn’t necessarily a trait unique to Trump’s White House. There really hasn’t been a whistleblower-friendly administration in pretty much ever, but this particular administration has been awash in leaked documents, each one prompting more severe crackdowns.

      But it’s going to come to a head at the national security level. The “Intelligence Community” — sixteen agencies participating and partaking in intelligence analysis and collection under the Office of the Director of National Intelligence — is basically ousting its internal oversight. Jenna McLaughlin, writing for Foreign Policy, has the details.

    • Malta offers “unprecedented” $1.18M reward for information on journalist’s killer

      The Maltese government offered a reward in a bank heist case a few years ago, but this was believed to be the first time it posted a reward in a murder case. In the last 10 years, there have been 15 Mafia-style bombings or similar attacks in Malta, and many of the crimes have gone unsolved.

    • #GavinRemembered: in memory of our founding director

      This weekend we remember our founding director Gavin MacFadyen, who died of lung cancer a year ago.

      It was impossible not to like Gavin. His enthusiasm, love of life, courage and incredible capacity for friendship won you over immediately.

      An investigative journalist and a filmmaker, he founded the Centre for Investigative Journalism in 2003. Since then the CIJ has gone from strength to strength, establishing itself as the bastion for tough investigative reporting and training.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife/Nature

    • What the Koch Brothers do in the shadows — and why

      MacLean is also deeply concerned about how the radical right-wing is much more sophisticated in their strategic thinking than are Democrats, liberals and progressives.

    • Our Summer of Fire and the Fires to Come

      Explosive wildfires have raged in Northern California over the last two weeks. Forty-one people are dead, and at least 6,700 structures have been destroyed, making these the most destructive fires in the state’s history. Parts of the city of Santa Rosa have burned to the ground. Extremely hot and dry conditions, continuing impacts of the state’s drought, and high winds combined to create fires so fast-moving, many residents were forced to flee for their lives with only minutes notice. Tens of thousands have been forced to evacuate. In the last several days, better weather has been helping firefighters fight the blazes, though many are still continuing. Air quality in the region has been called the worst in recorded history due to wildfire smoke.

    • EPA says it won’t cut biofuel quotas after corn states push back

      The agency had been considering some changes to rules set by the Obama administration that ratchet up the amount of renewable biofuel that refineries must blend into the gas and diesel they sell. According to Bloomberg, the EPA had specifically been considering “a possible reduction in biodiesel requirements” as well as “a proposal to allow exported renewable fuel to count toward domestic quotas.” In early October, the EPA asked for public comment on cutting biodiesel quotas.

      The Bloomberg story cited unnamed sources who said President Trump personally directed Pruitt to back off any proposals that would relax biofuel quotas after pressure from lawmakers from corn-producing states like Iowa, Nebraska, and Illinois. Trump, who courted both fossil fuel interests and corn-belt states in his campaign, has had pressure from each side on this debate. Uncertainty surrounding the future of biofuel use during Trump’s administration has caused volatility in biofuels markets for months, Reuters notes.

    • U.N. Officials Urge the World to Ignore Trump on Climate

      The hurricanes and wildfires that have severely damaged large areas of the United States in recent weeks have had no impact on US president Donald Trump’s determination to ignore the perils of climate change and support the coal industry.

      In a deliberate denial of mainstream science, the Trump administration has issued a strategic four-year plan for the US nnvironment Protection Agency that does not once mention “greenhouse gas emissions”, “carbon dioxide” or “climate change” in its 48 pages.

      Rachel Cleetus, lead economist and climate policy manager of the Union of Concerned Scientists, describes this as “stunning” in its ignorance. “This was not an oversight,” she says, “this is a deliberate strategy by this administration.”

    • New Zealand’s New Prime Minister is Promising a Zero-Carbon Nation by 2050

      New Zealand’s new Prime Minister elect, Jacina Ardern, is not wasting time to commit to fighting climate change. With the help of her coalition government, Ardern has set a target for New Zealand to become a zero-carbon nation by the year 2050. This includes promises to reduce overall carbon emissions and to offset what remains with international carbon credits and tree planting.

    • CO₂ benefits of regrowing forests nothing to sniff at

      It’s a common suggestion that we should just plant trees to suck CO2 out of the atmosphere, but this isn’t quite the solution it may seem. Reforestation would roughly make up for the carbon added to the atmosphere by past deforestation, but our burning of fossil fuels is another matter.

      Still, that’s no argument to ignore reforestation. There is no silver bullet solution to climate change, and many things like reforestation add up to make meaningful contributions. And reforestation has a host of other benefits, including improving air quality and providing species with habitats.

      So how much of a difference could efforts to save and regrow forests—together with conservation of other ecosystems—really do? That’s the question asked by a group led by Bronson Griscom, an ecologist at The Nature Conservancy. By including a broad set of possible reforestation actions, Griscom and his colleagues found a larger opportunity than we’d previously estimated.

    • Relocated Puerto Rican Families are Florida’s Latest Class War Targets

      As the Puerto Rico disaster unfolds before our horrified eyes, shortages of water, food, housing, medicine, and healthcare threaten countless lives. As of October 13, 2017, 30,000 Puerto Ricans have arrived at the Orlando International Airport– which has established a disaster relief center to aid incoming islanders who are hungry, thirsty, and need essential living assistance. Florida has taken other steps towards welcoming Puerto Ricans to the state as well. After all, the Sunshine State is already home to over 1 million Puerto Ricans, right? Already embroiled in widespread class bludgeoning and racial engineering tactics, the state is ill-prepared to meet this historic humanitarian challenge as it already faces job, housing, food, healthcare, and quality education shortages. Governor Rick Scott’s publicly funded services–like education, food stamps, and medicaid programs– are like Trump’s Puerto Rico paper towel toss: grandstanding displays, with zero substance, that brazenly and condescendingly reward almost randomly fortunate recipients. Let them eat paper towels!

  • Finance

    • Bitcoin Breaches $6,000 for the First Time

      Bitcoin soared to another milestone Friday, as the digital currency breached $6,000 for the first time to put its gain in 2017 to more than 500 percent.

    • [Older] Why governments should protect us from barely-taxed tech monopolies

      They owe their dominance to innovation, but also to tax avoidance.

    • As tech companies get richer, is it ‘game over’ for startups?

      Startups drive job creation and innovation, but the number of new business launches is at a 30-year low and some economists, investors and entrepreneurs are pointing their fingers at big tech.

    • Senate Republicans Are Trying to Give the 1 Percent a $1.9 Trillion Tax Break

      Senators Bernie Sanders and Tammy Baldwin led the opposition with a pair of amendments that challenged a “horrible bill.”

    • Brexit: UK will struggle to change UK borders in time, says watchdog

      The government will struggle to deliver the “huge changes” required to the UK’s borders in time for Brexit, Meg Hillier, chairwoman of the Commons public accounts committee.
      The Labour MP was responding to a report by the National Audit Office, the UK’s spending watchdog.
      The report warned of a significant increase in workload for border forces following Brexit.
      The government said it would ensure border forces had adequate resources.

    • With evidence of a failing Brexit, who needs prophecy?

      Prophets of doom are not much fun to be around. Nobody wants a “Jeremiah next door”, which is how the Daily Mail recently described Philip Hammond’s relationship to Theresa May. The chancellor was accused of spooking the prime minister with Old Testament fire-and-brimstone economic forecasts. His refusal to spread the Good News about Brexit was cited as grounds for dismissal.

    • Creative industries facing ‘catastrophic’ loss of talent after Brexit

      Brexit could cause “catastrophic” damage to the UK’s booming culture industry, according to a survey of over 1,000 creative companies.

      The Creative Industries Federation report into the impact of international talent on Britain’s thriving arts sector, suggests a severe skills shortage is only going to worsen when freedom of movement comes to an end after leaving the European Union.

    • Who actually trades solely under WTO rules?

      The likelihood of the UK crashing out of the EU seems to be increasing with every step of the negotiation.
      For those of us that believe in the merits of the EU, this would be a disaster, but the counter point used by some opponents of the EU[1] is that, even if we leave with no deal, we can fall back onto the tariffs agreed under the World Trade Organisation

    • Brexit dark money revelations trigger MP’s question on ‘foreign interference’

      openDemocracy’s investigations into Leave donor Arron Banks and the DUP make global headlines, prompting calls for transparency.

    • How I stopped worrying and learned to love Brexit

      If you’re one of those sad, unsaved souls still losing sleep about Britain’s messy divorce from Europe then I have some advice: cheer up. Remember being British doesn’t mean you have to be miserable all the time; a little bit of optimism is OK. So, please, I implore you: take a deep breath, ignore all logic and reason, dismiss any inconvenient truths and look on the bright side of Brexit. If you’re having trouble doing that then help is at hand: I’ve compiled a six-point plan on how to stop worrying and learn to love Brexit.

    • Big data meets Big Brother as China moves to rate its citizens

      On June 14, 2014, the State Council of China published an ominous-sounding document called “Planning Outline for the Construction of a Social Credit System”. In the way of Chinese policy documents, it was a lengthy and rather dry affair, but it contained a radical idea. What if there was a national trust score that rated the kind of citizen you were?

      Imagine a world where many of your daily activities were constantly monitored and evaluated: what you buy at the shops and online; where you are at any given time; who your friends are and how you interact with them; how many hours you spend watching content or playing video games; and what bills and taxes you pay (or not). It’s not hard to picture, because most of that already happens, thanks to all those data-collecting behemoths like Google, Facebook and Instagram or health-tracking apps such as Fitbit. But now imagine a system where all these behaviours are rated as either positive or negative and distilled into a single number, according to rules set by the government. That would create your Citizen Score and it would tell everyone whether or not you were trustworthy. Plus, your rating would be publicly ranked against that of the entire population and used to determine your eligibility for a mortgage or a job, where your children can go to school – or even just your chances of getting a date.

      A futuristic vision of Big Brother out of control? No, it’s already getting underway in China, where the government is developing the Social Credit System (SCS) to rate the trustworthiness of its 1.3 billion citizens. The Chinese government is pitching the system as a desirable way to measure and enhance “trust” nationwide and to build a culture of “sincerity”. As the policy states, “It will forge a public opinion environment where keeping trust is glorious. It will strengthen sincerity in government affairs, commercial sincerity, social sincerity and the construction of judicial credibility.”

  • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • Trump Defends Frequent Twitter Bickering with US Officials
    • Amazon spends $3.4M on lobbying in record quarter

      Amazon spent $3.4 million on federal lobbying over the past three months, a new record for the company in a quarter that saw its acquisition of Whole Foods quickly approved by the Federal Trade Commission.

      With a total of $9.5 million spent so far in 2017, Amazon, which declined The Hill’s request for comment, is on track to surpass the $11 million it spent last year.

    • Czech Republic election won by party of populist billionaire who says he can easily fix things

      The Pirate Party won seats for the first time, coming in third with 10.8 percent of the vote, [...]

    • TABLE-Czech billionaire’s ANO party wins big in election

      Pirates 10.79

    • Pirates enter another parliament: Congratulations to the Czech Pirate Party!

      UPDATE 1: The final score appears to be close to 10.79%, which makes the Czech Pirates the third largest party, ahead of such parties as the Social Democrats (7.27%), Christian Democratic Union (5.80%), and Greens (1.46%). It also means the Pirates are getting a full 22 seats, tentatively indicating that all fourteen districts’ list-toppers and some of the list-seconds have a new job. At this time (20:07 on Saturday), the list of new MPs is not yet presented by the Czech Election Authority.

    • Czech Election Won by Anti-Establishment Party Led by Billionaire

      [...] with 10.7 percent, doubled its proportion from the previous election. That was just a fraction of a percentage point behind the youth-oriented Czech Pirate Party, an anti-establishment movement from the opposite end of the political spectrum.

    • Exclusive: Pentagon Document Contradicts Trump’s Gold Star Claims

      In the hours after President Donald Trump said on an Oct. 17 radio broadcast that he had contacted nearly every family that had lost a military servicemember this year, the White House was hustling to learn from the Pentagon the identities and contact information for those families, according to an internal Defense Department email.

      The email exchange, which has not been previously reported, shows that senior White House aides were aware on the day the president made the statement that it was not accurate — but that they should try to make it accurate as soon as possible, given the gathering controversy.

    • O’Reilly Settled New Harassment Claims, Then Fox Renewed His Contract
    • Many unhappy with current political system

      Public attitudes about the political system broadly and the national government specifically vary considerably around the world, though many are critical. Opinions are closely related to the status of the economy and domestic politics. Publics who have experienced high economic growth and are happy with their country’s economy are more confident in their national government. Similarly, people who support the governing party or parties in their country tend to give more positive evaluations of their democracy than those who support either the opposition or no political party at all.

    • Report: Twitter CEO took a Russian impostor’s bait in 2016

      In fact, the example Daily Beast reporter Ben Collins found was a single account, @crystal1johnson, getting two juicy retweets from Twitter’s very own “@jack.” The discovered posts (which are now archive-only, thanks to the account being deleted in August) date back to March 2016. Both revolve around black identity in the United States.

    • Russia’s free pass to undermine British democracy

      You’d never guess it, but Britain is a lucky country. Across the democratic world, Russia pursues its interests by corrupting elections with black propaganda. But in their insouciance, our government and intelligence services show dear old Blighty has no reason to worry. On the rare occasions it bothers to discuss the subject, the British state says “it can’t happen here”, even though “it” is happening everywhere else.

      The FBI is investigating how Russia hacked the Clinton campaign and used Facebook and Twitter to spread fake news. Ukrainians are preparing for the next stage of resistance to Russian forces. European foreign ministries and intelligence services have finally understood that Russia’s imperial strategy is to weaken the EU and Nato in every country except, it seems, this sceptred isle.

      Russia knows its best tactic is to use migrant crises to stoke nativist fears. “German government threw their country under feet of migrants like a rug, now try wipe their crimes under carpet,” tweeted the Russian embassy in London in 2016 as the Kremlin began a successful campaign to promote the interests of the chauvinists in Alternative for Germany. A bank close to Vladimir Putin loaned $10m to Marine le Pen’s anti-EU Front National. He encouraged the anti-immigrant Freedom party in Austria, the Lega Nord in Italy and Jobbik in Hungary.

    • Spanish government announces plan to seize power in Catalonia, remove elected government

      Yesterday, Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy announced plans to remove the democratically elected regional government of Catalonia and replace them with direct rule by the national government in Madrid.

    • The national conversation: free, open and broad debate

      Those two interventions were in some ways very different. Snow, who delivered the annual MacTaggart lecture at the Edinburgh television festival in August, spoke movingly of the Grenfell fire, and not only of the social distance between journalists and the residents of Grenfell, but also the former’s proximity to the rich and powerful.

      He worried that broadcasters were on the ‘wrong side of the terrible divide that exists in present day society’, having lined up ‘comfortably with the élite, with little awareness, contact, or connection with those not of the elite’. Snow also criticised Facebook and Google in his lecture, noting that the multinationals were profiting from journalism, but not contributing, and were thereby undermining the profession. ‘Facebook,’ he said, ‘feasts on our products and pays all but nothing’.

    • The Catalan experience

      The European Union may have decided that Catalans should forget all about independence for the sake of the peace of mind of everyone, but these people honestly don’t seem to give a damn.

  • Censorship/Free Speech

    • Censorship fears as Philippine parliament fails to renew Catholic radio licence

      The Philippine House of Representatives has not renewed the licence of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines to operate dozens of radio stations across the country.

      The bishops lodged an application to renew the licence in January, because their previous one was due to expire on August 7, reported ucanews.com. The application, which sought the extension of the licence, or franchise, for another 25 years, remains stuck at the committee level of the Lower House of Congress.

    • Despite its name, the Stop Enabling Sex Trafficking Act threatens free speech

      But the truth is that SESTA could create calls for even more censorship. The legislation would revise Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, which protects online platforms such as search engines and social media from being charged for the misconduct of their users. That immunity is premised on the idea that online services are simply neutral tools.

    • Biggest drop in Facebook organic reach we have ever seen

      Facebook Explore Feed is rolling out globally this week. Most people around the world can see it in their bookmarks and they can discover new content here. But in Slovakia, Sri Lanka, Serbia, Bolivia, Guatemala and Cambodia it works differently: all posts by pages are moved from newsfeed to Explore Feed. In main newsfeed are now just friend and sponsored posts.

    • Protest of class amounted to censorship

      A group of concerned community members organized a protest against the series and sent a letter to the society’s board asking that the series be canceled and the course removed from the society’s website.

      Teachers should not fear that their interpretation of class material or historical figures will be censored or the class canceled because it is upsetting to someone else.

    • Florida prison officials step up censorship against ‘Militant’

      The Florida Department of Corrections has stepped up its censorship of the Militant over the last several months. On Sept. 19 the prison system’s Literature Review Committee upheld the impoundment of the July 17 issue. Prison authorities claimed that an article reporting on the fight against censorship of two previous issues — which the committee itself had reversed — was a “threat to the security, good order, or discipline” of the prison.

      That same day the Militant received notice that the Sept. 11 issue had been barred. The reason this time? A front-page article on a San Francisco protest against racism and one explaining why working people should defend the right to free speech. Both articles appeared under a banner headline reading, “Socialist Workers Party: Protest Racist Attacks!”

    • In its new timeline, Twitter will end revenge porn next week, hate speech in two

      In the beginning of 2017, Twitter said it would take on harassment and hate speech. CEO Jack Dorsey said the company would embrace a “completely new approach to abuse on Twitter” with open dialogue along the way.

      For months, though, the company has offered few details about what it would do, or when. That changed late yesterday, when Twitter posted a timeline with specific promises on actions it will take.

    • BJP demands censorship of anti-Modi film in India
    • Kamal Hassan Supports Tamil Movie Against Censorship
    • ‘Don’t demonetise Tamil pride’: Rahul Gandhi tells Modi on ‘Mersal’ censorship
    • Thalapathy Vijay’s Mersal runs into trouble, political parties ask for re-censorship of the film
    • US Senators take Apple to task over China VPN app removal
    • Hypocritical Ted Cruz Attacks Apple’s Hypocritical Concession To Chinese Censors

      US senator Ted Cruz, who just last year expressed his support for a governmental backdoor into the iPhone, is absolutely outraged that Apple would restrict the freedom and privacy of Chinese citizens by removing VPN apps from its App Store in China. And he’s sent a strongly worded letter to Apple CEO Tim Cook demanding answers.

    • When Can Private Entities Censor Speech?

      Earlier this month, the Supreme Court of Georgia answered a question that has long tormented American youth—or at least me when I was an American youth: If I flip off the pastor, can the police put me in jail?

      The answer, in Georgia at least, is no: “a raised middle finger, by itself, does not, without more, amount to fighting words or a true threat,” the state court said. For that reason, a disgruntled parishioner could not be convicted of acting “in a violent or tumultuous manner” and placing another person “in reasonable fear of” their safety.

  • Privacy/Surveillance

    • UK and US Citizens: Please Request Your Personal Data Held By Cambridge Analytica

      By now, many people have probably heard about the company Cambridge Analytica. By its own admission, it played a major role in the success of Donald Trump. There are also numerous indications that it was involved in the Brexit campaign.

      Because Cambridge Analytica is intimately bound up with the London-based company SCL it is possible to make a subject access request in order to find out what information is held about you. This applies to both UK and US citizens.

    • Aadhaar, a problem for women seeking abortions

      The linking of Aadhaar to seek abortion services poses risk of life to the life of a woman, doctors at Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER) at Chandigarh have stated. According to the latest paper published in British Medical Journal (BMJ), a 28-year-old housemaid was forced to seek services from an unqualified quack after being turned away by the government hospital at Chandigarh, because she did not have an Aadhaar card.

      After having not menstruated for two-and-a-half months, she realised she was pregnant and visited a government dispensary. Weighing 45 kilos, the woman already had three children.

    • GCHQ shares citizens’ ‘exceptionally sensitive’ data with Bristol University researchers daily, tribunal hears

      Privacy International has told a tribunal this week that MI5 and MI6 sidestepped legal safeguards when they shared huge amounts of data with foreign intelligence services and partners.

      The tribunal has also heard that GCHQ shared enormous amounts of data with researchers at Bristol University.

      Documents unearthed by Edward Snowden indicate researchers at the university are given access to GCHQ’s entire raw unselected datasets – including internet usage, telephone call logs, online file transfers and websites visited as well as others.

    • Google’s annual report shows more web traffic is encrypted

      For several years now, Google has been exerting pressure to increase the usage of HTTPS across the internet. By defaulting to secure connections on both ends, users can be protected from anyone who may intercept or even manipulate data as it flows back and forth — quite useful in a world where you can’t even trust WiFi. For its own products, Google says HTTPS use is up to 89 percent overall, up from just 50 percent at the beginning of 2014. The number of top 100 websites defaulting to HTTPS has nearly doubled since last year (way to catch up), growing from 37 to 71.

    • Take Back Our Voter Data
    • The Rhetoric of “Responsible Encryption”

      I want to focus on the rhetorical framing Rosenstein used. Much of it is transparently hyperbolic. Yet its confrontational tone also signals that the Justice Department believes it may yet be able to seize the upper hand in the current round of the crypto wars.

      As in any war, propaganda is an indispensable component here. Branding is key. As cryptography professor Phil Rogaway pointed out in an award-winning paper, even the label “going dark” has a Lakoffian aspect to it, evoking our ancient fear of the dark. When we call this the “going dark” debate (or a “war”), we’re giving more power to that framing. Whoever dictates the labels we use has already begun to channel the discussion in their preferred direction, as Rogaway observed.

    • Rice expert: Be concerned about how apps collect, share health data

      As of 2016 there were more than 165,000 health and wellness apps available though the Apple App Store alone. According to Rice University medical media expert Kirsten Ostherr, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulates only a fraction of those. Americans should be concerned about how these apps collect, save and share their personal health data, she said.

      [...]

      And, she said, the likelihood that the data from the unregulated health apps makes its way back into a medical setting where a patient could benefit from a physician’s review of that data is “almost nil.”

    • Silicon Valley Is Not Your Friend
    • 10 reasons why Aadhaar has now become the very basis of your life

      While Aadhaar is compulsory to avail of most government services, now even the private sector has started relying on it.

    • Linking Aadhaar number to bank accounts mandatory, says RBI

      The RBI clarification followed media reports quoting a reply to a Right to Information (RTI) application that suggested the apex bank has not issued any order for mandatory Aadhaar linkage with bank accounts.

  • Civil Rights/Policing

    • Trump Is Wrong: ISIS and Al-Qaeda Would Benefit From Bringing Back Torture

      On September 11, 2001, the purposes and methods of war radically changed. A group of unsophisticated thugs, in service to a charismatic leader, used a few thousand dollars to mount a surprise attack. Armed with box cutters, airline tickets and some rudimentary knowledge of flying, they executed one of the most successful military strikes in the history of the world, obliterating the heart of the international financial industry and nearly scoring a direct hit on the Pentagon, America’s supreme military command.

    • Uber, Intel, and other tech firms will urge Congress to let “Dreamers” stay

      A slew of major companies—including tech giants Uber, Intel, Facebook, and Google—are forming a bloc to seek Congressional immigration reform.

      According to Reuters, which first reported the news late Thursday evening, the companies will band together under the name “Coalition for the American Dream” and seek support to extend Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA).

      This Obama-era executive action allowed “Dreamers,” undocumented immigrants who arrived as minors, to register with the government and legally study or work without fear of deportation. The newly organized Coalition appears to be unrelated to an Oklahoma-based group founded in 2006 that shares the same name: Coalition for the American Dream. (The Oklahoma group also “advocate[s] for and protect[s] the rights of disenfranchised immigrants and new Americans from all nations.”)

    • NYPD Tells Judge Its $25 Million Forfeiture Database Has No Backup

      The NYPD is actively opposed to transparency. It does all it can to thwart outsiders from accessing any info about the department’s inner workings. This has led to numerous lawsuits from public records requesters. It has also led to a long-running lawsuit featuring the Bronx Defenders, which has been trying to gain access to civil forfeiture documents for years.

      The NYPD has repeatedly claimed it simply cannot provide the records the Bronx Defenders (as well as other records requesters) have requested. Not because it doesn’t want to, even though it surely doesn’t. But because it can’t.

      The department has spent $25 million on a forfeiture tracking system that can’t even do the one thing it’s supposed to do: track forfeitures. The Property and Evidence Tracking System (PETS) is apparently so complex and so badly constructed, the NYPD can’t compile the records being sought.

    • NYPD can’t get story straight on evidence system backups

      In response to an Ars report on a court hearing in New York on October 17, New York City and New York City Police Department officials attempted to clarify the nature of the issues surrounding a lawsuit filed by the nonprofit legal defense organization Bronx Defenders. In response to reporting that the Property and Evidence Tracking System (PETS) did not have database backups, NYPD Deputy Commissioner Stephen Davis said via e-mail, “Contrary to some published reports suggesting that NYPD does not electronically back up the data in its Property and Evidence Tracking System (PETS), all such data is backed up continuously in multiple data centers.”

    • Key e-mail from feds got caught in body-cam maker’s spam filter

      According to Bloomberg, the snafu was due to an e-mail that the SEC sent on August 10 to the company’s new chief financial officer—however those messages were quarantined in a spam filter, and he seemingly did not see them.

    • No, Trump, British Crime Isn’t Going Up Because of Muslims

      That is, there has been a profound reduction in the percentage of Britons affected by violent crime over the past twenty years. At the same time, millions of immigrants have come in, including Muslims (the Muslim population in Britain has doubled over this period). So we can only conclude that high immigration rates, which began after 1995, go along with a reduction in the proportion of the population affected by violent crime.

      Predictably, Trump managed falsely to blame the increases on Britain’s small Muslim population, which is 4.3 percent of the population of 65 million.

      This sort of conspiracy theory is extremely dangerous, and is the sort of thing that led to the Nazi genocide of German Jews. As it is, Trump is feeding into the trend toward increased hate crimes against minorities in the UK with which I began this essay.

      The slight increase in violent crime, after two decades of steep decline, is completely unrelated to British Muslims.

      Violence is connected to poverty, but it is as connected to white Christian poverty as to any other kind.

    • The History of Russian Involvement in America’s Race Wars

      According to a spate of recent reports, accounts tied to the St. Petersburg-based Internet Research Agency—a Russian “troll factory”— used social media and Google during the 2016 electoral campaign to deepen political and racial tensions in the United States. The trolls, according to an interview with the Russian TV network TV Rain, were directed to focus their tweets and comments on socially divisive issues, like guns. But another consistent theme has been Russian trolls focusing on issues of race. Some of the Russian ads placed on Facebook apparently targeted Ferguson and Baltimore, which were rocked by protests after police killings of unarmed black men; another showed a black woman firing a rifle. Other ads played on fears of illegal immigrants and Muslims, and groups like Black Lives Matter.

      Except for the technology used, however, these tactics are not exactly new. They are natural outgrowths of a central component of covert influence campaigns, like the one Russia launched against the United States during the 2016 election: make discord louder; divide and conquer. “Covert influence campaigns don’t create divisions on the ground, they amplify divisions on the ground,” says Michael Hayden, who ran the NSA under Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush and then became CIA director. During the Cold War, the Kremlin similarly sought to plant fake news and foment discontent, but was limited by the low-tech methods available at the time. “Before, the Soviets would plant information in Indian papers and hope it would get picked up by our papers,” says John Sipher, who ran the CIA’s Russia desk during George W. Bush’s first term. The Soviets planted misinformation about the AIDs epidemic as a Pentagon creation, according to Sipher, as well as the very concept of a nuclear winter. “Now, because of the technology, you can jump right in,” Sipher says.

      [...]

      The Soviets also exploited the oppression of Southern blacks for their own economic benefit. It was the height of the Great Depression, and the Soviet Union was positioning itself not only as a workers’ utopia, but as a racial utopia as well, one where ethnic, national, and religious divisions didn’t exist. In addition to luring thousands of white American workers, it brought over African-American workers and sharecroppers with the promise of the freedom to work and live unburdened by the violent restrictions of Jim Crow. In return, they would help the Soviets build their fledgling cotton industry in Central Asia. Several hundred answered the call, and though many eventually went back—or died in the Gulag—some of their descendants remain in Russia. One of Russia’s best-known television hosts, for instance, is Yelena Khanga, the granddaughter of Oliver Golden, an agronomist from Tuskeegee University who moved with his communist Jewish-American wife to Uzbekistan to develop the cotton industry there.

    • Priscilla Presley quits Scientology after nearly four decades

      Priscilla Presley has reportedly quit Scientology, the infamous religion which counts Tom Cruise among its members.

      Presley joined Scientology after the death of her husband Elvis in 1977, after reaching out to her friend John Travolta, who has also been a long time member of the church.

    • John Kelly’s Lies About Frederica Wilson Are Part of a Pattern of Not Believing Black Women

      A LOT OF GROSSNESS oozes out of Donald Trump’s White House. Yesterday, though, something happened that I’m a bit embarrassed to say left me stunned; I say embarrassed because nothing that the Trump team does should surprise anyone at this point, but they keep finding new ways to lower the bar on integrity and decency. In a snap press conference on Thursday, White House Chief of Staff John Kelly took time out to address the latest controversy that is enveloping his boss — not just the death of four troops in Niger, but Trump’s controversial call to the family of a fallen soldier, Sgt. La David Johnson.

      In that press conference, he took direct aim at Rep. Frederica Wilson, a Florida Democrat, by recounting the dedication of a new FBI building in her district. Kelly, a retired general, recalled being present for that dedication and used his memory of the event to defame her character and integrity. She spoke at the dedication and he was not pleased. I’ll give background on that in a second, but first, read his words on her.

    • Demand for ‘Clean Dream Act’ Grows as Trump Pushes Xenophobic Wish List

      With more than 800,000 young immigrants facing the possibility of deportation following President Donald Trump’s widely denounced decision to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program last month, immigrant rights groups took to social media and the streets Thursday to demand that their representatives work to pass a “clean” DREAM Act and reject the Trump administration’s “xenophobic” policy wish list.

    • Waldemar Haffkine: Pioneer of plague vaccine and the “Little Dreyfus Affair”

      Haffkine was soon thereafter exonerated. Some called this incident the “Little Dreyfus Affair” (here, for Dreyfus Affair), suggesting that Haffkine’s Jewish background played a role in the handling of the accusations against him. While it does not appear that anti-Semitic motivations played an overt role, at least as reflected in the official record, the issue is still debated. In any event, by the time that Haffkine returned to India, the position at the Institute was occupied and so he moved to Calcutta, where he was appointed the director of the Biological Institute there, reportedly warmly welcomed by the local Indian staff, less so by his English colleagues. He retired in 1914 and returned to France.

    • UK plan to register EU citizens would be illegal, say MEPs

      The home secretary, Amber Rudd, has been warned by a cross-party group of MEPs that her plans to force EU nationals to add their names to a register in the transition period immediately after Brexit would be illegal and unacceptable to the European parliament.

      The MEPs from across Europe have written to Rudd following her suggestions to the home affairs committee that she would expect EU nationals to have to register with the authorities in the period immediately after Britain left the EU. Brussels is planning to insist that a transition period after the UK leaves in March 2019 would involve Britain remaining under EU law and all its institutions, without exception.

      The MEPs wrote: “Is the Home Office suggesting that only non-UK EU citizens needs to register? Article 26 of the freedom of movement directive makes it very clear that residency cards are for everyone, or no one.

  • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

    • After Report Suggests It Ripped Off Taxpayers, Frontier Communications Shrugs When Asked For Subsidies Back

      For years we’ve noted how if you want to really understand the dysfunction at the heart of the U.S. broadband industry, you should take a closer look at West Virginia. Like most states, West Virginia’s state legislature is so awash in ISP campaign contributions it literally lets incumbent ISPs write state law, only amplifying the existing lack of broadband competition in the state. So when the state received $126.3 million in broadband stimulus funds, it’s not particularly surprising that a report by the US Commerce Department’s Office of Inspector General (pdf) found more than a few examples of fraud and waste.

      More specifically, Frontier was accused of buying and storing miles of unused fiber to drive up costs, as well as the use of various “loading” and “invoice processing” fees to milk taxpayers for an additional $5 million. The report’s findings come on the heels of previous reports that found Frontier and the state used taxpayer money on unused, overpowered routers and overpaid, redundant, and seemingly purposeless consultants. As is often the case with regulatory capture, efforts to hold anybody accountable for any of this have so far gone nowhere.

  • DRM

    • Multiple Titles Using Denuvo Cracked On Release Day As Other Titles Planning To Use It Bail On It Completely

      If you’ve followed our series of posts about Denuvo, the DRM once claimed to be the end of video game piracy, you may have thought we had reached the end of its saga a couple of weeks ago when Denuvo-”protected” title Total War: Warhammer 2 was cracked and defeated within a day of its release. After all, once a game has been cracked in a time increment that can be measured in hours, you likely thought that was the finish line of Denuvo’s lifespan.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

SUEPO Has Just Warned That Patent Quality at the EPO is About to Get Even Worse

Posted in Europe, Patents at 3:55 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

The staff union of the EPO (SUEPO)

Summary: The staff union of the EPO (SUEPO) speaks of increasing “production” pressure, which is certain to result in low-quality European Patents

LAST night we wrote about worsening quality of patents (European Patents) — a problem that goes several years back and went unaddressed. Right now, circulating among EPO staff is the following document. It shows that not only is Team Battistelli unwilling to discuss the problem; it’s about to make things worse:

Introducing the (brave) new DG 1

Dedicated to an end-to-end staff pressurising process (1)

Dear SUEPO Members, dear Colleagues,

DG1 has been reorganized in “sectors”, each comprising several large directorates. VP1 has announced on the Intranet the “reallocation” of DG1 Directors to several posts in DG1: the first batch in early August, the second in late September.

This was Mr Minnoye’s last gift to the Office. For many, a poisoned gift. As of 1 January 2018, about half of the DG1 directors will be stripped of their managerial tasks. A persisting rumour has it that, before leaving, Mr Minnoye even drafted a list of DG1 directors he explicitly wanted to exclude from any chance of being assigned to large directorates. A list that, we hear, was amended and expanded by PD43 after Mr Minnoye’s retirement.

We have no insight in the “criteria” used, but we have noticed that among those stripped of their managerial function are all the DG1 directors appointed by the Staff Representation to the Disciplinary Committee (as required by the Service Regulations!) over the past 3 years. Conversely, we have to note that three of the DG1 principal directors appointed to the Disciplinary Committee by the President have been promoted to COO 2

This observation correlates with a new phenomenon: DG1 directors appear reluctant even to exchange pleasantries with staff representatives they meet in the cafeteria, requiring furtive contacts, as if they had been forewarned that any indication of “proximity” may be bad for their career.

__________
1 Our greatest thanks to the inspiring cover of the latest Gazette.
2 Ms Romano-Götsch: Job Group 2 DC appointee since 2016; Ms Seegert: DC Alternate Chair since 2015 until today (now also appointed Alternate Chair of the Joint Committee on Article 52 & 53, i.e. the new body dealing with “professional incompetence”); Mr Philpott: DC Chair in 2014.


But of course all of this is “pure coincidence”, as Mr Minnoye would have said.
Meanwhile, there is not a week in which we do not receive bad news:
- Examiners in profound distress (and we do mean profound),
- Sick colleagues being demeaned and abused, brought to the brink of collapse,
- Overzealous team managers abusing their new position,
- High tensions within Examining Divisions,
- Formality Officers about to crack under the strain, etc.

There is no sign of improvement in the short or even middle term. The production/productivity of the Reference Examiner will again rise in 2018, and so will management expectations. From 1 January 2018 all new EPO colleagues will be recruited under 5 years’ renewable contracts3. There is no need for a crystal ball to predict that the production pressure on examiners recruited under these conditions will be enormous, resulting into further production increase that will translate later again into higher production demand for all examiners4. This sky-is-the-limit madness will unfortunately not stop on 30 June 2018.

Is this the Office’s way of “modernising” itself? No, this is an out-dated, inefficient and above all dangerous management style that increases the level of psychosocial risk, which was already at an all-time high beginning of 20165.

It is now important to protect yourself, as management won’t. You are not responsible for management’s failure to organise the work in a way that is respectful for all staff, including the weakest. It is not for you to pay their bill. We intend to soon inform you on how to best protect yourself (and your weakest colleagues) in the current circumstances.

SUEPO Committees Munich & The Hague

__________
3 Cf. CA/103/17 and CA/103/17 Add. 1
4 which poses even further challenges to the quality of our “products”, but this is not the subject of this paper.
5 Cf. the results of the Technologia 2016 EPO Staff Survey

How much longer does the EPO’s management think it can fool stakeholders? The number of patent applications is declining and work is running out. Many new recruits probably have no job security; even a two-year contract might not last that long.

“How much longer does the EPO’s management think it can fool stakeholders?”“In so-called ‘social’ media,” I recently told someone, “I think it’s [low patent quality] already widely known. I didn’t know that even in the flea market people would know; I used to try to push journalists to cover (waste of time).”

The only publication which occasionally speaks about low patent quality is The Register. German and Dutch media never even bring up the subject. We can only venture to guess why…

“Mr. Campinos will be under incredible pressure to turn things around and prove his critics/sceptic wrong.”We still have a LOT of things left to publish. Possibly thousands of articles in the coming few years. EPO staff just needs morale and patience. Europe cannot carry on without a patent system (national patent offices may be insufficient), so one way or another things will eventually be rectified.

Mr. Campinos will be under incredible pressure to turn things around and prove his critics/sceptic wrong. We hope he’ll prove everyone wrong (but strongly doubt it). Dr. Ernst is still in denial about the patent quality problem (as per reports from a recent event), but ultimately he’ll need to acknowledge this.

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