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03.24.18

Links 24/3/2018: GNOME 3.30 Schedule, LibreSSL 2.7.1

Posted in News Roundup at 4:12 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Desktop

    • Sony May Owe You $65 for Your Old PS3

      If you own an old PlayStation 3, the original “fat” one before it slimmed down, then Sony could owe you up to $65. Unfortunately, there are a few hurdles to jump through, and you only have until April 15, 2018 to stake your claim for compensation.

  • Kernel Space

    • Super long-term kernel support

      In the longer-term, CIP is looking toward IEC-62443 security certification. That is an ambitious goal and CIP can’t get there by itself, but the project is working on documentation, test cases, and tools that will hopefully help with an eventual certification effort. Another issue that must be on the radar of any project like this is the year-2038 problem, which currently puts a hard limit on how long a Linux system can be supported. CIP is working with kernel and libc developers to push solutions forward in this area.

    • Atomic Replace / Cumulative Patches Being Worked On For Linux Kernel Livepatching

      It’s been a while since last having anything new to report with the mainline Linux kernel’s livepatching infrastructure, but some improvements are in the works.

      Petr Mladek of SUSE has been picking up the work started by Joe Lawrence at Red Hat for atomic replace functionality for the kernel livepatches in working towards cumulative patch support.

    • Graphics Stack

      • Nouveau Is On The Verge Of Having Basic Compute Support

        Karol Herbst, who is a long-time Nouveau contributor who joined Red Hat at the end of last year, along with other hat-wearing Linux developers continue working on Nouveau compute support for this open-source NVIDIA driver.

        Karol has been ironing out the Nouveau NIR support that is a critical element to get SPIR-V support going for the Nouveau driver, which is the common IR to Vulkan and OpenCL. Meanwhile there is also the work to get SPIR-V support for Gallium3D’s Clover state tracker.

    • Benchmarks

      • Intel OpenGL Driver Performance On Windows 10 vs. Ubuntu vs. Clear Linux

        When having the Microsoft Windows 10 Professional x64 installation on the Core i7 8700K “Coffee Lake” system this week I also took the opportunity to run some fresh OpenGL benchmarks on Windows compared to Linux.

        Due to the UHD Graphics 630 not being too practical for Linux gamers, for this quick round of benchmarking were just some standard OpenGL games and tests across all supported platforms. The latest drivers were used on each platform, including a secondary run on Ubuntu when switching to the Linux 4.16 Git kernel.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • Tilix – A New GTK 3 Tiling Terminal Emulator for Linux

      But sometimes, we find it difficult to choose which terminal emulator to work with, depending on our preferences. In this overview, we shall cover one exciting terminal emulator for Linux called Tilix.

      Tlix (previously called Terminix – name changed due to a trademark issue) is a tiling terminal emulator that uses GTK+ 3 widget called VTE (Virtual Terminal Emulator). It is developed using GTK 3 with aims of conforming to GNOME HIG (Human Interface Guidelines).

      Additionally, this application has been tested on GNOME and Unity desktops, although users have also tested it successfully on various other Linux desktops environments.

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • Choqok 1.6 Beta 1

        This will be the first release after the KDE frameworks port and many things have been fixed in those 16 months…

      • This week in Discover, part 11

        This week we landed a significant visual improvement for Discover: the app lists have been re-implemented using a new “cards” style in Kirigami. This was a lovely collaboration between Marco Martin, Aleix Pol, and myself. And best of all, this pretty “cards”-style list is also available to other Kirigami apps!

      • Krita Version 4.0 Released With Improved Vector Tools

        Brief: Popular open source digital painting application Krita has a new release with improvement on the vector tools. Have a look at the new features and installation procedure of Krita 4.0.

      • Certifiably Qt

        Expanding your team’s software development capacity is something that most managers will encounter at some point in their careers. There are several ways to do this – three of the most common options are hiring new employees, using a service company, or incorporating onsite contractors. Regardless of which route you choose to go, software certifications are an effective tool to help you identify the right resources. Qt certifications are a case in point.

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

      • GNOME 3.29.x Development Series

        GNOME 3.29.x is an unstable development series intended for testing and hacking purposes. GNOME uses odd minor version numbers to indicate development status, so this unstable 3.29.x series will become the official 3.30 stable release. There are many ways you can get involved.

      • GNOME 3.30 Scheduled For Release On 6 September

        Following this month’s successful launch of GNOME 3.28, the release team has now assembled the schedule for the GNOME 3.30.0 release and the 3.29 development milestones.

        GNOME 3.29.1 is the first step towards GNOME 3.30 and will be released on 19 April followed by GNOME 3.29.92 a month later on 24 May. For June is then GNOME 3.29.3 and GNOME 3.29.4 on 19 July.

      • GNOME 3.30 “Almeria” Desktop Environment Slated for Release on September 6, 2018

        The GNOME Project announced today the availability of the official release schedule for the next major release of their widely-used GNOME desktop environment for GNU/Linux distributions.

        While most of the Linux community hasn’t yet managed to install the recently released GNOME 3.28 desktop environment on their favorite GNU/Linux distributions, the GNOME developers are already focusing on the next major release, GNOME 3.30, which was slated for release this fall on September 6, 2018.

      • Statistics, Google Code-in, Gitlab, Bugzilla
  • Distributions

    • Red Hat Family

    • Debian Family

      • Using the switch on Turris Omnia with Debian

        After installing Debian on Turris Omnia there are a few more steps needed to make use of the network switch.

        The Armada 385 CPU provides three network interfaces. Two are connected to the switch (but only one of them is used to “talk” to the switch), and one is routed directly to the WAN port.

      • ClojureSYNC Talk Resources
      • Debconf 2018, MATE 1.2.0, libqalculate transition etc

        First up is news on Debconf 2018 which will be held in Hsinchu, Taiwan. Apparently, the CFP or Call for Proposals was made just a few days ago and I probably forgot to share about it. Registration has also been opened now.

        The only thing most people have to figure out is how to get a system-generated certificate, make sure to have an expiry date, I usually have a year, make it at least 6 months as you would need to put up your proposal for contention and let the content-team decide it on the proposal merit. This may at some point move from alioth to salsa as the alioth service is going away.

        The best advice I can give is to put your proposal in and keep reworking/polishing it till the end date for applications is near. At the same time do not over commit yourself. From a very Indian perspective and somebody who has been to one debconf, you can think of the debconf as a kind of ‘khumb‘ Mela or gathering as you will. You can definitely network with all the topics and people you care for, but the most rewarding are those talks which were totally unplanned for. Also it does get crazy sometime so it’s nice if you are able to have some sane time for yourself even if it just a 5-10 minute walk.

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Ubuntu 18.04′s Automatic Suspend Shows Linux Suspend Can Still Be An Issue In 2018

            One of the subtle changes that seemed to have been made during the Ubuntu 18.04 development cycle is automatic suspend now being enabled by default on desktop systems.

            Automatic suspend is flipped on with Ubuntu 18.04 desktop after a twenty minute delay of being idle, at least on several systems I’ve been running the daily Bionic Beaver with this month.

          • Bid “bonjour” to our Bionic Beaver!

            Along with a sneak preview of our official Bionic mascot, it’s a short update this week as we’re all heads-down in bug fixing mode. There are a couple of links to check out if you’re interested in what sort of data we want to collect about hardware and setup, with links to the source.

          • Flavours and Variants

            • MintBox Mini 2

              Based on the Compulab Fitlet2, the new Mini is just as small as the original MintBox Mini and the MintBox Mini Pro but with much better specifications, better performance and a few more features.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Wireless crazed Orange Pi boasts 4G LTE, WiFi, BT, FM, and GPS

      The “Orange Pi 4G-IOT” SBC that runs Android 6.0 on a quad -A53 MediaTek MT6737 SoC, and offers a 40-pin header, WiFi, Bluetooth, FM, GPS, a 4G LTE radio, and fingerprint sensor support.

      Shenzhen Xunlong open spec Orange Pi 4G-IOT SBC, which just launched for $45 on AliExpress, is the most wireless savvy Orange Pi to date. The open-spec SBC includes an unnamed, 4G LTE radio module with mini-SIM card slot, as well as a combo module that includes WiFi, Bluetooth, FM, and GPS. There is also support for a fingerprint sensor.

    • Raspberry Pi atmospheric sensor HAT can detect distant explosions

      OSOP’s $179 and up “Raspberry Boom” Raspberry Pi HAT add-on detects infrasound from volcanoes, explosions, and rockets. A $299 and up Shake and Boom HAT adds a seismograph.

      Panama-based OSOP, which found Kickstarter success with its Raspberry Shake seismograph add-on board for the Raspberry Pi, has now returned with a Raspberry Boom add-on board and infrasound sensor that detects inaudible sound. The same Kickstarter campaign is also selling a new Raspberry Shake and Boom product that combines the Boom with the seismograph capabilities of the Shake. Both products can tap into OSOPs large citizen science network to detect real-time events around the world.

    • Android

      • Android tips and tricks: 10 great ways to boost your phone experience
      • About the privacy of the unlocking procedure for Xiaomi’s Mi 5s plus

        First, you got to register on Xiaomi’s website, and request for the permission to unlock the device. That’s already bad enough: why should I ask for the permission to use the device I own as I am pleased to? Anyway, I did that. The procedure includes receiving an SMS. Again, more bad: why should I give-up such a privacy thing as my phone number? Anyway, I did it, and received the code to activate my website account. Then I started the unlock program in a virtualbox Windows XP VM (yeah right… I wasn’t expecting something better anyway…), and then, the program tells me that I need to add my Xiaomi’s account in the phone. Of course, it then sends a web request to Xiaomi’s server. I’m already not happy with all of this, but that’s not it. After all of these privacy breaches, the unlock APP tells me that I need to wait 72 hours to get my phone to account association to be activated. Since I wont be available in the middle of the week, for me, that means waiting until next week-end to do that. Silly…

      • You Can Now Try Android Games Without Downloading Them

        Tired of downloading games only to realize they suck? Google Play Instant might mean never doing that again.

      • Plex for Android Will Soon Let You Cast Your Own Videos to Chromecast

Free Software/Open Source

  • Bootlin Making Progress On Their Open-Source Allwinner VPU Support

    Bootlin (formerly Free Electrons) continues making progress on their goal to have working and upstream open-source video encode/decode support for the Allwinner VPU.

  • 8 Best Facebook Alternatives With Focus On Privacy For 2018

    Last year, Mastodon made splashes as an open source Twitter competitor but you can also use it as a Facebook alternative. Apart from all the differences in terms of privacy, character length, what really sets Mastodon apart is the “instance” feature. You can think of the service as a series of connected nodes (instances) and your account belongs to a particular instance.

    The whole interface is divided into 4 card-like columns. If you use this service as an alternative to Facebook, it might seem confusing but you might get a hang of it with time. Mastodon.social is the most popular instance, so you can start with it.

  • Events

    • Upcoming March 2018 events: LibrePlanet, Reddit AMA

      We will also be manning a booth there, where you can try out our Librem laptops and see one of our i.MX 6 phone prototype development boards for the Librem 5. Come and say hi! We’ll be happy to meet old friends and new Free Software enthusiasts, veterans and newcomers, and to answer any questions attendees may have for us.

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Mozilla stops Facebook advertising, demands privacy changes

        It’s probably not top of Mark Zuckerberg’s worry list this week but Mozilla Corporation, developer of the Firefox browser, is officially unhappy with Facebook.

      • Results of the MDN “Competitive Content Analysis” SEO experiment

        The next SEO experiment I’d like to discuss results for is the MDN “Competitive Content Analysis” experiment. In this experiment, performed through December into early January, involved selecting two of the top search terms that resulted in MDN being included in search results—one of them where MDN is highly-placed but not at #1, and one where MDN is listed far down in the search results despite having good content available.

        The result is a comparison of the quality of our content and our SEO against other sites that document these technology areas. With that information in hand, we can look at the competition’s content and make decisions as to what changes to make to MDN to help bring us up in the search rankings.

      • No More Notifications (If You Want)

        Online, your attention is priceless. That’s why every site in the universe wants permission to send you notifications about new stuff. It can be distracting at best and annoying at worst. The latest version of Firefox for desktop lets you block those requests and many others.

  • CMS

  • Pseudo-Open Source (Openwashing)

  • Licensing/Legal

    • EUPL planned actions

      A revised set of guidelines and recommendations on the use of the open source licence EUPL v1.2 published by the Commission on 19 May 2017 will be developed, involving the DIGIT unit B.3 (Reusable Solutions) and the JRC 1.4 (Joint Research Centre – Intellectual Property and Technology Transfer). The existing licence wizard will be updated. New ways of promoting public administrations’ use of open source will be investigated and planned (such as hackathons or app challenges on open source software). The target date for the release of this set of guidelines on the use of the European Public Licence EUPL v1.2, including a modified Licence Wizard, is planned Q2 2018.

  • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

    • Open Hardware/Modding

      • 6-Axis Open-Source Robot Arm is Now on Kickstarter

        Just launched on Kickstarter is the AR2 6 axis robot aluminum parts kit operated by an Arduino microcontroller. The robot was created by Chris Annin, an automation engineer who has worked in the investment casting industry for more than 20 years.

        “I have a passion for robotics. I’ve always wondered why robots have to cost more than $30K and I wanted to bring a lower cost option to the table to afford the rest of us the opportunity to experience and play with 6 axis robots,” he explains.

  • Programming/Development

    • 1.5 Year Warning: Python2 will be End of Lifed

      The end of upstream Python 2.7 support will be January 1, 2020 (2020-01-01) and the Fedora Project is working out what to do with it. As Fedora 29 would be released in 2019-11 and would get 1.5 years of support, the last release which would be considered supportable would be the upcoming release of Fedora 28. This is why the current Python maintainers are looking to orphan python2. They have made a list of the packages that would be affected by this and have started a discussion on the Fedora development lists, but people who only see notes of this from blogs or LWN posts may not have seen it yet.

    • Why is functional programming seen as the opposite of OOP rather than an addition to it?

      So: both OOP and functional computation can be completely compatible (and should be!). There is no reason to munge state in objects, and there is no reason to invent “monads” in FP. We just have to realize that “computers are simulators” and figure out what to simulate.

    • Why we still can’t stop plagiarism in undergraduate computer science

      The most important goal is to keep the course fair for students who do honest work. Instructors must assign grades that accurately reflect performance. A student who grapples with a problem — becoming a stronger programmer in the process — should never receive a lower grade than one who copies and pastes.

      [...]

      University administrators should communicate their support. Instructors should know that, not only will they suffer no retaliation, but that the university encourages them to enforce university policies. This might require administrators to acknowledge the inconvenient truth of widespread plagiarism.

    • FOSS Project Spotlight: Sawmill, the Data Processing Project

      If you’re into centralized logging, you are probably familiar with the ELK Stack: Elasticsearch, Logstash and Kibana. Just in case you’re not, ELK (or Elastic Stack, as it’s being renamed these days) is a package of three open-source components, each responsible for a different task or stage in a data pipeline.

      Logstash is responsible for aggregating the data from your different data sources and processing it before sending it off for indexing and storage in Elasticsearch. This is a key role. How you process your log data directly impacts your analysis work. If your logs are not structured correctly and you have not configured Logstash correctly, your logs will not be parsed in a way that enables you to query and visualize them in Kibana.

    • The programming languages you should learn now

      Learning a programming language is not hard. In fact, if you’re experienced, you can learn the basics in under 24 hours. So if you’re in the market for a new lingua franca, such as to bolster your hirability, what you choose next might be influenced by your current language of choice.

Leftovers

  • UK Court of Appeal settles reseller’s question: Is software a good?

    Software is not a good, the Court of Appeal in London, England, has ruled.

    More specifically, software is not a “good” as defined in the Commercial Agents EU Regulations, said the civil court in a ruling that overturns an earlier decision granting reseller The Software Incubator Ltd a cool £475,000.

    Back in 2016, a UK High Court tussle between TSI and software behemoth CA Technologies (the artists formerly known as Computer Associates) resulted in the court declaring that software is a good, as defined, and ordering the £475k payout.

    TSI had been contracted to CA to plug its release automation software in Blighty – until the latter scrapped the deal in 2013 when TSI inked a similar UK “consultancy” agreement with rival outfit Intigua.

  • Health/Nutrition

    • AP: Hurricane Harvey Toxic Releases Far Worse Than Previously Known

      In Texas, the Associated Press reports that Hurricane Harvey released far more toxins into the environment than initially reported, when it brought unprecedented flooding to the Texas Gulf Coast last summer. AP reporters catalogued more than 100 Harvey-related toxic releases, most of which were never made public, including spills of carcinogenic compounds like benzene and vinyl chloride, and the release of nearly half a billion gallons of industrial wastewater mixed with stormwater from one chemical plant in Baytown alone. The AP reports Texas investigators have looked into 89 incidents and have yet to announce any enforcement actions.

  • Security

    • A Look At The Relative Spectre/Meltdown Mitigation Costs On Windows vs. Linux

      The latest in our Windows versus Linux benchmarking is looking at the relative performance impact on both Linux and Windows of their Spectre and Meltdown mitigation techniques. This round of tests were done on Windows 10 Pro, Ubuntu 18.04 LTS, and Clear Linux when having an up-to-date system on each OS where there is Spectre/Meltdown protection and then repeating the same benchmarks after reverting/disabling the security functionality.

    • Dropbox has some genuinely great security reporting guidelines, but reserves the right to jail you if you disagree

      Dropbox’s position, however reasonable in many of its aspects, is woefully deficient, because the company reserves the right to invoke DMCA 1201 and/or CFAA and other tools that give companies the power to choose who can say true things abour mistakes they’ve made.

      This is not normal. Before DRM in embedded software and cloud connectivity, became routine there were no restrictions on who could utter true words about defects in a product. [...]

    • Hackers Infect Linux Servers With Monero Miner via 5-Year-Old Vulnerability [Ed: A five-year-old vulnerability implies total neglect by sysadmins, not a GNU/Linux weakness]

      Attackers also modified the local cron jobs to trigger a “watchd0g” Bash script every three minutes, a script that checked to see if the Monero miner was still active and restarted XMRig’s process whenever it was down.

    • GitHub: Our dependency scan has found four million security flaws in public repos [Ed: No, GitHub just ran a scan for old versions being used and reused. It cannot do this for proprietary software, but the issues are there and the risks are no better.]

      GitHub says its security scan for old vulnerabilities in JavaScript and Ruby libraries has turned up over four million bugs and sparked a major clean-up by project owners.

      The massive bug-find total was reached within a month of the initiative’s launch in November, when GitHub began scanning for known vulnerabilities in certain popular open-source libraries and notifying project owners that they should be using an updated version.

    • Envoy CNCF Project Completes Security Audit, Delivers New Release

      The Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF) has begun a process of performing third-party security audits for its projects, with the first completed audit coming from the Envoy proxy project.

      The Envoy proxy project was created by ride-sharing company Lyft and officially joined the CNCF in September 2017. Envoy is a service mesh reverse proxy technology that is used to help scale micro-services data traffic.

    • Hybrid cloud security: Emerging lessons [Ed: 'Cloud' and security do not belong in the same headline because 'cloud' is a data breach, typically involving a company giving all its (and customers') data to some spying giant abroad]
    • LibreSSL 2.7.1 Released
    • Call for testing: OpenSSH 7.7

      OpenSSH 7.7p1 is almost ready for release, so we would appreciate testing on as many platforms and systems as possible. This is a bugfix release.

    • Cybercriminals Exploit PHP Weathermap Vulnerability to Install Cryptocurrency Miner on Linux Servers [Ed: Nothing to do with Linux; media never names Microsoft Windows when something bad happens on it.]
    • Is Application Security Dead?

      Spoiler alert: If application security isn’t dead yet, its days are numbered. OK, this is an over-exaggeration, but fear not, application security engineers — the work you do is actually becoming more important than ever, and your budget will soon reflect this. Application security will never die, but it will have to morph to succeed.

    • Sweden Is Becoming a Haven for Cryptojackers> [Ed: Microsoft Windows not named, but implied]

      The number of such attacks surged an estimated 10,100 percent in the biggest Nordic economy in the fourth quarter, about double the jump globally, according to Symantec Corp.’s 2018 Internet Security Threat Report.

  • Defence/Aggression

    • For the British political elite, the invasion of Iraq never happened

      March 20th marks the 15th anniversary of the Anglo-American invasion of Iraq which plunged the country into a brutal occupation leading to sectarian civil war, terrorism and a death toll of hundreds of thousands.

      Yet in Britain the anniversary marks another year of impunity for the ministers who authorised the invasion. This lack of accountability for crimes committed abroad is a British disease with a very long history.

    • ‘Hardline Nationalist’ John Bolton an ‘Extremely Dangerous’ Pick for US NSA

      With the announcement that John Bolton will be the new White House national security adviser, Sputnik News reviewed how some experts and analysts have responded to the war hawk’s return to a high-profile US government post and what his history of belligerence might mean for the future of US foreign policy.

    • Light at the End of the Tunnel?

      As public support for the Vietnam War waned, and as all LBJ could do about it was send more troops, he would periodically announce, for the flimsiest of reasons, that victory was at last in sight; that “there was light at the end of the tunnel.” From that time on, it has been impossible to use that expression without irony.

      But for that still living memory, we might now be hearing a lot about light at the end of the tunnel from Democratic Party and liberal pundits intent on putting Donald Trump behind us – first, because the law is closing in on that temperamentally unsuited, defiantly ignorant, morally impaired, and recklessly dangerous Commander-in-Chief; and then because it is likely that, in the November midterm election, the more odious duopoly party, the GOP, will be swept away in a “blue wave.”

      [...]

      If Trump goes, his Vice President, Mike Pence, takes over; and his administration, chock full of miscreants as pernicious and vile as the Donald himself stays intact – or no less intact than it currently is with Trump purging it of everyone he deems insufficiently servile, and with the rats who work for him, fearing what he has in store, deserting the sinking ship.

      Trump is an opportunist with noxious attitudes and base instincts, but no settled convictions. He has been pushing a reactionary line lately because he needs the Republican Party to govern, and that is what that wretched party’s leaders demand of him.

    • REVEALED: Britain’s ‘secret’ arms sales to Middle East human rights abusers

      The UK government has been accused of using secretive export rules to hide the true extent of arms exports to Middle East states with dire human rights records, Middle East Eye can reveal.

      Figures seen exclusively by MEE reveal a more than 20 percent increase in the use of opaque “open licences” to approve arms sales to states in the Middle East and North Africa, in a move that avoids public scrutiny and keeps the value of arms and their quantities secret.

      Arms exports are worth $8.3bn a year to the UK economy, and defence firms have used standard open licenses to approve more than $4.2bn in arms to the Middle East since senior ministers vowed to expand UK arms exports after the Brexit vote in June 2016.

      The new figures, compiled for MEE by Campaign Against Arms Trade (CAAT), show that the government has also overseen a 22 percent rise in the use of secretive open licences to boost arms export to the Middle East and North Africa, including assault rifles to Turkey in 2016 – as a rights crackdown intensified in the country – and acoustic riot control devices to Egypt in 2015.

      Figures for open arms export licences show the number of open arms export licences rose from 189 to 230 from 2013 to 2017, while the number of individual items approved under these licensees soared to 4,315 from 1,201.

    • Britain’s collusion with radical Islam: Interview with Mark Curtis

      UK governments – Conservative and Labour – have been colluding for decades with two sets of Islamist actors which have strong connections with each other.

      In the first group are the major state sponsors of Islamist terrorism, the two most important of which are key British allies with whom London has long-standing strategic partnerships – Saudi Arabia and Pakistan. The second group includes extremist private movements and organisations whom Britain has worked alongside and sometimes trained and financed, in order to promote specific foreign policy objectives. The roots of this lie in divide and rule policies under colonialism but collusion of this type took off in Afghanistan in the 1980s, when Britain, along with the US, Saudi Arabia and Pakistan, covertly supported the resistance to defeat the Soviet occupation of the country. After the jihad in Afghanistan, Britain had private dealings of one kind or another with militants in various organisations, including Pakistan’s Harkat ul-Ansar, the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group and the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA), all of which had strong links to Bin Laden’s al-Qaida. Covert actions have been undertaken with these and other forces in Central Asia, North Africa and Eastern Europe.

  • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

    • ‘Lone DNC Hacker’ Guccifer 2.0 Slipped Up and Revealed He Was a Russian Intelligence Officer

      Guccifer 2.0, the “lone hacker” who took credit for providing WikiLeaks with stolen emails from the Democratic National Committee, was in fact an officer of Russia’s military intelligence directorate (GRU), The Daily Beast has learned. It’s an attribution that resulted from a fleeting but critical slip-up in GRU tradecraft.

    • That Joke On Assange And Zuckerberg!!

      There is both good as well bad things in humans and we are solely responsible which side we choose. It is a proven fact that people tend to choose bad over good for reasons better known to psychologists.

      Recently, a joke about Assange and Zuckerberg are making rounds over social media and it is definitely a hard-hitting message to our narrow thinking.

      The joke is all about how people declared Julian Assange as the criminal for exposing the inner workings of governments, military, and trade deals around the world and he claims himself as a political refugee and he did it for to expose the flaws in the government. But Mark Zuckerberg, who is the man behind Facebook, is said to be giving away all our information to corporations for money and people call him as Man of the year.

    • WikiLeaks lawyer talks corruption & more on ex-Ecuadorian President’s RT show

      Ex-Ecuadorian President and RT show host Rafael Correa sits down with prominent Spanish judge and WikiLeaks lawyer Baltasar Garzon. The two of them talk transnational, corporate “neocolonialism” and the fight against corruption.

      [...]

      Correa stresses that fighting corruption has often been used in Latin America to target political opponents, and Garzon agrees. “Justice has become extremely prejudiced and biased against all those people who, in one form or another, were supporters of the previous government,” the lawyer says, recalling former Argentinian President Cristina Kirchner whose tenure was marred by several corruption scandals.

  • Finance

    • Inside the bizarre upside-down bankruptcy of Mt. Gox

      The number of creditors attending the meeting has dwindled over time: the first one reportedly drew more than 100 people, but the most recent one earlier this month drew fewer than 30, according to the estimates of one attendee.

      That does not mean the Mt. Gox case has gotten any less strange — just the opposite. By definition, bankruptcy occurs when an entity cannot pay its debts. But as of this writing, Mt. Gox has enough assets to pay off its claims with more than $1.4 billion worth of bitcoins left over. The trouble is figuring out what to do with them.

    • Journalism of, by and for the Elite

      American journalism has long maintained a sort of egalitarian myth about itself. While our country’s free press requires no formal training or licensing, an honest history of the profession shows very distinct hierarchies, from the vaunted Runyonesque blue-collar beat reporter to legendary insiders, like Washington uber-columnist Scotty Reston, who act as handmaidens to the powerful. And it is no coincidence that arguably the nation’s two preeminent newspapers—the New York Times and Wall Street Journal—stand apart as the most rarefied of perches in our nation’s news ecosystem. It’s at these outlets that these class distinctions are the most glaring—and most problematic.

      Just how elite these papers have become was the subject of a new study from Jonathan Wai and Kaja Perina, a researcher at Case Western Reserve University and the editor-in-chief of Psychology Today, respectively. The two have just published a survey in the Journal of Expertise (3/18) that looked at the educational backgrounds of hundreds of Times and Journal staffers, comparing them to the elite individuals these papers routinely cover. The survey reveals how the staffs of the Times and Journal are starkly different than typical journalists. The findings also tell us a lot about how reporters and editors from these two news organizations cover the powerful, as well as why their coverage often falls short of holding the powerful to account.

    • Brexit Deal: Lost Irish leverage, or UK ‘getting real’?

      The deal collapsed when the DUP saw a leaked version of it. The party was incensed that by aligning Northern Ireland to the single market and customs union, it would necessarily mean the North being treated differently to the rest of the UK, and that checks would be required along the Irish Sea.

    • Gazprom draws up lawsuit for international arbitration over Ukraine’s antimonopoly fine

      Gazprom does not recognize legitimacy of the fine imposed on the company by the Antimonopoly Committee of Ukraine, and prepares a lawsuit to appeal to the International arbitration, the Russian gas holding said in a statement.

      According to the company, Gazprom does not recognize the legitimacy of the fine and considers Ukraine’s actions a violation of its rights, including those guaranteed by the Russian-Ukrainian intergovernmental agreement on the encouragement and mutual protection of investments from November 27, 1998.

      Gazprom has already sent a notice to Ukraine about the Ukrainian side violating its obligations to protect investment and is currently preparing a lawsuit to appeal to International arbitration, the company said.

  • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • John Bolton — eyed for Trump post — leads super PAC that employed Cambridge Analytica
    • Major New Investigation into Trump Real Estate Deals in India Reveals Corruption, Lawsuits, Fraud

      A major new investigation has just been published into Trump’s business partnerships in India and the conflicts of interest these deals pose for the White House. The new cover story for The New Republic is titled “Political Corruption and the Art of the Deal.” In it, journalist Anjali Kamat notes the Trump Organization has entered into more deals in India than in any other foreign country. These deals, she writes, are worth an estimated $1.5 billion and produced royalties of up to $11 million between 2014 and 2017. During her year-long investigation, Kamat traced Trump’s India partners’ long history of facing lawsuits, police inquiries and government investigations that contain evidence of potential bribery, fraud, intimidation, illegal land acquisition, tax evasion and money laundering.

    • Whistleblower claims Theresa May aide ‘outed’ him as gay over Brexit referendum row

      Downing Street has been accused of ‘outing’ a gay Brexit campaigner in a row over referendum tactics.

      In an explosive statement last night, Shahmir Sanni said his family in Pakistan was unaware of his sexuality and instructed a law firm to take action.

      He said a statement made by Theresa May’s close aide Stephen Parkinson had put family members at risk.

      Mr Sanni was set to blow the whistle over claims Brexit eers breached electoral rules during the Vote Leave campaign.

      In response, Mr Parkinson, one of the Prime Minister’s closest advisers, gave a comment in which he said he had been in an 18-month relationship with Mr Sanni before splitting “amicably” in September 2017.

    • Everyone Knows How to Secure Elections. So Do It

      [...] The Senate Intelligence Committee released its long-awaited election infrastructure defense recommendations. Senate leaders got behind a revised version of the Secure Elections Act. And late Thursday night, the Senate passed the omnibus spending bill, which includes $380 million for securing digital election systems. [...]

  • Censorship/Free Speech

    • Tenth Circuit Issues A Troubling Ruling Limiting New Mexico’s Anti-SLAPP Statute In Federal Court

      Last week the Tenth Circuit refused to let New Mexico’s anti-SLAPP statute be used in federal court in diversity cases. The relatively good news about the decision is that it is premised heavily on the specific language of New Mexico’s statute and may not be easily extensible to other states’ anti-SLAPP laws. This focus on the specific language is also why, as the decision acknowledges, it is inconsistent with holdings in other circuits, such as the Ninth. But the bad news is that the decision still takes the teeth out of New Mexico’s statute and will invite those who would abuse judicial process in order to chill speech to bring actions that can get into the New Mexico federal courts.

      In this case, there had been litigation pending in New Mexico state court. That litigation was then removed to federal court on the basis of “diversity jurisdiction.” Diversity jurisdiction arises when the parties in the litigation are from separate states and the amount in controversy is more than $75,000 and the issue in dispute is solely a question of state law. Federal courts ordinarily can’t hear cases that only involve state law, but because of the concern that it could be unfair for an out-of-state litigant to have to be heard in a foreign state court, diversity jurisdiction can allow a case that would have been heard in state court to be heard by the federal one for the area instead.

      At the same time, we don’t want it to be unfair for the other party to now have to litigate in federal court if being there means it would lose some of the protection of local state law. We also don’t want litigants to be too eager to get into federal court if being there could confer an advantage they would not have had if the case were instead being heard in state court. These two policy goals underpin what is commonly known as the “Erie doctrine,” named after a 1938 US Supreme Court case that is still followed today.

      The Erie doctrine is why a case removed to federal court will still use state law to decide the matter. But sometimes it’s hard to figure out how much state law needs to be used. Federal courts have their own procedural rules, for instance, and so they are not likely to use procedural state rules to govern their proceedings. They only will use substantive state law. But it turns out that figuring out which a law is, procedural or substantive, is anything but straightforward, and that is the question at the heart of this Tenth Circuit case: was New Mexico’s anti-SLAPP law procedural, in which case the federal court did not have to follow it, or substantive, in which case it did? And unfortunately in this case, Los Lobos Renewable Power LLP v. Americulture, Inc., the Tenth Circuit decided it was “hardly a challenging endeavor” to decide that it was only procedural.

    • Next Month, I Will Be Banned From YouTube

      No kidding. Along with shady/dangerous/marginally illegal stuff they want to ban videos of making ammunition. I make ammunition, almost all the centre-fire ammunition I’ve ever fired I made. I teach others about it. YouTube wants to ban that.

    • Craigslist ends personal ads after US sex trafficking bill passes

      Craigslist said Friday (March 23) it shut down its personal ads section as concerns grew over unintended consequences of a law approved by Congress which could hold websites liable for promoting sex trafficking.

      The move by Craigslist suggested that websites may shutter or censor some content to avoid prosecution under the Stop Enabling Sex Traffickers Act (SESTA) approved by Congress this week and awaiting President Donald Trump’s signature.

    • Craigslist Shuts Personal Ads for Fear of New Internet Law

      The tech industry was initially united against this legislative effort, but the Internet Association, a trade group representing major tech firms, reversed its position under pressure from Facebook, which was facing additional regulatory pressure from the Russia investigation, WIRED reported in December. Reddit is also a member of Internet Association, as is Google, which lobbied heavily against earlier versions of the legislation.

    • Craigslist, Reddit prep to face legal woes from FOSTA sex-trafficking bill

      Although the Personals section on Craigslist appears to be visually intact for now, clicking any associated link will reveal that the section is shut down due the FOSTA bill (HR 1865) just approved by the Senate. The bill holds websites accountable for the actions of its users, forcing sites to censor individuals else face criminal and civil liability. To avoid any legal and/or financial woes, Craigslist is merely shutting down the Personals section rather than dealing with censorship and possibly jeopardizing its other services.

    • 24th Annual Mediterranean Film Festival Takes on Censorship and Production in Tetouan

      Calling all cinema buffs: the 24th edition of the Mediterranean Film Festival of Tetouan will kickoff this Saturday, March 24 through Saturday, March 31, taking on questions of artistic freedom, power, and cinematic censorship in film production and distribution.

      Under the theme of “Cinema and Freedom,” the festival features free screenings and roundtable discussions with artists, scholars, and filmmakers to discuss film reading and analysis, directing, screenplay writing, which are open to the public. The festival also includes an acting workshop called “Studio,” and a scriptwriting and directing workshop called “Méditalents,” both aimed at young talent from 18 to 30 years old.

    • China’s ‘Great Firewall’ is taller than ever under ‘president-for-life’ Xi Jinping

      Based in Wuyi, in the eastern Chinese province of Zhejiang just south of Shanghai, she had just received a call from the police. They were asking questions about a post her son, a law student in Canada, had put up on Weibo — they said it wasn’t good and it would be better if Zhang deleted it.

      Just a day earlier, China’s legislature had voted — almost unanimously — to scrap presidential term limits, paving the way for President Xi Jinping to rule indefinitely. After weeks of extensive censorship, where everything from Xi’s name to the words “immortality” and “lifelong” were banned, Zhang wanted to see if retweeting a picture would draw the ire of censors.

      So that afternoon he set up an anonymous account on Weibo, posted a cartoon of Xi encased in glass and draped in a communist flag, and then retweeted it from his own account.

  • Privacy/Surveillance

  • Civil Rights/Policing

    • Police chief said Uber victim “came from the shadows”—don’t believe it

      Moreover, interior dashcam footage shows the driver looking down for nearly five seconds just before the accident—so she likely would have missed Herzberg no matter how good the illumination on the road was.

    • Game developers look to unions to fix the industry’s exploitative workplace culture
    • IBM reportedly broke discrimination laws by laying off older employees

      Some of those workers, who had careers with IBM spanning decades, saw their jobs either given to “less-experienced and lower-paid workers” or sent overseas.

    • ‘Uber should be shut down’: friends of self-driving car crash victim seek justice

      Two days after an Uber SUV fatally struck the 49-year-old Elaine Herzberg in Tempe, Arizona, while traveling in autonomous mode, friends of the victim have argued that the ride-share company should face consequences and criticized government officials for encouraging car companies to test the vehicles on the state’s public roads.

    • Cursing at Your Congressman Off of School Grounds Shouldn’t Get You Suspended

      A Nevada high school student was suspended for using profanity in a passionate message to his Congressman on gun control.

      On March 14, students across the country joined a walkout to demand stricter gun laws following the Parkland shooting that claimed 17 lives. Among the protesters was Noah C., a high school junior who called the office of U.S. Rep. Mark Amodei with a passionate message.

      “Members of Congress who haven’t acted on gun control reforms,” Noah C. told a staffer in the congressman’s office, “need to get off their fucking asses and do something to keep us safe.”

      Noah was one of many students at the walkout who exercised their First Amendment right to use strong language in messages to their local representatives. But instead of seriously addressing the valid concerns of a young constituent, Amodei’s office decided to escalate the situation by reporting the call to Robert McQueen High School, where Noah is a junior. Within hours, Noah — who had never faced a detention or any academic issues — found himself suspended.

      The move sets a dangerous precedent, considering Noah’s impassioned plea for gun control legislation did not occur during school or at a school-sanctioned or -sponsored event. That’s why the ACLU of Nevada is stepping in to defend him. Noah’s suspension is an unconstitutional attack on his First Amendment rights, which could have a chilling effect on others who might want to contact their representative. We urge the school to reverse its suspension and Amodei to withdraw his complaint.

      Unfortunately, McQueen High School has a history of trying to tamp down on Noah’s speech.

    • LAPD Gang Injunctions Gave Cops a License to Harass and Control Black and Latino Residents

      The law enforcement “tool” unconstitutionally restricted people’s freedom without a shred of due process.

      Peter Arellano’s life changed when a Los Angeles Police Department officer handed him a piece of paper informing him that he was now subject to a “gang injunction.” He could no longer visit his neighbors in their homes, drive to church with his family, ride his bike through the local park, or even stand in his own front yard with his father or brother. If he violated these terms, he could be arrested and jailed. Arellano, who has never been convicted of any crime, had effectively been placed on house arrest.

      Gang injunctions are ineffective policing tools that primarily serve to criminalize young Black and Latino men. Nonetheless, Los Angeles has been operating a massive gang injunction program for decades. Like nearly 9,000 other Angelenos, Arellano was subjected to an injunction solely based on an LAPD officer’s opinion, a whim that was approved by a city attorney, that he was a gang member. He never got to challenge the allegation or even know what evidence was used against him. This decision to radically limit his freedom didn’t involve a court.

      Gang injunctions represent a radical departure from constitutional due process. To obtain a gang injunction, a prosecutor files a civil “nuisance abatement” lawsuit against a particular gang, claiming that its conduct harms the community. The gang, which is not a formal organization and has no legal representation, does not appear at trial. With no one to argue against the need for an injunction, it is granted by default.

    • Security Researcher At The Center Of Emoji-Gate Heading Home After Feds Drop Five Felony Charges

      What started out as normal security research soon became a nightmare for Shafer. His uncovering of poor security practices in the dental industry — particularly the lack of attention paid to keeping HIPAA information secured — led to his house being raided by FBI agents. The FBI raided his house again after he blogged about the first raid. The FBI justified its harassment of Shafer with vague theories about his connection to infamous black hat hacker TheDarkOverlord. To do this, the FBI had to gloss over — if not outright omit — the warnings Shafer had sent to victims of TheDarkOverlord, as well as the information on the hacker Shafer had sent to law enforcement agencies including the FBI.

      Blogging about his interactions with the FBI led to the judge presiding over his criminal trial to revoke his release and jail him for exercising his First Amendment rights. This was ultimately reversed by a federal judge who agreed Shafer was allowed to call FBI agents “stupid” and blog about his treatment by the federal agency. (He was not to reveal personal info about FBI agents, however.)

    • National Geographic Looks at Its Racism–but Not Too Closely

      National Geographic has long had a negative reputation for exoticizing people of color, and failing to challenge colonialism and its legacies. The magazine (now owned by Murdoch, but scheduled to be sold to Disney) addresses this history in its new issue (4/18); and most are crediting them with trying, anyway. Though, as sociologist Victor Ray assesses in a Washington Post op-ed (3/16/18), the magazine rather steps on its message with a cover story on mixed-race twins that traffics in the same sort of “curiosity and surprise” racial clichés the magazine says it’s interrogating, along with a lazy social science that presents racism as a matter of individual attitudes, and overstates progress toward equality.

    • New Orleans’ Secret Predictive Policing Software Challenged In Court

      Predictive policing software — developed by Palantir and deployed secretly by the New Orleans Police Department for nearly six years — is at the center of a criminal prosecution. The Verge first reported the NOPD’s secret use of Palantir’s software a few weeks ago, something only the department and the mayor knew anything about.

    • Fines: A Ticket Back to Jail

      Statistics show that many people who have been incarcerated return to prison, often because of an inability to pay fees and fines associated with criminal offenses. As Sarah van Gelder reported in a February 2018 YES! Magazine article, research from the Columbia University Justice Lab found a 50% increase in people on probation returning to jail due to financial non-compliance. The people caught up in the criminal justice system are likely to be low-income and cannot afford fines after being released, placing them in a vicious cycle of recidivism. As Alexes Harris reported in a 2016 study, the average fee for a felony conviction is $1,300. To pay these fees, individuals must find steady jobs from employers who are willing to employ them despite their criminal record. If unable to find satisfactory employment, ex-convicts may turn to illegal activities resulting in recidivism. In some states, the inability to pay a fine is a parole- or probation violation, which can result in an arrest warrant, again reinstating the cycle of imprisonment.

    • Palantir has secretly been using New Orleans to test its predictive policing technology

      In May and June 2013, when New Orleans’ murder rate was the sixth-highest in the United States, the Orleans Parish district attorney handed down two landmark racketeering indictments against dozens of men accused of membership in two violent Central City drug trafficking gangs, 3NG and the 110ers. Members of both gangs stood accused of committing 25 murders as well as several attempted killings and armed robberies.

      Subsequent investigations by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and local agencies produced further RICO indictments, including that of a 22-year-old man named Evans “Easy” Lewis, a member of a gang called the 39ers who was accused of participating in a drug distribution ring and several murders.

    • Widow of Wildlife Expert Not Allowed to Leave Iran

      Maryam Mombeini, age 55, was stopped by Iranian airport security and told that she could not leave the country with her two sons, Ashifa Kassam reported for the Guardian in March, 2018. Maryam’s entire family holds dual citizenship in Canada and Iran. Her husband, Kavous Seyed-Emami, who founded the Persian Heritage Wildlife Foundation, was arrested in January under the suspicion that he and several of his coworkers were spies for the CIA and Mossad, the national intelligence agency of Israel. Iranian government officials assert that Kavous, age 63, committed suicide in prison two weeks after his arrest. The day after Iran refused to allow Maryam Mobeini to leave the country, the Canadian government called on Iran to allow her to do so.

    • Widow of jailed wildlife expert prevented from leaving Iran

      The widow of an Iranian-Canadian environmentalist who died in a Tehran prison under disputed circumstances has been barred from leaving the country, according to one of her sons.

      The family – all of whom are dual citizens of Iran and Canada – were boarding a Lufthansa flight for Canada on Wednesday when Maryam Mombeini, 55, was stopped by security forces and told she was forbidden from leaving the country.

      Soon after, her son posted a photo online showing himself and his brother seated in the plane without their mother. “Enough is enough,” Ramin Seyed-Emami wrote on Instagram, noting that both he and his brother would not “stay silent for one second until we are reunited with our mom”.

    • Why The Local’s assault case story could be a game changer for Sweden
    • Bahraini court sentences minor to six months in prison

      A Bahraini minor was sentenced to six months in prison on Sunday for allegedly taking part in an ‘illegal gathering’ – a charge commonly used to jail anti-regime protesters.

  • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

    • What you need to know about the AT&T–Time Warner merger trial

      One of the most high-stakes antitrust battles in recent memory is about to unfold in court, as AT&T argues its case for buying Time Warner, despite objections from the Justice Department. If approved, the purchase will create an outsized media behemoth that combines AT&T’s 25 million paid TV subscribers with media giants like HBO, CNN, and Warner Bros. movie studios. This, the Justice Department argues, is a company so large that it could stifle competition. Meanwhile, AT&T insists that the merger is critical if it has any hope of competing in a marketplace increasingly driven by streaming media. Both sides are making their opening statements in a DC court today. Here’s what to watch for during the trial.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Release Windows of Digital Movie Downloads Are Shrinking

        An often heard motivation for people to illegally download or stream content is the long gap between a movie’s theatrical release and its debut through other channels. New research shows that for digital downloads this gap is shrinking rapidly. But is that enough?

      • Google Should Begin Delisting Pirate Sites, Aussie Rightsholders Say

        Search engines such as Google and Bing should be forced to de-list pirate sites from search results to enhance Australia’s site-blocking regime. That’s the call from entertainment companies including Village Roadshow and Foxtel, who have responded to a government consultation on the efficacy and future standing of the country’s leading anti-piracy mechanism.

      • Spotify Saved Music. Can It Save Itself?

        Investors are about to decide whether it matters that the most popular music streaming service doesn’t make any money.

      • Controversial Roku ‘Piracy’ Ban Stays in Place in Mexico

        Last year the Superior Court of Justice of the City of Mexico responded to a copyright complaint filed by a TV company by banning all imports and sales of Roku devices. After a temporary suspension of the decision, the ban soon returned and the company and various sales outlets have been fighting ever since. New rulings mean that the controversial restrictions will continue, at least for now.

The Patent Maximalists Already Pressure USPTO Director Andrei Iancu to Say the ‘Right’ Things

Posted in America, Deception, Patents at 1:23 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Make Patents Great Again

Summary: The efforts to incite Iancu against the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) carry on unabated and his words are being distorted by patent maximalists to say what they want him to say

The patent trolls’ lobby (IAM) is still pressuring Andrei Iancu to hate PTAB and make the USPTO more open to abstract patents, such as software patents. The IAM interview even warped his words somewhat (in the headline especially), so it’s rather sickening that these people even call themselves “journalists” or “news”. it’s also frustrating to see the extent of coordinated pressure, not only that he accepted a speech invitation from IAM.

Richard Lloyd does it again, citing a newer appearance of Iancu and saying: “If you were looking for a sense of the industrial complex that has sprung up around the Patent Trial and Appeal Board in the five and a half years since it was created, then this week’s PTAB Bar Association annual conference was a good place to be. With around 500 delegates crammed into a ballroom in the Ritz Carlton in Washington DC – a stone’s throw from the lawyers and lobbyists of K street – the association, in just a couple of years, has quickly established itself in patent circles.”

“The patent trolls’ lobby (IAM) is still pressuring Andrei Iancu to hate PTAB and make the USPTO more open to abstract patents, such as software patents”The patent maximalists already project their own desires (business agenda) onto him. One patent maximalist said that “Dir. Iancu Calls for Paradigm Shift in USPTO Prior Art Searching and Forward Thinking wrt 101 Eligibility,” in effect distorting the actual headline he links to. “USPTO Head Stresses Need For Predictability In IP System” is the real headline and it’s an article behind paywall in which Matthew Bultman (Law 360) says nothing critical (there’s no lack of possible criticism) and instead summarises as follows outside the paywall:

U.S. Patent and Trademark Office Director Andrei Iancu emphasized the need for predictability in the intellectual property system on Thursday, while suggesting various ways the agency might help to bolster certainty in patent rights.

Speaking at the PTAB Bar Association Annual Conference in Washington, D.C., Ianucu [sic], who was sworn in as director late last month, said innovation was important to the U.S. and its economy.

The rest is behind paywall/s. Benjamin Henrion quoted/said: “The patent office has issued some guidance on Section 101, typically in reaction to court rulings. Iancu suggested there may be room for more forward-thinking guidance from the agency about where it thinks the lines of patent eligibility should be drawn” (this is what was actually said).

“Once upon a time an “attack” was some patent troll blackmailing a lot of businesses with threats; but the narratives are being inverted by some — to the point where the attacker carrying on with blackmail/lawsuit is “survival” and the defendant found innocent of infringement is actually an “attack”. Now we see Iancu accused of “attacking patents” simply by maintaining the status quo. “Then came maximalists’ propaganda sites such as Watchtroll, which say that “USPTO to Clarify Guidance on Written Description of Antibodies” (different but related) and two days earlier carried on characterising concern for patent quality as an “attack”. They said (with our emphasis added): “But the first major ruling under the new Director of the USPTO Andrei Iancu fell back to attacking patents. On February 23, three administrative patent judges of the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) issued a sweeping opinion that sovereign immunity does not apply to PTAB proceedings and that the agency can revoke a patent right without consent or participation of the patent owner. This is the latest and possibly most extreme example of agency overreach in the 7 year history of the PTAB under the American Invents Act.”

Why is it that such patent aggressors compare justice to "death squads" and attacks? Is justice itself an aggression? Is Iancu “attacking patents” by choosing to preserve improved patent quality? That “attack” narrative goes even further; we see it almost every day. Here’s a new tweet from a patent maximlaist: “US Pat 8311945, System and method for processing checks; Survived 101 Attack; Asserted Against US Bank; $3.3M Verdict for Infringing…”

“The patent extremists have already bullied Michelle Lee out of her job. Are they trying to threaten Iancu with the same fate unless he does their biddings?”And then again: “Checking Patent that Survived 101 Attack Was Successfully Asserted Against US Bank; $3.3M Verdict…”

Once upon a time an “attack” was some patent troll blackmailing a lot of businesses with threats; but the narratives are being inverted by some — to the point where the attacker carrying on with blackmail/lawsuit is “survival” and the defendant found innocent of infringement is actually an “attack”. Now we see Iancu accused of “attacking patents” simply by maintaining the status quo.

The patent extremists have already bullied Michelle Lee out of her job. Are they trying to threaten Iancu with the same fate unless he does their biddings?

Using Politics to Do the Patent Trolls’ Bidding With STRONGER Patents Act, Just Like the UPC in Europe

Posted in America, Law, Patents at 12:32 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Steve Stivers and Sarkozy

Summary: Rep. Steve Stivers from Ohio is pushing a bill for the Koch family, law firms, patent trolls and other radical elements in the US (not actual companies — both large and small — that really produce something)

THE US patent system (courts, USPTO etc.) is moving further away from patent litigation; patent lawsuits have fallen sharply (based on several criteria). The same cannot be said about Europe, where patent trolls are on the rise; they hoped for the UPC to make things simpler for them, but thankfully the UPC is dead in the water.

But this post isn’t really about Europe. We prefer to focus on something which is happening in the US right now. Patent maximalists like Jones Day (a large law firm) are having another go at trying to crash patent quality with the STRONGER Patents Act, having published this piece titled “STRONGER Patents Act Being Introduced To The U.S. House Of Representatives” not just in one site but in several [1, 2] (possibly in exchange for a payment as it’s a self-serving placement). “On March 20, 2018,” it says, “Reps. Steve Stivers (R-Ohio) and Bill Foster (D-Ill.) announced in an article that they would introduce the STRONGER Patents Act to the U.S. House of Representatives. More formally referred to as The Support Technology and Research for Our Nation’s Growth and Economic Resilience Act of 2017, the STRONGER Patents Act was introduced to the Senate in 2017 and almost immediately received a broad spectrum of commentary, including on the Jones Day PTAB Litigation Blog.”

We already know who’s behind it and we know that Stivers has no background in science, so that sort of makes sense. He doesn’t seem to realise the role of patents and why patent reform was pursued in the first place.

“Read why STRONGER Patents will harm IPR and benefit patent trolls,” United for Patent Reform wrote, linking to CCIA (an article we have already mentioned a few days ago).

Stivers does not let facts get in the way. A few days ago he published in the lobbyists’ favourite press a piece titled “Protecting American innovation” (conflating patents with innovation, as usual). “Our bill,” he argued, “the STRONGER Patents Act, reforms the PTAB to deliver the original promise of the AIA, giving our inventors a patent system that is truly cheaper, faster, and fairer for everyone.”

That’s exactly the opposite of what they’re after. They want to replace the affordable PTAB with pricey lawsuits and it’s not even a “reform”, it’s actually undoing reform. AIA itself was the reform; they just hijack the word “reform” now.

Some time later another site relayed the same lies, defending falsehoods using sentences like “according to a blog post from the Representatives posted on The Hill.”

This is nonsense however. Lobbying disguised as journalism is what The Hill habitually does.

Remember what they really promote here (patent extortion). It’s promoted by a fringe group of patent aggressors who compare justice to "death squads", as if judges who assess patents are the equivalent of ethnic cleansers or something equally repugnant. It’s crazy, it’s just insane, but that’s how desperate these people are to undermine PTAB.

Thankfully, groups which represent actual companies (not law firms) speak back and Engine, for example, wrote this blog post titled “Startups Strongly Oppose The STRONGER Patents Act,” in which it said:

This legislation would also overturn decades of Supreme Court decisions which form the foundation of our modern patent system. It would let patent trolls to obtain automatic injunctions at district courts to halt the sale or manufacture of complicated products using thousands of patented innovations based on allegations of infringement of one trivial feature. Liability for other sorts of alleged infringement, particularly induced infringement, would also balloon under this plan, including liability for end users who share products with their friends and families.

The only parties which will get stronger under this legislation are the patent trolls who are trying to roll-back protections Congress wisely adopted seven years ago. There are plenty of things that Congress can do to strengthen the patent system and fight the trolls which abuse it. This isn’t one of them.”

We highly doubt STRONGER Patents Act will get anywhere; but with deep pockets like the Kochs’ backing it, one can never be so sure and complacent. We’ll keep an eye on this terrible bill and highlight who is promoting it (other than Koch-funded think tanks).

China’s Equivalent of PTAB and BoA, the Patent Reexamination Board (PRB), Can Confirm Some Chinese Patents Are of Low Quality

Posted in Asia, Europe, Patents at 10:19 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Need law quality, not low quality

Patent Reexamination Board (PRB)
A three-year-old presentation about PRB [PDF]

Summary: The Patent Reexamination Board (PRB) of China’s State Intellectual Property Office (SIPO) has just tackled SEP (standard-essential patent), but only after a lot of abuse from a CPC-connected patent parasite which targets foreign companies

THERE is plenty of discussion about patent quality these days. Earlier this month nearly a thousand patent examiners from the EPO complained that patent quality had declined. That’s a quarter of the total number of examiners; many of the rest were probably just too afraid to sign the petition (especially amid rumours of staff cuts). The EPO’s Boards of Appeal (BoA) are already under heavy attacks, so it will be hard for them to speak about quality without risk of rather ‘fatal’ retribution (they have already been sent to ‘exile’ and a colleague had his career destroyed).

“SEP has come under strong scrutiny in Japan lately (much to the concern of the patent trolls’ lobby) and if the patent office gets it wrong on SEP, then destruction of innovation is assured.”Longtime readers of ours know we’re not against the system but rather pro-patent quality (i.e. reform). The system lost sight of its original purpose, especially in recent decades. A few years back China went down the same trajectory, in essence granting a lot of patents only a minuscule proportion of which was actually worth a damn (that’s the portion which gets translated from Mandarin and ‘exported’ to other continents in the form of patent applications).

Earlier this year we wrote about how China had begun bullying Korean giants (notably Samsung and LG) using patents. This already repelled and drove out parts of LG. Samsung has stayed and fought back, even with some lawsuits (as we covered earlier this month).

According to the patent trolls’ lobby (IAM), which wrote this paywalled post yesterday, SIPO (China, not Croatia) has just found a patent it had granted — only to be used by some troll/opportunist (IAM calls it “state-affiliated entity”) to harass Samsung — to be invalid. How many Chinese patents aren’t worth the paper they’re written on (and bytes/magnets they’re stored on)?

In the words of the patent trolls’ lobby:

China’s patent office has dealt a blow to a local SEP developer that last year kicked off an assertion campaign against major television manufacturers in Chinese courts. On February 28th, the Patent Reexamination Board (PRB) of China’s State Intellectual Property Office (SIPO) invalidated all the claims to patent number CN 200710141661.6, entitled “Audio decoding”. The patent is one of a reported 25 grants owned by Digital Rise, a Guangzhou-based developer of audio standards. A local subsidiary of Samsung Electronics filed the invalidation request on August 17th, shortly after the company became the first foreign target in a litigation spree launched last summer…

It’s reassuring to know that China has PRB. SEP has come under strong scrutiny in Japan lately (much to the concern of the patent trolls’ lobby) and if the patent office gets it wrong on SEP, then destruction of innovation is assured. SEP is all about monopoly, not fair competition.

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