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04.25.18

Battistelli Misuses EPO Budget to Saturate the European Media With Puff Pieces About His Event

Posted in Europe, Patents at 6:57 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Saint-Germain-en-Laye event

Summary: The latest examples of ‘synthetic’ coverage or fluff about Battistelli’s expensive event that he cryptically and mysteriously chose to have at his other workplace in Saint-Germain-en-Laye

THE EPO is in effect bribing the media, more so nowadays than ever before. It’s nothing entirely new however. Years ago we showed that the EPO had been paying IAM though PR firms.

EPO management deserves an “inventor of the year” award. It would be awarded for inventing ways to distract from scandals/abuses/corruption and silencing the media. It works! Well done, Mr. Battistelli! But at whose expense? And at what cost to society? It corrupts the fourth estate.

“EPO management deserves an “inventor of the year” award. It would be awarded for inventing ways to distract from scandals/abuses/corruption and silencing the media.”Last year we wrote about Microsoft-EPO connections in relation to software patents; years prior to that we showed other EPO scandals that were associated with Microsoft. Some EPO applicants find themselves having to become Microsoft customers just to be able to interact with the EPO. How abusive is this compared to more blatant examples of abuse?

Earlier this week we saw this Microsoft person named as European Inventor Award 2018 finalist. We were rather disgusted today just seeing the EPO puff pieces and press releases with the usual Battistelli quotes (it’s all about him, as usual). Yes, the usual Battistelli quotes (it’s all about him) are embedded in virtually all these pieces, e.g. this one: (maybe ghostwritten/PR-driven)

“Sans Takeuchi’s innovative work on energy storage and power sources is enabling life-saving technologies that benefit millions of heart-failure patients,” EPO President Benoît Battistelli said in a statement announcing the finalists.

Then there’s the Irish media [1, 2, 3], which might be working with the EPO’s PR agency in the UK. They’ve just hired one (again).

“Campinos’ EU organisation also helps promote the event of Battistelli — the near-literal heist that happens 3 weeks before Campinos takes Battistelli’s job (that he set up for him).”The EPO’s management — using money it habitually misuses — has co-opted the British Science Museum and other institutions in order to help promote Battistelli’s agenda. See these tweets from Roger Highfield [1, 2] and the posts these link to. Here’s an example from other institutions (indirect, but there are also direct examples).

This is not normal. It’s not like these institutions just search for some press releases and then decide to write about them. They work in coordination with (hand in glove) the EPO’s PR staff and external PR agencies. It’s all manufactured, it’s faked, it’s paid for.

“This often explains why particular publishers are so unwilling to cover serious cases of law-breaking, corruption, and so on.”Campinos’ EU organisation also helps promote the event of Battistelli — the near-literal heist that happens 3 weeks before Campinos takes Battistelli's job (that he set up for him). Some more retweets [1, 2] and originals from today follow that same pattern.

One of the key issues we’ve highlighted for over 3 years is that the EPO exploits cash repositories to buy positive publicity and create a financial dependence for publishers. This often explains why particular publishers are so unwilling to cover serious cases of law-breaking, corruption, and so on.

Battistelli’s EPO Continues to Promote Software Patents and Even Pays the Media to Play Along, Impacting Other Continents

Posted in Deception, Europe, Patents at 6:26 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Waste of stakeholders’ money and a source of shame for the EPO, which goes in the opposite direction of the USPTO and the EPC itself

A revolution
Referring to abstract patents as a “revolution” (as in “4IR”)

Summary: With silly new terms such as “4IR” (the EPO used to say “ICT”, “CII”, “Industry 4.0″ etc.) Team Battistelli is hoping to make software patents look/sound acceptable, honourable and inherently innovative or “revolutionary”

THE US moves further and further away from software patents — a subject we’ll revisit yet again in the weekend. The USPTO, even under newer leadership, does not intend to change that. It cannot. The highest court calls the shots.

But watch what the EPO has been doing today. It’s actively promoting software patenting at an event in the US. Totally inappropriate. It did it this morning and once again later in the day.

“This is a showing of how grotesque EPO corruption of media has gotten; it poisons everything worldwide.”The EPO’s buzzword of choice for software patents is nowadays “4IR” (we’ll show some time very soon how the EPO presents that in its Gazette). It’s an EPO-sourced of EPO-boosted buzzword (which it literally paid the media to promote) and it stands for ‘Fourth’ ‘Industrial’ ‘Revolution’, which means pretty much nothing. All these words are misnombers. It’s pure marketing.

This buzzword has just spread to Korea. This is a showing of how grotesque EPO corruption of media has gotten; it poisons everything worldwide. The Korea Bizwire has just published this nonsense and it ought to know that accelerating the granting of monopolies is not a desirable thing, especially not in technology (they mean software) where one has to be highly careful distributing monopoles. The Korean Intellectual Property Office (KIPO) does not allow software patenting, but what if it labeled these “4IR” like the EPO does?

From the article:

South Korea has cut short the patent application process for a number of technologies that are part of the so-called ‘Fourth Industrial Revolution’.

The Korean Intellectual Property Office (KIPO) launched a fast track today for patent applications for a select few technologies including 3D printing, self-driving, big data, cloud computing and the Internet of Things, allowing companies to obtain a patent in fewer than six months.

The fast track program is available for ongoing technology development projects and those by startups, as well as ones for which the KIPO has reached agreement with international intellectual property offices.

[...]

Other countries have taken similar steps. Japan launched an assessment team dedicated to technology patents last year, and set out new standards for software development this year, while China also ramped up efforts to protect software patents last year.

To explain the term “4IR” they just use some more buzzwords (one buzzword expanded to mean several others) and we remain concerned that this may eventually become ‘normal’.

“To explain the term “4IR” they just use some more buzzwords (one buzzword expanded to mean several others) and we remain concerned that this may eventually become ‘normal’.”The Knowledge Group (mentioned here several days ago) has just promoted this upcoming ‘webcast’ in which it will explain “How to implement it [2017 Actavis Decisions] in oral proceedings and submissions before the EPO…”

In the case of software, the EPO’s leadership already suggests using all sorts of buzzwords and then brainwashes patent examiners (we’ll show the contents of the Gazette some time soon) to urge them to accept software patent applications. In Seattle it’s about to explicitly give tips on how to achieve this.

Links 25/4/2018: Ubuntu 18.04 Coming Shortly, Fedora 28 Next Month

Posted in News Roundup at 6:53 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Configuring local storage in Linux with Stratis

    Configuring local storage is something desktop Linux users do very infrequently—maybe only once, during installation. Linux storage tech moves slowly, and many storage tools used 20 years ago are still used regularly today. But some things have improved since then. Why aren’t people taking advantage of these new capabilities?

    This article is about Stratis, a new project that aims to bring storage advances to all Linux users, from the simple laptop single SSD to a hundred-disk array. Linux has the capabilities, but its lack of an easy-to-use solution has hindered widespread adoption. Stratis’s goal is to make Linux’s advanced storage features accessible.

  • Desktop

    • Google looks set to offer Linux on Chromebooks in the next few months

      If that wasn’t enough, a new commit in the parent Chromium OS offers “new device policy to allow Linux VMs on Chrome OS.” Which about seals it.

      Read the accompanying Gerrit documentation and you get further confirmation: “At this time, in order for Linux VMs to run, the Finch experiment also needs to be enabled. After this feature is fully launched, the Finch control logic will be removed.”

  • Kernel Space

    • Linux 4.16.4
    • Linux 4.14.36
    • Linux 4.9.96
    • Linux 4.4.129
    • Linux 3.18.106
    • Graphics Stack

      • VC4 display, VC5 kernel submitted

        For VC5, I renamed the kernel driver to “v3d” and submitted it to the kernel. Daniel Vetter came back right away with a bunch of useful feedback, and next week I’m resolving that feedback and continuing to work on the GMP support.

        On the vc4 front, I did the investigation of the HDL to determine that the OLED matrix applies before the gamma tables, so we can expose it in the DRM for Android’s color correction. Stefan was also interested in reworking his fencing patches to use syncobjs, so hopefully we can merge those and get DRM HWC support in mainline soon. I also pushed Gustavo’s patch for using the new core DRM infrastructure for async cursor updates. This doesn’t simplify our code much yet, but Boris has a series he’s working on that gets rid of a lot of custom vc4 display code by switching more code over to the new async support.

      • V3D DRM Driver Revised As It Works To Get Into The Mainline Kernel

        Eric Anholt of Broadcom has sent out his revised patches for the “V3D” DRM driver, which up until last week was known as the VC5 DRM driver.

        As explained last week, the VC5 driver components are being renamed to V3D since it ends up supporting more than just VC5 with Broadcom VC6 hardware already being supported too. Eric is making preparations to get this VideoCore driver into the mainline Linux kernel and he will then also rename the VC5 Gallium3D driver to V3D Gallium3D.

      • AMDVLK Driver Gets Fixed For Rise of the Tomb Raider Using Application Profiles

        With last week’s release of Rise of the Tomb Raider on Linux ported by Feral Interactive, when it came to Radeon GPU support for this Vulkan-only Linux game port the Mesa RADV driver was supported while the official AMDVLK driver would lead to GPU hangs. That’s now been fixed.

        With the latest AMDVLK/XGL source code as of today, the GPU hang issue for Rise of the Tomb Raider should now be resolved.

      • xorg-server 1.19.99.905

        More bugfixes, and streams support for Xwayland. This will almost certainly be the last RC.

      • X.Org Server 1.20 RC5 Released, Adds EGLStreams To Let NVIDIA Work With XWayland

        Adam Jackson of Red Hat today announced the X.Org Server 1.20 Release Candidate 5, which he believes will be the last test release before going gold. Most excitingly about this new release candidate is the merged support for allowing the NVIDIA proprietary driver to work with XWayland.

    • Benchmarks

      • AMD Ryzen 7 2700X Linux Performance Boosted By Updated BIOS/AGESA

        With last week’s initial launch-day Linux benchmarks of the Ryzen 5 2600X / Ryzen 7 2700X some found the Linux performance to be lower than Windows. While the root cause is undetermined, a BIOS/AGESA update does appear to help the Linux performance significantly at least with the motherboard where I’ve been doing most of my tests with the Ryzen 7 2700X. Here are the latest benchmark numbers.

      • AMD Ryzen 7 2700X Linux Performance Boosted By Updated BIOS/AGESA

        With last week’s initial launch-day Linux benchmarks of the Ryzen 5 2600X / Ryzen 7 2700X some found the Linux performance to be lower than Windows. While the root cause is undetermined, a BIOS/AGESA update does appear to help the Linux performance significantly at least with the motherboard where I’ve been doing most of my tests with the Ryzen 7 2700X. Here are the latest benchmark numbers.

  • Applications

  • Distributions

    • New Releases

      • AV Linux Multimedia-Focused OS Gets New Stable Release with Meltdown Patches

        AV Linux, the open-source GNU/Linux distribution designed for multimedia content creation, has been updated recently to version 2018.4.2, a release that adds Meltdown mitigations, updated components, and various other enhancements.

        Probably the most important change in the AV Linux 2018.4.2 release is the implementation of the KPTI (Kernel page-table isolation) patch to protect users against the Meltdown security vulnerability, but only for 64-bit installations. The distribution is now powered by the long-term supported Linux 4.9.76 kernel, and users can disable the KPTI patch at boot.

      • Q4OS Centaurus 3.2 – new testing release

        A new updated image of the Q4OS Centaurus testing live media has been just released, its core is based on the latest Debian Buster testing and Trinity Desktop 14.0.5 testing versions.

    • OpenSUSE/SUSE

      • Request Travel Support for openSUSE Conference 2018

        The Travel Support Program (TSP) provides travel sponsorships to openSUSE community who want to attend the openSUSE conference and need financial assistance. The openSUSE conference 2018 will be in Prague, Czech Republic from May 25 to May 27.

        The goal of the TSP is to help everybody in and around openSUSE to be able to attend the openSUSE Conference!

    • Red Hat Family

      • Announcing new product updates of CDK 3.4, DevStudio 11.3, DevSuite 2.3

        We’re extremely pleased to announce additions and updates to our suite of Red Hat Developers desktop tooling products, including Container Development Kit 3.4, JBoss Developer Studio 11.3, and our DevSuite 2.3 installer. These updates are a continuation of our efforts to increase developer usability, while adding new features that matter most for users of Red Hat platforms and technologies.

      • Announcing Developer Studio 11.3.0.GA, JBoss Tools 4.5.3 for Eclipse Oxygen.3a
      • Red Hat introduces JDK 10

        Java™ 10 is now supported with Red Hat JBoss Developer Studio 11.3.

        Please note that Red Hat JBoss Developer Studio does not run on a Java™ 9/10 virtual machine, but allows for managing and building of Java™ 9/10 projects and artifacts. So, you must first define in your workspace a Java™ 9/10 JDK if you want to manage and build Java™ 9/10 projects.

      • Give the gift of revealing your insecurities

        A few weeks ago, I was having a discussion with a fellow manager on my team. This person reports to someone who reports to me, generally has a different set of concerns than I do, and therefore holds a unique perspective on the challenges we face. I’d been digressing on a hypothetical course of action when the manager interrupted me to say, “Excuse me, I just want to say that I’m not comfortable with the direction this is going in.” I immediately stopped talking and thought about what I’d been saying. I tried to explain what I meant, to give more context, and to go at it from a different angle. The manager also shared some context and perspective, which helped me understand the discomfort.

      • A (Belated) Happy 25th to Red Hat: So, What Does the Future Hold?

        Better late than never: last month Red Hat celebrated 25 years. (The cake and candles may seem like ancient history to Jim Whitehurst, CEO of the open source pioneer, but we believe in prolonging anything involving icing.) Jim spoke with Computer Business Review; looking both back on 25 years of Red Hat and to the future.

      • Fedora

        • Top Badgers of 2017: Carl George
        • Warming up for Fedora Workstation 28

          Been some time now since my last update on what is happening in Fedora Workstation and with current plans to release Fedora Workstation 28 in early May I thought this could be a good time to write something. As usual this is just a small subset of what the team has been doing and I always end up feeling a bit bad for not talking about the avalanche of general fixes and improvements the team adds to each release.

        • Fedora Workstation 28 Is Shaping Up To Be Another Terrific Update

          Fedora Workstation 28 is shaping up to be another compelling update for those that are fans of this bleeding-edge Red Hat sponsored Linux distribution. I’ve been running Fedora Workstation 28 snapshots on a few laptops and test machines here and am quite happy with how it’s shaped up as another Fedora release that delivers not only the latest features, but doing so in a seemingly sane and stable manner: I haven’t encountered any problems unlike some of the past notorious Fedora releases from years ago. Overall, I am quite excited for next month’s Fedora 28 release and will be upgrading my main production system to it.

    • Debian Family

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Things You Should Know About Ubuntu 18.04

            This article answers frequently asked questions about Ubuntu 18.04 and thus informing you of the important things you should know about Ubuntu 18.04.

          • Ora as a snap: ensuring users are benefiting from the latest version

            Ora is a user-friendly task management service with integrated time-tracking, reports, list view, git integrations and many other features. Often referred to by users as ‘the sweet spot between Trello and Jira’, Ora provides almost a complete match of Jira’s feature set but in a new and more accessible way.

            Last month, Ora launched their application as a snap and thereby broadening out their reach across the Linux user base. We spoke to Nikolay Mihaylov, co-founder at Ora, who told us more about their reasons to publish a snap and how it will help Ora move forward.

          • Welcome To The (Ubuntu) Bionic Age: Behind communitheme: interviewing Merlijn

            As discussed last week when unveiling the communitheme snap for ubuntu 18.04 LTS, here is a suite of interview this week on some members of the core contributor team shaping this entirely community-driven theme.

            Today is the turn of Merlijn, merlijn-sebrechts on the community hub.

          • LXD weekly status #44

            Another week of bugfixes for us as more and more people update to the 3.0 releases!

            Quite a bit of work went into improving the handling of the two database in LXD 3.0, making it easier for us to debug issues and provide fixes to our users when something goes wrong. Work is also continuing on the new backup/restore API for LXD with it hopefully landing later this week.

            We’re also excited to see LXD debuts on the Chromebooks through the new Crostini feature. This also led to a minor change to LXD to allow restricting users to unprivileged containers as was needed for those users.

          • Canonical Releases Kernel Security Updates for Ubuntu 17.10 and Ubuntu 16.04 LTS

            For Ubuntu 17.10 (Artful Aardvark) users, today’s security update addresses a bug (CVE-2018-8043) in Linux kernel’s Broadcom UniMAC MDIO bus controller driver, which improperly validated device resources, allowing a local attacker to crash the vulnerable system by causing a denial of service (DoS attack).

            For Ubuntu 16.04 LTS (Xenial Xerus) users, the security patch fixes a buffer overread vulnerability (CVE-2017-13305) in Linux kernel’s keyring subsystem and an information disclosure vulnerability (CVE-2018-5750) in the SMBus driver for ACPI Embedded Controllers. Both issues could allow a local attacker to expose sensitive information.

          • Ubuntu Touch lives on in Purism’s Librem 5 smartphone

            Not quite five years ago, Canonical tried to challenge Apple iOS and Google Android with Ubuntu Touch, an alternative smartphone Linux. Users, phone carriers, and the open-source community failed to support it, so Ubuntu founder Mark Shuttleworth closed the door on Ubuntu Touch development. But, in open source, programs don’t die until its last developer gives up on it. Purism and UBports have partnered to offer Ubuntu Touch on Purism’s Librem 5 smartphone.

          • Saying Something in April 2018

            Being able to bang on (that is to say, percussively test) Bionic Beaver has been a blast. I haven’t done ISO testing this round. Instead, I’ve been using my Xubuntu desktop daily watching things break and have been watching apport file bugs. Doing so makes me realize that, frankly, I am not normal in terms of installed packages or workflow. I have quite a bit of LaTeX installed due to church work. I have many ham radio-related things installed. Audio production and video production packages are installed too. Yes, sometimes I break down and even use LibreOffice. I don’t have the whole package archive installed but I have a visible chunk of it in place as I use many things in many ways.

          • Flavours and Variants

            • Ubuntu-Based ExTiX Distro, the Ultimate Linux System, Updates Its Deepin Edition

              Based on the Ubuntu 18.04 LTS (Bionic Beaver) operating system, the ExTiX 18.4 Deepin Edition is now available and it ships updated components, including the latest Deepin 15.5 Desktop, the Calamares 3.1.12 universal installer framework, and a custom Linux 4.16.2 kernel with extra hardware support.

              “I’ve made a new extra version of ExTiX with Deepin 15.5 Desktop (made in China!),” said Arne Exton in the release announcement. “Only a minimum of packages is installed in ExTiX Deepin. You can, of course, install all the packages you want, even while running ExTiX Deepin live, i.e. from a DVD or USB stick.”

            • Cinnamon 3.8 Desktop Environment Released with Python 3 Support, Improvements

              Scheduled to ship with the upcoming Linux Mint 19 “Tara” operating system series this summer, the Cinnamon 3.8 desktop environment is now available for download and it’s a major release that brings numerous improvements, new features, and lots of Python 3 ports for a bunch of components.

              Among the components that got ported to Python 3 in the Cinnamon 3.8 release, we can mention cinnamon-settings, cinnamon-menu-editor, cinnamon-desktop-editor, cinnamon-settings-users, melange, background slideshow, the switch editor and screensaver lock dialogs, desktop file generation scripts, as well as all the utilities.

  • Devices/Embedded

Free Software/Open Source

  • Voyage open-sources autonomous driving safety practices

    Dubbed Open Autonomous Safety, the initiative aims to help autonomous driving startups implement better safety-testing practices. Companies looking to access the documents, safety procedures and test code can do so via a GitHub repository.

  • Open-Sourcing Our Approach to Autonomous Safety

    Without a driver to help identify and mitigate failures, autonomous vehicle systems need incredibly robust safety requirements and an equally comprehensive and well-defined process for analyzing risks and assessing capabilities. Voyage models its safety approach after the ISO 26262 standard for automotive safety, taking the best practices from the automotive industry and applying them to autonomous technology. The automotive industry continues to reach for new levels of safety in manufacturing vehicles, and we are inspired by that approach.

  • Startup Voyage Wants to Open Source Self-Driving Car Safety

    Under what the company calls its Open Autonomous Safety initiative, Voyage is publishing information on its safety procedures, materials, and test code in a series of releases. The goal is to create an open-source library of safety procedures that multiple companies can use as a standard, a Voyage blog post said.

  • This startup’s CEO wants to open-source self-driving car safety testing

    The initial release, which Voyage calls Open Autonomous Safety (OAS), will take the form of a GitHub repository containing documents and code. The functional safety requirements are Voyage’s interpretation of the ISO 26262 standard for automotive safety, updated for autonomous vehicles. “This is our internal driving test for any particular software build,” says Cameron. “It lets us evaluate our designs and look for the different ways they can fail in the real world.”

  • Events

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Rust pattern: Precise closure capture clauses

        This is the second in a series of posts about Rust compiler errors. Each one will talk about a particular error that I got recently and try to explain (a) why I am getting it and (b) how I fixed it. The purpose of this series of posts is partly to explain Rust, but partly just to gain data for myself. I may also write posts about errors I’m not getting – basically places where I anticipated an error, and used a pattern to avoid it. I hope that after writing enough of these posts, I or others will be able to synthesize some of these facts to make intermediate Rust material, or perhaps to improve the language itself.

      • This Week in Rust
      • Mozilla publishes recommendations on government vulnerability disclosure in Europe

        As we’ve argued on many occasions, effective government vulnerability disclosure (GVD) review processes can greatly enhance cybersecurity for governments, citizens, and companies, and help mitigate risk in an ever-broadening cyber threat landscape. In Europe, the EU is currently discussing a new legislative proposal to enhance cybersecurity across the bloc, the so-called ‘EU Cybersecurity Act’. In that context, we’ve just published our policy recommendations for lawmakers, in which we call on the EU to seize the opportunity to set a global policy norm for government vulnerability disclosure.

      • Testing Strategies for React and Redux
      • K Lars Lohn: Things Gateway – a Virtual Weather Station
      • Firefox DevEdition 60 Beta 14 Testday Results

        As you may already know, last Friday – April 20th – we held a new Testday event, for Firefox DevEdition 60 Beta 14.

        Thank you all for helping us make Mozilla a better place: gaby2300, micde, Jarrod Michell, Thomas Brooks.

      • Supporting Same-Site Cookies in Firefox 60

        Firefox 60 will introduce support for the same-site cookie attribute, which allows developers to gain more control over cookies. Since browsers will include cookies with every request to a website, most sites rely on this mechanism to determine whether users are logged in.

        Attackers can abuse the fact that cookies are automatically sent with every request to force a user to perform unwanted actions on the site where they are currently logged in. Such attacks, known as cross-site request forgeries (CSRF), allow attackers who control third-party code to perform fraudulent actions on the user’s behalf. Unfortunately current web architecture does not allow web applications to reliably distinguish between actions initiated by the user and those that are initiated by any of the third-party gadgets or scripts that they rely on.

      • Enterprise Policy Support in Firefox

        Last year, Mozilla ran a survey to find out top enterprise requirements for Firefox. Policy management (especially Windows Group Policy) was at the top of that list.

        For the past few months we’ve been working to build that support into Firefox in the form of a policy engine. The policy engine adds desktop configuration and customization features for enterprise users to Firefox. It works with any tool that wants to set policies including Windows Group Policy.

      • any.js

        Thanks to Ms2ger web-platform-tests is now even more awesome (not in the American sense). To avoid writing HTML boilerplate, web-platform-tests supports .window.js, .worker.js, and .any.js resources, for writing JavaScript that needs to run in a window, dedicated worker, or both at once. I very much recommend using these resource formats as they ease writing and reviewing tests and ensure APIs get tested across globals.

      • Alex Gibson: My fifth year working at Mozilla

        Today marks my fifth year working for Mozilla! This past year has been both fun and frantic, and overall was a really good year for both Mozilla and Firefox. Here’s a run down a few of the things I got to work on.

  • Databases

  • CMS

  • Pseudo-Open Source (Openwashing)

  • Funding

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • Glibc 2.28 Upstream Will Build/Run Cleanly On GNU Hurd

      While Linux distributions are still migrating to Glibc 2.27, in the two months since the release changes have continued building up for what will eventually become the GNU C Library 2.28.

      The Glibc 2.28 work queued thus far isn’t nearly as exciting as all the performance optimizations and more introduced with Glibc 2.27, but it’s a start. Most notable at this point for Glibc 2.28 is that it will now build and run cleanly on GNU/Hurd without requiring any out-of-tree patches. There has been a ton of Hurd-related commits to Glibc over the past month.

    • Guix on Android!

      Last year I thought to myself: since my phone is just a computer running an operating system called Android (or Replicant!), and that Android is based on a Linux kernel, it’s just another foreign distribution I could install GNU Guix on, right? It turned out it was absolutely the case. Today I was reminded on IRC of my attempt last year at installing GNU Guix on my phone. Hence this blog post. I’ll try to give you all the knowledge and commands required to install it on your own Android device.

    • GNU Guix Wrangled To Run On Android

      The GNU Guix transactional package manager can be made to run on Android smartphones/tablets, but not without lots of hoops to jump through first.

    • Friday Free Software Directory IRC meetup time: April 27th starting at 12:00 p.m. EDT/16:00 UTC
  • Programming/Development

Leftovers

  • What’s next for Flickr after Yahoo’s sale?

    Future of photo-sharing site remains unclear but its founders say the innovation at Flickr died as soon as it was acquired in 2005

  • Marissa Mayer hits out at ‘gender bias’ as Yahoo is sold for $5bn

    Verizon agreed to buy Yahoo’s core internet business for $4.83bn (£3.62bn) in cash on Monday, marking the final chapter in the struggling fortunes of the fading web pioneer.

  • Science

    • Augmented Reality Is Transforming Museums

      Who owns virtual space, and what recourse does a museum have if an outside party “trespasses” on its virtual space? Moreover, is it even in a museum’s best interest to retaliate against unauthorized virtual augmentations—or should they be embraced as a new, if uninvited, tool for visitor engagement?

  • Hardware

    • Intel Launches Patent for an Innovative Cryptocurrency Mining Accelerator

      Intel, one of the biggest semi conductor firms has requested a patent for an innovative mining chip accelerator for Bitcoin. Known as “Bitcoin Mining Hardware Accelerator,” this patent was submitted in 2016 however is now being publicized for the first time.

      Cryptocurrency and bitcoin mining has long been under inspection for the extreme energy it supposedly uses. For instance, countries such as Iceland admit that more energy is utilized to mine Bitcoin than to power its habitations, while cities like Plattsburgh, NY – a once famous sanctuary for commercial Bitcoin mining have forced strict moratoriums to reduce the growing needs of the miners and the surging prices of electricity.

  • Health/Nutrition

    • A separate NHS tax would only further its fragmentation

      When MPs from different parties put aside their differences to work together, it’s worth listening to what they have to say – especially when it comes to protecting our crisis-ridden NHS. So when Liz Kendall, Norman Lamb and Nick Boles took to the airwaves this morning proposing a cross-party solution to our healthcare crisis, I understand why many people will have listened with interest.

      I agree with a number of the proposals, including a commitment to keeping the NHS free at the point of use, integration of social care and increasing funding above inflation. But sadly – and I don’t doubt these MPs care about the NHS – I believe that the sum total of their “ten principles of long-term funding for NHS and social care” ​risk undermining healthcare in this country.

  • Security

    • Security updates for Tuesday
    • Reproducible Builds: Weekly report #156
    • A Match.com glitch reactivated a bunch of old profiles, raising concerns about user data

      A Match Group spokesperson confirmed that a “limited number” of old accounts had been accidentally reactivated recently and that any account affected received a password reset. Match.com’s current privacy statement, which was last updated in 2016, says that the company can “retain certain information associated with your account” even after you close it. But that Match Group spokesperson also told The Verge that the company plans to roll out a new privacy policy “in the next month or so,” in order to comply with the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR); under the new policy, all those years-old accounts will be deleted. The Verge has requested clarification on which accounts will qualify for deletion, and what “deletion” will specifically entail, but has not received a response as of press time.

    • New hacks siphon private cryptocurrency keys from airgapped wallets

      Like most of the other attacks developed by Ben-Gurion University professor Mordechai Guri and his colleagues, the currency wallet exploits start with the already significant assumption that a device has already been thoroughly compromised by malware. Still, the research is significant because it shows that even when devices are airgapped—meaning they aren’t connected to any other devices to prevent the leaking of highly sensitive data—attackers may still successfully exfiltrate the information. Past papers have defeated airgaps using a wide array of techniques, including electromagnetic emissions from USB devices, radio signals from a computer’s video card, infrared capabilities in surveillance cameras, and sounds produced by hard drives.

    • New hacker group targets US health-care industry, researchers say

      The group, which Symantec has named “Orangeworm,” has been installing backdoors in large international corporations based in the U.S., Europe and Asia that operate in the health-care sector.

      Among its victims are health-care providers and pharmaceutical companies, as well as IT companies and equipment manufacturers that work for health organizations.

    • PyRoMine uses NSA exploits to mine Monero and disable security features [Ed: NSA back doors in Microsoft Windows is a gift that keeps giving... to crackers]

      In an age where cryptomining software is beating out ransomware as the go-to for most hackers, a Python-based Monero miner is using stolen NSA exploits to gain an edge.

      In 2016 the Shadow Brokers leaked several hacking tools and zero-day exploits including ETERNALBLUE and ETERNALROMANCE that targeted versions of Windows XP/Vista/8.1/7/10 and Windows Server 2003/2008/2012/2016 and took advantage of CVE-2017-0144 and CVE-2017-0145.

      Fortinet researchers spotted a malware dubbed “PyRoMine” which uses the ETERNALROMANCE exploit to spread to vulnerable Windows machines, according to an April 24 blog post. The malware isn’t the first to mine cryptocurrency that uses previously leaked NSA exploits the malware is still a threat as it leaves machines vulnerable to future attacks because it starts RDP services and disables security services.

  • Defence/Aggression

    • Scarier than Bolton? Think Nikki for President

      The musical chairs playing out among the senior officials that make up the President Donald Trump White House team would be amusing to watch but for the genuine damage that it is doing to the United States. The lack of any coherence in policy means that the State Department now has diplomats that do not believe in diplomacy and environment agency heads that do not believe in protecting the environment. It also means that well-funded and disciplined lobbies and pressure groups are having a field day, befuddling ignorant administrators with their “fact sheets” and successfully promoting policies that benefit no one but themselves.

      In the Trumpean world of all-the-time-stupid, there is, however, one individual who stands out for her complete inability to perceive anything beyond threats of unrelenting violence combined with adherence to policies that have already proven to be catastrophic. That person is our own Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley, who surfaced in the news lately after she unilaterally and evidently prematurely announced sanctions on Russia. When the White House suggested that she might have been “confused” she responded that “With all due respect, I don’t get confused.” This ignited a firestorm among the Trump haters, lauding Haley as a strong and self-confident woman for standing up to the White House male bullies while also suggesting that the hapless Administration had not bothered to inform one of its senior diplomats of a policy change. It also produced a flurry of Haley for higher office tweets based on what was described as her “brilliant riposte” to the president.

  • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

    • Licence to blog: Will ‘Swahili WikiLeaks’ have to close?

      Bloggers in Tanzania will have to pay $920 (£660) for the privilege of posting content online, according to new regulations.

      The government says it wants to protect the East African nation from “lies” being spread online though critics see it as a way of muzzling freedom of expression.

    • What Is Congress Talking About?

      When something happens in Congress, legislators love to brag about it — or condemn it — for their audience of journalists and professionals in Washington and for their constituents back home. The text of their public statements can provide a window into what members are thinking and what matters most to them in any given week.

      A new page on ProPublica’s Represent database — and a new Twitterbot — track what Congress members have said in the past week. It picks out the phrases that are most distinctive to that week’s batch of kudos and complaints contained in Congressional press releases.

    • Why the DNC Is Fighting WikiLeaks and Not Wall Street

      Exactly 200 days before the crucial midterm election that will determine whether Republicans maintain control of Congress, the Democratic National Committee filed a 66-page lawsuit that surely cost lots of money and energy to assemble.

      Does the lawsuit target purveyors of racist barriers to voting that block and deflect so many people of color from casting their ballots?

    • The D.N.C.’s Lawsuit Against Russia and the Trump Campaign Isn’t a Bad Idea

      Last week, the Democratic National Committee filed a multimillion-dollar suit against more than a dozen people, entities, and countries (well, one country), charging that “Russia mounted a brazen attack on American democracy” with the goal of “destabilizing the U.S. political environment, denigrating the Democratic presidential nominee, and supporting the campaign of Donald J. Trump, whose policies would benefit the Kremlin.” The defendants in the case include the Russian Federation, Russian military intelligence, the Trump campaign, WikiLeaks, Julian Assange, Paul Manafort, Jared Kushner, Roger Stone, George Papadopoulos, and Donald J. Trump, Jr. The candidate who was the beneficiary of this alleged conspiracy,

      [...]

      And that, of course, is easier said than done. Thanks to a legal doctrine known as foreign-sovereign immunity, it’s nearly impossible, except in cases of terrorism, to sue another nation (to say nothing of its military) in a United States court. Likewise, WikiLeaks and its leader, Julian Assange (who is currently still holed up in the Ecuadorian embassy in London), maintain only shadowy presences in the United States; it will be difficult for the plaintiffs in the case to serve these defendants and force them to appear in the Manhattan federal court where the case was brought. But several other defendants will undoubtedly be forced to answer the charges. These include, most notably, representatives of the Trump campaign and Kushner and Donald Trump, Jr. These defendants will certainly ask that the charges be thrown out, arguing that they have no connection to the hacking that is at the core of the case. But candidate Trump’s own comments —“I love WikiLeaks!” or “Russia, if you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the thirty thousand e-mails that are missing”—may suggest enough of a connection for the judge to let the case to proceed to discovery. (The D.N.C. suit is a civil action, so it will not result in any criminal liability.) And that may be the point of the whole enterprise.who is now the President of the United States, is not a defendant—yet.

    • The Democrats’ lawsuit isn’t as nutty as it sounds
    • DNC Sues Russia, The Trump Campaign, Wikileaks

      It’s probably not going to change anything, but the Democratic National Committee has sued Russia (and members of the Russian establishment), members of the Trump campaign, and Wikileaks regard the 2016 election security breaches. The DNC’s complaint includes almost every claim imaginable in response to a hacking incident. If nothing else, it’s a good model for lawyers to crib from.

    • Free Julian Assange!

      In late March, Ecuador’s Lenin Moreno disconnected Julian Assange’s internet access. The reasoning behind this decision involved tensions with Spain and the United Kingdom regarding Assange’s social media messages.

  • Finance

    • Coinbase Picks An Unnecessary Fight With WikiLeaks

      Coinbase is grabbing the wrong headlines again. This time they’ve decided it makes sense to pick a fight with WikiLeaks. Because, that’s always been a good idea. An organization that makes it their mission to publish secrets and uncensored data now has a reason to dig into Coinbase’s dirty laundry. Ummmm…probably the wrong account to ban from your ‘bank’.

      According to WikiLeaks on Twitter, the move was sudden and Coinbase offered no explanation. WikiLeaks has directed its Twitter followers to donate bitcoin on the website, where other digital currencies including Litecoin, Zcash, Monero and Ethereum are listed with the message that “additional cryptocurrency options will be announced.”

      Coinbase, which is registered with the US Department of the Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, only said that the WikiLeaks account “had engaged in prohibited use in violation of our terms and service and we regret to inform you that we can no longer provide you with access to our service.” The WikiLeaks shop was then advised to redirect its remaining balance to an external digital wallet.

    • Up or out: tech company leveling and mandatory promotions

      If you’re thinking about taking a job at a large tech company for the first time, you should remember to ask them how their “leveling” works. This is something that seems to be poorly conveyed to a lot of people, and many folks from outside the valley (myself included, back in the day) have no idea what’s going on or how it should work.

      First, there is the notion of job ladders. A software engineer is not a production engineer/SRE, project manager, or a people manager. Those are all separate ladders, tracks, whatever you want to call them. If you are hired onto a certain ladder, odds are good that you will have to interview to change to another, no matter how long you’ve been doing the gig. I wrote about this in 2011 describing Google, but the same applies to Facebook. It’s probably being practiced in plenty of other places, too.

  • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • No Remorse For Hillary

      I am hopeful that the commendable discovery process involved in US litigation will bring to light further details of the genesis of Christopher Steele’s ludicrous dossier on Trump/Russia, and may even give some clues as to whether Sergei Skripal and/or his handler Pablo Miller were involved in its contents.

      The decision by the Democratic National Committee to sue the Russian Government, Wikileaks, Julian Assange personally and the Trump campaign is an act of colossal hubris. It is certain to reveal still more details of the deliberate fixing of the primary race against Bernie Sanders, over which five DNC members, including the Chair, were forced to resign. It will also lead to the defendants being able to forensically examine the DNC servers to prove they were not hacked – something which astonishingly the FBI refused to do, being instead content to take the word of the DNC’s own private cyber security firm, Crowdstrike. Unless those servers have been wiped completely (as Hillary did to her private email server) I know that is not going to go well for the DNC.

    • On ‘Openness’ and Deceit

      In disclosing the deaths of two Western hostages in a U.S. drone strike on an Al-Qaeda compound, President Barack Obama said on Thursday that he had ordered the declassification of the secret operation because “the United States is a democracy committed to openness in good times and in bad.”

      But the reality of the past six years has been that his administration has enforced wildly excessive secrecy, selectively declassified material to mislead the American people, and failed to correct erroneous information on sensitive international issues.

      This failure to trust the people with accurate information has arguably done great harm to U.S. democracy by promoting false narratives on a range of foreign conflicts. With all its talk about “public diplomacy” and “information warfare,” the Obama administration seems intent on using half-truths and falsehoods to herd the people into a misguided consensus rather than treating them like the true sovereigns of the Republic, as the Framers of the Constitution intended with the explicit phrase “We the People of the United States.”

    • Hillary Clinton’s Twitter Bio Won’t Start With ‘Wife’ Anymore

      Hillary Clinton is changing her Twitter bio. After Clinton’s Arthur Miller Freedom to Write lecture at the PEN America World Voices Sunday night, Clinton sat down for a conversation with author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. Adichie asked Clinton about her Twitter bio, which reads, “Wife, mom, grandma, women+kids advocate, FLOTUS, Senator, SecState, hair icon, pantsuit aficionado, 2016 presidential candidate.” “The first word that describes you is wife. And then I think it’s mom, and then grandmother. When I saw that, I have to confess I felt just a little bit upset. Then I looked at your husband’s Twitter account, and the first word was not husband,” Adichie said. Was this Hillary’s choice, she asked. Clinton smiled: “When you put it like that, I’m going to change it.”

    • Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie Wants to Know Why Hillary Clinton’s Twitter Bio Leads With ‘Wife’

      Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie interviewed Hillary Clinton at a PEN World Voices Festival lecture at the Cooper Union in Manhattan on Sunday night, and she took the opportunity to confront the former Democratic presidential candidate with something that was bothering her. Why, with all of Clinton’s career accomplishments, did her Twitter bio primarily identify her as a “Wife”?

    • Hillary Clinton and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie talk censorship, feminism, and Pizzagate

      On Sunday night, Hillary Clinton delivered the Arthur Miller Freedom to Write Lecture at the PEN America World Voices Festival. It was about what you’d expect from the former candidate in her first speech since the publication of James Comey’s memos on Donald Trump. “Today, we have a president who seems to reject the role of a free press in our democracy,” she said. “Although obsessed with his own press coverage, he evaluates it based not on whether it provides knowledge or understanding, but solely on whether the daily coverage helps him and hurts his opponents.” More interesting, however, was Clinton sitting down with novelist Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie after her speech.

  • Censorship/Free Speech

    • #MeToo activists in China are turning to the blockchain to dodge censorship
    • In Suppressing #MeToo Letter, China’s Censors Spark an Uproar
    • Ethereum Used By Chinese #Metoo Activists To Defy Censorship
    • Translation: Open Letter on PKU #MeToo Case
    • Chinese #MeToo Student Activists Use Blockchain to Fight Censors

      Student activists trying to ignite the #MeToo movement in China have turned to the technology behind bitcoin to battle government censorship.

      The rare display of dissent emerged after student Yue Xin accused prestigious Peking University of trying to silence her demands for a public airing of a sexual harassment episode more than 20 years ago. While she wasn’t involved in that long-ago incident, college officials have allegedly tried to intimidate and muzzle her, Yue wrote in an open letter Monday. The school forced her to delete information about the case and asked her parents to confine her to home, the undergraduate wrote.

      [...]

      An anonymous user attached Yue’s letter to an ether transaction and posted it to the blockchain: the decentralized ledger that records all activity for the cryptocurrency. That transaction cost the poster all of 52 cents, according to the record. While that means anyone with access to an ethereum node can now see the memo, it won’t be easy for the general public to access — unless someone copies the message from the ledger and reposts it on the web. Even then, Chinese authorities could easily block the site.

      “It’s symbolic but won’t be easily adopted by the public masses,” said Isaac Mao, a San Francisco-based entrepreneur who’s building a media platform that uses blockchain technology to fight censorship. “Decentralised media still has miles to go. But it gives people new hope.”

    • Global crackdown on fake news raises censorship concerns

      In a world where false and misleading information reaches billions instantly and online manipulation is becoming ever more sophisticated, governments are increasingly turning to legislation to combat fake news.

      [...]

      Infinitely easier and cheaper to produce and spread than ever before, fake news is also “low-hanging fruit” for politicians, Alemanno said: “They can talk to voters about it, whereas tackling the underlying, structural reasons why it’s so pervasive in our society and media environment is far, far harder.”

      From Europe to Asia, leaders are rushing to adopt anti-fake news laws. France – where “fake news”, necessarily narrowly defined so as to protect free speech, has been illegal since 1881 – aims to allow judges to order the deletion of false online content in election periods.

      The legislation will also oblige social media platforms to name advertisers who are financing content, and say how much they are paying, and permit France’s independent broadcasting authority to suspend media seen as trying to destabilise a vote, notably if “influenced by foreigners”.

      Germany earlier this year also introduced an online hate speech law, giving platforms with more than 2 million users 24 hours to remove “obviously illegal” terror content, racist material and fake news or face fines of up to €50m (£44m). Other offensive material must be blocked with seven days.

    • Selective army censorship of press may impact Pak polls

      An article published by a leading British newspaper has said that press freedom in Pakistan is under threat, being selectively censored by that country’s powerful military establishment, which doesn’t take kindly to criticism of its actions, or support for the civilian political class.

      It is now a well known fact that in the month gone by, popular and privately-run Geo TV was taken off the air recently and could only start operations again after it reportedly reached a back door agreement with the military establishment to stop covering former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif favourably and cease to criticize the military.

    • Lemoore H.S. tackles censorship in ‘Fahrenheit 451′

      Originally aligned with McCarthy, President Eisenhower eventually came to his senses, saying, “Don’t join the book burners. Don’t think you are going to conceal faults by concealing evidence that they ever existed. Don’t be afraid to go in your library and read every book.”

    • Bustos’ opponent claims Facebook censorship

      Bill Fawell, the Republican candidate for the Illinois 17th Congressional District, says Facebook is censoring his Elect Fawell page and that posts shared from a blog called theburningplatform.com were removed.

      Fawell, an author and real estate broker from Galena, will face U.S. Rep. Cheri Bustos, D-Moline, in the Nov. 6 election.

      In a news release Monday, Fawell said Facebook deleted three articles on a discussion of the 1998 book “The Fourth Turning” by William Strauss and Neil Howe. The book theorizes on history and generational changes in society, asserting that every 80 to 100 years a “gray champion” emerges as a leader during a time of crisis.

    • House Judiciary to Hold Online Censorship Hearing

      More social media execs could be coming to Capitol Hill this week, but it’s not yet a done deal.

      The House Judiciary Committee has scheduled a hearing on online censorship and whether social media platforms disfavor or favor certain speech.

      Invited are representatives of Facebook, Google and Twitter, though not word on whether any will show.

    • Congressional candidate alleges Facebook censorship

      Bill Fawell, the Republican candidate for the 17th Congressional District, says Facebook is censoring his Elect Fawell page and that posts shared from a blog called theburningplatform.com were removed.

      Mr. Fawell, an author and real estate broker from Galena, will face U.S. Rep. Cheri Bustos, D-Moline, in the Nov. 6 election.

      In a news release Monday, Mr. Fawell said Facebook deleted three articles on a discussion of the 1998 book “The Fourth Turning” by William Strauss and Neil Howe. The book theorizes on history and generational changes in society, asserting that every 80 to 100 years a “gray champion” emerges as a leader during a time of crisis.

    • Revealed: Facebook’s internal rulebook on sex, terrorism and violence [Ed: Facebook censorship is itself the problem, not "transparency" about it]
    • Facebook Reveals Its Censorship Rules
    • Facebook reveals its censorship guidelines for the first time — 27 pages of them
  • Privacy/Surveillance

    • Facebook Believes “You’re Not The Product” — Tells What Advertisers Know About You

      Facebook, the company that’s getting roasted every next day has published another ‘hard questions’ blog post. This time, Facebook wants to tell us about the information known to the advertisers who want to throw ads in front of the 2 billion people on the social network.

      Just like they have repeatedly stated in the past, Facebook stressed that they don’t sell user data. They take inputs from the advertisers and throw ads accordingly. The company calls it selling “space” on Facebook, similar to what it’s like on TV, radio, or newspaper.

    • Stop Egypt’s Sweeping Ridesharing Surveillance Bill

      The Egyptian government is currently debating a bill which would compel all ride-sharing companies to store any Egyptian user data within Egypt. It would also create a system that would let the authorities have real-time access to their passenger and trip information. If passed, companies such as Uber and its Dubai-based competitor Careem would be forced to grant unfettered direct access to their databases to unspecified security authorities. Such a sweeping surveillance measure is particularly ripe for abuse in a country known for its human rights violations, including an attempts to use surveillance against civil society. The bill is expected to pass a final vote before Egypt’s House on May 14th or 15th.

      Article 10 of the bill requires companies to relocate their servers containing all Egyptian users’ information to within the borders of the Arab Republic of Egypt. Compelled data localization has frequently served as an excuse for enhancing a state’s ability to spy on its citizens.

      Even more troubling, article 9 of the bill forces these same ride-sharing companies to electronically link their local servers directly to unspecified authorities, from police to intelligence agencies. Direct access to a server would provide the Egyptian government unrestricted, real-time access to data on all riders, drivers, and trips. Under this provision, the companies themselves would have no ability to monitor the government’s use of their network data.

    • Facebook Derangement Syndrome: Don’t Blame Facebook For Company Scraping Public Info

      Earlier this month I talked a little bit about “Facebook Derangement Syndrome” in which the company, which has real and serious issues, is getting blamed for other stuff. It’s fun to take potshots at Facebook, and we can talk all we want about the actual problems Facebook has (specifically its half-hearted attempts at transparency and user control), but accusing the company of all sorts of things that are not actually a problem doesn’t help. It actually makes it that much harder to fix things.

      The latest case in point. Zack Whittaker, who is one of the absolute best cybersecurity reporters out there, had a story up recently on ZDNet about a data mining firm called Localblox, that was pulling all sorts of info to create profiles on people… leaking 48 million profiles by failing to secure an Amazon S3 instance (like so many such Amazon AWS leaks, this one was spotted by Chris Vickery at Upgard, who seems to spot leaks from open S3 instances on weekly basis).

    • Amazon Has a Top-Secret Plan to Build Home Robots

      Ten years ago, Amazon introduced the Kindle and established the appeal of reading on a digital device. Four years ago, Jeff Bezos and company rolled out the Echo, prompting millions of people to start talking to a computer.

    • CIA Has Plans To Switch Human Spies With Artificial Intelligence

      The American security agency CIA knows that the future can’t go without artificial intelligence. The agency was all over the news last year because of Wikileaks which published their collection of hacking tools.

      CIA wants to deal with foreign spies, not human but AI-powered spies tracking CIA agents deployed overseas. An effective countermeasure would be using technology instead of humans to get the required intel.

    • CIA plans to replace spies with AI

      Human spies will soon be relics of the past, and the CIA knows it. Dawn Meyerriecks, the Agency’s deputy director for technology development, recently told an audience at an intelligence conference in Florida the CIA was adapting to a new landscape where its primary adversary is a machine, not a foreign agent.

    • The FBI’s War On Encryption Is Personal, According To Comey’s New Book

      A recently-released Inspector General’s report shows the FBI didn’t try as hard as it could to find a way into the San Bernardino shooter’s locked iPhone. It appears FBI officials were more interested in obtaining a favorable court ruling than seeking technical assistance from anyone other than Apple, despite the DOJ’s courtroom claims about time being of the essence.

      This had a lot to do with the current FBI leadership. James Comey made fighting encryption his personal crusade — one that has been carried forward by both the DOJ and the FBI’s new director, Christopher Wray. Comey’s new book about his government career — one that came to an unceremonious end when President Trump fired him — provides a few more details about his crusade against math and personal security.

    • CIA, FBI, NSA say you shouldn’t buy the Huawei P20 Pro. Would you?

      Early this year, Huawei was so, so close to an actual deal with a US carrier. The Mate 10 was supposed to be compatible with and sold through AT&T. But, alas, politics got in the way. The NSA, FBI, and CIA all say US citizens should tread carefully when using the China-made smartphones and managed to pressure AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile enough for the carriers to back away.

    • What’s Not Included in Facebook’s ‘Download Your Data’

      But “Download Your Data” hardly tells you everything Facebook knows about you. Among the information not included:

      • information Facebook collects about your browsing history
      • information Facebook collects about the apps you visit and your activity within those apps
      • the advertisers who uploaded your contact information to Facebook more than two months earlier
      • ads that you interacted with more than two months prior

      Download Your Data is particularly spotty when it comes to the information Facebook taps to display ads. Typically, Facebook uses information it collects or buys to place users into categories that advertisers can target. This can include data a user provides explicitly (your age), implicitly (which browser you use) or unknowingly (information on purchases from loyalty cards).

  • Civil Rights/Policing

    • Alibaba, Baidu, and other Chinese tech companies post men-only job listings, report finds

      Under Chinese law, gender discrimination in hiring practices and advertising are illegal, but the law isn’t clear on what exactly constitutes gender discrimination and enforcement of the rules is spotty. Offending companies are usually not punished.

      The Human Rights Watch report reveals gender discrimination amongst major tech companies, as in the rest of Chinese society, is common and widespread. Search engine Baidu listed a job for content reviewers in March 2017 stating that applicants had to be men with the “strong ability to work under pressure, able to work on weekends, holidays and night shifts.”

    • Trump’s Actions Undermine His Rhetoric About Second Chances

      Trump talks the talk on reentry, but neither he nor his administration walks the walk.

      A couple of weeks ago, Trump designated April as Second Chance Month. He declared that our nation must “provide opportunities for people with criminal records to earn an honest second chance.” Just before that declaration, on March 7, Trump established a Federal Interagency Council on Crime Prevention and Improving Reentry. In doing so, Trump said that we need “to provide those who have engaged in criminal activity with greater opportunities to lead productive lives.”

      All this talk sounds great, but unfortunately, that’s all it is.

    • California Bill Would Guarantee Free Credit Freezes in 15 Minutes

      After the shocking news of the massive Equifax data breach, which has now ballooned to jeopardize the privacy of nearly 148 million people, many Americans are rightfully scared and struggling to figure out how to protect themselves from the misuse of their personal information.

      To protect against credit fraud, many consumer rights and privacy organizations recommend placing a ‘credit freeze’ with the credit bureaus. When criminals seek to use breached data to borrow money in the name of a breach victim, the potential lender normally runs a credit check with a credit bureau. If there’s a credit freeze in place, then it’s harder to obtain the loan.

      But placing a credit freeze can be cumbersome, time-consuming, and costly. The process can also vary across states. It can be an expensive time-suck if a consumer wants to place a freeze across all credit bureaus and for all family members.

  • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

    • The Washington Post Thinks Overpaying For Broadband Bundles Is A Hoot

      Apparently, you don’t actually hate overpaying for cable, broadband and phone service. At least that’s the takeaway from this bizarre editorial over at the Washington Post by columnist Megan McArdle. In it, McArdle ineffectively argues that while the rise in streaming video competition is great and all, over-paying your regional telecom monopoly is something we all secretly love.

    • Saving net neutrality, one house at a time

      If the Facebook privacy debacle has shown one thing, it’s that technology companies have become immensely powerful and seemingly accountable to no one. Recent federal rollbacks of net neutrality and online privacy protections have put Americans in an even weaker position when dealing with Internet service providers.

      But there is a way for the public to push back: through Internet service provided by local governments, which are directly accountable to citizens.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Administrative Suspension

      You have to pay bar dues for your state, meet CLE requirements, and so on, or you can be administratively suspended by your state. If you are, you can’t practice trademark law before the USPTO. There was another recent OED decision recognizing that basic point, here.

      The USPTO once considered making practitioners take CLE, but that failed. But, you can be administratively suspended by the USPTO for various reasons, including failing to keep your contact, and other, information current under 37 CFR 11.11. The USPTO periodically sends surveys to practitioners and those who don’t respond get their names published, and if they fail to correct the problem, they get administratively suspended from patent practice, as shown here.

    • USPTO Seeking IP Attaché In New Delhi

      The United States Patent and Trademark Office has attachés around the world specialised in intellectual property issues, including but not limited to enforcement. The office today announced an opening for a new attaché to be located in New Delhi, India, a key post.

    • Copyrights

      • Court Denies TVAddons’ Request to Dismiss U.S. Piracy Lawsuit

        The people behind TVAddons and the ZemTV Kodi addon have failed to have their case dismissed. The defendants asked the Texas court to drop the case because they are foreign nationals with no connection to the state. However, the court disagrees which means that the legal battle continues.

      • French Minister of Culture Calls For Pirate Streaming Blacklist

        French Minister of Culture, Françoise Nyssen, is considering implementing a national blacklist to target the streaming piracy epidemic. The proposed list should be regularly updated so that ISPs, search engines, and advertising companies can block the sites. The idea comes shortly after industry groups criticized the country for not doing enough to stop piracy.

      • Registrars Suspend 11 Pirate Site Domains, 89 More in the Crosshairs

        Authorities in India are reporting success in their fight against online piracy. After measuring websites against standards established by the UK’s Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit, complaints were filed with the registrars of 11 ‘pirate’ websites. All of the domains were suspended and a further 89 domains are now being targeted.

      • Monkey-selfie lawsuit finally ends: Court affirms adorable macaque can’t sue
      • Naruto, the Article III monkey

        The Ninth Circuit released its opinion in the “monkey selfie” case, reasonably ruling that Naruto the monkey doesn’t have standing under the Copyright laws. The opinion dodges the hard questions about who can be an author (thus leaving for another day questions about artificial intelligence, for example) by instead focusing on mundane things like the ability to have heirs. As a result, it’s not the strongest opinion, but one that’s hard to take issue with.

        But I’d like to focus on an issue that’s received much less attention in the press and among my colleagues. The court ruled that Naruto has Article III standing because there is a case or controversy. I’ll admit that I hadn’t thought about this angle, having instead gone right to the copyright authorship question (when you’re a hammer, everything looks like a nail). But I guess when you’re an appellate court, that whole “jurisdiction and standing section” means something even though we often skim that in our non-civ pro/con law/fed courts classes in law school.

        I’ll first note that the court is doubtful that PETA has standing as “next friend.” Footnote 3 is a scathing indictment of its actions in this case, essentially arguing that PETA leveraged the case for its own political ends rather than for any benefit of Naruto. Youch! More on this aspect here. The court also finds that the copyright statute does not allow for next friend standing, a completely non-shocking result given precedent.

      • Tencent Music Plans IPO; Valuation Could Exceed $25 Billion

        The digital-music business of Chinese internet giant Tencent Holdings Ltd. TCEHY -1.71% plans to interview potential underwriting banks over roughly the next month, according to people familiar with the matter.

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