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05.19.18

Aurélien Pétiaud’s ILO Case (EPO Appeal) an Early Sign That ILO Protects Abusers and Power, Not Workers

Posted in Europe, Patents at 10:24 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

[Correction: “Alain Prunier” (as named below by Märpel) is actually a mistake. It is in fact Aurélien Pétiaud in the text below.]

Alain Prunier ILO case

Summary: A famous EPO ‘disciplinary’ case is recalled; it’s another one of those EPO-leaning rulings from AT-ILO, which not only praises Battistelli amid very serious abuses but also lies on his behalf, leaving workers with no real access to justice but a mere illusion thereof

The dismissal of SUEPO secretary Laurent Prunier a couple of years ago [1, 2, 3, 4, 5] was the subject of much debate regarding EPO scandals. It happened at the Dutch ‘branch’, not the German one. He was probably Battistelli’s last casualty (among many) that was a staff representative and he was fired in defiance of ‘orders’ from the Administrative Council. This served to reaffirm the view that Battistelli was ‘in charge’ of his ‘supposed’ regulator.

“Well, thankfully, owing to EPO scandals, we nowadays know that ILO too is dysfunctional.”It turns out that there’s another Prunier (see correction above), Alain Prunier Aurélien Pétiaud, whose case [PDF] Märpel has just dug out, remarking on oneself in the form of a third person (like Merpel) that “Märpel may only wonder at what the “L” in “ILO” stands for. It used to stand for “labour”.”

Here’s the key part:

The events concerning Mr Alain Prunier Aurélien Pétiaud are known from all the EPO. They took place in 2014. At the time, Mr. Prunierr Pétiaud found it necessary to protest the way the appeal committee was run under President Battistelli’s orders. It was run as a purely rubber-stamping affair and since the members chosen by staff were in minority, cases were lost. Mr. Prunierr Pétiaud protested and took a courageous decision: on each case he took the time to write a minority opinion (see judgment point 16), thereby documenting the malfunctioning of the committee.

President Battistelli was not amused and simply increased the workload to a point where there was no time to write these opinions and still attend the sessions. Mr. Prunierr Pétiaud refused and publicly explained why he took that decision, in agreement with SUEPO. To all EPO staff, it was clear that this was a political message and not a refusal to carry out his duties.

But AT-ILO found differently.

Well, thankfully, owing to EPO scandals, we nowadays know that ILO too is dysfunctional. In many ways and aspects. As noted earlier this month, the ILO nowadays lies on behalf of Battistelli and the EPO. It makes one wonder if ILO defends labour from abuses of power or simply defends powerful people from ‘pesky’ workers who challenge abuse of power.

LOT Network is a Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing

Posted in Google, OIN, Patents at 9:47 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

LOT Network's Ken Seddon

Summary: Another reminder that the “LOT” is a whole lot more than it claims to be and in effect a reinforcer of the status quo

THE idea that we need to fight patent injustice by hoarding more patents was always a laughable one. The IBM-led OIN, for example, had us believing that it would somehow tackle the issue by making patents “defensive” (that can never be; it’s just not how patents actually work).

There’s an old saying along the lines of, to understand what an organisation stands for just check who’s running it. At the EPO it would be Battistelli and at the USPTO Iancu, part of the patent microcosm.

“There’s an old saying along the lines of, to understand what an orgnisation stands for just check who’s running it.”The LOT Network charm offensive and puff pieces aren’t over yet. We’re seeing Susan Decker’s Bloomberg piece licensed and reposted even more than a week later; we responded to it a couple of times before and 3 days ago we saw Wayne Williams in Beta News issuing another belated LOT Network puff piece in which he said:

Ken Seddon is the CEO of the non-profit patent protection network LOT. The organization’s members include Google, Red Hat, Lenovo, Pega and other big players, as well as dozens of startups in areas such as transportation, blockchain, and software.

Startups are disproportionately impacted by patent trolls and we chatted with Ken about how a smart, assertive IP strategy can help protect their businesses.

“Startups”-themes nonsense is the typical thing we also hear from Battistelli’s EPO. It’s pure marketing, trying to quell dissent from those who suffer the most. LOT Network is led by Google, which has a massive number of patents; all the key members are large companies, not SMEs (the term typically favoured in Europe).

“LOT Network is no solution to software patenting; it merely perpetuates all the same problems.”Ken Seddon the famous scientist (with an OBE) died earlier this year. The above Seddon, however, “drafted over 300 patent applications while at Motorola and Intel, and managed all US patent prosecution at Intel,” according to his official biography (later today we’ll remark about Intel’s patent policy). He is also connected to IPO and AIPLA, two front groups of patent maximalists. They — like Intel — promote software patents. That tells us what LOT Network really boils down to. LOT Network is no solution to software patenting; it merely perpetuates all the same problems.

‘Nokification’ in Hong Kong and China (PRC)

Posted in Asia, Patents at 8:59 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Nokia firing people
Picture by Or Cohen

Summary: Chinese firms that are struggling resort to patent litigation, in effect repeating the same misguided trajectories which became so notorious in Western nations because they act as a form of taxation, discouraging actual innovation

LAST week we wrote about how Coolpad had resorted to litigation using patents. Months prior we took note of this strategy, which basically revolved around the idea of leveraging patents rather than products. IAM, the patent trolls’ lobby, says about Coolpad that “its patent portfolio is largely unproven” (not to mention small compared to that of companies it takes on ). To quote:

Earlier this year, Coolpad filed a number of Chinese patent infringement complaints against Xiaomi. IAM reported these stories largely based on local media accounts. But last week Coolpad sought to ramp up the pressure by ensuring that the story, and key details about the accused Xiaomi products, reached the global financial press in the run-up to Xiaomi’s potential $10 billion Hong Kong IPO. On 10th May, one week after Xiaomi announced its flotation plans, Coolpad held a press conference in Hong Kong to update the media on its dispute with Xiaomi.

If Coolpad is attempting to build a business on top of litigation, then it won’t go very far. The company is already in the red and it seems to be struggling, unlike Xiaomi.

“If Coolpad is attempting to build a business on top of litigation, then it won’t go very far. The company is already in the red and it seems to be struggling, unlike Xiaomi.”There are similar companies in the West. After Microsoft entryism, for example, Nokia is like a patent troll using or merely exploiting standards bodies as Trojan horses. No doubt Nokia used to make stuff. Now it’s mostly “licensing” (the brand, patents etc.) and IAM quotes Soininen of Nokia as saying: “The reason for me to put the results of my R&D into a standard is because I have a patent and I know that I can get a fair and reasonable return on it…”

That’s just misuse of those “FRAND” euphemisms, “fair” and “reasonable” (more like SEP). IAM later wrote this article about these “fair” and “reasonable” patents:

An exclusive new study commissioned by IAM has revealed that Nokia’s merger with Alcatel-Lucent means it is now one of the leading players in the Internet of Things (IoT) domain. However, Samsung has the dominant position in the field, with second-place Qualcomm a long way behind. Last year, IP analytics platform Relecura produced research examining the IoT landscape from a patent perspective. Using an IAM-commissioned updated report and additional data from IP platform ktMINE, we inspect the current state of the IoT sector.

A lot of these ‘IoT’ patents (not all) are reducible to software and would thus be invalid in Western courts. Not so in China, which officially permits software patents. But according to Jacob Schindler from IAM, those relying on the possibility of dragging Chinese companies into US courts and in for a surprise:

There are a host of challenges when it comes to trying to assert US patents against a Chinese legal entity. A recent court filing by Dutch telecom KPN, which is suing Oppo, Vivo and OnePlus in the District of Delaware, underlines what looks to be a new normal: it may be two years before a defendant domiciled in China can even be served process.

There is only one way to serve process to an entity in China: the Hague Service Convention’s Article 5 procedure. That means going through a national central authority, which in the case of China is the Ministry of Justice. China formally objects to the service of process by private individuals as well as service of process by mail – so there is no getting around the central government.

[...]

KPN launched 11 patent assertions in January 2017, including the one against Oppo, Vivo and OnePlus. Another of those cases targetted Shenzhen-based TCL. But importantly, TCL has US subsidiaries which KPN was able to name in that complaint.

The TCL case proceeded fairly quickly. On 22nd March 2018, Judge Stark knocked out the sole patent-in-suit, US 6,212,662 (“Method and devices for the transmission of data with transmission error checking”), on Section 101 grounds. The ‘662 patent is also the only patent asserted against Oppo, Vivo and OnePlus. KPN has appealed to the circuit court.

Notice the use of Section 101 — a subject we shall tackle separately later today. Much/many of these lawsuits are fool’s errand; many of today’s granted patents are dubious at best.

CIPU is Amplifying Misleading Propaganda From the Chamber of Commerce

Posted in America, Deception, Patents at 1:25 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Center for Intellectual Property Understanding (CIPU) logo

Summary: Another lobbying event is set up to alarm lawmakers and officials, telling them that the US dropped from first to twelfth using some dodgy yardstick which favours patent extremists

THE USPTO is improving patent quality as per rulings from higher up (the courts) and instructions from the management. This should really be celebrated, but this may mean many layoffs among patent lawyers, who became accustomed to an abundance of patents and lawsuits. As we shall show in later posts, Watchtroll still rants quite a lot and yesterday it resorted to citing the Center for Intellectual Property Understanding (CIPU), a lobby group of patent maximalists. This, in turn, props up those infamous lies (rebutted here before) from the Chamber of Commerce.

“The US did not drop at all; they measure the wrong thing to intentionally influence the outcome in favour of the patent microcosm, conflating innovation with the number of patents…”It’s just another one of those lobbying events. To quote: “The event was the first Washington gathering in recent history to re-introduce the idea of what innovation policy is, and how it impacts intellectual property (IP) rights. A group of almost 100 key innovation and IP influencers from government, business, and academia met to strategize on reversing the decline in innovative output that has recently seen the US drop to 12th place in patent rankings from the sixth edition of the International IP Index published by the Global Innovation Policy Center (GIPC) at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.”

The US did not drop at all; they measure the wrong thing to intentionally influence the outcome in favour of the patent microcosm, conflating innovation with the number of patents and similar things (the headline speaks of “US innovation policy” but actually measures it in terms of patents or “IP”). They trash-talk their own country with the sole intention of changing the law to harm that country.

This is tiring old nonsense. Quite a few scholars already debunked it, but one scholar, Dennis Crouch, is still happy to promote it at the behest of patent maximalists and days ago he was still reprinting USPTO press releases to fill up space. He posted this ‘shopping list’ of patent lawyers:

Individuals Listed by Firm:

Alston & Bird LLP — Chris Lightner — Altanta , GA
Ballard Spahr LLP — Charley F. Brown — Altanta , GA
Ballard Spahr LLP — Jason T. Fletcher — Altanta , GA
Ballard Spahr LLP — Michele A. Kliem — Altanta , GA
Ballard Spahr LLP — Galit Levitin — Altanta , GA
Ballard Spahr LLP — Scott D. Marty — Altanta , GA
Ballard Spahr LLP — Sandra Sciascia-Zirger — Altanta , GA
Ballard Spahr LLP — D. Brian Shortell — Altanta , GA
Ballard Spahr LLP — Sommer S. Zimmerman — Altanta , GA
Ballard Spahr LLP — Wendy Ann Choi — Atlanta, GA
Ballard Spahr LLP — John Chionchio — Philadelphia, PA
Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck, LLP — David Atkinson — Denver, CO
Carter, DeLuca, Farrell & Schmidt, LLP — Jason B. Scher — Melville, NY
Cozen O’Connor — Kyle Vos Strache — Philadelphia, PA
CreatiVenture Law, LLC — Dennis JM Donahue III — St. Louis, MO
Davis Wright Tremaine LLP — Jonathan Tolstedt — Seattle, WA
Dentons US LLP — Roman Tsibulevskiy — Washington, DC
DLA Piper LLP — Tim Lohse — East Palo Alto, CA
DLA Piper LLP — Jeff Clark, MD — Boston, MA
Duane Morris — Joaquin Hernandez — Boca Raton, FL
Edam Law PLLC — Edmar M. Amaya, LL.M. — Miami, FL
Eversheds Sutherland LLP — Josh Aronson — Atlanta, GA
Faegre Baker Daniels LLP — Dan Schwartz — Chicago, IL
Faegre Baker Daniels LLP — Kathryn Warner — Denver, CO
Faegre Baker Daniels LLP — Steven Wiemer — Denver, CO
Faegre Baker Daniels LLP — Ryan Duebner — Denver, CO
Faegre Baker Daniels LLP — Bob O’Loughlin — Denver, CO
Fleit, Gibbons, Gutman, Bongini & Bianco, PL — Gary S. Winer — Coral Gables, FL
Foley & Lardner — Joseph F. Janas — Chicago, IL
Foley & Lardner — Roger Rozanski — Chicago, IL
Foley & Lardner — Charles Carter — Milwaukee, WI
Foley & Lardner — John Lazarus — Milwaukee, WI
Foley & Lardner — Lisamarie Collins — Milwaukee, WI
Holland & Hart — Jennifer Junkin — Salt Lake City, UT
Holland & Hart — Dick Schulze — Reno, NV
Holzer Patel Drennan — Rachel Carnaggio — Denver, CO
Husch Blackwell — Marriam Lin — St. Louis, MO
Interdigital Holdings, Inc. — John B. Gillick, Jr. — Wilmington, DE
Interdigital Holdings, Inc. — Damian C. Hamme — Wilmington, DE
IP Services — John Tolomei — Palatine, IL
Jin and Vidhani Consultancy LLP — Dr. Dinesh Vidhani — Tallahassee, FL
Jin and Vidhani Consultancy LLP — Dr. Yonghao Jin — Tallahassee, FL
Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP — Stephen Dew — Altanta , GA
Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP — Brett Mellor — Denver, CO
Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP — Torrey Spink — Denver, CO
Law Office of Nora M. Tocups — Nora M. Tocups — Decatur, GA
Lewis Rice — Kirk A. Damman — St. Louis, MO
Lowenstein Sandler LLP — Ben Kimes — Palo Alto, CA
Lowenstein Sandler LLP — Sam Noel — Centerville, UT
Lowenstein Sandler LLP — Steven Tam — Palo Alto, CA
Lowenstein Sandler LLP — Cicero Brabham — Roseland, NJ
Lowenstein Sandler LLP — Joseph Jones — Roseland, NJ
Lowenstein Sandler LLP — Jonathan Wolfsberger — Palo Alto, CA
Lowenstein Sandler LLP — Kevin Grange — Palo Alto, CA
Lowenstein Sandler LLP — Kevin O. Grange — Centerville, UT
Lowenstein Sandler LLP — Sam Noel — Centerville, UT
Lowenstein Sandler LLP — Cicero Brabham — Roseland, NJ
MBCB Attorneys — Jonathan Yates — Bloomington, IN
McDonald Hopkins LLC — Mark C. Guinto — Cleveland, OH
McDonell Boehnen Hulbert & Berghoff — Emily Miao — Chicago, IL
Medtronic — Tiffany Parcher — Boulder, CO
Mohr IP Law — Devin Miller — Salt Lake City, UT
Neal Gerber Eisenberg — Michael Harlin — Chicago, IL
Patterson + Sheridan LLP — Matthew Seeley — Houston, TX
Perkins Coie LLP — Kevin John Patariu — San Diego, CA
Pham IP Group — Frank Pham — Houston, TX
Poly-Med, Inc — Mary Anthony Merchant, JD, PhD — Atlanta, GA
Quarles & Brady — Justin DeAngelis — Chicago, IL
Quarles & Brady — Erin Fox — Chicago, IL
Rabicoff Law — Kenneth Matuszewski — Chicago, IL
Rosenbaum IP — Ben Rotman — Northbrook, IL
Schwegman Lundberg Woessner — Michael R. Mischnick — Minneapolis, MN
Smith, Gambrell & Russell LLP — Thomas Wiseman — Washington, DC
Smith, Gambrell & Russell LLP — Greg Kirsch — Altanta , GA
Southeaster IP Consulting LLP — John R. Sweet — Altanta , GA
Stinson Leonard Street, LLP — Judy Carlson — Kansas City, MO
Stinson Leonard Street, LLP — David Kim — Kansas City, MO
The Richards Law Firm LLC — William B. Richards — New Albany, OH
Thomas Hostermeyer — Richard T. Timmer — Atlanta, GA
Tom F. Pruitt PLLC, Retired — Tom Pruitt — Nacogdoches, TX
Vedder Price — Sudip Mitra — Chicago, IL
Vitaley, Vickrey, Niro & Gasey LLP — Oliver Yang — Chicago, IL
WilmerHale — Ben Fernandez — Denver, CO
Womble Bond Dickinson LLP — Dan Ovanezian — Palo Alto, CA
Womble Bond Dickinson LLP — Bill Jacobs — Palo Alto, CA

What have the above individuals actually done? They “reported 50 or more hours of patent pro bono service to a regional patent pro bono program.” They basically aided patent maximalism under the guise of “pro bono” (free). Their volunteer work can end up causing lawsuits and there may be real victims. Look at the comments; it’s only 4 comments from the same person — rants about Alice that are totally tosh. This is just what we have come to expect from patent maximalists.

Patent Law Firms That Profit From Software Patent Applications and Lawsuits Still ‘Pull a Berkheimer’ to Attract Business in Vain

Posted in America, Deception, Law, Patents at 7:08 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

These patents and lawsuits would still be a waste of time and money

Pulling a Berkheimer

Summary: The Alice-inspired (Supreme Court) 35 U.S.C. § 101 remains unchanged, but the patent microcosm endlessly mentions a months-old decision from a lower court (than the Supreme Court) to ‘sell’ the impression that everything is changing and software patents have just found their ‘teeth’ again

“The Berkheimer Memorandum,” wrote Marks & Clerk’s Julian Asquith and Tobias Eriksson in their headline just a little while ago, is “Good news for software patents in the US” (perpetuating the old hype, such as "Berkheimer Effect" and ‘pulling a Berkheimer’). The USPTO offered a consultation after Berkheimer and there are still months to go. Quoting Marks & Clerk:

The Berkheimer memorandum, issued by the USPTO on 19 April 2018, is good news for applicants of US software-related patents.

In summary, an examiner at the USPTO is now obliged to factually prove that any “additional features” of a claim are well-understood, routine, and conventional in order to support an “abstract idea” rejection. Hence, if a claim is novel and inventive, it should now be easier to show that it is also patent eligible (i.e. that it relates to patentable subject-matter).

It is widely acknowledged that the patenting of software-related inventions became more difficult in the US following the decision in 2014 of the US Supreme Court in decision known as “Alice” (Alice Corp. v. CLS Bank International).

That in no way changes Alice, only burden of proof associated with it. In that regard, not much will happen.

“That in no way changes Alice, only burden of proof associated with it. In that regard, not much will happen.”On May 1st Robert Curylo wrote about “Loopholes In The USPTO’s Berkheimer Memo”. To quote: “Rejections of patent claims under 35 U.S.C. § 101 are often criticized when examiners take an “I know when I see it” approach rather than applying any objective standards for assessing patent eligibility. However, in an April 19, 2018, memorandum, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office imposes new limitations on rejecting patent claims as ineligible for being directed to abstract ideas without significantly more.”

But there are still loopholes there, albeit the paywall puts them out of view. Several days ago in IAM’s sponsored ads/’analyses’ (Baker Donelson in this case) the lawyers were ‘pulling a Berkheimer’ (even months later). As they put it:

The US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has recently provided additional guidance to its examiners on the issue of subject-matter eligibility, which could make it easier for applicants to overcome rejections under 35 USC Section 101. The memorandum, issued on April 19 2018, addresses the limited question of whether an additional claim element (or combination of additional claim elements) represents well-understood, routine and conventional activity.

But again, Alice itself isn’t being sidelined; so the law remains more or less the same (if that memorandum leads to any material changes to guidelines at the end).

What we see above are “sales pitches” rather than honest analysis/advice.

A Year After TC Heartland the Patent Microcosm is Trying to ‘Dilute’ This Supreme Court’s Decision or Work Around It

Posted in America, Courtroom, Law, Patents at 6:38 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Microsoft and IBM would certainly want a patent litigation resurgence and so would their lawyers

Downtown Dallas
Downtown Dallas, Texas

Summary: IAM, Patent Docs, Managing IP and Patently-O want more litigation (especially somewhere like the Eastern District of Texas), so in an effort to twist TC Heartland they latch onto ZTE and BigCommerce cases

THE TC Heartland decision — an historic and important Supreme Court decision — has had a profound effect on enforcement of patents granted by the USPTO; it became a lot harder to reach plaintiff-friendly courts. This meant that, overall, it became even harder to enforce questionable patents, such as software patents.

“Bearing in mind the limitation in terms of diversity of sources/views (IAM, Patent Docs, Managing IP and Patently-O are all cornerstones of patent maximalism), we still decided to cover it here.”The past week has been relatively quiet on the patent front and it can be seen as a positive thing because the patent microcosm is coming to grips with the demise of patent maximalism. Patents that are on abstract ideas, for example, lost their teeth. Notably software patents, which we shall remark on later this weekend.

Of relevance to TC Heartland, more so on its one-year anniversary, were a couple of new cases. These received coverage from sites of patent maximalists (unfortunately the mainstream media does not cover patent news unless it can name-drop “Apple” or something like that… which helps ‘sell’ the story). Bearing in mind the limitation in terms of diversity of sources/views (IAM, Patent Docs, Managing IP and Patently-O are all cornerstones of patent maximalism), we still decided to cover it here. We wish to highlight what they are doing; they’re slanting it in their favour.

The one-year anniversary was noted by IAM just before the weekend. Its main proponent of software patents and patent trolls decided to spin it as “East Texas adjusts” (whatever that means, the numbers speak for themselves). To quote the summary outside the stubborn paywall: “As if prompted by the looming first birthday of the TC Heartland decision, in the last ten days the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit has issued a flurry of opinions filling in many of the gaps left unanswered by the Supreme Court’s landmark ruling on patent venue. Those recent decisions have largely placed further bounds on patent owners in determining where they can bring a suit. At the start of this week the court issued its decision in In re: ZTE ruling that the burden of proof with regards to venue lies with the patent owner, not the defendant.”

This is what we shall cover here, unfortunately based on sites like IAM (the patent microcosm dominates coverage on this subject).

As last noted a couple of days ago in Patently-O, patent law actively discriminates against foreign firms. As they aren’t primarily based in the US there’s this assumption that they can be dragged into just about any court, even the more/most notorious ones. This isn’t really fair. They paid the same application/maintenance fees as US (domestic) firms.

After TC Heartland, moreover, there’s still this discussion about where a company can sue another company using patents (they prefer dragging the accused to notorious, plaintiff-friendly courts, notably the Eastern District of Texas). Several days ago Andrew Williams (Patent Docs) wrote about In re ZTE:

The Federal Circuit next analyzed the question of which party bears the burden. Interestingly, the Court could not find a case in which the issue had been addressed in its 37-year history. However, prior to the formation of the Federal Circuit, the regional circuits handled challenges to venue in patent cases by placing the burden on Plaintiffs. Even though this precedent might not have been binding on the Court, it was persuasive. Moreover, the Court noted that the restrictive nature of the patent-specific venue statute (as opposed to the more general venue statute of § 1391) supports placing the burden on the Plaintiff. Correspondingly, the Court held that “as a matter of Federal Circuit law, that upon motion by the Defendant challenging venue in a patent case, the Plaintiff bears the burden of establishing proper venue.”

This was highlighted not only by Williams but also Kevin E. Noonan, who 70 minutes later wrote about In re BigCommerce, Inc. “This is a considerable restriction on the already limited venue options open to plaintiffs, which limited proper venue to states where the defendant resides (its state of incorporation),” Noonan opined. From his post:

This is a considerable restriction on the already limited venue options open to plaintiffs, which limited proper venue to states where the defendant resides (its state of incorporation) or “where the defendant has committed acts of infringement and has a regular and established place of business.”

The case arose in the Eastern District of Texas, Marshall Division, where respondents Diem LLC and Express Mobile Inc. individually filed patent infringement suits against BigCommerce. BigCommerce filed a motion to dismiss for improper venue in the Diem case, and a motion to transfer in the Express Mobile case; each of these motions was denied by the District Court. As noted in the Federal Circuit’s Order, “[i]t is undisputed that BigCommerce has no place of business in the Eastern District of Texas” (rather, its registered office and headquarters is in Austin, which is in the Western District of Texas). Nevertheless, the Diem court ruled that “a domestic corporation resides in the state of its incorporation and if that state contains more than one judicial district, the corporate defendant resides in each such judicial district for venue purposes” and the Express Mobile court found nothing in plaintiff’s argument that distinguished this reasoning.

[...]

The Court’s Order also reviewed and rejected three arguments from respondents. The first was that the use of “resides” in earlier Supreme Court cases (including Stonite) is in tension with later Supreme Court cases (including Fourco). The Federal Circuit rejected this argument almost out of hand, saying that the Court did not address the issue in Fourco at the judicial district level of granularity, “and set a necessary but not necessarily sufficient condition for corporate residence for venue under § 1400(b)” (emphasis in order). The second argument, that modern business circumstances counseled a “more flexib[le]” approach was “a non-starter,” the panel stating that “‘[t]he requirement of venue is specific and unambiguous; it is not one of those vague principles which, in the interest of some overriding policy, is to be given a ‘liberal’ construction,” quoting Olberding v. Ill. Cent. R.R. Co., 346 U.S. 338, 340 (1953), as cited in Schnell v. Peter Eckrich & Sons, Inc., 365 U.S. 260, 264 (1961), and saying that “[s]uch policy-based arguments are best directed to Congress.” Finally, the order addresses the question generally regarding how venue should be properly decided in multi-judicial district states. First, the proper district for venue would be the district in which the defendant has a principal place of business (if there is such a place in the state), citing Galveston, H. & S.A. Ry. Co. v. Gonzales, 151 U.S. 496, 504 (1894). And the Court noted that a “principal place of business” is not the same as “a regular and established place of business” as required by other aspects of the statute, the order citing Hertz Corp. v. Friend, 559 U.S. 77, 93 (2010). In the absence of a “principal place of business” in a state in which a defendant is incorporated, the “default’ should be the judicial district in which the corporation has its registered office or agent, calling this a “universally recognized foundational requirement of corporate formation.”

Managing IP‘s Michael Loney wrote about BigCommerce as follows, in conjunction with that other (aforementioned) case:

The plaintiff bears the burden of proving venue in patent cases and venue is only proper for a corporation registered in a multiple district-state in the district where it has its principal place of business, the Federal Circuit ruled in ZTE and BigCommerce

The Federal Circuit has granted two petitions for writ of mandamus that shed light on patent venue post-TC Heartland.

At Patently-O, BigCommerce was mentioned by Dennis Crouch, who said:

The same panel that recently decided In re ZTE (Fed. Cir. May 14, 2018) (Judges Reyna, Linn, and Hughes) have now also decided another improper venue mandamus action: In re BigCommerce, Inc. (Fed. Cir. May 15, 2018).

BigCommerce focuses on the issue of proper venue in multi-district states. The potential confusion comes from the Supreme Court’s central holding in TC Heartland that “a domestic corporation ‘resides’ only in its State of incorporation for purposes of the patent venue statute.” BigCommerce is a Texas Company, but its HQ is in Austin (E.D.Texas) and argues that the Supreme Court’s statement was incomplete. Now, on mandamus, the Federal Circuit has sided with BigCommerce — holding that the rule is more nuanced for multi-venue states.

[...]

The Federal Circuit’s decision here has to be correct, and the only difficulty is the loose Supreme Court wording in TC Heartland.

This is the job of lawyers; they try to twist the law or to cherry-pick decisions, (mis)interpreting them to mean whatever the client (i.e. money) wants. In this case, the Supreme Court’s wordings are being ‘artistically’ (to put it politely) interpreted to make life harder for defendants.

Microsoft Attacks the Vulnerable Using Software Patents in Order to Maintain Fear and Give the Perception of Microsoft ‘Safety’

Posted in Corel, Microsoft, Patents at 5:36 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

While Microsoft sells ‘protection’ from itself and its patent trolls [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17]

Microsoft and trolls

Summary: The latest patent lawsuits from Microsoft and its patent trolls (which it financially backs); these are aimed at feeble and vulnerable rivals of Microsoft

THE whole ‘new’ Microsoft delusion clearly fails to impress/charm actual GNU/Linux geeks. They aren’t buying any of it (example from today [1, 2]). Microsoft’s patent attacks on GNU/Linux are being brought up as well. Based on US patent office records, in addition to Microsoft boosting sites, the gold rush for patents carries on and Microsoft has been busy attacking rivals using patents. Yes, this is the ‘new’ Microsoft — same as the ‘old’ Microsoft. It’s using patents on GUIs — a subject we shall cover later this weekend in relation to Apple — to go after competitors. A guest post by Sarah Burstein, Associate Professor of Law at the University of Oklahoma College of Law, was published some days ago to remark about the underlying patents:

Microsoft accused Corel of infringing five utility patents and four design patents. The four design patents all claimed designs for particular elements of the Microsoft Office graphical user interface (GUI).

[...]

Corel initially denied infringing these design patents but, early last year, it amended its answer to admit infringement and dismiss most of its defenses, stating that, “to properly develop and prove out those defenses will simply cost more than the damages could rationally be in this case.” By the time of trial, the only remaining issues were damages, whether Corel had pre-suit notice of three of the design patents, and willfulness.

In its Rule 50 motions, Corel argued that Microsoft was not entitled to recover its “total profits” under 35 U.S.C. § 289 because Corel had not applied the patented designs to any articles of manufacture.

We recently wrote quite a few articles about it. It’s almost only one site that has been covering that (Law 360); somehow all the “tech” press doesn’t seem to mind. Last weekend we argued that maybe that just doesn’t fit the “Microsoft loves Linux” narrative they constantly foist if not impose on readers. Notice how, in order to win cases more easily, Microsoft targets relatively poor and weak companies, especially at times of trouble, e.g. TomTom; the last thing Microsoft wants is a lengthy legal battle that sees Microsoft’s patents invalidated.

“…the last thing Microsoft wants is a lengthy legal battle that sees Microsoft’s patents invalidated.”Meanwhile — while Microsoft sues rivals like Corel using lousy patents — the patent trolls of Microsoft also attack Microsoft's rivals, who struggle in court because some software patent survived back in January. In Finjan, Inc. v SonicWall, Inc. (according to Docket Navigator):

The court denied defendant’s motion to dismiss plaintiff’s [Finjan] willful infringement claims for failing to sufficiently allege egregious conduct through defendant’s licensing negotiations.

Remember that Finjan is financially backed by Microsoft and it has gone after pretty much all of Microsoft’s competitors in the security space. Of course it doesn’t go after Microsoft; the same goes for Nokia, whose latest words and actions we shall cover separately later this weekend.

Links 19/5/2018: Mesa 18.0.4 and Vim 8.1

Posted in News Roundup at 12:24 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Is systemd on Linux Evil – For The Record

    Is systemd on Linux Evil? How does it compare to alternatives like runit? I discuss some considerations with systemd and below are the links I reference in the video.

  • Desktop

    • A beginner’s guide to Linux

      The key difference is that Linux is open source. In the most simple terms, it just means that no one single person or corporation controls the code. Instead, the operating system is maintained by a dedicated group of developers from around the world. Anyone who is interested can contribute to the code and help check for errors. Linux is more than an operating system; it is a community.

    • Why Linux apps on Chromebooks are a really big deal (really!)

      It may have gotten lost in the shuffle of all the Android P news at Google’s I/O conference last week, but fear not, dear friends: Chrome OS has definitely not been forgotten.

      Google’s been making steady progress in advancing its Chromebook operating system over the past several months, particularly around its efforts to further align Android and Chrome OS and turn Chromebooks into all-purpose productivity machines and Android tablet replacements. Practically every week, in fact, there’s some new and noteworthy feature being added into the platform (something we’ve talked about a great deal in my weekly newsletter as of late).

      And though it wasn’t in the keynote, a massive new development did sneak its way into Chrome OS during I/O: the quietly announced ability for Chromebooks to run Linux apps as if they were native applications, without the need for any complex and security-defeating configurations. Linux app support is on its way to the Pixelbook to start — currently in that device’s developer channel and likely becoming available much more broadly before long.

    • System76’s Oryx Pro Laptop Targets AI Developers

      System76’s latest laptop Oryx Pro is a beast in terms of configuration and it focuses on AI and Machine Learning developers. Read about the specifications and pricing

    • Linux Apps On Chromebooks – Unleaded Hangouts

      Linux Apps On Chromebooks. Does this present a compelling reason to buy a Chromebook or instead, is this too little too late for Google? We discuss.

  • Server

    • Blockchain Consolidation Phase Is Imminent, Hyperledger Chief Says

      Brian Behlendorf, a driving force behind the Apache web server and longtime supporter of open source software, now spends his time developing blockchain technology for the enterprise.

      As the executive director of the Hyperledger project, an open source blockchain initiative hosted by the Linux Foundation, Mr. Behlendorf is working to create enterprise-ready distributed ledger technologies and develop a community of corporate blockchain developers that will outlast a fevered investment climate.

      Blockchain is still nascent in the enterprise, but the conversation has evolved beyond basic technology questions to more involved discussions about scale, interoperability and governance, Mr. Behlendorf said.

    • 6 key data strategy considerations for your cloud-native transformation

      Many organizations are making the move to cloud-native platforms as their strategy for digital transformation. cloud-native allows companies to deliver fast-responding, user-friendly applications with greater agility. However, the architecture of the data in support of cloud-native transformation is often ignored in the hope that it will take care of itself. With data becoming the information currency of every organization, how do you avoid the data mistakes commonly made during this cloud transformation journey? What data questions should you ask when building cloud-native applications? How can you gain valuable insight from your data?

      The ensuing presentation includes six key considerations companies must have when they make this transition to cloud-native.

    • Making Kubernetes Easier with Cloud Foundry Platform

      Kubernetes is one of the biggest technology disruptors to hit the IT industry in a long time — maybe since Amazon EC2, now more than a decade old. It has helped turn containers from a convenient packaging method into the building blocks of modern application architectures, and has shifted the discussion in many circles from cloud computing to cloud-native computing.

      If that seems like a form of technological hair-splitting, it isn’t. Cloud-native technologies and architectures are the means by which more traditional businesses — like insurance, financial services or even heavy machinery — can transition from simply consuming cloud resources into operating like the cloud providers themselves. This is shifting the way they run their businesses, making them more agile, distributed and ready to tackle via software, whatever their businesses demand. As with most new technologies, however, it’s important to look at Kubernetes with some perspective.

    • Virtualized lab demonstration using a tweaked Labtainers running in a container

      Labtainers is quite interesting as it allows isolating a lab in several containers running in their own dedicated virtual network, which helps distributing a lab without needing to install anything locally.

      My tweak allows to run what I called the “master” container which contains the labtainers scripts, instead of having to install labtainers on a Linux host. This should help installation and distribution of labtainers, as well as deploying it on cloud platforms, some day soon. In the meantime Labtainer containers of the labs run with privileges so it’s advised to be careful, and running the whole of these containers in a VM may be safer. Maybe Labtainers will evolve in the future to integrate a containerization of its scripts. My patches are pending, but the upstream authors are currently focused on some other priorities.

  • Kernel Space

    • A Remote KMS Linux Backend Is Being Worked On That Could Work With VNC

      Thomas Hellstrom of VMware who has worked on Mesa going back to the Tungsten Graphics days is developing a remote KMS back-end that could be transmitted over VNC or similar protocols.

      In essence this kernel mode-setting (KMS) kernel back-end would allow the display to be transmitted remotely over VNC or similar remote desktop sharing technologies. The current intention is on open-source VNC server support.

    • Graphics Stack

      • mesa 18.0.4

        Mesa 18.0.4 is now available.

        In this release we have:

        r600 driver gets a fix for constant buffer boounds, which fixes rendering bugs
        in Trine and Witcher 1.

        Several fixes for RADV driver: fixes around alpha channel in Pre-Vega, fix in
        multisample image copies, and fixes around multilayer images in compute path.

        For the case of ANV/i965 drivers, also a couple of fixes, all of them around
        ISP. On top, there are a couple of fixes relative to code emission around 16-bit
        integers, and a a fix for a leak in blorp for Gen4 and Gen5.

        Speaking of leaks, there are also fixes for winsys/radeon/amdgpu and
        pipe-loader.gets a couple of patches to fix a couple of leaks.

        SPIR-V part gets a patch to apply OriginUpperLeft to FragCoord.

        Mesa core gets a couple of patches to fix error handling in
        get_framebuffer_parameteriv, and to add missing support for
        glFogiv(GL_FOG_DISTANCE_MODE_NV).

      • Mesa 18.0.4 Released With A Handful Of Bug Fixes

        Mesa 18.1 might be out this weekend but for those riding the Mesa 18.0 stable release series for now, Mesa 18.0.4 is the latest point release.

      • AMD Will Continue Maintaining Multiple Compute Stacks For Linux

        With the great shape that ROCm has been getting into recently for open-source Radeon GPU compute support on Linux including advancing OpenCL support, one might have rightfully assumed that was going to be their centralized compute stack moving forward. It turns out that their PAL-based compute stack will continue to be maintained too.

      • VC5 Gallium3D Driver Becomes V3D, Enabled By Default In Mesa

        What was developed as the VC5 Gallium3D driver is now renamed to V3D and enabled by default in new Mesa 18.2 builds.

        The Broadcom Video Core V driver that was already part of Mesa was renamed to V3D to match the name of the V3D DRM kernel driver. The VC5 to V3D renaming occurred since this driver is already supporting a VideoCore VC6 device, so the VC5 naming was no longer deemed appropriate.

      • VMware 13.3 X.Org Driver Brings DRI3 With Latest Mesa, X.Org Server 1.20 Support

        Usually X.Org DDX driver releases aren’t too notable these days with most of the open-source Linux graphics innovations happening elsewhere in the stack, but for those using the VMware graphics virtualization support available through their different virtualization products, the xf86-video-vmware update out today is on the heavier side.

      • Open-Source NVIDIA Volta GV100 Support Queued For Linux 4.18

        Initial open-source driver support for the NVIDIA GV100 “Volta” GPUs will be introduced with the upcoming Linux 4.18 kernel cycle.

        Earlier this month I wrote about the initial open-source GV100 Volta patches coming out for the Nouveau Direct Rendering Manager while now that work has been queued into the DRM-Next tree ahead of the Linux 4.18 merge window opening in June.

      • The Open-Source ARM Mali “Panfrost” Driver Now Supports Textures & More

        The in-development Panfrost reverse-engineered, open-source driver for supporting ARM Mali T700 series graphics is now much more capable thanks to work carried out on their “half-way” Gallium3D driver in recent weeks.

        Alyssa Rosenzweig has provided an update on the Panfrost driver progress and their very early stage Gallium3D driver. Their recent code is quite a bit of progress considering where they were one month ago with just being able to render a cube.

      • CUDA 9.2 Released With GEMM Improvements

        We knew it was coming while today NVIDIA has rolled out the CUDA 9.2 stable release update.

        The CUDA 9.2 release includes speed-ups for launching CUDA kernels as well as faster performance for GEMM computational performance for half-precision and small N matrices. CUDA 9.2 also fixes a number of issues, including incorrect results with some GEMM calls on V100 Tensor Core GPUs and other BLAS problems.

      • Mesa 18.1 Released With Intel Shader Cache Default, OpenGL 3.1 ARB_compatibility

        First time Mesa release manager Dylan Baker has managed to release Mesa 18.1 on time as the Q2’2018 quarterly update to this OpenGL/Vulkan driver stack.

        While it feels like Mesa 18.0 was just recently released, it’s already been a month and a half, which had arrived significantly late due to release delays. Fortunately, Mesa 18.1 is now available and hopefully allowing for a normal Mesa 18.2 release cycle for next quarter.

        Mesa 18.1 ships with the Intel OpenGL shader cache now being enabled by default, OpenGL 3.1 with ARB_compatibility context support for the prominent Gallium3D drivers, ARB_bindless_texture support for Nouveau NVC0 that is important for some newer Linux game ports like Dawn of War 3, EXT_semaphore support for RadeonSI, various other new OpenGL and Vulkan extensions being supported by Radeon and Intel, and other enhancements. See our Mesa 18.1 feature overview for a more thorough look at all of the changes that made it into this release.

    • Benchmarks

      • A Closer Look At The GCC 8 Compiler Performance On Intel Skylake

        In continuing with our recent benchmarks of the brand new GCC 8.1 compiler, here are more tests while using an Intel Skylake CPU and testing with -O2, -O3, and -O3 -march=native optimization levels while comparing the resulting binary performance of GCC 8.1 and GCC 7.3.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • Plasma 5.13 Beta

        Thursday, 17 May 2018. Today KDE unveils a beta release of Plasma 5.13.0.

        Members of the Plasma team have been working hard to continue making Plasma a lightweight and responsive desktop which loads and runs quickly, but remains full-featured with a polished look and feel. We have spent the last four months optimising startup and minimising memory usage, yielding faster time-to-desktop, better runtime performance and less memory consumption. Basic features like panel popups were optimised to make sure they run smoothly even on the lowest-end hardware. Our design teams have not rested either, producing beautiful new integrated lock and login screen graphics.

      • KDE Plasma 5.13 Enters Beta with New Lock & Login Screens, Browser Integration
      • KDE Plasma 5.13 Beta Released With A Compelling Number Of Improvements
      • Greeting

        Hello all! This is my first time writing about my work progress in a blog, so some things are still awnkward for me. And it is also my first time participating in GSoC and there are many things new to me. I’m cooperating with KDE organisation or rather with one of their projects, named Krita.

      • Calamares 3.2.0 released

        The Calamares team is happy to announce the availability of Calamares 3.2.0, the first iteration of the new features-and-functionality series of Calamares 3.2.x releases. This is the new series of Calamares releases following on from the stable 3.1 series.

        Calamares is a distribution-independent system installer, with an advanced partitioning feature for both manual and automated partitioning operations. Calamares is designed to be customizable by distribution maintainers without need for cumbersome patching, thanks to third party branding and external modules support.

      • Calamares 3.2 Linux Installer Framework Released

        Version 3.2 of the Calamares universal Linux distribution installer framework is now available as their latest big feature release that has been in development the past number of months.

        Calamares 3.2 features new localization capabilities, improved logging, enhanced GeoIP detection, improved KDE Plasma integration, optional user-tracking, upgraded KPMCore usage, and various module improvements.

      • Qt 5.11.0 RC2 out

        We have released Qt 5.11.0 RC2 today. Delta to RC(1) release can be found as an attachment. We are still targeting to release Qt 5.11.0 Tue 22nd May as planned

      • Qt 5.11 RC2 Released With The Final Expected Next Week

        The Qt Company is hoping to be able to release the Qt 5.11 tool-kit in just a few days.

        Developers working on Qt 5.11 are striving still to release this half-year tool-kit update ahead of schedule on Tuesday, 22 May, rather than the following week as originally was planned.

      • Get Started with Qt 3D Studio 2.0 beta 1

        Now that the beta 1 release of Qt 3D Studio 2.0 is out, let’s go through the steps involved in trying it out for real.

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

      • virtual-keyboard: Add new virtual keyboard protocol
      • Purism Is Proposing A Virtual Keyboard Protocol For Wayland

        Purism’s Dorota Czaplejewicz has been active within the Wayland community recently as they work on their Librem 5 phone Wayland compositor and Phosh shell for this software stack and iMX8 hardware they hope to begin shipping next year.

        On behalf of Purism, Dorota’s latest Wayland work is proposing a new virtual keyboard protocol for Wayland. This allows for the emulation of keyboards by applications and complements the existing input-method protocol. The new virtual-keyboard protocol is based upon the Wayland keyboard specification but with support for seat bindings and dropping serials.

      • Introducing Calls

        Arguably the most critical functionality in a phone is the ability to make and receive calls through the Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN), that is normal cellular calls using phone numbers. While at Purism we are eager to implement communication systems that enable much greater privacy and security than one can expect from PSTN calls, the PSTN is still the most ubiquitous network and for the time being we can’t very well go around selling a phone that isn’t able to make PSTN calls.⁰

        My task has been to develop a dialer and call handler for PSTN calls. Like all of our work on the Librem 5, this is intended to make use of existing code wherever possible and also target the GNOME platform which our PureOS defaults to. There is currently no GNOME PSTN dialer so we intend to contribute our program to the GNOME project.

      • Purism Introduces Its Telepathy-Using GTK3-Based Phone Dialer Plans

        Purism has formally introduced “Calls”, its GTK3-based PSTN (Public Switched Telephone Network) phone dialing application that it hopes will be accepted into the upstream GNOME project. Purism plans to develop this phone dialer using GNOME’s Telepathy framework but for now is using a simple oFono back-end.

        Calls is the new program Purism is developing to make and receive conventional telephone calls for supporting their default GNOME-based software stack being developed for the Purism 5 smartphone.

        While Telepathy is controversial among even GNOME developers, they are pursuing this framework for their phone call application as it will also support SIP calls and other features provided by the GNOME framework.

      • Boxes now supports RDP connections

        Boxes has been the go-to option for easy virtual machine setups in GNOME for quite some time, but some people don’t know that our beloved application can also act as a remote viewer.

        The “Enter URL” option in the new machine assistant is how you get a new remote machine added to your collection. It supports addresses of Spice and VNC servers and oVirt and Libvirt brokers. You can also paste the URL of an operating system image (iso, img, qcow, etc…) and Boxes will download and boot it for you.

      • Dual Monitor: Fix Mouse Getting Stuck On Second Monitor In Gnome Shell With Ubuntu Dock Or Dash To Dock

        On my dual monitor setup, if I made any application fullscreen on the primary monitor (left-hand side screen – monitor “1″ in the image above), the mouse cursor would get stuck on the secondary monitor (right-hand side screen) and I could only move it back to the primary monitor if I moved between monitors through the top part of the screen.

      • Dash to Panel Update Adds Intellihide, New Configuration Options

        Dash to Panel merges the GNOME Dash (aka Dock) and top bar into a unified, single panel that you can place on any edge of the screen:

        In the latest update, Dash to Panel v14, the task bar picks up a bunch of welcome improvements, including support for “intellihide” (aka auto-hide).

        This option (off by default) makes the panel slide out of view when an application window is maximised and/or touching it, and gracefully restored when there’s space for it.

        Although hidden you can access the panel at any time just by moving your mouse to the screen edge it’s hiding under.

  • Distributions

    • Red Hat Family

      • Using Ansible Galaxy Roles in Ansible Playbook Bundles

        The Open Service Broker API standard aims to standardize how services (cloud, third-party, on-premise, legacy, etc) are delivered to applications running on cloud platforms like OpenShift. This allows applications to consume services the exact same way no matter on which cloud platform they are deployed. The service broker pluggable architecture enables admins to add third-party brokers to the platform in order to make third-party and cloud services available to the application developers directly from the OpenShift service catalog. As an example AWS Service Broker created jointly by Amazon and Red Hat, Azure Service Broker created by Microsoft and Helm Service Broker created by Google to allow consumption of AWS services, Azure services and Helm charts on Kubernetes and OpenShift. Furthermore, admins can create their own brokers in order to make custom services like provisioning an Oracle database on their internal Oracle RAC available to the developers through the service catalog.

      • Government, enterprise interest in Red Hat and open source sky rocketing

        A popular quote from Mohandas Gandhi graces most of the Red Hat Canada offices across the country: “First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.”

        It’s been said that making money from something that’s given away for free is next to impossible, but Red Hat and its Canadian business has turned that assumption on its head and remains dedicated to the open source community.

      • Red Hat’s CloudForms to slum it by wrangling boring old VMs

        Red Hat’s decided virtual servers ought not to be a standalone silo for much longer, so has created a “Virtualization Suite” that combines Red Hat Virtualization with the CloudForms tool it offers to manage OpenStack and cloud-native applications.

        CloudForms has been around for a while and offers administrators one app with which to manage and automate hybrid infrastructure. But Red Hat’s Virtualization (RHV) tools have remained their own little island.

      • Red Hat’s AI Strategy

        “The impact of AI will be visible in the software industry much sooner than the analog world, deeply affecting open source in general, as well as Red Hat, its ecosystem, and its userbase. This shift provides a huge opportunity for Red Hat to offer unique value to our customers. In this session, we’ll provide Red Hat’s general perspective on AI and how we are helping our customers benefit from AI.”

      • Microsoft and Red Hat Announce a Managed OpenShift Offering on Azure
      • OpenShift Common Briefing: OpenShift on OpenStack with Ramon Acedo Rodriguez (Red Hat)

        In this briefing, Red Hat’s Ramon Acedo Rodriguez presents the strategy, vision and current state of affairs for containers within Red Hat OpenStack Platform. In this session you will learn what role containers play in OpenStack, what we as Red Hat are focusing on, what we already have brought to our customers and what you can be expecting in the future in infrastructure as well as tenant layers.

      • News Bits: QNAP, Veritas, Dell EMC, ClearSky Data, Cohesity, Quest, Red Hat, NVIDIA, & More
      • Emergent, LLC Exclusively Awarded Small Business DoD Enterprise Software Initiative Contract To Provide Red Hat Solutions
      • Red Hat Summit: An Eventful Tour from Enterprise Integration to Serverless
    • Debian Family

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Ubuntu 18.10 Features: New Theme, Android Integration, Better Power Consumption

            As you can imagine, Ubuntu 18.10 will come with a lot of new features and improvements, some of which Canonical planned for a long time but didn’t manage to implement them in the recently released Ubuntu 18.04 LTS (Bionic Beaver) operating system due to its long-term support status and the focus on stability and reliability.

            So, like any other 9-month supported release, Ubuntu 18.10 will be a testbed for Canonical to try new things. Some of these include the ability to unlock your Ubuntu desktop with a fingerprint reader, integration with the KDE Connect Android app by default through GS Connect, a new installer, and a new system theme.

          • Ubuntu 18.10 Aims To Lower Power Use, Default To New Desktop Theme
          • Creating the world’s first robotic tennis ball collector with Ubuntu

            Why else did the Tennibot team turn to Ubuntu originally? “We needed something that was both light and compatible with libraries and existing software. Given the geographical spread of where the Tennibot would end up, our final choice needed to have remote upgrading capability too. And of course, both for ourselves plus our users who are not tech savvy, it needed to be solidly tested and stable” said Lincoln Wang, CTO at Tennibot.

            Haitham Eletrabi, CEO of Tennibot adds, “The compatibility with software like ROS and OpenCV makes the implementation and testing of Tennibot’s algorithms an easy task. The support from the Ubuntu community also simplifies debugging the device’s software. In addition, Ubuntu is so versatile with different sensors and components that it really makes it the more superior option for us.”

          • Desktop plans for 18.10

            Bionic is out the door and we’ve started the Cosmic cycle so I wanted to take this opportunity to tell you about our plans for this cycle, the sorts of features we want to work on and what you can expect from 18.10 when it arrives in October.

          • Ubuntu Podcast from the UK LoCo: S11E11 – Station Eleven – Ubuntu Podcast

            This week we reconstruct a bathroom and join the wireless gaming revolution. We discuss the Steam Link app for Android and iOS, the accessible Microsoft Xbox controller, Linux applications coming to ChromeOS and round up the community news.

          • Ubuntu 18.10 will bring power improvements, new default theme, and more

            With Ubuntu 18.04 LTS out the door, the folks at Canonical are starting to talk about plans for the next version of the popular GNU/Linux distribution. Actually, the next two.

            Ubuntu 18.04.1 is expected to roll out in July, bringing bug fixes and a few new features including easier access to Thunderbolt settings and support for unlocking a PC with your fingerprint.

          • Flavours and Variants

            • Kubuntu Devs to Focus More on Supporting ARM Laptops & Raspberry Pi Than 32-Bit

              Earlier this month, the Kubuntu developers have confirmed to us that they won’t support new 32-bit installations with the upcoming Kubuntu 18.10 release, and now they made it official.

              Developer Valorie Zimmerman posted a message on the Kubuntu-devel mailing list a couple of days ago to officially announce that Kubuntu 18.04 LTS (Bionic Beaver) is the last Kubuntu release to offer 32-bit ISO images, as starting with Kubuntu 18.10 (Cosmic Cuttlefish) they won’t be supporting new 32-bit installations.

              As already widely reported, the removal of the 32-bit install media revolution has begun amongst official Ubuntu flavors. The first to take the big step was Ubuntu MATE, followed closely by Ubuntu Budgie, Ubuntu Studio, and Ubuntu Kylin. After an official proposal from developer Bryan Quigley, Xubuntu and Kubuntu followed too.

            • Hands-On with First Lubuntu 18.10 Build Featuring the LXQt Desktop by Default

              The Lubuntu development team promised to finally switch from LXDE (Lightweight X11 Desktop Environment) to the more modern and actively maintained LXQt (Lightweight Qt Desktop Environment), and the switch is now official.

              Lubuntu developer Simon Quigley approached us earlier today to inform that the latest Lubuntu 18.10 daily build is quite usable as he and his team did a lot of work in the past week to accommodate the LXQt desktop environment by default instead of the LXDE desktop environment.

              The main difference between LXDE and LXQt is that the former is written with the GTK+ 2 technologies, which will eventually be phased out in favor of the more advanced GTK+ 3, and the latter is built using the Qt framework. However, it doesn’t look like there are any plans for LXDE to move to GTK+ 3.

            • Lubuntu 18.10 Officially Switching From LXDE To LXQt

              After working on Lubuntu-Next for a while in transitioning from the GTK-based LXDE desktop environment to the modern and maintained LXQt desktop environment that is powered by Qt5, the Lubuntu 18.10 will be the release that officially moves over to the LXQt desktop and pushes out LXDE.

              Walter Lapchynski of the Lubuntu project has confirmed that for the Ubuntu 18.10 “Cosmic Cuttlefish” cycle they are switching to LXQt for good.

  • Devices/Embedded

Free Software/Open Source

  • Choosing the right open source tool for movie project management

    One thing artists, engineers, and hackers share in common is their antipathy for management. So, when the time comes when we actually need project management, it comes as a painful growing experience.

    For the Lunatics! animated open movie project, we started by using basic tools popular with open source software projects, like a version control system (Subversion), a wiki (MediaWiki), and a bug-tracker and online browser for the source code (Trac). This is viable for a team of a half-dozen people and an unhurried schedule on a volunteer project. But it quickly becomes unmanageable for larger teams and tighter schedules.

  • Addressing the Complexity of Big Data with Open Source

    Simple software is a thing of the past. Think about it: No program out there is created in a vacuum. Every program uses libraries, has run-time dependencies, interacts with operational environments, and reacts to human inputs. Free and opensource software, as a creative free-market approach to software development, provides more than one solution for every challenge. There are multiple compilers, operating systems, statistics packages (known today as machine learning), test frameworks, orchestration solutions, and so on. Each project moves at its own speed, releasing new features and adding new attributes. Imagine for a second that there is a need to combinea few of these complicated projects into a meta-complex system. It sounds quite sophisticated, doesn’t it?

  • Review: Icinga enterprise-grade, open-source network monitoring that scales

    Continuing our quest for robust, enterprise-grade open source network monitoring, we tested Icinga Core 2 (version 2.8.1) and the stand-alone Icinga Web 2 interface. Created in 2009 as a fork of the Nagios network monitoring tool, Icinga has come a long way.

    We found Icinga to be a powerful monitoring tool with many great features. The Core install is straightforward and basic monitoring is easy with either pre-configured templates or plugins. However, we discovered that the Web install is a bit more complicated and could stand to be streamlined.

  • DigitalBits Foundation Networks Blockchain Companies In Open Source Consortium

    The DigitalBits Foundation is an open source project that provides development resources, infrastructure, events and education via a global transaction network and protocol. Loyalty program operators are able to tokenize their respective loyalty points as digital assets on this decentralized network and users can trade these various digital assets on-chain. DigitalBits latest addition is a partnership with Cogeco Peer 1, a global provider of business-to-business products and services.

    The Foundation’s vision is to see the DigitalBits blockchain help solve portability, security and liquidity issues with certain digital assets, such as Loyalty and Rewards programs, and help generate additional value for consumers, businesses and certain charitable organizations.

    Al Burgio, the founder and CEO, talked with Block Tribune about the organization.

  • How Will U.S. Tensions With China Affect Open Source Networking?

    There’s been a lot of drama in 2018 concerning the Chinese vendors Huawei and ZTE and their ability to do business in the United States. The fate of these companies seems inextricably tied to larger geo-political events.

    ZTE has been banned for seven years from buying components from U.S. companies for its products. And members of the U.S. Congress have attacked Huawei’s ability to do business in the country, claiming the vendor’s equipment poses a national security risk.

  • SD Times Open Source Project of the Week: Bazel

    The project is led by a core group of contributors and Googlers, and managed by the community. The group of core contributors is self-managing and added by two supporting votes from other core contributors.

    According to Google, some parts of Bazel will never make it into open source because it integrates with Google-specific technology or the company plans to get rid of those features in the future.

    The Angular team has announced plans to migrate its build scripts with Bazel to get faster and more reliable incremental builds. As of Angular 6, Angular itself is now built with Bazel, according to Stephen Fluin, developer advocate for Angular. “Bazel is the build system that Google and the Angular team use to keep incremental builds under 2 seconds,” the team wrote in a post.

    Bazel is already being used by companies such as Asana, Ascend.io, Databricks, Dropbox, Etsy, Google, Huawei, LingoChamp, Pinterest and Uber. Open-source projects using Bazel include Angular, Deepmind Lab, GRPC, gVisor, Kubernetes, Sonnet, TensorFlow and Trunk.

  • Events

    • Welcome Our New Google Summer of Code Students

      KDE Student Programs is happy to present our 2018 Google Summer of Code students to the KDE Community.

      Welcome Abhijeet Sharma, Aman Kumar Gupta, Amit Sagtani, Andrey Cygankov, Andrey Kamakin, Anmol Gautam, Caio Jordão de Lima Carvalho, Chinmoy Ranjan Pradhan, Csaba Kertesz, Demetrio Carrara, Dileep Sankhla, Ferencz Kovács, Furkan Tokac, Gun Park, Iván Yossi Santa María González, Kavinda Pitiduwa Gamage, Mahesh S Nair, Tarek Talaat, Thanh Trung Dinh, Yihang Zhou, and Yingjie Liu!

    • PyCon US 2018 Wrapup

      I attended PyCon US in Cleveland over the last week. Here’s a quick summary of the conference.

      Aside from my usual “you should go to PyCon” admonition, I’d like to suggest writing a summary like this every time you visit a conference. It’s a nice way to share what you found valuable with others, and also to evaluate the utility of attending the conference.

      I barely write a lick of Python anymore, so I mostly attend PyCon for the people and for the ideas. ome themes are common to PyCon: data science, machine learning, education, and core language. Of course, there’s always a smattering of other topics, too.

      During the poster session, I saw a poster on the Python Developers Survey 2017 from JetBrains. One statistic that surprised me: 50% of respondents use Python primarily for data analysis.

    • LinuxFest NorthWest 2018 Recap

      Nineteen years in, LinuxFest Northwest is the original community LinuxFest and is easily the lowest-stress event on my calendar. While Bellingham, Washington may seem like an odd place to host a conference, it is actually the natural end of the line for tech workers who migrate up the West coast from Silicon Valley in search of an affordable place to live and work where you can kayak after work. This lifestyle draw has created quite the tech scene in the Bellingham area and its proximity to the Canadian border makes LFNW an attractive destination for Vancouver, B.C. community members. Some attendees traveled from as far away as Germany and Taiwan, making this an international event despite its remote location. If you have never been to an LFNW, I encourage you to consider attending the 20th anniversary one in 2019!

    • Fractal hackfest in Strasbourg

      Apart from the technical side of things, I also tried to act as a city guide and hope my guests liked the places I took them. I for sure had lots of fun hanging out with all those people!

    • FOSS-North 2018 – OSS community at its finest

      On April 22nd and 23rd, we attended a growing OSS event called FOSS North in Gothenburg – Sweden. According to foss-north.se, “FOSS-North is a free / open source conference covering both software and hardware from the technical perspective. Hosted in Gothenburg between Copenhagen, Oslo and Stockholm with an international airport, we provide a meeting place for the Nordic foss communities and will bring together great speakers with a great audience.” and that alone sounds like a lot of fun for us nerds!

      [...]

      FOSS-North hosted a bevy of different speeches during the 2-day period with 25 speakers, 2 of them from Jolla! We held our speech about the history of Jolla and the Sailfish community, continued by a piece of our roadmap for Sailfish X, Sailfish 3, and what is planned for the future. We ended the talk by a rather long Q&A from the audience. You can watch the whole talk below, and also access our slides that we used during the talk here.

    • Mastering CI/CD at OpenDev

      After launching in 2017, the OpenDev Conference is now an annual event. At the inaugural event last September, the conference focus was on edge computing. This year’s event, taking place May 22-23, will be focused on Continuous Integration/Continuous Deployment (CI/CD) and will be co-located with the OpenStack Summit in Vancouver.

    • Join us in Hamburg for the Hamburg Mini-DebConf!

      Thanks to Debian, I have the chance to be able to attend the Hamburg Mini-DebConf, taking place in Hamburg from May 16th to May 20th. We are hosted by Dock Europe in the amazing Viktoria Kaserne building.

    • MiniDebConf Hamburg – Thursday

      I missed my flight on Wednesday, and for a moment I thought I would have to cancel my attendance, but luckily I was able to buy a ticket for Thursday for a good price.

      I arrived at the venue just in time for a “stand-up” meeting, where people introduced themselves and shared what are they working on / planning to work on. That gave me a great feeling, having an idea of what other people are doing, and gave me motivation to work on my projects.

      The venue seems to be some kind of cooperative, with office space for different associations, there is also a small guest house (where I am sleeping), and a “kantina”. The building seems very pretty, but is going through some renovations, so the scaffolding does not let you see it much. It also has a big outdoors area, which is always welcomed.

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • [Mozilla] SQL Style Guide
      • Mozilla Firefox 60.0.1 Released with Many Improvements, Disables WebVR on macOS

        Mozilla released on Wednesday the first point release to the Firefox 60.0 web browser, version 60.0.1, which brings several improvements and fixes some annoyances reported by users lately.

        One of the annoyances that Mozilla resolved in the Firefox 60.0.1 release, which started rolling out to Linux, Mac, and Windows platforms, is the displaying of “Sponsored content” on the New Tab page. Mozilla says that it will now immediately disappear when the user disables the “Sponsored Stories” option in Preferences.

        With the Firefox 60.0.1 release, the web browser now avoids overly long cycle collector pauses with certain add-ons, improves momentum scrolling on non-zoomable pages for touchscreen devices, and restores language translations of the Preferences panels when using a language pack.

  • CMS

    • Goodbye Octopress, hello Pelican

      I’ve spent some time during this DebCamp to migrate to Pelican, which is written in Python, packaged in Debian, and its dependencies are quite straighforward to install. I had to install (and write) a few plugins to make the migration easier, and port my custom Octopress Bootstrap theme to Pelican.

  • Pseudo-Open Source (Openwashing)

  • BSD

    • FreeBSD on the System76 Galago Pro

      Hey all, It’s been a while since I last posted but I thought I would hammer something out here. My most recent purchase was a System76 Galago Pro. I thought, afer playing with POP! OS a bit, is there any reason I couldn’t get BSD on this thing. Turns out the answer is no, no there isnt and it works pretty decently.

      To get some accounting stuff out of the way I tested this all on FreeBSD Head and 11.1, and all of it is valid as of May 10, 2018. Head is a fast moving target so some of this is only bound to improve.

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • Is GIMP’s 2.10 Release Catching up with Photoshop?

      Of the many notable new features, GIMP 2.10 has ported most of its image processing capabilities to GEGL, a data flow based image processing framework that is free software (its source code is in GNOME git).

      GEGL provides floating point processing and non-destructive image processing capabilities, “allowing high bit depth processing, multi-threaded and hardware accelerated pixel processing, and more”.

      GIMP’s lack of multi-core processing has historically caused performance issues, which is a true deterrent in the graphics processing world.

      Moreover, the program can now utilise parallel processing, which is a big deal for various reasons, namely, more efficient processor usage through use of multiple cores.

    • Code & Supply is here for Pittsburgh’s ‘awesome’ software community

      The 2016 Abstractions conference drew software professionals from all over the world — many of them big names in the field, such as Larry Wall, who invented the Perl programming language; Richard Stallman, founder of the Free Software Foundation and creator of GNU; and Raffi Krikorian, formerly of Twitter and Uber — which was one of Reese’s goals when he first started hosting Code & Supply’s meetups.

  • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

    • Open Hardware/Modding

      • Open Source Calculator Teaches us about Quality Documentation

        Graphing calculators are one of those funny markets that never seem to change. Standardized testing has created a primordial stew of regulatory capture in which ancient technology thrives at modern retail prices while changing little. The NumWorks calculator certainly isn’t the first competitor to challenge the Texas Instruments dynasty with a more modern interface (and a design from this decade), but behind it’s subtle color pops and elegant lines lies the real gem; a fantastically well documented piece of open source hardware. The last time we wrote about the NumWorks, it was to demonstrate a pretty wild hack that embedded an entire Pi Zero but it’s worth drawing attention to the calculator itself.

  • Programming/Development

    • Git Has A New Wire Protocol Yielding Much Greater Performance

      The Git Protocol Version 2 was announced today by Google as a major update to the distributed revision control system’s wire protocol. Git protocol version 2 is much more efficient and yields significant performance benefits.

      The new Git wire protocol offers server-side filtering for references, easy extensibility for new features, and simplified client handling of the HTTP transport.

    • Introducing Git protocol version 2

      Today we announce Git protocol version 2, a major update of Git’s wire protocol (how clones, fetches and pushes are communicated between clients and servers). This update removes one of the most inefficient parts of the Git protocol and fixes an extensibility bottleneck, unblocking the path to more wire protocol improvements in the future.

      The protocol version 2 spec can be found here.

      [...]

      We recently rolled out support for protocol version 2 at Google and have seen a performance improvement of 3x for no-op fetches of a single branch on repositories containing 500k references. Protocol v2 has also enabled a reduction of 8x of the overhead bytes (non-packfile) sent from googlesource.com servers. A majority of this improvement is due to filtering references advertised by the server to the refs the client has expressed interest in.

    • Push Notifications Considered Harmful

Leftovers

  • fridge 0.1

    Imagine something really cool, like a fridge connected to a powerwall, powered entirely by solar panels. What could be cooler than that?

    How about a fridge powered entirely by solar panels without the powerwall? Zero battery use, and yet it still preserves your food.

  • Health/Nutrition

    • The Patent Paradox In Brazil And Its Implications For Access To Medicines

      The patent system was allegedly designed to allow recovery of the investment in research and development (R&D) of a new product, through the selling of the product under exclusivity for a period of time. Several studies have related high prices of medicines to the monopoly situation established by the patent system and other monopoly rights (such as data exclusivity). It is known that the existence of a patent can lead to high prices due to the market condition in which one producer can operate with exclusivity. In the absence of competition, a producer can charge virtually any price for its product. Competition, therefore, can promote significant price reduction and increase access.

    • Patent Backlogs Fuel Efforts To Extend Pharma Patent Terms In Thailand And Brazil, AIDS Activists Say [Ed: Some people needlessly die due to particular kinds of patents]

      It takes five to eight years for a patent to be examined in Thailand because of the Department of Intellectual Property’s (DIP’s) “innovative step examination” procedure, said Chalermsak Kittitrakul, coordinator for access to medicines campaigns at AIDS Access Foundation. When a patent application is submitted to the DIP, the agency makes a formal notification to the public. Patent protection begins from the filing date and extends for up to 20 years. If the application is not opposed, or is opposed but later accepted, the applicant has the option of waiting five years to submit a request to start the examination process, he said.

      A study carried out with the support of the DIP and the Thai Food and Drug Administration found that the large patent examination backlog is attributable both to the innovative step examination and to the multinational pharmaceutical industry, said Chalermsak. Since patent protection begins when an application is filed, multinational drug companies will often send threatening legal notices to generic companies seeking to produce a similar drug even if it’s not yet clear that the patent will be granted, he said. Companies also take advantage of the gap in the patent examination process, he said: The study, on evergreening patents on medicines carried out be an academic team covering patents and patent applications in 2000-2010, showed that most innovative step examination requests for drug patents are submitted to the DIP in the fourth and fifth year.

    • News of 25-year patent term is premature, but expect big pharma changes in China in the near future

      Headlines were generated earlier this week, following a report that China has introduced 25-year patent terms for some innovative drugs. However, it turns out not to be true, with a number of sources confirming that no such changes have yet been implemented. Nevertheless, with a conditional patent term extension for pharmaceuticals products having been proposed by Chinese state institutions – which are also considering other reforms of pharmaceutical IP rights – life sciences innovators ought to keep a close eye on developments in the country. The reports began with a Nikkei Asian Review article on the 16th May…

  • Security

    • Security updates for Friday
    • Summer of Code: Bug found!

      I totally forgot to talk about EFAIL in my last blog posts. It was a little shock when I woke up on Monday, the first day of the coding phase, only to read sentences like “Are you okay?” or “Is the GSoC project in danger?” :D
      I’m sure you all have read about the EFAIL attack somewhere in the media, so I’m not going into too much detail here (the EFF already did a great job *cough cough*). The E-Fail website describes the attack as follows:
      “In a nutshell, EFAIL abuses active content of HTML emails, for example externally loaded images or styles, to exfiltrate plaintext through requested URLs.”

    • Red Hat admin? Get off Twitter and patch this DHCP client bug
    • What You Need to Know About Cryptocurrency ‘Malware’ Found on Ubuntu’s Snap Store
    • Security and privacy: Do you know what’s lurking on your system?

      The first was the kernel. I ended up hand-crafting a kernel, removing anything I thought was unlikely we’d need, then restarting several times when I discovered that the system wouldn’t boot because the things I thought I understood were more … esoteric than I’d realised. I’m not a kernel developer, and this was a salutary lesson in how skilled those folks are. At least, at the time I was doing it, there were less code and fewer options than there are today. On the other hand, I was having to hack back to a required state, and now there are more cut-down kernels and systems to start with than there were back then.

      The other piece I left for last was pruning the installed operating system applications and associated utilities. Again, there are cut-down options that are easier to use now than then, but I also had some odd requirements—I believe that we needed Java, for instance, which has, or had …. well let’s say a lot of dependencies. Most modern Linux distributions start off by installing lots of pieces so you can get started quickly without having to worry about trying to work out dependencies for every piece of external software you want to run.

  • Defence/Aggression

    • An Iranian Viewpoint on the Battle for Syria

      This policy has continued to the present. In the summer of 2012, the U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency outlined their strategy in a secret document : “THERE IS THE POSSIBILITY OF ESTABLISHING A DECLARED OR UNDECLARED SALAFIST PRINCIPALITY IN EASTERN SYRIA (HASAKA AND DER ZOR).”The U.S. looked favorably on what the document predicts will be the creation of the “Islamic State”: “THIS IS EXACTLY WHAT THE SUPPORTING POWERS TO THE OPPOSITION WANT, IN ORDER TO ISOLATE THE SYRIAN REGIME…”.

      Then, in a leaked audio conversation with Syrian opposition figures in September, Secretary of State John Kerry said the U.S., rather than seriously fight Islamic State in Syria, was ready to use the growing strength of the jihadists to pressure Assad to resign, just as outlined in the DIA document.

      “We know that this was growing, we were watching, we saw that Daesh [a derisive name for Islamic State] was growing in strength, and we thought Assad was threatened,” Kerry said. “We thought however we could probably manage that Assad might then negotiate, but instead of negotiating he got Putin to support him.”

      Russia began its military intervention in late September 2015 without the United States, with the Kremlin’s motives made abundantly clear by Vladimir Putin and other Russian officials. But such clear explanations are rarely reported clearly by Western corporate media, which instead peddles the line from officials and think tanks that Russia is trying to recover lost imperial glory in the Middle East.

      [...]

      The true “state sponsor of terrorism” is not Iran; it is the West and their allies. Since Iran has been fighting ISIS and other extremists in Syria, it is appropriate that the first feature length movie depicting that battle against terrorism and ISIS comes from Iran.

      Hundreds of Iranians have given their lives alongside their Syrian and Iraqi comrades. “Damascus Time” is not the product of Hollywood fantasy; it’s the product of actual human drama and conflict occurring in the Middle East today. “Damascus Time” is fictional but based on a real conflict with actual blood, atrocities, tragedies and martyrs.

    • Blaming the Victims of Israel’s Gaza Massacre

      Monday’s casualties included 1,861 wounded, bringing total injuries inflicted by Israel to 6,938 people, including 3,615 with live fire. Israel is using bullets designed to expand inside the body, causing maximum, often permanent damage: “The injuries sustained by patients will leave most with serious, long-term physical disabilities,” says Médecins Sans Frontières (Ha’aretz, 4/22/18).

    • Gaza & the US Press

      The Palestinian health ministry in Gaza says Israeli soldiers killed at least 60 Palestinians and wounded as many as 2,700 in an eight-hour period pm May 14. Palestinians protesting both the horrific living conditions in Gaza and their inability—despite international law—to leave it, to return to the homes from which they were expelled, along with hundreds of thousands of people, in the 1940s. At the same time—and for many US TV viewers, on a sickening split-screen—Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, celebrating the opening of the US embassy in Jerusalem, declared it a “great day for peace.”

      Media could hardly avoid revealing the disjunction, even as many worked hard to tell you you weren’t seeing what you thought you were seeing—that the overwhelmingly unarmed people were a violent mob, that the snipers picking them off from a distance were defending their lives.

    • US Not Sitting Idly By on Eve of Venezuelan Election

      Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro is the frontrunner in the presidential elections that will take place on Sunday. If past pronouncements and practice by the United States are any indication, every effort will be made to oust an avowed socialist from the the U.S. “backyard.”

      This week, the leftist president of Bolivia, Evo Morales, tweeted: “Before the elections they (U.S. and allies) will carry out violent actions supported by the media and after the elections they will try a military invasion with Armed Forces from neighboring countries.”

      U.S. antipathy towards the Venezuelan government started with the election of Hugo Chávez in 1998, followed by a brief and unsuccessful U.S.-backed coup in 2002. Chávez made the magnanimous, but politically imprudent, gesture of pardoning the golpistas, who are still trying to achieve by extra-parliamentary means what they have been unable to realize democratically. After Chávez died in 2013, the Venezuelans elected Maduro to carry on what has become known as the Bolivarian Revolution.

  • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

  • Finance

    • The Surprising Popularity of ‘Far Left’ Policies

      “The Far Left Is Winning the Democratic Civil War” was the headline over a Washington Post report (5/16/18) on the results of recent primary elections.

      So what counts as “far left” to the Washington Post, the newspaper owned by the world’s richest human?

      [...]

      Scott Wallace in Pennsylvania was described as “the grandson of Henry Wallace, who was Franklin Roosevelt’s vice president for a term, and then ran against Harry Truman, who FDR dumped him for, from the far left in 1948.” Aside from Scott Wallace’s self-description as a “proud progressive” and his promise to “make America sane again,” genealogy was all the Post presented to tie him to the “far left.”

      There were also some candidates who were implicitly placed in the “far left” by the fact that they successfully challenged “Democratic moderates,” thus “causing a new bout of heartburn among party strategists.” For example, Pennsylvania congressional candidate Susan Wild was worrisome because she defeated John Morganelli who “opposes abortion rights and ‘sanctuary cities,’” and whom she criticized for “for speaking positively about Trump and tweeting that he was open to taking a job in the administration during the transition.” You know, like “moderates” do.

  • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • The United States’ New ‘Religious Freedom’ Appointee Is a Religious Bigot

      Tony Perkins does not believe the Constitution protects the religious freedom of Muslims or liberal Christians.

      The newest addition to the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom, Tony Perkins, does not believe in religious freedom.

      Perkins, who was appointed to the post by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), will now serve on a commission that supposedly serves as a watchdog “dedicated to defending the universal right to freedom of religion or belief abroad,” even though he has repeatedly demonstrated that he does not believe in the equal protection of Muslims and others.

      The commission has a long history of politicization, along with anti-Muslim and anti-LGBT bias. Perkins’ inclusion will only continue to undermine its credibility.

      While he claims to support religious freedom, Perkins believes that the Constitution does not protect the rights of Muslims.

    • Federal judge skeptical of lawsuit brought by 3 Democrats against Trump campaign

      A federal judge on Thursday cast doubt on a civil lawsuit brought against the Trump campaign and Roger Stone by three Democrats who claim that election-year WikiLeaks releases destroyed their reputations.

      The hearing put Trump campaign lawyers in the position of arguing in court that there was no collusion between President Donald Trump’s campaign and the Russians — a drama that played out on the one-year anniversary of special counsel Robert Mueller’s criminal investigation into exactly that matter.

    • Trump campaign decries lawsuit claiming Russian link to hacked emails

      A lawyer for U.S. President Donald Trump’s campaign on Thursday rejected as “wild speculation” allegations by three Americans that it conspired with Russians to disseminate their private information from hacked emails to deter them from supporting Hillary Clinton in the 2016 election.

    • “Trump, Inc.” Live: From “The Art of the Deal” to the Dossier

      A few days ago, we held a live taping of the “Trump, Inc.” podcast at The Greene Space in New York City. Tony Schwartz, the co-author with Donald Trump of “The Art of The Deal,” talked with Ilya Marritz from WNYC and Jesse Eisinger from ProPublica about what Schwartz does and does not recognize in President Trump now.

    • How a Typical Government Leak Turned Into a Three-Way War Between Comey, McCabe and Trump

      That conclusion is inescapable if you closely examine the sworn testimony of two erstwhile FBI allies, James Comey and Andrew McCabe, about the leaking episode that led to McCabe’s firing in March. After all, two diametrically opposed accounts can’t both be correct.

      President Donald Trump has seized upon the situation — laid bare in a report from the Justice Department’s inspector general — to assail both men, long among his favored targets for reasons having nothing to do with their veracity. “He LIED! LIED! LIED!” Trump wrote, in a veritable presidential tweet-gasm, hours after the McCabe report’s release. “McCabe was totally controlled by Comey – McCabe is Comey!! No collusion, all made up by this den of thieves and lowlifes!”

      This is much more than a venomous 21st century personal duel — tweet versus tweet at 10 paces. The credibility of Comey and McCabe is crucial, giving Trump every incentive to tar them. The former has offered withering accounts of his interactions with the president. And given what the two men observed both before and after Trump sacked Comey, both could be called on for key testimony in a potential obstruction of justice charge against the president.

    • Making Excuses for Russiagate

      The best evidence that Russia-gate is sinking beneath the waves is the way those pushing the pseudo-scandal are now busily covering their tracks. The Guardian complains that “as the inquiry has expanded and dominated the news agenda over the last year, the real issues of people’s lives are in danger of being drowned out by obsessive cable television coverage of the Russia investigation” – as if the Guardian’s own coverage hasn’t been every bit as obsessive as anything CNN has come up with.

      The Washington Post, second to none when it comes to painting Putin as a real-life Lord Voldemort, now says that Special counsel Robert Mueller “faces a particular challenge maintaining the confidence of the citizenry” as his investigation enters its second year – although it’s sticking to its guns that the problem is not the inquiry itself, but “the regular attacks he faces from President Trump, who has decried the probe as a ‘witch hunt.’”

  • Censorship/Free Speech

    • New Malaysian Prime Minister Who Promised To Kill ‘Fake News’ Law Decides It Might Be Useful Now That He’s In Power

      The “fake news” law erected in Malaysia was put in place to do one thing: allow the government to increase its control of journalists. Top-level corruption needed to be buried, and a “fake news” law seemed like a handy way to do it. The law made one thing clear: the government alone would decide what news was fake. The most likely target appeared to be reporting about the mysterious appearance of $700 million in Prime Minister Najib Razak’s personal bank account.

      The law claimed its first victim shortly after being enacted. A Danish citizen visiting Malaysia was arrested and charged after he posted a YouTube video allegedly misrepresenting the time it took for emergency services to respond to the shooting of a Hamas engineering expert. The man will now spend a month in jail after being unable to pay the $2,500 fine handed down by the court.

      It once looked like the law might be headed for a swift derailment. Mahathir Mohamad promised he would abolish the law entirely if elected Prime Minister. The BBC reports only part of the previous sentence has come to pass.

    • My innocent joke about lingerie and an insidious culture of censorship: Leading academic says trouble caused by a one-liner he cracked in a lift left him reeling

      Maybe, in a crowded lift packed with people whom I didn’t know, I was feeling a little claustrophobic. Maybe I’m too fond of old jokes.

      But when a voice from the front of the elevator called out: ‘What floors would you like, people at the back?’ I retorted: ‘Ladies’ lingerie!’

    • First they came for Josh Blackman: why censorship isn’t the answer

      Having been thinking, reading, speaking, and writing about “hate speech” over the last four decades, I had come to believe that I had nothing new to say, and that all arguments on all sides of the topic had been thoroughly aired.

      That view began to change several years ago, as I started to see increasing activism on campus and beyond in sup­port of various equal rights causes. Having been a student activ­ist myself, I have been thrilled by the recent resurgence of student engagement. I have been disheartened, how­ever, by the fact that too many students and others have called for censoring speakers who don’t share their views, apparently believing that freedom of speech would undermine the social justice causes they champion.

    • Desire for censorship? It’s more likely than you think

      On the heels of World Press Freedom Day – a day designed to raise awareness of the importance of freedom of the press and remind leaders of their duty to uphold and respect the right to freedom of expression – I’m reminded I shouldn’t have to point that fact out.

      Isn’t it 2018? Aren’t we all preaching for acceptance of diversity, as well as diverse thoughts and points of view?

      Not according to some, and that was on full display in the community last week.

      A group of individuals were angry a particular letter had been published in our Letters to the Editor section for it expressing an opinion they disagreed with. Rather than contact us directly and speak with us about the rationale behind why the letter was published, they decided to use social media to slam the Lacombe Globe as if we endorsed the letter or were using it as a “publicity stunt.”

    • Texas A&M Sued for Social Media Censorship

      In what could emerge as an interesting First Amendment test case, Texas A&M University was sued in federal court for allegedly censoring user comments on its official Facebook page. The lawsuit was filed by the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a nonprofit devoted to defending civil liberties online, on behalf of the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. The plaintiffs believe government-owned social media sites should be a forum for public discourse. Since 2016 PETA has been waging a campaign against alleged animal abuse at Texas A&M’s muscular dystrophy dog laboratory, and claims that the university’s social media team has been suppressing user comments about the lab.

    • The Philip Cross Affair

      The operation runs like clockwork, seven days a week, every waking hour, without significant variation. If Philip Cross genuinely is an individual, there is no denying he is morbidly obsessed. I am no psychiatrist, but to my entirely inexpert eyes this looks like the behaviour of a deranged psychotic with no regular social activities outside the home, no job (or an incredibly tolerant boss), living his life through a screen. I run what is arguably the most widely read single person political blog in the UK, and I do not spend nearly as much time on the internet as “Philip Cross”. My “timecard” would show where I watch football on Saturdays, go drinking on Fridays, go to the supermarket and for a walk or out with the family on Sundays, and generally relax much more and read books in the evenings. Cross does not have the patterns of activity of a normal and properly rounded human being.

      [...]

      There is no doubt that Kamm, leader wirter of Murdoch’s Times, is close the the “Philip Cross” operation. Many people believe that Kamm and Cross are the same person, or that Kamm is part of a multiple persona. Six times I have personally had hostile edits to my Wikipedia page by “Philip Cross” made in precise conjunction with attacks on me by Kamm, either on Twitter, in a Times editorial or in Prospect magazine. Altogether “Philip Cross” has made 275 edits to my Wikipedia page. These include calling my wife a stripper, deleting my photo, removing my reply to attacks made on me by Kamm and Harding among others, and deleting my refusal of all honours while a British diplomat.

      Neil Clark and Peter Oborne are among many others who have suffered attacks on them by Philip Cross on Wikipedia simultaneously with attacks by Kamm on other media. Clark is taking Kamm to court for stalking – and “Philip Cross” has deleted all reference to that fact from Kamm’s Wikipedia page.

      What is plain is that Kamm and Cross have extremely similar political views, and that the dividing line of those they attack and those they defend is based squarely on the principles of the Euston Manifesto. This may be obscure, but is in fact an important Blairite declaration of support for Israel and for neo-con wars of intervention, and was linked to the foundation of the Henry Jackson Society. Who do we find editing the Wikipedia entry for the Euston Manifesto? “Philip Cross”.

      What is particularly interesting is that “Philip Cross”‘s views happen to be precisely the same political views as those of Jimmy Wales, the founder of Wikipedia. Jimmy Wales has been on twitter the last three days being actively rude and unpleasant to anybody questioning the activities of Philip Cross. His commitment to Cross’s freedom to operate on Wikipedia would be rather more impressive if the Cross operation were not promoting Wales’ own opinions. Jimmy Wales has actively spoken against Jeremy Corbyn, supports the bombing of Syria, supports Israel, is so much of a Blairite he married Blair’s secretary, and sits on the board of Guardian Media Group Ltd alongside Katherine Viner.

    • UK Gov’t To Allow Citizens To Head To Nearest Newsstand To Buy Porn… Licenses

      The UK government’s continuing efforts to save the country’s children from the evils of internet porn are increasingly ridiculous. Filtering efforts applied by ISPs have managed to seal off access to plenty of non-porn sites while still remaining insanely easy to circumvent. The government — with a straight face — suggested there was nothing not normal about internet customers turning over personal information to ISPs in exchange for the permission to view porn. It’s as if building a database of the nation’s porn aficionados was the government’s original intent.

      Since nothing about this was working about the way the porn filter’s architects (one of whom was arrested on child porn charges) imagined, the UK government decided the same non-functioning tech could be put to work filtering out “terrorist content.” Bad ideas have repeatedly been supplanted by worse ones, and now it appears UK citizens may be able to opt out of ISP porn-related data harvesting by [squints at press report] buying a porn license from their local newsjobber.

    • As Childish Gambino shows, pop music can be powerfully political – despite censorship

      It is a violently subversive darkly comic take on police brutality, white supremacy, and US machismo – and Childish Gambino’s music video, This is America, has been released to critical acclaim, 133,000,000 YouTube hits (and counting), and minimal backlash.

      It may seem incongruous, then, that in 1988, Noam Chomsky and Ed Herman proposed that the media industry would not oppose state or private power in any fundamental way. Herman and Chomsky highlighted five causal factors that led them to this conclusion: concentrated corporate ownership; the prevalence of advertising money; the reliance on official information sources; the disproportionate ability of powerful organisations to issue flak against dissenters, and a pervasive axiom that the Western economic system is a panacea.

    • Rice Bunny: Censorship And #MeToo In China

      As you might know, translating from a language like Mandarin to English is not as simple as say, French to English, especially when it comes to names. Ben, for example, took a Mandarin class and the teacher gave him the name “Jiang Pin Sun” because it sounds kind of like “Ben Johnson.”

      This idea, of phonetic translation, brings us to… Rice Bunny. If you translate the English words “rice” and “bunny” into Chinese, you get something that kind of sounds like “me too.” And if you’ve been an adult on the internet recently, you’re pretty familiar with what “Me Too” means.

      In China, though, the hashtag #metoo is censored; posts containing it are deleted and wiped out forever by government censors. So activists and supporters, who are constantly trying to keep the movement alive, have started using the words for rice and bunny, or the emoji of a a rice bowl and a rabbit.

    • There Is No Magic Bullet For Moderating A Social Media Platform

      Obviously, many of the examples we chose were designed to be challenging (many based on real situations). But the process was useful and instructive. With each question there were four potential actions that the “trust & safety” team could take and on every single example at least one person chose each option. In other words, even when there was a pretty strong agreement on the course of action to take, there was still at least some disagreement.

      Now, imagine (1) having to do that at scale, with hundreds, thousands, hundreds of thousands or even millions of pieces of “flagged” content showing up, (2) having to do it when you’re not someone who is so interested in content moderation that you spent an entire day at a content moderation summit, and (3) having to do it quickly where there are trade-offs and consequences to each choice — including possible legal liability — and no matter which option you make, someone (or perhaps lots of someones) are going to get very upset.

    • Fight Hate Speech with More Speech, Not Censorship: ACLU’s Nadine Strossen

      Few issues are as controversial as the right to free speech, especially when it’s pitted against people’s desire not to feel attacked or hated simply because of their race, gender, or sexual orientation.

      Over the past 20 or 30 years, speech codes have proliferated in the workplace and at colleges and universities. By a narrow margin, says Gallup, today’s college students say promoting an inclusive campus environment is more important than protecting First Amendment rights of free speech. Yet large majorities also say they want a campus in which all speech is allowed and that their own campus stifles free expression.

      Nadine Strossen, who served as the president of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) from 1991 to 2008, is the author of the new book Hate: Why We Should Resist It with Free Speech, Not Censorship, which lays out a compelling argument against policies that try to restrict what individuals are allowed to say. Attempts to legally prevent and criminalize hate speech, Strossen writes, typically end up being used against the very people and groups they are intended to protect. What’s more, she says, the alleged harms caused by ugly speech are routinely overstated.

    • Legislating Censorship in California

      People have a right to hear all sides of controversial issues and to decide for themselves what they want to believe. They should be free to buy books and attend conferences that address controversial topics. Adults should be permitted to seek voluntary, faith-based counseling services that they believe are in their best interest.

      [...]

      Specifically, California Assembly Bill 2943 would make “advertising, offering to engage in, or engaging in sexual orientation change efforts with an individual,” connected with the sale of goods or services, unlawful as a type of consumer fraud. The bill defines “sexual orientation change efforts” as “any practices that seek to change an individual’s sexual orientation. This includes efforts to change behaviors or gender expressions, or to eliminate or reduce sexual or romantic attractions or feelings toward individuals of the same sex.” Of course, the bill does not prohibit those psychotherapies that the government believes are intended to affirm rather than change gender expressions or romantic feelings.

    • Civil liberties group unveils Repeal mural, calls out ‘chilling effect’ of censorship

      A new Repeal the 8th mural, commissioned by the Irish Council for Civil Liberties, was unveiled in Dublin today, as the council said censoring art is “highly questionable” legally. The mural by street artist Giant Sigh, at Bang Bang café in Phibsboro, calls for a Yes vote and is of a figure combining Lavery’s Cathleen Ní Houlihan, familiar from the old pound note, with Rosie the Riveter, the second World War symbol of working women, complete with a Repeal tattoo on her arm.

    • ‘Chilling’ artistic censorship in abortion campaign criticised

      The Irish Council for Civil Liberties has criticised what it has described as censorship in the artistic community surrounding the debate on the Eighth Amendment.

      It said it was concerned at the “chilling effect” of decisions to remove Maser’s Repeal the 8th mural at the Project Arts Centre in Dublin, and to drop a discussion on a new book on the repeal campaign from Dublin’s International Literature Festival.

      The council, which is advocating a Yes vote in the referendum, also cited difficulties encountered by Grace Dyas and Emma Fraser in presenting a touring theatre piece Not At Home, which incorporates testimonies from Irish women and is designed to be accessible to all sides.

    • Here’s How Twitter Is Trying to Stop Bullying and Abuse on Its Service
    • Steam Game Developers That Do Not Censor Sexual Content Will Be Removed: Valve
    • Valve seem to be tightening their rules on games with sexual content
    • [Updated] HuniePop and Other Adult Games Facing Removal From Steam Store
    • Valve’s Inconsistent Rules On Sexy Steam Games Continue To Baffle Devs
    • Mature Visual Novels are at Risk of Being Taken Down from Steam
    • NCOSE Takes Credit For Steam Censoring And Removing Ecchi Games, Visual Novels
    • Sen. Ted Cruz: Social Media Censorship “Real and Present Danger”
    • Iran Tightens Internet Censorship by Requiring Government Agencies to Use State-Approved Search Engines
  • Privacy/Surveillance

    • Real-time Location Data Of Nearly All US Smartphone Users Exposed

      A cell phone tracking service called LocationSmart has been reportedly leaking real-time location data on millions of mobile phone customers across North America.

      Exploiting a bug in its website, anyone could track the location of US cell phone users without obtaining their consent. This bug was spotted by Robert Xiao, a Carnegie Mellon University researcher, in a free trial feature of the website.

    • AT&T Customers Can’t Accelerate NSA Docs Hearing

      A California federal judge summarily refused Wednesday to accelerate a hearing considering access to classified materials sought by AT&T customers pursuing a putative class action over records collected by the National Security Agency.

      U.S. District Judge Jeffrey S. White did little more than sign his name to the NSA’s proposed order refusing to move the hearing up from July 6 to June 8 as the customers wanted, to counteract delays granted the government and address arguments on their standing to sue.

    • Evolving Chrome’s security indicators

      Previously, we posted a proposal to mark all HTTP pages as definitively “not secure” and remove secure indicators for HTTPS pages. HTTPS usage on the web has taken off as we’ve evolved Chrome security indicators. Later this year, we’ll be taking several more steps along this path.

    • Google Chrome To Drop ‘Secure’ Indicator From HTTPS Pages

      Google announced on Thursday in an official blog post that the ‘Secure’ indicator on websites will be removed from September onwards. The move is followed by the gradual shift of web towards adopting HTTPS as the default safety protocol.

    • As the Web moves toward HTTPS by default, Chrome will remove “secure” indicator

      The background to this change is the Web’s gradual migration to the use of HTTPS rather than HTTP. With an ever-growing fraction of the Web being served over secure HTTPS—something now easy to do at zero cost thanks to the Let’s Encrypt initiative—Google is anticipating a world where HTTPS is the default. In this world, only the occasional unsafe site should have its URL highlighted, not the boring and humdrum secure site.

    • Judge Allows Fourth Amendment Challenge Of Warrantless Device Searches At The Border To Continue

      A federal judge has allowed the ACLU, EFF, and the several plaintiffs they represent to continue their Fourth Amendment lawsuit against DHS, ICE, and CBP. The plaintiffs are challenging the Constitutionality of border device searches — something that has skyrocketed in recent years. As it stands now, these agencies believe nothing stronger than reasonable suspicion is needed to perform highly-intrusive searches. In many cases, not even suspicion is needed, thanks to the “border search” exception to the Fourth Amendment courts have carved out for the government.

      Policies for agencies performing border device searches are pretty much identical. All allow searches and seizures of devices without individualized suspicion. This warrantless, suspicionless search may also result in the device being confiscated for weeks or months while a forensic search is undertaken — again, supposedly without violating travelers’ rights. CBP’s policy was altered this year, requiring forensic searches and the mirroring of devices to at least reach the level of reasonable suspicion. Better than ICE’s policy, but still nothing approaching a warrant.

      The government sought to have the lawsuit dismissed, claiming the plaintiffs had no standing to assert violations, much less seek injunctive relief on the theory they would likely be subjected to intrusive device searches the next time they traveled.

    • Apple co-founder: ‘We’ve lost our privacy’

      He also applauded the European Union for its efforts to reclaim back taxes from major companies. The EU has ordered Apple to pay Ireland $15 billion after regulators determined that the country had granted it illegal tax breaks. Apple is appealing the ruling.

    • Steve Wozniak tells us: ‘We’ve lost our privacy and it’s been abused’

      He also hinted it is worth considering whether monopolists like Facebook, Amazon, and Apple should be split up.

  • Civil Rights/Policing

    • Slovakia police criticised over treatment of murdered journalist’s colleague

      “The actions of the National Crime Agency are hostile and seem to point to an investigation of reporters and not the murder of Ján Kuciak,” the OCCRP said in a statement. “We have seen this same behaviour by police in captured states and autocratic regimes. It does not belong in Europe.”

      During the alleged interrogation, it is claimed an attempt was made to download information from her phone using specialist equipment. Holcová was allegedly threatened with a €1,650 (£1,440) fine unless she agreed to cooperate. When the download attempt failed, officers are said to have produced a prosecutor’s order which allowed them to seize it.

    • Haspel Could Be Subject to Arrest Abroad Under Universal Jurisdiction

      Francis Boyle is professor of international law at the University of Illinois College of Law. He is the author of many books on International Law and an outspoken critic of US policy in the Middle East. Boyle’s books include Foundations of World Order and the sequel, Destroying World Order. In the following interview with Pacifica Radio host Dennis J Bernstein, Boyle warns that, among other things, given her background as key implementer of the US torture program, Gina Haspel is vulnerable to be arrested for war crimes and crimes against humanity if she travels abroad.

      [...]

      We have a 600-page executive summary of the Senate Foreign Intelligence Committee’s report on the extent of torture and extraordinary disappearances by the CIA. This is an official US government document. She was not personally named in there, but she was a high-level official who was personally involved. She certainly supervised the operation in Thailand. Under international law, there is a command responsibility. She is denying that she herself physically tortured anyone, but she supervised others doing the torturing. Under international criminal law, she is accountable for the criminal behavior she oversaw.

    • Oakland: The New Gold Standard in Community Control of Police Surveillance

      There is a new gold standard in the movement to require transparency and community engagement before local police departments are permitted to acquire or use surveillance technology. Oakland’s Surveillance and Community Safety ordinance builds upon the momentum of several cities and counties that have enacted laws to protect their residents from the unchecked proliferation of surveillance technology with the power to invade privacy and chill free speech.

      Santa Clara County in Northern California passed the first ordinance of this type in 2016, putting into public view a range of surveillance equipment already in county law enforcement possession and requiring use policies, annual impact reports, and approval at a public hearing before agencies could acquire or use surveillance equipment. Since then, cities across the country, including Seattle, WA; Berkeley, CA; and Davis, CA; have expanded on this model. In addition to reports on the potential risks to civil liberties and privacy, required reporting includes an assessment of whether the surveillance technology’s use would impact or has resulted in a disparate impact on a particular segment of their community.

      Oakland’s Surveillance and Community Safety ordinance raises the floor on what should be expected as additional cities and towns look to embrace these critical protections. For example, Oakland’s ordinance more clearly applies the definition of surveillance technology to include software used for surveillance-based analysis. Also, Oakland’s ordinance sets a new bar in disclosure by expressly prohibiting city agencies from entering into non-disclosure agreements (NDA) or any surveillance-related contract that conflicts with the ordinance.

    • DOJ Still Wants To Lock People Up For Protesting The Government, Or Even Just Talking About It

      The government is still trying to land a conviction from its mass arrest of participants in last year’s Inauguration Day protests in Washington, DC. So far, it has nothing to show for its efforts but a far-too-casual disregard for civil liberties.

      The prosecutions began with the government’s breathtaking demand for the personal info of all 1 million+ visitors to the Disrupt J20 website. From there, things did not improve. The government’s prosecutors accused protest participants of “hiding behind the First Amendment” while attempting to strip away First Amendment protections. One of those charged by the government with rioting was journalist Alexi Wood, who had filmed the protests and had the footage to show he wasn’t a participant in violent or destructive acts.

      The government compounded its unconstitutional behavior in court when its lawyer (Jennifer Kerkhoff) tried to downplay the significance of a foundational part of our justice system — that the accusers must prove “beyond a reasonable doubt” the accused committed a crime.

    • Call Them by Their Names

      The presumption of innocence is supposed to protect those accused of a crime, in law and in the press. In corporate media, that rule also seems to apply to white people who report people of color to the police for doing innocuous things. As FAIR found, their identities are far more closely protected than those of people falsely targeted for “suspicious” behavior.

      In the past few weeks, major news media have been flooded with coverage of incidents of alleged racial profiling and implicit bias—from golfers reported to police for playing “too slowly,” to picnickers fingered for using the wrong type of grill at a park. This coverage was prompted by viral videos and other social media posts released by the accused or by concerned bystanders, in real time or soon after these events occurred. The characters in these stories had one thing in common: The callers and officers involved were white; the alleged offenders, black or brown.

    • ICE Drops Extreme Vetting Software Plan After Discovering No One Could Possibly Deliver What It Wants

      It appears the concept of “extreme vetting” at our borders has been backburnered. The Washington Post is reporting ICE has scrapped plans to acquire software capable of strip-mining immigrants’ social media accounts and converting this info into a RATE MY DANGEROUSNESS number. However, it does not appear the concept is being done away with entirely.

    • ICE just abandoned its dream of ‘extreme vetting’ software that could predict whether a foreign visitor would become a terrorist

      Federal immigration officials have abandoned their pursuit of a controversial machine-learning technology that was a pillar of the Trump administration’s “extreme vetting” of foreign visitors, dealing a reality check to the goal of using artificial intelligence to predict human behavior.

      Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials told tech-industry contractors last summer they wanted a system for their “Extreme Vetting Initiative” that could automatically mine Facebook, Twitter and the broader Internet to determine whether a visitor might commit criminal or terrorist acts or was a “positively contributing member of society.”

    • ‘The Idea of Storytelling Is Just Essential’

      After campus police at Colorado State University pulled two Native American teens off a college tour when a woman told 911 that they were “definitely not” supposed to be there, the school’s president spoke directly to concern about “white supremacists” and their attempt to “frighten and isolate people.” While, if headlines are meant to tell the tale, the New York Times’ “Native American Brothers Pulled From Campus Tour After Nervous Parent Calls Police” fell rather short. Euphemism aside, listeners likely heard about the incident, spotlighted like others, via social media.

      Did you know, though, that fully a third of the senior Interior Department officials reassigned in Secretary Ryan Zinke’s recent reshuffle are Native American, even though Native Americans make up less than 10 percent of the department’s workforce? Sources say it’s part of Zinke’s barely veiled plan to remove obstructions to extractive industry. That news, reported by Alice Ollstein at Talking Points Memo—and that’s about it—is also a story about indigenous people and their life in 2018 America. Isolated snapshots of outrageous harms are a meager substitute for genuine coverage of a complex community. There are plenty of things that won’t be captured on cellphone cameras.

  • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

    • RIPE76 Presentation Archive
    • All California Kids Deserve Internet Access—Including Youth in Detention and Foster Care

      A 2014 report by the National Institute of Justice, part of the Department of Justice’s Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, highlighted the counterproductive nature of punitive policies in the juvenile justice system. They simply don’t work. It would be more effective to provide incarcerated youth with educational opportunities so they don’t fall behind their peers, ensuring they have a fair shot at integrating back into society. California has an opportunity to accomplish exactly this by providing the state’s juvenile offenders with access to quality education resources though the Internet.

      Juvenile facilities and state-run foster care programs across California don’t have to provide youth with Internet access for educational purposes. Assemblymember Mike Gipson introduced a bill, A.B. 2448, that aims to fix this problem. The bill ensures that juvenile detention facilities provide youth with access to Internet and computer technology for educational purposes. It also encourages those facilities to provide Internet access for youth to remain in contact with family members. Additionally, youth in foster homes will be given access to the Internet for age-appropriate enrichment and social activities.

    • Here’s the Name of Every Senator Who Voted Against Net Neutrality—and When to Vote Them Out
    • The ‘Race To 5G’ Is Largely Just Marketing Nonsense

      By now you’ve probably been informed that the next-generation of wireless broadband technology is going to revolutionize everything. Much like they did with 3G and 4G, wireless carriers like AT&T, Verizon, Sprint and T-Mobile have repeatedly hyped the fifth-generation (5G) wireless standard, insisting that the technology will somehow usher forth a “societal transformation” that’s going to have a magical, cascading impact on every sector in technology, from the internet of (broken) things to the smart cities and self-driving car technologies of tomorrow.

    • The Path to Victory on Net Neutrality in the House of Representatives and How You Can Help

      The United States Senate has voted to overturn the FCC and restore net neutrality protections, the fate of that measure currently rests in the House of Representatives. While many will think that the uphill battle there makes it a lost cause, that is simply not true. Together, we have the power to win in the House of Representatives.

      Now that the Senate has officially voted 52-47 to reverse the FCC’s so-called “Restoring Internet Freedom Order” under an expedited procedure known as the Congressional Review Act (CRA). It is now pending a vote in the House of Representatives. And while many will incorrectly assume since House Republican leadership has expressed their opposition to ever voting on net neutrality, nothing will come of it, the wishes of the leadership are frankly irrelevant.

      What actually matters is whether 218 members of the House of Representatives from either party want to vote to protect net neutrality through a process called a “discharge petition.”

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Robot inventors are on the rise. But are they welcomed by the patent system?

      This article is brought to you based on the strategic cooperation of The European Sting with the World Economic Forum.

      Author: Kay Firth-Butterfield, Head, Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning, World Economic Forum LLC & Yoon Chae, Prior Fellow, World Economic Forum Center for the Fourth Industrial Revolution; Intellectual Property Associate, Baker McKenzie.

    • Warburg Pincus sells ipan to Castik Capital

      Warburg Pincus has sold intellectual property management service ipan Group to Castik Capital.

      Since its acquisition by Warburg Pincus in 2014, ipan has more than tripled its revenues.

      Earlier this year, ipan further expanded its product offering by launching ip-x-change, a new open platform for IP related Software and Services.

    • Magistrate Disclosure of Daughter’s Summer Associate Employment

      I thought this was interesting. Magistrate’s daughter will be a summer associate at the patentee’s firm, and so she disclosed it to the parties and invited their views on whether they thought the case should be reassigned. It is Pacific Coast Building Products, Inc. v. Certainteed Gypsum, available here.

      When I was clerking for the CAFC a few years ago, as clerks we avoided cases where we had any entanglement as an internal procedure, but I thought this was interesting because obviously the patentee’s firm knew it was going to hire the daughter, and the magistrate thought it wasn’t a conflict, but wanted the facts out there.

    • UK publishes Trade Secrets Regulations 2018

      The main change from the draft is the introduction of a new third regulation that seeks to set out the relationship between trade secrets and the existing law of confidential information

      The UK government published the Trade Secrets Regulations 2018 today after the legislation was laid before parliament.

    • Trademarks

      • Big Barber Chain Bullies Owner Of Single Barbershop Over Using The Name ‘Tommy’

        There are a couple of things to note here. Tommy Gun’s applied for its trademark in Canada in 2009. Luong opened his shop under its current name in 2003. At that time he also registered his business with the local government, something that Tommy Gun’s is insisting he change as well. Tommy Gun’s own LinkedIN page suggests that the chain was founded in 2009, meaning that Luong was using the name in commerce first. If anything, it seems that Luong should have been the one to have fired off a C&D rather than the other way around.

      • CJEU rules innovative products alone do not make marks distinctive

        Triggerballs’ failed attempt to register a 3D mark for its massage ball follows a growing trend of reluctance for EU courts to grant trade mark rights in shapes

        The Court of Justice of the European Union ruled on May 16 that a trade mark does not have distinctive character because the product it covers is innovative.

      • China to become biggest foreign trade mark filer – CompuMark report

        China is set to overtake the US as the biggest foreign trade mark filer by 2020, according to a CompuMark study published today.

      • Food Fight Over: New Jersey Turnpike Authority Gets Told To Pound Sand By PTAB Over Florida Pizza Company’s Logo

        You may recall that way back in early 2015, we discussed the absurd story of the New Jersey Turnpike Authority suing Jersey Boardwalk Pizza for trademark infringement. At issue was that the pizza joint’s owners, both from New Jersey, had crafted a clever logo that mimicked the logo for the Garden State Parkway, except it altered all the words to be the parlor’s name and the food it served. It was a clear homage. Nobody denied it. That didn’t change the fact, however, that the NJ Turnpike Authority is both not in the business of selling pizza, nor is it in the business of being in Florida. As such, there was zero potential for customer confusion, and the court dismissed the case.

        You would have thought that would be the end of this story. But, no, the NJTPA decided to go the trademark office and try to have the pizza parlor’s trademark invalidated.

      • Pizza fight may be lost after feds deliver burn to N.J. in trademark case

        New Jersey has lost a significant battle against the owners of a small Florida-based pizza franchise whose owners modeled their advertising logo after the state’s Garden State Parkway sign.
        logos-border.jpgJersey Boardwalk Pizza has been using the logo on the left to advertise its business. The New Jersey Turnpike Authority argues its too similar to the Parkway logo. File photo

        Three administrative judges with the United States Patent and Trademark Office ruled Monday that Jersey Boardwalk Pizza can continue to use its logo, which the New Jersey Turnpike Authority argued was confusingly similar to the Parkway logo.

    • Copyrights

      • How The Record Labels Screwed Up The Music Industry, And The Tech Industry Saved Them

        If you’ve been following how much the record labels stumbled around the internet for the past couple of decades, then you know the basics here. But time has a way of erasing some of the nuances of history, and I find it incredible to watch the RIAA and the record labels these days walking around proudly acting as if they were the ones who “saved” the music industry by embracing streaming services that now make up the bulk of the recording industry’s revenues. Indeed, as we’ve pointed out for years, the recording industry has a very long history of overvaluing the music and undervaluing the services that people want. They’ve spent so long insisting that the music is the sole source of the value of what they produce, that they always downplay (or entirely erase) the rest of the equation: getting the music to fans in a manner that is convenient, reasonable, and non-burdensome. Instead, they always focus on killing the golden goose — insisting that any successful music tech service pay them more and more until they’re squeezed dry.

        Over at Motherboard, Ernie Smith, has a good history of how the recording industry screwed up streaming in the early days (unfortunately he does what most people do and refers to what’s really the “recording industry” as the “music industry” — and also simplifies the history to be just one round of mistakes, rather than many, many mistakes leaving a graveyard of dead tech companies in its wake — but the overall article is still excellent). It’s a very instructive piece in detailing exactly how the record label bosses were so focused on making sure that they had control and limits, that they didn’t care at all about providing a service that people actually wanted. Much of it focuses on the two idiotic music label-approved streaming services that the industry tried to launch MusicNet and PressPlay (which we dubbed MusicNot and PressPause way back in 2001). Smith details how both services were built entirely focused on “how do we protect our revenue stream” rather than “how do we serve the customer.”

      • De Gaulle’s manuscripts: ‘public archives’ and ‘public domain’ – same difference in France?

        Last month, the Conseil d’Etat, the highest administrative court in France, declared that the 313 manuscripts and telegrams written by Charles de Gaulle between 11 December 1940 and 11 December 1942 were official public archives belonging to the state of France (see herein French). As a result, the manuscripts written by the former French President and leader of the Resistance during the Second World War will soon be made available to the public as opposed to becoming part of a private collection. For many historians and public domain enthusiasts, the decision reads as a win. The dispute was not one of copyright but rather of heritage law, leaving the status of these archives in relation to the (copyright) public domain in need of further clarification. Indeed, war-time copyright material is eligible for a special type of protection in France… Read on for more on this.

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