Links 28/5/2018: Linux 4.17 RC7, Fedora 26 EOL Soon

Posted in News Roundup at 3:48 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Desktop

    • First look: One Mix Yoga running Ubuntu 18.04 Linux

      The One Netbook One Mix Yoga mini PC will ship with Windows 10 when it hits the streets in the coming weeks, but since I’ve been testing a pre-production prototype sent to me by the folks at Geekbuying (who are taking pre-orders for $460), I figured I’d see how it handles the recently-released Ubuntu 18.04 Linux operating system.

      For the most part it was smooth sailing, but there was one major issue: the Ubuntu didn’t recognize the little computer’s audio hardware out of the box. So while the keyboard, optical touch pointer, touchscreen, and digital pen all worked out of the box, audio did not.

    • How Linux Can Make Your Life Easier

      Linux is an Operating System (more specifically a kernel) that provides an interface between the computer hardware and the user. Like Microsoft Windows and OS X, Linux provides a platform to the users, enabling them to carry out their daily chores on their beloved computer. And in case you dual-booted or installed Linux on your computer or are just curious to know how Linux can make your life easier, then, you are at the right place.

    • Why I use a Mac computer, but an Android phone

      Yes, you could use a flavour of Linux on cheaper hardware, but then you trade the great Mac graphical interface with the ones available to Linux.

      You can fight me in the comments, but deep down you know I’m right.

      MacOS comes with Bash, and many of the tools those familiar with Linux would expect to have by default in their favourite distribution, including basics like “whois”, which aren’t installed in Windows by default.

    • Everything you knew about Chromebooks is wrong

      The original assumed vision of the Chromebook platform was a laptop and operating system capable of running only the Chrome web browser. You could do anything you wanted, as long as you wanted to stay on the web at all times.

      Today, the best new Chromebooks can runs apps from three additional operating systems.

      Not only do Chromebooks run apps, but they run more apps without dual- or multi-booting than any other computing platform. Chromebooks can run apps from Android, Linux and Windows concurrently in the same session.

    • Librem 13: A few problems

      I bought my old Lenovo Thinkpad X1 Carbon (1st gen.) when I entered grad school for my Master’s program, in 2012. And after six years, the Thinkpad still ran well, but it was getting old, so I figured it was time for a change. I went back and forth about what kind of system should replace my laptop. I don’t travel that much, so I figured a desktop would be better. And I could get a bigger screen.

      After going back and forth on the decision, I decided to get a laptop. I don’t often travel with a laptop, but when I do, I prefer to use my primary system so I don’t have to keep things synced. Of course, I wanted my system to run Linux. Purism is aimed at the Linux laptop market, and I wanted to support that. So I bought a Librem 13.

      I’ve had it now for about a week, and I love it now. But I’ll be honest, I didn’t love it right out of the box. I’d like to note two issues for folks who are thinking about getting a Librem laptop, so you aren’t surprised like I was.

    • Dell Precision ‘Developer Edition’ mobile workstations run Ubuntu Linux and are RHEL certified

      While Dell is mostly known as a Windows PC manufacturer, the company is also a big proponent of Linux. Its “Developer Edition” models can be configured with Ubuntu, for instance. Of course, despite this branding, non-developers can buy them too. The XPS 13 “Developer Edition” in particular is a svelte machine that should make many home Linux users very happy.

      In addition to home users, Dell manufactures solid business-class mobile workstations, and the company recently announced four such Linux-powered models. These Precision “Developer Edition” laptops run Ubuntu and are RHEL certified. One of these notebooks, the Precision 3530, is available today, while the other three will be available soon.

    • Dell refreshes Precision laptops with Ubuntu Linux pre-installed

      It’s been a little over a year since Dell updated its Precision mobile workstation line, which is notable for its inclusion of the Ubuntu flavor of Linux as an operating system option alongside Windows 10. But last week, the company refreshed the laptop lineup without much fanfare, starting with the entry-level Precision 3530.

  • Server

    • What is a Linux server and why does your business need one?

      IT organizations strive to deliver business value by increasing productivity and delivering services faster while remaining flexible enough to incorporate innovations like cloud, containers, and configuration automation. Modern workloads, whether they run on bare metal, virtual machines, containers, or private or public clouds, are expected to be portable and scalable. Supporting all this requires a modern, secure platform.

      The most direct route to innovation is not always a straight line. With the growing adoption of private and public clouds, multiple architectures, and virtualization, today’s data center is like a globe, with varying infrastructure choices bringing it dimension and depth. And just as a pilot depends on air traffic controllers to provide continuous updates, your digital transformation journey should be guided by a trusted operating system like Linux to provide continuously updated technology and the most efficient and secure access to innovations like cloud, containers, and configuration automation.

    • Linux+ Certification and InfoSec Institute’s Linux-related Training and Courses

      Linux operating system (OS) is used by many users both at home and at the office: it is running on personal computers, mobile devices, and web server systems on-premise, hosted or in the cloud. So, why so many Linux addicts? Free, open-source and with a community of enthusiastic supporters and experts, Linux is the choice of many for private and commercial purposes, as it allows total control and customization capabilities.

    • IBM wins $310 mil. contract with KB Kookmin

      KB Kookmin has decided to continue its controversial partnership with IBM, which offered heavy discounts to supply its mainframe system for use in the bank’s banking application system.

      The monetary value of the deal is estimated at 340 billion won ($310 million). KB Kookmin will hold a board meeting later this week to fix the budget for the system renewal, bank officials said Monday.

  • Kernel Space

    • Linux 4.17-rc7

      So this week wasn’t as calm as the previous weeks have been, but despite
      that I suspect this is the last rc.

      This week we had the whole “spectre v4″ thing, and yes, the fallout from
      that shows up as part of the patch and commit log. But it’s not actually
      dominant: the patch is pretty evenly one third arch updates, one third
      networking updates, and one third “rest”.

      The arch updates are largely – although not exclusively – spectre v4.

      The networking stuff is mostly network drivers, but there’s some core
      networking too.

      And “the rest” is just that – misc drivers (rdma, gpu, other),
      documentation, some vfs, vm, bpf, tooling..

      The bulk of it is really pretty trivial one-liners, and nothing looks
      particularly scary. Let’s see how next week looks, but if nothing really
      happens I suspect we can make do without an rc8.

      Shortlog appended as usual. Go out and test.

    • Linux 4.17-rc7 Released: Linux 4.17.0 Might Be Out Next Week

      While this past week for kernel development has been busier than in prior weeks, Linus Torvalds today released Linux 4.17-rc7 and feels the official/stable release might be ready next week.

    • Graphics Stack

      • Vulkan Virgl Has Kicked Off For Supporting This Graphics/Compute API Within VMs

        Of the hundreds of projects for this year’s Google Summer of Code, there are many interesting GSoC 2018 projects but one of those that I am most excited for is Vulkan-Virgl for getting this modern API supported with hardware acceleration by guest virtual machines.

        As implied by the name, this effort is based upon the Virgl project started by David Airlie and originally tasked with getting OpenGL acceleration to guest VMs using a fully open-source Linux driver stack. Virgl has been in good shape for a while now with OpenGL, while this summer the hope is to get the Vulkan API support going for opening up VMs to using this high-performance graphics and compute API.

      • AMDVLK Driver Lands Half-Float Additions, Many Other Improvements

        There’s been another weekly-ish public code push to the AMDVLK open-source AMD Vulkan Linux driver stack and this time around it’s heavy on feature work.

        There has been a fair amount of changes pertaining to half-float (FP16) support including support for the AMD_gpu_shader_half_float extension, prepping for VK_AMD_gpu_shader_half_float_fetch, FP16 interpolation intrinsics and register settings, and more.

      • Vega M Graphics On Intel Kabylake G CPUs Are Beginning To Work Under Linux

        We have been covering the Linux driver upbringing of “Vega M” for the Vega/Polaris graphics found in select newer Intel “Kabylake G” processors. The code is still in flight before it will work in all released versions of the Linux driver components, but for those willing to build the code or rely upon third party repositories, Vega M is now working on Linux.

        As I have covered in various past articles, the open-source driver support for Radeon Vega M is queued into DRM-Next for the upcoming Linux 4.18 kernel cycle, Mesa 18.1 albeit with new hardware I always recommend using the latest Git (current Mesa 18.2), and there are also binary GPU microcode files needed too.

      • DXVK for Direct3D 11 with Vulkan in Wine has another update with 0.53

        DXVK [GitHub] advances so quickly it’s really quite incredible, it had a release only a few days ago and here we are with another.

        No big new features with this release, as it’s mainly to clean up some issues. Two regressions were fixed from the previous release with World of Warcraft, Far Cry 3 and Nier: Automata.

      • DXVK 0.53 Released With Many Fixes

        Less than one week after releasing DXVK 0.52, the DXVK 0.53 release is now available for running Direct3D 11 games/applications over Vulkan.

    • Benchmarks

      • 12-Way Linux Graphics Card Comparison Using The Newest May 2018 Drivers

        Here is a look at twelve different AMD Radeon and NVIDIA GeForce graphics cards while testing was done using the newest available graphics drivers and using an Ubuntu 18.04 LTS installation.

        With the Phoronix.com 14th birthday coming up in two weeks as well as marking the 10th birthday of the initial Phoronix Test Suite release, a lot of exciting benchmarks are coming in the days to come. For kicking off the latest of some large comparisons to come are some fresh graphics card benchmarks using the newest and continuously evolving open-source Radeon graphics drivers as well as the latest NVIDIA 396 Linux driver, which is also exciting due to the roll-out of their new LLVM-based SPIR-V compiler.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • Jade: New Linux Desktop Built On Python, HTML5 & JavaScript

      The Jade Desktop Environment is a new effort at delivering another Linux desktop option.

      The Jade Desktop is built on Python, HTML5, CSS, and JavaScript for delivering a new Linux desktop experience primarily built atop of web technologies but using GTK with WebKit2 for the tool-kit. Jade is licensed under the GNU GPLv2.

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • Plasma 5.13 – Amazing Tux, How Sweet Plasma

        Plasma 5.13 is (going to be) a very nice release. It builds on the solid foundation that is the LTS edition, and adds cool, smart touches. The emphasis is on seamless integration of elements, which is what separates professionals from amateurs. It’s all around how the WHOLE desktop behaves, and not individual programs in isolation. And Plasma is making great strides, offering a polished version of an already mature and handsome product, with extra focus on fonts, media and browser connectivity and good performance.

        There are some rough patches. Apart from the obvious beta issues, those goes without saying, KDE Connect ought to be a true multi-phone product, the network stack really needs to be spotless, and that means full Microsoft Windows inter-operability, Spectacle should allow for configurable shadows and alpha channel, and I want to see if the decorative backend has been cleaned up, i.e. can you search and install new themes and icons without encountering useless errors and inconsistencies.

        But all in all, I’m quite impressed. The changes are big and noticeable, and above all, meaningful. You don’t just get features for the sake of it, you get things that improve the quality and consistency of the desktop, that maximize fun and productivity, and there’s deep thought in orchestrating it all together. It ain’t just a random bunch of options that happen to work. I like seeing patterns in things, and I’m happy when there’s functional harmony. This spring season of distro testing hasn’t been fun, and Plasma 5.13 is balm for my weary wrists, so hurting from all that angry typing. More than worth a spin, and highly recommended. Full steam on, Tuxers.

      • This week in Usability & Productivity, part 20

        Here’s some more Usability and Productivity! This week a ton of bugs got stamped out, some of them serious and long-standing. There’s also a lot more goodness that’s in the works, but not quite finished yet, so stay tuned for next week…

      • Krita Interview with Răzvan Rădulescu

        Hi! My name’s Răzvan Rădulescu, I’m from Romania. I’ve had an interest in drawing since I was little. Unfortunately Romania is one of those countries that can crush creativity at a very early stage. At the time I was also interested in computers and started learning programming by myself, finally ended up doing physics in college and about three years ago I started playing with the idea of digital drawing and painting. The first two years have been painting on and off different things to get the hang of it, but about a year ago I decided to think about this path as more than just a hobby.

      • Krita Manual Updated
      • 2018 KDE Connect Development Sprint

        Between the 23rd and 25th of March, KDE Connect developers gathered in Verse’s offices in Barcelona to work together for a weekend. It was the first meeting KDE Connect had in a while, and it was very productive!

        It’s been some time since the sprint, and the work carried out there has already started to trickle down into our devices. Nevertheless, we wanted to shed some light on our accomplishments, and encourage everyone to participate.

        Holding discussions and making decisions is much easier in person. We kicked off the sprint by going through our backlog of ideas to decide what was worth implementing. That helped us set the focus for the sprint and resume some blocked tasks.

      • A Quick Look At What’s Coming To KDE Connect
      • Second week of coding phase, GSoC’18

        The week was totally involved in developing QML APIs similar to WebExtension APIs.

      • Shadows in Window Screenshots

        Every few months there is a review about Plasma by dedoimedo and one critic point is that screenshots include the shadow. As I’m rather annoyed of these complaints about this I’m now doing a blog post to explain the situation so that in future this can be skipped.

        Shadows in the screenshots are not a bug, but an intended feature. It was implemented by me in 2010 on request by Nuno Pinheiro, our Oxygen god. Before screenshots did not support shadows and looked really, really bad as the window decorations are round and contained black corners. Shadows were part of the design and that was completely lacking. So we came up with a rather decent solution on how to screenshot the window with shadows included. I first mentioned this new effect in this blog post from August 2010.

      • Summary of my first two weeks at GSoC
    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

      • Games, Tests and GitLab CI

        We are getting midterm of the GNOME 3.30 development cycle and many things already happened in the Games world. I will spare the user facing news for later as today I want to tell you about development features we desperatly needed as maintainers: tests and continuous integration.

        TL;DR: GLib, Meson, Flatpak and GitLab CI make writing and running tests super easy!

      • Someone Donated $1 Million to the GNOME Foundation Anonymously

        An anonymous entity just pledged to donate $1 million to the GNOME foundation over the next two years. Any guesses who could be this anonymous donor?

      • Thoughts on Flatpak after four months of Epiphany Technology Preview

        It’s been four months since I announced Epiphany Technology Preview — which I’ve been using as my main browser ever since — and five months since I announced the availability of a stable channel via Flatpak. For the most part, it’s been a good experience. Having the latest upstream development code for everything is wonderful and makes testing very easy. Any user can painlessly download and install either the latest stable version or the bleeding-edge development version on any Linux system, regardless of host dependencies, either via a couple clicks in GNOME Software or one command in the terminal. GNOME Software keeps it updated, so I always have a recent version. Thanks to this, I’m often noticing problems shortly after they’re introduced, rather than six months later, as was so often the case for me in the past. Plus, other developers can no longer complain that there’s a problem with my local environment when I report a bug they can’t reproduce, because Epiphany Technology Preview is a canonical distribution environment, a ground truth of sorts.

      • Five or More Modernisation Overview

        Before jumping right into the Five or More implementation plan and details, I would like to keep you updated with the progress made thus far.

        I started working on some project-related tasks during the community bonding period, to cover up for the upcoming exam and research session and any other time frame in which I might not be as active as I would like to. Also, during this period, I had a previously announced one week trip, which kept me from working more on the project.


        Then, I intend to create a basic Vala app and window based on the template generated by GNOME Builder, only using the UI file that already exists in the Five or More repository. If everything goes as planned, I will start adding one component at a time in the short run, starting with the application menu, the callbacks for the UI buttons, the preferences window, the score and the preview widgets, and lastly, the game area.

      • LAS @ GiNA Planning + GNOME 3.26 Release Party in SF

        GNOME in North America (this isn’t official, but it’s the name we’re proposing for the event in North America that is a consolidation of the Boston Summit and the West Coast Summit)

  • Distributions

    • Sad News! Development Stopped for Korora and BackSlash Linux

      It seems more and more small distributions are facing a had time. Recently we saw the crisis at Void Linux. Now we have two more small Linux distributions calling it quit, albeit temporarily.

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandriva Family

    • OpenSUSE/SUSE

      • openSUSE Conference 2018

        This year openSUSE conference was held in Prague and, thanks to both my employer and openSUSE conference organizers, I’ve been able to spend almost a full day there.

        I’ve headed to Prague with a Fleet Commander talk accepted and, as openSUSE Leap 15.0 was released Yesterday, also with the idea to show an unattended (“express”) installation of the “as fresh as possible” Leap 15.0 happening on GNOME Boxes.

        The conference was not so big, which helped to easy spot some old friends (Fridrich Strba, seriously? Meeting you after almost 7 years … I have no words to describe my happiness on seeing you there!), some known faces (as Scott, with whom I just meet at conferences :-)) and also meet some people who either helped me a lot in the past (here I can mention the whole autoyast team who gave me some big support when I was writing down the autoinst.xml for libosinfo, which provides the support to do openSUSE’s express installations via GNOME Boxes) or who have some interest in some of the work I’ve been doing (as Richard Brown who’s a well-know figure around SUSE/openSUSE community, a GNOME Boxes user and also an enthusiastic supporter of our work done in libosiinfo/osinfo-db).

    • Red Hat Family

      • Demand rising for people with skills in open source tools: Red Hat

        Red Hat, a major global player in open source solutions, is planning to expand its outreach programme to create human resources with skills required for its clients.

        Red Hat Academy, an arm of Red Hat, runs about 250 academies in various educational institutions in the country. “We have 1,000 such academies across the world. Of this, 500 are in the Asia-Pacific region,” Shirish Pandey, APAC Lead for Red Hat Academy, told BusinessLine.

        The academy offers open source and Linux curriculum programmes in engineering colleges.

      • Ascend Money selects Red Hat to process payments across Southeast Asia

        Thailand-based Ascend Money has selected open source solutions provider Red Hat to carry out and accelerate electronic payments across Southeast Asian region.

      • Ascend Money Selects Red Hat Solutions to Accelerate Electronic Payment Systems Across Southeast Asia

        Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform, Red Hat Ansible Automation, and Red Hat Satellite help address technical debt, enable more agile and rapid deployment of payment services

      • Fedora

        • Fedora 26 end of life approaching

          As readers may be aware, Fedora 28 recently released to great acclaim. That means Fedora 26 hits its End of Life (EOL) status on June 1, 2018. Read more here about what this means, and what steps you can take with your older Fedora systems.

          After June 1, packages in the Fedora 26 repositories no longer receive any security, bugfix, or enhancement updates. Furthermore, at that point the community adds no new packages to the F26 collection.

        • Building Legacy 2.0

          Ansible, while being agent-less, is not interpreter-less and requires a working Python installation on the target machine. Up until Ansible 2.3 the minimum Python version was 2.4, which is available in EL5. Starting with Ansible 2.4 this requirement has been bumped to Python 2.6 to accommodate future compatibility with Python 3. Sadly Python 2.6 is not easily available for EL5 and people who want/need to manage such old systems with Ansible have to find a new way to do so.

          First, I think it’s actually not possible to effectively manage a RHEL5 (or any other legacy/EOL system). Running ad-hoc changes in a mostly controlled manner – yes, but not fully manage them. Just imagine how much cruft might have been collected on a system that was first released in 2007 (that’s as old as Debian 4.0 Etch). To properly manage a system you need to be aware of its whole lifecycle, and that’s simply not the case here. But this is not the main reason I wanted to write this post.

        • Get the FESCo badge/FESCo nomination period extended
    • Debian Family

      • Shutter, a nice Perl application, may be removed from Debian

        Debian is moving away from Gnome2::VFS. This obsolete module will be removed from next release of Debian.

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Memorial Day Weekend 2018

            What is new in Ashtabula?

          • Flavours and Variants

            • Pop!_OS 18.04 LTS

              Pop!_OS is an Ubuntu-based distribution from System76, a Colorado-based company that sells computers with Linux pre-installed. The first release of Pop!_OS, version 17.10, was interesting and provided a very nice experience, but mostly involved pulling what System76 felt was the best bits from various upstream sources and combining them into a cohesive whole. While Pop!_OS 17.10 was fairly conservative, Pop!_OS 18.04 LTS provides some major new features, some of which are quite interesting. For example: GRUB has been replaced with systemd-boot and a tool called kernelstub, and there is a recovery partition, so a USB flash drive is no longer needed to rescue a system (at least in theory, the recovery partition is still a work in progress).

  • Devices/Embedded

Free Software/Open Source

  • Coreboot Picks Up Support For Another Eight Year Old Intel Motherboard

    If by chance you happen to have an Intel DG41WV motherboard, it’s now supported by mainline Coreboot so you can free the system down to the BIOS.

    The DG41WV motherboard comes from the LGA-775 days with an Intel G41 Eaglelake chipset back when DDR3-1066 was great, motherboards topped out with 4GB of RAM, four USB 2.0 ports were suitable, and motherboard PCBs were much less fashionable. The DG41WV was a micro-ATX board and a decent choice for the times to pair with a CPU like the Core 2 Duo or Core 2 Quad.

  • 5 open source tools for building a map app in a snap

    All the attention geographical information systems (GIS) have gotten in recent years may make you think they are something new. In fact, geospatial data helped play a major role more than 160 years ago in identifying the source of the deadly London cholera outbreak of 1854. Dr. John Snow, a local physician, suspected that contaminated drinking water was the source of the disease. During the investigation, he plotted a density map of cholera cases and interviewed residents in the affected neighborhood to learned about their water use habits. His analysis showed a high number of incidents near a communal water pump.

  • The Race for Open Source Neural Machine Translation

    Neural machine translation (NMT) often figures prominently during SlatorCon events, and SlatorCon London held at Nobu Hotel in London Shoreditch on May 17, 2018 was no exception. In his presentation for the event, Jean Senellart, Global CTO of event partner Systran, discussed an aspect of NMT that he found both exciting and scary at the same time: the race for open source.

    Senellart briefly went through the history of 50-year old machine translation company Systran, a company that experienced and was directly involved in production-level deployments of all MT technologies—from rules-based MT to statistical MT to NMT.

  • Tron (TRX) Opensource Wallet DApp Is Being Developed by Marius Gill


    A 19-year-old German developer has been the one in charge of creating Tron’s Opensource Wallet DApp. The name of this genius is Marius Gill, and has been programming since he was just 13 years old.

    The wallet DApp has been launched back in March, 2018, and is a result of the so called Project Genesis. The intention behind it was to encourage the crypto community to bring something new to the cryptocurrency ecosystem – which is in constant development and has great talents.

  • Grow your business without jolts thanks to open source software

    A lot of big software vendors in the market including Microsoft are concerned that the source code of their program is not accessible by third parties. The implication of this is that the ability to develop applications and fix detected errors are vested in the hands of specific developers.

    This is not so with open source software where everyone has access to the source code of a program. Therefore, anyone who knows how to write code can modify, supplement or enhance such program according to their taste.

    Several popular programs such as Firefox or VLC player make use of open source licenses. They function on operating systems such as Windows, Mac,and Linux. Currently, over 300,000 software products have been designed for diverse tasks and purposes.

  • ReactOS 0.4.9 Working On Shell Improvements. Kernel Fixes

    While ReactOS 0.4.8 came out just a month ago, ReactOS 0.4.9 is approaching and currently at the release candidate phase.

    As of this weekend, ReactOS 0.4.9-RC23 is now available as the latest testing build towards ReactOS 0.4.9.

  • Privacy Plugins

    Although your phone is probably the biggest threat to your privacy, your web browser is a close second. In the interest of providing you targeted ads, the web is littered with technology that attempts to track each site you go to via a combination of cookies and JavaScript snippets. These trackers aren’t just a privacy threat, they are also a security threat. Because of how ubiquitous these ad networks are, attackers have figured out ways to infiltrate some of them and make them serve up even more malicious code.

    The good news is that a series of privacy plugins work well with Firefox under Linux. They show up as part of the standard list of approved add-ons and will help protect you against these kinds of threats. Many different privacy plugins exist, but instead of covering them all, in this article, I highlight some of my personal favorites—the ones I install on all of my browsers. Although I discuss these plugins in the context of Firefox, many of them also are available for other Linux browsers. Because all of these plugins are standard Firefox add-ons, you can install them through your regular Firefox add-on search panel.

  • Events

    • Diversity, education, privilege and ethics in technology

      And that is the ultimate fraud: to make the world believe we are harmless little boys, so repressed that we can’t communicate properly. We’re so sorry we’re awkward, it’s because we’re all somewhat on the autism spectrum. Isn’t that, after all, a convenient affliction for people that would not dare to confront the oppression they are creating? It’s too easy to hide behind such a real and serious condition that does affect people in our community, but also truly autistic people that simply cannot make it in the fast-moving world the magical rain man is creating. But the real con is hacking power and political control away from traditional institutions, seen as too slow-moving to really accomplish the “change” that is “needed”. We are creating an inextricable technocracy that no one will understand, not even us “experts”. Instead of serving the people, the machine is at the mercy of markets and powerful oligarchs.

      A recurring pattern at Kubernetes conferences is the KubeCon chant where Kelsey Hightower reluctantly engages the crowd in a pep chant:

      When I say ‘Kube!’, you say ‘Con!’

      ‘Kube!’ ‘Con!’ ‘Kube!’ ‘Con!’ ‘Kube!’ ‘Con!’

      Cube Con indeed…

      I wish I had some wise parting thoughts of where to go from here or how to change this. The tide seems so strong that all I can do is observe and tell stories. My hope is that the people that need to hear this will take it the right way, but I somehow doubt it. With chance, it might just become irrelevant and everything will fix itself, but somehow I fear things will get worse before they get better.

    • Application Modernization and Migration Tech Talk + Scotland JBug Meetup

      I’m heading back to my friends in Scotland to speak at the JBoss User Group (JBug) Scotland next month. It’s a fun group of people who really seem to enjoy working with open source and JBoss software stacks.

      First off, on June 6th there will be a wonderful tech talk on application modernization and migration. This is followed by the JBug Scotland hosting a hands-on workshop. Come and get hands-on experience in a workshop showcasing application development in the cloud using containers, JBoss middleware, services, business logic, and APIs.

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Additions to Firefox’s health dashboard

        At the beginning of the month I came back from my last few weeks of parental leave (thanks Mozilla!). While I was away Sarah Clements took over some Firefox Quantum release criteria work and I’m pleased to see that she managed to tackle everything well by herself.

        Some of the major changes she made was to separate the Quantum criteria page into 32-bit and 64-bit. This simplifies the graphs and allows release stakeholders to see more clearly how one specific architecture is doing.

      • Firefox Developers Still Hesitant About Using EGL Over GLX On X11 Linux

        While Wayland support depends upon EGL and there has been EGL support within Mesa and the other graphics drivers on Linux for a number of years now, Firefox developers are still hesitant about shipping EGL support by default for Firefox on X11.

        A Phoronix reader pointed out a bug report to us where Firefox developers are still apprehensive over using EGL by default for Firefox on Linux/X11, even though Mesa’s EGL support has been relatively solid for years. There’s a belief that the EGL performance is worse off than GLX, but at least some upstream Mesa developers don’t believe that to be the case plus the fact most modern drivers relying upon GLAMOR with EGL/OpenGL for 2D acceleration.

  • SaaS/Back End

    • The Kubernetes ‘fork’: Open source purists miss the point [Ed: Mormon Mac Asay uses religious terms like "purists" to describe the largely atheistic Free software movement in order to make it look toxic and unreasonable]

      Except they clearly don’t, given Red Hat’s OpenShift revenue, which keeps rising. Either those customers are blind to Beda’s argument (similar to those made by another competitor, Canonical, over the years), or they don’t agree with the accusations. Or maybe, just maybe, they don’t care.


    • Emacs 26.1 Brings Double Buffering To Reduce Flickering, Lisp Threads, 24-Bit Colors

      For fans of the GNU Emacs feature-packed text editor, Emacs 26.1 is out this US Memorial Day.

      Emacs 26.1 features a basic limited concurrency implementation by making use of Lisp threads. Another notable change is Emacs on X11 now using double-buffering to reduce screen flickering scenarios.

      Besides the limited form of Lisp threads concurrency and double buffering, Emacs 26.1 also now can optionally display the line numbers in the buffer, redesigned Flymake, a new single-line horizontal scrolling mode, a systemd user unit file is shipped as part of the package, and there is support for 24-bit colors on capable text terminals.

    • Emacs 26.1 released
    • bison-3.0.5 released

      We are happy to announce the release of GNU Bison 3.0.5, a bug fix release.

    • GCC 9 Has Been Landing Many Ada Improvements This Week

      For those still making use of the venerable Ada programming language, the latest development code for GCC 9 of the GNU Compiler Collection has been seeing a number of Ada front-end improvements this week.

      This strongly-typed, object-oriented programming language, that’s quite proven compared to Rust and other attention-getting languages these days, has seen a surprising number of fixes and improvements landing this week into mainline GCC 9. The Ada work in GCC 9 besides various fixes have included some performance improvements, addressing some spurious errors, support for C99/C++ standard boolean types, minor documentation updates, Windows updates, and moe.

  • Public Services/Government

    • FOSSID awarded grant for AI in Open Source Auditing by Sweden’s government agency for innovation

      FOSSID, the world’s largest database for scanning open source code and snippets, today announced it is being awarded a grant of 2 Million SEK (US $250,000) to integrate Artificial Intelligence (AI) technologies into its database and code-scanning tools. The grant is being awarded by Vinnova, Sweden’sgovernment agency focused on research and innovation.

      The FOSSID AI For Open Source Auditing Project will combine the largest and highest performing knowledge base of open source on the market to dramatically cut costs in the software auditing process, reduce risks for tech companies and accelerate overall innovation.

  • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

    • Open Hardware/Modding

      • Flash your Libre Firmware with a Libre Programmer

        Whether or not you personally agree with all the ideals of the Free Software Foundation (FSF), you’ve got to give them credit: they don’t mess around. They started by laying the groundwork for a free and open source operating system, then once that dream was realized, started pushing the idea of replacing proprietary BIOS firmware with an open alternative such as Libreboot. But apparently, even that’s not enough, as there’s still more freedom to be had. We’re playing 4D Libre Chess now, folks.


        Luckily, the FSF has just awarded the Zerocat Chipflasher their “Respects Your Freedom” certification, meaning every element of the product is released under a free license for your hacking enjoyment.

  • Programming/Development

    • 6 Essential Python Tools for Data Science

      Data science is an emerging, multidisciplinary field of scientific methods, processes, algorithm development and technology to extract knowledge or insights in ingenious ways from structured or unstructured data.

      At the heart of data science is data. Buckets loads of it, streaming in and stored in enterprise data warehouses. According to IBM, globally, we currently generate over 2.5 quintillion bytes of data every single day. This data ranges from molecular biology to social media activity, astronomy, climate monitoring to health care. Large data sets are now generated by almost every activity in science, society, and commerce. There’s much to learn by mining that data, finding patterns and making predictions from this data. Data science is ultimately about asking interesting questions, and then finding answers using data that add value.

    • What is behavior-driven Python?

      Have you heard about behavior-driven development (BDD) and wondered what all the buzz is about? Maybe you’ve caught team members talking in “gherkin” and felt left out of the conversation. Or perhaps you’re a Pythonista looking for a better way to test your code. Whatever the circumstance, learning about BDD can help you and your team achieve better collaboration and test automation, and Python’s behave framework is a great place to start.


      The main benefits of BDD are good collaboration and automation. Everyone can contribute to behavior development, not just programmers. Expected behaviors are defined and understood from the beginning of the process. Tests can be automated together with the features they cover. Each test covers a singular, unique behavior in order to avoid duplication. And, finally, existing steps can be reused by new behavior specs, creating a snowball effect.


  • Why digital devices are dope

    Most Indians are tied to their screens though they probably don’t see the extent of their dependence. About 45 per cent of respondents to a recent survey by TOI said they spent more than four hours a day on their phones. If you take away seven hours of sleep and seven hours at a job, that’s almost 40 per cent of your free time spent on a phone. As many as 76 per cent say their phone is the last thing they check just before they go to bed. It’s also the first thing 53 per cent of respondents look at in the morning, even before they use the toilet or brush their teeth. Close to 55,000 readers participated in the TOI survey conducted online.

  • The Airline Geek Trying to Build a Media Giant With No Reporters

    Yoneshige, now 29, realized the perilous situation of Japanese media when he was writing for an airline news website while still in middle and high school. The industry is too heavily staffed and doesn’t make enough money, he says.

  • Science

  • Hardware

    • Atari co-founder Ted Dabney dies

      Dabney was destined to work in tech early on. He learned about electronics while in the US Marine Corps, and took on tech roles at Bank of America and HP soon after leaving the military. His most fateful move, though, was when he joined Ampex in 1961. That gave him early experience with display technology and led him to meet Bushnell, who joined in 1969. They envisioned launching a pizza place with a coin-operated computer gaming system, and… well, you know the rest.

  • Health/Nutrition

  • Security

    • Hacker Summer Camp 2018: Prep Guide

      For those unfamiliar with the term, Hacker Summer Camp is the combination of DEF CON, Black Hat USA, and BSides Las Vegas that takes place in the hot Las Vegas sun every summer, along with all the associated parties and side events. It’s the largest gathering of hackers, information security professionals and enthusiasts, and has been growing for 25 years. In this post, I’ll present my views on how to get the most out of your 2018 trip to the desert, along with tips & points from some of my friends.

    • Open Source Security Podcast: Episode 98 – When IT decisions kill people

      Josh and Kurt talk about the NTSB report from the fatal Uber crash and what happened with Amazon’s Alexa recording then emailing a private conversation. IT decisions now have real world consequences like never before.

    • There are cyber threats to veterans’ medical records [iophk: "Windows TCO; infection misattributed to a thumbdrive rather than the managers that signed off on using Microsoft instead of real software"]

      Veterans have also fallen victim of non-targeted cyber intrusions. Cyber criminals routinely attempt to steal personal health records to sell on the dark web, given how valuable such records are. As an example of a non-targeted cyber attack, the Conficker worm infected 104 medical devices at a U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) hospital in Florida in 2012 simply because a vender [sic] updated the devices with a thumb drive that had unknowingly been infected.

    • USB Reverse Engineering: Down the rabbit hole

      It seems the deeper I went, the more interesting I found the content, and this post grew and grew. Hopefully it will help to shortcut your own journey down this path, and enlighten you to a whole new area of interesting things to hack!

    • Security and Human Behavior (SHB 2018)

      SHB is a small invitational gathering of people studying various aspects of the human side of security, organized each year by Alessandro Acquisti, Ross Anderson, and myself. The 50 or so people in the room include psychologists, economists, computer security researchers, sociologists, political scientists, neuroscientists, designers, lawyers, philosophers, anthropologists, business school professors, and a smattering of others. It’s not just an interdisciplinary event; most of the people here are individually interdisciplinary.

    • The FBI tells everybody to reboot their router
    • FBI: Reboot Your Router Now To Fight Malware That Affected 500,000 Routers

      This week only, Cisco reported about the malware called VPNFilter which is assumed to have targeted around 500,000 routers to create a massive botnet. It’s believed that the malware, having a resemblance to BlackEnergy malware, could have its roots originating in Russia.

    • Buggy software could lock a Jeep’s cruise control

      Fiat Chrysler America is recalling 4.8 million vehicles in the US to fix a software bug that could lock the vehicle’s cruise control.

      Until it’s fixed, owners of some Ram pickups, Jeep SUVs, and other Chrysler and Dodge vehicles are being warned against using cruise control.

  • Defence/Aggression

    • How a Bernie Sanders resolution is normalising the war on terror

      Donald Trump launched his presidency with the killing of nine children. Only a week after taking office, the reality star turned commander-in-chief ordered a made-for-TV raid in the dead of night that saw Navy SEALs storming a rural village in Yemen. A leader of al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula was said to be hiding out there.

      “A fierce gunfight turned into an intense aerial bombardment,” the Bureau of Investigative Journalism reported. By dawn, 14 militants had been killed – along with 25 civilians, among them the 8-year-old daughter of extremist preacher Anwar al-Awlaqi. Awlaqi and his 16-year-old son had already been killed in separate US drone strikes in 2011.


      The resolution was first put forward to vote in the Senate in March, but was defeated. Nevertheless, Sanders intends to bring back the measure for another vote, according to his spokesperson Josh Miller-Lewis .

      “The resolution is concerned specifically with the lack of authorisation for US military support for the Saudi-led war against the Houthis,” he told me in an email exchange.

      Ending the Saudi-led war should be a priority for anyone who values human life. Since 2014, weddings, funerals and street markets have all been bombed by the Saudi coalition. Yemenis are besieged and mortared by Houthi militants, too, but they are killed, overwhelmingly, by the other side, which drops bombs that the US and Europe provide.

      By the end of 2017, according to the United Nations, more than 5,200 civilians had been killed as a result of a war with no clear point or end in sight; tens of thousands more face death from starvation or cholera.

    • Ex-Mossad chief’s ‘off the cuff remark’ prompted CIA to send emergency team to Pakistan

      An “off the cuff-remark” by a former chief of Mossad, Israeli Intelligence agency, prompted the American CIA to send an emergency team to Pakistan to learn if a major conflict between India and Pakistan was imminent in 90s.

      In a recent interview with a magazine and in his book “Head of the Mossad”, Shabtai Shavit has shared his views on a variety of issues.

      According to Shavit, In 1990, during a meeting with chief of CIA’s analysis department at a restaurant in the Israeli capital he made the remarks about India-Pakistan issues.

    • More than 100 killed in Yemen in four days amid heavy fighting

      Heavy fighting in Yemen between pro-government forces and Shiite rebels has killed more than 150 people in the last four days, Yemeni officials and witnesses said on Sunday.

      Government forces have been trying to seize rebel-held areas along the western coast, while an allied Saudi-led coalition has been targeting the rebels with airstrikes in the northwestern Saada province, a rebel stronghold.

    • Former CIA director on North Korea: ‘These folks are not going to get rid of all their nuclear weapons’

      Former CIA Director Michael Hayden said on Sunday that he does not believe North Korea’s claims that it is willing to denuclearize.

      “These folks are not going to get rid of all their nuclear weapons,” he said on ABC’s “This Week.”

    • Iran: Sanctions & War
    • ‘Ehud Barak Gave the Order to Kill’

      Former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak was on the stomp in San Francisco last weekend to promote his new memoir, My Country, My Life. He was met by a group of highly organized young protesters who were interested in a few facts that the former Israeli PM did not include in his new memoir.

      “Ehud Barak gave the order to kill 1,400 Palestinians in Gaza, with 344 children dead,” called out Lauren Holtzman, a member for Jewish Voice for Peace and one of those arrested at the event. “He declared the siege on Gaza, limiting food, medicine and water.” Holtzman was referencing Barak’s responsibility as Israeli Defense Minister for Operation Cast Lead, the Jewish State’s bloody 2008-09 assault on Gaza.

    • Of weddings: royal, bombed & droned

      WILL the new Duchess of Sussex, Meghan Markle speak out against human rights violations caused by drone attacks, more so, because as a newly-wedded bride, she can imagine better how horrible it must be to have one’s wedding party bombed, the bride herself, killed? Body parts scattered… To paraphrase a HRW report title, for A Wedding to Become a Funeral?
      Will her feminist empathy extend to female victims of drone attacks? To say, six-year old Paliko (same age as Markle’s bridesmaid), who was brought to the hospital still wearing her party dress, whose family members had all been killed when a US air patrol had mistaken traditional gunfire to celebrate Pashtun weddings, as enemy fire?
      Most unlikely. For, the murder of civilians is built into the USA’s so-called ‘war on terror’ and, as Binoy Kampark writes, Markle is not there to inflict change upon the institution of monarchy, but to be changed by it.
      And, Grenfell Tower will perhaps be too close to home.

    • Israeli army kills three Gaza militants after foiling border bombing

      Israeli tank shelling killed three members of the Palestinian militant group Islamic Jihad in the Gaza Strip on Sunday, medical officials said, after weeks of border protests that have drawn lethal army fire.


      Islamic Jihad operates with a measure of independence from Hamas, the Islamist group that has controlled Gaza since 2007 and fought three wars against Israel.

      Hostilities over the frontier have soared since Palestinians began mass-demonstrations on March 30, which Israel deems to be cover for attempts to breach the border fence.

      At least 115 Palestinians have been killed and thousands hurt by army gunfire in the protests, drawing foreign censure.

    • Parmanu, the true story of Pokhran: How India ‘fooled’ CIA with historic nuclear test

      On May 13, 1998, at 15:45 hours, India secretly conducted a series of underground nuclear tests with five bombs in Pokhran, Rajasthan. Although this was not the first time the country was testing its nuclear weapons (the first successful test took place in 1974 under the codename “Smiling Buddha”), this one was certainly the most memorable if one takes into consideration the sheer effect it had on its states and neighbouring countries.

      Pokhran-II (AKA Operation Shakti-98) was the name assigned to the series of tests that comprised one fusion bomb and four fission bombs. On May 13, 1998, shortly after the detonation of all five warheads, then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee declared India a full-fledged nuclear state.

  • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

    • Wikileaks founder Julian Assange ‘faces eviction’ from London’s Ecuador embassy

      His lawyer For the last eight years, the UK has refused to either confirm or deny that they have received an extradition request from the US. told CNN: “The concern from day one until the present is that if Julian Assange walks out of the Embassy, he will be extradited to face what the executive director of the ACLU described as an ‘unprecedented and unconstitutional’ prosecution under the US Espionage Act.”

      Meanwhile, Ecuador’s newly elected president, Lenín Moreno, is under US pressure to expel Mr Assange, having described him as an “inherited problem” and “more than a nuisance” in January.


      Swedish prosecutors dropped the case last year, but maintain the right to resume the investigation if Assange leaves the embassy.

      In addition, could be arrested and extradition to the United States.

      In April 2017 CNN reported that the US has was seeking to arrest Mr Assange, whom intelligence agencies believe Russia used to distribute hacked emails from Hillary Clinton’s campaign during the 2016 presidential election.
      Ms Taylor added: “For the last eight years, the UK has refused to either confirm or deny that they have received an extradition request from the US.

    • For international action to defend Julian Assange!

      The International Committee of the Fourth International (ICFI) and the World Socialist Web Site International Editorial Board call for urgent action to be taken around the world to defend WikiLeaks’ editor Julian Assange. After fighting for close to eight years against relentless persecution by the US government and its allies, the Australian-born journalist is now in tremendous danger of falling into their clutches.

      The American ruling class and its counterparts internationally are hostile to WikiLeaks and its editor because he published leaked information that exposed before the world their war crimes, anti-democratic intrigues and corruption. The US government is determined to silence Assange and intimidate all principled journalists and whistleblowers by hauling him before a show trial and convicting him of fraudulent charges of “espionage.” Assange now faces the risk of lengthy imprisonment, or even the death sentence, for revealing the truth.

    • Julian Assange is Ready To Testify On Alleged Russian Hacking, As His Safety In Ecuador Is Questioned

      Julian Assange was perhaps the most instrumental individual not named Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton during the U.S. presidential election of 2016. The organization he leads, WikiLeaks, released thousands of unredacted, unaltered emails belonging to Hillary Clinton, her campaign, and the greater Democratic National Committee near the end of the campaign cycle. Verified by DKIM, or DomainKeys Indentified Mail, the emails are indisputably legitimate, as far as the IETF or Internet Engineering Task Force, an international body responsible for certifying what technologies and protocols can be considered internet standard, is concerned. The emails were extremely embarrassing and damaged the Clinton campaign, at least to some extent, according to Nate Silver of FiveThirtyEight.

      Whether one believes that Assange and WikiLeaks were in collusion with Russian agents is immaterial; he is sought after by U.S. officials for publishing the sensitive information and for many other subversive activities.

    • Open Letter to Mr. Carlos Antonio Abad Ortiz Re Julian Assange

      It is an open secret that the United States contemptuously considers the sovereign states, the independent nations, of Latin America as its ‘backyard,’ and frequently exerts enormous pressure on Latin American countries to do its bidding, to the extent of effecting changes in the government by means both peaceful and violent. This arrogant superpower is now pressuring your small country to evict Mr. Julian Assange from your embassy and render this valourous warrior for truth and justice to the British – who are hand-in-glove with the Americans.

      The government and people of Ecuador surely realize that when your country so courageously granted asylum to Mr. Assange, she served as a model for Latin America – nay, for 195 countries and 7.6 billion people. In granting asylum to Assange, Little Ecuador set an extraordinary example: for she not only protected the world’s pre-eminent cyber freedom-fighter, she stood up to a most terrifying tyranny that is neither subject to any checks and balances nor pays the slightest heed to the Rule of Law.

    • US has no interest in hearing what Julian Assange can freely say about Russiagate – Max Blumenthal

      US intelligence claims that WikiLeaks acted on behalf of Russia as part of a campaign to prop up the candidacy of Donald Trump and undermine that of Hillary Clinton. The offer was flatly rejected by Representative Adam Schiff, the ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, who said Assange would only be interviewed if he is in US custody.

      “The US has no intention of interviewing Julian Assange except under duress, possibly after a long period of solitary confinement, the kind that Chelsea Manning endured,” journalist Max Blumenthal told RT, referring to the whistleblower, whose leak to WikiLeaks of classified US material exposing abuses in Iraq lead to her nearly seven-year confinement. Schiff is “the de facto grand inquisitor of the Russiagate investigation”, he said, so he presumably speaks for the entire US intelligence community.

      No WikiLeaks people were publicly accused of having a hand in the supposed hacking of the DNC computer network and that the narrative of the hacking itself is on a very shaky foundation, Blumenthal remarked.

      “They don’t want to interrupt their narrative with what could be facts very similar to the case of the hacking of the Democratic National Committee. The DNC has never handed over its servers to any US intelligence or law enforcement agency and has likely destroyed those servers,” he said. “It seems like the US does not want to know what’s in them just as the US only wants to know what Assange has to say only after he has been sufficiently held and intimidated.”

      Blumenthal says Assange is rightfully afraid of leaving the Ecuador embassy because of his claim that he would then be grabbed by the UK law enforcement and extradited to the US under a classified indictment – the existence of which neither Washington nor London will confirm. If put in US custody, he is likely to become the first person prosecuted in America for what is essentially a journalist revealing classified information, he added.

    • Assange embarrasses US govt, CIA; they fear him & his revelations – Max Blumenthal
    • WikiLeaks Calls QAnon A Likely ‘Pied Piper’ Operation

      A few months back I started having bizarre interactions on social media of a kind I’d never experienced previously. Suddenly, whenever I’d write about President Trump’s nonstop warmongering and capitulations to longstanding neoconservative agendas like implementing aggressive new cold war escalations against Russia along multiple fronts, the illegal occupation of Syria with the stated goal of effecting regime change, increasing troop presence in Afghanistan, unprecedented civilian deaths in drone strikes, facilitating the slaughter of civilians in Yemen, or the administration’s open regime change policy against Iran, I’d get all these weird accounts telling me things like “Trust the plan” and “This is the Art of the Deal, Trump is playing 4-D chess”, and saying I should research something called “QAnon” or “Q”.

      It happens literally every time I write anything critical of this administration; a deluge of commenters telling me in effect, “Shush. Calm down. This is nothing. What looks like Trump facilitating longtime establishment agendas just like his predecessors is actually brilliant strategic maneuvering.” Every single time, without a single solitary exception.

    • Assange Associate Doubts US House Wants to Know Truth About ‘Russiagate’

      WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has announced that he is ready to testify in the investigation into Russia’s alleged meddling in the 2016 US presidential election. Sputnik spoke with Assange’s long-term associate Randy Credico about the development.

      In an interview with Sputnik, Credico said that he conveyed Assange’s message to the Adam Schiff, but he doubts that the congressman will actually go to London to meet with Assange.


      He went on to say that there needs to be more pressure from the international community because Britain and the US are acting in a very unlawful way and are in violation of international law.

      Recently there were rumors that Ecuador may soon stop providing asylum to Julian Assange. However, Credico said that if that were to happen, the president of Ecuador would face an extreme backlash from other leaders in the region and from citizens across South America.

    • This Friday: CourageSound podcast launch

      Courage is very proud to announce the launch of the CourageSound podcast, which will start this Friday 1 June with a discussion of the case of Reality Winner. CourageSound will broadcast every two weeks on Radio Vendetta, with archives made available to listen back later.

      Why a podcast? 2018 is shaping up to be a busy year with huge implications for our community. We want to bring you information about the big cases, the campaigns and the debates that are dominating our work. We’ll give you detailed takes on all of this, with discussions and interviews with those who know the issues best.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife/Nature

    • BYD & The Oompa Loompas Shine (China Electric Car Sales Report)

      After the usual off-season (January and February), the Chinese plug-in vehicle (PEV) market is back at full charge, with 71,000 units registered in April, up 129% year over year (YoY). Overall, 2018 sales have more than doubled compared to the same period last year.

      Consequently, the record 3.7% PEV share of April pulled the 2018 share to 2.3%, already above the 2.1% of 2017, and with sales expected to pick up significantly as the year advances, the 2018 PEV share should end north of the 3% threshold, with December possibly reaching 6%.

    • Analyzing US Sales Trends For 24 Shared ICE/EV Models: Yes, Price & Range Matter

      To answer the above question I analyzed 24 different models that are currently available in the US with either a traditional internal combustion engine version or regular hybrid and a plug-in hybrid and/or full battery electric version. Using sales data from GoodCarBadCar.net and InsideEVs.com, I analyzed March 2018 and Q1 2018 sales data. For simplicity in presenting the data, in most of the charts that follow, I only used the sales numbers for the month of March. (See notes at end on intent of this analysis, approach to price comparisons, models that were not included, etc.)

  • Finance

    • Tourists complain as Sweden becomes more cash-free

      Tourists also complain that some payment systems only work with Swedish credit cards, excluding foreign consumers.

    • How Social Media Became a Pink Collar Job

      But one job in the digital economy falls predominantly to women. It’s an oft-overlooked position, drawing on both marketing and editorial skills, that has become increasingly critical both to business success and online discourse. The pay is poor, and the respect can be limited. Take a look at the job posting for any social media manager. You’ll discover the same bias in its language, in reverse: a bias for sourcing female candidates.

    • How Tax Avoidance Distorts U.S. Trade and Investment

      U.S. trade negotiators bothered by the lackluster performance of American exports should focus on a rule change that was meant to simplify tax filing. Instead, it enabled American corporations to avoid paying hundreds of billions of dollars in taxes to the U.S. and abroad by laundering real economic activity through tax havens.

    • Credit Card Companies Race Toward Crypto Tech to Boost Profits

      The patents are important because they provide a clue as to how the credit card industry is working furiously behind the scenes to get ahead of the curve on blockchain.

      Using the technology may or may not usher in the broad use of cryptocurrency over, say, U.S. dollars.

      But it does have the potential to greatly lower the cost of doing business for the finance industry. And that means more profits for the credit card issuers.

      A Mastercard patent application disclosed by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office outlines the means by which a computer node can connect with and authenticate elements of a particular blockchain.

    • Con- and F-words in the Brexit era

      Quite how the EU and the UK will be governed post-Brexit remains controversial. One of the main arguments put forward by the Brexiteers in the UK for ‘leaving Europe’ was that the EU had embarked on an inevitable journey towards a fully-fledged federal state, that there was little that could be done to alter this course, and that the UK wanted nothing to do with it. So, the only reasonable response was to withdraw from the whole enterprise and restore the sovereignty of the British state.

      But two issues immediately arise in this context. First, was the EU on a journey towards a federal state (or had it, for all intents and purposes, already arrived there)? And secondly, is the UK state still an entity that could reasonably be described as unitary – a state capable of being governed from a single centre of sovereign power, namely the Westminster parliament?

      This second issue, of course, has been debated for a long time, particularly after the various rounds of UK domestic devolution since 2010 and the emergence of mayoral-based governmental forms in several UK cities since. But it will arise acutely again in the near future – post-Brexit -– because the issue will then move from arguments about the governance of the EU’s internal market and the UKs relationship to that framework, to how the UK’s own internal market will be governed. What are going to be the commercial and legal principles and relationships between the various constituent elements of the UK internal market?

    • Where Has Teen Car Culture Gone?

      Something is missing in the lives of today’s adolescents: that magical coming-of-age feeling when a whole world opened up.

    • The Patented Solution for Paying Off the National Debt
  • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • Facebook’s new political ad rules could upend June 5th primaries

      Facebook introduced new disclosure rules for political advertisements this week designed to block bad actors from meddling in elections. But in the meantime, the rules are blocking legitimate candidates from buying Facebook ads — and at least one congressional candidate in Mississippi says it could tip the election toward his opponent.

      The rules that Facebook implemented in the United States this week require anyone wishing to buy a political ad to verify their identity. To do so, Facebook mails a card to their physical location containing an authorization code. Only after the candidate or advocacy group enters that authorization code on Facebook can they purchase political ads.

  • Censorship/Free Speech

    • Six detained for circulating hate videos on social media in Imphal

      “We will soon arrest all those involved in making and uploading the videos”, Khongsai added. He also warned that the admins of WhatsApp groups would be liable to equal punishment with that of internet trolls if they fail to prevent such inflammatory messages from spreading in time.

    • Manipur: PRJA convener Erendro Leichombam held for posting hate video on Facebook

      PRJA spokesperson asserted that Erendro has been an outspoken critic against government’s fail policies and high handedness. For the same reason, the BJP also recently filed a defamation case against Erendro, he added.

    • J&K police crack down on ‘keypad jihadis’ on social media

      Jammu and Kashmir Police have a new task at hand — identify the ‘keypad jihadis’ who spew venom on social networking sites to try and create a law and order situation in the state by spreading rumours on the [I]nternet or giving communal colour to any event.

      The police have registered cases against five Twitter handles and filed complaints with service providers against such misleading posts on Facebook and WhatsApp so that necessary action is taken at the earliest, officials have said.

    • Putin Asked to Investigate Damage Caused By Telegram Web-Blocking

      In a report presented to President Vladimir Putin, Internet Ombudsman Dmitry Marinichev says there should be an investigation into the actions of telecoms watchdog Roscomnadzor after it tried to block Telegram last month. Millions of innocent IP addresses were caught up in the dragnet, a result of Roscomnadzor not carrying out a damage assessment, Marinichev says.

    • Apple will start coughing up government app takedown demand stats

      In its latest Transparency Report, covering government demands for customer and device data in the second half of 2017, Apple said that it will soon enumerate government app takedown requests.

      “Starting with the Transparency Report period July 1 – December 31 2018, Apple will report on Government requests to take down Apps from the App Store in instances related to alleged violations of legal and/or policy provisions,” Apple’s report declared.

      With the rise of cloud computing over a decade ago, law enforcement authorities recognized the value of data stored in cloud-oriented services. Tech companies, to signal the limits of their ability to deny lawful demands for data and encourage government moderation, began publishing transparency reports.

    • Google Censors Black Lives Matter Book advert; Calls it ‘Dangerous and Derogatory’ – Civil Rights Leaders Fight Back

      Civil rights leaders on Monday, May 28 demanded that Google CEO Gundar Pichai rescind Google’s racial censorship policy. Google rejected two YouTube promotional videos for the forthcoming book, Black Lives Do Matter, by noted author and political analyst Earl Ofari Hutchinson. Google called the promo for the book “dangerous and derogatory.” It claimed that it violated its standards against inciting hate and violence.

      The book is a social and historical analysis of racial stereotypes and racial injustice and violence against African-Americans published by a respected African-American owned publisher, Middle Passage Press. Hutchinson and other civil rights leaders charged that Google’s policy of racial censorship of African-American issues sets a dangerous precedent and is an overreaction to the backlash it got from Trump and conservatives to its firing of right-wing engineer/writer James Damore in August 2017.

    • Chinese Pressure Leads To Censorship Of Taiwanese Students’ Artworks In Australia

      THE DECISION BY an Australian city council earlier this month to remove the words “Taiwan” and colors resembling those of the ROC flag from fish artwork on a bull statue in the city of Rockhampton in Central Queensland by Taiwanese-born high schoolers proves a telling incident regarding how governments which conduct a great deal of trade with China treat Taiwan, when push comes to shove. In particular, the incident proves to have had surprisingly high implications, seeing the removal of the fish occurred due to pressure from the Chinese vice consul of the Chinese embassy in Brisbane, Zhou Li.


      Yet, of course, this will always happen because, at the end of the day, China will always prove more militarily, politically, and economically powerful than Taiwan and it usually easier to avoid standing up for Taiwan in order to avoid controversy. This continues to be Taiwan’s uphill struggle in the international world, then–it will always be easier and less controversial to try and avoid the issue.

    • Muthoni Drummer Queen calls out artists to join movement against censorship

      Kenyan singer, rapper, drummer and entrepreneur Muthoni Drummer Queen has called out on artists to join in on the conversation and the movement against censorship, creative rights and KFCB’s Mandate.

      Muthoni made the appeal while attending a talk held at Ukweli Café on Saturday the 26th of May prompted by Kenya Film Classification Board (KFCB) move to ban films and censor the creative industry.

    • Swaziland: Censorship Total At Swazi State Media

      The extent to which state media in Swaziland is censored to control people’s understanding of what is going on in the kingdom, has been revealed by UNESCO.

      The news agenda is manipulated in favour of absolute monarch King Mswati III. No opposition to the government is allowed on the airways and media practitioners in state-run media are civil servants first and journalists second, it reported.

      In Swaziland all radio stations except one that does not report news is state-controlled. The largest of two TV stations in Swaziland is also state-controlled.

    • Madmind Studio Releases Official Statement on Agony Censorship

      Madmind Studio has provided an update rolling back the earlier promise of a uncensored patch for Agony and revealing the content that will be cut in the final version of the game.

      For the most part, Agony will not censor almost anything of what players are expecting to see in the final package, including gore, brutal sex scenes, homosexual sex scenes, genital physics, eye gouging, heart plucking, children’s heads exploding, and much more.

    • Paul Little: No place for censorship, period
    • Otago University student magazine Critic hits back at censorship with new edition
    • Pornhub Launches a Free VPN Service to Bypass Internet Censorship [Ed: Proprietary, untrustworthy, connected to smut. Like Facebook with its malicious, privacy-infringing 'VPN']
    • Pornhub’s VPNhub is a free VPN for everyone
    • Tucker Carlson Exposes Facebook Censorship in Interview of ‘Roe v. Wade’ Producer
    • Weibo microblogging site deletes posts by embassies, says report
    • ‘Critic’ cover features censored letter from uni
    • Student magazine Critic hits back at Otago University with its own cheeky censorship
    • Critic cover features censored letter from uni
    • A new wave of censorship

      Unlike the past, the media is not banned; the circulation of newspapers is blocked or tv channels are put off air. Had restrictions come under any black law one could have at least fought a legal battle. But, when it comes from ‘hidden sources’. What do you do?

    • Where will Spotify’s censorship end?

      The announcement this month that Spotify had instituted a new policy to deal with “hate content and hateful conduct” led some to ask: “Where will this end?” Its first decision was to remove the music of the singer R Kelly, serially accused of various sexual misdemeanours, from its promoted playlists. Rival streaming services have followed Spotify’s lead. R Kelly faces no criminal charges and has accused the streaming service of acting on “false and unproven allegations”.

  • Privacy/Surveillance

    • Revealed: Brexit campaigner obtained millions of voters’ data

      Under UK election law, registered ‘third party’ or ‘non party’ campaigners can legally ask for copies of local electoral rolls. Thomas Borwick’s company, Voter Consultancy Ltd (VCL), made by far the most requests for the electoral roll in 2016 and 2017, according to new data released to openDemocracy following a series of Freedom of Information requests. VCL also made requests for the electoral roll in 2014 and 2015, openDemocracy discovered.

      Voter Consultancy is one of around 30 organisations included in the UK Information Commissioner’s ongoing investigation into the use of data during the Brexit campaign. Another data analytics company run by Borwick, Kanto, produced an election app that was used by Cambridge Analytica.

      Kanto is currently working with anti-abortion activists in Ireland ahead of Friday’s referendum. A separate openDemocracy investigation published today has found that other Irish anti-abortion campaigners acquired the electoral roll in a number of Irish counties.

      Data experts and voting reform campaigners have questioned why British political groups should have access to so much personal information about individual voters, warning that these details could potentially be used alongside data from social media and other sources for targeted online political advertising.

    • GDPR Oddsmakers: Who, Where, When Will Enforcement Hit First?

      The GDPR grace period ends today. Experts take their best guesses on when data protection authorities will strike – and what kind of organizations will be first to feel the sting of the EU privacy law.

      Alarm bells are ringing. The grace period is over. As of today, supervisory authorities are officially free to lay down enforcement action for the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Now come the real questions: who gets hit first, for what, how hard, and when does the hammer drop?

    • Google And Facebook Facing $8.8 Billion Lawsuits Under GDPR rules
    • Facebook, Google face first GDPR complaints over ‘forced consent’

      Schrems argues that the companies are using a strategy of “forced consent” to continue processing the individuals’ personal data — when in fact the law requires that users be given a free choice unless a consent is strictly necessary for provision of the service. (And, well, Facebook claims its core product is social networking — rather than farming people’s personal data for ad targeting.)

    • Facebook and Google targeted as first GDPR complaints filed

      Across four complaints, related to Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp and Google’s Android operating system, European consumer rights organisation Noyb argues that the companies have forced users into agreeing to new terms of service, in breach of the requirement in the law that such consent should be freely given.

    • Overseas Microsoft staff to have access to servers storing secret Australian data

      Microsoft staff based overseas will have access to servers in Australia where top-secret government data is stored on the company’s Azure cloud service.

    • Child campaigners to Zuckerberg: scrap Messenger Kids

      In an open letter and petition led by two groups, the Campaign for Commercial Free Childhood (CCFC) and MomsRising, the campaigners urged Zuckerberg to use his “enormous reach and influence to promote children’s wellbeing.”

    • Six reasons why social media is a Bummer

      The issue isn’t only that internet users are crammed into environments that can bring out the worst in us, or that so much power has concentrated into a tiny number of hands that control giant cloud computers. A bigger problem is that we are all carrying around devices that are suitable for mass behaviour modification. For example, with old-fashioned advertising, you could measure whether a product did better after an ad was run, but now companies are measuring whether individuals change their behaviours as they browse, and the feeds for each person are constantly tweaked to get the desired result. In short, your behaviour has been turned into a product – and corporate and political clients are lining up to modify it.

  • Civil Rights/Policing

    • Former British minister Malcolm Rifkind calls for probe into Hong Kong role in CIA rendition programme that sent Sami al-Saadi to be tortured in Libya

      Hong Kong’s role in a pan-Asia secret rendition programme run by US and British intelligence services should be scrutinised as part of a top-level inquiry, a former British cabinet member has said.

      The call from former foreign secretary Malcolm Rifkind came as it emerged a prominent human rights barrister retained to pursue legal action against the Hong Kong government over an alleged role in the CIA and MI6-led rendition programme – which included cloak-and-dagger operations in Malaysia and Thailand – was no longer involved in the case.


      It involved the 12-day detention at Hong Kong International Airport of Libyan national Sami al-Saadi, his wife and their four young children, followed by their forced repatriation – also via Thailand – to the Tripoli torture cells of the Gaddafi regime.

      This month’s apology to Belhaj, for what British Prime Minister Theresa May described as their “appalling treatment”, came six years after the UK government paid al-Saadi £2.2 million in compensation for his ordeal which began in Hong Kong.

    • Time to come clean on secret CIA prison

      Now Gina Haspel has been sworn in as the CIA’s first female director, it is time the government speak out on a matter in which it has kept silent for over a decade.

      President Donald Trump’s pick of the 61-year-old Russian specialist who spent her career in the Central Intelligence Agency’s clandestine service, to take over the top position of the agency sparked a fierce debate ahead of Senate voting over Ms Haspel’s role involving torture techniques she used for the interrogation of terror suspects in the post-9/11 era.

    • Prosecutor lied about key evidence in Trump inauguration protester trial, judge rules

      The latest big setback for the crusade against Inauguration Day protesters could be its death knell.

    • New CIA chief Haspel tainted by prior acts, seen as part of ‘attack’ on Constitution

      The president swears in the new CIA director, a person in direct violation of the Eighth Amendment of the Constitution of the United States. The Supreme Court has long held that punishments involving torture are forbidden under the Eighth Amendment.

      In the Senate, the Republican chairman called the new CIA director the most qualified person the president could have chosen. Fact: The new director played a key role in the destruction of interrogation videotapes showing the torture of detainees, both at the “black site” she oversaw and other secret agency locations.

      Crimes against International Law are committed by man (or woman) — not by abstract entities.

    • Dr. Ron Paul: Haspel is Not the Problem. The CIA is the Problem.

      As a general rule, when Dick Cheney favors a foreign policy position it’s best to be on the opposite side if you value liberty over war and authoritarianism. The former vice president’s enthusiastic endorsement of not only Gina Haspel as CIA director but of the torture program she oversaw should tell us all we need to know about Haspel.

      Saying that Haspel would make a great CIA director, Cheney dismissed concerns over the CIA’s torture program. Asked in a television interview last week about the program, Cheney said, “if it were my call, I’d do it again.”

      Sadly, the majority of the US Senate agreed with Cheney that putting a torturer in charge of the CIA was a good idea. Only two Republicans – Senators Paul and Flake – voted against Haspel. And just to confirm that there really is only one political party in Washington, it was the “yes” vote of crossover Democrats that provided the margin of victory. Americans should really be ashamed of those sent to Washington to represent us.

    • Strasbourg court to issue ruling on suspected CIA prison in Lithuania this week

      The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) is planning to issue its ruling regarding suspicions that the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) operated a secret prison for terror suspects in Lithuania between 2005 and 2006.

      The Strasbourg court is scheduled to deliver its judgement at a public hearing at 11 a.m. Vilnius time next Thursday, May 31.

      The complaint against Lithuania was brought by Abu Zubaydah, a Palestinian born in Saudi Arabia who is now held at the US military prison in Guantanamo Bay.

      The 47-year-old man, who is suspected of involvement in the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States, claims that he was held in a secret CIA detention facility in Lithuania in 2005 and 2006 and that his treatment amounted to torture.

    • Criticizes headline about CIA director Gina Haspel

      I was appalled to see the Gazette’s irresponsible reporting of Gina Haspel’s confirmation as CIA chief on the front page on May 18 (“Haspel becomes 1st female CIA chief”).

      The headline frames her confirmation as the “1st female” in her position, as if the confirmation of a war criminal — who refuses to admit that torture is immoral — is some kind of achievement for the feminist movement. It is morally repugnant to elect and then celebrate someone like Haspel, no matter their gender.

  • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Did The WIPO Copyright Committee Just Approve A Group With Mission To Free The World From “Space Lizards’ Control”?

      Was the group’s website hacked? Is it the wrong website address? Are we under attack by space lizards? Are WIPO committee members paying attention to the documents they approve (and the dangers the human race is facing)?

    • Intel Files Patent For Automated Method To Verify Block Record

      The US Patent and Trademark Office has published a patent filed by Intel that describes an automated method to verify a block record for a digital ledger. The patent titled “Technology for secure partitioning and updating of a distributed digital ledger” suggests a method to securely partition a DLS so that some or all of the scalability issues faced by a monolithic, unpartitioned DLS are avoided.

      Intel’s patent explains the automated block record verification as follows.

      The system involves a first validation node (FVN) which receives a block record from a second validation node (SVN). The block record will include a digital signature. Once a block record is received, the FVN will automatically obtain a node identifier for the SVN, based on the digital signature. The first validator node will use the node identifier for the SVN to determine whether the SVN belongs to a validation group that comprises the FVN. The FVN will also use an attestation service to determine whether the node identifier for the SVN belongs to a node with a trusted processor. The FVN will determine whether the digital signature for the block record was created with a private key that corresponds to the node identifier for the SVN.

    • Samsung owes Apple $539M for infringing iPhone patents, jury finds

      Samsung must pay Apple $539 million for infringing five patents with Android phones it sold in 2010 and 2011, a jury decided Thursday in a legal fight that dates back seven years.

    • South Africa Approves New IP Policy, With Guidance From UN Agencies

      It took nine years of policy development, two different draft policies and various rounds of public consultation, to finally see Cabinet give the nod to the new Intellectual Property (IP) policy in South Africa.


      This involved a series of activities on the draft IP policy as well as its predecessor, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) draft consultative framework for IP, the sources said. UNCTAD and UNDP organised two national stakeholder consultations, in 2016 and 2017, on the policy document. The process also was said to involve other organisations such as the World Health Organization (WHO), World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) and the World Trade Organization (WTO).

    • Copyrights

      • How Effective is The UK Pirate Bay Blockade?

        UK Internet users are no stranger to website blocking. Many of the world’s largest pirate sites, including The Pirate Bay, are inaccessible due to court orders. But does this mean that piracy has been eradicated as well? A look at the most visited websites in the UK suggests that there is still a long way to go.

      • Pornography and the butterfly effect

        That story seems simple in outline. A Belgian named Fabian starts trading in passwords to porn sites in the 1990s. Next decade, he purchases a relatively small company in Montreal which offers porn online for free; it faithfully complies with DMCA takedown requests, but they have no hope of keeping up with the firehose of uploads. He applies modern data science, A/B testing, SEO, etc., and his business grows from “substantial” to “enormous.”

      • MPAA Revenue Drops 20% as Movie Studios Cut Back

        The latest MPAA tax filing shows that the revenue generated by the anti-piracy group has fallen after a few years of modest growth. The decrease is the result of lower membership fees paid by the major Hollywood studios, which resulted in a significant loss. The filing further reveals that the MPAA’s former CEO Chris Dodd earned $3.4 million during his final year.

Microsoft and Its Patent Trolls Face an Uphill Battle in a Patent System Which is Increasingly Hostile Towards Software Patents

Posted in GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Patents at 10:17 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

An unusual dumper

Summary: The huge number of shells (trolls) that are connected directly and indirectly to Microsoft are struggling in the age of PTAB and 35 U.S.C. § 101; but that does not mean that we should take our eyes off them (and their proponents)

Microsoft, the company which “loves Linux” so much that it sees the need to create cheesy memes about it and then paste them like a million times all around the World Wide Web, relies on patents granted by the USPTO to sue companies which distribute GNU/Linux. Apple does the same thing. Microsoft typically does this through patent trolls, some of which are based in the Eastern District of Texas, the capital of patent trolls. Some are based elsewhere, e.g. Acacia, and they have a cluster of shell entities (making it incredibly hard to keep track of, just as they intended).

Having spent about a dozen years researching these trolls and their connections, we’re a little harder (than most) to fool. 5 days ago Unified Patents wrote about its petition against Acacia, a Microsoft-connected patent troll (which attacks GNU/Linux vendors). Remember that Acacia had hired for its management from Microsoft just before it sued companies like Red Hat and Novell. Here is what Unified Patents wrote:

On May 23, 2018, the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) instituted trial on all challenged claims in an IPR filed by Unified against U.S. Patent 8,902,770 owned and asserted by Cellular Communications Equipment, an Acacia subsidiary and well-known NPE. The ’770 patent, directed to a method for “explicit signaling between a network and the user equipment,” has been asserted in district litigation against such companies as Apple, ZTE, AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, Boost Mobile, and T-Mobile.

Acacia is still around unfortunately; it’s also active. The above names one of its many shells, “Cellular Communications Equipment” (it would be hard to know this connection without some research). Watch out for another shell called “PanOptis” because “Sony transfers over 100 US patents to NPE PanOptis,” IAM notes, linking to its article which in turn links PanOptis to other trolls, such as Avanci (mentioned here more recently again). To quote: “Recent USPTO records show that Sony has transferred a portfolio of over one hundred US patents to an affiliate of NPE PanOptis, a part of the Marconi Group. The Japanese company already participates in the Avanci and Velos patent pools, and its link-up with PanOptis underlines Marconi’s diverse offering. Sony assigned 135 US patent rights to Plano-based Wi-Fi One LLC on 26th January, but the transaction was not recorded until last month. Wi-Fi One is just one of the vehicles controlled by PanOptis, the NPE founded by Leslie Ware which became part of the Marconi Group in February 2017.”

Wi-Fi One is another patent troll which we wrote many articles about (in recent months). Notice the trend; large companies like Sony, which shares investments with Microsoft in several patent cartels (e.g. Rockstar Consortium and Intellectual Ventures), spread patents to trolls. As for Avanci (Ericsson-connected, also part of Rockstar Consortium, along with Apple and BlackBerry), IAM says that its “auto royalty fee [on many Linux-powered systems] will be $3 to $15 per vehicle no matter how many patent owners sign up to our auto platform, the firm confirms to IAM.”

The underlying article (not behind paywall for a change) says more:

There will be no changes to the $3 to $15 per car royalty fees licensees are asked to pay to access the patents that form the Avanci auto patent platform, the firm has told IAM. “As we add new patent owners to the Avanci platform, the price the licensees pay for a licence will not increase,” Luke McLeroy, vice president of business development, said. “In fact, after publishing our rates in December of 2017, Avanci added four patent owners to the platform and the price didn’t increase. This is the case even if all standard essential patent owners join the platform.”


Each of the manufacturers that Avanci is talking to, said McLeroy, “is on its own journey in determining how wireless can be implemented within their respective products”. He continued: “Within this journey, there are different stages of understanding on how the licensing process works in the telecommunications space vs the automotive industry and it takes time to find that common ground where a licence can be taken.”

These patents are all rather dodgy, but put together in a pool (like that of MPEG-LA) it’s far too expensive to challenge them all. A combination of many dubious patents in large numbers (quantity) is how Microsoft typically blackmails Android and GNU/Linux/ChromeOS OEMs. Sometimes it’s not even Microsoft doing the blackmail (not directly anyway). Microsoft can always rely on its special patent troll, Intellectual Ventures, to do the lawsuit or pass patents to one of its thousands of shells to do that. It’s one heck of a racket!

Mr. Gross has this new update about the Patent Trial and Appeal Board’s (PTAB) ruling on litigation ‘ventures’ of Intellectual Ventures: “have no idea what IV patent attys were thinking appealing this patent case to PTAB; subject matter (“selling insurance policies,””funding at least one of purchase…””inducing water temperature changes”) just invites a beating with 101 stick over head: https://e-foia.uspto.gov/Foia/RetrievePdf?system=BPAI&flNm=fd2016005828-05-07-2018-1 …”

He’s referring to Section 101 (Alice). It always gets them. Here’s one of Microsoft’s: “MSFT wins rare [Section] 101 case at PTAB for utterance clustering based on Mcro: “process performed by human animators is not the same as that as the rules-based process recited in the claimed automation, as the human process is driven by subjective determinations” https://e-foia.uspto.gov/Foia/RetrievePdf?system=BPAI&flNm=fd2017010766-05-08-2018-1 …”

Another PTAB case, Hakkani-Tur, speaks of “rejection of all twenty pending claims in U.S. Application No. 14/846,486, for which the real party in interest is Microsoft. [...] The claims had been rejected under 35 U.S.C. § 101…”

Here’s the relevant bunch of passages:

In a decision issued earlier this month, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office Patent Trial and Appeal Board reversed the final rejection of all twenty pending claims in U.S. Application No. 14/846,486, for which the real party in interest is Microsoft. The claims at issue are directed to a system that trains a spoken language understanding (SLU) classifier based on user intent gleaned from user utterances (i.e., spoken natural language sentences and phrases, such as “send Mom an email”). In particular, the claimed invention involves collecting a variety of user utterances and semantically parsing the utterances (i.e., mapping the utterances into machine-understandable representations of their respective meanings) to generate a single graph that represents all the utterances in the form of nodes. The claimed invention then involves clustering (i.e., grouping) the utterances by similar user intent, and using the resulting groups to train the SLU classifier.


But the Board disagreed with the Examiner on all three points. The Board was quick to note that, although the portions of App. No. 14/846,486 cited by the Examiner might describe mathematical calculations, they do not discuss an SLU classifier, but rather discuss a method of developing the graph used to train the SLU classifier. In addition, the Board stated that the last two steps of claim 1 are more than just field of use limitations.

Does this mean that PTAB can impact Microsoft’s (patent) war on GNU/Linux?

Mr. Gross goes on and on with Section 101. He wrote: “PTAB says Bilski ONLY applies to process claims: MOT test “applies to claimed processes-a category of subject matter under § 101 that is distinct from the dynamic messaging system recited in claim 1 that falls within the apparatus category in that statute” https://e-foia.uspto.gov/Foia/RetrievePdf?system=BPAI&flNm=fd2017002826-05-07-2018-1 …” and then this:

PTAB invents new standard for §101 implying that “something more than the abstract idea” Alice part 2 test cat be met UNLESS there is an improvement to “the technical field of computers, communications, networking, or otherwise.” https://e-foia.uspto.gov/Foia/RetrievePdf?system=BPAI&flNm=fd2017002116-05-14-2018-1 … NO SUCH PRECEDENT EXISTS!

Mr. Gross has long attacked PTAB and wrote for Web sites of patent trolls. An online buddy of his said: “The PTAB Reversed the Examiner’s 101/Mayo and 103 Rejections of Claims in a Medtronic Patent Application Directed to Improving Bladder Function: https://anticipat.com/pdf/2018-05-01_13764911_178530.pdf …”

This is very rare a thing. This is why it’s being pointed out. It’s like all those times the patent maximalists name-drop Berkheimer as if it’s the only court decision that matters. Berkheimer was overhyped nonsense from the patent microcosm, which merely hoped that by 'pulling a Berkheimer' 24/7 there would be renewed interest in software patents. Here goes Mr. Gross again: “PTAB already skirting most of CAFC Berkheimer ruling: “Appellants’ Specification teaches …that the processes, and steps of the invention, may be realized” using hardware that “may include a general purpose computer and/or dedicated computing device” https://e-foia.uspto.gov/Foia/RetrievePdf?system=BPAI&flNm=fd2016004156-05-01-2018-1 …”

They’re leaving Berkheimer behind, unlike Mr. Iancu.

Lawrence Ashery of Caesar, Rivise, Bernstein, Cohen & Pokotilow has meanwhile published this long piece in support of software patents, relying solely on Berkheimer and a muchly-mesmerised (by it) Iancu. Media of law firms basically pretends that the goal should be to allow software patenting and it also overplays Berkheimer, as expected (marketing, lobbying, not advice). To quote some bits:

Then, an interesting court opinion was published in February (Berkheimer v. HP, 17-1437 (Fed. Cir. 2018)). Steven Berkheimer had sued Hewlett-Packard (HP) for infringing his patent for digitally processing and archiving files. The district court ruled that Berkheimer’s patent was invalid, because it was directed to patent-ineligible subject matter. Specifically, the court stated that Berkheimer’s inventive concept failed the second step of the Alice test because his invention related to “steps that employ only well understood, routine, and conventional computer functions.” On appeal, Berkheimer argued that whether an invention is “well understood, routine and conventional is an underlying fact question for which HP offered no evidence.” The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit agreed with Berkheimer, and remanded the case to the district court so that the necessary factual determination could be made.

Berkheimer v HP was also brought up by the PTAB-hostile Anticipat 5 days ago. “Expect the Berkheimer-driven patent-eligibility pendulum to swing at the PTAB,” said the headline, but no, not really. Months down the line nothing has really changed. Here is what Anticipat wrote:

The past few months have seen huge developments in patent-eligibility at the USPTO. In three and a half years after Alice, the most effective way to argue against patent-eligibility for software applications was to focus on Step 1–that the claims are not directed to an abstract idea. But based on these recent developments, Step 2–that additional elements of the claims transform the judicial exception into something more–looks to be the more powerful way. The only problem is that the PTAB has not yet caught on. It will.

These huge developments have taken place in the form of Federal Circuit decisions deciding patent-eligibility favorably to the patentee, especially Berkheimer v. HP Inc., 881 F.3d 1360, 1369 (Fed. Cir. 2018). Such a clear articulation of the need for factual findings for Step 2 should usher in big change in how the Alice/Mayo framework is applied.

Anticipat uses the phrase “huge developments” twice, but Berkheimer was hardly that. Oil States was. Then again, what can be expected from a firm whose sole goal and business model is PTAB-bashing?

Supreme Court Justices and 35 U.S.C. § 101 Are Fixing the USPTO, Voiding ‘Fake Patents’

Posted in America, Courtroom, Law, Patents at 9:09 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

The patent trolls’ lobby (IAM) focuses on the few and rare ‘success stories’ of patent litigation

Sonos and IAM
“If you muscht ask…” (they don’t even say how much they got paid!)

Summary: With the demise of the Eastern District of Texas (as litigation venue) and the demise of software patents we’re starting to see the USPTO going back to the original purpose of patent systems

THE PATENT news is still awash with/dominated by Apple news (the Samsung verdict). It’s about design patents, which are notorious for all sorts of reasons.

There’s some good news, however… it’s not some breaking/overnight news but part of a long, arduous process. Patent scope is being narrowed in the US, owing to a large degree to the Justices at SCOTUS. They may be doing some terrible things to civil rights, copyright law and so on. When it comes to patents, however, we couldn’t ask for more. They typically just ‘get’ it these days…

The patent maximalist Richard Lloyd (IAM) keeps whining about it. His blog posts are typically rants about the US patent system/courts and he lobbies Iancu. A few days ago, for a change, Lloyd wrote about a patent settlement. It’s about a ‘fossil’ of a company, Sonos, which resorted to patent aggression a while back (like many other dying companies, this one being private with only one store left). Lloyd wrote:

Sonos, the connected speaker company, announced last week that it had reached a settlement with Denon, so drawing a line under almost four years of litigation. Although the terms of the agreement remained confidential, it’s fair to say that the run of things in court has largely gone Sonos’s way since it sued D&M Holdings (an investment company that owned Denon) in US district court for alleged infringement of at least four of its patents. Late last year Sonos scored a key victory in a jury trial which ruled that three of its patents in suit were valid

So after “almost four years of litigation,” which must have cost a fortune, one small company compelled another small company to pay (maybe zero). It did not even win the case! The patents weren’t upheld. It’s merely a settlement. One can bet that the biggest winner in this whole affair was the legal team (i.e. lawyers). No wonder “the agreement remained confidential”; the numbers are probably laughable and pathetic, so we expect Sonos to use this secrecy to go after other companies, demanding ‘protection’ money based on imaginary assertions/claims. Apple and other companies have been doing the same thing for nearly a decade.

Nice ‘success story’ you got there, Mr. Lloyd!

Moving on, a PTAB case was covered yesterday by Watchtroll. It’s actually an appeal to the Federal Circuit and as a bit of background, “Mallinckrodt owns the ’112 patent, which is directed to methods of distributing nitric oxide cylinders for pharmaceutical operations. Praxair petitioned for inter partes review of claims 1-19 of the ’112 patent, which the Board instituted. The Board held that claims 1-8 and 10-19 would have been obvious over four prior art references. However, claim 9 survived. Praxair appealed from the Board’s decision regarding claim 9, and Mallinckrodt cross-appealed regarding claims 1-8 and 10-11.”

This ought to have been enough to undermine the patent as a whole.

“The Board also found “compelling” Mallinckrodt’s evidence of secondary considerations that “patients were not excluded” from an INOT22 study,” Watchtroll continued, “despite the known relationship between the nitric oxide treatment and pulmonary edema for patients with LVD. However, because the Court concluded that claim 9 requires administering nitric oxide to patients with LVD, Mallinckrodt’s evidence of secondary considerations regarding the failure of researchers to exclude such patients from the INOT22 study lacked sufficient nexus to the claim. Both the Board’s findings regarding the differences between the prior art and claim 9 and its findings on secondary considerations depended on an incorrect interpretation of that claim. Thus, the Court reversed the Board’s decision that claim 9 is not unpatentable as obvious.”

Notice double negation there (“not unpatentable”); this is never helpful and the Supreme Court recently did this also (it got called out on it). Speaking of the Supreme Court and style, several prominent people have complained about the English of the Trump-appointed (and nominated) Neil Gorsuch. He became a Justice last year, he has served for quite some time since, and Dennis Crouch still cannot spell his surname correctly; he wrote “Gorsach” a few days ago. We find it funny because Crouch ought to know better; we guess that after all this time he still doesn’t know who runs the highest court. The post is about 35 U.S.C. § 101, which pertains to many things including software patents. To quote:

The petition asks the following questions:

Does 35 U.S.C. § 282 allow for challenges to a patent’s validity based on patent eligibility under 35 U.S.C. § 101?

In addition, and in close alignment with the first question, is it proper to find patents invalid under 35 U.S.C. § 101 after full examination before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office in response to 12(b)(6) challenges when they are presumed valid under 35 U.S.C. § 282?

Is it proper to grant a Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss when the record contains unrebutted factual evidence that the invention is patent-eligible under § 101?

Don’t expect the Supreme Court to bother with 35 U.S.C. § 101; it has had many opportunities since Alice and it always turns these down. Three days ago Marc J. Rachman and Devin A. Kothari (Davis & Gilbert) wrote about patents and the Supreme Court, asserting that the “Supreme Court Seeks To Curb The Worst Abuses Of The Patent System,” notably in litigation. To quote:

Congress, commentators and a wide variety of industry leaders have long noted that the patent system was broken. Besieged by a tide of weak patents and baseless patent troll litigations, these stakeholders argued that the current patent climate incentivized the weaponization of patent rights, thereby raising operational and legal costs and stifling innovation.

In 2017, the Supreme Court responded by taking aim at some of the worst abuses of the patent system in two landmark cases. The first, TC Heartland v. Kraft Foods, addressed the issue of venue. Hoping to limit the aggressive forum shopping of plaintiffs – which often led to an outsized number of cases in plaintiff-friendly places like the Eastern District of Texas – the Supreme Court held that venue is only proper in a patent case in the state where the defendant is incorporated or where it has a regular and established place of business. In narrowing the proper avenues for bringing suit, the Court reduced any home-field advantage for patent trolls.

In Impression Products v. Lexmark Int’l, the Supreme Court rejected Lexmark’s efforts to prohibit purchasers of printer ink cartridges from refilling and reselling them. The Supreme Court found these restrictions to be a violation of the “first sale” doctrine, which protects downstream users of a product by exhausting a patent owner’s rights in a product after it is first sold, thereby narrowing the field of legitimate patent defendants, and giving peace of mind to retailers and consumers.

On the subject of Alice, see what Donald Zuhn wrote about Genetic Veterinary Sciences, Inc. v LABOklin GmbH (Eastern District of Virginia) the other day. It’s yet another one of those many cases where Alice works its magic because “claims 1-3 of U.S. Patent No. 9,157,114, which is assigned to Defendant University of Bern, are invalid under 35 U.S.C. § 101.”

To quote some relevant bits:

Earlier this month, in Genetic Veterinary Sciences, Inc. v. LABOklin GmbH, Senior District Judge Henry Coke Morgan, Jr. of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia granted a motion for judgment as a matter of law under Rule 50 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure filed by Plaintiff Genetic Veterinary Sciences, Inc. (doing business as Paw Prints Genetics) that claims 1-3 of U.S. Patent No. 9,157,114, which is assigned to Defendant University of Bern, are invalid under 35 U.S.C. § 101. Genetic Veterinary Sciences (“GVS”) had initiated the dispute between the parties by filing a complaint for declaratory judgment of invalidity and noninfringement of the ’114 patent.


In assessing the patent eligibility of claims 1-3 of the ’114 patent, the District Court noted that the analysis follows the two-step framework set forth by the Supreme Court in Alice Corp. Ptv. Ltd. v. CLS Bank Int’l (2014). Pursuant to that framework, courts first determine whether the claims at issue are directed to a patent-ineligible concept, and if so, then consider the elements of each claim both individually and as an ordered combination to determine whether the additional elements transform the claim into a patent-eligible application. The District Court noted that this second step “represents a ‘search for an ‘inventive concept”—i.e., an element or combination of elements that is ‘sufficient to ensure that the patent in practice amounts to significantly more than a patent upon the [ineligible concept] itself.’”

This is a district court; these tend to be even less strict than the Federal Circuit, so this is noteworthy. Also from a district court there’s this update on Magna Electronics, Inc. v Valeo, Inc. et al, stating that “[t]he court granted defendant’s motion to compel further interrogatory responses regarding conception and reduction to practice.”

We certainly hope that, over time at least (the long run), courts as low as these and even the patent office will sympathise with defendants (merely being accused) rather than self-acclaimed ‘inventors’; many patent applicants are charlatans or people who overestimate the importance of their ideas, seeking a monopoly on these ideas while relying on examiners’ benefit of the doubt and/or profit motive.

Companies Now Have the Incentive to Remove/Move All Operations Out of the Eastern District of Texas (If Not Texas in General)

Posted in America, Courtroom, Patents at 8:13 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Deviation from the law can lead to that

Rodney Gilstrap

Summary: The ‘karma’ of the Eastern District of Texas’ aggressive policy is a diaspora or mass exodus of businesses, for any presence in the area may prove costly after TC Heartland (a year-old SCOTUS decision)

THE POOR patent trolls…

Earlier this morning we saw one such troll (Texas-based, obviously!) celebrating the USPTO‘s new chief, adding a cowboy hat to it. Such is their level of maturity and mentality; this particular troll and his boss, as we noted before, refuse to act like grownups.

“Cases continue to pile up regarding litigation venue.”But there’s a reason for their reliance on Mr. Iancu (USPTO Director appointed by Trump after he had worked for Trump). They just aren’t getting their way and some have gone out of business; many are about to. Texas court cases (regarding patents) are running low; the dockets dry up.

Cases continue to pile up regarding litigation venue. The Federal Circuit, for instance, at the middle of May delivered a couple of key rulings which we covered here before. Watchtroll wrote about the first one nearly a fortnight late. It is about the Eastern District of Texas and in a nutshell:

After the case was filed in the Eastern District of Texas, ZTE filed a motion to transfer the case to the Northern District of Texas under 28 U.S.C. § 1404(a) and filed a motion to dismiss for improper venue under 28 U.S.C. § 1406 and § 1400(b). The district court ruled that the Eastern District of Texas was a proper venue. Relying on Fifth Circuit law, the district court denied ZTE’s motion to dismiss, finding that ZTE “failed to meet its burden to show that it does not have a regular and established place of business in the District.” ZTE filed a petition for a writ of mandamus alleging that the district court improperly placed the burden of proof on the defendant.

The subject of litigation venue trended more than a week ago; here’s another one covered at the time and belatedly by Watchtroll:

The Court found that a corporation resides only in one judicial district, not all dsitricts within the state where it is incorporated. First, the plain reading of “the judicial district” indicated that Congress had in mind one particular judicial district where the defendant had committed acts of infringement and had a regular and established place of business. Additionally, other venue rules promulgated near the same time as § 1400(b) included a clear statement that venue could lie in multiple districts when Congress intended that result. Although Fourco established that incorporation within the state is necessary for venue purposes and sufficient for venue in single-district cases, it did not imply that venue was proper in every district within the state.

This comes almost exactly a year after TC Heartland.

How about when the venue is Dallas (also Texas)? Watch this new article labeled “Dallas Invents”. This isn’t “Dallas Invents” but “Dallas attracts patent trolls by ruling in their favour in nearby towns” (so that these trolls become Texas-based). The article says: “Patents granted include Nuvectra Corporation’s paired communication between an implanted medical device and an external control device; Toyota’s “cloaking” apparatus and method for making an object appear transparent; and NewVoiceMedia’s workflow triggering that uses real-time analytics for intelligent sales engagement.”

“One might joke that James Rodney Gilstrap, who boasted that he was helping his town, actually accomplished the exact opposite thing. He has become a death knell to job opportunities in the whole region.”It’s just one of those ‘shopping list’ articles and it has little or nothing to do with Dallas. Some of these companies aren’t even American, let alone Texan.

Meanwhile we learn that the University of Texas still goes after companies where they aren’t really based! See this update on Board of Regents, The University of Texas System et al v. Medtronic, Inc. et al:

The court denied a defendant’s motion to dismiss plaintiffs’ patent infringement action for improper venue because defendant had a regular and established place of business in the district by ratifying its subsidiary’s manufacturing and research facility as its own place of business.

As readers may recall, courts in Texas grossly misused their power last year. The “reprehensible” [1, 2] Judge Gilstrap, for example, got reprimanded for ignoring the Rule of Law (or courts above him) to keep lawsuits in an improper venue (his own). Behaviour such as this is only likely to discourage companies from opening branches in Texas; moreover, it might encourage them to leave or shut down existing branches. They’re making an error by making the “selling point” of this place patent litigation; they temporarily attract many patent trolls and defendants (accused parties) and in the long run they lose both, as well as actual businesses. One might joke that James Rodney Gilstrap, who boasted that he was helping his town, actually accomplished the exact opposite thing. He has become a death knell to job opportunities in the whole region.

The Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) and Patent Reform (AIA) Generally Too Popular to Stop, But Patent Law Firms Helped by Andrei Iancu Keep Trying

Posted in America, Patents at 7:19 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Patent maximalists’ Office takeover isn’t a court/s takeover

Andrei IancuSummary: The patent microcosm together with Andrei Iancu (who himself came from the patent microcosm) is frustrated to have come to grips with quality control; low-quality patents continue to be rejected by courts

WHETHER it likes it or not, the leadership of the USPTO will need to adapt to court rulings, not selectively but properly. Otherwise people will lose confidence in US patents and will no longer pursue these.

There’s this thing we recently dubbed “Cult of Patents”; they’re patent maximalists who insist that innovation cannot happen without patents, that patents are a “property”, and that patents are justified for thoughts, nature etc. In short, they’re pretty badly deluded.

“There’s this thing we recently dubbed “Cult of Patents”; they’re patent maximalists who insist that innovation cannot happen without patents, that patents are a “property”, and that patents are justified for thoughts, nature etc.”Mohamed Salem Abou El Farag from Qatar University’s College of Law said in his paper dated May 5th (2018): “Intellectual property (IP) is the branch of law that protects innovations and creations…”

But no, it is a propaganda term rather than a law and sometimes — if misused/overused — it actually damages innovation and creation. This has been demonstrated empirically in the past. Why are some people still saying things like these? They can just stop saying “IP” altogether. It’s a misleading propaganda term. If they mean patents, then they should say “patents”, not “IP”. How about this one (titled “Intellectual Property”)? “There are four general areas of IP,” it said some days ago, “patents, trade secrets, copyrights and trademarks. It’s important to understand the four types and how they differ.”

“They can just stop saying “IP” altogether. It’s a misleading propaganda term. If they mean patents, then they should say “patents”, not “IP”.”Why say IP or “Intellectual Property” at all? By the article’s own admission, there are “patents, trade secrets, copyrights and trademarks.”

They’re completely different laws; they work differently.

Another new article of note speaks of patents “in connection with 3D printing technology” — the sorts of patents which famously held back 3D printing for a number of decades (the same goes for drones). To quote:

An increase in attempts to obtain patent protection in connection with 3D printing technology means the patent space in this area has become very crowded, likely an indication that additive manufacturing is overtaking traditional manufacturing processes.

Not only 3D printers themselves but also certain mechanical parts for computing and manufacturing might be subject to patent protection. Of course, software used for 3D printing (like all software) enjoys copyright protection in most jurisdictions. But software can also be eligible for patent protection in some countries (such as the US).

Thus, new entrants must be careful not to infringe others’ patent rights. When trying to safeguard their own additive manufacturing’s critical IP, businesses should analyse their options under patent law and consider securing IP through trade secret protection, copyright and design laws.

In the case of 3D printing we have a classic example of patents actually slowing down and preventing innovation. This does not quite apply to trademarks or even to copyrights, as similar ideas can be expressed under different brands and using different words.

Speaking of “different words”, many people nowadays try to patent old things by using buzzwords and new/different words, e.g. “cloud” for server or “AI” for some clever algorithm. Here is an example of ‘cloudwashing’ in a press release from a few days ago:

The patent for invention 9,973,499 is issued for technology that extends greater endpoint trust, through identity verification and policy enforcement, for secure network-to-network and network-to-cloud connections.

This is, by the sound of it, a software patent. But the wording doesn’t say anything remotely like that. Over at Watchtroll, Samuel Hayim and Kate Gaudry admit what many patent lawyers prefer to deny in order to attract/lure gullible businesses into software patent pursuits (in vain). “Eligibility Rejections are Appearing in Greater Frequency Across all Computer Related Technology Centers,” says their headline and here are some bits:

Four years after the Alice decision…


The frequency of any particular rejection type may be influenced by seminal Federal Circuit and Supreme Court cases. Judicial decisions are interpreted into policy decisions by the United States Patent Office (USPTO) and distributed to patent examiners in the form of examination guidance memoranda and other training materials. At least initially, major changes in jurisprudence are more likely to burden applications in the technological art analyzed by the court than applications in other arts as the USPTO will extend the courts analysis to those applications pending in that technological art. Yet, as the dust settles, the full impact of these decisions may be seen across all technology centers (TCs) of the USPTO.


Examiners have not been the only obstacle to securing patents for business-method technologies. For example, we recently analyzed Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) ex parte appeal decisions having had Appeal Briefs filed after the Alice decision. We reviewed PTAB decisions from computer related technology centers, including TCs 2100, 2400, 2600 and the business method portion of TC 3600. Nearly all eligibility rejections at issue stemmed from the business-method art units[5], and a mere 7% of those appeals were successful (i.e. reversed).[6] Thus, the Alice decision had a significant impact on the applications from business method art units.

Patent maximalists have meanwhile gone so insane or incredibly selfish that they nowadays bash their own country, notably the US, using sheer lies while glamouring China not because it’s good but because patents are out of control there, software patents included. We wrote about that twice over the weekend.

Adding insult to injury (to the system), some patent lawyers have gone as far as plotting patent “scams” wherein patents are being passed to tribes to avoid justice. That just wouldn’t fly however (at many levels, including Congress/Senate, courts, PTAB and public forums). Here’s the latest of that:

Earlier this week, the Supreme Court released their decision in Upper Skagit Indian Tribe v. Lundgren. The opinion effectively held that the simple fact of in rem jurisdiction does not always bar claims of tribal sovereign immunity.

In rem jurisdiction is one argument that might bar the new practice of renting tribal sovereign immunity to a patent owner in order to shield the patent from inter partes review (IPR). That argument, among others, is now being reviewed by the Federal Circuit in the St. Regis Mohawk Tribe v. Allergan case. (CCIA joined an amicus brief in front of the Federal Circuit.)


At first glance, it’s not obvious why the immovable property exception is relevant to patents. Patents are public franchises, not land. And patents are intangible property, not land tightly bound to a particular physical location.

But patents are a form of property, as Oil States made sure to emphasize. And patents have territorial limits, the scope of which are being decided in the WesternGeco case right now.

That second statement is important. Patents share an important characteristic with land—they are both geographically limited forms of property, and those geographical limits are fixed and immovable. Land has boundaries; United States patents apply only within the United States. While you can transfer ownership of a patent to a foreign entity, just like you can sell land, the patent itself will still only apply within the United States and the rights associated with the land will only apply within the deeded boundaries.

That means that, like land, patents are (at least in a sense) immovable property permanently situated within the United States. And any decision which allows the application of sovereign immunity to patents thus creates an offense to the sovereignty of the United States in the same way that applying sovereign immunity to prevent a state from determining the status of its own land offends the sovereignty of that state.

Unified Patents has declared (6 days ago) that a patent “asserted in more than 50 district court cases” will no longer bother the world, owing to a PTAB IPR:

On May 18, 2018, Anuwave LLC (an IP Edge entity) and Unified Patents Inc. filed a joint request to terminate IPR2018-00223 prior to institution pursuant to settlement. U.S. Patent 8,295,862, the subject of the IPR petition, relates to banking through SMS and has been asserted in more than 50 district court cases.

Therein lies the power of PTAB. But an ideal situation would have been invalidation.

The bottom line is, the USPTO granted far too many dubious patents whose potential is to harm rather than to foster innovation. That ought to change. Patents are supposed to advance the public interest.

Guest Series: Système Lamy and Système Battistelli at the European Patent Office (EPO)

Posted in Europe, Patents at 1:44 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Express coverSummary: The close political symbiosis between Battistelli and Emmanuel Lamy investigated further

To celebrate the impending depature of the EPO “Sun-King”, a new series of articles examining the close political symbiosis between Battistelli and his fellow ENArque, Emmanuel Lamy, has been prepared for the edification and entertainment of Techrights readers.

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