EditorsAbout the SiteComes vs. MicrosoftUsing This Web SiteSite ArchivesCredibility IndexOOXMLOpenDocumentPatentsNovellNews DigestSite NewsRSS

10.15.18

Links 15/10/2018: Testing Ubuntu 18.10 Release Candidates, KaOS 2018.10 Released

Posted in News Roundup at 2:19 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Desktop

    • Don’t Click “Check for Updates” Unless You Want Unstable Windows 10 Updates

      As Microsoft revealed, only people who clicked “Check for Updates” got bitten by Windows 10’s file deletion bug. When you click the “Check for Updates” button, Microsoft gives you updates early, skipping a normal part of the testing process.

    • How to Fix Your PC’s Sound if Windows Update Just Broke It

      Windows Update keeps breaking things. Earlier this week, Microsoft released a buggy Intel audio driver that broke the sound on some PCs. If your PC suddenly can’t play audio, here’s how to fix it.

      Bleeping Computer brought this to our attention, but the official details come straight from Matthew van Eerde, a Senior Software Engineer on Microsoft’s Windows team.

    • Windows 10 Audio Not Working After Installing Latest Windows Updates

      Lot’s of reports are coming in that Windows 10 users are finding that their audio is no longer working on their computer after installing the latest Windows updates.

      Windows Updates have become a complete mess lately, with the latest October 2018 Update deleting user’s files, Patch Tuesday updates causing crashes because of incompatible keyboard drivers, and now users are finding that their audio drivers are broken.

  • Server

    • Cloud Foundry Goes All-In With Kubernetes

      Further proof probably isn’t needed to confirm that Kubernetes has become the de facto standard when it comes to container orchestration, but if you need more, the Cloud Foundry Foundation announced this week that it has taken on two new Kubernetes-focused projects.

    • Xen & Databases

      I’m running PostgreSQL and MySQL on my server that both serve different databases to WordPress, Drupal, Piwigo, Friendica, Mastodon, whatever…

      In the past the databases where colocated in my mailserver VM whereas the webserver was running on a different VM. Somewhen I moved the databases from domU to dom0, maybe because I thought that the databases would be faster running on direct disk I/O in the dom0 environment, but can’t remember the exact rasons anymore.

      However, in the meantime the size of the databases grew and the number of the VMs did, too. MySQL and PostgreSQL are both configured/optimized to run with 16 GB of memory in dom0, but in the last months I experienced high disk I/O especially for MySQL and slow I/O performance in all the domU VMs because of that.

  • Kernel Space

    • Linux 4.18.14
    • Linux 4.14.76
    • Linux 4.9.133
    • Linux 4.4.161
    • Linux 3.18.124
    • Graphics Stack

      • NVIDIA 396.54.09 Vulkan Driver Released With Transform Feedback, Intel ANV Gets TF Too

        Today is certainly a very exciting day in the Vulkan space.

        Following the release of Vulkan 1.1.88 that brings initial support for the much anticipated transform feedback support, to help projects like DXVK and VKD3D for mapping Direct3D (or even OpenGL) atop Vulkan, there has been a slew of driver updates.

      • anv: Add a NIR cache

        This patch series adds a simple NIR shader cache that sits right after spirv_to_nir and brw_preprocess_nir and before linking. This should help alleviate some of the added overhead of link-time optimization since most of the NIR-level optimization is now cached prior to linking.

      • Intel’s Vulkan Driver Is Working On A NIR Cache

        As a possible performance win, Jason Ekstrand as the lead developer of the Intel ANV open-source Vulkan driver has been developing a NIR cache.

      • Vulkan Cracks 2,500 Projects On GitHub

        After cracking 2,000 projects referencing Vulkan on GitHub earlier this year, this week it passed the milestone of having more than 2,500 projects.

        Granted, some of these projects referencing Vulkan are still in their primitive stages, but of the 2,500+ projects are a lot of interesting Vulkan-using projects from RenderDoc to countless game engine initiatives, various code samples, the AMDVLK driver stack, and countless innovative efforts like GLOVE for OpenGL over Vulkan to Kazan for a Rust-written CPU-based Vulkan implementation and a heck of a lot more.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • Plasma and KDE neon Team Visit Deployments in Catalunya

        Last week developers from the KDE neon and Plasma teams visited Barcelona. We were there to meet with some KDE software projects we had heard about in the Catalan government and schools. Aleix Pol lives locally and works on Plasma and Discover. He invited Plasma release manager and KDE neon developer Jonathan Riddell, KDE neon continuous integration master Harald Sitter, and hardware enablement guru Rohan Garg to meet the teams evaluating our software and supporting our users.

        We first met Pablo who runs the Linkat project for the Catalan government. Linkat is a Linux distribution they offer to schools, and it currently runs lightweight, simple desktop environments. As Plasma 5 now tends to use as little or less memory and resources than many lightweight Linux desktops, the Linkat team is interested in trying it. We met with the officials from the education department and discussed accessibility needs, looking at Mycroft for voice control and integrating with phones using KDE Connect.

      • KF5 Static Builds

        Static linking has long gone out of fashion, at least on the average Linux desktop distribution. There are however good reasons to still (or again) support this for our frameworks. One is the rise of application bundles (Flatpak, Android APK, AppImage, etc).

        Bundles often only contain a single executable, so there is no benefit of sharing a library (at least in most bundle formats, Flatpak is a bit different there). Still we need to ship everything the shared libraries provide, no matter if we need it or not.

        Static linking is of course not the magic solution to this, but it’s a fairly generic way of allowing the compiler to drop unused code, reducing the application size. As application bundles are usually updated as a whole, we also don’t benefit from the ability to update shared libraries independently, unlike with a conventional distribution.

        Besides application bundles, there are also single process embedded applications that can benefit from static linking, so this is relevant for the effort of bringing KF5 to Yocto. In particular on lower powered embedded devices the startup overhead of dynamic linking can be noticeable.

      • Celebrating KDE’s 22nd Birthday with Some Inspiring Facts from its Glorious Past!

        Wishing A Very Happy Birthday to KDE! Let us Celebrate this moment by looking back into its Glorious history with some Inspiring Facts on this legendary and much-loved Desktop Environment!

      • Please help test our initial Cosmic 18.10 RC ISOs

        The Ubuntu release team have announced a 1st test ISO RC build for all 18.10 flavours.

        Please help us test these and subsequent RC builds, so that we can have an amazing and well tested release in the coming week.

      • This week in Usability & Productivity, part 40

        I’d like to specially highlight one very important fix this week: external hard drives are now safely powered off when unmounted. The fix is in KDE Frameworks 5.52, which will be released in approximately three weeks, and I’d like to give a big thanks to Stefan Brüns who fixed it!

        Speaking of Stefan, he and Igor Poboiko have been doing an absolutely smashing job fixing Baloo over the past two weeks. A lot of their work is hard to blog about because it’s not immediately user-facing (though I’ve included as much as possible below), but between the two of them, they’ve made an enormous number of improvements to Baloo that should make it work faster and more smoothly in a lot of subtle ways.

        But obviously that’s not all; take a look at the rest of the week’s work:

      • LaKademy 2018 – Second Day (October 12th)

        During the second day of LaKademy I was more focused on resolution of bugs in the code that I implemented during the first day for KDE Partition Manager. During the afternoon, I decided to start RAID resizing and discussed with Andrius Stikonas on calamares IRC channel about some RAID functionalities related to resizing disks and about bugs on both LVM and RAID. I also talked with some KDE coders here in LaKademy about Qt and C++, learning more about it.

      • KaOS 2018.10

        Plasma 5.14.0 was announced just a few days ago and is already included in this ISO. Highlights of this version include a new Display Configuration widget for screen management which is useful for presentations, the Audio Volume widget now has a built-in speaker test feature moved from Phonon settings, Plasma now warns on logout when other users are logged in, fixed non-centered task switchers on Wayland and the Kickoff application menu now switches tabs instantly on hover.

        A new Glibc 2.27/GCC 7.3.1 based toolchain is among the many changes to the base of the system. Updates to Boost, ICU, x265, Protobuf, Net-SNMP, Qt required the rebuild of a large percentage of the KaOS repositories.

      • KaOS 2018.10 Released With KDE Plasma 5.14 Desktop, Wayland 1.16
      • Support KDE via AmazonSmile

        For quite some time, the KDE e.V. – KDE’s non-profit organization – is listed in the AmazonSmile program.

      • The Last Day of the Krita Sprint and the Last Day of the Krita Fundraiser

        We fully intended to make a post every day to keep everyone posted on what’s happening here in sunny Deventer, the Netherlands.

      • Who is Hiring?

        Just as quick info: For some time, there is a sticky thread on r/cpp about who is hiring C++ developers. This thread gets cleaned quarterly, so all the open jobs listed there are likely still open.

      • KDE chalks up another year with cash to back community

        The KDE Project, a group that puts out a desktop environment that is used by numerous GNU/Linux distributions, has received two big donations that will enable it to do more to support the community, according to the president of the project, Lydia Pintscher.

        In a Twitter thread to mark the 22nd birthday of the project — which came to life on 14 October 1996 — Pintscher said over the past year the project had rallied behind the three goals that it cared about: privacy, onboarding and usability and productivity.

        KDE was started by German software developer Matthias Ettrich with the aim of providing GNU/Linux users with all the functionality that Windows had at the time.

      • Screen reader accessibility for the Plasma desktop

        It’s been rather quiet when it comes to accessibility in KDE land for a while. But I’m very happy to see some movement and fresh energy, moving in a good direction.

        If you’re curious about making our software available to more users, improving it for everyone (for example keyboard usability), now is the time to join. We are talking on the accessibility mailing list. It’s still to early to say what the exact plan will look like, but there will be progress. Thanks to the last Randa meeting, we reached the point where a few things in Plasma do work with a screen reader, enough to let a few brave souls experiment with it. Now we’ll have to structure what needs improvements, I could imaging defining some workflows.

      • KDE Will Now Safely Spin Down External Hard Drives When Unmounting

        Fixing a seven year old bug since the KDE4 days, KDE will now spin down external hard drives unmounting the drives to help stave off possible data loss / corruption.

        KDE has unmounted external hard drives but not caused these drivers to stop spinning — basically, powering off the drive. In some cases this lack of powering down the external HDDs could cause problems as outlined by this 2011 bug report requesting said functionality. Most other Linux distributions out there have powered down external drives when ejecting/unmounting except for KDE.

        Beginning with the upcoming KDE Frameworks 5.52, the UDisks2 call is in place to power down the drive on removal, if the drive supports this behavior.

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

      • A Clean GTK Theme Specially Designed for Laptop and Desktop

        The search for cool and new themes never stops. While digging through the thousands of themes in websites, search results – I found this cool and simple GTK theme – Stylish. Stylish is designed for GTK 3, GTK 2 and GNOME Shell. It comes with 6 base types of combinations with 4 color variants.

      • Linux Smartphone Librem 5 Will Ship With GNOME 3.32

        Last month, Purism announced that its Librem 5 Linux smartphone will ship in April 2019; earlier, it was scheduled to arrive in January 2019.

        It seems that the developers will now get sufficient time to ship their phone with GNOME 3.32. In a blog post, the project urged the app developers to “use libhandy 0.0.4 and up, use GTK+ 3.24.1 and up and target GNOME 3.32!”

      • Redesign of the invite dialog in Fractal (part 1)

        This month, I’ve had some time to work on the redesign of the invite dialog in Fractal. There is a dialog used for inviting users in a room you are in or inviting a user to start a direct chat with them. In this dialog, you can search for users by usernames. The result of this search is shown in a list below the search entry and you can click on the GtkListBox‘s rows to select users (in the case of direct chat invitations, the latest selected user will be the only one selected) and you can then click on the button “Invite” to send invitations to all selected users.

  • Distributions

    • Reviews

      • Review: Reborn OS 2018.09.09 and Nitrux 1.0.15

        This month I spent some time digging through the waiting list and trimming projects that have not survived the harsh and demanding growing period of their first year of existence. Among them I found a project which seemed simple on the surface, an Antergos-based distribution offering even more install-time options than its parent. What caught my attention was the specific list of extra options: 15 desktop environments to choose from, able to run Android apps through the Anbox compatibility software, optional Flatpak support, and the Mycroft desktop assistant. All of this on a rolling release base provided by Arch Linux.

        The distribution is called Reborn OS and I downloaded what was, at the time, the latest build. Reborn is available as a 64-bit build only. The ISO I downloaded was 1.5GB in size and, booting from this ISO brought up the Budgie desktop environment. At the top of the desktop is a panel with the application menu, a couple of quick-launch buttons and a system tray. The Budgie desktop seemed to respond well once it finished loading and I was eager to get started.

    • Red Hat Family

    • Debian Family

      • Debian dev forks Redis modules that are under Commons Clause licence

        Debian GNU/Linux developer Chris Lamb is taking the fight to those pushing the Commons Clause, a non-free licence, by setting up a two-man team to fork modules that add functionality to the in-memory database Redis, after the company that makes Redis put the modules under this licence and started to charge for them. Lamb is the current leader of the project but said he was doing this in a private capacity.

        The Commons Clause licence prevents anyone from selling software, something which all licences that qualifiy as open source do not prohibit. It is specifically aimed at companies like Amazon which make use of free and open source software but pay nothing for it.

        Lamb told iTWire: “…the short version is that with the recent licensing changes to several Redis Labs modules making them no longer free and open source, GNU/Linux distributions such as Debian and Fedora are no longer able to ship Redis Labs’ versions of the affected modules to their users.”

      • Shutter removed from Debian & Ubuntu

        This week, the popular screenshot app Shutter was removed from Debian Unstable & Ubuntu 18.10. (It had already been removed from Debian “Buster” 6 months ago and some of its “optional” dependencies had already been removed from Ubuntu 18.04 LTS).

        Shutter will need to be ported to gtk3 before it can return to Debian. (Ideally, it would support Wayland desktops too but that’s not a blocker for inclusion in Debian.)

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • UBports Foundation releases Linux-based Ubuntu Touch OTA-5

            Ubuntu Touch never lit the world on fire as many Linux fans had hoped, but to be honest, most mainstream consumers didn’t even know it existed. So when Canonical canceled it, not many people cared. Luckily, since the project was open source, it was easy for another organization — in this case, UBports — to grab the torch and run with it.

            Back in August, UBports surprised many with the Ubuntu Touch OTA-4 release, which breathed new life into tablets and smartphones that ran the Linux distro. Now, OTA-5 is here to take it up yet another notch. The new version gets a new web browser called Morph which is based on QtWebEngine. Best of all, OTA-5 gets improved adaptive scaling for a better experience regardless of screen size. From a superficial standpoint, there are new wallpapers based on community submitted artwork.

          • You Can Help Ubuntu This Weekend Test The Near-Final Cosmic Cuttlefish

            If all goes well, the Ubuntu 18.10 “Cosmic Cuttlefish” release will happen on 18 October but for that to happen they could use your help this weekend testing their release candidate spins.

            Running a few days behind with ideally their RC builds should have been spinning on Thursday (11 October) but instead being announced on Saturday (13 October), there are non-final but test-friendly Cosmic RC builds now coming out for all Ubuntu 18.10 flavors.

          • Flavours and Variants

            • GNU/Linux Review: Xubuntu 18.04 LTS

              Xubuntu 18.04 LTS is an official flavor of Ubuntu Bionic Beaver which uses XFCE Desktop Environment. In this release, it’s still as lightweight as before (~350MB of RAM at idle time), with user-friendliness you can expect as always. Yes, it still supports 32-bit so you don’t have to buy new computer to upgrade or install it; for the next 3 years. It supports Snappy out of the box with GNOME Software integration. It brings Firefox 59, LibreOffice 6.0, and XFCE 4.12 for us, in only 1.3GB sized ISO image file. And yeah, in this review, I show you that Compiz works here with 3D Cube and stuffs we really missed from our old Ubuntu era.

            • Help test Lubuntu 18.10 Release Candidates!

              Please, help us test Lubuntu Release Candidates. You can find the link to the dailies on our downloads page. When you’re done, so we know you tested, please get an Ubuntu SSO account (if you don’t have one already) and report the result on iso.qa.ubuntu.com. This means you, i386 testers. It’s your time to shine!

  • Devices/Embedded

Free Software/Open Source

  • Spritely: towards secure social spaces as virtual worlds

    If you follow me on the fediverse, maybe you already know. I’ve sent an announcement to my work that I am switching to doing a project named Spritely on my own full time. (Actually I’m still going to be doing some contracting with my old job, so I’ll still have some income, but I’ll be putting a full 40 hours a week into Spritely.)

    tl;dr: I’m working on building the next generation of the fediverse as a distributed game. You can support this work if you so wish.

  • The demise of G+ and return to blogging (w/ mastodon integration)

    I’m back to blogging, after shutting down my wordpress.com hosted blog in spring. This time, fully privacy aware, self hosted, and integrated with mastodon.

    Let’s talk details: In spring, I shutdown my wordpress.com hosted blog, due to concerns about GDPR implications with comment hosting and ads and stuff. I’d like to apologize for using that, back when I did this (in 2007), it was the easiest way to get into blogging. Please forgive me for subjecting you to that!

    Recently, Google announced the end of Google+. As some of you might know, I posted a lot of medium-long posts there, rather than doing blog posts; especially after I disabled the wordpress site.

  • Web Browsers

    • Brave Browser Team Up With Tor

      TOR [sic] or The Onion Router uses technology that separates your computer from the website you’re viewing by routing the network traffic through 3 seperate servers before it reaches your computer. That being said Brave Core Beta hasn’t been fully tested yet so “users should not rely on it for serious use just yet,” Brave said.

    • Mozilla

      • Your RSS is grass: Mozilla euthanizes feed reader, Atom code in Firefox browser, claims it’s old and unloved

        When Firefox 64 arrives in December, support for RSS, the once celebrated content syndication scheme, and its sibling, Atom, will be missing.

        “After considering the maintenance, performance and security costs of the feed preview and subscription features in Firefox, we’ve concluded that it is no longer sustainable to keep feed support in the core of the product,” said Gijs Kruitbosch, a software engineer who works on Firefox at Mozilla, in a blog post on Thursday.

        RSS – which stands for Rich Site Summary, RDF Site Summary, or Really Simple Syndication, as you see fit – is an XML-based format for publishing and subscribing to web content feeds. It dates back to 1999 and for a time was rather popular, but been disappearing from a variety of applications and services since then.

        Mozilla appears to have gotten the wrecking ball rolling in 2011 when it removed the RSS button from Firefox. The explanation then was the same as it is now: It’s just not very popular.

      • Cameron Kaiser: It’s baaaaa-aaack: TenFourFox Intel

        It’s back! It’s undead! It’s ugly! It’s possibly functional! It’s totally unsupported! It’s … TenFourFox for Intel Macs!

        Years ago as readers of this blog will recall, Claudio Leite built TenFourFox 17.0.2 for Intel, which the update check-in server shows some determined users are still running to this day on 10.5 and even 10.4 despite various problems such as issue 209. However, he didn’t have time to maintain it, and a newer version was never built, though a few people since then have made various attempts and submitted some patches.

        One of these attempts is now far enough along to the point where I’m permitted to announce its existence. Riccardo Mottola has done substantial work on getting TenFourFox to build and run again on old Intel Macs with a focus on 32-bit compatibility, and his patches have been silently lurking in the source code repository for some time. Along with Ken Cunningham’s additional work, who now also has a MacPorts portfile so you can build it yourself (PowerPC support in the portfile is coming, though you can still use the official instructions, of course), enough functions in the new Intel build that it can be used for basic tasks.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • LibreOffice Lands More Qt5 Integration Improvements, LXQt Support

      Recently there’s been more improvements for LibreOffice with its Qt5 integration to allow this open-source office suite to jive better with Qt5-based desktops like KDE Plasma and now LXQt.

      On and off throughout the year we have seen a lot of improvements to the Qt5/KDE5 interface plug-in with LibreOffice. In the update shared earlier this month was initial accessibility support as well as Qt5 clipboard support. Since then, more code has been merged.

  • Pseudo-Open Source (Openwashing)

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • Summary of Seven Days

      Microsoft and the patents (Oct 10). Megatotoro shared this article with me. I was confused. Either Microsoft is changing its position or it is a masked move that, in reality, does not help Linux at all. Which one will be, I wonder?

  • Programming/Development

    • RcppNLoptExample 0.0.1: Use NLopt from C/C++

      A new package of ours, RcppNLoptExample, arrived on CRAN yesterday after a somewhat longer-than-usual wait for new packages as CRAN seems really busy these days. As always, a big and very grateful Thank You! for all they do to keep this community humming.

    • PyGotham 2018 Talk Resources

      At PyGotham in 2018, I gave a talk called “The Black Magic of Python Wheels”. I based this talk on my two years of work on auditwheel and the manylinux platform, hoping to share some dark details of how the proverbial sausage is made.

    • Introducing Litestats
    • Software developers today, by the numbers: 4 takeaways

      The firm surveyed 20,500 professional software developers around the globe during Q2 of this year; its ongoing tracking of developer experiences and attitudes typically includes more than 40,000 devs each year. The most recent survey reveals or reinforces several key storylines about the modern software developer’s day-to-day job and future career path.

    • GCC9 Lands Initial C++ Networking TS Implementation

      The GCC9 compiler code as of Friday has an initial implementation of the C++ networking technical specification.

      Currently in working draft form, one of the experimental C++ features is an extension for standardizing network handling. The C++ Networking TS adds support to the programming language and C++ standard library for operations around sockets, timers, buffer manager, host name resolution, and Internet protocols.

Leftovers

  • Health/Nutrition

    • Universal Basic Income Is Silicon Valley’s Latest Scam

      In 2016, I was invited to Uber’s headquarters (then in San Francisco) to talk about the failings of the digital economy and what could be done about it. Silicon Valley firms are the only corporations I know that ask for private talks for free. They don’t even cover cab fare. Like Google and Facebook, Uber figures that the chance to address their developers and executives offers intellectuals the rare privilege of influencing the digital future or, maybe more crassly, getting their books mentioned on the company blog.

      For authors of business how-to books, it makes perfect sense. Who wouldn’t want to brag that Google is taking their business advice? For me, it was a little different. Throwing Rocks at the Google Bus was about the inequity embedded in the digital economy: how the growth of digital startups was draining the real economy and making it harder for people to participate in creating value, make any money, or keep up with rising rents.

  • Security

  • Defence/Aggression

    • Alleged murders of Khashoggi, Kim show some nations kill with impunity

      Hands doused with nerve agent, radioactive tea, a poison dart hidden in an umbrella.
      The alleged killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in his country’s Istanbul consulate — if found to be true — is only the latest in a series of blatant assassinations carried out by a nation state on foreign soil.
      A source familiar with the investigation into Khashoggi’s disappearance said the Turkish authorities have evidence showing he was killed inside the consulate. Riyadh has so-far firmly denied any involvement in the journalist’s disappearance and claims he left the consulate unharmed.

      But while the Saudis have faced some fallout for the apparent disappearing, if not outright murdering, of one of their citizens in a foreign country — some investors and media figures have pulled out of deals and conferences in the Kingdom — the wealth and power of the regime is such that even if Khashoggi’s assassination is confirmed, repercussions will likely be short lived.

    • Tech Backs Away From Saudis After Journalist’s Alleged Murder

      Mohammed’s tech connections have much deeper roots, however. The Saudi government’s sovereign wealth fund, Public Investment Fund (PIF), has invested, directly and indirectly, in many top tier tech firms, which have remained silent on the controversy so far.

    • Trump just literally put a price tag on Jamal Khashoggi’s life

      Trump’s comments just made one thing extremely clear: He cares much more about getting American companies paid than defending human rights. What’s more, he doesn’t care that much about Khashoggi — who heavily criticized the crown prince in the Washington Post — because he is merely a US resident, not citizen.

    • Turkey has ‘shocking’ audio and visual evidence of Saudi journalist’s murder

      The audio recording in particular provided “persuasive and gruesome evidence” that a Saudi team dispatched to Istanbul was responsible for Khashoggi’s death, the Post reported.

      “You can hear his voice and the voices of men speaking Arabic,” one person with knowledge of the recording told the Post. “You can hear how he was interrogated, tortured and then murdered.”

    • EXCLUSIVE: Jamal Khashoggi ‘dragged from consulate office, killed and dismembered’

      “We know when Jamal was killed, in which room he was killed and where the body was taken to be dismembered. If the forensic team are allowed in, they know exactly where to go,” he said.

    • Michelle Obama: George W. Bush is ‘my partner in crime’ and ‘I love him to death’

      Former first lady Michelle Obama said Thursday that ex-President George W. Bush has become her “partner in crime” after years of sitting together at official events.

      “President Bush and I are forever seatmates because of protocol – that’s how we sit at all the official functions,” Obama said on NBC’s “Today” show. “So he is my partner in crime at every major thing where all the formers gather.”

      “I love him to death,” Obama added. “He’s a wonderful man. He’s a funny man.”

    • Politician Kills Himself While in Custody for Drone Attack on Maduro – Caracas
    • Five painful instances the CIA deprived Africa of its promising leaders

      It is no secret that the West has had a hand in turmoils and conflicts in Africa. From slavery to colonisation, these western countries have put African countries in dire straits in terms of economic, political, and social development.

      These interference has also been seen as far back as the 1950s when most African countries were agitating for independence and later after they gained independence.

      America’s Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) has been documented to have interfered with Africa’s post-independence government formation and establishment, either by helping depose promising leaders or installing brutal dictators, or both. In most cases, it was successful and in others, they were not.

    • From ‘torture centers’ and ‘CIA jets’, to Salman and Zayed’s murder of Jamal Khashoggi… Stop these two evil men!

      Immediately after the invasion of Iraq, CIA-affiliated “torture centers” were established in dozens of countries across the world. These were slave camps that were formed with secret agreements and spread from South Asia to Africa and the deserts of the Middle East. Action was taken in the name of fighting terrorism and hundreds of people from around the world were abducted and brought to these camps. Then, no news could be received from any of these people. None of them were able to leave those centers alive.

      [...]

      I believe I am the first person who disclosed the “torture centers” and discussed them. As a matter of fact, when the tankers in the Pacific were being smuggled by “pirates,” I was the first person to write, “No, it is the CIA smuggling them, these ships are being used as prisons, they roam in open seas, where there is no international law, as torture centers and prisons.” I was also one of the few who provided the most information to the world about the “CIA’s torture jets.” I remember, I had encountered very heavy attacks and threats for writing and discussing these matters.

    • Times: Jihadis are back in Kosovo – “caliphate is not dead”

      It states that according to what is known to authorities in Pristina, since 2012, 348 adults had gone from Kosovo to Syria to join Islamic State.

      The newspaper says that “many have died there, but many have returned,” and that “in the absence of a coherent program of de-radicalization, (Islamist) prisoners get out of jail and remain loyal to Islamic State.”

      Among those who are now free is Fitim Lladrovci, who, as a 24-year-old, watched a Syrian man get tied up to a stake and blown up with a missile launcher. It is alleged that the killer was Lavdrim Muhaxheri, “a notorious Kosovo Albanian who was flagged as an international terrorist threat before he was killed with a drone.”

      The Times writes that Kosovo Albanians have also participated in several recent terrorist attacks and that “six Kosovo Albanians, men and women, were arrested in June last year in Kosovo and in Germany for participating in two conspiracies targeting NATO troops in Kosovo and civilians in Belgium and France,” and recalls that “a month earlier eight people were arrested in Kosovo over a plot aimed at killing Israeli footballers.”

    • Indictment Reveals ISIS-Backed Plans for Kosovo Attacks

      Bujar Behrami, alias Abu Musab El-Albani – one of six Kosovo nationals indicted for terrorism by the Kosovo Prosecution last Saturday – has been the only one to tell investigators so far about the group’s alleged plans to bomb Orthodox churches and clubs in Serb-majority areas, and recruit suicide bombers in Kosovo.

      His statement made to police, earlier in September 2018, reveals details about the group’s modus operandi, finances, recruitment and explosives procurement.

      Behrami, Resim Kastrati, known as PC Habibi, Gramos Shabani, Albert Ademaj, Leotrim Musliu and Edona Haliti are all indicted with planning attacks and suicide bombings in Kosovo, France and Belgium from December 2017 to June 2018.

      Behrami stated that everything began in September and October 2016 when, through his Telegram account “Abu Musab”, he started communicating with a person known as “A1″ in Syria.

    • The CIA Finger in Brasil’s Election

      The growth of Bolsonarian fascism in the final stretch of the election campaign, turbo charged by an avalanche of fake news disseminated on the internet, is not surprising. It is an old tactic developed by American and British intelligence agencies, with the goal of manipulating public opinion and influencing political processes and elections. It was used in the Ukraine, in the Arab Spring and in Brazil during 2013.

      There is science behind this manipulation.

      Some people think that elections are won or lost only in rigorously rational debates about policies and proposals. But things don’t really work that way. In reality, as Emory University Psychology Professor Drew Weston says in his book “The Political Brain: The Role of Emotion in Deciding the Fate of the Nation”, feelings are commonly more decisive in defining the vote.

      Weston says that, based on recent studies in neuroscience on the theme, contrary to what is commonly understood, the human brain makes decisions mainly based on emotions. The voters strongly base their choices on emotional perceptions about parties and candidates. Rational analysis and empirical data normally plays a secondary role in this process.

    • The CIA, Asleep at the Wheel

      Not only does the CIA undermine democracy and sow chaos abroad — according to a new book, the agency deliberately held back information about future 9/11 hijackers in the US.

      [...]

      The book’s central, if still speculative, conceit is simple: that in the process of attempting to “flip” members of Al Qaeda (most notably, September 11 hijacker Khalid al Mindhar), the CIA deliberately prevented domestic authorities from learning about the presence of future 9/11 hijackers in the US, resulting in the worst attack on US soil since Pearl Harbor. Because such an alleged operation would have involved hijackers in the country, it would have been illegal, violating the CIA’s ban on domestic operations.

      It’s a tale that might at first glance seem plucked from the wildest reaches of the conspiracy-minded web. But when the one wearing the tinfoil hat is former Bush and Clinton chief counterterrorism advisor Richard Clarke — a longtime national security bureaucrat who came up with the concept of of extraordinary renditions — it demands more consideration than your average piece of twine-and-thumbtack speculation.

      As the authors note, the reader will find the allegations laid out in the book as credible as they find its chief sources. These include John Kiriakou, the former CIA officer who remains the only person to go to jail for the Bush-era torture program (not, in his case, for playing a role in it, but for talking to the press about it); former NSA official and whistleblower Thomas Drake, financially ruined by a government investigation into his alleged unauthorized disclosures; Larry Wilkerson, the chief of staff to former secretary of state Colin Powell; Mark Rossini, a former counter-terror agent with the FBI who was eventually ousted for leaking documents to his girlfriend; Clarke himself; and several others.

    • Yemen’s Navy Uses New Missile to Destroy Saudi Military Vessel Near Hajjah

      Yemen’s navy targeted a military vessel belonging to Saudi Arabia off of the northwestern coast of Hajjah on Wednesday, reportedly killing all aboard the vessel. The boat, which was in the Medi port, was carrying out attacks on the residential districts of Heiran and Medi in Hajjah when it was hit, according to a statement from Yemen’s navy.

      A source in Yemen’s navy confirmed to MintPress News that it targeted the Saudi vessel with a new type of domestically-manufactured missile, but did not name the missile.

    • Yemeni combat drone targets Saudi mercenaries in Hudaydah: Report
    • Students denounce CIA partnership with University of Illinois Chicago

      Opposition is growing among students on the University of Illinois Chicago (UIC) campus to the school’s recently announced partnership with the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). The partnership was agreed to in February as part of the CIA’s “Signature Schools Program,” which includes a handful of other colleges around the country.

      The partnership was arranged completely behind the backs of the students. At no point during the negotiations was input sought from any member of the student body, nor were they alerted that the partnership was being considered.

      Since agreeing to the program, the university has provided little information to students about what the partnership entails. The university denied a request by the UIC chapter of the International Youth and Students for Social Equality (IYSSE) to make public the “memorandum of understanding” (MOU) between the CIA and the university.

      The IYSSE at UIC is waging a campaign against the collaboration of UIC with the CIA, working to make the partnership known to students and organizing opposition to its continuation.

    • Did the CIA Play a Role in the Crack Epidemic of the 1980s in Los Angeles?

      Gary Webb wrote the three-part exposé called “Dark Alliance”, for the San Jose Mercury News in California, in August 1996. Webb had anonymous sources (he eventually named one in a later book) who had been involved in the Nicaraguan drug ring to back his allegations up.

      Some of Webb’s sources would later speak out in a 2015 documentary called “Freeway: Crack in the System” which was about Rick “Freeway” Ross who created a crack empire in the 1980s. Ross was a central character in Webb’s Dark Alliance allegations.

      According to Webb in the 1980s, when the CIA exerted a certain level of control over Contra groups such as the Nicaraguan Democratic Force (FDN), the agency as well as the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) granted amnesty to and financially backed important Contra supporters and fundraisers who were known to the U.S. Government as cocaine smugglers.

  • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

    • The CIA Word of the Day: Papyrophile

      Cruising through the Central Intelligence Agency’s CREST Archive, one will find, among other things, that, whatever its other faults, the Agency has some respect for the English language and the finer elements of grammar and editing. Another document pulled from their stockpile pokes some fun at the organization’s compulsive collection of records – its accuracy itself manifested by the millions of pages, now available digitally, that they kept for decades.

      The record, from October 1958, is a summation of an article, “A Taste for Paper” that the writer felt “eloquently caricatured many Organization employees.” It describes three types of paperlovers: the lover of other people’s paper; the lover of his fellow man, who peppers him with paper; and the lover of his own paper. All of these types fell into the fun folder labeled, “Papyrophile.”

    • Help crowdsource the CIA’s official contact list

      The Central Intelligence Agency’s declassified archives include a list of their official contacts at each executive branch agency in 1975, broken up by Agency component. This presents an all too rare map for future FOIA requests, one that’s especially useful in the instances where the Agency included the reasons for the contacts.

      By helping us compile a list of the Agency’s contacts throughout the government, you can help us dive into records on the Agency’s liaisons and help us find CIA-related activities that other parts of the government took part in.

    • Assange will eventually need to leave our embassy in London – Ecuador President

      Assange will eventually need to leave our embassy in London – Ecuador President WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is a step closer to being evicted from the Ecuadorian embassy in London after President Lenin Moreno said the whistleblower are required to “eventually” leave the facility.

      “Yes, indeed yes, but his departure should come about through dialogue,” the Ecuadorian president said on Friday answering a reporter’s question on whether Assange will eventually need to leave.

      “For a person to remain confined like that for so long is tantamount to human rights violation,” Moreno said. He additional that Ecuador wants to make sure that nothing “poses danger” to the whistleblower‘s life.

    • Ecuadorian President Lenin Moreno’s Assault on Human Rights and Judicial Independence

      Oswaldo Ruiz-Chiriboga, is an Ecuadorian legal scholar who teaches human rights and constitutional law at the Central European University in Hungary. He talked to Joe Emersberger about Ecuadorian President Lenin Moreno’s assault on human rights and judicial independence. Most of Moreno’s attacks abuses stem from a referendum of February, 2018 that was called by decree and without approval by the Constitution Court as required by the constitution. One of the seven referendum questions allowed Moreno to create a handpicked body – a so called “transitory CPCCS” – that has been empowered to make sweeping changes to the judiciary and other authorities. Among other acts, the “transitory CPCCS” recently fired all the members of the Constitutional Court. The relevance of this to the persecution of former President Rafael Correa is explained. The impunity with which Moreno has trampled the rights of Julian Assange is also discussed.

      JOE EMERSBERGER: In 2008, a year after Rafael Correa first took office in Ecuador, a constituent assembly was elected to write a new constitution. Correa and his allies, riding high in the polls, won most of the seats in that assembly. The constitution that the constituent assembly drafted was then approved by voters in another referendum in 2008. In 2009, a National Assembly was elected which replaced the Congress under the previous constitution. Correa also stood for reelection even though he had just taken office in 2007. One of things that came out of this whole process that restructured Ecuador’s political system was a Citizens Participation Council (CPCCS in its Spanish acronym) that oversees the selection of various unelected authorities like the judicial council. Basically it oversees “merit based” contests for these positions that are open to the public. Could you explain more about the CPCCS? Are there other countries that have a system like this?

      OSWALDO RUIZ-CHIRIBOGA: This is a novelty in the region and maybe the word. The state is usually organized in three traditional branches: the judiciary, the legislature and the executive. The 2008 constitution of Ecuador includes two other branches of government. One of them was the electoral branch. The other one was the transparency branch. The CPCCS is part of the transparency branch. The idea was to have a separate branch that appoints – after a procedure based on merit – authorities that are not elected by popular vote – high level authorities like the state prosecutor, Ombudsperson, and the members of the National Electoral Council. It was very good idea considering that in the past we didn’t have anything like that. What happened before was that the state was divided up like a pie. A piece of pie was given to one political party, another piece to another political party and everyone was happy, except the people. They parceled out the state among themselves in that way. The 2008 constitution (that was widely supported by social and political movements but also by the electorate) created this new branch to quash those awful practices from the past. But what we tried to avoid is now coming back to haunt us. This “transitory” CPCCS [created by Moreno] is once again giving away the country to different political parties and political actors from the right mostly, but also from the left – from the “old left” let’s call it – that in Ecuador has always been instrumental to the right. The exception to that was Rafael Correa, the only one in my view who managed to accomplish the most important goals of the left in the region had.

    • Julian Assange to regain internet access at embassy base – reports

      Ecuador has partly restored Julian Assange’s communications with the outside world from its London embassy where the WikiLeaks founder has been living for over six years, according to reports.

      The Ecuadorian government suspended access in March because it said Assange had breached “a written commitment made to the government at the end of 2017 not to issue messages that might interfere with other states”.

      On Sunday, the Press Association reported that Ecuador had partly restored Assange’s access to the internet, mobile phones and visits at the embassy, which had been restricted to members of his legal team.

    • Ecuador partly restores Assange’s internet
    • Julian Assange’s communications partly restored by Ecuadorian government
    • Julian Assange’s communications partly restored by Ecuadorian government

      The statement continued: “Mr Assange had critically reported on the Trump administration’s involvement in Yemen and Spanish police brutality. High level representations were made by the Trump administration and the Spanish government over Mr Assange, who was given political refugee status by Ecuador in 2012 over US attempts to prosecute him.

    • Julian Assange’s communications partly restored by Ecuadorian government

      The Ecuadorian government has decided to partly restore communications for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.

      They were cut in March, denying him access to the internet or phones and limiting visitors to members of his legal team.

      He has been living inside Ecuador’s embassy in London for over six years.

      The Ecuadorian government said in March it had acted because Mr Assange had breached “a written commitment made to the government at the end of 2017 not to issue messages that might interfere with other states”.

    • Assange gets his internet back: Ecuador ‘removes isolation regime’ imposed on WikiLeaks founder seven months ago for criticising the country’s friends from his embassy bolthole
    • WikiLeaks says Julian Assange regaining some access to outside world after embassy crackdown

      WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange reportedly has regained some of his ability to communicate with the outside world months after the Ecuadorian embassy in London where he resides limited his access.

      The secrets-leaking organization declared Sunday that Ecuador had rolled back Assange’s isolation after a meeting between two senior United Nations officials and Ecuadorian President Lenin Moreno.

      The isolation began in March, after the Ecuadorian government claimed Assange had run afoul of “a written commitment made to the government at the end of 2017 not to issue messages that might interfere with other states.”

    • Ecuador partly restores internet access for WikiLeaks founder Assange

      Ecuador has restored partial internet access to WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, who took refuge in the country’s London Embassy more than six years ago, WikiLeaks and an Assange lawyer said separately on Sunday.

      [...]

      Assange took refuge in Ecuador’s London Embassy after British courts ordered his extradition to Sweden to face questioning in a sexual molestation case. That case has since been dropped. But friends and supporters say Assange now fears he could be arrested and eventually extradited to the United States if he leaves the embassy. WikiLeaks, which published U.S. diplomatic and military secrets when Assange ran the operation, faces a U.S. grand jury investigation.

      “The main issue, the requirement for the UK to give an undertaking that Julian would not be extradited to the U.S., remains unresolved,” Barns told Reuters.

    • Former Ecuadorian ambassador to UK speaks on Julian Assange
    • Ecuador restores Assange’s communications after 7-month blackout – WikiLeaks

      The Ecuadorian government has lifted restrictions on WikiLeaks co-founder Julian Assange’s communications with the outside world, allowing visitors to his embassy hideout and restoring internet access it cut off in March.

      It was reported on Sunday that Ecuador moved to restore Assange’s access to the Internet, cell phone communications and permitted him to receive visitors other than his legal team.

    • Julian Assange ‘communications restored’ to outside world after embassy BLACKOUT

      In March, Assange’s internet access was cut off, phone jammers were installed and visitors were banned from seeing him after Ecuador’s President Lenin Moreno described Assange as a “hacker” and “stone in the shoe” who is a problem he “inherited” from his country’s previous Premier.

    • Julian Assange’s communications partly restored by Ecuadorian government

      Kristinn Hrafnsson, WikiLeaks editor-in-chief, added: “It is positive that through UN intervention Ecuador has partly ended the isolation of Mr Assange although it is of grave concern that his freedom to express his opinions is still limited.

      “The UN has already declared Mr Assange a victim of arbitrary detention. This unacceptable situation must end.

      “The UK government must abide by the UN’s ruling and guarantee that he can leave the Ecuadorian embassy without the threat of extradition to the United States.”

    • Ecuador partly restores Assange’s internet

      The Ecuadorian government has decided to partly restore communications for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.

      They were cut in March, denying the Australian access to the internet or phones and limiting visitors to members of his legal team.

      He has been living inside Ecuador’s embassy in London for more than six years.

      The Ecuadorian government said in March it had acted because Assange had breached “a written commitment made to the government at the end of 2017 not to issue messages that might interfere with other states”.

      WikiLeaks said in a statement: “Ecuador has told WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange that it will remove the isolation regime imposed on him following meetings between two senior UN officials and Ecuador’s President Lenin Moreno on Friday.”

    • Julian Assange’s communications partly restored by Ecuadorian government

      Kristinn Hrafnsson, WikiLeaks editor-in-chief, added: “It is positive that through UN intervention Ecuador has partly ended the isolation of Mr Assange although it is of grave concern that his freedom to express his opinions is still limited.

      “The UN has already declared Mr Assange a victim of arbitrary detention. This unacceptable situation must end.

      “The UK government must abide by the UN’s ruling and guarantee that he can leave the Ecuadorian embassy without the threat of extradition to the United States.”

      Mr Assange has been granted political asylum by Ecuador but believes he will be arrested if he leaves the embassy and extradited to the United States for questioning over the activities of WikiLeaks.

    • Assange’s communications to be partly restored by Ecuador govt

      The Ecuadorian government will partially restore communications for Julian Assange at the country’s embassy in London, Wikileaks said.

      The Wikileaks founder, who has been holed up at the embassy since 2012, was stopped from using the internet or a mobile phone to communicate with the outside world in March.

      “Ecuador has told WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange that it will remove the isolation regime imposed on him following meetings between two senior UN officials and Ecuador’s President Lenin Moreno on Friday,” Wikileaks said in a statement on Sunday.

    • WikiLeaks Founder Julian Assange Back Online as Ecuador Restores Partial Internet Access
    • Wikileaks founder Julian Assange is BACK ONLINE after 7-month communications BAN

      The Ecuadorian government revoked his internet and phone access in March after he breached an agreement “not to issue messages that might interfere with other states”.

      Only members of his legal team have been allowed to visit during this period.

      However, Wikileaks yesterday announced that his “isolation regime” was over after talks between UN officials and Ecuadorian President Lenin Moreno on Friday.

    • Wikileaks spills AWS Sydney data centre locations

      Julian Assange’s Wikileaks website has published a document that reveals the locations of data centres housing cloud giant Amazon Web Services, circa 2015.

      The document provides the exact address of facilities around the world, including Australia.

      Eight data centres in Sydney are listed in the document, with six being colo sites, and two sites operated by AWS itself. Wikileaks has published the full addresses, and names and phone numbers of contact people at the facilities.

      The two AWS data centres are SYD51 in Eastern Creek and SYD52 in Smeaton Grange towards Campbelltown.

    • The CIA and the State Department conspired to exploit a bureaucratic loophole to keep records hidden

      In 1955, the Central Intelligence Agency’s Psychological and Paramilitary Operations Staff made some inquiries through their point of contact at the State Department about the storage and accessibility of records concerning CIA operations. When they didn’t receive the answer they wanted, an informal suggestion led to a formal policy to circumvent those requirements by manipulating technicalities and appearances, and in some cases ignoring the records even existed.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife/Nature

    • Man-eating tiger hunted by Indian authorities using Calvin Klein cologne after ‘killing 13 people’

      Forest rangers in a wet and bushy patch of central India have been chasing a cunning female tiger suspected of killing 13 people for the past six months.

      They have thrown just about everything they have at the tigress: hundreds of foot soldiers to comb the jungle, bulldozers to clear it, sharpshooters, jeeps, camera traps, a thermal imagery drone and five Indian elephants in hopes of surrounding the tigress so the veterinarians riding the elephants can dart her.

  • Finance

    • From Bulldog to Lapdog: Rather Than Liberation, Brexit has Ensured Thralldom

      Britain’s reputation as a country of consequence is long overdue revision. It clings to the global core — as liberals cling to their failing institutions — by flaunting leaky WMDs, acting as the US’s representative within the EU, and being one of the world’s most corrupt financial centres. The last of those is so extreme that the Mafia expert Roberto Saviano has claimed it is numero uno in this shady running.

      What do I mean by corruption? I mean that there is no control of the flow of money — not necessarily into London, but into Gibraltar, Malta and Jersey — these are all the doors through which Great Britain brings money in without any control. Panama used to be the money laundering capital — now it’s London.

      Academia has offered the more palatable “financial engineering” to describe the British condition.

      Since Thatcher, the government has focused its efforts on manipulation of this sort. Because of which, the City of London, our Little Colombia, dominates political considerations. There they are in their unsightly towers, speculating with your savings in a process detached from proportion or decency, only breaking their bubble to make calls to the Albanian mob and Análise. And when this incomprehensible theatre collapses in upon itself, as it always does, taxpayers in the real but marginal, politically insignificant economy are informed that they have to pick up Gekko’s tab.

      It has been well documented by Wallerstein that the global economy ensures most nation states are consigned to production, i.e. creating most of the wealth. These “peripheral” countries are characterized by their workcamps and sweatshops (and cheap vacations). Worker rights are kept at an absolute minimum, and, though their states have been pruned of much else, they have retained the violent means to keep it this way.As this happens, as if by an invisible hand, corporations make an absolute killing.

  • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • Facebook Accused of ‘Full-Frontal Suppression of Dissent’ After Independent Media Swept Up in Mass Purge

      After Facebook announced on Thursday that it shut down and removed hundreds of pages and accounts that it vaguely accused of spreading “spam” and engaging in “inauthentic behavior,” some of the individuals and organizations caught up in the social media behemoth’s dragnet disputed accusations that they were violating the platform’s rules and raised alarm that Facebook is using its enormous power to silence independent political perspectives that run counter to the corporate media’s dominant narratives.

      While it is reasonable to assume that some of the more than 800 total pages and accounts shut down by Facebook were engaged in overtly fraudulent behavior—such as the use of fake accounts and bots to generate ad revenue—numerous independent media outlets that cover a wide array of issues say they were swept up in the massive purge despite never using such tactics.

    • The Online Censors: Facebook’s Long History of Closing Down Free Speech
    • ‘Land of censorship & home of the fake’: Alternative voices on Facebook and Twitter’s crackdown
    • Facebook Purges US-Based Independent Media For Political Disinformation
    • Facebook carries out massive purge of oppositional pages

      On Thursday, Facebook removed some of the most popular oppositional pages and accounts on the world’s largest social media network, in a massive and unconstitutional assault on freedom of expression.

      With no public notice or accounting, over 800 pages and accounts have been summarily removed from the [I]nternet. The removed pages include Police the Police, with a following of over 1.9 million, Cop Block, with a following of 1.7 million, and Filming Cops, with a following of 1.5 million. Other pages targeted include Anti-Media, with 2.1 million followers, Reverb Press, with 800,000 followers, Counter Current News, 500,000 followers, and Resistance, 240,000 followers.

      Right-wing publications, including Right Wing News, were also removed.

    • Facebook: Most political [astrotrufers] are American, not Russian

      That suggests Americans are now copying the success of Russia’s election interference programme to run their own partisan campaigns, whether for ideology or simply for money.

    • Facebook Tackles Rising Threat: Americans Aping Russian Schemes to Deceive

      Politics has always involved shadings of the truth via whisper campaigns, direct-mail operations and negative ads bordering on untrue. What is different this time is how domestic sites are emulating the Russian strategy of 2016 by aggressively creating networks of Facebook pages and accounts — many of them fake — that make it appear as if the ideas they are promoting enjoy widespread popularity, researchers said. The activity is also happening on Twitter, they said.

    • Free Speech in the Age of Algorithmic Megaphones

      Our political conversations are happening on an infrastructure built for viral advertising, and we are only beginning to adapt.

    • Nicola and Independence

      I dislike the political class now attached to the SNP in just the same way that I distrust the professional political class in every political party. The horrible Alex Bell should be a serious warning of the kind of false hypocrites that a salary will attract “to the cause”. Seeing MPs I knew as just punters campaigning in 2014, now walking proudly before power dressed entourages of paid staff, was a strangely unpleasant experience.

      My major concern is that the SNP’s foreign policy and defence teams at Westminster appear to have been entirely captured by the UK establishment and indeed the security services. They have been willing and instant amplifiers of the Tories’ Russophobia.

    • What Kavanaugh Tells Us about the Midterms

      The real plan was always to force the confirmation into the mold Democrats think will win them the House, the same gambit they thought would deliver a landslide in 2016. And so Kavanaugh’s complex judicial record was discarded in favor of Clinton-esque, er, progressive, talking points: the election, um, sorry, the confirmation is all about respect for women, fighting misogyny, defeating privilege, too many White Men, Trump is evil, we can’t have an accused rapist in the White House, sorry, on the Supreme Court! Disqualification via demonization. The Kavanaugh hearings were an updated version of what was supposed to be the 2016 game-changer, the “pussy grabbing tape.” The Dems would give America another shot at having had it with the patriarchy.

  • Censorship/Free Speech

    • ‘We Had NPR Refusing to Run Our Ads’: Movie About Abortionist Kermit Gosnell Facing Backlash, Censorship

      The groundbreaking movie, “Gosnell: The Trial of America’s Biggest Serial Killer,” highlights a true-life horror story that went almost ignored by politicians and the mainstream media.

      CBN News, however, followed the story from the crime scene to the courthouse.

    • Zen Studios Comments On Censorship In Pinball FX3 DLC

      It seems a lot of owners who purchased the additional downloadable content for Pinball FX3 noticed that the Medieval Madness, Fish Tales, and Junk Yard tables have been censored in someway with removal of pieces of the original artwork such as the covering up of some scantily clad women and bloody swords, etc. ArsTechnica covered this earlier in the week and have since had a statement from Zen Studios VP of Publishing Mel Kirk who explained that the censorship took place to enable them to keep the family friendly rating, as Mel says that it’s ultimately a family series of games.

    • ‘Pinball FX3′ Fans Notice Williams’ Pinball Pack Censorship, Zen Studios Responds

      Last month, we reported the news that Zen Studios was expanding its Pinball FX3 line-up with actual pinball tables from Williams/Bally. Well, it launched last week, and fans of the game loved it — but also noticed a little something with the translation of the tables.

    • Censorship not behind changes Student Media changes
    • Center To Host Conversation About Art And Censorship
    • Art & Censorship to be Focus of Falmouth Art Center Conversation

      A community conversation will be held later this month at the Falmouth Art Center to discuss Art and Censorship.

      The public is invited to the forum on October 24 at 6 p.m.

      The conversation is in response to growing concern over a recent incident in which artist Salley Mavor was asked to remove political content from a show that was to be displayed at Highfield Hall and Gardens in Falmouth.

      The incident has led to a discussion in town about the roles of artists, art nonprofits and gallery space.

    • New Tactics of Intimidation are Forcing Self-Censorship

      Pakistan has long been a dangerous country for journalists who report on issues like extremism, militancy, religious fundamentalism, or military interference in politics. A country with a history of military coups has recently witnessed an unprecedented period of civilian rule. But journalists say the 10 years of democracy has not strengthened freedom of the press. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports that new tactics of intimidation are forcing editors and reporters to self-censor.

    • Media prize a ‘defeat’ for Australian refugee censorship, says author

      A refugee journalist detained on Papua New Guinea’s Manus Island says winning an Italian award for investigative journalism could end censorship of offshore detention in the Australian media.

      Behrouz Boochani, who has made a documentary and written a book during his five years in exile, has won the Anna Politkovskaya Prize for Press Freedom from the Italian magazine Internazionale.

      Boochani regularly contributes to The Guardian and the Saturday Paper in Australia but said other publications supported the Australian government’s efforts to restrict information about its offshore detention regime.

    • Palestinians decry US ‘act of censorship’

      Palestinian representatives on Wednesday vowed not to stay silent as they closed their mission in Washington on orders of President Donald Trump.

      “This is an attempt to shut down your voice; this is an act of censorship,” said Hakam Takash, a diplomat at the Palestine Liberation Organisation’s Washington office which had been set up in 1994 after the Oslo peace accords.

      “This is a new beginning, not just in Palestinian-American relations but in the work of this community,” he told a ceremony as the office symbolically took down a plaque on the Washington building.

    • Telecoms Lawyer Weighs Options in Internet Censorship, Regulation

      Telecoms lawyer and President, Nigerian Bar Association, Paul Usoro has weighed the advantages and disadvantages of calls for censorship and regulation of the internet.

      Usoro, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), who spoke at the workshop for judges on legal issues in telecommunications, organised by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) in Lagos, said the global community views internet censorship from various perspectives and country’s varying degrees of censorship. He listed two global school of thoughts on internet censorship and regulation. He said they include the school of thought that posits that access to internet should be a basic right and that freedom of expression and the press should be allowed on the internet. The second school of thought believes that there should be some form of censorship and regulation for the overriding good of the society.

    • Ethiopia: Censorship Over for Theaters, Films – Producers Rejoice

      The censorship order has been lifted as it contradicts an article in Ethiopia’s constitution

      The Addis Abeba Bureau of Culture & Tourism lifted censorship of film and theatre productions effective October 5, 2018, stating that it is “conceding to the constitution”.

      The censorship was lifted as it contradicts Ethiopia’s constitution, which states that the freedom of the press, mass media and artistic creativity are “guaranteed” by Article 29 of the constitution, according to a new circular issued by Nebiyu Baye. Nebiyu, who replaced Gebretsadik Hagos, served as an assistant professor of theatre and film at Addis Abeba University and as head of the National Theater before moving to the culture & tourism office.

    • Censoring the Internet

      We browse through the internet constantly and not often are we blocked or restricted from accessing websites or certain content. However, that is not the case in many countries. According to Justin Pelletier, a professor and business director at the Center for Cybersecurity, internet censorship is the concept of limiting the flow of information in order to better protect the population or, in most cases, to protect the country’s interests.

      [...]

      The article continues to describe Google’s censorship troubles when in 2009, China decided to censor the internet even more, blocking YouTube and requiring Google to censor even more search terms. At this point, Google decided to shut down their service in China, but the restrictions still stand for Chinese citizens.

      Restrictions like these are not only present in China. In fact, many countries around the world limit what their citizens can view on the Internet. North Korea is one of the most heavily censored countries in the world as all media is state-owned and the Central Korean News Agency is the only news agency in the country. Another country that blacklists websites and media that criticize the government is Russia; their “single register” contains URLs, domain names and IP addresses that are blocked by the state.

    • ‘Liberated’ Words: Iranian-Born Poet Swept From Censors’ Office To Nobel Jury

      Words are everything to Iranian-born poet Jila Mossaed, who says she is obsessed with their “mysterious hidden powers.”

      “I breathe through words,” said the 70-year-old naturalized Swede, who has written books and poetry collections in Persian and Swedish.

      Her dedication to her art has now secured Mossaed election to the most prominent cultural institution in her adopted country and around the world — the Swedish Academy that has awarded the Nobel Prize for literature since 1901.

      Mossaed, whose writings are rich in symbolism and frequently evoke loss and longing, is thought to be the first immigrant to hold one of the centuries-old Swedish Academy’s 18 lifetime seats.

      She replaces Swedish author Kerstin Ekman, who ended her involvement with the Academy in 1989 over its refusal to condemn a religious fatwa issued by the late Iranian cleric and revolutionary leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini against British author Salman Rushdie for his novel The Satanic Verses.

    • Journalism for democracy: Caught between bullets and censorship in Latin America

      The murder of journalists and changing forms of censorship show that freedom of expression and information are still under siege in Latin America, particularly in the countries with the greatest social upheaval and political polarization.

      Journalism “maintains a central role in the work for democracy in the region, although it suffers persecution of the media, journalists and political and social activists, which goes against hemispheric human rights agreements,” said Edison Lanza of Uruguay, special rapporteur for freedom of expression at the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR).

    • M.I.A. says she’s quitting music for now, blames censorship

      Sri Lankan musician sits down for an illuminating chat in support of her new documentary

    • MIA hints at quitting music because of censorship
    • M.I.A. Says Industry Censorship Makes Her Not Want to Release Music: ‘I Have to Find Another Way’

      The singer recently had an interview with The House of Strombo, where she expressed she’s “not motivated” to release music. “For me, I have to find another way,” she explained.

      “I have been pushed out for five years or something, and I haven’t been able to successfully release a record at all within this system…Or get my voice heard in terms of the Tamil plight, or get credit for anything I did,” she continued, noting that people would rather hear an anti-Trump anthem than an exposure tune on Tamil women being raped by Sri Lankan army men. “That’s been completely erased. And people know, but no one is allowed to say it.”

      The interview follows the release of Mantagi/Maya/Mia, the in-depth documentary of her life, journey and career. Listen to the full episode below.

    • M.I.A says she’s quitting music for now, blaming censorship: “I have to find another way”

      M.I.A. has said that she is no longer “motivated” to release new music, blaming censorship from the music industry.

      Following the release of her documentary, Matangi / Maya / M.I.A. last month, M.I.A made the comments in an interview for The House of Strombo. M.I.A added that she needs to focus on another means of releasing music: “for me, I have to find another way.”

    • M.I.A. says she’s no longer motivated to make music due to censorship

      Acclaimed English musician M.I.A. says she’s no longer motivated to make music, noting that she’s sick of being censored for speaking her mind.

      Over the years, M.I.A. has been the subject of quite a few controversies. Most notably, there was her infamous hand gesture during the 2012 Superbowl, but there have also been a number of minor controversies as well, which has seen a few of her music videos removed from the web.

    • M.I.A. says that she’s temporarily quitting music due to censorship

      M.I.A. has announced that she is temporarily withdrawing from the music industry, blaming “censorship”. The revelation comes in an interview published on House of Strombo in support of recent documentary Matangi/Maya/M.I.A.

      In the video interview, the artist stated she feels censored by the media due to her political views. Consequently, she’s no longer “motivated” to make music: “I have been pushed out for five years or something, and I haven’t been able to successfully release a record at all within this system.”

      The former Crack Magazine cover star goes on to address the music industry’s rejection of her outsider views claiming: “If I want to be bigger, I kind of have to say nothing.”

    • AARP Sides With Actors Union, Seeks To Reinstate IMDb Age Censorship Law

      Siding with the Screen Actors Guild, the nonprofit AARP is asking a federal appeals court to reinstate a California law that requires IMDb.com to hide actors’ ages at their request.

      The AARP argues both that the California law marks a legitimate attempt to combat age discrimination in the entertainment industry and that people have the right to keep their ages private.

      “The resolution of the issues in this case will have a significant impact on a variety of older people who wish to be considered for, and obtain work, in their chosen profession,” the AARP writes in a friend-of-the-court brief submitted last week to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. The Alliance of Retired Americans and Communication Workers of America also signed on to the friend-of-the-court brief.

      The law (AB 1687) requires providers of “commercial online entertainment employment” services — a description that applies to Amazon’s IMDb.com — to remove information about paying subscribers’ ages upon their request. Supporters of the law say it helps combat illegal age discrimination.

    • Facebook and Twitter Beware — Censorship-Resistant Social Media Is Here

      Over the past few months, Bitcoin Cash developers have been creating applications that are similar to social media and forum platforms like Reddit, Facebook, and Twitter. Anyone in the world can use these Bitcoin Cash-powered applications such as Memo, Blockpress, Keyport, and Matter which offer censorship-resistant versions of these social media giants.

      [...]

      Memo.cash is a platform that is comparable to Twitter, but posts cannot be selectively removed by anyone as they are all stored onchain. Memo allows users to post text, animations, pictures, URLs, and videos while also setting a custom profile. Much like Twitter, there is a cap of how many characters can be used per post as Memo only allows 217 characters at a time. A feature that sets Memo apart from Twitter and other social media platforms is the ability to tip posts using BCH. This allows content creators to reap the benefits of their work rather than giant corporate entities.

    • On Tech Censorship Concerns, Sanders Video Encourages Followers: ‘Laugh in Their Face’

      This week U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) posted a video on Twitter featuring a call for his followers to scoff at those who raise concerns about Big Tech’s conservative viewpoint suppression problem. In the piece, just over 90 seconds in length, a senior Sanders advisor dismisses out of hand that there is any evidence of censorship, argues that Facebook and Google help conservatives, and indicates the only appropriate response to those with viewpoint suppression concerns is to “laugh in their face.”

      The Sanders video features clips from President Donald Trump, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), and House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.). Notably, the day before Sanders’ video, Scalise tweeted, “Silicon Valley’s bias against conservatives is very real and on display every day. It’s time they start acknowledging it and being honest with the American people about where they stand.”

    • Censorship crackdown? Top 10 alt-media pages newly banned by Facebook & Twitter
    • Event to celebrate Mexican independent publishing amid struggles of censorship

      Vivid art blown up onto the Fowler Museum’s walls will represent the radical opinions found in independently published Mexican art books.

      Fowler will hold the Artbook Pop-Up, which is part of a three-day event called Radical Publishing Weekend, and will include a pop-up shop and discussion panel. Event visitors will be introduced to the Mexican independent publishing movement that has shifted to the international stage through events such as book fairs in major cities. Visitors will be able to purchase some of the independently produced art books, and can participate in a panel discussion with publishers.

      This lively culture in Mexico extends to political work, especially art – something relevant to the lives of young students, said Sebastian Clough, the director of exhibitions at the Fowler and the curator of the event.

    • Concerned about censorship, Aurora artists find creative ways to fight City Hall
    • Conservative activists criticize DePaul over denying event
    • Conservative activists criticize DePaul over denying event

      Two conservative activists are criticizing DePaul University after the Chicago school denied a request for an on-campus event.

      The Chicago Tribune reports Thursday Charlie Kirk and Candace Owens of Turning Point USA tweeted accusations of censorship and suppression. University officials have not commented on the reasons for denying the group that promotes conservatism among students.

    • Conservative activists accuse DePaul of censorship after university bars them from holding event on campus
    • New Samizdat: RT brings you a new censorship buster

      If the establishment media were truly balanced, social media’s purge of alternative news outlets would be a front-page splash. The fact it isn’t proves that those who shout loudest about “free speech” may be its greatest enemies.

      Sadly, RT saw something like this coming. And for that reason, we have developed a new site to promote the free exchange of information and views. The fact it launches on the same weekend that US social media giants Facebook and Twitter clamped down on dissent is merely a coincidence.

    • Misconceptions of Online Censorship

      If you’ve ever vocalized a concern of censorship on social media, chances are you’ve been told “but they’re private companies, they can do whatever they want.” Responses like this miss the point of concern. Many political terms (equality, for example) have nuance depending on context. Regarding censorship, there’s the kind that violates your rights, and there’s the kind that doesn’t. The former is much more serious, but that doesn’t mean the latter isn’t a problem.

      Everyone has a right to say what they want, but they do not have a right to be heard. They also do not have a right to a platform (online or offline) besides what they can provide for themselves. What this means is that it is not a violation of my rights if an organization denies me use of their platform, because they can do what they want with their property. It is only a violation of my rights if I am given a platform (or provide one for myself), and others forcefully try to shut it down. Even if what I’m saying is atrocious, I still have a right to speak.

    • Logan Paul is being blamed by Google for increase in internet censorship

      Paul faced massive criticism after the video went live, and has since uploaded multiple apology videos and hired an additional manager to monitor his content.

      While YouTube pulled Paul from its premium advertising program and deleted the video in question, Paul remains a massive presence on the platform, and will even engage in a boxing rematch with fellow YouTuber Olajide ‘KSI’ Olatunji in summer of 2019.

    • Colorado Association of Libraries blasts pornography lawsuit as censorship crusade, attempt to undermine “fundamental tenets of a free society”

      Two parents who filed a lawsuit claiming pornography was distributed to their children by a national scholastic network and the Colorado Library Consortium are more interested in censorship than protecting children, a library advocacy group said Friday.

      The Colorado Association of Libraries blasted the lawsuit filed on behalf of Pornography is Not Education and Aurora parents Drew and Robin Paterson as a blatant attempt to erase all electronic material the group does not like from local and school libraries.

      “They are on a personal crusade to impose one particular worldview upon the entire community, and the targets of their campaign extend well beyond… Colorado,” said Carol Smith, president of the Colorado Association of Libraries, in a statement.

    • Op-Ed: Google the censor? The internet vs free speech?

      Google’s role as top dog comes with a few lead weights. One of the big issues is growing disquiet about the power of big platforms. A strange tale has unfolded after a leak of Google internal documents defining the big problems. Op-Ed: Google the censor? The internet vs free speech?

    • Google Seeks ‘Balance’ Between Communist Oppression, Freedom of Expression
    • Leaked Google research shows company grappling with censorship and free speech
    • Leaked Google document addresses the conflict between censorship and free speech
    • Google now plays ‘Good Censor’ for civility’s sake, leaked internal briefing confirms
    • No Google Isn’t Trying To Censor The Web

      Earlier today an internal Google presentation summarizing a variety of perspectives, including my own, on the state of internet freedom began circulating on the web. The “leaked” presentation was quickly framed by some as a roadmap to censorship and that it demonstrated the company was examining how to suppress certain viewpoints or crack down on internet freedoms. Yet, a closer read of the presentation would suggest precisely the opposite: a company at the center of many of our debates about the future of the online world grappling with the existential question of the modern web: how to absolutely preserve freedom of speech, while at the same time preventing terrorists, criminals, repressive governments and trolls from turning this incredible force for good into a toxic and dangerous place that undermines democracy, advances terrorism, assists fraudsters and empowers hatred? How do we elevate the voices of the disenfranchised and give them a place at the table of global discourse, while not also awakening the trolls that seek to repress them? How do we empower the free expression of ideas and bring an incredibly diverse and divided world together, while embracing the differences that make us who we are? How do we reach across countries and cultures, across languages and landscapes, to have meaningful conversations about the future of our shared planet? Most importantly, how can technology play a positive role in helping facilitate the good, empowering civil discourse, while discouraging the bad, from terrorist recruiting to fraud to toxic speech and trolling?

    • Leaked Transcript: Google Lied About “Dragonfly” China Censorship

      The project, code-named Dragonfly, would blacklist phrases like “human rights,” “student protest,” and “Nobel Prize,” and has resulted in at least seven Google employees quitting for ethical reasons. Other employees have circulated a letter recognizing a “code yellow” emergency, suggesting that the Dragonfly initiative violates Google’s ethical code, which states that the company will not build or deploy technologies “whose purpose contravenes widely accepted principles of international law and human rights,” according to The Intercept.

      The project has also drawn criticism from human rights groups, congressional legislators and Vice President Mike Pence – who called on the search engine giant to “immediately end development of the Dragonfly app that will strengthen the Communist Party’s censorship and compromise the privacy of Chinese customers.”

    • Google tells US lawmakers it is mulling options on China services
    • Google CEO Tells Senators That Censored Chinese Search Engine Could Provide “Broad Benefits”
    • Leaked Transcript: Google Lied About “Dragonfly” China Censorship
    • Google leak reveals secret China plans for censored search engine, prompting protests from employees
    • A software developer just became the latest victim of China’s VPN crackdown
    • Chinese man gets 3 years in prison for helping people bypass censorship – CNN
    • Drone journalism’s battle for airspace
    • Senran Kagura Burst Re:Newal Localization Team Shares Details on PS4 Version Censorship and Trophies
    • Sony Seemingly Censors Controversial Senran Kagura Mode
    • Senran Kagura Burst Re:Newal Delayed Due To Sony Censorship
    • XSEED Producer Says Cancelling Senran Kagura Burst Re:Newal Over Censorship Issue Would Hurt Devs

      Calling it a “lose-lose” situation, Lipschultz reiterated that the developers and publishers don’t have the luxury of throwing away all their hard work over one mode. He also hinted that XSEED wasn’t happy with the situation and that there will be some “push-back” behind the scenes.

    • “Welcome To The New ’90s”: Senran Kagura Burst Re:Newal Will Be Censored On PS4

      Senran Kagura Burst Re:Newal is a remake of the first game in the Senran Kagura franchise, a series of games featuring female ninjas kicking butt and taking names.

    • New Tactics of Intimidation Forcing Self-Censorship in Pakistani Media

      Various journalist unions across Pakistan protested Tuesday the direct and indirect intimidation they say they face while trying to do their job.

      “The journalist is alive, Ayub saw it, Yahya saw it, now you will see it,” chanted a charged group of protesters in capital Islamabad calling out names of past dictators.

      Pakistan has long been a dangerous country for journalists who report on issues like extremism, militancy, religious fundamentalism, or military interference in politics. A country with a history of military coups has recently witnessed an unprecedented period of civilian rule. But journalists say 10 years of democracy has not strengthened freedom of the press.

    • How Censorship Inspired Witchsy’s Co-Founders to Compete Against Etsy

      Using just $10,000 of their personal savings, entrepreneurs Kate Dwyer and Penelope Gazin launched an online gallery and Etsy competitor called Witchsy that became cash flow positive in year one with hundreds of thousands in revenue. This week on Eater’s business podcast Start to Sale, hosts Erin Patinkin (CEO, Ovenly) and Natasha Case (CEO, Coolhaus) talk to the Witchsy co-founders about their philosophy in business and art, why they like to mock their consumers, how they created a fake male co-founder to dodge sexism, and so much more.

    • Four fundamental principles for upholding freedom of speech on campus

      It goes without saying – or at least it ought to – that freedom of speech should be a core value of universities. As a scholar of freedom of speech and a university academic, it has been gratifying to see so many Vice Chancellors (and a former Chief Justice of the High Court) take it so seriously.

      This attention to freedom of speech is a response to recent controversies about on campus. Bettina Arndt’s campus tour met with rowdy and obstructive demonstrations. Students have accused each other of bullying and censorship. And last year, La Trobe University academic Roz Ward was briefly suspended for misconduct for her controversial views on Australia’s flag in a Facebook post.

    • On campus censorship

      No one should be stopping students from speaking their beliefs, but often this gets confused with the idea that people have to be forced to listen to them. People shouldn’t be subjected to abuse, harassment or harm. Events, presentations and debates are welcome to take place, but no one is required to attend these events. Students are welcome to take the stage, but the same goes for the audience. They have the right to stay or go in response to the message that is being disseminated. In most cases, ignoring the speaker’s message is just as much of a hindrance as denying the speaker a podium.

      Freedom of speech on campuses is regulated in a very different way than in other public spaces, through the use of speech codes. These speech codes are university regulations that prohibit some verbal communication and expression that would normally be protected by the Constitution if such speech or expression happened in society at large. Often, these speech codes can be written into university policy, or simply be determined by the will of the university.

  • Privacy/Surveillance

    • NSA Whistleblowers Turn Outrage Into Innovation

      Co-founders Bill Binney and Kirk Wiebe, two former whistleblowers on data practices of US security giant NSA, have chosen the Netherlands as a new home to launch their own data intelligence startup Pretty Good Knowledge.

      With the launch announced this week, the new company is building on the long-standing experience of their founders in big data analysis for security intelligence. Bill Binney and Kirk Wiebe spend almost three decades in the National Security Agency (NSA) working on specialized data analysis for improving security information, in particular related to terrorism affecting people around the world.

      Their quiet existence rapidly changed in 2002 when they went public accusing the NSA leadership of wasting millions of dollars on an expensive but allegedly ineffective data system – whilst shelving the available solution that they claimed could have prevented the 9/11 attacks. This dramatic turn of their life into public whistleblowers made news around the world and has been portrayed in the movie documentary A Good American.

      More than a decade later, the team is back from their temporary retirement and has a new mission: “We know how to achieve market and security intelligence without sacrificing privacy or breaking laws, and we are excited how quickly our customers realize how much more is possible when using a disciplined and structured approach”, says co-founder Bill Binney about the launch of Pretty Good Knowledge.

    • NSA Whistleblowers Turn Outrage Into Innovation

      For some, it means a long time behind bars. Chelsea Manning was staring down a death sentence after she leaked 750,000 sensitive or classified files of military information. Eventually she was convicted to 35 years in prison before Barack Obama commuted her sentence in one of his last acts as President.

      For others, it’s a life of obscurity or going unnoticed by the public. It wasn’t until more than three decades after the Watergate Scandal that the public finally knew the identity of Deep Throat, former FBI Associate Director Mark Felt.

      For almost every whistleblower, life never returns to ‘normal’ ever again. After he leaked classified information on the appalling nature and extent of which the NSA was spying on private citizens, Edward Snowden found asylum only in Russia, where he’s been living for more than five years in exile. Whether he is ever able to return to the U.S. as a free man remains to be seen

    • Edward Snowden, ‘most wanted fugitive’ addresses Israeli panel
    • NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden to speak in Israel
    • Edward Snowden to Address Select Audience in Israel: Will He Take On Israel’s Surveillance State?
    • World’s most wanted man in first public Israel appearance
    • Snowden to address Israeli event via videolink
    • UK’s GCHQ Declines To Comment Reports About Five Eyes Alliance’s Data Exchange On China

      The UK Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) on Friday refused to comment to Sputnik on reports that the Five Eyes intelligence alliance, which London is a member of, has been exchanging classified information on China’s foreign activities with like-minded states since the beginning of the year.

    • Are the NSA, FBI Listening to Donald Trump’s Phone Calls? Director Wray Avoids Question During Senate Hearing

      FBI Director Christopher Wray told the Senate that he could not discuss whether intelligence agencies in the federal government are listening in on President Donald Trump’s phone conversations with foreign leaders.

      “When we collect information on people overseas we don’t use the Constitution,” Senator Rand Paul said during a Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee hearing on Capitol Hill this Wednesday. “So we scoop up all your information, we listen to phone calls everywhere, including [Chancellor of Germany] Angela Merkel, we listen to everybody.”

      But in the United States, Paul argued, citizens are entitled to a certain amount of privacy guaranteed under the Constitution.

    • Intelligence watchdog NSA says will encourage whistleblowers to come forward [Ed: NSA has been #googlebombing these past few days. It wants people to open up this bundle of lies when they 'google' stuff like "nsa whistleblowers"...]

      The US National Security Agency’s top oversight official, Robert Storch, is working to repair the spy agency’s reputation with whistleblowers in an effort to encourage staff to report wrongdoing internally, rather than go public.

      “It’s really important we encourage whistleblowers to come forward and that they feel comfortable doing so and, if there are allegations of reprisal, then we take that very seriously,” Storch said in an interview with Reuters last week.

    • Intelligence watchdog NSA says will encourage whistleblowers to come forward [Ed: Ridiculous spin: NSA busy this past week painting itself as pro-whistleblowers. Historically it entraps them, they must not trust the employer to self-regulate.]

      The US National Security Agency’s top oversight official, Robert Storch, is working to repair the spy agency’s reputation with whistleblowers in an effort to encourage staff to report wrongdoing internally, rather than go public.

      “It’s really important we encourage whistleblowers to come forward and that they feel comfortable doing so and, if there are allegations of reprisal, then we take that very seriously,” Storch said in an interview with Reuters last week.

      The spy agency has experienced a series of embarrassing leaks over the past five years, beginning with Edward Snowden’s 2013 high-profile exposure of secret NSA surveillance programs.

    • From Inside The NSA, A Call For More Whistleblowers
    • Amazon hopes to blanket your home and car with listening, eavesdropping Alexa devices

      Amazon publishes reports outlining how many government requests it has received, and how many it has complied with. For the last two reports, the numbers are still low: fewer than 2,000 requests during each six month period, not all of which were complied with. That suggests that the privacy risk from using Amazon’s Alexa services is currently limited. But things may not remain that way. As more highly-personal data is gathered routinely by Amazon’s AI systems, so its value to the authorities will increase, and the temptation to use it will grow. It’s still early days for this field, but it is important to monitor closely what happens as it enters the mainstream thanks to devices from Amazon and others. After all, our privacy already faces serious threats from new technologies like facial recognition; we hardly need another challenge.

  • Civil Rights/Policing

    • EU Parliament’s anti-terrorism draft Report raises major concerns

      From a digital rights perspective, the draft Report contains numerous worrying recommendations, statements and approaches to counter-terrorism. It is problematic for several reasons. [...]

    • UK says Hong Kong rejection of FT journalist visa politically motivated

      Hong Kong, a former British colony, returned to Chinese rule in 1997 under a “one country, two systems” principle, with the guarantee of a high degree of autonomy and freedoms, including freedom of the press, not enjoyed elsewhere in China.

      But calls for outright independence are a red line for China’s Communist Party leaders, who deem the global financial hub to be an inalienable part of the nation.

    • China’s Media Crackdown Spreads to Hong Kong

      The authorities have never criticized Mr. Mallet’s reporting. But he was the main spokesman for the Hong Kong Foreign Correspondents’ Club in August when it hosted a talk by Andy Chan, head of a political party that called for Hong Kong’s independence from China. Hong Kong and Beijing officials blasted the event in advance and subsequently banned the party.

    • ECHR rejects Lithuanian and Romanian appeals regarding CIA prisons
    • ECHR rejects appeals by Romania and Lithuania in CIA black sites cases

      The European Court for Human Rights (ECHR) rejected Romania and Lithuania’s appeals against the court’s May ruling that the two countries had been complicit in CIA’s secret detention centers program, according to AFP.

      In May, the ECHR found that both countries knew two suspects caught after the 9/11 attacks would risk torture while being held at the “black sites” between 2004 and 2006. Saudi national Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri claimed he was illegally held and tortured at an undisclosed site in Romania, while suspected Al-Quaeda operative Abu Zubaydah said he had a similar experience in Lithuania.

    • ECHR Upholds Ruling In Case On Alleged CIA Secret Prison In Vilnius – Lithuanian Ministry

      The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) dismissed Tuesday the appeal of the Lithuanian government against an earlier ECHR ruling in case of Abu Zubaydah, who claimed that Lithuania had provided its territories to the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) for the setting up of a secret prison, the Lithuanian Justice Ministry told Sputnik on Tuesday.

      In late May, the ECHR ruled that the Baltic state had violated the provisions of the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms with respect to Zubaydah, who claimed he had been held in a CIA secret prison in Lithuania. The court stated that Lithuania should pay Zubaydah 130,000 Euros ($149,100) in compensation. In early September, the Lithuanian authorities filed an appeal against the ECHR ruling before the court.

    • Romania and Lithuania lost the appeals în ECHR trial on secret CIA prisons

      Neither Bucharest, nor Vilnius admitted the existence of secret prisons on their territories and both countries appealed, but European judges unanimously decided to reject the appeal.

    • EU court rejects appeal over CIA ‘black sites’
    • European Human Rights Court rejects Romania’s appeal in secret CIA prisons case
    • Woman Impersonates CIA Agent To Convince Boyfriend, Parents To Murder Couple

      Agent Scott Lott told Oxygen’s “Criminal Confessions” that a few names kept popping up during the investigation — Janelle Potter, her parents, Buddy and Barbara Potter, and Payne’s cousin, Jamie Curd. According to multiple testimonies, Payne and Hayworth had recently been involved in a Facebook feud with Janelle, who was dating Curd. Curd quickly sided with the Potter family, which led to a physical altercation between the cousins.

    • An international drug-trafficking soccer hooligan network

      On September 26, Argentine authorities arrested 15 people suspected of belonging to a network of criminal soccer hooligan groups – known in Latin America as barras bravas – that imported drugs from Colombia and sold them throughout Greater Buenos Aires, according to a report from Clarín.

      The operation against the so-called Soccer Hooligan Cartel also included more than 20 raids in which authorities seized at least 1.100 doses of cocaine and 1.400 doses of paco (a smokable paste from an intermediate stage of cocaine production), and more than a kilogram of marijuana.

      Authorities identified one of the network leaders as Sebastián Parra Jaramillo, a Colombian national who is also the leader of a fan club for the Atlético Nacional soccer team in Medellín, Colombia. He allegedly obtained drugs on consignment to smuggle into Argentina.

    • David Wise, author and CIA expert who exposed ‘invisible government,’ dies at 88

      David Wise, a journalist and author who became one of the country’s foremost authorities on espionage, writing books on the CIA, turncoat spies and whether intelligence agencies had become an unaccountable “invisible government,” died Oct. 8 at a Washington hospital. He was 88. The cause was pancreatic cancer, said his wife, Joan Wise. Wise was a reporter for the old New York Herald Tribune newspaper, which assigned him to its Washington bureau in 1958. He became best known for his coverage of the world of spycraft, writing more than 10 nonfiction books about the Cold War era and beyond, as well as three novels.

    • David Wise, author and CIA expert who exposed ‘invisible government,’ dies at 88

      David Wise, a journalist and author who became one of the country’s foremost authorities on espionage, writing books on the CIA, turncoat spies and whether intelligence agencies had become an unaccountable “invisible government,” died Oct. 8 at a Washington hospital. He was 88.

    • David Wise, Journalist Who Exposed CIA Activity, Dies at 88

      David Wise, one of the first journalists to expose the clandestine operations of the Central Intelligence Agency and a standard-setter for investigative reporting into government espionage, died on Monday in Washington. He was 88.

      The death, at Georgetown University Medical Center, was confirmed by his wife, Joan Wise, who said the cause was pancreatic cancer.

      Mr. Wise was the author, with Thomas B. Ross, of “The Invisible Government,” an explosive 1964 exposé of the C.I.A. and its covert operations. To keep its contents from the public, the C.I.A. considered buying up all copies of the book but backed off when the publisher, Random House, made clear that it would simply print more.

      Mr. Wise began his journalism career in the late 1940s as a campus stringer for The New York Herald Tribune while studying at Columbia College. In his senior year he was editor of the campus newspaper, The Spectator, alongside another aspiring journalist, Max Frankel, who in 1986 became executive editor of The New York Times.

      Mr. Frankel said on Tuesday that Mr. Wise seemed born to write about espionage: He always kept information — even what he had for lunch — close to the vest.

    • The Deportation Crisis: Report From Long Island

      I am writing to you from Suffolk County, Long Island, New York, a place you may associate with images of traffic jams on the famed Long Island expressway, the rich and famous of the Hamptons, sandy beaches, and most recently, MS 13. Right now we live in the heart of the beast—the flashpoint of immigration and deportation politics in America’s suburbs.

      Long Island has been part of the Latino migration stream of seasonal farm workers from the 40s through the 60s. Some workers were documented using the H-2A visa program available for agricultural workers, but many were not. During the months migrant workers were here, they lived primarily in isolated labor camps. Since the 60s, immigrant worker numbers have grown, seeking work now in suburban rather than rural communities, in service industries like food service, landscape care, nanny and elder services and the building trades. These workers mow our lawns, cook our food, care for our children, and build our buildings, still documented and undocumented.

      Long Island also has a long history of segregation, born of the development of the “exclusive”” white suburbs in the post war era. Segregation by race and ethnicity is not new and persists to this day. By the 80s, the immigrant profile shifted from European to Latin Americans, many single men, mostly from Mexico, came in greater numbers. As more Latinos sought permanent residency, increased ethnic anxiety rose. Ideas about Latinos as gang members and welfare recipients began building steadily. The popular culture emphasis on drug and gang behavior (think “Miami Vice”) contributed to the narrative of the violent Latino and Latinas on welfare. The bi-lingual movement of the 1980s also created tension, and by 1996 Suffolk County attempted to have English designated as the official language of the county, the first in New York State. Covered in the New York Times,the article was titled “English Only Bill ignites Debates and Fear on LI.” Local zoning laws calling for the definition of family as five or less unrelated individuals also came in response to large numbers of workers renting single family homes.

      [...]

      Both federal and local policy changes have been developed under the theory of “deterrence logic”. The U.S. currently refuses to be a refuge for people with problems in their countries of origin. AmerIcans are often unaware of the tumult in Central America, that people quite literally are running for their lives as their own countries are filled with corrupt governments, domestic violence, gang violence, MS 13, and sex and drug trafficking. However, the arduous trip to cross into the U.S. is STILL preferable to remaining where they are. While fewer people may be attempting to cross, terrorizing these immigrants, many of whom are here legally, calls into question the acclaimed American narrative of a “nation of immigrants.” This narrative has been replaced by an “immigrant emergency” narrative which gained traction in the aftermath of 9/11. We are not a melting pot, but rather a pressure cooker here in Suffolk County, New York.

  • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

  • DRM/Repairs

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Qualcomm files appeal to avoid potential $5 billion payout to 250 million American smartphone buyers (1.2 billion transactions)

      In its third question presented for review, Qualcomm describes this consumer class that was certified in the Northern District of California–up to 250 million people and, according to Qualcomm’s estimate, approximately 1.2 billion claims (since people, on average, bought multiple smartphones during the roughly 8-year period the claims relate to)–as “quite likely the biggest class action in history.”

      That may be true with respect to membership size. It certainly isn’t in economic terms since the $4.99 billion demand Qualcomm is facing (Law.com’s Scott Graham found out) is dwarfed by the $206 billion tobacco settlement in 1998 or the $20 billion Gulf of Mexico oil spill settlement in 2016. Still, $5 billion is a very significant number, which would amount to approximately $20, on average, per class member. The exact amount per member would obviously depend on the particular smartphone purchases made by each consumer. It would be the amount of each buyer’s overpayment due to Qualcomm’s practices (which regulators on three continents have already held to be anticompetitive), possibly enhanced by a factor of up to three. Just imagine how many people–outside of its own organization and apart from its shareholders–Qualcomm would make happy with such an involuntary gift…

    • Portus’s suit against Kenyon & Kenyon Dodges Dismissal on Pleadings

      Portus filed suit against the now defunct (I think) firm of Kenyon & Kenyon. The complaint has morphed but now alleges, basically, that the firm failed to timely seek PTA and at the time it did so, had a conflict of interest by representing another company in the same “domain.” The amended complaint is here. The denial of the motion for judgment on the pleadings is here, from June.

    • Expansion of the Blocking Patent Doctrine: Trading Logic for Gremlins

      So far, we have only discussed the application of the blocking patents doctrine to discount “commercial success” evidence of nonobviousness. Another innovation of the Acorda case is the extension of this doctrine to long-felt need and failure of others. Sometimes, you see, there is evidence that people in the field were discussing a longstanding unsolved problem, or expressed frustration with existing products, but were unable to propose a better solution until one was provided by the inventor. Or maybe others tried different possible approaches but came up with only inferior solutions or failed altogether. Such information normally tends to show that the supposedly obvious invention couldn’t have been quite so obvious. But just as with evidence of commercial success, the blocking patents doctrine now says that an earlier patent would have prevented others from proposing an obvious solution to a long-felt problem – even if just on paper. In the same vein, others who actually tried and failed to solve the problem are presumed (without proof) to have failed only because the existence of a patent prevented them from trying the obvious solution, forcing them to go down blind alleys instead.

    • ITC Institutes Section 337 Investigation of ResMed’s Sleep Apnea Masks

      On Friday, October 5th, the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) issued a notice of institution of a Section 337 patent infringement investigation requested by New Zealand-based appliance manufacturer Fisher & Paykel against San Diego, CA-based medical equipment firm ResMed. The ITC instituted the Section 337 investigation after Fisher & Paykel alleged that certain sleep apnea products imported for sale by ResMed infringe upon U.S. patents held by the New Zealand firm.

    • 4 Ways Advances In AI Could Challenge Patent Law [Ed: Patent maximalists pushing the lunacy which is computer-generated patents]

      Advances in artificial intelligence raise intriguing patent law questions, including whether AI breakthroughs are patent-eligible and whether AI that creates something can be an “inventor” entitled to a patent.

    • Artificial intelligence: a game changer for the patent system

      With the advent of powerful computers and the availability of unlimited storage capabilities, artificial intelligence (AI) has made its way into mainstream applications – heralding the fourth industrial revolution. While the notion of what ‘artificial intelligence’ means has undergone significant change since its introduction in 1956, today’s typical AI is broadly conceived to “perceive its environment and take actions that maximise its chance of successfully achieving its goals”. This may involve reinforcement learning, where goals can be set explicitly or implicitly by rewarding some types of behaviour and punishing others, or by a fitness function allowing for mutation and preferential replication of high-scoring AI systems in an evolutionary system. AI may be implemented in self-optimising software or hardware that regularly requires vast data amounts (known as ‘big data’) for training response behaviour.

    • Singapore Court of Appeal upholds determining factors for inventorship and ownership

      On 28 August 2018, the Singapore Court of Appeal issued its decision on Cicada Cube Pte Ltd v National University Hospital (Singapore) Pte Ltd [2018] SGCA 52. The judgement involved the determination of ownership and inventorship of a Singapore patent, as well as the interpretation of Section 47(9) of the Singapore Patents Act regarding the time limit to bring such entitlement actions.

      [...]

      The High Court held that NUH was not caught by this conditional time limit because the phrase ‘proceedings in which the jurisdiction is invoked’ referred to in s 47(9) referred to the reference submitted to the Registrar. In contrast, the Court of Appeal held that NUH was indeed caught by the conditional time limit because the High Court and the Registrar had concurrent jurisdiction to determine patent entitlement, meaning that parties could apply to either forum to determine this question. If a party applied to the High Court after two years from the date of grant of the patent, the High Court could not determine the question unless it was shown that the proprietor knew that he was not entitled to the patent at date of grant or date of transfer. The same applies in this case where NUH had applied to the Registrar first (within the two-year period) but the Registrar declined to determine the question. Therefore, if a party decides to apply to the Registrar first and the Registrar does not make a determination by the two-year mark, it would be prudent for the party to withdraw the reference and commence proceedings in the High Court before the expiration of the two-year time limit.

    • Patent exhaustion keeps Qualcomm on the run from Apple’s claims and motions

      If exhaustion makes you run even further and faster, you’re either above conventional physics–or you’re Qualcomm.

      Patent exhaustion has been an important and powerful concept for a very long time, but last year the Supreme Court provided a great deal of clarification in its Lexmark opinion. That opinion came down in the early phase of Qualcomm’s disputes with the United States Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and Apple.

      Apple asserted nine patents in its original Southern California complaint. Qualcomm surprisingly didn’t bring mandatory infringement counterclaims, thereby waiving its right to assert infringement in that litigation or any other U.S. case against Apple. Apple threw in nine more patent DJs (declaratory judgment requests) in its first amended complaint, but Qualcomm persuaded Judge Gonzalo P. Curiel to throw those additional claims out. In order to do away with the original nine DJs for good (since Qualcomm would rather have everyone focus on the size of its portfolio–130K patents), Qualcomm “supersacked” (see this Lexology article for further information) Apple and the contract manufacturers by sending them a covenant not to enforce those patents against them, and in accordance with the Super Sack precedent immediately moved for dismissal of the original DJs including the patent exhaustion DJ for alleged lack of subject matter jurisdiction.

    • The new smartphone patents battlemap (infographic featuring Apple, Huawei, Intel, Qualcomm, Samsung)

      Eight years ago, this blog started publishing battlemaps of major smartphone patent disputes. Apple and Microsoft aren’t suing Android device makers at this point, but two major disputes are ongoing: Apple and, by extension, Intel’s dispute with Qualcomm, which is under fire from competition enforcers around the globe; and Huawei v. Samsung, the most massive patent clash ever between two leading Android device makers.

    • The big life sciences IP developments in September

      ‘No deal’ Brexit may mean no UPC, says UK government – The United Kingdom government released a notice on the likely implications for patents in the event of a ‘no deal’ Brexit. Relevant EU legislation, such as that relating to Supplementary Protection Certificates for drugs, compulsory licences and the patenting of biotechnology innovations, will be retained in UK law under the EU Withdrawal Act 2018 in such a scenario, it reassures rights holders. Such legislation will form the basis of an independent UK patent regime in which existing rights and licences will automatically remain in force. No such certainty is provided regarding the prospective Unified Patent Court (UPC), however. If the pan-European court is fully ratified, but the UK leaves the EU without a deal, the country would not necessarily be part of the UPC or the unitary patent system, the government admitted. However, any unitary patents that exist at the point of the UK’s departure will automatically give rise to patent protection within the UK.

    • Trademarks

      • Swatch versus Apple: If you “Tick different” does that mean that you “THINK DIFFERENT”?

        What happens when an application by SWATCH for the mark is opposed by Apple on the basis of its mark? In Singapore, the opposition was rejected. Kat friends Lau Kok Keng, Nicholas Lauw and Jiamin Leow collectively report on this recent decision.

      • Judge Denies Beyoncé Motion for Summary Judgment in Feyoncé Trademark Case

        On Sunday, September 30th, U.S. District Judge Alison J. Nathan of the Southern District of New York signed a memorandum opinion and order that was officially entered the following day in a trademark case brought by pop music superstar Beyoncé Giselle Knowles-Carter against Feyonce, Inc., a developer of merchandise marketed to engaged people using the brand name Feyoncé.

      • Supreme Court Asked to Consider Immoral or Scandalous Trademarks

        The case involves Eric Brunetti’s clothing brand, called FUCT. Although Brunetti has marketed various apparel under the FUCT mark since the early 1990s, the application at issue in this case was filed in 2011. The examiner rejected the application under Section 2(a), finding that FUCT “is the past tense of F*CK,” and “is scandalous because it is disparaging and [] total[ly] vulgar.” The Trademark Trial and Appeal Board agreed, finding that “the Trademark Examining Attorney has shown by a preponderance of the evidence that a substantial composite of the general public would find this designation vulgar.”

    • Copyrights

      • Music Modernization Act of 2018 Signed Into Law by President Trump

        On October 11, 2018, President Donald Trump signed into law the Orrin G. Hatch–Bob Goodlatte Music Modernization Act (“the Act”), which will significantly modernize copyright law to account for the digital delivery of content. The bill, as updated and passed unanimously by the Senate and then the House, revises the Copyright Act (17 U.S.C. § 115) in several major ways.

      • Supreme Court to Hear Rimini Street v. Oracle to Decide if Copyright Act Authorizes Non-Taxable Costs

        The U.S. Supreme Court has granted a petition for writ of certiorari to take up Rimini Street v. Oracle on appeal from the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

      • ‘Star Wars: Knights of Old Republic’ Unreal Engine 4 Fan Mod Shuts Down After Legal Threats

        For the last three years, a fan effort to remaster the beloved 2003 video game Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic with modern graphics and other tweaks has chugged along with nary a word from the franchise’s rights holder.

        Now the project, called Apeiron, will shut down for good with only tantalizing snippets of gameplay to show for its efforts after Lucasfilm—which was acquired by Disney in 2012—sent a cease-and-desist letter to John Taylor Trotter, the head of the Atlanta-based and volunteer-run indie studio leading the Apeiron project, Poem Studios.

Share this post: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Reddit
  • co.mments
  • DZone
  • email
  • Google Bookmarks
  • LinkedIn
  • NewsVine
  • Print
  • Technorati
  • TwitThis
  • Facebook

If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

Pages that cross-reference this one

What Else is New


  1. Science Minister Sam Gyimah and the EPO Are Eager to Attack Science by Bringing Patent Trolls to Europe/European Union and the United Kingdom

    Team UPC has managed to indoctrinate or hijack key positions, causing those whose job is to promote science to actually promote patent trolls and litigation (suppressing science rather than advancing it)



  2. USF Revisits EPO Abuses, Highlighting an Urgent Need for Action

    “Staff Representation Disciplinary Cases” — a message circulated at the end of last week — reveals the persistence of union-busting agenda and injustice at the EPO



  3. Links 14/11/2018: KDevelop 5.3, Omarine 5.3, Canonical Not for Sale

    Links for the day



  4. Second Day of EPOPIC: Yet More Promotion of Software Patents in Europe in Defiance of Courts, EPC, Parliament and Common Sense

    Using bogus interpretations of the EPC — ones that courts have repeatedly rejected — the EPO continues to grant bogus/fake/bunk patents on abstract ideas, then justifies that practice (when the audience comes from the litigation ‘industry’)



  5. Allegations That António Campinos 'Bought' His Presidency and is Still Paying for it

    Rumours persist that after Battistelli had rigged the election in favour of his compatriot nefarious things related to that were still visible



  6. WIPO Corruption and Coverup Mirror EPO Tactics

    Suppression of staff representatives and whistleblowers carries on at WIPO and the EPO; people who speak out about abuses are themselves being treated like abusers



  7. Links 13/11/2018: HPC Domination (Top 500 All GNU/Linux) and OpenStack News

    Links for the day



  8. The USPTO and EPO Pretend to Care About Patent Quality by Mingling With the Terms “Patent” and “Quality”

    The whole "patent quality" propaganda from EPO and USPTO management continues unabated; they strive to maintain the fiction that quality rather than money is their prime motivator



  9. Yannis Skulikaris Promotes Software Patents at EPOPIC, Defending the Questionable Practice Under António Campinos

    The reckless advocacy for abstract patents on mere algorithms from a new and less familiar face; the EPO is definitely eager to grant software patents and it explains to stakeholders how to do it



  10. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is Working for Patent Trolls and Patent Maximalists

    The patent trolls' propagandists are joining forces and pushing for a patent system that is hostile to science, technology, and innovation in general (so as to enable a bunch of aggressive law firms to tax everybody)



  11. Team UPC, Fronting for Patent Trolls From the US, is Calling Facts “Resistance”

    The tactics of Team UPC have gotten so tastelessly bad and its motivation so shallow (extortion in Europe) that one begins to wonder why these people are willing to tarnish everything that's left of their reputation



  12. The Federal Circuit Bar Association (FCBA) Will Spread the Berkheimer Lie While Legal Certainty Associated With Patents Remains Low and Few Lawsuits Filed

    New figures regarding patent litigation in the United States (number of lawsuits) show a decrease by about a tenth in just one year; there's still no sign of software patents making any kind of return/rebound in the United States, contrary to lies told by the litigation 'industry' (those who profit from frivolous lawsuits/threats)



  13. Links 12/11/2018: Linux 4.20 RC2, Denuvo DRM Defeated Again

    Links for the day



  14. Automation of Searches Will Not Solve the Legitimacy Problem Caused by Patents Lust

    The false belief that better searches and so-called 'AI' can miraculously assess patents will simply drive/motivate bad decisions and already steers bad management towards patent maximalism (presumption of examination/validation where none actually exists)



  15. The Federal Circuit and PTAB Are Not Slowing Down; Patent Maximalists Claim It's 'Harassment' to Question a Patent's Validity

    There’s no sign of stopping when it comes to harassment of judges and courts; those who make a living from patent threats and litigation do anything conceivable to stop the ‘bloodbath’ of US patents which were never supposed to have been granted in the first place



  16. Patent Maximalists Will Latch Onto Return Mail v US Postal Service in an Effort to Weaken or Limit Post-Grant Reviews of US Patents

    An upcoming case, dealing with what governments can and cannot do with/to patents (specifically the US government and US patents), interests the litigation 'industry' because it loathes reviews of low-quality and/or controversial patents (these reviews discourage litigation or stop lawsuits early on in the cycle)



  17. Guest Post: EPO Spins Censorship of Staff Representation

    Another concrete example of Campinos' cynical story-telling



  18. Andrei Iancu and Laura Peter Are Two Proponents of Patent Trolls at the Top of the USPTO

    Patent offices do not seem to care about the law, about the courts, about judges and so on; all they care about is money (and litigation costs) and that’s a very major problem



  19. The Patent 'Industry' Wants Incitations and Feuds, Not Innovation and Collaboration

    The litigation giants and their drones keep insisting that they're interested in helping scientists; but sooner or later the real (productive) industry learns to kick them to the curb and work together instead of suing



  20. EPO 'Outsourcing' Rumours

    The EPO advertises jobs in Prague and Lisbon; this leads to speculations less than a year after António Campinos sent EU-IPO jobs to India (for cost reduction)



  21. Links 11/11/2018: Bison 3.2.1 and FreeBSD 12.0 Beta 4

    Links for the day



  22. Pro-Litigation Front Groups Like CIPA and Team UPC Control the EPO, Which Shamelessly Grants Software Patents

    With buzzwords and hype like "insurtech", "fintech", "blockchains" and "AI" the EPO (and to some degree the USPTO as well) looks to allow a very wide range of software patents; the sole goal is to grant millions of low-quality patents, creating unnecessary litigation in Europe



  23. Latest Loophole: To Get Software Patents From the EPO One Can Just Claim That They're 'on a Car'

    The EPO has a new 'study' (accompanied by an extensive media/PR campaign) that paints software as "SDV" if it runs on a car, celebrating growth of such software patents



  24. The Huge Cost of Wrongly-Granted European Patents, Recklessly Granted by the European Patent Office (EPO)

    It took 4 years for many thousands of people to have just one patent of Monsanto/Bayer revoked; what does that say about the impact of erroneous patent awards?



  25. Links 10/11/2018: Mesa 18.3 RC2, ‘Linux on DeX’ Beta and Windows Breaking Itself Again

    Links for the day



  26. Unified Patents Takes Aim at Velos Media SEPs, Passed From Patent Aggressor Qualcomm

    The latest endeavour from Unified Patents takes aim at notorious standard-essential patents (SEPs), which are not compatible with Free/Open Source software and are typically invalid as per 35 U.S.C. § 101 as well



  27. Stacked Panels of Front Groups Against PTAB and in Favour of Patents on Life/Nature

    So-called 'panels' where the opposition is occluded or excluded try to sell the impression that greatness comes from patent maximalism (overpatenting) rather than restriction based on merit and rational scope



  28. With Patent Trolls Like Finjan and Blackbird Tech out There, Microsoft in OIN Does Not Mean Safety

    With many patent trolls out there (Microsoft’s Intellectual Ventures alone has thousands of them) it’s not at all clear how Microsoft can honestly claim to have reached a “truce”; OIN deals with issues which last manifested/publicly revealed themselves a decade ago (Microsoft suing directly, not by proxy)



  29. Links 9/11/2018: Qt 5.12.0 Beta 4, Ubuntu On Samsung Galaxy Devices, Rust 1.30.1

    Links for the day



  30. Microsoft is Supporting Patent Trolls, Still. New Leadership at USPTO Gives Room for Concern.

    New statements from Microsoft's management (Andersen) serve to show that Microsoft hasn't really changed; it's just trying to sell "Azure IP Advantage", hoping that enough patent trolls with their dubious software patents will blackmail GNU/Linux users into adopting Azure for 'protection'


CoPilotCo

RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channel: Come and chat with us in real time

CoPilotCo

Recent Posts