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10.20.18

Links 20/10/2018: Mesa 18.2.3 Released, FreeBSD 12.0 Beta 1

Posted in News Roundup at 6:50 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Mostly Hotly Sought-After Linux Skills

    The 2018 Open Source Technology Jobs Report shows rapid growth in the demand for open source technical talent, with Linux skills a must-have requirement for entry-level positions.

    The seventh annual report from The Linux Foundation and Dice, released Wednesday, identifies Linux coding as the most sought-after open source skill. Linux-based container technology is a close second.

    The report provides an overview of open source career trends, factors motivating professionals in the industry, and ways employers attract and retain qualified talent. As with the last two open source jobs reports, the focus this year is on all aspects of open source software and is not limited to Linux.

    This year’s report features data from more than 750 hiring managers at corporations, small and medium businesses, and government organizations and staffing agencies across the globe. It is based on responses from more than 6,500 open source professionals worldwide.

    Linux skills rank as the most sought-after skills in the 2018 report, with 80 percent of hiring managers looking for tech professionals with Linux expertise.

    Linux is required knowledge for most entry-level open source careers, likely due to the strong popularity of cloud and container technologies, as well as DevOps practices, all of which typically are based on Linux, according to the report.

  • Desktop

  • Audiocasts/Shows

    • Destination Linux EP92 – Elementary My Dear Distro

      On this very special episode of Destination Linux, we are joined by 2 friends of the show. Unfortunately, Zeb was sick this week so we needed a last minute guest host, thankfully Gabriele Musco of TechPills stepped up to help out. If that wasn’t special enough, Daniel Foré from elementary joined us for a segment to discuss the latest release of elementary OS 5.0 (Juno). This episode we discuss a ton of hot topics in the Linux world including Microsoft making 60,000 patents available to the Open Invention Network (OIN), Plex joins the universal package format game with a new Snap, Google+ announces it is shutting down after a security bug debacle, there were some patches proposed to the Linux kernel’s new Code of Conduct. All that and much more including our Tips, Tricks and Software Spotlight picks!

  • Kernel Space

    • Linux 4.18.16
    • Linux 4.14.78
    • Linux 4.9.135
    • Linux 4.4.162
    • When the Problem Is the Story

      That’s because Linux has achieved the world domination it longed for in the early years.

      Yes, Linus as a character got interesting for a few minutes last month (top results in a Google News search for “Linus Torvalds” range from 22 to 29 days old), but that story is too stale to be interesting now, even though the issues around it still matter.

      And that’s my point here. Lots of subjects matter that stories do a lousy job of telling.

      But to journalism, and to the human beings journalism addresses, stories matter more than anything. Stories are clearly the base format of human interest.

    • A Look At The Many Features On The Table For The Upcoming Linux 4.20~5.0 Kernel

      If all goes as planned, tomorrow will mark the availability of the Linux 4.19 stable kernel. That is also expected to mark the return of Linus Torvalds from his retreat where he was working on his empathy skills and politeness. The 4.19 stable release will then kick off the merge window for the next kernel cycle.

      It’s still not set in stone yet whether the next kernel release will be Linux 4.20 or Linux 5.0. Linus Torvalds previously communicated — and what he did in going from Linux 3.19 to 4.0 — was that when otherwise hitting the x.20 release is time to bump the major kernel version number. So it’s likely the next kernel cycle will be Linux 5.0, but we’ll see if the new-and-improved Torvalds has different feelings now over the versioning scheme.

    • New Linux Code of Conduct Revisions: CoC Committee Added Plus Interpretation & Mediator

      The Linux Code of Conduct introduced last month that ended up being quite contentious will see some revisions just ahead of the Linux 4.19 stable kernel release. Greg Kroah-Hartman has outlined the planned changes as well as a new Code of Conduct Interpretation document.

      In the weeks since the Linux kernel CoC was merged, various patches were proposed but none merged yet. It turns out Greg KH was working in private with various kernel maintainers/developers on addressing their feedback and trying to come up with solutions to the contentious issues in private.

    • Some kernel code-of-conduct refinements

      Greg Kroah-Hartman has posted a series of patches making some changes around the newly adopted code of conduct. In particular, it adds a new document describing how the code is to be interpreted in the kernel community.

    • Systemd Adds Feature To Fallback Automatically To Older Kernels On Failure

      Systemd’s latest feature is the concept of “boot counting” that will track kernel boot attempts and failures as part of an automatic boot assessment. Ultimately this is to provide automatic fallback to older kernels should a newer kernel be consistently failing.

      The feature was crafted over the past few months by Lennart Poettering himself to provide a way when making use of systemd-boot on UEFI systems it can automatically fallback to an older kernel if a newer kernel is consistently causing problems. This is treated as an add-on to the Boot Loader Specification. The systemd boot assessment is designed that it could also be used by non-UEFI systems and other boot platforms.

    • Linux Foundation

    • Graphics Stack

      • mesa 18.2.3

        Mesa 18.2.3 is now available.

        In this release we have:

        Different patches for the DirectX9 and DRI state trackers.

        Several fixes and workarounds for different games, inlcuding RAGE, Yakuza and
        The Evil Within, Wolfenstein The Old Blood ARMA 3, or No Mans Sky.

        A bunch of fixes for different drivers, including r600, nouveau, radeonsi, anv,
        radv, virgl, i965, nvc0 or nv50. Worth to mention a fix for GPU hangs in
        Radeonsi.

        State Trackers also get different fixes and corrections.

        Finally, fixes for GLSL and NIR are also in this queue.

      • Mesa 18.2.3 Released With Latest Driver Workarounds For Steam Play / Proton

        Mesa 18.2.3 is out today as the latest point release to the Mesa 18.2 stable series. Notable to this point release are several bug fixes and workarounds to benefit Steam Play / Wine (and the Valve downstream Proton) and various new games being brought up there thanks in part to DXVK.

        The games with workarounds in Mesa 18.2.3 are Rage, Yakuza, The Evil Within, Wolfenstein: The Old Blood, ARMA 3, and No Man’s Sky. These workarounds are added to the common Mesa DRIRC for toggling certain features as opposed to driver-specific hacks.

      • AMDVLK Radeon Vulkan Driver Updated With A Slew Of Additions

        It had been more than two weeks since the last time AMD developers updated their public source trees making up the official AMDVLK Vulkan driver but fortunately that has now changed. Given the time since the last commit, there is a lot of goodies with this new AMDVLK driver refresh.

      • Intel KVMGT 2018-Q3 Released As Their Latest Open-Source GPU Virtualization Bits

        Intel developers today announced the release of KVMGT 2018-Q3 (also known as Intel GVT-g for KVM) as well as the accompany Xen hypervisor tailored XenGT 2018-Q3 update.

        These are the latest quarterly updates to the Intel technology stack for allowing GPU virtualization of their HD/UHD/Iris Graphics hardware with mediated pass-through on Linux systems. This GPU virtualization support continues working with Intel 5th Gen Core/Xeon “Broadwell” processors and newer with guest operating systems being Linux as well as Windows 7 or newer.

      • XRGEARS: Infamous “Gears” Now On VR Headsets With OpenHMD, Vulkan

        Well, the virtual reality (VR) demo scene is now complete with having glxgears-inspired gears and Utah teapot rendering on VR head mounted displays with the new XRGEARS.

        Kidding aside about the gears and teapot, XRGEARS is a nifty new open-source project with real value by Collabora developer Lubosz Sarnecki. XRGEARS is a standalone VR demo application built using the OpenHMD initiative for tracking and Vulkan for rendering. XRGEARS supports both Wayland and X11 environments or even running off KMS itself. This code also makes use of VK_EXT_direct_mode_display with DRM leasing.

      • Arcan versus Xorg – Approaching Feature Parity

        This is the first article out of three in a series where I will go through what I consider to be the relevant Xorg feature set, and compare it, point by point, to how the corresponding solution or category works in Arcan.

        This article will solely focus on the Display Server set of features and how they relate to Xorg features, The second article will cover the features that are currently missing (e.g. network transparency) when they have been accounted for. The third article will cover the features that are already present in Arcan (and there are quite a few of those) but does not exist in Xorg.

      • Arcan Display Server Is Nearing Feature Parity With The X.Org Server

        The Arcan display server, which started off years ago sounding like a novelty with being a display server built off a game engine in part and other interesting features, is nearing feature parity with the X.Org Server.

        While most hobbyist display server projects have failed, Arcan has continued advancing and with an interesting feature set. Recently they have even been working on a virtual reality desktop and an interesting desktop in general. Arcan is getting close to being able to offering the same functionality as a traditional X.Org Server.

        If you are interested in a lengthy technical read about the differences between Arcan and X.Org, the Arcan developers themselves did some comparing and contrasting when it comes to the display support, windowing, input, font management, synchronization, and other areas.

  • Applications

    • What is your favorite Linux screen capture tool?

      The ability to take screenshots in Linux is something that I find really useful when composing how-tos and training materials for students or readers. But there are many different ways to do this.

      My own personal favorite is Gnome Screenshot. Typically I use Linux on a desktop or laptop and the training materials even those on those that feature the command line can be easily captured by Gnome Screenshot. I like it because it provides some options that make later use of those screen grabs easy to use. The need for additional editing of the screen grabs is precluded when you can easily tailor each screen grab to exactly what you are trying to capture. Your options include grabbing the whole screen, grabbing just the current window, or selecting an area to grab. Screenshot also provides an option to time the delay of the screen grab.

    • Essential System Tools: inxi – CLI system information tool

      This is the fifth in our series of articles highlighting essential system tools. These are small utilities, useful for system administrators as well as regular users of Linux based systems. The series examines both graphical and text based open source utilities.

      The first tools under the spotlight were ps_mem, a small utility that accurately reports memory consumption of software, and gtop, a system monitoring dashboard. The third tool we showcased was pet, a simple command-line snippet manager. We then covered Alacritty, an innovative graphical utility.

    • translation-finder 0.1

      Setting up translation components in Weblate can be tricky in some cases, especially if you lack knowledge of the translation format you are using. Also this is something we wanted to automate from the very beginning, but there were always more pressing things to implement. But now the time is coming as I’ve just made first beta release of translation-finder, tool to help with this.

    • Weblate 3.2.2

      Weblate 3.2.2 has been released today. It’s a second bugfix release for 3.2 fixing several minor issues which appeared in the release.

    • Kiwi TCMS 6.1

      We’re happy to announce Kiwi TCMS version 6.1! This release introduces new database migrations, internal updates and bug fixes. It is a small release designed to minimize the number of database migrations by squashing them together. You can explore everything at https://demo.kiwitcms.org.

      NOTE: there is the 6.0.1 release which resolves an upgrade problem caused by non-applied migrations which have been later squashed and released in the same release! It is best to jump through the intermediate releases to ensure a smooth upgrade!

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Wine or Emulation

      • Wine Developers Plot Their Path For Integrating FAudio As The XAudio2 Reimplementation

        A few days back Linux game porter/developer Ethan Lee joined CodeWeavers to work on Wine/Proton for Valve. In particular, he’s going to be focusing on his FAudio project as a Windows XAudio(2) re-implementation. CodeWeavers appears to be eager on getting FAudio merged into upstream Wine.

        FAudio is part of Ethan Lee’s FNA-XNA project as a re-implementation of the Microsoft XNA Game Studio libraries. FNA and FAudio has already helped game developers port their code to more platforms and now FAudio is being hooked up in Wine to help Windows games run on Linux. FAudio has been developed as an accurate DirectX Audio run-time libraries including XAudio2, X3DAudio, and other components. FAudio is cross-platform itself and only depends on SDL2.

    • Games

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • KaOS Linux Gets the KDE Plasma 5.14 Treatment, October Release Is Out Now

        The development team behind the KaOS Linux distribution announced the availability of the October 2018 snapshot with the latest version of the KDE Plasma desktop environment and numerous other updated components.

        Powered by the latest Linux 4.18 kernel, KaOS 2018.10 ships with the recently released KDE Plasma 5.14 desktop environment by default, along with the latest KDE Frameworks 5.51.0 and KDE Applications 18.08.2 software suites, all built against the Qt 5.11.2 open-source and cross-platform software development framework.

        KaOS 2018.10 also updates the toolchain, which is now based on GNU C Library (Glibc) 2.27 and GCC (GNU Compiler Collection) 7.3.1. Numerous packages were rebuilt in this release due to the Boost, Protobuf, ICU (62.1), Qt, x265, and Net-SNMP core components being updated as well to their latest versions in this new snapshot.

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

      • Daniel Espinosa: Vala Scripting?

        I’m working with a library called GNOME Vala Language Server (GVls), as a proof of concept for a server that will serve autocompletion, syntax highlighting and that kind of stuff, but found something interesting by accident.

        I’ve added an interface called Client, may is not it final name, but it allows to locale a symbol in a already parsed file, along with some goodness from other interfaces and implementations, I’ll talk about in another article.

      • GNOME Foundation Hackfest 2018

        This week, the GNOME Foundation Board of Directors met at the Collabora office in Cambridge, UK, for the second annual Foundation Hackfest. We were also joined by the Executive Director, Neil McGovern, and Director of Operations, Rosanna Yuen. This event was started by last year’s board and is a great opportunity for the newly-elected board to set out goals for the coming year and get some uninterrupted hacking done on policies, documents, etc. While it’s fresh in our mind, we wanted to tell you about some of the things we have been working on this week and what the community can hope to see in the coming months.

  • Distributions

    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat Awards Crossvale Commercial Application Platform Partner of the Year.

        Crossvale was presented with the 2018 North America Commercial Application Platform Partner of the Year award by Red Hat. The announcement was made at the Red Hat North America Partner Conference held in Maryland on October 10th.

      • [Podcast] PodCTL #52 – OpenShift 3.11 and OpenShift Container Engine

        Last week Red Hat announced the general availability of OpenShift Container Platform 3.11. This is an important release because it incorporates the first wave of technology from the CoreOS acquisition. This includes new visibility for Operations teams through the Cluster Console and integrated Prometheus monitoring and Grafana dashboards. It also added support for a number of Operators, both from Red Hat and ISV partners (supporting the Operator Framework). This is important, as Operators will continue to play a more critical role in both the OpenShift platform, as well as for applications running on OpenShift. Finally, we discussed the recently released OpenShift Container Engine, and how it offers flexibility for customers that want Enterprise Kubernetes from OpenShift, but may want flexibility in certain areas of their deployments.

      • Knative: Building your Serverless Service

        In the Part-1 of Knative Serving blog series, you were introduced on how to build and deploy your first serverless service using Knative Serving. In this blog you will be introduced to another Knative component called Knative Build.

      • Agile Integration: Enterprise integration from a necessary evil to building competitive advantage

        Business success can be increasingly based on an organization’s ability to react to change. As new disruptive players enter markets and technology upends what consumers expect, organizations often need to change plans in shorter cycles. Modern software architectures and processes can help make organizations more effective at dealing with this change and emerge as leaders in their markets.

        “Planning as we know it is dead,” was the keynote message delivered by Jim Whitehurst, Red Hat president and CEO, at the 2017 Red Hat Summit. “Planning harder in a less-known environment just isn’t the answer.” In today’s world, the pace of innovation and disruption is accelerating in business. With that comes change, which can jar or break plans quickly and, in some instances, be extremely costly. Hence, the ability to react to change quickly can be a necessity. Enterprise integration can be at the heart of an organization’s IT architecture. It may be necessary. But it is often a bottleneck.

      • Finance

      • Fedora

    • Debian Family

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Happy 14th Birthday, Ubuntu!

            Bust out the bunting and start cooking a cake because it’s Ubuntu’s birthday!

            Yes, fourteen feature-filled years have flown by since Mark Shuttleworth sat down to share news of the very first Ubuntu release.

            Ubuntu 4.10 ‘Warty Warthog’ was thrust into the world on Wednesday October 20, 2004.

          • Canonical publishes user statistics that it collected during Ubuntu 18.04 LTS cycle

            Canonical has published the user statistics information that it collected during the first six months of the Ubuntu 18.04 LTS cycle. The page was posted following the release of Ubuntu 18.10 yesterday and it reveals quite a lot of information about installations including computer details, the languages used, the country of the install and much more.

            With Ubuntu 18.04 LTS, Canonical began collecting information of users who decided to opt-in. According to the firm, 66% of users decided to do so. It found that clean installs made up 80% of the total installations, while upgrades made up for 20%. The firm also derived the location of Ubuntu users using the time zone and location options in the installer, rather than an identifiable IP address; surprisingly some of the countries Ubuntu was used a lot included Mexico, Brazil, Angola, Egypt, Afghanistan, South Korea, and Australia. They found English was the most popular language with 59%.

          • What’s Your Ubuntu 19.04 Codename Prediction?

            It’s that really fun part of the release cycle where we get you to try and guess the name of the next Ubuntu release!

            it could, at this point, be literally anything — but what do think the codename of Ubuntu 19.04 will be?

            Ten years on since Ubuntu 9.04 ‘Jaunty Jackalope’, the first release this site covered, plenty has changed.

            But so entrenched is that particular release that my muscle memory is still programmed to type 9.04 instead of 19.04 — so if you see a lot of errant 1s in future posts, you know why!

          • Canonical: Snaps Are Used Worldwide, over 3M Installs Monthly and 100K Daily

            To celebrate the release of the Ubuntu 18.10 (Cosmic Cuttlefish) operating system, Canonical published a new infographic to show us how well its Snap universal package format is doing lately.

            Entitled “Snaps in numbers,” the new infographics focuses on how widely spread are Snaps, Canonical’s universal binary format that makes it easier to distribute applications across multiple Linux-based operating systems. Initially called Snappy, the technology provides secure, rolling updates to your favorite apps.

            “Coinciding with the release of Ubuntu 18.10 today, we have celebrated the exceptional adoption of snaps by sharing the infographic below,” said Canonical. “From popular snaps to daily installs, this infographic demonstrates where, when and why users are installing and adopting the secure, Linux application format.”

          • Mark Shuttleworth Details Ubuntu 18.10 Cosmic Cuttlefish Linux Release

            The Ubuntu 18.10 Linux release became generally available on Oct 18, providing new capabilities for desktop, server and cloud users.

            On the desktop there is a new theme called “Yaru” that provides a different look and feel than what was provided by default in the prior 18.04 LTS release. Unlike 18.04, the 18.10 update is not a Long Term Support (LTS) release and will not get five years of support, instead it will only have nine months of support.

            On the server side, Ubuntu 18.10 benefits from an updated Linux 4.18 kernel as well as support for TLS 1.3 encryption. The Ubuntu Server 18.10 integrated the OpenStack Rocky release, providing users with a stable version of the most recent open source OpenStack cloud platform release.

          • Welcome Ubuntu Desktop 18.10

            The Cosmic Cuttlefish has arrived. Ubuntu 18.10 is out and represents the first step on the road to the next LTS in April 2020. This release of Ubuntu comes with 9 months of support and brings the latest update to the GNOME stack, improvements to the snap experience on the desktop, some new features and usability improvements, and a fresh new theme developed by the awesome Yaru developer community.

          • Ubuntu events in November

            November is just around the corner, winter jumpers are being dug out from the back of the wardrobe and it’s now acceptable to put the heating on.

            Although many may be considering hibernation, the Ubuntu team here at Canonical will be out and about around the world at a number of big events.

            So if you want to know where you can catch up with the Ubuntu team at Canonical and learn about the latest developments then you can find us here:

          • Ubuntu 18.10 “Cosmic Cuttlefish” Has Been Released and More Linux News
          • Ubuntu 18.10 (Cosmic Cuttlefish) Has Been Released | Download

            The latest stable release Ubuntu 18.10 with a code name (Cosmic Cuttlefish) has been released. Ubuntu 18.10 comes with 7 different flavours, Kubuntu, Lubuntu, Ubuntu Budgie, Ubuntu Kylin, Ubuntu Mate, Ubuntu Studio, Xubuntu, and the main release Ubuntu with Gnome desktop environment.

          • SD Times news digest: Datalore 1.0, MIT’s smarter homes, and Ubuntu 18.10

            Ubuntu 18.10 has been released, and has several updates that make it optimized for multi-cloud deployments and AI software development. It features a new community desktop theme, adding fingerprint unlock functionality for compatible PCs.

            It also has a richer snap desktop integration, and now allows native desktop control to access files on the host system.

          • Canonical Eyes FinTech With Ubuntu Server 18.10
          • You’ll Love Ubuntu 18.10 If You’re Tired Of Endless Tantrums Of Windows 10

            Just recently Microsoft open sourced its vast portfolio of patents in order to make sure that Linux and other open source projects don’t become a target of IP lawsuits. That was a really nice gesture. However, there’s no denying the fact that Microsoft’s Windows 10 is facing competition from constantly improving Linux-based operating systems.

            Talking about Linux, just earlier this week, we witnessed the release of elementary OS 5.0. elementary is known for its beautiful and user-friendly interface and it’s the most ambitious release from its developers. It was soon followed by the latest release of Ubuntu — the most popular desktop open source operating system out there.

          • Flavours and Variants

            • Is New Ubuntu 18.10 Worth Installing?

              The new Ubuntu release “Cosmic Cuttlefish” has hit the OS market after 6 months of development. I’ve been using it since it came out and now here is what I have to say about it. In this article, I’ll talk about the new things it brings in and also if it’s the release worth upgrading to. So let’s go.

            • There’s an official Ubuntu MATE 18.10 build for GPD Pocket devices

              Canonical released Ubuntu 18.10 this week. But Ubuntu isn’t just a single operating system: there are also a bunch of official and unofficial flavors.

              So this week we also got Kubuntu 18.10, Lubuntu 18.10, Ubuntu MATE 18.10, and Ubuntu Budgie 18.10, just to name a few. They include core Ubuntu updates plus a group of additional changes that are specific to the desktop environment and apps used by each of these projects.

            • Ubuntu 18.10 released with new desktop theme

              Canonical released a new version of the organization’s Ubuntu GNU/Linux distribution; Ubuntu 18.10, called Cosmic Cuttlefish, comes with a new community desktop theme, improved snap desktop integration, multi-cloud computing optimizations and other improvements.

              Ubuntu 18.10 will be supported for nine months; organizations and users who require long term support should stay with Ubuntu 18.04 LTS instead which is supported for five years.

            • GPD Pocket devices get special Ubuntu MATE 18.10 Linux image

              Just yesterday, Ubuntu 18.10 was released. “Cosmic Cuttlefish,” as the operating system is called, is available in several flavors featuring various desktop environments other than the stock GNOME — Xfce (Xbuntu), KDE (Kubuntu), and more.

            • See what changes have been orbiting Pop!_OS!

              Your favorite Pop!_erating system has leveled up with Pop!_18.10. Most of the new updates will also be rolled into Pop!_18.04. Here’s what we’ve been working on since our last Pop!_OS announcement:
              New kernel, graphic stack, and GNOME desktop environment for Pop!_18.10

            • System76 Pop!_OS Updated Against Ubuntu 18.10, Adds In Extra Changes

              In addition to System76 being busy finishing up work on their new PC build factory in Denver and making their first foray into open-source hardware, they also continue working on Pop!_OS as their downstream of Ubuntu Linux with various features added in.

              While System76 has been shipping Ubuntu-loaded laptops and desktops for more than a decade, they have been trying to differentiate themselves on the hardware and software front. The Pop!_OS effort has come a long way over the past year and out now is their 18.10 release based upon the newly-minuted Ubuntu 18.10 Cosmic Cuttlefish.

            • Lubuntu Blog: Lubuntu 18.10 (Cosmic Cuttlefish) Released!

              Thanks to all the hard work from our contributors, Lubuntu 18.10 has been released! With the codename Cosmic Cuttlefish, Lubuntu 18.10 is the 15th release of Lubuntu and the first release of Lubuntu with LXQt as the default desktop environment, with support until July of 2019. Translated into: español What is Lubuntu?

            • Lubuntu 18.10 Is Out, First Release to Ship with the LXQt Desktop by DefaultI

              Lubuntu developer Simon Quigley inform Softpedia today about the general availability of the Lubuntu 18.10 operating system, the first to ship with the LXQt desktop environment by default, as part of Ubuntu 18.10 (Cosmic Cuttlefish).
              After many trials and tribulations, and a lot of hard work, the Lubuntu team finally managed to ship a release with the LXQt desktop environment by default instead of LXDE (Lightweight X11 Desktop Environment), which was used by default on all Lubuntu releases from the beginning of the project.

              We also believe LXQt is the future of the LXDE desktop environment, which uses old and soon deprecated technologies, so we welcome Lubuntu 18.10 (Cosmic Cuttlefish) with its shiny LXQt 0.13.0 desktop environment by default, built against the latest Qt 5.11.1 libraries and patched with upstream’s improvements.

  • Devices/Embedded

Free Software/Open Source

  • cairo release 1.16.0 now available

    After four years of development since 1.14.0, version 1.16.0 of the cairo 2D graphics library has been released.

  • Cairo 1.16 Released With OpenGL ES 3.0 Support, Colored Emojis

    It’s been four years since the debut of the Cairo 1.14 stable series and today that has been succeeded by Cairo 1.16. Cairo, as a reminder, is the vector graphics library for 2D drawing and supports back-ends ranging from OpenGL to PDF, PostScript, DirectFB, and SVG outputs. Cairo is used by the likes of the GTK+ tool-kit, Mozilla’s Gecko engine, Gnuplot, Poppler, and many other open-source projects.

  • Open source MDM offers flexibility, with challenges

    Open source platforms may require more effort from IT than commercial products do, but they can also address an organization’s specific requirements — if the company is willing to invest in the necessary resources.

    The open source mobile device management (MDM) market is very limited, but there are a few options. If organizations determine that an open source platform is worth the effort, then they can weigh a few different options for open source MDM tools.

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Don’t rely on the shape of (Native)Error.prototype.message
      • The Rust Programming Language Blog: Update on the October 15, 2018 incident on crates.io

        A user called cratesio was created on crates.io and proceeded to upload packages using common, short names. These packages contained nothing beyond a Cargo.toml file and a README.md instructing users that if they wanted to use the name, they should open an issue on the crates.io issue tracker.

        The rate at which this user uploaded packages eventually resulted in our servers being throttled by GitHub, causing a slowdown in all package uploads or yanks. Endpoints which did not involve updating the index were unaffected.

      • Three-Year Moziversary

        Another year at Mozilla. They certainly don’t slow down the more you have of them.

        For once a year of stability, organization-wise. The two biggest team changes were the addition of Jan-Erik back on March 1, and the loss of our traditional team name “Browser Measurement II” for a more punchy and descriptive “Firefox Telemetry Team.”

  • Databases

    • Some Initial PostgreSQL 11.0 Database Benchmarks

      Among other software releases, yesterday brought the debut of the PostgreSQL 11.0 database server. Given it has possible performance enhancements and the new (non-default) LLVM-based just-in-time compilation ability, I decided to run some benchmarks on the powerful Dell PowerEdge EPYC 2P server.

      PostgreSQL 11.0 is a big update for this popular database server. Those unfamiliar with its changes can find the details via the release notes. Details on the LLVM JIT back-end can be found via the in-tree documentation. The just-in-time compilation support didn’t get enabled by default with PostgreSQL 11.0 due to open performance issues, but can be manually enabled for those wishing to run experiments or happen to be running a lot of complex queries where the JIT capability is likely to pay off.

    • Citus Data donates 1% equity to non-profit PostgreSQL orgs

      There’s open source and there’s open source.

      There’s genuine free and open source software (FOSS) and then there’s largely locked down proprietary non-dynamic library open source that is generally supplied as a commercially supported version of an open source kernel base that doesn’t see whole lot of real world code commits — and, no, there’s no acronym for that.

      Then, there’s other ways of evidencing real open openness such as non-technical contributions (could be language translation/localisation etc.) and then there’s plain old contributions.

      Scale-out Postgres database technologies ​​​​Citus Data is donating 1 percent of its equity to non-profit PostgreSQL organisations in the US and Europe.

  • CMS

    • Pagely NorthStack Makes WordPress Serverless

      WordPress is getting the serverless treatment, thanks to a new effort from managed WordPress hosting provider Pagely.

      The new NorthStack platform disaggregates the usual stack that WordPress requires into a series of services that largely run on serverless infrastructure at Amazon Web Services (AWS). The NorthStack effort is an attempt to lower the fixed costs and infrastructure needed to deploy and run WordPress.

      “WordPress itself is based on 12-year-old code. It does not want to be in a serverless environment,” Joshua Strebel, CEO of Pagely, told eWEEK. “WordPress wants to live on one AWS EC2 node up next to its database with everything all contained in it.”

  • Healthcare

    • Why Open Source Healthcare is Vital for Innovation

      Dana Lewis’ story is far from being a rarity. The diabetes industry is one of the worst offenders for overcharging or price gouging medication and equipment for patients. This is leading many individuals to take the same path as Dana Lewis.

      Open source platforms like OpenAPS, GitHub pages, and social media offer DIYers step-by-step instructions on how to build their own artificial pancreas tools.

      Kate Farnsworth built a DIY monitor device that keeps blood sugar levels of her diabetic daughter in constant check

      This tool, that has dramatically improved the life of a 15-year-old Sydney, cost her mom just $250.

  • Pseudo-Open Source (Openwashing)

    • The EU has approved Microsoft’s $7.5 billion GitHub acquisition

      Microsoft’s upcoming $7.5 billion acquisition of GitHub has cleared another major hurdle: the EU has approved the deal after determining that there are no antitrust concerns in Microsoft buying the popular open-source software repository, via the Financial Times.

    • EU watchdog waves through Microsoft’s GitHub takeover

      The EC noted that, in making its decision, it probed whether Microsoft would leverage the popularity of GitHut to boost sales of its own DevOps tools and cloud services, and looked into whether Microsoft would have the ability and incentive to further integrate its own DevOps tools and cloud services with GitHub while limiting integration with third parties’ DevOps tools and cloud services.

    • Microsoft’s $7.5BN GitHub buy gets green-lit by EU regulators

      The Commission decided Microsoft would have no incentive to undermine the GitHub’s openness — saying any attempt to do so would reduce its value for developers, who the Commission judged as willing and able to switch to other platforms.

    • EU clears Microsoft acquisition of GitHub
  • BSD

  • Public Services/Government

    • Doing your civic duty one line of code at a time

      When it comes to doing our civic duty in today’s technologically driven world, there is a perception that we don’t care like older generations did. History teaches us that in the early 20th century’s New Deal, Americans stepped up to the nation’s challenges on a wide range of government-financed public works projects. Airport construction. Infrastructure improvements. Building dams, bridges, hospitals. This was more than just individuals “pulling themselves up by their bootstraps” but, by design, performing incredible civic duties. Quite an amazing feat when you think about it.

  • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

    • Open Hardware/Modding

      • Kickstarting the Makerphone: an open-source hardware phone kit, programmable with python and Scratch

        Circuitmess’s fully funded Makerphone kickstarter is raising money to produce open source hardware smartphone kits to teach kids (and grownups) everything from soldering to programming.

        The Makerphone is a pretty sweet-looking gadget, and it comes ready to be programmed with Scratch and python, providing a good progression from a fully graphic programming environment to a command-line language that’s still beginner-friendly.

        $94 gets you a kit and the tools to assemble it; $99 gets you an assembled phone. The project’s runners have previously delivered on kickstarted open source hardware kits, which bodes well for getting something for your money.

  • Programming/Development

    • So I wrote a basic BASIC

      So back in June I challenged myself to write a BASIC interpreter in a weekend. The next time I mentioned it was to admit defeat. I didn’t really explain in any detail, because I thought I’d wait a few days and try again and I was distracted at the time I wrote my post.

    • LLVM C++14/C++17 BoF
    • LLVM’s Codebase Will Likely Move To C++17 Next Year

      While LLVM’s Clang compiler already supports C++17, what this change is about is the LLVM code itself and for sub-projects like Clang can begin making use of C++17 code itself. This in turn ups the requirements for being able to compile the code-base.

      As it stands now LLVM requires C++11 for being able to build the compiler stack, but at this week’s LLVM Developers’ Meeting in San Jose they discussed upping that requirement. While they could move to C++14, the unofficial consensus is they should just move directly to C++17. This enables LLVM developers to take advantage of all these modern C++ features.

Leftovers

  • Three pillars of the European Legislation Identifier implemented for Flemish Legal Codex

    A proof-of-concept ELI implementation of the Flemish Legal Codex has just been completed, where information is published as Linked Open Data using the ELI ontology.

  • Science

    • The space race is dominated by new contenders
    • What impact do government grants have on small tech firms?

      Most academic writing on direct government spending as an innovation policy tool focuses on how this mechanism compares with other policies rather than on the policy choices within the “direct spending” box. For example, in Beyond the Patents–Prizes Debate, Daniel Hemel and I considered a single category of “government grants—a category that includes direct spending on government research laboratories and grants to nongovernment researchers”—with a focus on the similarities among these direct spending mechanisms, and what makes them all different from the other tools in our four-box framework (R&D tax incentives, patents, and inducement prizes).

      But we noted that there is variation within each policy box, and that in practice the boxes form a spectrum rather than discrete choices. And it is certainly worth diving within each of the four boxes of our framework from Beyond to dissect these policy tools. There is of course an extensive literature already on optimizing within the “patent” mechanism, but legal innovation scholars pay far less attention to the other boxes, including grants.

  • Health/Nutrition

    • St. Luke’s in Houston Replaces Heart Transplant Surgical Director After Program Loses Medicare Funding

      Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center announced Friday that it has hired two new cardiac surgeons to lead its embattled heart transplant program as it works to regain Medicare certification.

      The surgeons, Dr. Kenneth Liao and Dr. Alexis Shafii, will together take over leadership posts previously held by Dr. Jeffrey Morgan, the heart program’s surgical director since 2016. A St. Luke’s spokeswoman said Morgan is still a member of the medical staff at St. Luke’s, but she did not directly answer whether he will continue performing transplants.

      Morgan declined to comment through a representative, and the hospital did not make Liao or Shafii available for interviews.

      The staffing announcement comes two months after the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services cut off funding for heart transplants at St. Luke’s, long regarded as one of the nation’s top hospitals for cardiac care. The federal agency concluded that the Houston hospital had not done enough to correct problems that led to a high rate of patient deaths following transplants in recent years.

    • G77+China Plan To Take UN TB Declaration Forward: Increased Resources, Access To Medicines

      The statement delivered by the G77 and China supported these commitments to funding and action, and called for “increased resources and means of implementation by the international community towards developing countries in most need, as well as increasing affordable access to medicines, diagnostics, vaccines and other medical tools, scaling up investments in research and development and delinking its costs from the price and sales volumes of new medical tools,” according to a South Centre press release.

      “Furthermore,” it says, “the statement stresses the need to ensure affordability and access to existing and new medicines, vaccines, diagnostics and other medical tools, including through the use to the fullest extent of the flexibilities provisions in the Doha Declaration on TRIPS and Public Health.”

    • US: Generic use abroad does not mean generic use in US
  • Security

    • U.S. CMS says 75,000 individuals’ files accessed in data breach
    • CMS Responding to Suspicious Activity in Agent and Broker Exchanges Portal

      At this time, we believe that approximately 75,000 individuals’ files were accessed. While this is a small fraction of consumer records present on the FFE, any breach of our system is unacceptable.

    • New Security Woes for Popular IoT Protocols

      Researchers at Black Hat Europe will detail denial-of-service and other flaws in MQTT, CoAP machine-to-machine communications protocols that imperil industrial and other IoT networks online.
      Security researcher Federico Maggi had been collecting data – some of it sensitive in nature – from hundreds of thousands of Message Queuing Telemetry Transport (MQTT) servers he found sitting wide open on the public Internet via Shodan. “I would probe them and listen for 10 seconds or so, and just collect data from them,” he says.

      He found data on sensors and other devices sitting in manufacturing and automotive networks, for instance, as well as typical consumer Internet of Things (IoT) gadgets.

      The majority of data, Maggi says, came from consumer devices and sensors or was data he couldn’t identify. “There was a good amount of data from factories, and I was able to find data coming from pretty expensive industrial machines, including a robot,” he says.

  • Defence/Aggression

    • Are Drones the ‘Perfect Assassination Weapon,’ or an Overblown Threat?
    • Saudi Arabia Finally Admits Jamal Khashoggi Is Dead — But Its Response Is Still Deeply Troubling

      In a major new development, the government of Saudi Arabia has officially confirmed that Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi, who went missing after entering a Turkish consulate on October 2, has been killed.

      The news came at a curious moment; it was just past 1 a.m. Saudi time when a prosecutor from the kingdom made the announcement on state TV.

      Reuters reports that the Saudi government is blaming Khashoggi’s death on a fight that “broke out between Khashoggi and people who met him in the consulate,” and so far 18 Saudi nationals have been arrested in connection with the killing.

    • Saudi-Loving Corporate Media Pundits Run for Cover in the Wake of Jamal Khashoggi Outrage

      No one thinks Thomas L. Friedman, the lead foreign affairs columnist for the New York Times, has an easy job. I wouldn’t want it. Like his closely allied counterpart at the Washington Post, David Ignatius, Friedman stands astride the interlocked pinnacles of two powerful American institutions: the mainstream media and the national security establishment. He has unparalleled access to the innermost thoughts of the latter, and serves as the moralizing voice of the former. All of that comes at a price, perhaps best exemplified in Friedman’s use of a mysterious, pseudo-royal first-person plural.

      Consider Friedman’s tormented column this week about how the United States should respond to the apparent murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi by forces close to Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, now known around the world as MBS. This is the same prince, of course, whom Friedman lauded last November in a column he would surely love to scrub from the internet. Back then he praised MBS as the leader of an “Arab Spring, Saudi-style,” quoted lines from “Hamilton” at him during their lengthy late-night conversation in the prince’s “ornate adobe-walled palace,” and pronounced: “I, for one, am rooting for him to succeed in his reform efforts.”

    • Famine in Yemen: long announced, now on our screens

      Almost two years after the UN first told the world that the war in Yemen was about to cause famine, we are informed that 14 million are at risk of dying from starvation and that the earlier figure of 8 million was an underestimate. The increase is explained by the dramatic collapse of the Yemeni riyal in the last two months.

      Wasn’t such a currency crisis predictable? The country is still described as being ‘on the brink’ of famine, simply because statistical verification of death rates, which would fit official definitions, is not available. These figures are mind boggling beyond imagination, and represent millions suffering the psychological, physical, agony of watching loved children, parents, siblings and partners, dying before their eyes… Many people are expecting the same fate themselves, some of them probably even looking forward to death, as it would end the pain. So the famine is here, with or without official definition!

  • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife/Nature

  • Finance

    • Why CEOs Love Basic Income

      Basic income? Conservative? While this might seem to be an odd characterization, it actually exposes the ideological foundation of the Ontario pilot. Far from helping us along to a post-work, automation-driven society, the pilot entrenched the status quo.

  • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • A President Who Believes He Is Entitled to His Own Facts

      Mr. Trump’s approach has profound consequences for the credibility of the presidency and the boundaries of acceptable political discourse. It also has serious ramifications for his advisers, as well as people who hear the president’s words outside the United States. And, according to Mr. Hayden, it particularly affects the intelligence officials whose job it is to present Mr. Trump with the information he needs to make critical national security decisions.

    • ‘That’s My Kind of Guy,’ Trump Says of Republican Lawmaker Who Body-Slammed a Reporter

      “To celebrate an attack on a journalist who was simply doing his job is an attack on the First Amendment by someone who has taken an oath to defend it,” said John Mulholland, the editor of The Guardian U.S. “In the aftermath of the murder of Jamal Khashoggi, it runs the risk of inviting other assaults on journalists both here and across the world where they often face far greater threats.”

    • This is what a Facebook election security charm offensive looks like

      Facebook is working very hard right now to prove it can be trusted to protect users from malicious fake news, political disinformation, and cyberattacks intended to throw the 2018 midterms. What Facebook is not doing: providing details.

    • Facebook has a fake news ‘war room’ – but is it really working?

      One study, however, found that out of 50 of the most widely shared political images on WhatsApp in the lead-up to the election in Brazil, only 8% were considered fully truthful, and many were false, misleading or unsubstantiated. There has also been a growing problem of fake news videos, which don’t face the same scrutiny as articles.

    • Joint Statement from the ODNI, DOJ, FBI and DHS: Combating Foreign Influence in U.S. Elections

      Foreign interference in U.S. elections is a threat to our democracy; identifying and preventing this interference is a top priority of the Federal Government. We believe the greatest strength of our society is an engaged and informed public. Adversaries target U.S. elections to divide America along political lines and influence key policy decisions that are in their national interest.

    • Exclusive: Twitter pulls down bot network that pushed pro-Saudi talking points about disappeared journalist

      Twitter became aware of some of the bots on Thursday when NBC News presented the company with a spreadsheet of hundreds of accounts that tweeted and retweeted the same pro-Saudi government tweets at the same time.

      The list was compiled by Josh Russell, an Indiana-based information technology professional who has previously identified foreign influence campaigns on Twitter and Reddit.

    • Twitter publishes dump of accounts tied to Russian, Iranian influence campaigns

      The archive of the IRA’s tweet metadata alone is 5.4GB of comma-separated data when expanded. In many cases, the user ID and screen name of many accounts—those with fewer than 5,000 followers—have been concealed with hash values to “reduce the potential negative impact on real or compromised accounts,” a Twitter spokesperson said in a statement on the data archive. The hash values still allow individual accounts to be analyzed without exposing the actual names associated with them.

      Ars is currently pulling the post data into a database for analysis—with that many records, it might take a while—but an initial look at the data shows that the IRA accounts targeted both domestic and foreign audiences. They used a mix of tools to post, ranging from official Twitter Web and Android clients to third-party clients (Sociable, TweetDeck, etc.) to custom-coded “bot” clients with Slavic names—including “rostislav,” “bronislav,” and “iziaslav.” And they aimed for audiences across the political spectrum.

    • Russian woman charged with interfering in midterm elections

      The timing of the complaint, which was unsealed as U.S. intelligence officials issued a warning on foreign influence campaigns, sends a dire message to voters on the scope of the efforts to sway U.S. opinion, even as no evidence points to interference with U.S. election infrastructure.

    • Russian [Astroturfers] Are Still Playing Both Sides—Even With the Mueller Probe

      The charges, though, made clear that Project Lakhta operatives were equal opportunity political opportunists—weighing in on both sides of political divisions and even, earlier this year, tweeting about Mueller’s indictment of their 13 IRA colleagues, writing, in part, “Still think this Russia thing is a hoax and a witch hunt? Because a lot of witches just got indicted.”

    • Russian woman charged with managing budget for US election interference plot

      The complaint states that Khusyaynova kept “detailed financial documents” that outlined payments for activities meant to undermine US elections. An itemized budget covering the year leading up to January 2017, for instance, listed expenses for Instagram, Facebook, and VKontakte ads. It also included budget lines for “bloggers,” “developing accounts” on Twitter, and funding online videos. Between January and June of 2018, she submitted expenditures of roughly $60,000 for Facebook ads, $6,000 for Instagram ads, and $18,000 for bloggers and Twitter accounts. In its press release, the Justice Department thanked Facebook and Twitter for “exceptional cooperation” during the investigation.

    • Why Is Russiagate Rumbling Into the 2018 Midterms?

      The November 6 midterms are fast approaching, yet much of the media is still looking back to the 2016 elections, and specifically the alleged Russian interference in them.

      The New Yorker (10/1/18) published a 7,000-word article headlined “How Russia Helped Swing the Election for Trump.” Considering other explanations for Trump’s victory and Clinton’s loss, such as her tactical campaign errors, gerrymandering, vote suppression, racism and the actions of James Comey for only a paragraph, it quotes one expert claiming, “It stretches credulity to think the Russians didn’t” win it for him.

      Meanwhile, the New York Times (9/20/18) released an intensive 10,000-word history and analysis of the Trump/Russia story, explaining to its readers that it was Putin’s “seething” ambivalence towards the West and his “nostalgia for Russia’s lost superpower status” that were the driving forces behind Russia’s nefarious actions.

    • How to “Follow the Money” When It Comes to Political Campaigns

      For the times when it is, we have campaign finance laws. A quick history lesson: After the Watergate scandal (which, in addition to a break-in at the Democratic National Committee headquarters, involved campaign funds used toward the scheme), Congress passed a law requiring federal campaigns to report their political contributions and spending to the Federal Election Commission. This was designed as a check against corruption but also to empower voters and keep you reasonably informed about money in politics.

      Let’s take a look at what money does in a campaign. Seeing where a candidate’s money comes from, as well as which groups are spending on behalf of (or against) their campaign, helps you understand their beliefs, the advice they’re getting and the kinds of policies they’re likely to support.

    • Revealed: Met Police ignored Brexit campaign evidence for months

      The Metropolitan Police Service ignored potential criminal evidence gathered by the Electoral Commission on three key pro-Brexit campaign groups for four months, openDemocracy can reveal.

      Responding to widespread public criticism after openDemocracy revealed that the Met has not even begun an official investigation into Vote Leave, Arron Banks’s Leave.EU and Darren Grimes’s BeLeave campaign, Scotland Yard this week told London’s mayor, Sadiq Khan, that it had only recently “received” the Electoral Commission’s evidence and therefore has had only weeks to assess its importance.

      However, we can reveal that the Met was informed by the Commission in both May and July that evidence was ready to be picked up.

      Although the Brexit timetable was reaching critically important stages, Scotland Yard officers then took till late August before asking the Commission for its files, and took a further three weeks to pick them up.

      In normal London traffic, the distance between Scotland Yard’s Embankment headquarters and the Commission’s office in Bunhill Row in the City is around 15 minutes.

  • Censorship/Free Speech

    • UK Refreshes Stupid Porn Filter Law, Making It Fresher But No Less Stupid

      The UK government is still polishing its porn filtering law. The latest updates to the law show there’s been some effort put forth to make the law less stupid, but even these additions don’t make the law (or its implementation) much better.

      There are still threats of fines and other governmental pressure should sites fail to “voluntarily” adopt the measures recommended by the UK government when the law goes live next year. One noticeable change is that the responsibility of deciding what is or isn’t porn will be placed in the hands of the UK’s film classification board, the British Board of Film Classification. If it’s anything like the MPAA, it won’t necessarily know porn when it sees it, but it will know what it doesn’t like and regulate along those lines.

      The updated guidelines [PDF] try to blend suggestions and mandates into something cohesive and palatable, all while removing as much government accountability as possible. The updates recognize collecting personally-identifiable info on British porn filters creates a juicy target for malicious actors. It also notes this data collection must somehow comply with the UK’s tangle of privacy laws, meaning companies should put some sort of protections in place, but not so much they undermine positive identifications.

    • We’re Telling a Court (Again) That President Trump and Other Government Officials Can’t Block People on Twitter For Disagreeing With Them

      President Donald Trump and his lawyers still believe he can block people on Twitter because he doesn’t like their views, so today we’ve filed a brief telling a court, again, that doing so violates the First Amendment. We’re hopeful that the court, like the last one that considered the case, will side with the plaintiffs, seven individuals blocked by Trump who are represented by the Knight First Amendment Institute. As we explain in the brief, the case has broad implications for the public as social media use by the government becomes more and more ubiquitous.

      Trump lost the first round of the case when a judge sided with the plaintiffs, who include a university professor, a surgeon, a comedy writer, a community organizer, an author, a legal analyst, and a police officer. The judge agreed with the Knight Institute, which argued that the interactive spaces associated with the @realDonaldTrump account are “public forums” under the First Amendment, meaning that the government cannot exclude people from them simply because it disagrees with their views. In a brief filed in round one, we argued governmental use of social media platforms to communicate to and with the public—and allow the public to communication with each other—is now the rule of democratic engagement, not the exception. As a result, First Amendment rights of both access to those accounts and the ability to speak in them must apply in full force.

    • Facebook and Twitter coordinate once more over censorship
    • ‘Big Brother’ Facebook Shuts Down Hundreds of Political Sites Weeks Before Crucial Election
  • Privacy/Surveillance

    • Facebook hires former deputy PM Nick Clegg as head of global affairs

      No, this isn’t an early April Fool’s. The Financial Times reports that Clegg’s recruitment comes after “months of wooing” by Facebook leader Mark Zuckerberg, and will see him move to Silicon Valley in January to join the company’s leadership team.

    • Facebook reportedly has more plans for cameras in the home

      If this all sounds a bit familiar, it’s because it apparently uses the same technology as the recently announced Portal video chat device. What little enthusiasm there was for the hardware lasted just nine days, at which point Facebook revealed that the device will collect information on you in exactly the same way its main product does.

    • Weekend Reading: Tor and Tails
    • DNS-over-HTTPS is RFC 8484

      The protocol we fondly know as DoH, DNS-over-HTTPS, is now officially RFC 8484 with the official title “DNS Queries over HTTPS (DoH)”. It documents the protocol that is already in production and used by several client-side implementations, including Firefox, Chrome and curl. Put simply, DoH sends a regular RFC 1035 DNS packet over HTTPS instead of over plain UDP.

      I’m happy to have contributed my little bits to this standard effort and I’m credited in the Acknowledgements section. I’ve also implemented DoH client-side several times now.

    • Vietnam Expands Decades Long Effort To Crack Down On Any Dissent Online By Demanding Data Be Kept In The Country

      It’s no secret that the Vietnamese government is no fan of the open internet. All the way back in 2002 we wrote about the government requiring people to register just to create a website. That same year we were writing about people being arrested for posting criticism of the government. In 2008, we wrote about the Vietnamese government banning “subversive” blogs as well. With the rise of social media, Vietnam has shifted its focus there. In 2013, it banned news reporting on social media, saying it should be for personal use only. In 2014, we wrote about how the government was abusing Facebook’s own reporting tools to shut down dissenters from using the site. And at the beginning of this year, we wrote about how the government now employed around 10,000 people whose only job was to monitor the internet for dissent.

      And now it’s going to get even worse — to a degree that might even lead some of the big internet companies to leave Vietnam entirely. And we have the NSA (partially) to blame. Ever since the revelation of the Snowden documents, describing how the NSA was getting access to all sorts of data and metadata on foreigners by compelling various private companies to cough up their data, there’s been a big push among some for data localization. Some of that push has come from privacy activists themselves, arguing in other countries that their data shouldn’t be allowed to go to the US where the NSA has so much access — but much of it has simply been using the NSA revelations as a stalking horse to get what they want: which is the ability to snoop locally on all of that data. That’s why countries like Russia has been a huge proponent of data localization.

    • Encryption bill: Consultation? What consultation, asks CA’s Stanton

      Communications Alliance chief John Stanton has questioned the Federal Government’s claims about having consulted widely before drafting its encryption bill, pointing out during a parliamentary hearing that he had had just a single meeting with a representative of the attorney-general’s office in the run-up to the release of the public draft of the bill.

  • Civil Rights/Policing

    • Tina Vasquez on Child Separation, Mara Verheyden-Hilliard on Protest Suppression

      This week on CounterSpin: The horror stories are real—about migrant children pulled from their parents at the US/Mexico border, sometimes locked in cages, sometimes given up for adoption while ostensibly waiting to be reunited with families the government had no plan for reuniting them with. But when corporate media tell the story through the White House’s cruel prism—even if they criticize it—they’re obscuring ideas and actors that are moving things in a more humane direction. We’ll talk about why it matters who you talk to with Tina Vasquez, senior immigration reporter at Rewire.News.

    • Don’t Board Our Buses Without Probable Cause or a Warrant

      The president of the Greyhound bus drivers’ union urges management to stand up to Trump’s deportation machine.

      When I first started working at Greyhound 28 years ago, I was told that I would never be able to drive a bus. I’m a woman of color. But I got trained, and I became a bus driver. Soon after, I joined Local 1700 of the Amalgamated Transit Union, and today I am the local’s president.

      Local 1700 represents 3,500 Greyhound drivers, mechanics, and terminal workers. My job, as the president, is to advocate on behalf of our members for fair pay, safety, and wellbeing. But today, I’m advocating for our customers. by urging Greyhound management to stand up for our passengers and tell the U.S. Border Patrol that it cannot board our buses without probable cause or a warrant.

      With greater frequency over the past two years, Border Patrol agents across the country have been boarding our buses and asking our passengers, especially customers of color, to show their papers. Passengers who are unable to provide documentation showing that they are authorized to be in the United States are then taken off the bus and processed for possible deportation.

    • Amid Protest in Liberia, Its Vice President Gets List of Demands About More Than Me

      A large group of protesters marched on Thursday through Liberia’s capital, Monrovia, delivering a list of demands to top government officials, international organizations and the country’s vice president, including that the government revoke the accreditation of More Than Me and strip the American charity of its ability to run 19 schools in the country.

      The Liberian Feminist Forum, in conjunction with other groups, organized the “We Are Unprotected” protest in response to a ProPublica investigation published last week in collaboration with Time magazine. The report revealed how the charity missed opportunities to prevent the rapes of girls by key employee Macintosh Johnson and did not test all of his potential victims for HIV when word got out that he had AIDS.

    • TSA Announces Plans To Subject Domestic Travelers To Biometric Screening

      As promised/threatened, the DHS is moving forward with expanded use of biometric scanning at airports, including facial recognition and fingerprint matches. What was touted as a way to combat international terrorism and illegal immigration will now include those on the home front, as the tech spreads to include US citizens on domestic flights. But the TSA doesn’t see this as an unwanted incursion into the lives of innocent citizens. Instead, it pitches it as a useful tool to speed up security screening at TSA checkpoints.

    • It’s No Trick — These Virginia Cities Are Criminalizing Halloween

      Local ordinances are taking all the fun out of Halloween through excessive age and time restrictions.
      In Chesapeake, Virginia, trick-or-treaters over 12 years old can be punished for trick-or-treating with a fine of “not less than $25.00 nor more than $100.00 or by confinement in jail for not more than six months or both.” The potential penalty for asking for candy after 8 p.m., regardless of age? A maximum fine of $100, up to 30 days in jail, or both. Other Virginia cities, including Norfolk, Hampton, Suffolk, Portsmouth, and Virginia Beach, have comparable age and time limitations on trick-or-treating, as do other localities across the country.

      Some of Virginia’s local ordinances are even more restrictive. For instance, in Newport News, “no accompanying parent or guardian shall wear a mask of any type.” This local restriction runs counter to the exception created by the Virginia Legislature, which permits masks worn as part of “traditional holiday costumes.” This is an exemption to a state law that makes it a Class 6 felony, punishable by up to five years in jail, for any person over the age of 16 to “wear any mask, [or] hood… to conceal the identity of the wearer.” Now, that is scary.

      The Virginian-Pilot traced some of these laws back to concerns over “hoodlums” committing “mayhem” back in the late 1960s, but let’s creep it real: These Halloween restrictions are batty for a host of reasons.

    • Mothers of Exiles: For Many, the Child-Separation Ordeal May Never End

      From the early days of the Trump administration, the White House and Justice Department have obsessively sought to separate asylum-seeking parents from their children at the U.S.-Mexico border. The American people and the courts have mounted fierce resistance to this sadistic practice, but Trump’s men will not be deterred.

  • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

    • Entire broadband industry sues Vermont to stop state net neutrality law

      The lawsuit was filed yesterday in US District Court in Vermont by mobile industry lobby CTIA, cable industry lobby NCTA, telco lobby USTelecom, the New England Cable & Telecommunications Association, and the American Cable Association (ACA), which represents small and mid-size cable companies.

      CTIA, NCTA, USTelecom, and the ACA also previously sued California to stop a much stricter net neutrality law, but they’re now expanding the legal battle to multiple states. These lobby groups represent all the biggest mobile and home Internet providers in the US and hundreds of smaller ISPs. Comcast, Charter, AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile US, Sprint, Cox, Frontier, and CenturyLink are among the groups’ members.

    • Stop building websites with infinite scroll!

      TL;DR: While infinite scroll does provide a solution in some cases, it can be less than ideal for users.

      Infinite scroll can be disorienting, uncontrollable, and can cause your users stress.

      In this article, we will explain why you need to stop building websites with infinite scroll. But to start, let’s look at a brief history of scrolling.

  • DRM

    • It’s Repair Day: No One Should Be Punished for “Contempt of Business Model”

      Repair is one of the secret keys to a better life. Repairs keep our gadgets in use longer (saving our pocketbooks) and divert e-waste from landfills or toxic recycling processes (saving our planet). Repair is an engine of community prosperity: when you get your phone screen fixed at your corner repair shop, your money goes to a locally owned small business (my daughter and the phone screen guy’s daughter go to the same school and he always tut-tuts over the state of my chipped and dented phone at parent-teacher nights).

      Fixing stuff has deep roots in the American psyche, from the motorheads who rebuilt and souped-up their cars, to the farmers whose ingenuity wrung every last bit of value out of their heavy equipment, to the electronics tinkerers who are lionized today as some of the founders of Silicon Valley.

      Repairs are amazing: they account for up to 4% of GDP, create local jobs (fix a ton of electronics and generate 200 jobs, send a ton of electronics to a dump to be dismantled and recycled and you create a measly 15 jobs, along with a mountain of toxic waste – reuse is always greener than recycling), and they generate a stream of low-cost, refurbished devices and products that are within reach of low-income Americans.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Germany: Acylphosphane, Federal Court of Justice of Germany, X ZR 48/16, 21 March 2017

      The Federal Court of Justice confirmed that the value of the matter in dispute can be amended on appeal, including retroactively for the first instance, if new facts are divulged that command such an amendment.

    • Broad Application of WesternGeco Leads to Increased Patent Damages in Power Integrations, Inc. v. Fairchild Semiconductor Int’l, Inc.

      As the WesternGeco case wound its way up to the Supreme Court, the Federal Circuit again confirmed the Power Integrations result, calling Power Integrations “[t]he leading case on lost profits for foreign conduct.” WesternGeco LLC v. ION Geophysical Corp., 791 F.3d 1340 (Fed. Cir. 2015). The Federal Circuit then relied on Power Integrations to deny lost profits for worldwide sales in the WesternGeco case—but the Supreme Court reversed. The Court seemed impressed by a hypothetical posed during oral argument involving a French tourist in Washington, D.C. If that tourist was injured by a negligent driver and had to stay in the U.S. for medical treatment, would her damages include her lost wages because she was unable to return to her job in France? Because the lost wages are reasonably foreseeable, a court would award them, even though they accrue in France, because the tort, the car accident, happened in the U.S.

    • Rule 36 Affirmances at the Federal Circuit – Week of October 8, 2018

      During the week of October 8, 2018, there were five cases involving patents that were decided without an opinion as a result of Rule 36 affirmances at the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. Three of those cases were issued by panels including Chief Judge Sharon Prost. In two cases, the Federal Circuit upheld district court invalidations of asserted patents whereas another two affirmed rejections of applicants claims by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. The last case was a summary affirmance of a victory by German drugmaker Erfindergemeinschaft UroPep over Eli Lilly in the Eastern District of Texas.

    • ITC Final Initial Determination: Apple Devices Infringe Qualcomm Patent but No Exclusion Order

      Several weeks ago, the U.S. International Trade Commission issued a notice regarding final initial determination and recommended determination in a Section 337 patent infringement investigation filed by San Diego, CA-based semiconductor developer Qualcomm against Cupertino, CA-based consumer gadget giant Apple. Although the notice, signed by administrative law judge (ALJ) Thomas Pender, found that accused products imported for sale by Apple infringed upon infringed upon a patent claim asserted by Qualcomm, ALJ Pender recommended against issuing a limited exclusion order for those infringing products.

      ALJ Pender’s initial determination in the Section 337 investigation found that certain mobile electronic devices and radio frequency and processing components thereof marketed by Apple infringed upon asserted claim 31 of U.S. Patent No. 9535490, titled Power Saving Techniques in Computing Devices. Claim 31 of this patent covers a mobile terminal comprising a modem timer, a modem processor configured to hold modem processor to application processor data until expiration of the modem timer, an application processor configured to hold application processor to modem processor data until the modem processor pulls data from the application processor, and then an interconnectivity bus communicatively coupling the application processor to the modem processor. The invention covered by this patent enables the use of faster internal buses in mobile devices to handle high data rates while addressing issues with excessive power consumption leading to shorter battery life.

    • Copyrights

      • Modernizing Copyright Registration

        The US Copyright Office (a branch of the Library of Congress) has published a Federal Register notice seeking comments on ways to improve (“modernize”) its copyright registration system:

        The U.S. Copyright Office is building a new registration system to meet the demands of the digital age. As the Office develops a new technological infrastructure for this system, it is considering several legal and policy changes to improve user experience, increase Office efficiency, and decrease processing times. The Office is seeking public comment to inform its decisions on how to improve the regulations and practices related to the registration of copyright claims.

      • Led Zeppelin ruling may help plaintiffs in other music copyright suits

        The Ninth Circuit’s Stairway to Heaven opinion has already been cited in an Ed Sheeran dispute. Copyright practitioners discuss its impact and issues to watch in the retrial

        The Ninth Circuit recently vacated in part the district court’s judgement that Led Zeppelin’s Stairway to Heaven did not infringe Spirit’s 1960s instrumental track Taurus.

      • CJEU weighs on liability of owner of internet connection used to infringe copyright

        What can be the nature of the penalties and measures to be taken in copyright infringement cases? More specifically: Is it compatible with EU law to provide that the owner of an internet connection, through which copyright infringements have been committed, may escape liability thereof by indicating, without the need to provide any further details, a family member who has also had access to such connection?

      • Appeals Court Says Of Course Georgia’s Laws (Including Annotations) Are Not Protected By Copyright And Free To Share

        Phew. The 11th Circuit appeals court has just overturned a lower court ruling and said that Georgia’s laws, including annotations, are not covered by copyright, and it is not infringing to post them online. This is big, and a huge win for online information activist Carl Malamud whose Public.Resource.org was the unfortunate defendant in a fight to make sure people actually understood the laws that ruled them. The details here matter, so let’s dig in:

        For the past few years, we’ve been covering the fairly insane situation down in Georgia, where they insist that the state’s annotated laws are covered by copyright. This is not quite the same thing as saying the laws themselves are covered by copyright. Everyone here seems to recognize that Georgia’s laws are not covered by copyright. But here’s where the problem comes in. The state of Georgia contracts out with a private company, LexisNexis, to “annotate” the law basically giving more context, and discussing the case law interpretations of the official code. The deal with the state is that LexisNexis then transfers whatever copyright it gets from the creation of the annotations back to the state. Finally, the only “official” version of Georgia’s state laws is in the “annotated” version. If you want to look up the official law of Georgia you are sent to the “Official Code of Georgia Annotated” (OCGA), and it’s hosted by LexisNexis, and it has all sorts of restrictive terms of service on top of it. Indeed, every new law in Georgia literally says that it will amend “the Official Code of Georgia Annotated,” which certainly suggests that the OCGA — all of it — is the law in Georgia. And the state insisted that part of the law was covered by copyright.

      • Yandex Under Fire Again, This Time For Linking to Blocked RuTracker

        Russian search giant Yandex is under fire again, this time for linking to previously blocked sites including RuTracker. A law passed last year forbids search engines from linking to sites previously blocked on the orders of the Moscow City Court, so a group of book publishers is now demanding fines and even a potential ISP blockade of Yandex in a first-of-its-kind action.

      • Pirate Bay Founder’s ‘Njalla’ Criticized For Protecting Pirate Sites

        In 2017, Pirate Bay founder Peter Sunde announced the launch of a new privacy-oriented startup. The Njalla domain name service offers site owners enhanced levels of privacy but not everyone is happy with the product. In a submission to the Japanese government, a powerful anti-piracy group complains that the service helps to shield pirate site operators from action.

Unified Patents Demolishes Some More Notorious Patent Trolls and Offers Bounties to Take Down More of Them

Posted in EFF, Patents at 4:08 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Older: Unified Patents Puts $2,000 Bounties on Prior Art, Seeking to Defang Texan Patent Trolls That Are Active In Spite of TC Heartland

Bounty

Summary: Even though the new management of the US patent office treats patent trolls as a non-issue, groups that represent technology firms work hard to improve things (except for the litigation zealots)

THE epidemic of patent trolls in the US has slowed down and suffered some blows in recent years (TC Heartland being more recent and pretty major because it’s a SCOTUS ruling). But the epidemic or this plague isn’t a done deal. It’s not over yet.

“This is Iancu speaking about patents amassed not only by the millions (in the US alone) but as much as 10 million, with the majority of these granted in recent decades when the system lost sight of its original goal/s.”Trump-appointed (likely due to nepotism) USPTO “Director Andrei Iancu lauds risk takers, calls patent troll narrative ‘Orwellian doublespeak’,” Watchtoll wrote in yesterday’s headline, which sort of quote-mines a speech to the patent microcosm in which he also said: “This is 10 million patents in just over 200 years. And this is not just a number. Though sure enough, 10 million is a nice, round number. But more importantly, 10 million is the accumulation of creativity of such magnitude and concentration the likes of which humanity has never seen.”

This is Iancu speaking about patents amassed not only by the millions (in the US alone) but as much as 10 million, with the majority of these granted in recent decades when the system lost sight of its original goal/s. “10 million is the accumulation of creativity of such magnitude and concentration the likes of which humanity has never seen,” says a lawyer. Actually, a patent represents monopoly, not necessarily innovation and creativity (which as a lawyer he cannot recognise).

Either way, the above statement demonstrates that the current Director — unlike his predecessor — has no problem with trolls. Like Watchtroll, he refuses to recognise that they exist or that they’re a problem.

Let’s remember that Iancu is not a judge, however, so the more he deviates from what courts are saying (or keep saying), the steeper the decline in US patent certainty and therefore the value of pertinent US patents.

The EFF meanwhile presses on with its fight against patent trolls, having just mentioned AlphaCap again.

Daniel Nazer calls them “Patent troll AlphaCap Ventures” (mentioned here before several times last year) in yesterday’s post of his at the EFF’s Web site. To quote:

Patent trolls know that it costs a lot of money to defend a patent case. The high cost of defensive litigation means that defendants are pressured to settle even if the patent is invalid. Fee awards can change this calculus and give defendants a chance to fight back against weak claims. A recent decision [PDF] from the Federal Circuit has overturned a fee award in a case involving an abstract software patent on crowdsourcing. This disappointing ruling may encourage other patent trolls to file meritless cases.

Patent troll AlphaCap Ventures claimed that its patent covered various forms of online equity financing. It filed suit against ten different crowdfunding platforms. Most of the defendants settled quickly. But one defendant, Gust, fought back. After nearly two years of litigation in both the Eastern District of Texas and the Southern District of New York, AlphaCap Ventures dismissed its claim against Gust. The judge in the Southern District of New York ruled that AlphaCap Ventures’ attorneys had litigated unreasonably and ordered them to pay Gust’s attorneys’ fees. Those lawyers then appealed.

A disgusting thug and patent troll known as Global Equity Management (SA) Pty Ltd (GEMSA) also surrenders at last, having already trolled a lot of companies and SLAPPed the EFF. The patent was later thrown out and the EFF sued it back/reciprocally after SLAPP. Watch what Unified Patents has just accomplished:

On October 17, 2018, the Board issued an order terminating IPR2017-01467 pursuant to a joint settlement request filed by Unified Patents and Global Equity Management (SA) Pty. Ltd. (“GEMSA”) (an NPE). U.S. Patent 6,690,400, directed to a graphical user interface (GUI) displaying graphics representing various partitioned storage devices in a computer, has been asserted in multiple district court cases, 35 of which were pending at the time of settlement.

Unified Patents is looking for information, notably prior art, which can help thwart some more patent trolls. This time there’s a $1000 award to those who can show basis for demolishing the patent troll Express Mobile:

On October 18, 2018, Unified added a $1,000 contest to PATROLL seeking prior art for US Patent No. 9928044, the latest patent asserted in a wave of litigation filed by Express Mobile Inc. (an NPE). The ’044 patent generally relates to a method and system for displaying a website on a mobile device. The contest will expire on January 18, 2019.

Another new bounty stands at $2000 (yes, two thousand bucks) for anyone who can help demolish a patent troll that was paid a lot by Microsoft (Uniloc). To quote:

On October 15, 2018, Unified added a $2,000 contest to PATROLL seeking prior art for US Patent No. 6470345, owned and asserted by Uniloc USA, a well-known NPE. The ’345 patent, titled “Replacement of substrings in file/directory pathnames with numeric tokens,” generally relates to a system and method for a file directory system. The contest will expire on January 14, 2019.

Uniloc has been suing Apple quite a lot lately. We wrote about it quite a few times. This troll, Uniloc, keeps flinging more lawsuits and patents at Apple and based on some new reports HP patents have just landed on some troll’s lap, which is suing:

  • Apple sued over FaceTime technology

    Granted to Hewlett-Packard Development Company in 2013, U.S. Patent No. 8,539,552 for a “System and method for network based policy enforcement of intelligent-client features” details techniques for controlling services in packet-based networks. Described in the IP’s main claims are methods for messaging policy enforcement including signaling, authentication and routing to correct services based on stored information.

  • Patent trolls sets sights on Apple with FaceTime lawsuit

    The patent in question, AppleInsider reports, covers intelligent-client features in IP telephony networks and more specifically relates to how a pair of devices can communicate with one another on a packet-based network.

These are patents based on old work of HP, but they’re being used/leveraged by trolls. It’s not possible for Apple to sue HP to deter/discourage such action. Therein lies the nasty nature of trolls and they need to be stopped, no matter what Iancu thinks. Unified Patents works for the interests of the Unified States, whereas Iancu (born in Hungary) works for the interests of patent lawyers’ unions.

The Identity Crisis of the European Patent Office, Wrongly Believing It Exists to Serve Lawyers and Patent Trolls Outside Europe

Posted in Europe, Patents at 3:12 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Whose interests does António Campinos represent?

United States House of Representatives

Summary: The European Patent Office doesn’t even feel like it’s European anymore; it’s just an international patent office that happens to be based (primarily) in Munich; insiders and outsiders alike need to ask themselves what these ‘European’ officials (employing firms outside Europe) have turned the Office into

THE European Patent Office, once a source of pride for Europe, no longer seems to work for Europe (except maybe some law firms that happen to also have branches in Europe). This is a problem and there are legitimate reasons for examiners’ dissatisfaction. Those are European scientists, unlike their managers (who are nowadays very rarely scientists; some totally lack any scientific background and experience, qualifications, education etc.) that keep pushing software patents in Europe.

“This is a problem and there are legitimate reasons for examiners’ dissatisfaction.”“The last panel discussion at our Patenting AI conference dealt with societal and liability aspects of #AI, computational inventiveness, inventorship and entitlement issues,” the European Patent Office (or Organisation; the username and name are in conflict as we noted here before) wrote before the weekend. The EPO found a new name/trick for software patents — one that the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) too increasingly piggybacks to dodge 35 U.S.C. § 101. It didn’t take long for the EPO to start greenwashing software patents, having written this shortly afterwards: “Is artificial intelligence the ‘new frontier’ in green technology? Join the discussion at this event…”

We have meanwhile learned, based on this CoinGeek article, that software patents are still being granted to nChain. Shame on the EPO for granting such patents. Shame on nChain for pursuing these. To quote:

According to a blog post published by the firm, nChain has been awarded a new patent by the European Patent Office (EPO). The latest patent—the sixth to be awarded by the EPO—covers a system that uses a trusted device to secure content on another device or computer server. The patent extends the invention covered by nChain’s Deterministic Key Generation patent, which was previously approved by the EPO.

The patent, entitled “Personal device security using elliptic curve cryptography for secret sharing, and numbered European Patent 3257006, details how two personal devices can communicate with each other securely using a “common secret” but without requiring that any sensitive private-key information be exchanged. Instead, the technique uses digital signatures to create the common secret each time data needs to be exchanged.

To better understand why the EPO has stooped so low pay attention to who’s being consulted: "Consisting of representatives of IP special-interest groups and IP sections of (US) State Bar associations," according to the EPO itself. They tweeted about this too: “The 34th annual meeting of the US Bar-EPO Liaison Council took place at the EPO’s Munich headquarters.”

So the US decides on how the EPO should be run? Do European politicians also tell the USPTO how to run? If not, why not? Need we assume the supremacy of special interests in the US? Even in Europe? What about China?

Automated translations of technical documents were then mentioned by the EPO just at the week’s very end: (warning: epo.org link)

With 25 000 daily users, Espacenet is now one of the most frequently accessed patent information services. The EPO continually works to develop and improve its offerings as users’ needs evolve. For example, to address the language barriers inherent in the system as the database grew to contain patent documents in ever more languages, the EPO developed Patent Translate, a tool for automated patent translation. Launched in 2012, the service provides free, “on-the-fly” machine translation of patents for 32 languages, including Chinese, Japanese, Korean and Russian. In 2017 the EPO incorporated neural machine translation technology into Patent Translate to provide even more accurate translations, and the service currently sees 20 000 requests for translation every working day.

This is part of a bunch of tweets that said: “On this day 20 years ago, the EPO launched a free #patent search tool that would change how patent information is accessed across the world. [] A walk down memory lane: On #Espacenet’s 20-year anniversary, here are some of the earlier interfaces. See if you remember them! [] 20 years ago #Espacenet was born. 🚀 Now it has over 100 million records from some 100 patent authorities and over 25 000 users per day.”

Considering what Espacenet means, we certainly have drifted well away from that. There seems to be nothing European (except the staff) about the EPO. The EPO retweeted (via) this Espacenet puff piece from a patent maximalists’ Web site that’s apparently based in the US. It’s like the EPO often prioritises countries or continents other than Europe and people are noticing. Anything like ‘unitary’ patents (a la UPC) would make that even worse, enabling firms or trolls from other countries to sue a lot of European firms in a lot of countries (in one fell swoop); what’s in it for European firms? Pretty much nothing.

“Brexit does not affect the EPO,” Helga Chapman (Chapman IP) wrote before the weekend, stating the obvious without bringing up the UPC at all (as that might complicate things a little). To quote the part in which she belittles EPO corruption, scandals and so on:

The EPO has provided a system which while a little unwieldy and bureaucratic at times (although these issues have been widely addressed now) is generally good for one-stop prosecution of patent applications. Its popularity has in fact led to some problems which were unforeseen by the EPO when it was founded in 1977. It remains the most popular choice for patent protection across its member states including those in the EU and outside the EU.

There will be no change in the existing system used by UK patent attorneys to prosecute, oppose and defend patents at the EPO – they will be in the same position that patent attorneys based in non-EU states, such as Switzerland, have been for many years. Moreover, European patents will continue to protect all the member states of the EPO including the 10 or so countries which are not members of the EU but full members of the EPO. Whether Britain chooses to be in or out of the EU circle makes no difference.

Sadly, the EPO no longer seems to represent the interests of those countries; it arguably works against those countries by offering monopolies to foreign firms that then threaten those countries. EPO management keeps lobbying for UPC, which basically means that it absolutely wants to make things worse.

It should be noted that it has been one month since Bristows (most vocal among Team UPC in the UK) said anything about UPC because their ‘unitary’ patents conspiracy is up in flames, much like the EPO under corrupt management.

What the EPO needs right now is a reassessment; first, it needs to ensure it actually serves science and technology, not just law firms and second — perhaps more importantly — it needs to check that it actually serves the interests of member states. Otherwise, drop the “E” from EPO.

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