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

11.11.18

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

Posted in News Roundup at 6:10 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Desktop

    • Google May Bring GPU Acceleration Support For Linux Apps on Chromebooks In Early 2019

      First off, let’s put this one down as a bit of conjecture and a strong dose of logic. Google hasn’t officially announced a firm release date for GPU Acceleration for Linux apps on Chromebooks just yet, but we know they are already working on it.

    • How Microsoft Ignores Millions of Windows 10 Version 1809 Users

      Windows 10 October 2018 Update (version 1809) is without a doubt one of the buggiest releases in a long time, and the way Microsoft handles its very own blunder shows the company still has a lot to learn both from its rivals and from customers who have been sending their feedback for so long.

    • Paging Linux Users: What Made You Give Up on Windows? [Ed: Microsoft propagandist Bogdan Popa keeps spreading the "Microsoft Loves Linux" lie. That doesn't mean anything good. "Enemies closer" and all...]
    • Microsoft Acquires Obsidian & inXile Entertainment [Ed: The game studios always shut down after Microsoft buys them]

      As what could spell bad news for seeing native Linux game ports of future Pillars and Wasteland titles, among others, Microsoft announced they are acquiring Obsidian Entertainment and inXile Entertainment.

      Microsoft is acquiring Obsidian Entertainment and inXile Entertainment as part of their effort to deliver “a steady stream of new, exclusive games to our fans.” That exclusive reference doesn’t bode well if you were fans of inXile or Obsidian games on Linux.

    • Obsidian Entertainment and inXile Entertainment have officially joined Microsoft

      Some rather interesting news here, both Obsidian Entertainment and inXile Entertainment (source) have now officially joined Microsoft.

      Together, they’ve made some pretty interesting Linux games such as Pillars of Eternity, Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire, Tyranny, Wasteland 2, Torment: Tides of Numenera, The Bard’s Tale IV: Barrows Deep and more to come.

      [...]

      As long as both studios retain a certain amount of freedom, I think we should be okay for future titles. Microsoft loves Linux after all…right? [sarcasm]

      I have to be honest, I’m a little in shock myself at this news.

  • Server

    • Cloudy weather ahead for IBM and Red Hat?

      The world is buzzing about the software industry’s largest acquisition ever. This “game changing” IBM acquisition of Red Hat for $34 billion eclipses Microsoft’s $26.2 billion of LinkedIn, which set the previous record. And it’s the third largest tech acquisition in history behind Dell buying EMC for $64 billion in 2015 and Avago’s buyout of Broadcom for $37 billion the same year.

      Wall Street certainly gets nervous when it sees these lofty price tags. IBM’s stock was down 4.2 percent following the announcement, and there are probably more concerns over a broader IBM selloff around how much IBM is paying for Red Hat.

      This sets the stage for massive expectations on IBM to leverage this asset as a critical turning point in its history. Given that IBM’s Watson AI poster child has failed to create sustainable growth, could this be their best opportunity to right the ship once and for all? Or is this mega merger a complicated clash of cultures and products that will make it hard to realize the full potential?

    • A Slow Motion Strategic Train Wreck With The Color Blue

      IBM’s high premium price for the Red Hat buyout places its stamp of approval on Linux cloud services while cheapening its own brand value.

    • VMware Buys Kubernetes-based Heptio to Boost Its Multi-Cloud Strategy
  • Kernel Space

    • Linux 4.18.18
    • Linux 4.14.80
    • Linux 4.9.136
    • Linux 4.4.163
    • Linux 3.18.125
    • POWER On-Chip Controller Driver Coming For Linux 4.21

      The IBM POWER On-Chip Controller (OCC) driver is queued for inclusion in the next version of the Linux kernel. This on-chip controller driver collects sensor data from the system and processor, including temperature and power metrics, and exposes that to the user as well as handling thermal/power management tasks.

      The on-chip controller is embedded into POWER processors with P8/P9 processors. The newly-queued OCC driver exposes via sysfs temperatures, frequencies, power usage, power capacity/minimum/maximums, and other sensor data. The OCC driver documentation covers the information in more detail.

    • Graphics Stack

      • NVIDIA Open-Sources New I2C USB Type-C Turing GPU Driver In Linux 4.20

        The Linux 4.20 kernel has just received a new post-merge-window new driver: i2c-nvidia-gpu that is being contributed by the NVIDIA crew for their newest Turing graphics cards.

        While it’s great seeing NVIDIA contribute code for their latest generation graphics hardware to the mainline Linux kernel, i2c-nvidia-gpu comes down to just being a bus driver for the USB Type-C controller that is accessible over I2C. These newest NVIDIA graphics cards have a USB Type-C port for next-gen VR headsets using the VirtualLink standard. VirtualLink allows for four HBR3 DP lanes, USB 3.1 data, and up to 27 Watts of power over this slim cable — much better than the mess of cables currently needed for VR headsets.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • A Journey on Budgie Desktop #1: Top Panel

      I decided to make a series of review about Budgie Desktop, the original GUI from Solus OS, now featured on Ubuntu Budgie. Thanks to Ikey Doherty the father of both Budgie and Solus, we can enjoy such free desktop environment that is innovative and customizable. This first part article covers in brief the top panel, the adaptive-transparent one, and introducing its menu and tray, how they look with and without customization. Enjoy!

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • Release of KDE Frameworks 5.52.0

        KDE Frameworks are 70 addon libraries to Qt which provide a wide variety of commonly needed functionality in mature, peer reviewed and well tested libraries with friendly licensing terms. For an introduction see the Frameworks 5.0 release announcement.

        This release is part of a series of planned monthly releases making improvements available to developers in a quick and predictable manner.

      • KDE Frameworks 5.52 Released With KWayland Virtual Desktop Protocol, Spins Down Drives

        KDE Frameworks 5.52 is now the latest monthly update to this collection of KDE add-on libraries complementing the functionality of Qt5.

      • Automatic C++ comparison operators

        C++ comparison operators are usually fairly straightforward to implement. Writing them by hand can however be quite error prone if there are many member variables to consider. Missing a single one of them will still compile and mostly work fine, apart from some hard to debug corner cases, such as misbehaving or crashing algorithms and containers, or data loss. Can we do better?

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

      • Purism Fractal sponsorship

        I’m happy to announce that Purism agreed to sponsor my work on Fractal for the next couple of weeks. I will polish the room history and drastically improve the UX/UI around scrolling, loading messages etc. which will make Fractal feel much nicer. As part of this I will also clean up and refactor the current code. On my agenda is the following:

      • Developer Center Initiative – Meeting Summary 10th November 2018

        Thibault currently holds a branch for gnome-devel-docs. The branch contains the old GNOME Developer docs ported to markdown. To ensure that no duplicate work happens between gnome-devel-docs master and the branch, the next step is to announce to relevant mailing lists that further contribution to the developer docs should happen in the gnome-devel-docs branch. Even more ideal would be to have the branch pushed to master. The markdown port is not synchronized in any way with the mallard docs in master, so any changes to the mallard docs would require re-synchronization and that’s why currently editing ported markdown docs in the branch currently is a no-go for now.

        Pushing the branch does imply that we initially loose translations though and most changes made to gnome-devel-docs seem to be translations these days with a few exceptions (mostly grammar corrections). Thibault and Mathieu expressed interest in supporting translated docs in the future, but it is a substantial amount of work and low on the todo list.

        We agreed that I should try to get in touch by e-mail to the relevant mailing lists (including translations) and to individuals who contributed to gnome-devel-docs recently to hear their opinion before we proceed.

  • Distributions

    • New Releases

      • CAINE 10.0 “Infinity” is out!

        CAINE represents fully the spirit of the Open Source philosophy, because the project is completely open, everyone could take on the legacy of the previous developer or project manager. The distro is open source, the Windows side is freeware and, the last but not least, the distro is installable, thus giving the opportunity to rebuild it in a new brand version, so giving a long life to this project ….

    • Fedora

    • Debian Family

      • Updated Debian 9: 9.6 released

        The Debian project is pleased to announce the sixth update of its stable distribution Debian 9 (codename stretch). This point release mainly adds corrections for security issues, along with a few adjustments for serious problems. Security advisories have already been published separately and are referenced where available.

        Please note that the point release does not constitute a new version of Debian 9 but only updates some of the packages included. There is no need to throw away old stretch media. After installation, packages can be upgraded to the current versions using an up-to-date Debian mirror.

        Those who frequently install updates from security.debian.org won’t have to update many packages, and most such updates are included in the point release.

        New installation images will be available soon at the regular locations.

      • Debian 9.6 Released With Many Security & Bug Fixes, Adds In Rust’s Cargo

        Debian 9.6 is out this weekend as the latest stable update to the Debian GNU/Linux “Stretch” series.

        Debian 9.6 ships with the latest stable updates and security fixes for this year-old stable operating system. Debian 10 “Buster” meanwhile is the next feature version of the Linux distribution that is under development for release around the middle of next year.

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Samsung Announces Linux On DeX; Uses Ubuntu

            Developers who are always on the go – now there’s a new way for you to actually enjoy the full Linux experience on your Galaxy smartphone. Samsung has chosen the Ubuntu distribution, claiming that it’s the “favored Linux distribution amongst their audience.”

            Announced first at Samsung Developer Conference 2018, the new Linux on DeX (that’s what they’re calling it) will appear as a separate app in DeX mode. Upon launching that Linux on DeX app, the entire DeX experience becomes Ubuntu.

          • Ubuntu Core and Kura: A framework for IoT gateways

            The Linux distribution model, whilst established and well understood for computing, has some limitations when it comes to IoT edge gateway devices. Due to often being located in remote or hard to access areas, there is a greater demand for a system that offers both high levels of robustness and security.
            With the IoT gateway market growing at a fast pace in recent years and continuing to grow even more rapidly – mostly due to increasing demand for big data collection and analytics, there is greater importance being placed upon finding solutions that are capable of offering this.

            Having a standard Linux distribution as the base is often not the optimal choice due to these systems often lacking a clear update story, creating security risks caused by an unmaintained system. Updates are often deferred because they are identified as risky operations, without a good recovery path. This makes such systems an unsuitable fit for unattended devices.

  • Devices/Embedded

Free Software/Open Source

  • Web Browsers

    • Ghostery – The eye of the tracker is upon you

      Here’s a mind-blowing but obvious realization: the Internet is one giant shopping litmus test lab, with billions of voluntary participants helping big corporations fine-tune their products and marketing strategies. This is done without the use of elaborate, interruptive questionnaires. All it takes is some Javascript running behind every visible Web page, and Bob’s your uncle.

      The most pervasive form of marketing is, you guessed right, online ads. Shown to you in all sorts of shapes and colors, they not only peddle wondrous solutions, they also directly and indirectly measure (i.e. track) the human response to the shown content, and this wealth of statistical data is used to make future products and future ads work even better for the selling party. On its own, this might not be bad, except people are greedy. What might have been just innocent marketing has become one giant data harvesting industry, going way beyond simple browsing habits. If you are not so keen on participating mind and soul, you are probably using an ad blocker tool of some sort. We talked about Noscript, we talked about UMatrix, we talked about Adblock Plus. Today, we will talk about Ghostery.

      [...]

      Ghostery is an interesting tool, with a pleasant interface, flexible and granular control of tracking elements, some odd quirks, and a questionable opt-in feature. It is indeed as I expected, a bridge between a plug-n-play ad blocker and a fully featured Javascript manager like Noscript. The good thing is, it works well in unison with either one of these, so you can mix. Shake ‘n’ bake. For example, intimidated by Noscript or UMatrix? You can use Adblock Plus plus [sic] Ghostery. The former for ads, the latter for extra trackers, no crippling of Javascript functionality. And then, the tool can block ads on its own, too.

      I believe Ghostery works best in the complementary mode. It is also best suited for less skilled users who seek more control than just ad blocking, and the cross-platform availability sure makes it appealing. The one thing that remains outstanding is the use of the opt-in policy. Not sure how that fits into the larger scheme of things. That said, I believe it’s worth testing and exploring. So far, I’m pleased with its mode of work, and the results from my escapade are promising. Now whether one should really care about these trackers and all that, well that’s a separate story. Or as they say, all your ad are belong to us.

    • Mozilla

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • LibreOffice Landing New Custom Widgets Theme, Powered By Cairo

      In an interesting flurry of commits since yesterday, a new custom widgets theme is landing inside this open-source office suite.

      Tomaž Vajngerl and Ashod Nakashian of Collabora has been working on these custom widgets for LibreOffice. The custom widgets are being rendered via Cairo, as an alternative to utilizing the standard GTK or Qt widgets, etc. It appears at least for now much of this custom widget work is intended for use with LibreOffice in its headless mode. At this point the work still appears to be in the very early stages but we’ll see where it leads.

  • BSD

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • Bison 3.2.1 released [stable]

      We would have been happy not to have to announce the release of Bison 3.2.1,
      which fixes portability issues of Bison 3.2.
      Bison 3.2 brought massive improvements to the deterministic C++ skeleton,
      lalr1.cc. When variants are enabled and the compiler supports C++11 or
      better, move-only types can now be used for semantic values. C++98 support
      is not deprecated. Please see the NEWS below for more details.
      Many thanks to Frank Heckenbach for paving the way for this release with his
      implementation of a skeleton in C++17, and to Nelson H. F. Beebe for testing
      exhaustively portability issues.

    • GCC 9 Lands Initial Support For The OpenRISC Architecture

      It’s been a long journey for the OpenRISC CPU instruction set architecture not to be confused with RISC-V, but with the GCC 9.1 compiler release due out in early 2019 will finally be initial mainline support for this ISA.

      There had been GCC OpenRISC patches for a while, but the original developers were not okay with assigning their copyrights to the Free Software Foundation as is required to contribute to the GCC project (and most other FSF projects for that matter). Since earlier this year a clean-room rewrite of the GCC OpenRISC port has been taking place and the GCC steering committee approved of this CPU architecture seeing a port in GCC.

  • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

    • FDA releases open source code, open source software gets emotional, and more news

      In this edition of our open source news roundup, we take a look at two open source companies getting funding, the FDA open sources app code, Barcelona upping its open source investment, and more.

    • Open Hardware/Modding

      • Arduino Gets a Command Line Interface

        When using an Arduino, at least once you’ve made it past blinking LEDs, you might start making use of the serial connection to send and receive information from the microcontroller. Communicating with the board while it’s interacting with its environment is a crucial way to get information in real-time. Usually, that’s as far as it goes, but [Pieter] wanted to take it a step farther than that with his command line interpreter (CLI) for the Arduino.

        The CLI allows the user to run Unix-like commands directly on the Arduino. This means control of GPIO and the rest of the features of the microcontroller via command line. The CLI communicates between the microcontroller and the ANSI/VT100 terminal emulator of your choosing on your computer, enabling a wealth of new methods of interacting with an Arduino.

  • Programming/Development

    • py3status v3.14

      I’m happy to announce this release as it contains some very interesting developments in the project.

    • Holger Levsen: 20181110-lts-201810

      Today while writing this I also noticed that https://lists.debian.org/debian-lts-announce/2018/10/threads.html currently misses DLAs 1532 until DLA 1541, which I have just reported to the #debian-lists IRC channel and as #913426. Update: as that bug was closed quickly, I guess instead we need to focus on #859123 and #859122, so that DLAs are accessable to everyone in future.

    • RcppArmadillo 0.9.200.4.0

      A new RcppArmadillo release, now at 0.9.200.4.0, based on the new Armadillo release 9.200.4 from earlier this week, is now on CRAN, and should get to Debian very soon.

      Armadillo is a powerful and expressive C++ template library for linear algebra aiming towards a good balance between speed and ease of use with a syntax deliberately close to a Matlab. RcppArmadillo integrates this library with the R environment and language–and is widely used by (currently) 532 (or 31 more since just the last release!) other packages on CRAN.

    • Just a techie? – Techies, Devs, Boffins and Geeks

      What’s the solution? We could start by giving up on the dream of developers all being equal in ability, who can then be traded as commodities. Developers have different strengths – some are fantastic systems thinkers, some are drawn towards architecture, and others possess a laser focus on delivery. Some are better at communicating, whilst some just want to think deeply about the problem and to ponder every edge case.

      If developers are recognised as individuals and emboldened with trust and freedom, then they will play to their strengths to give an overall multiplying effect. We can embrace individualism rather than chasing it away, by celebrating and raising up the role of the software developer.

      I want my boffins and techies to be seen as surgeons. They know what they’re doing and you’re in safe hands. We’ve got junior doctors in there also to learn, but the junior doesn’t become the senior overnight. When we’ve got top surgeons the results will speak for themselves, and the good news is that the top surgeons aren’t required in such large quantities. This can make everyone happy.

Leftovers

  • Science

    • Samantha Zyontz on CRISPR Adoption

      In a subsequent paper with Neil Thompson, Who Tries (and Who Succeeds) in Staying at the Forefront of Science: Evidence from the DNA-Editing Technology, CRISPR (posted in 2017), Zyontz was able to match individual labs that requested CRISPR plasmids with their subsequent publications, allowing a more direct examination of which researchers succeeded in adopting the technology (what Thompson and Zyontz call “conversion”). Overall, they find that of the 164,993 US authors who publish in genetic engineering, 1.81% ordered CRISPR tools in 2012-14, with an average success rate (subsequent CRISPR publication) of 11.30%. Interestingly, once they control for researcher quality, there is no location effect on experimenting with CRISPR—researchers in Cambridge and Berkeley were not more likely than similar researchers in other locations to order CRISPR tools. But location had a large effect on successful conversion into a publication: researchers were more successful with mammalian CRISPR use if they were located in Cambridge (where CRISPR was first successful with mammalian cells).

  • Hardware

  • Health/Nutrition

    • The Zika Scare: a Political and Commercial Maneuver of the Chemical Poisons Industry

      Astonishing as these unverified news stories were, government agencies rushed to give them credence. I heard representatives of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention repeating the questionable newspaper and TV stories about the Zika virus. In addition, CDC keeps saying that fighting Zika virus-carrying mosquitoes in Brazil and Florida with a neurotoxin named “naled” is harmless. After all, farmers and mosquito controllers have been spraying naled for more than fifty years in the United States.

      CDC said nothing about the deleterious effects of naled: that this chemical is an organophosphate compound linked to chemical warfare agents: targeting and harming the central nervous system and the brain of man and beast, of birds and insects and fish, of all wild animals.

  • Security

    • Bank of England stages day of war games to combat cyber-attacks [iophk: "neglects to implicate Windows as the key facilitator of attacks, both by making victims vulnerable and by providing a platform for attackers"]

      Up to 40 firms are taking part in the voluntary exercise, alongside the BoE, the Treasury, City regulator the Financial Conduct Authority and UK Finance, the industry trade body.

    • North Korean hackers filched tens of millions from cash machines in ATM heist

      Symantec reports that the scheme has been going on for some time, and while the 2018 attack targeted 23 countries in Africa and Asia, the US government reports a similar attack in 2017 which saw 30 nations’ ATMs breached simultaneously.

      The good news – well, goodish – is that all Trojan.Fastcash attacks seem to have hit servers running outdated software.

    • The US Military Just Publicly Dumped Russian Government Malware Online

      The malware itself does not appear to still be active. A spokesperson for Symantec told Motherboard in an email that the command and control servers—the computers that tell the malware what commands to run or store stolen data—are no longer operational. The spokesperson added that Symantec detected the sample when the company updated its detection tools a couple of months ago.

    • Supply-chain attack on cryptocurrency exchange gate.io

      On November 3, attackers successfully breached StatCounter, a leading web analytics platform. This service is used by many webmasters to gather statistics on their visitors – a service very similar to Google Analytics. To do so, webmasters usually add an external JavaScript tag incorporating a piece of code from StatCounter – www.statcounter[.]com/counter/counter.js – into each webpage. Thus, by compromising the StatCounter platform, attackers can inject JavaScript code in all websites that use StatCounter.

  • Defence/Aggression

    • China recruits ‘patriotic’ teens to work on autonomous weapons

      China has aspirations to become a world leader in AI and autonomous tools and has already been accused of using the technology in espionage. This week, the Xinhua state news agency unveiled AI news presenters at the World Internet Day conference – China’s answer to Davos.

    • China’s brightest children are being recruited to develop AI ‘killer bots’

      Each student will be mentored by two senior weapons scientists, one from an academic background and the other from the defence industry, according to the programme’s brochure.

      After completing a short programme of course work in the first semester, the students will be asked to choose a speciality field, such as mechanical engineering, electronics or overall weapon design. They will then be assigned to a relevant defence laboratory where they will be able to develop their skills through hands-on experience.

    • The Malevolent Hypocrisy of Selective Sanctions

      George W Bush used the phrase ‘Axis of Evil’ in his State of the Union address in January 2002, referring to North Korea, Iran and Iraq, accusing the last of having “plotted to develop anthrax and nerve gas and nuclear weapons for over a decade.” There were already comprehensive UN sanctions on Iraq, but as pointed out by Global Policy Forum, “The US and UK governments always made it clear that they would block any lifting or serious reforming of sanctions as long as Hussein remained in power. After more than twelve years of sanctions had passed, the US and the UK made war on Iraq again in March, 2003, sweeping away Hussein’s government.” And the rest is history.

      By 1996 “as many as 576,000” Iraqi children had died as a result of sanctions, and an independent analysis determined that there was “a strong association between economic sanctions and increase in child mortality and malnutrition rates.”

      On realizing this, it would be expected that the United States and its allies would cease employing economic sanctions as a weapon of coercion because it was definitively shown that the suffering caused to innocent children was catastrophic to the point of genocide.

    • Europe and Secondary Iran Sanctions: Where Do We Go Now?

      Any country can of course withdraw from the Paris Accord, the INF treaty, UNESCO, UNWRA, the community of nations that recognize that Jerusalem is in part an illegally occupied city, etc. But the U.S. withdrawal from the UNSC-approved JCPOA (or Iran Deal), followed by its imposition of secondary sanctions on countries that without specific U.S. approval trade with Iran is another matter. The U.S. is placing its law over international law. It is placing the judgment of Trump, Bolton and Pompeo over that of Putin, Xi, Merkel, Marcon, May, Mogherini, Obama, etc…. the pillars of the existing if crumbling world order.

      In that world, in order of GDP, Iran ranks around 25th, above Austria, Norway, UAE, Nigeria. With its vast natural resources and educated population, it has boundless development potential and is eager for foreign investment. It’s a country much of the world (China, Russia, India, Pakistan) engages with routinely, while much of the world engages it only to the extent the world’s policeman permits. (Italy and Greece have managed to maintain Iranian oil imports, having received permission from Washington to do so for an extra 180 days. They’re the only European, NATO-member countries exempted. Other countries granted “waivers” by the world cop are China, India, Iraq, South Korea, Taiwan and Japan. )

      Europe once traded freely and profitably with Iran. For the U.S. to now say to Daimler-Mercedes and Peugeot, you can’t assemble cars in Iran, or Airbus you can’t supply passenger aircraft to Iran as you’d planned—because we insist that Iran stop supporting Hizbollah and withdraw its forces fighting ISIL in Iraq and Syria and open up its nuclear sites even more than it has so far—-is to say, follow us towards war. You’re our allies, for god’s sake. We pay for your security. Obey!

    • Here’s how many people have been killed in Iraq and Afghanistan since 9/11
    • The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have killed at least 500000 people, according to a new report that breaks down the toll
    • 500000 killed in US war on terror in Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan
    • Here’s How Many People Have Died In The Wars In Afghanistan And Iraq
    • US ‘War on Terror’ Has Body Count of Half a Million, Claims Brown U. Report
    • US ‘war on terror’ claimed half a million lives in Afghanistan, Pakistan & Iraq – study
    • US war on terror has killed at least 65,000 people in Pakistan
    • US War On Terror Kills Nearly 147,000 In Afghanistan
    • These 8 iconic images tell the story of every US conflict from World War I to Afghanistan
    • Half Million Killed by America’s Global War on Terror ‘Just Scratches the Surface’ of Human Destruction

      The “direct deaths” accounted for in the estimate include U.S. military, contractors, and Defense Department employees; national military and police as well as other allied troops; opposition fighters; civilians; journalists; and aid workers. About half of those killed were civilians—between 244,000 and 266,000 across Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan. Up to 204,000 of them were Iraqis.

      While the U.S. government has repeatedly underestimated the costs of waging war, since the project launched in 2011, its team has aimed to provide a full account of the “human, economic, and political costs” of post-9/11 U.S. military action in the Middle East, “and to foster better informed public policies.”

      This latest report comes on the heels of the U.S. midterm elections in which Democrats took control of the U.S. House of Representatives. Looking forward, Savell suggested that “House Democrats will try to advance a national security strategy emphasizing restraint and accountability for the costs of the War on Terror.”

    • Drone, terror attacks killed thousands since 2004

      A total of 2,714 people were killed and another 728 injured during 409 drone attacks conducted in Pakistan since January 2004, a local media outlet reported on Thursday.

      Most of the attacks occurred between 2008 and 2012 which claimed 2,282 lives and injured another 658.

      The year 2010 saw the highest number of drone strikes at 117.

      On the other hand, at least 19,17

    • 2,714 people killed in 409 US drone attacks in Pak since January 2004: Report

      The US has carried out a total of 409 drone attacks in Pakistan targeting suspected militants since January 2004, killing 2,714 people and injuring 728 others, a media report said on Friday.

      The attacks, carried out by the CIA-operated drones, over the years have targeted the areas of Bajaur, Bannu, Hangu, Khyber, Kurram, Mohmand, North Waziristan, Nushki, Orakzai, and South Waziristan, Dawn reported.

    • 2,714 people killed, 728 injured in 409 US drone attacks in Pakistan since January 2004; 289 attacks conducted in North Waziristan alone

      The US has carried out a total of 409 drone attacks in Pakistan targeting suspected militants since January 2004, killing 2,714 people and injuring 728 others, a media report said on Friday.

      The attacks, carried out by the CIA-operated drones, over the years have targeted the areas of Bajaur, Bannu, Hangu, Khyber, Kurram, Mohmand, North Waziristan, Nushki, Orakzai, and South Waziristan, Dawn reported. Majority of the drone strikes were carried out during the government of the Pakistan Peoples Party between 2008 and 2012.

    • US drone strikes in Pakistani ‘regrettable’, says army chief Raheel Sharif
    • Rising death rate prompts some in Congress to reassess “war on terror”

      The United States’ “war on terror” in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iraq has directly killed at least 480,000 people since 2001, according to a new report by the Costs of War Project at Brown University. This is an increase of 113,000 over the last count, issued just two years ago.

    • Turkey Says Recordings Of Jamal Khashoggi’s Murder Have Been Given To The US
    • CIA chief ‘seen all proof’ related to Khashoggi murder
    • Khashoggi killing: CIA Director has seen all evidence in relation to killing, says media report
    • Audio tape of Khashoggi killing has been given to US, Saudis, Europeans, Erdogan says
    • On A CIA Mission In Laos an Airman Held Off An Assault For Hours With Just A Radio And An M-16

      On March 11, 1968, on a remote mountaintop in Laos called Lima Site 85, Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Richard Etchberger single-handedly repelled a North Vietnamese assault and ultimately gave his life to save his teammates.

      Etchberger was part of a secret CIA operation in Laos. Due to the mission’s secrecy, and its questionable legality, Etchberger’s own family knew little of the details of his death — only that he lived and died a hero. It wasn’t until 1998 that the details of the mission were finally declassified, and a reevaluation of the Air Force Cross he had originally been awarded was ordered.

    • Why Yemeni War Deaths are Five Times Higher Than You’ve Been Led to Believe

      In April, I made new estimates of the death toll in America’s post-2001 wars in a three-part Consortium News report. I estimated that these wars have now killed several million people. I explained that widely reported but much lower estimates of the numbers of combatants and civilians killed were likely to be only one fifth to one twentieth of the true numbers of people killed in U.S. war zones. Now one of the NGOs responsible for understating war deaths in Yemen has acknowledged that it was underestimating them by at least five to one, as I suggested in my report.

      One of the sources I examined for my report was a U.K.-based NGO named ACLED (Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project), which has compiled counts of war deaths in Libya, Somalia and Yemen. At that time, ACLED estimated that about 10,000 people had been killed in the war in Yemen, about the same number as the WHO (World Health Organization), whose surveys are regularly cited as estimates of war deaths in Yemen by UN agencies and the world’s media. Now ACLED estimates the true number of people killed in Yemen is probably between 70,000 and 80,000.

      ACLED’s estimates do not include the thousands of Yemenis who have died from the indirect causes of the war, such as starvation, malnutrition and preventable diseases like diphtheria and cholera. UNICEF reported in December 2016 that a child was dying every ten minutes in Yemen, and the humanitarian crisis has only worsened since then, so the total of all deaths caused directly and indirectly by the war must by now number in the hundreds of thousands.

    • Turkey Says Saudi Chemists Erased Evidence of Journalist’s Killing

      Turkey said agents sent to Istanbul by Saudi Arabia to help investigate Jamal Khashoggi’s disappearance worked instead to remove murder evidence—a finding Ankara said reinforced their conclusion that top Saudi officials knew in advance of a plan to kill the journalist.

    • How Veterans Changed the Military and Rebuilt the Middle Class

      We thank labor unions for the eight-hour work day, pensions, the weekend, and many other employment benefits Americans enjoy. Organized workers staged direct actions — strikes, sit-ins, boycotts, etc. — forcing bosses to the bargaining table. It’s a history most of us learn in high school.

      More overlooked is the history of how the modern military was shaped by veteran-led direct actions.

      For one thing, our military is famously all-volunteer. Civilians no longer fear being drafted.

      To get those volunteers, recruiters and guidance counselors tout the free college education, sign-on bonuses, food and housing allowances, and VA benefits that come with military service. I was continually reminded of these things when I joined the Army in 2003.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife/Nature

    • Shark Attack: Fearing Monsters in the Whitsundays

      It begins with a gruesome account: a tourist, paddleboarding and swimming in an idyllic setting baked by sun – in this case, Cid Harbour in the Whitsundays, Queensland – attacked by a shark. He suffers a massive loss of blood; he goes into cardiac arrest. The accounts that follow are just as predictable as the consequences of the shark’s work: a hunt for the animal, a debate about how best to curb future attacks, and an attempt to minimise adverse publicity for the tourist industry.

      The death of medical researcher Daniel Christidis sent jitters through dive boat operators in the region. Local dive boat operator Tony Fontes remained philosophical. “People are willing to take the risk of swimming in waters that are potential risk of a jellyfish, using precautions like stinger suits, and I’m sure that tourists will do the same with sharks.”

      Marine biologists such as Blake Chapman have also made it into the news with cautionary notes, but there is a feeling that calm heads are about to be lost. “We really need to be smarter than what we have been and actually learn from these things as opposed to just going out and killing animals.” The increased number of attacks could, surmised Chapman, be the result of a range of factors: the movement of shark food sources in the area, increased rainfall or changes in water temperature. According to Inspector Steve O’Connell, the Whitsunday area was not famed for its vicious shark attacks, featuring the odd “minor” nip and bite without more.

    • The Colonial Logic of Geoengineering’s “Last Resort”

      The men and women who are trying to sell us the solution of sulfur injections tend to be strangely silent on the fact that these injections would “disrupt the Asian and African summer monsoons, reducing precipitation to the food supply for billions of people,” as Alan Robock and other scientists reported in a 2008 paper published the Journal of Geophysical Research (the authors of a more recent study published in Nature Geoscience indicate that while sulfur injections would likely cool the earth, they would also reduce global rainfall).[1]

      The effort to resolve our climate crisis in this manner is itself an extension of colonial logic. After all, as Heather Davis and Zoe Todd explain, “colonialism, especially settler colonialism – which in the Americas simultaneously employed the twinned processes of dispossession and chattel slavery – was always about changing the land, transforming the earth itself, including the creatures, the plants, the soil composition and the atmosphere. It was about moving and unearthing rocks and minerals. All of these acts were intimately tied to the project of erasure that is the imperative of settler colonialism.”If history is any indication, the last resort might very well be western civilization’s final act of colonial violence, exclusion and erasure – first, of the peoples and sentient beings it has always exploited and disregarded; then – and no doubt unintentionally – of western civilization itself.

  • Finance

    • China’s internet titan has had a bruising 2018

      It would be no surprise if Tencent were feeling touchy as it approaches its 20th anniversary on November 11th. Its shares, traded in Hong Kong since 2004, have fallen by 28% in 2018 (see chart). This time last year it was the first Asian company to be worth half-a-trillion dollars, hitting a record valuation in January of $573bn. It has since shed $218bn, roughly equivalent in value to losing Boeing or Intel. Other Chinese internet stocks have fared worse than Tencent, among them NetEase, a gaming rival, and JD.com, an e-commerce firm. But even so, the drop stands out.

      The company posted its first quarterly profit decline for nearly 13 years in the three-month period ending in June. [...]

    • Australians pay 34% more for Amazon Prime Video than US customers: report

      Australians and their Canadian counterparts are paying 34% more for using Amazon Prime Video than US users of the video streaming services which were launched worldwide by Amazon two years ago.

    • Forced Marriage Between Argentina and the IMF Turns into a Fiasco

      After the current Prime Minister of Canada Justin Trudeau last year, Matteo Renzi in 2016, Ukrainian billionaire President Petro Poroshenko, or Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos, it was the turn of Argentine President Mauricio Macri to receive the “Global Citizen Award”. A few months earlier, awarded by the same American think tank, The Atlantic Council, George W. Bush was honoured to receive the Distinguished International Leadership Awardalong with Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz.

    • Manfred Weber is nominated to be European Commission president

      Missing one chance to renew the EU, Europe’s centre-right may have created another

    • The First Guaranteed Basic Income Program Designed for Single Black Moms

      Ebony, a single mother of three, works two jobs to make ends meet and takes in around $11,000 a year. In addition to a part-time job at a beauty supply chain, she works as a communication specialist at a Jackson, Mississippi, nonprofit, a temporary position that could end in December.

      She’s hoping her employers will keep her on, and she’s doing all she can to inspire them, including showing up for work an hour early.

      “I want to make a good impression,” she says about showing up to work early. “It would be great if [the employers] tell me, ‘You worked so hard, how about you go ahead and stay with us?’”

      Staying on could mean that Ebony’s annual income could double next year if she’s selected to participate in an upcoming guaranteed basic income pilot project for low-income single Black mothers in Jackson.

  • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • The fake video era of US politics has arrived on Twitter

      On Wednesday, CNN reporter Jim Acosta had a pointed exchange with the president over immigration during a press conference, resulting in the Trump administration banning him from the White House. During the exchange, a Trump aide attempted to wrestle his microphone away from him. Today, a partisan war broke out over what a video of that incident really showed — and in so doing, seemed to herald the arrival of an era in which manipulated videos further erode the boundaries between truth and fiction.

    • Donald Trump’s White House Using Fake Videos Is What Russia Does, Says Former Top CIA Operations Officer

      President Donald Trump’s White House employed tactics similar to Russian intelligence when it released a doctored video Wednesday to claim CNN’s Jim Acosta had “placed his hands” on a White House aide during a testy exchange with the president at a press conference, according to a former CIA chief of Russian operations.

      Steven Hall, who is now a national security analyst for CNN, said Thursday that the use of “fake videos” was an accusation historically used against Russia, not the “American White House.”

      “Fake videos are things we used to ascribe to Russia and other autocracies, not the American White House. Google the name Kyle Hatcher if you want to see how the pros (Russian FSB) do it,” Hall tweeted.

    • White House press secretary uses fake Infowars video to justify banning CNN reporter

      Looking back at the video, it does not in fact show Acosta “placing his hands” on the woman. But about 90 minutes after she posted her string of tweets, Infowars editor Paul Joseph Watson tweeted out a video of the incident that was doctored to make it look like Acosta chopped the woman’s arm with his hand.

      Less than an hour later, Sanders tweeted out the doctored video, writing, “We will not tolerate the inappropriate behavior clearly documented in this video.”

    • Revealed: How Arron Banks’s campaign ‘ambassador’ made his millions in Russia

      In early 1990s Russia, a lot of people died. Organised criminals and ex-Soviet officials fought vicious turf wars for control of industries and political power. And a man called Jim Mellon became fabulously wealthy.

      Two decades later, Mellon toured his friend Nigel Farage around a number of potential major political donors. In late summer 2014, he introduced the UKIP leader to the insurance salesman Arron Banks. Within a few weeks, Banks had pledged a million pounds to the anti-EU party and, the next year, Mellon donated a reported £100,000 to theKnow.eu, a forerunner to Banks and Farage’s Leave.EU campaign. Mellon was described as an “ambassador” for Leave.EU, and was scheduled to appear at Leave.EU’s launch.

    • At Long Last, Donald Trump Knows True Fear

      There is a soul-searing symmetry to the fact that the morning after yet another man with yet another gun slaughtered yet another crowd of people in yet another all-American massacre, a mother who lost her son to gun violence and made that loss her cause of action won her election to Congress.

      Six years ago, Jordan Davis was sitting in a car with friends at a Florida gas station when a man named Michael Dunn opened fire on them because he thought the music they were playing was too loud. Davis was killed in the hail of bullets. His mother, Lucy McBath, became a gun-violence activist and joined forces with the Parkland survivors after that nightmare unfolded.

      [...]

      Beto O’Rourke lost in heartbreaking fashion in Texas, as Andrew Gillum appeared to in Florida — although that may change. However, neither Scott Walker nor Kris Kobach will be governors come January. Voters in Oregon handily defeated an anti-choice ballot measure while voters in Alabama and West Virginia approved them. Ballot initiatives to expand Medicaid won in Idaho, Utah and Nebraska but lost in Montana. Nearly a million and a half people with felony convictions regained the right to vote in Florida, while four states passed “victims’ rights” measures that will exacerbate incarceration.

      [...]

      A White House aide attempted to take Acosta’s microphone away from him during the exchange, and Acosta discovered later in the day that his White House privileges had been summarily revoked. Adding insult to injury, the White House press office fobbed off a demonstrably doctored video claiming Acosta had been violent with the microphone-grabbing aide. The ruse was promptly exposed, and a variety of national press organizations are now raising every shade of Hell on Acosta’s behalf.

    • Millions in masked money funneled into 2018 elections

      The 2018 election cycle has attracted record spending by partially-disclosing groups that give the appearance of reporting at least some of their donors but, in reality, are little if any more transparent than other ‘dark money’ groups.

      Voters may not be left totally in the dark about these groups’ spending but, in many cases, the identities of funders behind the spending ultimately remain hidden. By deploying novel tactics to mask their financial activities, these groups have been able to keep donors secret while giving some illusion of more transparency.

      Partially-disclosing groups have already reported $405 million in 2018 election spending, according to federal election records analyzed by the Center for Responsive Politics.

      This is the third consecutive election cycle that the portion of outside spending made up by partially-disclosed groups has more than doubled. Making up more than 31 percent of all outside spending, spending by partially disclosing groups this election cycle is up from 12.5 percent in 2016 and 6.1 percent in 2014. The 2018 election cycle is even on track to amass around $100 million more in spending by partially disclosing groups than the previous record of $306.9 million in the 2012 election cycle.

    • How Labor Helped Bring Down Scott Walker and Bruce Rauner

      On Tuesday night, in a strong rebuke to the anti-labor agendas of Wisconsin and Illinois’ Republican governors, voters elected Democrats to lead their states. Illinois’ new governor, Democrat J.B. Pritzker, won the race with 54 percent of the vote, while Wisconsin’s new governor, Tony Evers, won his contest, though final votes are still being tallied. Both ran on strong, clear messages of supporting unions and working families.

      It would be hard to understate the damage to workers wrought by Scott Walker, elected during the Tea Party wave of 2010, and Bruce Rauner, elected in 2014. Walker wasted no time taking aim at organized labor: In 2011 he proposed the notorious Act 10, legislation which stripped public school teachers of their right to collectively bargain, on top of slashing their health insurance and pension benefits. Act 10 inspired 100,000 people to protest at the state capitol, but when Walker easily won a recall election in 2012, he grew emboldened. Republicans repealed Wisconsin’s prevailing wage laws for state and local government funded projects, and Wisconsin’s minimum wage remains stuck at $7.25. The last time it was raised was nearly a decade ago.

      [...]

      Meanwhile, the contrast presented by their opponents, Pritzker and Evers, was tremendous. Both Democrats support raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour, and spoke often about the important role unions play in building strong, inclusive economies. Pritzker described his intent to beef up enforcement for a 2010 wage theft law, and a state task force meant to tackle worker misclassification. Evers, who has served as Wisconsin’s state superintendent since 2009, spoke regularly about the ways Act 10 hurt educators, and public education more broadly. He also spoke out against changes made to the state’s prevailing wage laws, and Wisconsin’s prohibition on local communities raising their minimum wage or passing other pro-worker measures like paid sick leave.

    • Not Much of a Wave

      What is the situation like now? Yesterday Americans voted in the most hotly contested election since.. 2016. It is remarkable how quickly cultural amnesia takes hold and electoral memory dissipates—I was left staring in a bookshop yesterday at a New Yorker article on Claire McCaskill’s run in deep-red Missouri, on how she avoids partisan politics and focuses on commonalities—and how this can be a model for Democrats. (She lost).

      Americans voted in the hopes (of some) that this will stymie the Trump agenda, return a semblance of normalcy to politics and social life in this country, and halt the apparently inexorable rise of fascism. I suspect it will not. Enough political analysis has been written of the moment. Suffice it to say, I think the fair take is that the Democratic leadership will take exactly all the wrong lessons from their win in the House; evidence includes among many other data points the aforementioned New Yorker article, Nancy Pelosi’s expected reascension to Speaker of the House and immediate appeals to ‘bipartisanship,’ not to mention the Democrats apparently running exclusively Marine pilots as candidates.

    • Roaming Charges: Chuck and Nancy’s House of Cards
  • Censorship/Free Speech

    • Europe’s collision course with copyright censorship: where we stand today

      I’ve just published a comprehensive explainer on Medium about the EU’s new Copyright Directive, which was sabotaged at the last minute, when MEP Axel Voss snuck in the long-discredited ideas of automatically censoring anything a bot thinks infringes copyright and banning unpaid links to news articles.

    • Europe’s Copyright Rules Will Stifle Free Expression

      The Copyright in the Digital Single Market Directive had been under negotiation for years, and it was set to be the first update to E.U. copyright since the 2001 Copyright Directive. In the 17 intervening years, the copyright landscape had experienced massive shifts. The new Directive was seen as a must-pass piece of omnibus legislation comprising dozens of wonky and technical fixes to E.U. copyright rules. It was largely seen as uncontroversial — that is, until May 25.

      That was the day German MEP Axel Voss reinserted two long-abandoned, hugely controversial rules into the draft regulation: [...]

    • Pakistani Christian woman Asia Bibi leaves jail, flies out of Multan

      Ms Asia Bibi’s release comes a week after her acquittal in a landmark case that triggered angry Islamist protests in Muslim-majority Pakistan and following appeals from her husband for Britain or the United States to grant the family asylum. Her lawyer fled to the Netherlands on Saturday under threat to his life.

      Ms Bibi’s conviction was overturned by the country’s highest court last Wednesday, but she remained in prison as the government negotiated with hardliners who blockaded major cities and demanded her immediate execution.

    • White House defends doctored Trump-Acosta clip used to justify reporter’s ban

      But in an analysis done for Storyful, which describes itself as a social-media intelligence agency that sources and verifies insights for media, there are apparently several frames repeated in the video.

      According to an analysis by Shane Richmond, a Storyful journalist, “these frames do not appear in the original C-SPAN footage, and appear to exaggerate the action of Acosta.”

    • Interesting petition

      The California Court of Appeal reversed the trial judge’s denial of a Motion to Strike, and dismissed Miss de Havilland’s claims, based on a First Amendment defense for docudramas.

      The Question for the Court is: Are reckless or knowing false statements about a living public figure, published in docudrama format, entitled to absolute First Amendment protection from claims based on the victim’s statutory and common law causes of action for defamation and right of publicity, so as to justify dismissal at the pleading stage?

    • Google Should Rethink Censorship Policies, EFF Says

      Prager University, which sued Google’s YouTube for allegedly censoring video clips based on their conservative political views, may have a legitimate bone to pick with the company. But Prager doesn’t have grounds to sue.

      That’s the gist of new legal papers filed by the digital rights group Electronic Frontier Foundation. “YouTube’s moderation of Prager University’s content was faulty on many accounts, but it was not unconstitutional,” the EFF writes in a friend-of-the-court brief filed Wednesday with a federal appellate court.

      The EFF is weighing in on a battle dating to October 2017, when Prager sued Google for allegedly censoring conservative videos on YouTube by applying the “restricted mode” filter, which made the clips unavailable to some students and library visitors.

    • Sundar Pichai makes case for a potential move into China by saying Google already censors information elsewhere
    • Google CEO’s China argument doesn’t hold water
    • Sundar Pichai defends Google’s controversial search effort in China
  • Privacy/Surveillance

    • Snowden warns Israelis of dangers of state surveillance
    • Edward Snowden Issues Surveillance Warning To Israelis
    • Snowden issues surveillance warning to Israelis
    • Edward Snowden: Israeli software tracked Khashoggi

      Technology made by an Israeli company was used to target groups of journalists in Mexico and other problematic areas, including slain journalist Jamal Khashoggi, Edward Snowden, the infamous “whistle-blower” who leaked classified NSA information, told a conference in Israel on Tuesday. Snowden spoke via video-conference from an undisclosed location in Russia to the closed audience.

      Though he was not physically present due to concerns that he would be handed over to US authorities, Snowden was responded to by former Mossad deputy chief Ram Ben Barak and took questions from other members of the audience.

    • Israeli Spyware May Have Helped Khashoggi Killers, Snowden Says
    • Snowden Verifies NSA Report In EFF Spying Case

      The Electronic Frontier Foundation continues to urge a California federal court to keep alive its long-running class action against the National Security Agency over its alleged unlawful mass surveillance of Americans,…

    • CIA’s ‘surveillance state’ is operating against us all

      Over time, the CIA upper echelon has secretly developed all kinds of policy statements and legal rationales to justify routine, widespread surveillance on U.S. soil of citizens who aren’t suspected of terrorism or being a spy.

      The latest outrage is found in newly declassified documents from 2014. They reveal the CIA not only intercepted emails of U.S. citizens but they were emails of the most sensitive kind — written to Congress and involving whistleblowers reporting alleged wrongdoing within the Intelligence Community.

      The disclosures, kept secret until now, are two letters of “congressional notification” from the Intelligence Community inspector general at the time, Charles McCullough. He stated that during “routine counterintelligence monitoring of government computer systems,” the CIA collected emails between congressional staff and the CIA’s head of whistleblowing and source protection.

    • Open-plan office? No, thanks – I’d rather get some work done

      There are echoes of the open-plan fiasco in another workplace phenomenon, highlighted on the Study Hacks blog: the way many people spend a big chunk of each week doing tasks that are, to put it bluntly, below their pay grade. In the 1980s, the economist Peter Sassone studied the impact of computer systems on American corporations, and found that senior executives spent “surprisingly large percentages of their time” on things support staff might previously have done. Because computers make it easier for managers to type their own memos, prepare graphics for presentations, schedule appointments and so on, support roles got phased out, to save money. But money wasn’t saved: Sassone estimated that a typical office could save thousands of dollars per employee per year by returning to a clearer delineation between the two kinds of job.

    • Why surveillance is even worse for your privacy than you thought: three cautionary tales

      Readers of this blog hardly need to be told that surveillance represents a grave threat to privacy. By its very nature, it seeks to know who we are and what we do, whether we wish that or not. But there is a secondary harm that surveillance brings – a collateral damage – as three recent and very different stories underline.

    • Flyers should worry about “customer lifetime value” scores

      When it comes to flying, a CLV score takes into account information such as how frequently a customer makes complaints and how often they are affected by flight delays and lost luggage. Companies do not perceive much value in retaining the business of customers who complain all the time, so regular whiners get bad scores. Conversely, frequent flyers in business class who rarely moan get some of the best. Sometimes these scores are transmitted to flight attendants, many of whom are now issued with handheld digital devices on which they can read about passengers. Cabin crew can use this information to wish flyers a happy birthday or decide whether they are worth compensating for inconveniences such as a spilled coffee or broken screens.

    • Facebook joins Google, halts mandatory arbitration in sexual harassment cases

      Arbitration, a private dispute resolution process that resembles the public legal system, is often preferred by corporations as a way to reduce costs and scrutiny surrounding such complaints.

    • New Google Harassment Policy Falls Short of Worker Demands

      Google announced changes to how it will handle claims of sexual harassment among employees, including making arbitration optional for individual harassment and sexual assault claims. While additional transparency and protection for workers is a sign of progress, the change is incremental rather than transformative, because Google’s arbitration provision still prohibits collective action. Harassment claims will no longer be forced into private arbitration, but only individuals can now bring their claims before a jury.

    • Google says no forced arbitration for sexual harassment

      Google has announced that from now on it will not force individual employees with sexual harassment or sexual assault claims to go through arbitration, though the company said that arbitration may still be the best option.

    • China Infiltrates American Campuses

      The main points of contact for Chinese Students and Scholars Association (CSSA) chapters in the U.S. are often intelligence officers in the embassy and consulates. China’s Ministry of State Security uses CSSA students to inform on other Chinese on campus.

  • Civil Rights/Policing

    • Dark Money Paid New Trump Attorney General Matthew Whitaker’s Salary for 3 Years

      Today, President Donald Trump announced on Twitter that Matthew G. Whitaker, who served as chief of staff for Attorney General Jeff Sessions, would replace his boss. Sessions was forced from office a day after the midterm elections, which were rough for climate and anti-fracking measures around the country.

      Whitaker was appointed as Session’s chief of staff on September 22, 2017. Before that, he served for three years as the executive director of the Foundation for Accountability and Civic Trust (FACT), which describes itself as “a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting accountability, ethics, and transparency in government and civic arenas.”

      FACT has come under fire for its own lack of transparency, with the Center for Responsive Politics calling attention to FACT’s funding, which in some years came entirely from DonorsTrust, an organization also known as the “Dark Money ATM of the Conservative Movement” and whose own donors include the notorious funders of climate denial, Charles and David Koch.

    • Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker Connected to World Patent Marketing Fraudulent Scheme to Bilk Inventors

      In May 2018, Scott Cooper and his companies, World Patent Marketing Inc. and Desa Industries Inc., agreed to a settlement with the Federal Trade Commission that bans them from the invention promotion business, and ordered payment of $25,987,192. The FTC charged World Patent Marketing with being nothing more than a scam, bilking millions of dollars from inventors. “The record supports a preliminary finding that Defendants devised a fraudulent scheme to use consumer funds to enrich themselves,” concluded United States District Judge Darrin P. Gayles as he issued a preliminary injunction in August 2017. Matthew G. Whitaker, the Acting Attorney General of the United States who ascended to the position with the resignation of Jeff Sessions, served on the advisory board of World Patent Marketing. Worse, as PatentlyO reported yesterday, Whitaker was involved in some of the egregious intimidation that led to the charges, issuance of an injunction and ultimately the settlement.

      The Federal Trade Commission originally charged the operators of World Patent Marketing with deceiving consumers and suppressing complaints about the company by using threats of criminal prosecution against dissatisfied customers. At least one such threat of criminal prosecution was made by Whitaker.

      “I am a former United States Attorney for the Southern District of Iowa and I also serve on World Patent Marketing’s Advisory Board,” wrote Whitaker via e-mail in August 2015 to a disgruntled inventor who was attempting to get relief from World Patent Marketing for broken promises. “Your emails and message from today seem to be an apparent attempt at possible blackmail or extortion. You also mentioned filing a complaint with the Better Business Bureau and to smear World Patent Marketing’s reputation online. I am assuming you understand that there could be serious civil and criminal consequences for you if that is in fact what you and your ‘group’ are doing.”

    • Trump’s acting attorney general involved in firm that scammed veterans out of life savings

      Matthew Whitaker was paid advisory board member for WPM, of which veteran tells Guardian: ‘I spent the money on a dream. I lost everything’

    • Why Jeff Sessions’s Resignation May Be Sketchier Than You Think

      It could be part of a larger Trump administration agenda.

    • The US Must Take Responsibility for Asylum Seekers and the History That Drives Them

      Some may be influenced by administration efforts to induce panic about immigrants “invading” the US — for instance, President Trump’s decision to send troops to counter the latest migrant caravan, even though US Army planners have concluded that “only a small percentage of the migrants will likely reach the border.”

      But others look around at failing schools, collapsing infrastructure, neighbors dying of drug overdoses or going without affordable medical care, and they ask themselves whether the United States can really spare any of its limited resources to help people from somewhere south of the border. When they hear Fox News commentator Laura Ingraham saying, “It’s not our problem,” and President Trump at the United Nations telling migrants to stay home and “[m]ake their countries great again,” they tend to nod in agreement.

    • One year on from a planned “revolution” in Russia, dozens of people are facing jail time

      “Can somebody explain what this organisation is? Who’s the organiser? Who are the members? Where are the offices? The finances? It’s hilarious, to be honest,” this is how Sergey Okunev, an ally of Vyacheslav Maltsev, responded to the news that the Artpodgotovka movement had been banned in late October 2017. “If the information on the ban of Artpodgotovka is confirmed, it’s the Artillery Forces who will suffer the most,” Okunev joked on Twitter.

      By that time, Okunev had known Saratov politician Vyacheslav Maltsev for two years and, according to Okunev, had conducted several hundred live broadcasts with him on YouTube.

      [...]

      Sergey Okunev, who, like Maltsev, is originally from the Volga city of Saratov, says he met Maltsev just before the PARNAS primaries. At the start of 2o17, they began talking about forming a political party together. Initially, they wanted to take over a small party already registered with Russia’s Ministry of Justice, but these negotiations were unsuccessful. Instead, they came up with the idea of setting up a “Party of Free People” — and they opened a party office in Saratov on 26 May 2017, even before they’d made their first attempt at officially registering the party. Together with the Nationalists’ Party, supporters of Maltsev spent their weekends in towns across Russia, holding “walks for free people”. These actions often ended in arrests. “And there never existed any movement named Artpodgotovka as an organisation,” Okunev insists, adding that Maltsev came up with the date of 5 November 2017 back in 2013. Originally, though, this was supposed to be a “non-stop peaceful protest”.

      Okunev believes that the campaign against Maltsev supporters before October 2017, the last month before the “revolution”. He recalls the case of Alexey Politikov, a businessman from the far eastern city of Ussuriysk and a close associate of Maltsev. Politikov was arrested at the beginning of June 2017 on charges of assaulting a police officer during the 26 March anti-corruption protest in Moscow. (Politikov was sentenced to two years in prison in October 2017, his sentence was reduced to 18 months on appeal.)

    • How old CIA reports reveal that China has been repressing Muslims since the 1950s

      The Human Rights Watch (HRW) has recently released a 117-page report titled, Eradicating Ideological Viruses — China’s Campaign of Repression Against Xinjiang’s Muslims.

      It gave fresh evidence of Beijing’s “mass arbitrary detention, torture, and mistreatment, and the increasingly pervasive controls on daily life.”

      The US-based agency affirmed: “Throughout the region, the Turkish Muslim population of 13 million is subjected to forced political indoctrination, collective punishment, restrictions on movement and communications, heightened religious restrictions, and mass surveillance in violation of international human rights law.”

    • Religion, Reformation, and Modernity

      It is extremely important for educated Muslims to argue for a rational Islam and to seek to reconcile Islamic teachings and democracy. We cannot afford to disavow the space of religion for fundamentalists to do whatever they like with it. To keep fundamentalist forces at bay, educated and rational people must endeavor to bring about a reformation, so that religion can be perpetuated in a modern age as a liberal force. We can try to combine the concepts of an Islamic state with the principles of a socialist state, advocating social equality and economic and political democratization. We need to keep in mind that communities can grow historically within the framework created by the combined forces of modern national and transnational developments.

      I agree that the politics of religion as a monolith is hostile to pluralism and evolution, because it insists on the uniform application of rights and collective goals. Such uniformity is oblivious to the aspirations of distinct societies and to variations in laws from one cultural context to another.

      For fundamentalist organizations, religion is meant to be a hostile and vindictive force that ignores art and tradition. For instance, impassioned appeals of the clergy to the outdated concept of Islam have bred rancorous hate against “outsiders” and exploited the pitiful poverty and illiteracy of the majority of Muslims in the subcontinent, who are unable to study progressive concepts of the religion for themselves. This strategy of fortifying fundamentalism has created a bridge between the “believers” and “non-believers,” which, I would argue, is rooted in contemporary politics. The ideology propounded by the ruling fundamentalist order reflects and reproduces the interests of the mullahcracy. Mullahs justify repression of the poor and dispossessed classes, subjugation of women, and honor killings with the language of culture and religion. Such practices have led to regrettable ruptures of the Indian subcontinent and to a denial of science, technology, and historical understanding of the precepts of Islam. I am highly critical of the kind of nationalist logic in theocratic countries in which an image of the non-Islamic world as chaotic valorizes the dominance of the fundamentalist order.

    • Be Vewy, Vewy Quiet, Good Old Boys Are Hunting

      In a recent New York Times column titled “White Male Victimization Anxiety,” Charles Blow described how President Trump publicly apologized to Justice Brett Kavanaugh for “the terrible pain and suffering you have been forced to endure” at the hands of Christine Blasey Ford, who claimed that Kavanaugh had tried to rape her. Blow also cited Senator Lindsey Graham’s own plucky #MeToo moment during the Kavanaugh hearings, when Graham proclaimed, “I’m a single white male from South Carolina, and I’m told I should shut up.”

      Blow’s fine op-ed piece joins a growing media chorus studying the current “victimization” of white American men. We queers can assume – since everybody else does already – that we’re talking straight white American men, who, excoriated for their lapses of “politically correct” behavior, now identify as victims.

      Frankly, I find the term “victim” offensive. These people are survivors! Straight white men haven’t recently begun to feel victimized: they’ve felt that way since the dawn of time. It’s one of their main feelings. I know. I went to a “Make America Straight White Male Again” rally and got a free MASWMA baseball cap! This deeply moved me.

      So I sat down and composed a little history for first graders, to educate them about the oppressed straight white male diaspora. To explain the patriarchy, I’ve devised an unthreatening little Elmer Fudd-type character that children of all ages are sure to love.

    • #GoogleWalkout update: Collective action works, but we need to keep working. – Medium

      Last week, 20,000 Google employees and TVCs (Temps, Vendors and Contractors) walked out to protest discrimination, racism, sexual harassment and a workplace culture that only works for some. By taking collective action, and joining a global movement, these workers took a risk. The risk was calculated, and their demands were reasonable: these employees were asking for equity, dignity, and respect.
      What they showed is that collective action works, and when we work together we can make change.
      Today, Google made progress toward addressing these demands. The company followed Uber and Microsoft by eliminating forced arbitration in cases of sexual harassment. It also committed to more transparency in sexual harassment reporting, and will allow workers to bring representatives to meetings with HR. We commend this progress, and the rapid action which brought it about.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Joke: What do you call a claim without a transition phrase?

      This consolidated appeal involves 12 different inter partes review proceedings collectively challenging three Acceleration Bay patents.[1] The patents at issue here are all related to methods of broadcasting information over a peer-to-peer network. The basic approach here is to ensure that the network is sufficiently connected and then send data through each node to its neighbor participants. I made the gif below that provides a simple example.

      [...]

      The unchallenged testimony was that the article by Lin was uploaded to the UCSD Computer Science and Engineering website (on a page of CSE technical reports). The upload took place in 1999 before the critical date for the patents and the site was indexed and searchable – although the search function was limited. Still, the PTAB found that the document was not “published” — a conclusion affirmed on appeal.

      To qualify as a “publication” the document must either (1) be actually distributed to the public or (2) be publicly available. Because there was no evidence that the document actually reached members of the public, the focus was on the second prong, public availability. The question here: “whether an interested skilled artisan, using reasonable diligence, would have found Lin on the CSE Technical Reports Library website.” Although the site was indexed and searchable, the PTAB concluded that the search function was limited and that the evidence only “suggests that an artisan might have located Lin by skimming through potentially hundreds of titles in the same year, with most containing unrelated subject matter, or by viewing all titles in the database listed by author, when the authors were not particularly well known.”

      Treating public accessibility as a factual determinatoin, the Federal Circuit affirmed — finding that “[s]ubstantial evidence supports the Board’s finding that there “is insufficient evidence of record to support a finding that a person of ordinary skill in the art in 1999 could have located Lin using the CSE Library website’s search function.”

    • Conflicts of Interest in Patent Practice

      Addresses conflicts of interest in patent practice, including patent prosecution, patent opinion work, and patent litigation.

    • Interpreting Claims — Claiming Elements from the Background Art

      Cave Consulting’s U.S. Patent No. 7,739,126 covers a method of determining physician efficiency that includes, inter alia, a step of calculating a “weighted statistic” associated with various “episodes of care.” The broader claims are not expressly limited to the particular statistic used, while the dependent claims require alternatively require “indirect standardization” (Claim 25) or “indirect standardization” (Claim 26) of the weighting. To be clear, the specification spends substantial time focusing on indirect standardization in detail, whereas direct standardization is a method known in the prior art.

      In its case against Optum (a subsidiary of UnitedHealthcare and my insurance provider), the patentee argued that Optum used the direct-standardization weighting as claimed and a jury found agreed with a $12 million damages award.

      On appeal the Federal Circuit shifted claim construction and reversed — holding that the independent claims implicitly excluded direct-standardization weighting. In its holding the court relied upon its precedent in Retractable Techs., Inc. v. Becton, Dickinson & Co., 653 F.3d 1296, 1305 (Fed. Cir. 2011) in stating that claims should be construed to “tether the claims to what the specifications indicate the inventor actually invented.”

    • Infringing?: Offers (made in the US) to Sell (abroad)

      A tough aspect of the patent case against Intersil itself is that 98.8% of its products are manufactured, packaged, and tested abroad — then delivered to customers abroad. U.S. patent law is territorial and almost none of the products were made, used, or sold “within the United States.” 35 U.S.C. 271(a). In its new petition for writ of certiorari, TAOS argues that the infringer should still be liable becase it made “offers to sell” the invention within the US.

      Here, the evidence shows that an offer was made in California by Intersil to sell the accused sensors to Apple at $.035 each. Although the offer was made in California, delivery was set outside the U.S. The delivery location is critical under the leading Federal Circuit decision in Transocean Offshore Deepwater Drilling, Inc. v. Maersk Contractors USA, Inc., 617 F.3d 1296 (Fed. Cir. 2010). In Transocean, the court held that “offers to sell . . . within the United States” are limited to offers where – if accepted – the sale will occur in the United States.

    • CCIA Files Additional Comments In Qualcomm ITC Case

      Last June, CCIA filed comments on the public interest issues implicated by Qualcomm’s ITC complaint against Apple. (The ITC is required to take into account whether the public interest would be harmed by exclusion.)

      Last month, the ITC Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) agreed with our comments, determining that an exclusion order was not in the public interest. However, ALJ Pender’s determination isn’t final—the International Trade Commission (ITC) has been asked to review his determination. As part of that process, the Commission invites further comments from members of the public.

      Yesterday, CCIA filed additional comments, reiterating certain aspects of the original analysis, while also confirming the analysis provided by ALJ Pender was correct. In particular, CCIA’s comments note that an exclusion order would harm consumers, would harm competition in the United States, and would pose a risk to U.S. national security.

    • Enforcing FRAND Commitments

      In an important decision, Judge Koh granted partial summary judgment for the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) that will require Qualcomm to license its Standard-EssentialPatents (SEPs) for 3G Mobile (and other) communication standards on fair, reasonable, and nondiscriminatory (FRAND) terms. [FTC v Qualcomm]

      Qualcomm agreed that it was subject to its prior FRAND commitment, but argued that it only applied to “complete devices like cellular handsets” and not to components like modem chips. In other words, Qualcomm was happy to license to its chip customers, but not to its competitors. This decision follows other cases, including Microsoft Corp. v. Motorola, Inc., 696 F.3d 872 (9th Cir. 2012) where the 9th Circuit held that “FRAND commitments include an obligation to license to all comers, including competing modem chip suppliers.”

    • ITC’s Chance to Restore Reason and the Public Interest in the Qualcomm v. Apple Case

      An administrative law judge at the U.S. International Trade Commission recently found patent infringement in Qualcomm’s case against Apple (See Qualcomm v. Apple), but then inexplicably refused to recommend that the commission issue an exclusion order against infringer Apple.

      [...]

      To be clear, the ITC has only one remedy available in Section 337 cases: an import exclusion order. The commission cannot award monetary damages or any other damages, under current law.

      In all previous smartphone cases before the ITC, when an importer was found to infringe, the commission has always issued exclusion orders. In its history, the commission has only previously denied an import ban three times when finding infringement.

    • Judge rules that Qualcomm must license essential patents to chip competitors
    • Judge Koh’s high-profile summary judgment order doesn’t bode well for Qualcomm’s efforts to elude patent exhaustion finding

      This is a follow-up (as I promised) to Judge Lucy Koh’s summary judgment order according to which Qualcomm must meet its self-imposed obligation to license its cellular standard-essential patents (SEPs) to rival chipset makers. On Tuesday I mostly wanted to publish the news quickly, and I focused on the commercial consequences.

      The legal standard applied by Judge Koh was stated as follows in the Ninth Circuit’s 2006 opinion in Miller v. Glenn Miller Prods., Inc.: summary judgment is warranted “[i]f, after considering the language of the contract and any admissible extrinsic evidence, the meaning of the contract is unambiguous.” (emphasis added)

      Qualcomm unsuccessfully argued that an alleged need for two U.S. standard-setting organizations (ATIS and TIA) to be consistent with policies established by other organizations supported its position that there was no obligation to extend a SEP license to rival chipset makers, and that baseband chips don’t actually implement the standards in question.

    • Qualcomm must license chip patents to competitors, judge rules
    • Public Knowledge Asks International Trade Commission to Protect Competition

      Today, Public Knowledge and the Open Markets Institute sent a letter to the International Trade Commission supporting a recent administrative law judge’s decision that Qualcomm’s requested relief of banning certain models of Apple’s iPhone from the U.S. market would harm the public interest, by reducing competition in the premium baseband market. Currently Intel is Qualcomm’s only competitor for this vital smartphone component, and the judge found that granting Qualcomm’s request would cause it to exit the market entirely.

    • Why Judge Koh’s Qualcomm FRAND ruling is a big deal

      The ruling that Qualcomm must license SEPs to competitors on FRAND terms helps the FTC but will also have a wider impact – upending the licensing practices of SEP owners, who have criticised the decision

      An important ruling in the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) lawsuit against Qualcomm in the Northern District of California raises many questions for standard essential patent (SEP) holders, who are critical of the uncertainty created by decisions out of the US…

    • Qualcomm must license its chip tech to competitors, judge rules

      Qualcomm has to license its wireless chip patents to its competitors, a judge ruled Tuesday.

      District Court Judge Lucy Koh granted the US Federal Trade Commission’s motion for partial summary judgment in its suit against Qualcomm. The FTC had sought a ruling that declared “two industry agreements obligate Qualcomm to license its essential patents to competing modem chip suppliers.” Koh agreed with the motion and on Tuesday said Qualcomm has to give rivals like Intel access to its technology.

      “Undisputed evidence in Qualcomm’s own documents demonstrates that a modem chip is a core component of the cellular handset, which only underscores how a [standard essential patent] license to supply modem chips is for the purpose of practicing or implementing cellular standards and why Qualcomm cannot discriminate against modem chip suppliers,” Koh wrote.

    • LG Patents Smartphones With Oval-Shaped Display Camera Holes

      LG has patented some new smartphone designs in order to keep up with the competition. If you take a look at the provided images, you will notice that the company actually patented two different designs, and each of those two designs have camera holes in different places on the display (top left, top center, and top right). Both of these designed have been submitted in the company’s home country, South Korea, at the KIPO (Korean Intellectual Property Office) by LG Display. Patents themselves were published on October 24 and November 2, and as you can see, these two designs are somewhat different, but both look quite similar from the front. Both devices sport what is essentially a bezel-less design, but they do have a camera hole in the display. You will notice that the camera hole looks the same on both phones, it has an oval shape to it, which is a bit different than other designs that we’ve seen, and that we’ll talk about a bit later. So why is this camera hole oval? Well, either LG plans to include two front-facing cameras in this phone, or perhaps it’s reserved for both a front-facing camera and an earpiece, which is a possibility, as it will give LG more room above the display to trim down those bezels.

    • The Netherlands’ preferential IP regime for software companies [Ed: Tax evasion loopholes using patents that are likely not patent-eligible either]

      The Netherlands government is promoting engagement in research and development (R&D) activities through a preferential corporate income tax regime, as well as specific R&D tax incentives granted to employers with regard to salaries paid to employees who perform qualifying R&D activities and related capital expenditures.

      Following international scrutiny, most preferential intellectual property (IP) regimes have been amended in line with base erosion and profit shifting (BEPS) Action 5. The new Dutch innovation box also follows the internationally approved standards under BEPS Action 5.

      Briefly, the new rules require companies that apply the new innovation box to have performed substantial R&D activities, and that eligible R&D profits are related to patents or other IP rights that are capable of being registered and to which the profit allocation is sufficiently documented. Moreover, the extended application of the Netherlands innovation box has been welcomed by most Netherlands companies that typically have to rely on R&D declarations, but may now also rely on copyrights to support their innovation box position.

    • Copyrights

      • MPAA Considers a ‘Makeover’ As It Faces Shrinking Budget

        Disney’s acquisition of 20th Century Fox has been one of the major entertainment industry stories this year. Indirectly, it also impacts Hollywood’s industry group the MPAA, which loses one of its six members. This prompted insiders to rethink the organization’s future and reportedly, streaming giants such as Netflix are being considered as future members.

      • Greek ISPs Ordered to Block 38 Domains, Including The Pirate Bay

        Following a request from a local anti-piracy group, Greek Internet service providers are required to block access to The Pirate Bay, 1337x, YTS, and several other pirate sites. The order, issued by a special Government-affiliated commission, also targets several popular subtitle sites.

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

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

Pages that cross-reference this one

What Else is New


  1. The EPO Has Sadly Taken a Side and It's the Patent Trolls' Side

    Abandoning the whole rationale behind patents, the Office now led for almost a year by António Campinos prioritises neither science nor technology; it's all about granting as many patents (European monopolies) as possible for legal activity (applications, litigation and so on)



  2. Where the USPTO Stands on the Subject of Abstract Software Patents

    Not much is changing as we approach Easter and software patents are still fool's gold in the United States, no matter if they get granted or not



  3. Links 19/3/2019: Jetson/JetBot, Linux 5.0.3, Kodi Foundation Joins The Linux Foundation, and Firefox 66

    Links for the day



  4. Links 18/3/2019: Solus 4, Linux 5.1 RC1, Mesa 18.3.5, OSI Individual Member Election Won by Microsoft

    Links for the day



  5. Microsoft and Its Patent Trolls Continue Their Patent War, Including the War on Linux

    Microsoft is still preying on GNU/Linux using patents, notably software patents; it wants billions of dollars served on a silver platter in spite of claims that it reached a “truce” by joining the Open Invention Network and joining the LOT Network



  6. Director Iancu Generally Viewed as a Lapdog of Patent Trolls

    As Director of the Office, Mr. Iancu, a Trump appointee, not only fails to curb patent trolls; he actively defends them and he lowers barriers in order to better equip them with bogus patents that courts would reject (if the targets of extortion could afford a day in court)



  7. Links 17/3/2019: Google Console and IBM-Red Hat Merger Delay?

    Links for the day



  8. To Team UPC the Unified Patent Court (UPC) Has Become a Joke and the European Patent Office (EPO) Never Mentions It Anymore

    The EPO's frantic rally to the very bottom of patent quality may be celebrated by obedient media and patent law firms; to people who actually produce innovative things, however, this should be a worrisome trend and thankfully courts are getting in the way of this nefarious agenda; one of these courts is the FCC in Germany



  9. Links 16/3/2019: Knoppix Release and SUSE Independence

    Links for the day



  10. Stopping António Campinos and His Software Patents Agenda (Not Legal in Europe) Would Require Independent Courts

    Software patents continue to be granted (new tricks, loopholes and buzzwords) and judges who can put an end to that are being actively assaulted by those who aren't supposed to have any authority whatsoever over them (for decisions to be impartially delivered)



  11. The Linux Foundation Needs to Speak Out Against Microsoft's Ongoing (Continued) Patent Shakedown of OEMs That Ship Linux

    Zemlin actively thanks Microsoft while taking Microsoft money; he meanwhile ignores how Microsoft viciously attacks Linux using patents, revealing the degree to which his foundation, the “Linux Foundation” (not about Linux anymore, better described as Zemlin’s PAC), has been compromised



  12. Links 15/3/2019: Linux 5.0.2, Sublime Text 3.2

    Links for the day



  13. The EPO and the USPTO Are Granting Fake Patents on Software, Knowing That Courts Would Reject These

    Office management encourages applicants to send over patent applications that are laughable while depriving examiners the freedom and the time they need to reject these; it means that loads of bogus patents are being granted, enshrined as weapons that trolls can use to extort small companies outside the courtroom



  14. CommunityBridge is a Cynical Microsoft-Funded Effort to Show Zemlin Works for 'Community', Not Microsoft

    After disbanding community participation in the Board (but there are Microsoft staff on the Board now) the "Linux Foundation" (or Zemlin PAC) continues to take Microsoft money and polishes or launders that as "community"



  15. Links 14/3/2019: GNOME 3.32 and Mesa 19.0.0 Released

    Links for the day



  16. EPO 'Results' Are, As Usual, Not Measured Correctly

    The supranational monopoly, a monopoly-granting authority, is being used by António Campinos to grant an insane amount of monopolies whose merit is dubious and whose impact on Europe will be a net negative



  17. Good News Everyone! UPC Ready to Go... in 2015!

    Benoît Battistelli is no longer in Office and his fantasy (patent lawyers' fantasy) is as elusive as ever; Team UPC is trying to associate opposition to UPC with the far right (AfD) once again



  18. Links 13/3/2019: Plasma 5.15.3,Chrome 73 and Many LF Press Releases

    Links for the day



  19. In the Age of Trumpism EFF Needs to Repeatedly Remind Director Iancu That He is Not a Judge and He Cannot Ignore the Courts

    The nonchalance and carelessness seen in Iancu's decision to just cherry-pick decisions/outcomes (basically ignoring caselaw) concerns technologists, who rightly view him as a 'mole' of the litigation 'industry' (which he came from)



  20. Links 12/3/2019: Sway 1.0 Released, Debian Feuds Carry On

    Links for the day



  21. Microsoft is Complaining About Android and Chrome OS (GNU/Linux) Vendor Not Paying for Microsoft Patents (Updated)

    Microsoft, which nowadays does the patent shakedown against GNU/Linux by proxy, is still moaning about companies that don’t pay ‘protection’ money (grounds for antitrust action or racketeering investigation)



  22. Watchtroll Has Redefined "Trolls" to Mean Those Who Oppose Software Patents (and Oppose Trolls), Not Those Who Leverage These for Blackmail Alone

    The controversial change to 35 U.S.C. § 101 guidance is being opposed by the public (US citizens who oppose American software patents), so patent maximalists like Janal Kalis (“PatentBuddy”) and extremists like Gene Quinn (Watchtroll) want us to believe that the public is just “EFF” and cannot think for itself



  23. EPO's Latest 'Results' Show That António Campinos Has Already Given Up on Patent Quality and is Just Another Battistelli

    The patent-granting machine that the EPO has become reports granting growth of unrealistic scale (unless no proper examination is actually carried out)



  24. Links 11/3/2019: Linux 5.0.1, Audacity 2.3.1, GNU Coreutils 8.31

    Links for the day



  25. US Patent Law Currently Not Changing Much and Software Patents Are Still in Limbo

    Surveying the news, as we still meticulously do (even if we don't write about it), it seems clear that American courts hardly tolerate software patents and proponents of such patents are losing their voice (or morale)



  26. EPO Examiner: “I Have Been Against Software Patents and Eventually 3/4 of My Job is Examining Software Patent Applications.”

    Overworked examiners aren't being given the time, the tools and the freedom to reject patents, based on prior art, patent scope and so on; it is beginning to resemble a rubber-stamping operation, not an examining authority



  27. Europe Will Pay a High Price for Software Patents Advocacy by António Campinos in Europe's Patent-Granting Authority

    EPO President António Campinos — like Iancu at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) — is still promoting software patents in Europe even though such patents are clearly detrimental to Europe’s interests



  28. António Campinos -- Like His Father -- Lacks Support From Colleagues, Endorsed Only From the Top

    History lessons from Wikileaks



  29. Links 10/3/2019: GNU and GNOME Releases

    Links for the day



  30. Koch Brothers' Oil Money is Poisoning Academia and Distorting Scholarly Work/Research on Patents

    Meddling in patent law by the Kochs, the oil tycoons who can be seen everywhere Conservative think tanks are, shows no signs of abatement


CoPilotCo

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

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

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

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

CoPilotCo

Recent Posts