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07.27.19

Links 27/7/2019: KernelShark 1.0, Marcus Hutchins Released

Posted in News Roundup at 11:24 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Server

      • 16 essentials for sysadmin superheroes

        You know you’re a sysadmin if you are either knee-deep in system logs, constantly handling user errors, or carving out time to document it all along the way. Yesterday was Sysadmin Appreciation Day and we want to give a big “thank you” to our favorite IT pros. We’ve pulled together the ultimate list of tasks, resources, tools, commands, and guides to help you become a sysadmin superhero.

      • Kubernetes by the numbers: 13 compelling stats

        Fast-forward to the dog days of summer 2019 and a fresh look at various stats in and around the Kubernetes ecosystem, and the story’s sequel plays out a lot like the original: Kubernetes is even more popular. It’s tough to find a buzzier platform in the IT world these days. Yet Kubernetes is still quite young; it just celebrated its fifth “birthday,” and version 1.0 of the open source project was released just over four years ago. So there’s plenty of room for additional growth.

      • IBM

        • Vendors not contributing to open source will fall behind says John Allessio, SVP & GM, Red Hat Global Services
        • IBM open-sources AI algorithms to help advance cancer research

          IBM Corp. has open-sourced three artificial intelligence projects focused on cancer research.

        • Latest Open-Source Machine Learning Tools to Fight Cancer
        • IBM Just Made its Cancer-Fighting AI Projects Open-Source

          IBM just announced that it was making three of its artificial intelligence projects designed to help doctors and cancer researchers open-source.

        • IBM Makes Its Cancer-Fighting AI Projects Open Source

          IBM launches three new AI projects to help researchers and medical experts study cancer and find better treatment to the said disease in the future.

        • New Open-Source AI Machine Learning Tools to Fight Cancer

          In Basel, Switzerland at this week’s 18th European Conference on Computational Biology (ECCB) and 27th Conference on Intelligent Systems for Molecular Biology (ISMB), IBM will share three novel artificial intelligence (AI) machine learning tools called PaccMann, INtERAcT, and PIMKL, that are designed to assist cancer researchers.

          [...]

          “There have been a plethora of works focused on prediction of drug sensitivity in cancer cells, however, the majority of them have focused on the analysis of unimodal datasets such as genomic or transcriptomic profiles of cancer cells,” wrote the IBM researchers in their study. “To the best of our knowledge, there have not been any multi-modal deep learning solutions for anticancer drug sensitivity prediction that combine a molecular structure of compounds, the genetic profile of cells and prior knowledge of protein interactions.”

        • IBM offering cancer researchers 3 open-source AI tools

          Researchers and data scientists at IBM have developed three novel algorithms aimed at uncovering the underlying biological processes that cause tumors to form and grow.

          And the computing behemoth is making all three tools freely available to clinical researchers and AI developers.

          The offerings are summarized in a blog post written by life sciences researcher Matteo Manica and data scientist Joris Cadow, both of whom work at an IBM research lab in Switzerland.

        • Red Hat CTO says no change to OpenShift, conference swag plans after IBM buy

          Red Hat’s CTO took to Reddit this week to reassure fans that the company would stick to its open source knitting after the firm absorbed by IBM earlier this month AND that their Red Hat swag could be worth a packet in future .

          The first question to hit in Chris Wright’s Reddit AMA regarded the effect on Red Hat’s OpenShift strategy. The short answer, was “no effect”.

          “First, Red Hat is still Red Hat, and we are focused on delivering the industry’s most comprehensive enterprise Kubernetes platform,” Wright answered “Second, upstream first development in Kubernetes and community ecosystem development in OKD are part of our product development process. Neither of those change. The IBM acquisition can help accelerate the adoption of OpenShift given the increase scale and reach in sales and services that IBM has.”

    • Kernel Space

      • Retrotechtacular: The Floppy Disk Orphaned By Linux

        About a week ago, Linus Torvalds made a software commit which has an air about it of the end of an era. The code in question contains a few patches to the driver for native floppy disc controllers. What makes it worthy of note is that he remarks that the floppy driver is now orphaned. Its maintainer no longer has working floppy hardware upon which to test the software, and Linus remarks that “I think the driver can be considered pretty much dead from an actual hardware standpoint“, though he does point out that active support remains for USB floppy drives.

        It’s a very reasonable view to have arrived at because outside the realm of retrocomputing the physical rather than virtual floppy disk has all but disappeared. It’s well over a decade since they ceased to be fitted to desktop and laptop computers, and where once they were a staple of any office they now exist only in the “save” icon on your wordprocessor. The floppy is dead, and has been for a long time.

      • KernelShark 1.0

        It’s official!

      • KernelShark 1.0 Released After Switching From GTK To Qt

        KernelShark 1.0 has been released as the tool for visualizing Trace-cmd Linux kernel traces.

        KernelShark is all about visualizations for Trace-cmd which wraps Ftrace for internal Linux kernel tracing to analyze what’s going on within the kernel.

        For powering all these visualizations, KernelShark was originally written using the GTK tool-kit but now has moved over to Qt5. Current maintainer Steven Rostedt notes that the new Qt’ified KernelShark is more extensible, faster, and also easier to use.

      • Graphics Stack

        • X.Org SiS Driver Kept Alive In 2019 To Fix Silly Compiler Warnings

          It’s vintage X.Org driver week… Not only was there an S3 display driver update for that vintage hardware, but a SiS X.Org display driver update has also been released.

          OpenChrome driver contributor Kevin Brace took to releasing the updated X.Org SiS driver following his fun with the S3 DDX. This is the first xf86-video-sis driver update in two years.

    • Benchmarks

      • Linux 5.2/5.3 Kernel Performance On The AMD Ryzen 9 3900X

        With yesterday’s Windows 10 vs. Ubuntu 18.04 LTS Linux benchmarks for the AMD Ryzen 9 3900X, some suggested that the Linux performance could have been better if using a Linux 5.x kernel. Well, here are some benchmarks comparing the performance of Ubuntu 18.04.2 LTS with its Linux 4.18 kernel compared to Linux 5.2 stable as well as the brand new Linux 5.3 development kernel.

        On the same Ryzen 9 3900X system, these three kernel releases (Ubuntu 18.04′s stock 4.18 kernel, Linux 5.2 stable, Linux 5.3 Git) were compared across a variety of workloads.

    • Applications

      • QuickHash GUI is an open source hashing tool for Windows, Linux and macOS

        QuickHash GUI is an open source hashing tool which is available for Windows, Linux and macOS. If you’re a security conscious person or want to verify file integrity, e.g. for backups, you must be aware of hashing.

      • curl goez parallel

        The first curl release ever saw the light of day on March 20, 1998 and already then, curl could transfer any amount of URLs given on the command line. It would iterate over the entire list and transfer them one by one.

        Not even 22 years later, we introduce the ability for the curl command line tool to do parallel transfers! Instead of doing all the provided URLs one by one and only start the next one once the previous has been completed, curl can now be told to do all of them, or at least many of them, at the same time!

        This has the potential to drastically decrease the amount of time it takes to complete an operation that involves multiple URLs.

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Games

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • KDE Connect mDNS: Nuremberg Megaspring Part 2

          Sprints are a great time to talk in real-time to other project developers. One of the things we talked about at the KDE Connect part of the “Nuremberg Megasprint” was the problem that our current discovery protocol often doesn’t work, since many networks block the UDP broadcast we currently use. Additionally, we often get feature requests for more privacy-conscious modes of KDE Connect operation. Fixing either of these problems would require a new Link Provider (as we call it), and maybe we can fix both at once.

          [...]

          Solving the first problem is easy. We want the user’s device name so we can display it in the list of available devices to pair with. So, instead of sending that information in the identity all the time, have some “discovery mode” switch which otherwise withholds the device name until a connection to an already-trusted device is established.

          This leaves the second problem, which quite a bit more tricky. One answer is to have trusted user-selected trusted wifi networks, so KDE Connect doesn’t broadcast on a random wifi that the user connects to. But what if I connect to, say, my university network where I want to use KDE Connect but I don’t want to tell everyone that I’m here?

          We don’t have a final answer to this question, but we discussed a few possible solutions. We would like some way of verifying ourselves to the other device which conceals our identity behind some shared secret, so the other device can trust that we are who we say we are, but other devices can’t fingerprint us. It is a tricky problem but not yet one to solve. Step 1 is to get the new mDNS backend working, step 2 is to add advanced features to it!

    • Distributions

      • Debian Family

        • Daniel Pocock: Leadership and gossip in Debian

          When people realize that this issue relates to my private life and has nothing to do with my competence as a Debian Developer, they quickly apologize for intruding. On those occasions when I’ve explained the situation to people in any detail, the colour of their face has visibly changed, demonstrating an acute combination of sadness and anger at the way certain people in the Debian community, including the former leader, have behaved.

          People have asked me why I didn’t try to speak to Lamb. In fact, I tried. He lives in London, I visit there almost every month. I wrote to him numerous times and he always refused.

          Between September and December 2018, I also wrote to a number of other members of the project to try and set up a meeting. They either didn’t respond or declined. Yet I kept hearing more and more reports of Lamb’s gossipmongering.

          In my last blog, I revealed that one of the challenges I’ve faced was the death of my father. People simply can’t understand why Lamb and his sidekicks would be undermining another Debian Developer, involved in the community for more than 20 years, at such a difficult time.

          It is not easy to reduce a subject like that to a blog post. No cat picture can come close to explaining it. I don’t intend to write more, nor can I, without violating the privacy of other people. Yet one of Lamb’s missed opportunities as a leader is that he expected everything to be reduced to email or IRC. So he never actually knew any of this.

          Earlier this year, somebody suggested taking a month off from Debian. It really misses the point. I never chose to have my private life and my professional life interconnected in this way. It was imposed on me by somebody who had the title of leader in an organization of 1,000 Developers but had dedicated more time to some people than others.

        • Ben Hutchings: Talk: What’s new in the Linux kernel (and what’s missing in Debian)

          As planned, I presented my annual talk about Linux kernel changes at DebConf on Monday—remotely. (I think this was a DebConf first.)

          A video recording is already available (high quality, low quality). The slides are linked from my talks page and from the DebConf event page.

        • Ben Hutchings: Debian LTS work, July 2019

          I prepared and released Linux 3.16.70 with various fixes from upstream. I then rebased jessie’s linux package on this. Later in the month, I picked the fix for CVE-2019-13272, uploaded the package, and issued DLA-1862-1. I also released Linux 3.16.71 with just that fix.

        • Opinion Sort

          In a world where it is more important to have a quick opinion than a thorough understanding, I propose this novel sorting algoritihm.

        • A new home for Debian in the Mastodon / ActivityPub fediverse: follow @debian@framapiaf.org (and possible future moves)

          Recent events in the fediverse in general and related to fosstodon.org instance in particular have made me rethink the place where I’d like to handle the @debian account in the Mastodon/GNU Social/ActivityPub fediverse.
          I couldn’t decide a “final” place yet, but I’m exploring options (including selfhosting).

          For now, I’ve moved the account to @debian@framapiaf.org – Please follow @debian there. Thank you Framasoft for administering and providing the service.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • BT Leverages Open Source for Fifth Generation of Network Monitoring

          In a world where telcos increasingly compete with public cloud providers rather than each other, they need to revamp their market propositions and adopt new technologies and processes to remain relevant. To that end, network operators need to modernize the systems that monitor their services and networks in order to deliver a more cloud-like experience to their customers.

        • BT Opts for Open Source 5G Core, Canonical Lands Major Support Contract

          “The platform we are constructing will enable us to roll out our 5G core network, and then we’ll think about our TV platform, pretty much all DNS and Radius network management functionalities…”

          Updated 11:27 July 24, 2019, with comment from Canonical CEO Mark Shuttleworth

          BT Group has contracted Canonical to provide and support the open source infrastructure at the heart of its emerging 5G network, including a comprehensive Ubuntu package and OpenStack services, in a major win for the UK-based company.

          Canonical will provide it with a managed OpenStack service, including its open source virtual infrastructure manager (VIM) as part of BT’s Network Function Virtualisation (NFV) program, and its transition to a cloud-based core network.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • CERN plans to replace Microsoft-based programs with an affordable open-source software

        Last month, CERN, one of the leading scientific research organizations planned to stop using Microsoft-based programs to look out for affordable open-source software. For the past 20 years, CERN has been using Microsoft products at a discounted “academic institution” rate. Things changed in March when its previous contract was ending and Microsoft revoked CERN’s academic status and as per a CERN’s blog post, under the new contract, licensing costs have been increased.

        Meanwhile, CERN is now focusing on its year-old project known as, Microsoft Alternatives project (MAlt) and plans to migrate to open-source software.

        MAlt’s principles of engagement are: delivering the same service to every category of CERN personnel, avoiding vendor lock-in for decreasing risk and dependency, keeping hands-on data and addressing the common use-cases.

      • Octo Acquires Connexta to Enhance Open Source Software Development Capabilities
      • Inside Octo’s deal to go deeper into open source

        Octo Consulting acquires an open source development firm to align with changes they see in how defense agencies buy software…

      • Deep Dive: Linux Solutions Provider SUSE On Why Analytics Industry Should Move To Open Source

        Open source has gained significant traction in the market today with companies like RedHat, now an IBM-owned company, Cloudera, MongoDB and DataBricks among others making a viable business model out of it. It is not just the strategic business models but also the benefits and value it delivers to the software ecosystem.

        Germany-headquartered SUSE has played a pivotal role in advancing open-source software. The company has completed 25 years working in this domain and is still growing, with efforts to take open source to a whole new level. AIM got in touch with Brent Schroeder, Global CTO, SUSE and Rajarshi Bhattacharyya, Country Manager, SUSE India to know about the company’s strategic initiatives and growth roadmap for India. Germany-based open source major is best known for its SUSE Linux enterprise product and is one of the “largest independent open source company” providing enterprise-grade open source solutions for the cloud to edge.

      • Serverless platform Apache OpenWhisk graduates to Top Level Project

        Apache OpenWhisk, an open source, distributed serverless platform for executing functions, officially graduates to a Top Level Project. The Apache Software Foundation helps develop, shepherd, and incubate projects in order to further the reach of open source software.

        Over 350 open source projects belong to ASF, but not all become mature enough to graduate to a Top Level Project. With this milestone, Apache OpenWhisk joins the ranks of projects such as Apache Dubbo, Apache AirFlow, and Apache NetBeans.

      • Huawei Ark compiler will be open source in August

        Huawei’s 2019 Developer Conference for Global Developers will hold in Songshan Lake, Dongguan from August 9th to August 11th. This is the first time that Huawei will hold a developer conference in the European town of Huawei Songshan Lake Base. Huawei’s consumer business CEO Yu Chengdong will have a major announcement. According to reports, Huawei Ark compiler will be officially open source in August this year while Yu Chengdong will probably announce this at the conference.

      • Web Browsers

        • Mozilla

          • Mozilla Open Innovation Team: Mozilla Voice Challenge: Defining The Voice Technology Space

            Voice-enabled products are in rapid ascent in both consumer and enterprise markets. The expectations are that in the near future voice interaction will become a key interface for people’s internet-connected lives.

            Unfortunately, the current voice product market is heavily dominated by a few giant tech companies. This is unhealthy as it stifles the competition and prevents entry of smaller companies with new and innovative products. Mozilla wants to change that. We want to help opening up the ecosystem. So far there have been two major components in Mozilla’s open source voice tech efforts outside the Firefox browser:

            (1) To solve for the lack of available training data for machine-learning algorithms that can power new voice-enabled applications, we launched the Common Voice project. The current release already represents the largest public domain transcribed voice dataset, with more than 2,400 hours of voice data and 28 languages represented.

            (2) In addition to the data collection, Mozilla’s Machine Learning Group has applied sophisticated machine learning techniques and a variety of innovations to build an open-source speech-to-text engine that approaches human accuracy, as well as a text-to-speech engine. Together with the growing Common Voice dataset Mozilla believes this technology can and will enable a wave of innovative products and services, and that it should be available to everyone.

          • Eight ways to reduce your digital carbon footprint

            Whether it’s from doing things like burning fossil fuels through driving, cranking up the furnace or grilling a steak, we are all responsible for releasing carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, which is called our carbon footprint. When we collectively produce more carbon than the planet can absorb, the extra CO2 contributes to climate change. Even less obvious daily activities add to our carbon footprint, such as using the internet.

            While the internet’s data is essentially invisible, it is processed and stored in massive data centers all over the world. Those data centers are powered 24/7, just waiting to send information — videos, podcasts, music, news, memes, messages and everything the internet offers — to our digital devices. All that data that we’ve grown accustomed to having fast at our fingertips along with our always-on mentality ends up contributing to our digital carbon footprints.

          • WebThings Gateway for Wireless Routers

            In April we announced that the Mozilla IoT team had been working on evolving WebThings Gateway into a full software distribution for consumer wireless routers.

            Today, with the 0.9 release, we’re happy to announce the availability of the first experimental builds for our first target router hardware, the Turris Omnia.

          • MrEd, an Experiment in Mixed Reality Editing

            For the past several months Blair, Anselm and I have been working on a visual editor for WebXR called the Mixed Reality Editor, or MrEd. We started with this simple premise: non-programmers should be able to create interactive stories and experiences in Mixed Reality without having to embrace the complexity of game engines and other general purpose tools. We are not the first people to tackle this challenge; from visual programming tools to simplified authoring environments, researchers and hobbyists have grappled with this problem for decades.

            Looking beyond Mixed Reality, there have been notable successes in other media. In the late 1980s Apple created a ground breaking tool for the Macintosh called Hypercard. It let people visually build applications at a time when programming the Mac required Pascal or assembly. It did this by using the concrete metaphor of a stack of cards. Anything could be turned into a button that would jump the user to another card. Within this simple framework people were able to create eBooks, simple games, art, and other interactive applications. Hypercard’s reliance on declaring possibly large numbers of “visual moments” (cards) and using simple “programming” to move between them is one of the inspirations for MrEd.

            We also took inspiration from Twine, a web-based tool for building interactive hypertext novels. In Twine, each moment in the story (seen on the screen) is defined as a passage in the editor as a mix of HTML content and very simple programming expressions executed when a passage is displayed, or when the reader follows a link. Like Hypercard, the author directly builds what the user sees, annotating it with small bits of code to manage the state of the story.

            No matter what the medium — text, pictures, film, or MR — people want to tell stories. Mixed Reality needs tools to let people easily tell stories by focusing on the story, not by writing a simulation. It needs content focused tools for authors, not programmers. This is what MrEd tries to be.

          • Firefox Reality for Oculus Quest

            Following our releases for other 6DoF headsets including the HTC Vive Focus Plus and Lenovo Mirage, we are delighted to bring the Firefox Reality VR web browsing experience to Oculus’ newest headset.

            Whether you’re watching immersive video or meeting up with friends in Mozilla Hubs, Firefox Reality takes advantage of the Oculus Quest’s boost in performance and capabilities to deliver the best VR web browsing experience. Try the new featured content on the FxR home page or build your own to see what you can do in the next generation of standalone virtual reality headsets.

          • IRL (podcast): Democracy and the Internet

            Part of celebrating democracy is questioning what influences it. In this episode of IRL, we look at how the internet influences us, our votes, and our systems of government. Is democracy in trouble? Are democratic elections and the internet incompatible?

            Politico’s Mark Scott takes us into Facebook’s European Union election war room. Karina Gould, Canada’s Minister for Democratic Institutions, explains why they passed a law governing online political ads. The ACLU’s Ben Wizner says our online electoral integrity problem goes well beyond a few bad ads. The team at Stop Fake describes a massive problem that Ukraine faces in telling political news fact from fiction, as well as how they’re tackling it. And NYU professor Eric Klinenberg explains how a little bit of offline conversation goes a long way to inoculate an electorate against election interference.

          • IRL (podcast): The Internet’s Carbon Footprint

            Manoush Zomorodi explores the surprising environmental impact of the internet in this episode of IRL. Because while it’s easy to think of the internet as living only on your screen, energy demand for the internet is indeed powered by massive server farms, running around the clock, all over the world. What exactly is the internet’s carbon footprint? And, what can we do about it?

            Music professor Kyle Devine considers the environmental costs of streaming music. Geophysicist and pop scientist Miles Traer takes his best shot at calculating the carbon footprint of the IRL podcast. Climate journalist Tatiana Schlossberg explores the environmental influence we don’t know we have and what the web’s got to do with it. Greenpeace’s Gary Cook explains which tech companies are committed to renewable energy — and which are not. Kris De Decker tries powering his website with a homebrew solar power system. And, Ecosia’s Chief Tree Planting Officer Pieter Van Midwoud discusses how his company uses online search to plant trees.

          • Upcoming deprecations in Firefox 70

            Several planned code deprecations for Firefox 70, currently available on the Nightly pre-release channel, may impact extension and theme developers. Firefox 70 will be released on October 22, 2019.

          • QMO: Firefox Nightly 70 Testday Results

            As you may already know, last Friday – July 19th – we held a new Testday event, for Firefox Nightly 70.

            Thank you all for helping us make Mozilla a better place: gaby2300, maria plachkova and Fernando noelonassis.

      • Databases

        • YugaByte Commits to 100 Percent Open Source with Apache 2.0 License

          YugaByte, a leader in open source distributed SQL databases, announced that YugaByte DB is now 100 percent open source under the Apache 2.0 license, bringing previously commercial features into the open source core. The move, in addition to other updates available now through YugaByte DB 1.3, allows users to more openly collaborate across what is now the world’s most powerful open source distributed SQL database.

      • Pseudo-Open Source (Openwashing)

      • Funding

        • Ubisoft joins Blender Development Fund

          Open-source 3D software toolkit Blender has received another shot in the arm this month with the news that Ubisoft Animation Studio (UAS), a division of Ubisoft’s TV and film arm, has thrown its lot in with the Blender Development Fund.

          First released by developer Ton Roosendaal in 1998 and supported since 2002 by the not-for-profit Blender Foundation, the open-source Blender toolkit has become one of the most popular 3D modelling and animation platforms around – thanks in no small part to the release of regular open project showcases highlighting what can be achieved. Earlier this month the Foundation received a nearly £1 million over the next three years as part of its relaunched MegaGrants programme.

        • Ubisoft pledges support to open source 3D creation tool Blender

          Ubisoft has followed Epic Games in supporting open source 3D creation tool Blender by joining the Blender Foundation’s development fund as a corporate.

      • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

        • GIMP vs. Photoshop

          Adobe Photoshop has long stood at the top of the list of professional image editing software — but it’s always been attached to a pro-level price. While Photoshop is much friendlier on your wallet than it was years ago thanks to a $10 subscription plan, the industry standard editor will never be as affordable as GIMP, an open source photo editor that encompasses several of Photoshop’s heavy hitting tools.

          GIMP, which stands for GNU Image Manipulation Program, is an open source, free Photoshop alternative. Besides the free price point, the open source design means that the program welcomes code adjustments, along with being available for Mac, Windows, and Linux. But how does it stack up to a program so popular that it’s been turned into a verb? Here’s what photo editors need to know when trying to decide between GIMP and Photoshop.

      • Licensing/Legal

        • Open Source Is Becoming a ‘Best Practice’

          Open source programs are becoming a best practice in the technology, telecom/media, and financial services industries. Companies are establishing open source best practices to streamline and organize the way their employees use open source, focusing on long-term business plans. Since open source, a collaborative development process, varies so greatly from traditional software practices (i.e., proprietary and closed), companies are creating their own open source programs and policies to manage how it is used and how it can work best for the company’s long-term goals. Naturally, large technology companies are leading the way in establishing open source best practices, but open source is becoming commonplace for both tech and non-tech companies.

      • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

        • Open Hardware/Modding

          • Alibaba Crafts A 16-Core RISC-V Chip @ 2.5GHz

            Alibaba this week announced a RISC-V 16-bit processor comprised of 16 cores at 2.5GHz. The Chinese RISC-V CPU is fabbed at 12nm and this RISC-V processor supports out of order execution. This Alibaba design achieves a 7.1 Coremark/MHz rating, a great deal faster than any other publicly announced RISC-V processor. It’s still not as fast as say the newest AMD Ryzen 9 or Intel Core i7/i9 parts, but it’s certainly much better than all of the other RISC-V processors/SoCs we’ve seen announced to date. Unfortunately additional details on this Alibaba design are light.

      • Programming/Development

      • Standards/Consortia

        • Botond Ballo: Trip Report: C++ Standards Meeting in Cologne, July 2019

          Last week I attended a meeting of the ISO C++ Standards Committee (also known as WG21) in Cologne, Germany. This was the second committee meeting in 2019; you can find my reports on preceding meetings here (February 2019, Kona) and here (November 2018, San Diego), and previous ones linked from those. These reports, particularly the Kona one, provide useful context for this post.

          This week the committee reached a very important milestone in the C++20 publication schedule: we approved the C++20 Committee Draft (CD), a feature-complete draft of the C++20 standard which includes wording for all of the new features we plan to ship in C++20.

          The next step procedurally is to send out the C++20 CD to national standards bodies for a formal ISO ballot, where they have the opportunity to comment on it. The ballot period is a few months, and the results will be in by the next meeting, which will be in November in Belfast, Northern Ireland. We will then spend that meeting and the next one addressing the comments, and then publishing a revised draft standard. Importantly, as this is a feature-complete draft, new features cannot be added in response to comments; only bugfixes to existing features can be made, and in rare cases where a serious problem is discovered, a feature can be removed.

          Attendance at this meeting once again broke previous records, with over 200 people present for the first time ever. It was observed that one of the likely reasons for the continued upward trend in attendance is the proliferation of domain-specific study groups such as SG 14 (Games and Low-Latency Programming) and SG 19 (Machine Learning) which is attracting new experts from those fields.

          Note that the committe now tracks its proposals in GitHub. If you’re interested in the status of a proposal, you can find its issue on GitHub by searching for its title or paper number, and see its status — such as which subgroups it has been reviewed by and what the outcome of the reviews were — there.

  • Leftovers

    • Science

      • Growing Food Out of Thin (but Moist) Air in Nigeria

        In Nigeria, about 30 million hectares of farmland is being cultivated, instead of 78.5 million hectares needed for food security.

        Widespread communal clashes, insurgency and desertification in the north are the top reasons arable land is lost.

    • Security (Confidentiality/Integrity/Availability)

      • Cyber expert who helped stop WannaCry sentenced to time served in malware case

        While Hutchins was sentenced to time served, he could have faced up to 10 years in prison and $500,000 in fines. He served a few days in jail after being arrested in 2017, but was then freed on bail on the condition that he remain in the U.S. while his case was pending.

      • The Latest: Cyber expert gets time-served in malware case

        U.S. District Judge J.P. Stadtmueller sentenced 25-year-old Marcus Hutchins on Friday in Milwaukee to time served, with a year of supervised release. Stadtmueller said the virus Hutchins helped stop was far more damaging than the malware he wrote.

      • Cyber-Crook Turned Global Hero Avoids Prison In Malware Case

        Marcus Hutchins was sentenced Friday by U.S. District Judge Nancy Joseph in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He pleaded guilty in April to two counts related to his marketing and distribution of malware called Kronos and UPAS, which his customers used to steal the bank details of unsuspecting victims around the world. Hutchins was arrested in July 2017 after he traveled to the U.S.

      • Boeing’s Corporate Suicide

        Boeing’s cost-cutting means it lacks the necessary in-house software expertise to develop and QA the fix.

      • VLC Disputes ‘Critical’ Security Flaw Claim Made Against It

        The ‘critical’ security flaw reportedly affects Windows, Linux and Unix version, but not macOS. VLC representatives say the reports are fake news

      • LastPass vs Bitwarden: Should You Switch to An Open Source Password Manager

        Choosing a password manager can be a headache. You will be using it to store your passwords, notes, and whatnot. As such, you want it to be safe and reliable. LastPass is one of the most popular password managers but it has some flaws. It has been in the news for getting hacked, more than once, and is owned by LogMeIn.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • Iran: How Bolton tricked Clueless UK Conservatives into Confrontation with Tehran

        Simon Tisdall at The Guardian explains the difference between Socialist Spain and the disorganized Conservatives in control of UK on foreign policy.

        US national security adviser John Bolton tried to hoodwink both of them about the Grace I, a Panamanian-flagged oil tanker carrying Iranian petroleum through the Straits of Gibraltar. Spain monitored the tanker but declined to intervene because it remained in international waters. The EU position has been that unless ships headed for Syria came within 12 nautical miles of the European coast, they were helpless to take action because you can’t interfere with shipping through international waters.

      • U.S. Economic Warfare and Likely Foreign Defenses

        Today’s world is at war on many fronts. The rules of international law and order put in place toward the end of World War II are being broken by U.S. foreign policy escalating its confrontation with countries that refrain from giving its companies control of their economic surpluses. Countries that do not give the United States control their oil and financial sectors or privatize their key sectors are being isolated by the United States imposing trade sanctions and unilateral tariffs giving special advantages to U.S. producers in violation of free trade agreements with European, Asian and other countries.

        This global fracture has an increasingly military cast. U.S. officials justify tariffs and import quotas illegal under WTO rules on “national security” grounds, claiming that the United States can do whatever it wants as the world’s “exceptional” nation. U.S. officials explain that this means that their nation is not obliged to adhere to international agreements or even to its own treaties and promises. This allegedly sovereign right to ignore on its international agreements was made explicit after Bill Clinton and his Secretary of State Madeline Albright broke the promise by President George Bush and Secretary of State James Baker that NATO would not expand eastward after 1991. (“You didn’t get it in writing,” was the U.S. response to the verbal agreements that were made.)

        Likewise, the Trump administration repudiated the multilateral Iranian nuclear agreement signed by the Obama administration, and is escalating warfare with its proxy armies in the Near East. U.S. politicians are waging a New Cold War against Russia, China, Iran, and oil-exporting countries that the United States is seeking to isolate if cannot control their governments, central bank and foreign diplomacy.

      • We Could Solve the Israel-Palestine Conflict Tomorrow

        Prysner, who became familiar with the horrors of occupation as a U.S. soldier in Iraq, brought a unique perspective to the film Scheer describes as powerful mandatory viewing.

        “I was radicalized as a young 19-year-old soldier in Iraq who very quickly felt terrible about the things I was doing as an occupying soldier,” Prysner explains. “And when I went to Palestine—I went to Gaza in 2009, I went to the West Bank in 2017—I got to be on the other side of it—to be in the car with some 19-year-old [Israeli soldier] staring down a machine gun at our vehicle. [I saw] that it was the same level of brutal, humiliating occupation [imposed on Iraq].”

        Despite the ongoing conflict being framed as increasingly hopeless, especially given the rise of the far right in both Israel and the U.S., there is substantial reason to hope a resolution is within reach. As the three journalists point out, there’s a high-profile Jewish-American whose election in 2020 as U.S. president could bring lasting peace to the Middle East.

        “Bernie Sanders has the best position on Palestine,” Martin tells Scheer. “And he actually shares the position that Hamas does: Withdraw the settlements to the 1967 borders. And their new charter actually unequivocally denounces anti-Semitism, and makes it very clear that the fight is against political Zionism. This is a shared sentiment from progressive Jewish organizations worldwide. So people might be surprised to learn that the peace could happen actually tomorrow if Bernie Sanders [and] Hamas get together, and they both agree on this notion!”

      • Tanker Seizures and the Threat to the Global Economy from Resurgent Imperialism

        The British seizure of the Iranian tanker off Gibraltar was illegal. There is no doubt of that whatsoever. The Iranian response to the seizure of its tanker in the Strait of Gibraltar, by the seizure of a British Tanker in the Strait of Hormuz, was also illegal, though more understandable as a reaction. The implications for the global economy of the collapse of the crucial international law on passage through straits would be devastating.

        It may seem improbable that the UK and or France would ever seek to close the Dover Strait, but in the current crazed climate it is no longer quite impossible to imagine the UK seeking to mess up access to Rotterdam and Hamburg. It is still easier to imagine them seeking to close the Dover Strait against the Russian Navy. Yet the essential freedom of navigation through the Kerch strait, respected by Russia which controls it, is necessary to the survival of Ukraine as a country. For Turkey to close the Bosphorus would be catastrophic and is a historically recurring possibility. Malaysia and Indonesia would cause severe dislocation to Australia and China by disrupting the strait of Malacca and the Suharto government certainly viewed that as an advantage from which it should have the right to seek to benefit, and was a continued nuisance in UN Law of the Sea discussions. These are just a few examples. The US Navy frequently sails through the Taiwan Strait to assert the right of passage though straits.

        Keeping the Strait of Hormuz open is perhaps the most crucial of all to the world economy, but I hope that the above examples are sufficient to convince you that the right of passage through straits, irrespective of territorial waters, is an absolutely essential pillar of international maritime law and international order. The Strait of Gibraltar is vital and Britain has absolutely no right to close it to Iran or Syria. If the obligation on coastal states to keep maritime straits open were lost, it would lead to economic dislocation and even armed conflict worldwide.

    • Environment

  • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • Critics of Egypt abroad will be ‘punished,’ Egyptian minister says in Canada

      Egypt’s Minister of Immigration and Expatriate Affairs Nabila Makram has told an audience in Mississauga, Ont., that anyone speaking “against Egypt abroad” will be “punished.”

      A video of Makram’s comments last Sunday shows her making a slicing motion across her neck while making the remark.

    • Mosque cancels NBA star Enes Kanter’s youth camp after Turkish consulate gets involved

      Kanter, who held Turkish citizenship until his passport was revoked in 2017, said in a statement that the consulate “threatened the mosque, sent out their goons and encouraged people in Turkey to call the mosque and leave threatening messages.” As a result, he said, the Islamic Center of Long Island decided to cancel the camp.

    • Managing and Mitigating Foreign Election Interference

      [...] With the exception of the president of the United States, we all know that Russia and other powers have run amok in their attempts to influence U.S. elections and those of other democracies around the world. Learning the scope of the problem, however, has proved difficult. In a groundbreaking study, Arya Goel, Diego Martin and Jacob Shapiro, all of Princeton University, find that more than 20 countries have been targeted. Russia (no surprise) is by far the most active, but Iran, China and Saudi Arabia all are joining the fray. Both government and internet company efforts are making it harder to meddle, however, and the authors raise the hope that attempts to interfere might be marginalized further in the years to come.

    • Russia Targeted Election Systems in All 50 States, Report Finds

      “This is not a Democratic issue, a Republican issue,” said Senator Chuck Schumer of New York, the Democratic leader. “This is not a liberal issue, a moderate issue, a conservative issue. This is an issue of patriotism, of national security, of protecting the very integrity of American democracy, something so many of our forbears died for.”

    • Media Ignoring US Officials Saying Trudeau Adopts “America First” foreign policy

      Wouldn’t you think the corporate media would be interested in the US embassy’s reaction to the appointment of a new Canadian foreign minister? Especially if that reaction was to claim Ottawa had decided to adopt an “America First” foreign policy? Wouldn’t some big newspaper or TV station, dedicated to telling the truth about what our governments, corporations and other institutions are doing, find it noteworthy enough to report the existence of an embassy memo claiming Justin Trudeau appointed Chrystia Freeland foreign minister in order to promote the interests of President Donald Trump?

      Surprise, surprise, no!

      The reason? The best this long-time observer of Canadian foreign policy can come up with? Embarrassment.

      At the start of the month Communist Party researcher Jay Watts disclosed a dispatch from the US embassy in Ottawa to the State Department in Washington entitled “Canada Adopts ‘America First’ Foreign Policy.” Uncovered through a freedom of information request, the largely redacted cable also notes that Justin Trudeau’s government would be “Prioritizing U.S. Relations, ASAP.”

      The March 2017 cable was authored just weeks after Freeland was appointed foreign affairs minister. US officials concluded that Trudeau promoted Freeland “in large part because of her strong U.S. contacts” and that her “number one priority” was working closely with Washington.

  • Censorship/Free Speech

    • ‘They’ll be cut’: Egyptian minister threatens to behead dissidents abroad

      “They are trying to silence those who live abroad who enjoy the freedom of expression that is denied to their fellow citizens living in Egypt,” Amr Darrag, a former minister of the toppled Muslim Brotherhood government, said in a statement to The Independent.

      “It is totally unacceptable for a cabinet minister within government to openly make an official threat against the Egyptian Diaspora,” he said.

      “Just like the case of Jamal Khashoggi, this is a message that even if you’re abroad, you cannot speak up. And if you do, you face the gravest of consequences.”

  • Privacy/Surveillance

    • Paying with Money, Paying with Data?

      Is there an alternative in the battle between convenience and privacy? Privacy advocate and free software pioneer Richard Stallman has an interesting way of looking at it.

      Despite being an “old school cypherpunk,” Stallman is against Bitcoin and related cryptocurrencies – because of their poor privacy protections. While this sounds a bit dissonant for a “crypto” currency, it is fair enough, as transactional transparency is a core tenet of most cryptos.

  • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

    • WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange could face life in prison

      Julian Assange has been indicted under the US espionage act for his role in publishing U.S. classified military and diplomatic documents.

      If convicted in the US, its been reported that he could face up to 175 years in prison there.

  • Civil Rights/Policing

    • The people of North Carolina want to talk about their state being used for torture. Do the Democratic candidates

      The US torture program is repugnant not only for the lives it has ruined, but also for what it says about our society. As the North Carolina report says, “Senior US officials who have defended the CIA torture program are also associated with anti-Muslim organizations and individuals, and demonization of Muslims has become increasingly common in American political discourse.”

    • UN Rapporteur says Assange shows clear signs of lasting exposure to psychological torture

      WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange shows clear signs of having been exposed to a psychological torture for a long period of time, UN Special Rapporteur on Torture Nils Melzer, who released earlier in the week an op-ed on the whistleblower’s imprisonment, said.

      Melzer recently visited Assange with two experienced medical experts to receive unbiased, science-based assessment of the whistleblower’s health state in order to avoid any possible politicized speculations regarding his piece.

    • Judge prohibits Colombian journalist from issuing opinions during judicial proceedings for her psychological torture

      A Colombian judge prohibited journalist Claudia Julieta Duque from issuing opinions and photographs in the context of a proceeding against Emiro Rojas Granados, former deputy director of the country’s now extinct intelligence department, accused of psychological torture against Duque.

      The decision of the Second Specialized Criminal Judge of Bogota was announced on July 25 and limits Duque’s expressions, which must be “truthful, impartial and concrete, but without misrepresentations or opinions,” according to the Press Freedom Foundation (FLIP, for its acronym in Spanish).

      According to FLIP, the judge’s decision also restricts “the issuance of opinions that call into question the defendants, witnesses and the court itself.” She also prohibited her from publishing photographs of any part of this proceeding.

    • Turkey’s National Pride is Based on Genocide Denial

      During the years of World War I 75% (750,000) of the Assyrian population in the Ottoman Empire was systematically murdered. That genocide of Assyrians at the hands of the Ottoman Empire in 1915 is a fact, but it has largely been forgotten by the world. The pain of the genocide continues in the collective memory of the Assyrians as Turkey continues to deny and publicly denounce responsibility for this largely forgotten crime against humanity against Assyrians, Armenians and Greeks.

      The Turkish republic, as the lawful successor of the Ottoman Empire, has a policy of denial and refuses to acknowledge the genocide despite overwhelming evidence. The Republic of Turkey was founded on the genocide of 1915 and even after 104 years the genocidal mentality remains. President Erdogan maintains that “Muslims cannot commit genocide.”

    • ‘The wheels of time will not turn back’: Saudi women eye new freedoms

      Now, Saudi official sources have confirmed that the move to end the male guardianship of women over age 18 is “imminent,” and they say authorities are fine-tuning regulations to “put Saudi Arabia on track to become a modern economy and a society where all its citizens can achieve their aspirations.”

  • Monopolies

    • Alphabet Earnings: Profits Triple and Slump Worries Ease

      Advertising accounts for roughly 85 percent of Google’s revenue. While the percentage of non-advertising revenue has grown in recent years, it has not been easy.

      Of those other businesses, the biggest investments have been made in Google Cloud. Alphabet does not break out results for Google Cloud, but it drops morsels of information about it.

    • Asylum-Seekers Who Followed Trump Rule Now Don’t Qualify Because of New Trump Rule

      The Trump administration has long said that there’s a right way to seek asylum in the United States: Come to an official port of entry at the border, then invoke the right under U.S. law to humanitarian protection.

      But now, thousands of people are being barred from the U.S. precisely because they followed those rules.

      Under an administration policy issued last week, most migrants who’ve passed through a third country — say, Mexico — will not even be allowed to request asylum at official border crossings.

      That includes thousands of asylum-seekers — from countries like Cuba, Venezuela and Cameroon — who were already waiting at Mexican border towns to gain entry to U.S. ports when the new rule took effect.

      Because the Trump administration has strictly limited the number of asylum-seekers allowed to enter most of the US/Mexico border’s busiest ports each day, these migrants signed on to unofficial waitlists and spent months waiting to gain legal entry to the U.S. as asylum-seekers.

    • Immigrant Rights Activists Renew Push Against Palantir to Cancel ICE Contract

      Organizers with Mijente, Jews for Racial and Economic Justice, the Tech Workers Coalition, and other groups mobilized in New York and Washington D.C. to demand Palantir Technologies, a surveillance company, cancel its contract with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

      In New York, people stood outside the Palantir office and chanted, “Immigrants are welcome here! Time to cancel, Palantir!”

      Activists with Mijente, an immigration and Latinx-focused organization, attempted to give workers entering the New York office a flier that urged “all Palantir employees to speak to their executives and help cancel this contract.”

      As Sophie Hurwitz reported, the flier declared, “There is no need for Palantir to be in the business of abusing human rights. You have the power to stop this.”

      It outlined how hundreds of people were arrested by ICE thanks to the software designed by Palantir and how management lied about Palantir’s role in President Donald Trump’s crackdown on immigrants and asylum seekers.

      The flier additionally noted a Privacy Law Scholars Conference at the University of California in Berkeley dropped Palantir as a sponsor in June.

    • The Top 5 Ways To Defeat ICE Agents

      The Democrats and the corporate media will breathlessly tell you how Donald Trump is a racist (he is). They’ll relay the gut-wrenching horror of having your family ripped apart by Border Patrol (I’m sure it is). They’ll let you know that keeping children in cages is not what America stands for and not who we are (it kinda is). But despite all of this, they practically never tell everyone how to actually fight back against ICE raids and Border Patrol detentions.

      Welcome to the paradoxical sales pitch of the neoliberal morass— “Act like you hate racism while doing almost nothing to stop racist policies that have gone on for decades!”

      The reason very few in Congress and the corporate media tell the public how to fight back against the ICE raids they claim to deplore is because the elite ruling class never wants to give average Americans (and undocumented immigrants) the idea that they can question figures of authority. These liberals think it’s feasible to basically exclaim, “The ICE raids are disgusting, immoral and unjust! The president is racist, idiotic and unethical! These detention centers are deplorable, inhumane and not neighborly! But if ICE agents or police or the FBI or Border Patrol agents come to your door, welcome them in and do everything they say so that they can more easily tear up your life. Viva la resistance!”

    • The U.S.-China Trade War: Will Workers Lose?

      The way this works out practically is that, other things equal, the money China needs to pay Merck and Microsoft, will increase their demand for dollars. For example, if they need an extra hundred billion dollars annually to pay royalties and licensing fees to U.S. corporations, then this increases the demand for dollars in international currency markets by $100 billion annually. That will raise the value of the dollar against the yuan, making other US goods and services less competitive than if China was not paying Merck, Microsoft, and the rest for their intellectual property.

      The third point is that by increasing the enforcement of intellectual property claims, both in the US and overseas, the government is redistributing even more income to those at the top. If you need a visual aid to understand this point, think of Bill Gates, one of the world’s richest people. If the government did not threaten to imprison anyone who made copies of Microsoft software without Gates’ permission, it is likely that he would still be working for a living.

      Economists often talk about how technology is rewarding people with technical skills in areas like computer science and biotech. That’s a lie. It is our intellectual property policy on technology that has explicitly structured the market to give more money to the Bill Gates crowd.

  • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

    • 5G Complexities and National Security

      In case you missed the kickoff, there is an unprecedented ‘must win’ wireless race for the US to cross the 5G finish line before China as alluded to during the recent Senate Commerce Committee oversight hearing on the Federal Commerce Commission.

      The details were thin with no real discussion on the need for 5G or its complexities including the national security implications of China beating out the USA! USA! or any mention of its dangerous, toxic health consequences or the true implications on the Massive Internet of Things (MIOT) decoded as the Dastardly Dark Utopian Vision of Future Illusion which promises a generation of trans-humans. One already occurring aspect of the MIOT is when the overlap between government and the unelected tech giants becomes indistinguishable, representative democracy becomes passe.

      During remarks at the White House in April (with Ivanka present to make her own comments), President Donald Trump said “Winning the race to be the world’s leading provider of 5G cellular and communication networks; we want to be the leader in this. We cannot allow any other country to out-compete the United States in this powerful industry of the future. We just can’t let that happen. It is a race America must win.”

      At stake, is at least a decade of global technological, economic and military dominance that would create three million new jobs, $500 billion in GDP and $275 billion in private sector investment. With over 300 million consumers, the US became the world’s tech and innovation hub as a result of its 4G global leadership. Adding $100 billion to the GDP with wireless jobs that grew at 84% and a $950 billion app economy, the US became the world’s strongest wireless economy and world leader in mobile broadband.

      As a result of its leadership, today’s largest tech stocks continue to drive the US economy with a technical expertise that spawned the US-based mega tech companies (Google/Amazon/MS/FB/Twitter/MS). Many of those American-made companies have taken thousands of skilled jobs and lucrative contracts outside the US which is, after all, what the globalist agenda is all about. As 5G looms in an increasingly competitive global market, US dominance to sustain its competitive advantage is being put to the test.

  • Monopolies

    • Trademarks

      • Fans, Indie Soccer Clubs Slam Liverpool FC For Trying To Trademark ‘Liverpool’

        Covering trademark nonsense, our posts tend to intersect regularly with the world of sports. It’s relatively common at this point to witness teams and even entire leagues pulling anti-fan trademark stunts, from athletes trademarking their own nicknames no matter the fallout, to leagues considering messing with the trademark applications of video game companies, up to and including iconic baseball teams managing to trademark the derisive nickname given to them by other teams. It’s all very, very stupid.

        Across the pond, however, teams in the Premier League have somehow managed to get trademarks on their home-city’s names. Chelsea FC, for instance, has a trademark for “Chelsea” related specifically to football services and merch. This sort of thing is almost never allowed here in the States, but it’s become enough of a thing that Liverpool FC is attempting the same move for “Liverpool” and it’s pissing off a whole bunch of people.

Microsoft Windows Puts Recyclers Like Eric Lundgren in Prison and Patients Six Feet Under the Ground

Posted in Microsoft, Windows at 8:31 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Eric Lundgren in Ghana
Eric Lundgren in Ghana

Summary: Eric Lundgren’s story will hopefully be explained in meticulous details now that he is out of jail (for the non-crime which is recycling unused PCs); we have another important series on the way, but it can take more time and preparation (for source protection and impact)

FOLLOWING our informal chat with Eric Lundgren (information gathering in an informal setting) we’re preparing for the possibility of in-depth analysis of his case, hopefully with legal papers showing his ordeals and Microsoft’s defamation of his character. Separately, we’re preparing a series on Microsoft’s accountability for deaths of many people. For the latter series we need to perform a lot of anonymisation. This means it can take a while longer to commence. Either way, we have some important stories on the way, so stay tuned.

Europe’s Lowered Patent Standards

Posted in Europe, Patents at 8:16 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“The fragrance always stays in the hand that gives the rose.”

Hada Bejar

Dry rose

Summary: An overabundance of patents whose worth and legal certainty are both increasingly low won’t bring prosperity to Europe but only to law firms that have branches in Europe

EUROPE does not allow software patents, at least in principle. Courts would reject such patents, but the EPO violates the EPC in the same way USPTO examiners are encouraged to turn a blind eye to 35 U.S.C. § 101. This merely lowers the certainty associated with granted patents, as we last explained three days ago. This new press release [1, 2] from Motus GI brags about nothing but a patent grant as follows:

Motus GI Holdings, Inc., (NASDAQ: MOTS) announced today that the European Patent Office (“EPO”) has issued patent No. 3082896…

But would courts regard this patent to be valid? We already know that many patents granted by the European Patent Office (especially under the watch of António Campinos and Benoît Battistelli) are simply Invalid Patents (IPs), not European Patents (EPs). They’re just some words on paper with a seal attached to them.

We’ve pointed out many times before that patent maximalists hope to put the courts under the same authority as (or similar to) the EPO, in effect demolishing separation of powers even further. Notice this new article entitled “PM Boris Johnson: UK Brexit policy, and the impact on intellectual property” (Team UPC is very worried that the UPC is now more dead than ever before because Johnson is a loud proponent of Brexit.)

“They’re just some words on paper with a seal attached to them.”This article, however, is composed by chronic liars, Barker Brettell LLP. They're known for their patent maximalism and they’ve been pushing software patents agenda in Europe (illegal by the way). More from Barker Brettell LLP, going back to 2016, shows a track record of deception. They’re one of these firms that keep saying — and have been saying for years — that UPC was imminent. They’re like a ‘lesser’ Bristows LLP.

We’ve meanwhile noticed a site/publisher associated with Team UPC and Team Battistelli (Managing IP) pushing a bunch of articles like this one about generics and the threats posed to them by the EPO, which is granting fake patents that are expensive to formally invalidate. Some portions:

Generic drug companies find that invalidating a patent granted by the EPO can be difficult if it also has multiple divisional applications. As soon as they have one patent knocked out, the pharma innovator could have several others alive as backup.

Because of perceived abuse of the system by innovators, reforming the divisional filing process is one concern that generic pharma companies would like to see addressed by the EPO. But reforming the system is easier said than done.

A divisional application is allowed when one product comprises multiple inventions. Rather than file one umbrella application, companies can file divisional applications for each novel part of their invention at the EPO. Because innovation does not happen all at once, businesses can file an application at any point during the production of their invention.

[...]

The EPO has attempted to reform the divisional filing process.

“They are not blind to this problem and considered the point a few years ago,” says the associate general patent counsel. “Around 2010 the EPO decided to change the rules and said you could only file a divisional by a defined cut-off date and after that the route is closed.”

Though the reform was designed to stop abuse of the system, according to the associate general patent counsel the result was that applicants rushed to file at the same time before the law took effect, thus causing a backlog in the system.

“The EPO got snowed under with new divisional applications because if you put a cut-off, say within the first two years, that means the applicants will always file at the deadline just to keep their options open. I don’t think that is the right cure for the system,” they say.

The profit margins of generics (or generic makers) are pretty thin, so hiring a bunch of lawyers isn’t easy. The budget is prohibitive. The EPO has just tweeted that: “It’s not mandatory to appoint a professional representative when applying for a European patent, but it may be helpful.”

“The profit margins of generics (or generic makers) are pretty thin, so hiring a bunch of lawyers isn’t easy.”We got leaks showing that the EPO ‘slaughters’ those who don’t hire (i.e. waste money on) lawyers. We published these leaks several years ago. So the EPO spokespeople lie. They discriminate against people who cannot afford all that bureaucracy.

Another article from the same publisher (Managing IP) is basically a puff piece or marketing for EPO exams. Did the EPO write it?

As data reveals that German and French attorneys lag behind their UK counterparts on the tests for appearing at the EPO, Managing IP asks why the UK leads the field

The EPO has meanwhile posted two tweets about it in quick succession [1, 2] (and same stock photography) “Do you know anyone preparing for the #EQE pre-examination paper 2020? Share this with them…”

“We got leaks showing that the EPO ‘slaughters’ those who don’t hire (i.e. waste money on) lawyers.”“To be well prepared for the #EQE pre-examination paper 2020,” said the other tweet, “take our online training course…”

Pure marketing and we know who profits from it. It’s the patent microcosm. These people couldn’t care any less if patent quality collapsed; cleaning up the mess is something they can profit from.

IP Kat Used to Blast the EPO for Profound Lack of Justice. Now It’s Just Meowing With the EPO’s Management.

Posted in Courtroom, Europe, Law, Patents at 6:54 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

From watchdog to pussycat

Curious Cat

Summary: The European Patent Convention (EPC) has been turned into a Kleenex® tissue and all that the ‘Kats’ (what’s left of them) have to say amounts to a puff piece with some Battistelli photo op

THE largest patent office of Europe has been ruined by Benoît Battistelli. António Campinos is ‘finishing the job’…

Suffice to say, Campinos was wedged or shoehorned by Battistelli into this position. It’s all ‘fixed’. Nepotism and cover-up. The concept of independence or oversight exists only in theory but never in practice.

“Today’s EPO offers only a pretense of justice.”When I was a lot younger I used to hear about the quality of examination at the European Patent Office (EPO) and how strong a background examiners came from (professors and scholars). That was before the lobby for software patents in Europe and back in the days when professors and judges such as Alain Pompidou and Ingo Kober ‘ran the show’. They weren’t perfect, but at least they had respect for science and the rule of law. Right about now there’s a similar problem at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), whose Director Andrei Iancu openly mocks the law, notably 35 U.S.C. § 101. In our latest daily links we’ve included some new articles to that effect; thankfully the trends at the Federal Circuit carry on (invalidation of abstract patents) and Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) inter partes reviews (IPRs) continue unabated.

Today’s EPO offers only a pretense of justice. It puts together a panel of judges for ‘trials’ which have become show trials and ‘legal theatre’. We wrote about it earlier this month in relation to the Haar case or the “Haar question” (our coverage of this case was based on an informed source).

About a week ago the EPO quietly published (warning: epo.org link) this page. The EPO did not say anything about it in “news” or in its Twitter account; instead it made lots of noise about “green” or “social” or “ethics” (three separate puff pieces coinciding with this case). To quote:

The Enlarged Board of Appeal today issued opinion G 1/18 on the distinction between an appeal deemed not to have been filed and an inadmissible appeal, and on the consequences of this. The opinion is in response to a referral by the President of the European Patent Office (EPO). The Enlarged Board of Appeal is the highest judicial authority under the European Patent Convention (EPC).

The point of law referred by the President of the EPO was whether an appeal is to be treated as not filed or as inadmissible in cases of a failure to observe the two‑month time limit under Article 108 EPC owing to belated payment of the appeal fee and/or belated filing of notice of appeal. The appeal fee is not reimbursed if an appeal is inadmissible (Rule 103(1) EPC).

Under Article 112(1)(b) EPC, the President of the EPO may refer a point of law to the Enlarged Board of Appeal where two boards of appeal have given different decisions on it. With respect to the point of law in issue here, some boards had held that the appeal was inadmissible and that there were therefore no grounds for reimbursing the appeal fee. However, the prevailing view in the Boards’ case law was rather that the appeal was deemed not to have been filed, and that – since no appeal existed – the appeal fee had been paid without a legal basis and therefore had to be refunded. The Enlarged Board was therefore called on to clarify this point of law and its consequences for the reimbursement of the appeal fee.

This is hogwash and a stunning reminder of what a joke justice at the EPO became. Just before the weekend Rose Hughes (IP Kat) mentioned the above — an outcome we first mentioned several days ago. No other blog appears to have mentioned it (we checked) and the EPC’s demise apparently interests nobody who is in the ‘trade’ of litigation. The EPO’s management just doubles down on its unconstitutional behaviour and gross violation of the law; it refuses to even deal with the question, just as we expected/foresaw. Here is what Hughes wrote just before the weekend:

The referral related to the question of whether, where a notice of appeal is filed after expiry of the time limit for filing an appeal (Article 108 EPC), an appeal to the Boards of Appeal a) is inadmissible or b) should be deemed not to have been filed. The question was referred by outgoing EPO President Benoît Battistelli, just before the end of his term. For a full background to the case see IPKat post here.

Of course today’s ‘Kats’ won’t bother pointing out how monumental a disaster the EPO became. “We await publication of the Enlarged Board of Appeal opinion in full,” Hughes concluded. As do others, but we know who’s responsible for this farce and why. It was predictable given how the panel had been constructed. Watch this comment that says: “The full decision is available here:
https://www.epo.org/law-practice/case-law-appeals/eba/number.html” (warning: epo.org link)

Why did nobody among the ‘Kat’, who had written many articles about the exile to Haar, bother scrutinising this decision? IP Kat ‘staff’ (Jonathan Pratt) wrote this weekly roundup. Hughes is basically pushing Team UPC agenda like SPCs, FRAND and SEP. In Pratt’s words:

Rose also commented on the question relating to SPCs for a second indication of a product that has been referred to the CJEU (C-354/19).

On the theme of SPCs, Rose further summarised the SPC manufacturing and stockpiling waiver (amending Regulation (EC) No 469/2009) that came into force on 1 July 2019. Controversially, the legislation provides a waiver not only for the manufacture of generics and biosimilars for export, but also provides a waiver for stockpiling for day-1 release following expiry of an SPC.

Finally, Rose updated us on the latest step in the FRAND/SEP saga with the UK High Court decision on the validity of Conversant’s patent for 3G mobile phone technology. Mr Justice Arnold found that Conversant’s patent is essential and infringed by Huawei and ZTE, but invalid for added matter: Conversant v Huawei [2019] EWHC 1687 (Pat).

The interests that nowadays drive these ‘Kats’ are disturbing. It used to be like a watchdog (or cat), but now it’s like a litigators’ lobby, very much like IAM (almost the same at times, with literal litigators as bloggers).

Hughes soon (less than two hours later) proceeded to CIPA ‘ads’ for “Rules of Procedure of the Board of Appeal” (which lack independence). It was entitled “Event Report: CIPA seminar on the revised Rules of Procedure of the Board of Appeal” (an ‘event’ mentioned here before it took place because of the sheer bias).

CIPA is a pack of patent maximalists, Battistelli allies (almost a 'collusion'), and Team UPC nuts who intentionally promote falsehoods and lie about businesses in Britain in order to extract money from these businesses (in the form of legal fees). Kluwer Patent Blog and other prominent blogs about patents have not yet said a thing about the Haar decision; why not? Are they embarrassed? Do they believe it’s not worthy of a report? Why has the EPO itself kept quiet about it?

Microsoft’s Takeover of GitHub Already an Attack on the Four Freedoms in Service of Empire

Posted in Free/Libre Software, Microsoft at 5:15 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Microsoft’s institutional racism/xenophobia in GitHub is showing; censorship is nowadays based not on actions or views of pertinent users but their country of birth/origin.

Racist Microsoft

Summary: Microsoft’s source of shame is spreading; this vicious corporation may have become the world’s most racist technology company and this racism of Microsoft is now impacting even the Free/Open Source software (FOSS) world through GitHub

RACISM at Microsoft is a very big problem. We wrote more than a dozen articles about it over the years. Sexism is also rife and rampant and some lawsuits against Microsoft (over sexism) used Techrights for evidence, which was mentioned in these lawsuits. Microsoft likes to project these despicable things onto FOSS, accusing the alternative to Microsoft (namely Free software) of the very negative things Microsoft itself is guilty of. That’s more or less like Donald Trump trying to paint his critics as "racist".

Microsoft’s deep connection to the nation’s most imperialistic agencies and even racist agencies isn’t an hypothesis but a fact. Microsoft started PRISM with the NSA and months later it added Skype to it, shortly after it had paid many billions for the European company. Later we’ll come to ICE, the Pentagon, and agencies that are literally violent.

“Microsoft’s deep connection to the nation’s most imperialistic agencies and even racist agencies isn’t an hypothesis but a fact.”This morning (yes, a weekend) quite a few people link to CBS tabloid ZDNet, mentioned by Linux Foundation a few hours later with this GitHub page that says:

My GitHub account has been restricted due to US sanctions as I live in Crimea.

Microsoft is an imperialistic censorship platform and it recently did a ‘morality police’-type censorship of FOSS, as we noted in this article, deleting FOSS based on ‘taste’ or corporate agenda. Now there’s this:

Kashkin uses GitHub to host his website and GameHub, a launcher for Linux systems that combines games from Steam, GOG, and Humble Bundle in a single user interface.

Kashkin says GitHub advised him this week that it had restricted his account, pointing to its page about US trade controls, which lists Crimea, Cuba, Iran, North Korea, and Syria as countries facing US sanctions.

So they discriminate not only based on the project but based on the developer’s nation (not even the developer himself/herself). How is that not racist? Microsoft’s monopoly is fast becoming an extension of US imperialism/exceptionalism, so no wonder the US government passes military budget to Microsoft by the billions. GitHub is yet another imperialistic tentacle, this one gripping/gnawing at FOSS through repositories (GitHub is also used for openwashing of Microsoft’s lock-in tool whose sole purpose is to render developers stuck with Microsoft). It’s just the latest among several ‘shotgun weddings’.

“There’s plenty of money at stake. 10,000 million dollars.”Let’s remember that it’s Microsoft which commits very serious crimes and then bans from GitHub those who committed no crimes at all. Is it because Microsoft is racist and obscenely partisan? Microsoft’s institutional racism/xenophobia in GitHub is based not on actions of pertinent users but their country of birth/origin. Nationalism and racism by Trump’s facilitators isn’t a problem that will simply ‘go away’. It’s just too hard to ignore the Microsoft profits (which it publicly brags about) from carpet-bombing imperialism/military projects (“JEDI”), concentration camps and crimes against children (putting them in cages). Bill Gates and the rest of Microsoft’s Board (which Gates dominates) selected a guy from India to represent the company; as if that alone can ‘prove’ that they cannot possibly be racist! Microsoft is nowadays a facilitator of this administration’s racism (Gates and Trump are friends) and a foreign-looking CEO cannot mask that.

Is Microsoft ‘playing ball’ for the Pentagon a way of signaling that it wants to be ‘bailed out’ by “JEDI” (military budget)? A sign of blind loyalty? If so, to whom? There’s plenty of money at stake. 10,000 million dollars.

“I think he [Bill Gates] has a Napoleonic concept of himself and his company, an arrogance that derives from power and unalloyed success, with no leavening hard experience, no reverses [...] They don’t act like grown-ups!”

Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson

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