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08.03.19

António Campinos Puts European Patent Quality on a Suicide Diet/Plan and All EPO Staff on Notice

Posted in Europe, Patents at 11:59 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Grand Theft EPO

Summary: Message from the President of the European Patent Office (EPO) posted online by Märpel, revealing that he's little or no different from Battistelli

THE scope of patents has been narrowed in the US, owing to 35 U.S.C. § 101 for the most part. In Europe? Exactly the opposite! And in clear violation of the underlying laws (which govern the Office).

Things continue to get yet worse. We recently published information about CQI — a subject that media intentionally refuses to cover. António Campinos is nowadays pushing this programme further. Days ago he wrote: “I’m of the opinion that more cohesive teams help to raise the quality of our work – as we saw in the recent CQI pilot – and are also more productive.”

“I want to take this opportunity to underline that this will be a series of gradual changes, of which staff will be informed well in advance of the new structure becoming operational in January 2020.”
      –António Campinos
It does not “raise the quality of [EPO] work” but lowers it. CQI is a total farce, but having put his mates in positions of power (this way nobody around him can put up resistance; they’re indebted to him) we don’t suppose he’ll be able to see that. This institutional EPO suicide and major ‘reorgs’ are no different from what Battistelli did after years at the Office. Campinos announces this only a year later (he started his job in July) and Märpel decided to make it public over the weekend.

“There was a communique from President Campinos last Thursday,” Märpel wrote last night. “From the look of it, it seems that a massive reorganisation is planned for September. What Märpel finds particularly bizarre is that the communique says, at the same time, that “staff will be informed well in advance of the new structure” but also that the structure becomes operational in January 2020.” There are a few more noteworthy remarks in his/her blog (Märpel is gender-neutral, as always).

Here’s the actual message from Campinos:

Dear Colleagues,

Last week, myself and the other members of the MAC held a meeting dedicated to examining the preparation of the budget and to a number of other issues currently on the agenda. Although I had said the previous MAC communication could be the last before September, you may find it useful to be updated on some of the matters discussed.
I do not know if many of you are familiar with the procedure for the preparation of the budget at the EPO so I think it could be interesting to give you a very brief overview without going into too much of the technical jargon.
The cycle starts in March each year with a notice sent by the President to all DGs indicating the timeline of the budget preparation and some indications on the assumptions. This helps PD Finance to build the first main budgetary orientations which are presented for opinion to the May Budget and Finance Committee (BFC) and June Admin Council (CA/25/xx).
At the end of July, a dedicated MAC gathers to review and refine the assumptions. The CA/50/xx document on the draft budget needs to be finalised in September to be ready on time for the publication on Micado around the end of September or beginning of October. It is then presented for opinion to the October BFC and for decision to the December AC.
For the 2020 budget, PD Finance provided an overview of the EPO’s financial situation for the first semester 2019 which you can find here [internal link].
Moreover, linked to the discussions on the staffing level and posts requests for each DGs, we addressed the need to better align our structures of the Office with the goals of the strategic plan to ensure they will be in a position to implement and deliver it in an optimal manner.
I want to take this opportunity to underline that this will be a series of gradual changes, of which staff will be informed well in advance of the new structure becoming operational in January 2020. It will be based on the principles of streamlining some functions that are currently spread over different DGs, causing a loss of efficiency. Bringing together those resources on a permanent basis therefore makes sense. In some cases, all staff will already have a good idea of the changes set to take place as outlined in the Strategic Plan: a Project Management Office embedded in a Corporate Governance Service will be established; a concept will be developed for an EPO Observatory; internal and external communications will be brought together; the Council Secretariat should be relocated in DG5 and the status of the Academy should evolve. So it is not at all a big bang but more a case of some readjustments.
Finally, sharing the very constructive feedback I received during the recent Discovery sessions with Team Managers and Directors, we had an initial discussion on how the appraisal process might be improved to better reflect the efforts of our team, as a whole, in addition to evaluating individual performance. As you know, I believe strongly in a more collaborative style of working, where we can benefit from each other’s expertise and input, share our knowledge and increase staff engagement.
Overall, I’m of the opinion that more cohesive teams help to raise the quality of our work – as we saw in the recent CQI pilot – and are also more productive. We therefore held a first exchange on how both the appraisal system and the point allocation system could be adjusted to better reflect the outcome of a team’s collaborative efforts. I also think that since the adoption of the New Career System in 2015, we have now the experience to evolve from the yearly formal appraisal report to more regular feedbacks – on a quarterly basis for example – which will give greater support to staff throughout the year. Later this year we will therefore undertake a thorough assessment on how – and if – this could be done with a view to proposing amendments.
I look forward to updating you on these matters in due course. As many of you are heading off to the summer break I wish you some good rest with your family and loved ones. I am very grateful for all the hard work that’s been done and I hope you will feel that it has been suitably recognised, not least by the allocation of a collective bonus as a token of recognition for all your efforts.

António Campinos
President

Truly disturbing. Without any proper consultation, and likely based on a hoax, this insane bunch is now doing another “reorg”. Might it involve layoffs? It doesn’t say. But hirings have been virtually frozen and many people are leaving/retiring, which has the same effect.

Links 4/8/2019: GNU Guile 2.9.3 and Wine Staging 4.13

Posted in News Roundup at 11:05 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Server

      • IBM

        • Open source made me a better marketer: says Daniel Ng, ExCo at Smart Cities Network

          Daniel Ng: I joined Red Hat, a purely open source software company in 2007 which were still the early days of open source. Before that I was with Microsoft where I developed a good understanding of proprietary software distribution channels. I struggled for the first three weeks at Red Hat to understand why someone would let go off their software for free when the most precious thing at Microsoft was the software. I have my personal objective to always join a company that creates a market and not just addresses a market. I rehashed the marketing function at Red Hat in my 6 years there and in process have seen how ‘open source’ can change cultural mindsets and bring in change.

          6. What is the outlook for open source in India?

          Daniel Ng: Open source is all about how people work together. More eyes and less bugs make open source good. Open source is all about sharing and sharing is an integral part of India. We in the Asia Pacific region share a common culture of sharing and are taught about it from a young age. That is also what open source software is.

    • Kernel Space

      • Graphics Stack

        • AMD Radeon GCN Offloading Support For OpenMP/OpenACC On The Way For GCC 10

          Merged for the GCC 9 compiler release that launched earlier this year was the preliminary AMD Radeon “GCN” GPU compiler back-end. In that initial release it wasn’t particularly useful as the GPU offloading bits for the popular programming APIs/models wasn’t supported so for now could just run some basic single-threaded programs. But now those interesting GPU offloading bits are pending for GCC 10.

          Julian Brown of CodeSourcery, the company contracted by AMD to work on this GCC compiler offloading, has got around to prepping the patches for the mainline kernel. Up to now these patches were sitting within their internal tree.

        • Intel OpenCL Runtime 19.30.13641 Adds Elkhart Lake Support, Other Changes

          Intel’s NEO OpenCL run-time stack has been living by the “release early, release often” mantra with continuing to see frequent new updates for this OpenCL stack.

          Intel OpenCL 19.30.13641 was released on Friday with yet more changes to this increasingly competitive compute stack that provides OpenCL 2.1 support for the vast majority of recent generations of Intel graphics hardware on Linux.

        • Radeon Vulkan Driver Now Supports Wave32 Support For More Shaders

          Earlier this week the Mesa Radeon Vulkan driver “RADV” added support for Wave32 with compute shaders on the new Navi graphics processors. That RADV Wave32 support has now been extended for more shader types.

          Samuel Pitoiset of Valve who added the initial Wave32 support for compute shaders in RADV extended the functionality to cover more shaders. He added Wave32 support for fragment shaders that is disabled by default but can be turned on for Navi hardware with the RADV_PERFTEST=pswave32 environment variable.

        • [PULL] drm-misc-next
          Hi Daniel, Dave,
          
          Here is the first (and pretty late) drm-misc-next PR.
          
          It's pretty big due to the lateness, but there's nothing really major
          showing up. It's pretty much the usual bunch of reworks, fixes, and
          new helpers being introduced.
          
          Thanks!
          Maxime
          
          drm-misc-next-2019-08-03:
          drm-misc-next for 5.4:
          
          UAPI Changes:
          
          Cross-subsystem Changes:
          
          Core Changes:
           - Continue to rework the include dependencies
           - fb: Remove the unused drm_gem_fbdev_fb_create function
           - drm-dp-helper: Make the link rate calculation more tolerant to
                            non-explicitly defined, yet supported, rates
           - fb-helper: Map DRM client buffer only when required, and instanciate a
          	      shadow buffer when the device has a dirty function or says so
           - connector: Add a helper to link the DDC adapter used by that connector to
                        the userspace
          
          Driver Changes:
           - Remove drm_gem_prime_import/export from being defined in the drivers
           - Drop DRM_AUTH usage from drivers
           - Continue to drop drmP.h
           - Convert drivers to the connector ddc helper
          
           - ingenic: Add support for more panel-related cases
           - komeda: Support for dual-link
           - lima: Reduce logging
           - mpag200: Fix the cursor support
           - panfrost: Export GPU features register to userspace through an ioctl
           - pl111: Remove the CLD pads wiring support from the DT
           - rockchip: Rework to use DRM PSR helpers
           - sun4i: Improve support for color encoding and range
           - tinydrm: Rework SPI support, improve MIPI-DBI support, move to drm/tiny
           - vkms: Rework of the CRC tracking
          
           - bridges:
             - sii902x: Add support for audio graph card
             - tc358767: Rework AUX data handling code
             - ti-sn65dsi86: Add Debugfs and proper DSI mode flags support
          
           - panels
             - Support for GiantPlus GPM940B0, Sharp LQ070Y3DG3B, Ortustech
               COM37H3M, Novatek NT39016, Sharp LS020B1DD01D, Raydium RM67191,
               Boe Himax8279d, Sharp LD-D5116Z01B
             - Conversion of the device tree bindings to the YAML description
             - jh057n00900: Rework the enable / disable path
          
           - fbdev:
             - ssd1307fb: Support more devices based on that controller
          The following changes since commit 5f9e832c137075045d15cd6899ab0505cfb2ca4b:
          
            Linus 5.3-rc1 (2019-07-21 14:05:38 -0700)
          
          are available in the Git repository at:
          
            git://anongit.freedesktop.org/drm/drm-misc tags/drm-misc-next-2019-08-03
          
          for you to fetch changes up to d6781e490179f7ba710dd924187109da70c185b0:
          
            drm/pl111: Drop special pads config check (2019-08-03 11:59:54 +0200
          
        • The Smaller DRM Drivers Begin Seeing Their Improvements Queued For Linux 5.4

          In addition to the Intel DRM driver landing lots of feature code into DRM-Next for the Linux 5.4 kernel cycle coming up in September, the DRM-Misc-Next crew for collecting core infrastructure changes and work to the smaller Direct Rendering Manager drivers has also been seeing new 5.4 work.

          The first DRM-Misc-Next pull request to DRM-Next of inaugural material for Linux 5.4 was sent out.

    • Benchmarks

      • AMD Ryzen 9 3900X cross-platform benchmarking shows the Windows 10 scheduler finally catching up to that of Linux

        AMD initially denied any issues with the Windows scheduler during launch of the 1st gen Ryzens. However, the company said during the Ryzen 3rd gen launch that Windows 10 version 1903 brings in better topology awareness, improved thread scheduling, and faster clock ramping that should help better utilizing the MCM design of the new chips. Phoronix decided to compare the performance of the 12C/24T Ryzen 9 3900X in Windows 10 1903 and Ubuntu 18.04.2 LTS to see if things have really improved.

        Phoronix’s test bench comprised of an AMD Ryzen 9 3900X running at stock speeds on an Asus ROG Crosshair VIII Hero Wi-Fi motherboard, 2x 8 GB of DDR4-3600 RAM, a Corsair Force MP600 PCIe Gen4 SSD, and AMD Radeon RX 560 graphics.

    • Applications

      • Blender 2.80 released with new features and improvements

        Blender is a cross-platform community-driven project under the GNU General Public License (GPL) and runs equally well on Linux, Windows and Macintosh computers. Its interface uses OpenGL to provide a consistent experience. It provides a broad spectrum of modeling, texturing, lighting, animation and video post-processing functionality in one package. Through its open architecture, Blender provides cross-platform interoperability, extensibility, an incredibly small footprint, and a tightly integrated workflow. Blender is one of the most popular Open Source 3D graphics applications in the world. It supports the entirety of the 3D pipeline—modeling, rigging, animation, simulation, rendering, compositing and motion tracking, even video editing and game creation.

        There is Blender’s API available for advanced users who know Python scripting to customize the application and write specialized tools for Blender; more often these contributed tools are included in next releases of Blender. Blender has no price tag, but you can invest, participate, and help to advance a powerful collaborative tool: Blender is your own 3D software.
        Blender is being actively developed by hundreds of volunteers from all around the world. These volunteers include artists, VFX experts, hobbyists, scientists, and many more. All of them are united by an interest to further a completely free and open source 3D creation pipeline. You can get involved with this awesome project and contribute in anyway you like to do.

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Wine or Emulation

      • Wine Staging 4.13 Brings Fixes For Epic Games Launcher, Cmd.exe File Association

        Hot on the heels of the upstream Wine 4.13 release following a long summer retreat, Wine-Staging 4.13 is now available with the latest testing/experimental patches re-based atop the newest Wine code.

        Some of the highlights for Wine-Staging 4.13 include:

        - Addressing a ten year old bug report around cmd.exe not handling file extension associations.

      • Porting wine to amd64 on NetBSD, second evaluation report

        As getting Wine to work with WoW64 support was of foremost importance, my focus was on compat32 dependency packages without which Wine’s functionality would be limited and more importantly untestable. Initially, being unaware of what to expect, I just wanted Wine to run, at the earliest. So, with outmost support from mentors, the consensus was to install libs from 32-bit packages to ${PREFIX}/lib/32 and ignore everything else that came with the respective packages.

        I had most of the compat32 packages ready after a couple of days. And it was time we gave Wine a whirl. Well, the build was successful. However, I had problems with 32-bit Xorg. The applications which came packaged with Wine worked fine, but, other Microsoft Windows applications like notepad++, Mario etc had a hard time running. Additionally, I noticed that fontconfig went wild and crashed spewing errors symptomatic of Wine (32-bit) not playing nice with the fontconfig lib that came with 32-bit Xorg package. On top of this, I found that build failed on certain machines due to unavailability of headers. This made us reconsider our decision to install 32-bit libs to ${PREFIX}/lib/32 and ignore everything else which included headers and binaries.

      • Wine On 64-bit NetBSD Is Now In Much Better Shape Thanks To GSoC

        One of the many interesting Google Summer of Code (GSoC) projects this year has been to improve the Wine support on NetBSD. Thanks to student developer Naveen Narayanan, that is becoming a reality.

    • Games

      • Futuristic lonely single-player survival game “Drift Into Eternity” adds Linux support

        As the only survivor of a distressed long-haul spaceship, you’re trapped and faced with a failing ship. It’s do or die. Drift Into Eternity originally released in December of 2016, with Linux support arriving at the end of July.

      • Moonlighter – Between Dimensions DLC, some thoughts

        Moonlighter – Between Dimensions DLC, the expansion to the hit mix of dungeon crawling action and shopkeeping released recently and now I’ve blasted through here’s a few thoughts.

        I actually really quite enjoyed Moonlighter. It’s a bit of a weird mix but it does work and when we have so many similar games coming out, I’ve really appreciate a game that at least tries to be a little more unique. It’s not just yet another 2D RPG with some dungeon crawling.

        The new content is fantastic, with a good price point for what’s there. Featuring 10 new original enemies and 5 mini-bosses, the variation in the types of enemies you can now encounter is great and with the different abilities they have the combat certainly can be compelling. That’s not all though, the expanded story and lore is also pretty interesting with some fun writing too giving you a nice break between dungeon crawling and shopkeeping when chatting to other characters.

      • MiniGolf Maker lets you build a course and play with friends, now available on Linux

        A bit of MiniGolf anyone? Road Turtle Games released MiniGolf Maker into Steam’s Early Access program back in March, with Linux support landing yesterday.

        As the name suggests, this is a game for those who love to create as much as play. It includes a Course Creator, allowing anyone to set everything to their own liking with multiple themes including Desert, Medieval, Winter, Pirate, Dreamscape, and Polyworld. Interestingly, you’re not limited by the pre-made pieces as it allows you to adjust the shape and size of them all, along with a dynamic behaviour and event system which certainly piqued my interest.

      • Godot Making Progress On Vulkan Support, Threaded Shader Compilation

        Shared one month ago was the initial work done on implementing a Vulkan renderer for Godot, the increasingly-used open-source cross-platform game engine. That Godot Vulkan support continues maturing along with other features that will form the basis of Godot 4.0.

        Godot developers have been realistic and not expecting to reach OpenGL parity on their Vulkan renderer until the end of October or so, but over the past month they’ve made noticeable progress. For Godot’s 2D support a lot of code is in place and over the next month lead developer Juan Linietsky is going to be working on the 3D side.

      • VULKAN PROGRESS REPORT #2

        2D Lighting was introduced in Godot 2.0, with support for 2D shadow mapping and basic normalmapping. While it looks pretty nice, users quickly found its limitations.

        The main problem with this system is that performance was never very good. The reason is that lighting was done in a additive way, requiring an extra pass (drawing all 2D content again) for every light in the scene. This ensured maximum compatibility with all hardware, but quickly restricted the amount of lights.

        For Godot 4.0, the algorithm changed. All 2D lighting is now done in a single pass, ensuring much better performance. The only downside is that there is now a limit of 256 lights visible on-screen (your level can have as many as you want), and 16 lights per 2D node (as in, a single 2D node can be affected by a maximum of 16 lights). Considering today’s standards for 2D games, this is a very high limit anyway, and the performance improvement makes it worth it.

        Added to this, many users requested specularity in 2D lights, so the effect of lights moving around stage is more visible and more types of materials can be created. Because of this, It will be possible in Godot 4.0 to use specular and shininess both as parameter and as textures supplied to Sprite, AnimatedSprite, Polygon2D and other nodes.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • GNOME and KDE Join Forces To Co-Host Linux App Summit

          ZDNet called the collaboration “a major step forward,” giving their story the headline “GNOME and KDE work together on the Linux desktop.” But the Twitter feed for the KDE community quickly clarified that KDE “is working with GNOME to create a common, fair, sustainable and open app ecosystem, not a desktop.”

          “The GNOME and KDE communities want to provide users with free and open applications that will respect their privacy and rights. That is what Linux App Summit is about.”

        • kate-editor.org Update

          Like my personal homepage cullmann.io, I ported the kate-editor.org website to the Hugo framework.

          The new website uses zero cookies (yes, no stupid cookie question) and no kind of analytic software. It should be self-contained, too. No external resources that will leak your data to e.g. Google are requested.

          But more important: unlike before, the website content will be fully hosted in a git repository on KDE infrastructure.

          The current intermediate location is on invent.kde.org.

          Before, the KDE sysadmin team just got access to a backup of the WordPress instance.

          The new website contains an import of all old pages & posts. I hopefully preserved the old URLs, but there might be some minor glitches for some older posts that still need fixing.

          Some pages still have broken markup, that needs some fixes, too.

          But all-in-all the import of the WordPress content did work really well.

    • Distributions

      • Screenshots/Screencasts

        • Peppermint OS 10 – Based on Ubuntu 18.04.2 LTS and Available in 32bit and 64bit

          Peppermint OS 10 is the latest release of peppermint OS, this release based on ubuntu 18.04.2 LTS which ships with updated kernel and graphics stacks from the Ubuntu 18.10. As such, Peppermint 10 is powered by Linux kernel 4.18.0-18, available in both 64bit and 32bit flavors so older hardware is still supported.

          This release using the LXDE desktop environment, but not in its traditional form. Instead of Openbox, it’s paired with Xfwm4 window manager and instead of LXDE panel it’s the XFCE panel with the (terrific) Whisker menu plugin.

          Proprietary nvidia graphics drivers in Peppermint 10 now installed automatically if “Install third party drivers/software” is selected as part of the installation routine, this includes automatic configuration of nvidia optimus setups up to the nvidia-390 drivers. If you intend to install the later 396/410/415/418/430 drivers from the ‘Proprietary GPU Drivers’ PPA it would

      • Debian Family

        • New Debian Developers and Maintainers (May and June 2019)

          The following contributors got their Debian Developer accounts in the last two months:

          Jean-Philippe Mengual (jpmengual)
          Taowa Munene-Tardif (taowa)
          Georg Faerber (georg)
          Kyle Robbertze (paddatrapper)
          Andy Li (andyli)
          Michal Arbet (kevko)
          Sruthi Chandran (srud)
          Alban Vidal (zordhak)
          Denis Briand (denis)
          Jakob Haufe (sur5r)
          The following contributors were added as Debian Maintainers in the last two months:

          Bobby de Vos
          Jongmin Kim
          Bastian Germann
          Francesco Poli
          Congratulations!

        • Jonas Meurer: debian lts report 2019.07

          This month I was allocated 17 hours. I also had 2 hours left over from Juney, which makes a total of 19 hours. I spent all of them on the following tasks/ issues.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Linux Mint 19.2 released to the general public

          Following a two-week beta phase, the team behind Linux Mint has announced the final release of Linux Mint 19.2. Three editions of the release are available and include the Cinnamon desktop, MATE desktop, and the Xfce desktop. Cinnamon is the main edition while Xfce is oriented toward less powerful computers. MATE is good for those people who prefer the more traditional GNOME 2 experience.

          The Cinnamon edition ships with Cinnamon 4.2 which comes with better performance, improved handling of Flatpaks in menus, updated scroll bar settings, better Samba support, and file pinning. The MATE edition comes with MATE 1.22 which brings improved stability and bug fixes, support for metacity-3 themes, better systemd support, desktop notifications for long-running file operations, and a handful of other small tweaks that add a bit of polish to the desktop experience. The Xfce edition ships with Xfce 4.12 which is the same as what shipped in Linux Mint 19.1 so you shouldn’t see much difference with this edition.

        • Linux Mint 19.2 “Tina” Has been Released, Check What’s New Feature

          The Linux Mint team is announced the second major release of Linux Mint 19.2 “Tina” in the Linux Mint 19 series on 2nd Aug, 2019.

          Linux Mint 19.2 is a long term support release which is based on Ubuntu 18.04 LTS (Bionic Beaver).

          It will be supported until 2023. It comes with updated software and brings refinements and many new features to make your desktop even more comfortable to use.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Mattermost makes case for open source as team messaging market booms

        The team collaboration market may be dominated by Slack, Microsoft and other large cloud vendors, but some believe that open-source messaging tools will also find a place among large organizations.

        Mattermost is one of a handful of vendors — along with Zulip, Rocket.Chat and others — taking an open-source approach to team chat. The company has been attracting attention from investors following deployments at organizations as diverse as Uber, Airbus and the Department of Defense. “People want an open-source alternative because they need the trust, the flexibility and the innovation that only open source is able to deliver,” said Ian Tien, co-founder and CEO of Mattermost, an open-source team messaging tool that launched in 2015.

      • Events

        • Andy Simpkins: Debconf19: Curitiba, Brazil – AV Setup

          I write this on Monday whilst sat in the airport in São Paulo awaiting my onward flight back to the UK and the fun of the change of personnel in Downing street that has been something I have fortunately been able to ignore whilst at DebConf. [Edit: and finishing writing the Saturday after getting home after much sleep]

          Arriving on the first Sunday of DebCamp meant that I was one of the first people to arrive; however most of the video team were either arriving about the same time or had landed before me. We spent most of our daytime time during DebCamp setting up for the following weeks conference.

          Step one was getting a network operational. We had been offered space for our servers in a university machine room, but chose instead to occupy the two ‘green’ rooms below the main auditorium stage, using one as a makeshift V/NOC and the other as our machine room as this enabled us continuous and easy access [0] to our servers whilst separating us from the fan noise. I ran additional network cable between the back of the stage and our makeshift machine room, routing the cable around the back of the stage and into the ceiling void to just outside the V/NOC was relatively simple. Routing into the V/NOC needed a bit of help to get the cable through a small gap we found where some other cables ran through the ‘fire break’. Getting a cable between the two ‘green rooms’ however was a PITA. Many people, including myself, eventually giving up before I finally returned to the problem and with the aid of a fully extended server rail gaffer taped to a clothing rail to make a 4m long pole I was eventually able to deliver a cable through the 3 floor supports / fire breaks that separated the two rooms (and before someone suggests I should have used a ‘fish’ wire that was what we tried first). The university were providing us with backbone network but it did take a couple of meetings to get our video network in it’s own separate VLAN and get it to pass traffic unmolested between nodes.

        • Cameron Kaiser: Vintage Computer Festival West 2019 opens in one hour

          The machines are getting up and running. If you’re a nerd, or you aspire to be one, and you’re in the Bay Area for the next day or two come by the Vintage Computer Festival West at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, CA (across from the Google Panopticon and that weird sail structure they’re building). Not a great deal of Mac stuff this year, but there is some Power and PowerPC, including a Daystar Millennium (in a nice black case) accompanied by a couple bits of POWER hardware, including my very favourite 43P, and of course my exhibit, which in addition to a NeXTSTEP SAIC Galaxy 1100 and a couple SPARCs features a PowerPC ThinkPad 860 with its multimedia software operational. Plus come by and see a full exhibit of Apple Newtons, a couple Pippins (finally cracked!), lots of homebrew systems and even a fully functional Xerox Star! There’s also lots of cool gear to buy in the consignment area if you don’t have enough crap in the house. We’re here today and tomorrow. See you then!

        • Ubucon Europe 2019: Ubucon EU registrations are open!

          This registration is completely free, and it is not mandatory if you want to attend the event, although if you register, you will receive some free swag.

      • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

        • GNU Guile 2.9.3 (beta) released

          We are delighted to announce GNU Guile 2.9.3, the third beta release in preparation for the upcoming 3.0 stable series. See the release announcement for full details and a download link.

          This release improves the quality of the just-in-time (JIT) native code generation, resulting in up to 50% performance improvements on some workloads. See the article “Fibs, lies, and benchmarks” for an in-depth discussion of some of the specific improvements.

          GNU Guile 2.9.3 is a beta release, and as such offers no API or ABI stability guarantees. Users needing a stable Guile are advised to stay on the stable 2.2 series.

      • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

        • The fastest open source CPU ever, Facebook shares AI algorithms fighting harmful content, and more news

          Pingtouge Semiconductor – an Alibaba subsidiary – announced its Xuantie 91 processor last month. It’s equipped to manage infrastructure for AI, the IoT, 5G, and autonomous vehicles, among other projects. It boasts a a 7.1 Coremark/MHz, making it the fastest open source CPU on the market.

          Pintogue announced plans to make its polished code available on GitHub this September. Analysts view this release as a power move to help China hit its goal of using local suppliers to meet 40 percent of processor demand by 2021. Recent tariffs on behalf of the U.S. threaten to derail this goal, creating the need for open source computer components.

      • Programming/Development

        • Python Float()

          This tutorial explains Python float() method that takes a number or string and returns a floating-point value. If it is not able to convert string to float, then it raises the ValueError. Let’s try to understand how to use it with the help of simple examples.

        • RcppCCTZ 0.2.6

          RcppCCTZ uses Rcpp to bring CCTZ to R. CCTZ is a C++ library for translating between absolute and civil times using the rules of a time zone. In fact, it is two libraries. One for dealing with civil time: human-readable dates and times, and one for converting between between absolute and civil times via time zones. And while CCTZ is made by Google(rs), it is not an official Google product. The RcppCCTZ page has a few usage examples and details. This package was the first CRAN package to use CCTZ; by now at least three others do—using copies in their packages which remains less than ideal.

        • Qt Creator 4.10 RC Available With Support For Pinning Files, UI Improvements

          This Qt/C++ focused IDE (though with growing support for other languages via LSP) adds support for pinning files so they remain open even if closing all files, various user-interface refinements, support for Android targets to CMake and Qbs projects, remote Linux target handling improvements, basic support for Boost tests, Language Server Protocol handling enhancements, and various other changes. The Qt Creator 4.10 binaries are being built against a Qt 5.13.1 snapshot that also addresses various other bugs.

        • Excellent Free Books to Learn JavaScript

          JavaScript is possibly one of the easiest language to get up and running with. But to truly master the language requires a firm foundation of its intricacies. This compilation of free books ticks all the boxes.

          JavaScript is an interpreted, prototype-based, scripting computer programming language. It came to popular attention as a simple client-side scripting tool, interacting with the user using forms and controlling the web browser, and remains a front-end language for web applications.

          JavaScript features dynamic types, it is weakly typed, supports the structured programming syntax from C, uses prototypes instead of classes for inheritance, and copies many names and naming conventions from Java. It also borrows design principles from Scheme and Self, as well as concepts and syntax idioms such as C-style procedural roots.

        • sphinxcontrib.datatemplates 0.5.0
        • Search the currency pair on the tkinter display panel
        • Weekly Python StackOverflow Report: (clxxxix) stackoverflow python report
  • Leftovers

    • Security (Confidentiality/Integrity/Availability)

      • GitHub “actively encourages” hacking, suit filed against company after Capital One hack says [Mitchel Lewis: "For what it’s worth, Microsoft has the technology to prevent PHI breaches; at least within the Data Loss Prevention component of Exchange."]

        “GitHub had an obligation, under California law, to keep off (or to remove from) its site Social Security numbers and other Personal Information,” the suit says.

      • LibreOffice handlers defend suite’s security after ‘unfortunately partial’ patch [Ed: Microsoft propagandist Microsoft Tim still at it, attacking LibrOoffice because of malicious macros one could, in principle, run]

        The Document Foundation, custodian of LibreOffice, has defended the suite’s security after attempts to patch a code execution flaw turned out to be “partial”.

        “So far in the story of LibreOffice we have been able to patch all security issues before they reached the end user,” a spokesperson told The Reg. “For this last one we have a patch for version 6.2.5 which is unfortunately partial because there are other ways to trigger the vulnerability. This is going to be patched in version 6.3, which is out next week, and in 6.2.6.”

      • [Slackware] Chromium 76 packages available

        The release earlier this week of Chromium 76 came with a total of 43 security fixes but this new major version of course also sports some real usability changes.

        Most notably: Flash is now disabled by default. It’s no longer sufficient to click an “allow Flash on this page” popup but you need to go into the Chromium settings and override the default. And click in on the Flash element to make it start playing. Even then, the changes you make will not survive the restart of the browser. Google is apparently stepping up its efforts in convincing website developers to switch to HTML5 instead. In 2020 Adobe will stop with Flash anyway, so remaining Flash-powered sites will not survive long.
        Another big behavioral change is that it is no longer possible for web sites to detect that you are browsing in ‘anonymous mode‘. This will make it a lot harder for sites with a ‘pay-wall‘ to block you from accessing their paid content though trial subscriptions.
        And another positive change is that hitting the ‘Esc‘ key to stop a page from loading, is no longer treated as user activation. Meaning that malicious web sites will have more trouble messing with your browser because your ‘Esc‘ keypress is no longer passed to the remote web site.

    • Environment

      • Don’t Ask How to Pay for Climate Change. Ask Who

        This fight has already started to play out. Fossil fuel interests are rich, politically influential, and well organized. They are able not only to pay for lobbyists in Washington, DC, but to organize an entire political movement at the state level. The Koch-funded “grassroots” organization Americans for Prosperity pushes to protect fossil fuel interests in individual states. The group has become intimately intertwined with the Republican party.

      • Energy

        • Finland’s green scheme to invest €40m in cycling and walking

          In its government programme released in June, the new administration has pledged 41 million euros to be spent between 2020 and 2022 “for the planning work and project promotion related to walking and cycling.” (Pg. 122)

          Of that amount, 10 million euros will be devoted to developing infrastructure to support more walking and cycling.

        • The Site of One of the Largest US Oil Refineries Is on Fire

          The ExxonMobil incident is the latest in a growing list of fossil fuel-related accidents in the U.S. this year. The East Coast notably saw several refinery explosions, including one in June at the “largest refining complex on the Eastern seaboard,” reported Motherboard at the time.

        • 37 people injured from explosion at Exxon Mobil plant in Baytown; shelter-in-place lifted [iophk: tweets in place of official government communications :( ]
        • Standing Rock Sioux tribe at center of Dakota Access pipeline protests launches solar farm

          Located 3 miles from the pipeline, the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe’s solar project is meant as a first step toward clean energy independence and a way to power all 12 of the reservation communities in North Dakota and South Dakota.

        • North Dakota’s First Solar Farm Opens on Standing Rock Tribal Land

          The solar farm will save the community $7,000 to $10,000 annually in energy costs. This money will go back into the community with the hopes of creating a scholarship program to help protect their native Lakota language, said Hayes Baynard, the CEO of GivePower, one of the nonprofits that is partnering on the project and invested $370,000 in it. The farm’s total cost was $470,000.

        • Tribe at center of Dakota Access pipeline protests launches solar farm

          Located just 3 miles from the pipeline, the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe’s solar project is meant to be the first step toward clean energy independence and a way to power all 12 of the reservation communities in North Dakota and South Dakota. It also shows that the protests that began in 2016 and ended in 2017 weren’t for naught, even though the pipeline began carrying oil more than two years ago, said Cody Two Bears, the project leader and executive director of Indigenized Energy, which promotes energy within the Sioux Nation.

        • Standing Rock Sioux Tribe Fights Back With Clean Energy

          Phase two of the Cannon Ball Community Solar Farm will include the installation of an additional 100 kW of solar infrastructure on government-owned homes, placing additional solar infrastructure on schools and other public buildings, and expanding solar training programs.

          “Our mission of indigenizing energy is about merging the cultural values and wisdom passed down to us with new technologies to establish a sustainable platform that not only helps us live better lives today, but also ensures our footprint over the next several centuries is a positive one,” said Cody TwoBears, Standing Rock project leader for GivePower and the founder and executive director of Indigenized Energy. “We are excited to share this fast-growing solar farm with the world, as it pays tribute to everyone who’s come to Standing Rock and all their hard work and tireless dedication towards protecting our people and land.”

      • Overpopulation

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • Triple Talaq Bill a shining example of the Indian state standing up to votebank politics

        Evidence suggests that the Indian state has generally always backtracked when faced with Islamist threats. Initially, some of it may have been about a hankering to bend over backwards to minority demands in order to show we are morally superior to Pakistan. But soon the appeasement led to full-scale vote bank politics. As the Congress weakened with each successive decade, it became more and more dependent on vote bank politics for political survival. The regional clones of the Congress operated on a simple formula: [...]

      • Faked Facebook Accounts Linked to Saudi Arabia, Mideast Region

        Gleicher said that 217 Facebook accounts, 144 Facebook pages, five groups, and 31 Instagram accounts were removed due to their involvement in deceptive, coordinated behavior originating from Saudi Arabia and focused primarily on that country and North Africa.

        [...]

        The campaign spent approximately $108,000 in advertising, paid for in US and Saudi currency, according to Facebook.

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • USCIRF Vice Chair Nadine Maenza Calls for Release of Imprisoned Saudi Blogger Raif Badawi

        Nadine Maenza, Vice Chair of the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF), today called on Saudi authorities to drop all charges against and release religious prisoner of conscience Raif Badawi. Mr. Badawi was first arrested in June 2012. Six years ago this week, in July 2013, a Saudi court sentenced Mr. Badawi to 600 lashes and seven years in prison for insulting Islam and breaking the anti-cybercrime law through his website Free Saudi Liberals. In May 2014, the sentenced was increased to 1,000 lashes, ten years in prison, and a fine of one million riyal.

      • U.S. religious rights officials hit Saudis for detaining blogger

        Raif Badawi has been in Saudi custody since June 2012 on various charges, including insulting Islam through electronic channels and apostasy, which holds an automatic death sentence in Saudi Arabia, according to Mr. Badawi’s official website. USCIRF Vice Chair Nadine Maenza said Mr. Badawi’s detention inconsistent with Saudi Arabia’s goals as a nation.

      • No One Is Safe: How Saudi Arabia Makes Dissidents Disappear

        The assassination of Jamal Khashoggi was no aberration. A Vanity Fair investigation reveals how Saudi Arabia attempts to abduct, repatriate—and sometimes murder—citizens it regards as enemies of the state.

      • Navalny Demands Official Probe Into Possible ‘Poisoning’ In Russian Custody

        Jailed opposition leader Aleksei Navalny has filed an official complaint with Russia’s main investigative authority in connection with an unexplained physical reaction that required his hospitalization, alleging that he was poisoned after being taken into custody following a recent Moscow protest.

        He has requested an investigation that includes a toxicology report and a request to see surveillance video from the Moscow detention center where he is being housed.

      • Filmmaker Speaks Out on His Prison Sentence, Interrogations and Censorship

        Another problem they had was with the movie A Man of Integrity [Lerd]. They insisted that with this film I supported Baha’is. They tried to make me change my mind and not defend the Baha’is, since they said they are blasphemers. I explained that my movie does not directly mention the Baha’is and it’s just about religous discrimination. My point is that any Iranian with any belief should be able to go to school in Iran. I told them my problem is with a regime that weighs people’s rights based on their beliefs. They could not stand any of the themes in the movie that dealt with religous discrimination.

    • Privacy/Surveillance

      • Equifax May Not Pay You That $125 Settlement Because It Screwed Too Many People

        A new FTC statement and blog post proclaim that because of “overwhelming” and “unexpected” public interest in the offer, users may not get the $125 they were originally promised. The agency is now strongly urging users to take the free credit monitoring instead.

      • Amazon Ring: Police tie-up criticised by anti-surveillance campaigners

        Motherboard says officers do not need a warrant to ask for footage or information.

        “Amazon has found the perfect end-run around the democratic process,” Fight the Future said.

      • Amazon’s home security firm Ring reportedly has partnerships with 200 US police departments and critics say it’s dystopian

        Last week, Motherboard reported that under some of these partnerships, police departments were required to promote Ring in their local communities in exchange for earning credit toward free cameras.

      • Protect your privacy on the internet

        The idea that internet privacy is important only if you have something to hide is a misconception, says Nathan Handler. Privacy is something we should all care about to protect ourselves and the people we communicate with, whether or not we’re doing anything wrong or embarrassing, he says.

        In his Lightning Talk at the 17th annual Southern California Linux Expo (SCaLE 17x), Nathan, a software engineer and open source evangelist at Orchid, explains how the internet works, why “private browsing” is a misnomer, and what things you can do to keep your data out of the hands of prying governments, businesses, and coffee shop managers.

        Watch Nathan’s Lightning Talk, “The internet is not safe,” to learn more about how the internet works, what information is accessible, how technologies can be utilized to enhance security, and the tradeoffs of using such technologies.

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

      • Russia To Amend Law In Order To Fine British Media

        Russia’s media regulator says it will amend existing legislation in order to impose fines on British and other foreign media organizations working in Russia for breaking impartiality standards in retaliation for London fining Russia’s RT TV channel.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • China bans Arabic script, Islamic symbols in bid to ‘Sinicise’ Muslim population

        Since then, Uighurs have carried out crude bomb attacks against Chinese controls, including an attack at a coal mine in 2015 by suspected Uighur militants in Xinjiang. The incident led to the retaliatory killing of 28 people by the Chinese police.

      • Turkey Wipes Out Traces of Greek Civilization in Smyrna

        But this ended when Turkish military forces attempted to take back Smyrna from the Greek administration on September 9, 1922. The military attacks against the Greeks and Armenians of Smyrna began with looting, rapes, and murder. Marketos wrote:

        “They started in the Armenian quarter and then spread through the Greek portion of the city. This drove even more people to the narrow sea-front. Then, on September 13, a fire started in the Armenian part of the city. A strong breeze blew the fire away from the Turkish quarter and quickly spread it to the rest of the city, driving still more horrified thousands of Greeks and Armenians to the harbor where they were now trapped between the raging flames at their backs and the harbor in front. And still, the Allied warships watched as the refugees on the sea-front were subjected to unspeakable atrocities by Turkish soldiers and residents.

        “After four days, the fire burned itself out. Beautiful Smyrna lay in ruins. Thousands of Greeks and Armenians had perished, either in the fire, or through slaughter in one form or another, or through simple exposure. Hundreds of thousands of others were eventually evacuated. But either way, the Twentieth Century’s first holocaust effectively ended the Christian presence in Asia Minor.”

        Sadly, this dark page of history remains mostly forgotten or ignored. Only a handful of scholars have shed light on and exposed the persecution of Christians in Smyrna in 1922. One is Lou Ureneck, Boston University professor and journalist, who penned The Great Fire: One American’s Mission to Rescue Victims of the 20th Century’s First Genocide. In it, he described the harrowing story of an American Methodist minister — Asa Kent Jennings — and an American naval officer — Arthur J. Hepburn — who helped rescue more than 250,000 Christian refugees during the burning of Smyrna by Turkish forces.

      • Lessons For America From India’s War Against Muslim Illegal Migrants

        The “detect-delete-deport” program began by digitizing old paper records and then checking them against the documents that were submitted by the population. Tens of thousands of government employees reviewed millions of documents and then began checking and cross-referencing them. The lies weren’t hard to spot as when dozens of people claimed to have been born from the same mother.

        The work is far from finished but the number of Muslim illegal aliens could climb as high as 20 million, and so could the deportations, once “detect-delete-deport” is deployed across the entire country.

        India’s National Register of Citizens is being used to clarify who belongs in the country and who doesn’t. Those who are unable to prove their citizenship potentially face the Foreigners’ Tribunals, courts that ask the accused to prove their citizenship. If the illegals fail to do so, they can be sent to prison and then deported. If they try to dodge the courts, the machinery of the system will move forward anyway.

    • Monopolies

      • Patents and Software Patents

        • Update on Qualcomm’s two Ninth Circuit antitrust appeals: delays in FTC case due to complexity; consumer class responds to certification appeal

          The extension is needed not only by Qualcomm but also by persons and entities who will submit amicus curiae briefs in support of Qualcomm’s appeal.

          The Ninth Circuit will schedule a hearing as soon as possible after briefing is complete. For various practical reasons, it appears highly unlikely at this stage that the hearing would still be held this year. The question is probably just exactly when in the first quarter of 2020 it will take place.

          [...]

          Another key amicus curiae here is the Chamber of Commerce, which (according to the consumers’ brief) “argues that applying California law violates the Due Process, Full Faith and Credit, and Dormant Commerce Clauses.” Similarly, the DOJ “suggests that ‘federalism’ prevents California from applying its antitrust laws extraterritorially.” Those are constitutional arguments, and the consumers’ attorneys say that no new issues can be raised on appeal, so any such constitionality arguments have–they say–been waived by not raising them earlier.

          The consumers’ lawyers present different theories based on which Judge Koh’s class-certification decision could be upheld, but I’d have to conduct more research to form an opinion on how strong those theories are.

        • Life sciences IP – the major developments in July

          The Dusseldorf Higher Regional Court held that Amgen’s patent for PCSK9 inhibitors is infringed by Regeneron and Sanofi’s rival anti-cholesterol product, and granted an injunction excluding it from Europe’s largest market. But despite other successes at the German Supreme Court, the EPO and a US federal district court, the judgment is not the end of Amgen’s antibody patent war; ongoing proceedings in the US – where the dispute has become a major test case for antibody patenting – may reverse the company’s fortunes.

Microsoft Put an Innocent, Heroic Man in Prison. Then Microsoft Ran Away.

Posted in Microsoft, Windows at 12:35 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“The fact that there’s some e-mail here at MS that says, ‘let’s go up and beat this guy’…there’s nothing wrong with that. That is capitalism at work for consumers.”

Bill Gates

Microsoft considers this recycling hero to be a criminal. But this guy, who broke many laws for a number of decades, Microsoft views as a 'God'.

Summary: Now that Mr. Lundgren is out of prison he’s able to tell his amazing story, which Microsoft desperately attempted to suppress

JUST over a week ago we began writing about Microsoft’s legal attacks on Eric Lundgren, who had been released from prison. We’ve been studying the case and we’re speaking to Lundgren these days. He’s a kind, generous person. He deserves medals, not lawsuits and jail time. This whole situation is a travesty and there’s so much to be said, so we’ll split the story into many parts.

For more background see Eric Lundgren’s Twitter account (old news/clippings) and Web site, which includes the section “How does copying free-to-download software land you in prison?”

“The total cost (to Lundgren) by far exceeds a million dollars if one considers the long-term consequences e.g. employment prospects.”He can be reached on ECAnetwork@Gmail.com and he’s a nice person. As we noted last weekend, "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 spoke to him earlier today. Expect us to write a lot more on this subject and share never-seen-before material. Our goal is to show the incredible extent of injustice. Lundgren, in his own words, spent nearly a million dollars defending himself. The “legal battle cost $870,000 USD,” he explained, “(+) $50,000 Court Fine (+) 15 Month Prison Sentence (+) Felony…”

The total cost (to Lundgren) by far exceeds a million dollars if one considers the long-term consequences e.g. employment prospects. He will never be a truly free man, but he’s a passionate and inspiring positive thinker, who looks forward to make the world a better place, looking ahead rather than back. To us, however, the long-lasting ordeals he went through do matter a great deal and we’ll delve into the finer details.

“The court documents ought to help objectivity (readers can assess these for themselves) and, if shown the defamatory statements from Microsoft, we can correct them. As we shall.”“My grandfather whom raised [me] died a few days ago,” he told me this morning. I know the feeling, but consider the fact that his grandfather’s latest and last days were spent without his (grand)son, who was arrested for doing the moral thing. Surely Microsoft wouldn’t like that aspect of the story told. The most common feedback after our seminal story about Lundgren was about Microsoft trying to silence those who covered his story. Microsoft threatened the media and we’ll cover that in a future part. We’re separating different aspect of his story as compartmentalisation will make it easier to follow. We may soon show court documents too and demonstrate, using photographs, Lundgren’s great contribution to society, which Microsoft ‘rewarded’ with a prison sentence (after he had spread Windows even further as part of his recycling campaign).

The court documents ought to help objectivity (readers can assess these for themselves) and, if shown the defamatory statements from Microsoft, we can correct them. As we shall. Fact-checking will be an integral part of this series. The court deliberately got many of the facts wrong or simply removed them (making them inadmissible).

Lundgren spent or wasted 15 months of his life in prison; he remains a debt prisoner for a long time to come (a longterm/permanent timeframe). It all happened after a dodgy trial, so let’s let the public decide, based on underlying evidence presented in that trial. Mischievous elements of what happened at the trial will be covered here too, albeit separately. It won’t be ‘trial by media’ but (re)trial by media; the outcome won’t change. One cannot undo a prison sentence or cancel the debt, which is enormous. One can, however, ensure that the record is set straight. Lundgren is still relatively young and has a lot to offer, much to promise.

“Lundgren spent or wasted 15 months of his life in prison; he remains a debt prisoner for a long time to come (a longterm/permanent timeframe).”Although we’re eager to just ‘spill the beans’ all at once we probably should not. One heavily-packed article can be powerful, but we need to do this in small chunks that readers can digest; it’s easier for us to compose and more effective overall (with an index and chapter-like breakdown).

Tomorrow we will post our next (fourth) part of this series, which we expect to span about a dozen parts and weeks if not months in the making. Let’s do justice for Mr. Lundgren. If not legal and financial justice, then at least moral justice. Lundgren isn’t in it for the money. Microsoft tarnishing his reputation and harming his life/health is something that someone out there should be held accountable for. Stay tuned to find out what happened when Mr. Lundgren came to see Microsoft’s CEO.

Patent Trolls’ Paradise: The EPO is a Rubber-Stamping Machine, So Why Not Automatically Generate Patent Applications?

Posted in Europe, Patents at 11:32 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

The more patents, the merrier, right? A Busy Beaver of a patent office…

Tianjin/EPO's so-called 'production'
Tianjin. So-called ‘production’ that ends up in flames due to poor regulation and misgovernment (stockpiling).

Summary: Running a patent office where quality does not really matter is “great” business; one can set up a script to generate billions of patents a day and grant them on the same day as well; but the EPO’s sick obsession with so-called ‘production’ seems to have attracted automated application and the EPO isn’t sure how to cope with the associated publicity

THERE’S a real problem in our hands when Europe’s largest patent office, the EPO, sidles with outlaws. Battistelli was a classic outlaw and António Campinos keeps defending him (see Haar). Moreover, he promotes illegal patents and meets patent trolls, whose business model is akin to extortion. Just before the weekend the EPO posted this tweet about Licensing Executives Society International (LESI). The managers of the EPO are working closely together with a front group of patent trolls. It’s a collaboration. They have joint events.

“The managers of the EPO are working closely together with a front group of patent trolls. It’s a collaboration.”Around the same time/day the EPO was promoting software patents agenda under the guise of "blockchain" (events with patent trolls on the panel) by retweeing this nonsense about the EPO: “Combining forces with Dr. Nigel Clarke, Head of Patent Information Research for @EPOorg , the @Derwent team hosted a webinar focused on blockchain fundamentals—information every IP professional should know. Download the key webinar takeaways…”

Well, it’s widely known that webinars are just ads. We’ve also just seen this new tidbit about an “Advisor on Blockchain Patent Prosecution”. A blockchain patent is a fake patent because those are software patents that are not valid anymore. He can help patent trolls though. They rely on not even going to court, instead settling behind closed doors. These are the actors standing to benefit the most from the EPO’s insane policy and gross deviations from the law.

“They rely on not even going to court, instead settling behind closed doors.”Days ago we saw WIPO and EUIPO mentioned in relation to "hey hi" and patents. Patent maximalists engaged both:

Managing IP speaks to the directors of WIPO and the EUIPO to gauge their views on AI, asking how the technology can help the offices be more efficient and whether job losses are inevitable

This whole “hey hi” nonsense soon thereafter spread further from an EPO-bribed publication, the Financial Times. “Patent agencies challenged to accept AI inventor,” the headline said, followed by another piece that implicated the UKIPO. This particular “hey hi” nonsense (in this case gaming the application process rather than patents on algorithms) cited Francis Gurry:

According to a statement from the University of Surrey, the UK Intellectual Property Office (UKIPO) and the European Patent Office (EPO) “have already indicated these applications appear new, inventive and industrially applicable, which are the primary requirements for an invention to receive a patent”.

UKIPO held an event that specifically focused on the issue of AI and inventions created by AI in June. There, speakers clashed over whether AIs should be granted applications for works they have generated.

UK Supreme Court justice Lord David Kitchin said AI holds “profound” potentials and shouldn’t be feared, whereas Francis Gurry, the director general of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), said he sees “no value whatsoever in attributing inventorship rights to a machine”.

Just before the weekend the BBC quoted the EPO’s spokespeople/PR people (5 whole paragraphs about this, but the BBC spikes negative stories about EPO abuses). Leo Kelion (technology desk editor) wrote:

A spokeswoman for the European Patent Office indicated that it would be a complex matter.

“It is a global consensus that an inventor can only be a person who makes a contribution to the invention’s conception in the form of devising an idea or a plan in the mind,” she explained.

“The current state of technological development suggests that, for the foreseeable future, AI is… a tool used by a human inventor.

“Any change… [would] have implications reaching far beyond patent law, ie to authors’ rights under copyright laws, civil liability and data protection.

“The EPO is, of course, aware of discussions in interested circles and the wider public about whether AI could qualify as inventor.”

It does not name the spokeswoman, but it might be Mittermaier. Tech Wire Asia, citing BBC, then wrote:

BBC News also spoke to a spokesperson for the European Patent Office (EPO) about the matter who confirmed that while the body is aware of the issue, the filing will be complicated given current regulations.

“The current state of technological development suggests that, for the foreseeable future, AI is… a tool used by a human inventor.”

The patent system may soon deal with computer-generated stuff, assessed by computer stuff that’s supposed to replace actual examiners but has been proven to be worse than useless. What’s the point of such a system?

World Intellectual Property Review (WIPR) covered this as well:

A team of researchers has now asked the European Patent Office (EPO), US Patent and Trademark Office, and the UK Intellectual Property Office (IPO) to grant protection to patent applications listing Dabus as the sole inventor of the new technologies.

Ryan Abbott, professor of law and health sciences at the University of Surrey, led the team behind the patent applications.

Speaking to WIPR, Abbott said the move was “unprecedented” and that patent offices had “no rules for handling something like this”.

[...]

In a statement sent to WIPR, the EPO said that it could not comment on pending patent applications.

Commenting more generally on the issue of AI inventorship, however, the EPO said it was the “global consensus that an inventor can only be a person who makes a contribution to the invention’s conception in the form of devising an idea or a plan in the mind”.

The purpose of the patent system, the EPO said, was to incentivise innovation and afford rights to protect an inventor’s work.

“These rights are tailored for natural persons, i.e. humans,” the EPO said.

Has this person (applicant behind the machine) ‘trolled’ the EPO to show the EPO how ridiculous patent quality is becoming? Futurism cited the BBC:

A spokeswoman from the European Patent Office told BBC that it’s hesitant to grant patents to AI because doing so would likely set create unforeseen legal precedents — the office doesn’t take upending existing patent law lightly.

The requirement for a human inventor behind every patent is meant to keep patents in the hands of inventors instead of corporations, per the BBC. But this sort of worker protection wasn’t crafted with the future of AI in mind — the human requirement in the U.K., for example, comes from a patent law written in 1977.

The EPO has been happy to promote “hey hi” as means by which to allow illegal patents on software, but when it’s not about legal loopholes and when the whole credibility of the system is at the stake the EPO is suddenly speechless and puts up resistance?

The EPO and the European Media Continue to Ignore or Cover Up the Haar Case

Posted in Deception, Europe, Patents at 7:33 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

The map shows how ‘exile’ works

Haar

Summary: A fortnight or so after an important decision (or indecision more so) media still isn’t talking about the inherent injustice of the main patent office in Europe

HAVING failed to even address the Haar question (the European Patent Organisation (EPO) threw out that question, dismissing it as ‘inadmissible’), the EPO’s management — Team Campinos piggybacking Battistelli‘s attack on the Boards — can carry on issuing lots of bogus patents, including software patents that even the USPTO would deny (more so after 35 U.S.C. § 101/Alice). We’ve noticed this press release from July 30th [1, 2] which said:

Opthea Limited (ASX:OPT) is pleased to announce that the European Patent Office (EPO) has issued a “Notice of Intention to Grant” in relation to Opthea’s European patent application covering OPT-302, a soluble form of Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor Receptor (VEGFR-3) that binds and inhibits the activity of VEGF-C and VEGF-D.

[...]

European Patent Application No. 14752057.1 covering OPT-302 will grant in the name of Opthea’s wholly-owned subsidiary, Vegenics Pty Limited.

This isn’t my area of expertise; it’s nowhere near what we cover in this site. But who the heck knows if this European Patent is even valid; doesn’t Opthea know that the EPO grants just about anything these days? Even patents on chewing gum and on maths (software patents). António Campinos, the EPO‘s President, actively advocates this kind of patents. The Boards aren’t going to stop it; it would be a threat to judges’ careers.

“What’s the point of the media if it refuses to do even the most fundamental task which is reporting?”Notice how nobody in the media covered the outcome of the Haar case (or the Haar question). IP Kat mentioned it very briefly, in passing, and days later Antonella Gentile recalled some EPO decisions covered by EPO management-friendly Kats. Here they go:

Still Rose discusses decision T-0439/17 (published online 1 July 2019), in which the Board of Appeal of the EPO considered the circumstances when a third party may intervene in an opposition.

Rose also considers the recent decision in D 11/18. In D 11/18, a 2018 European Qualifying Exam candidate successfully appealed the decision of the Examination Board to fail his Paper B script (D 11/18). The Disciplinary Board found a serious and obvious error in the Examiner’s Report and remitted the script back to the Examination Board for re-marking.

Not a word about the Haar question here; not even a link. Buried.

Isn’t that odd, coming from a blog that used to cover the attacks on the Boards so heavily and frequently? There’s also no mention of Boris Johnson’s corruption and nepotism which can further harm the UPC. The other day Martin Hendry (Virtuoso Legal) published “Jo Johnson reappointed IP Minister – The other “Johnson and Johnson”” (family brings close relatives, based not on merit but connections). IAM mentioned this only in a "tweet" (informal) and it seems like media blackout continues everywhere (where coverage can be detrimental to patent maximalism). What’s the point of the media if it refuses to do even the most fundamental task which is reporting?

EPO Not Only an Eyesore But Also an Environmental Liability

Posted in Deception, Europe, Patents at 5:31 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Blinding effect

Blinding effect

Summary: The EPO continues to describe itself as exactly the opposite of what it is; IAM again comes to the management’s rescue with the headline “Users like the EPO’s services”

THE @EPOOrg Twitter account was greenwashing almost every single day this past week (we track almost everything they post) because the European Patent Office (EPO) is not green. Similarly, for more or less the same reasons, it keeps mentioning “SMEs”; it’s because that's what the EPO hurts the most (same googlebombing for “quality”, “ethics” and “social” in recent weeks, coinciding with the Haar question). “Learn about Y02, the new patent classification scheme for climate change mitigation technologies,” one such tweet said. There were several more and also retweets.

Alluding to the defective Nouvel building, which was a greenwashing publicity stunt at times, SUEPO has just responded by saying very little (or nothing). Some time yesterday (or around that time) SUEPO added a link to “Experts call for ban on glass skyscrapers to save energy in climate crisis” (from a site we won’t name or link to because of its practice of defamation and censorship). It’s not hard to figure out which “glass skyscraper” the EPO has. We also wrote several articles in the past about the negative impact on the surrounding population and nature.

We don’t suppose that the EPO’s management cares about facts or this thing called “science” (the management lacks a scientific background). The EPO is already promoting, every day more or less, this “award” that’s an attack on patent neutrality in Europe, e.g. in [1, 2]. They try to piggyback actual science and associate the EPO with scientists (by paying them, by enticing them with awards).

We’ve meanwhile also noticed this latest IAM puff piece, the megaphone of the biggest liars (like Battistelli). They refuse to change and they’re still mop-up people for António Campinos; we’ve noticed that several of their writers left. To quote from their latest nonsense:

The European Patent Office (EPO) has a quality management system (QMS) which received ISO 9001 certification (an internationally recognised QMS standard) in 2014. It is the only patent office in the world to have such recognition. The recently published EPO 2018 Quality Report assesses the performance of the office on an operational level and user satisfaction basis, as well as determining whether the QMS is being properly implemented.

The findings in the report are based on feedback from various sources, including customer services, complaints, market research, EPO staff and satisfaction surveys. Over 5,000 telephone interviews and online questionnaires were overseen by an external auditor for the 2018 report. We have gone through all the data to bring you the top takeaways.

It’s written like a marketing brochure composed (or ghostwritten) by the EPO’s PR staff. Maybe that’s just what it is. IAM seems eager to lose any remnants of credibility. It’s just going to perish, having been absorbed by another firm that’s like PR services for law firms. Maybe the EPO can hire IAM one day, directly, as a PR agency, not just via a PR agency (as it did years back).

How the Linux Foundation Devolved From Community-Centric to Microsoft (in GitHub) Projects

Posted in GNU/Linux, Microsoft, OSDL at 4:51 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

The Linux Foundation stands for almost nothing anymore

Winux Foundation logo

Summary: The history of the Foundation which employs Linus Torvalds shows a gradual and at times rapid change of focus; it has become little more than a cash register for corporate deposits and influence-buying (like a PAC)

IT IS EASY TO SEE THAT THE Linux Foundation, or the “Winux Foundation” as one reader of ours chose to call it (he perfected the logo above), isn’t moving in a positive direction. This year or the past year it has gotten a lot worse — to the point where we dropped a lot of coverage about patents (especially in the US) and instead focused on the Foundation. It’s a subject we’ve covered since its inception more than 12 years ago. I’m totally not new to it; I’ve covered this foundation’s internal affairs very closely since the very start and even prior to it (before OSDL, Torvalds’ employer since 2003, sacked its staff and was absorbed into Zemlin’s group, whereupon a rename happened*, leaving OSDL people seeking alternative routes**)

If one looks at the Foundation’s site as it looked one decade ago, “Community, Collaborate, Participate” appear as three consecutive top-level sections. They did at least strive to appear like they stand for something. This is what things looked like a decade ago at the “Linux Foundation” (which did not snub and mock the actual community, i.e. people who develop and use GNU/Linux). Today, in 2019, top-level sections at the “Linux Foundation” are “Projects, Membership, Events, Training, Resources, Newsroom, About”

“The sole goal is to maximise profits.”No “Community”.

No “Collaborate”.

No “Participate” (unless you pay, i.e. “Membership”).

When did it all change? It didn’t happen overnight.

By 2014 the Linux Foundation only had “COLLABORATIVE PROJECTS” left in top-level sections (“Community, Collaborate, Participate” had been removed). It’s no longer there anymore. Now it’s just a bunch of Microsoft (in GitHub) projects, controlled by massive companies like AT&T.

“Linux” is to the Linux Foundation what Linux was to SCO before the lawsuit. Or what Xenix was to Microsoft. It’s something that’s kept at the edge or even at the corner while bigger projects are promoted instead. The sole goal is to maximise profits.
____
* A lot of people don’t know this, but linuxfoundation.org (the domain) and linuxfoundation.com were both registered even years before the actual foundation existed (mind timelines in the Wayback Machine [1, 2]). Back in the 1990s the “Linux Foundation” site sold non-Linux things. It wasn’t even about Linux.
** Stuart Cohen, OSDL’s chief and then CSI (Collaborative Software Initiative) chief, vanished off the radar about a decade ago; it’s hard to see him publicly at any capacity. His online presence is mainly interviews from the OSDL and CSI days, i.e. more than a decade back.

Links 3/8/2019: Wine 4.13 Released, Gnuastro 0.10

Posted in News Roundup at 1:25 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • System76 are prepping a powerful new Linux laptop, the “Adder WS”

      System76 sent word earlier about something new. A new (and rather powerful) Linux laptop named the Adder WS. The Adder WS will be the first Linux machine from System76 to include an OLED display, with a 15″ size and 4K support it’s sounding impressive.

      They’re saying it’s a “workstation laptop”, as it’s going to be quite the beast. The base standard configuration will have an Intel Core i7-9750H CPU and you can push it up to an i9-9980HK, the top end Intel offer for Laptops (according to System76). It will also come with an NVIDIA RTX 2070 GPU which “uses effective cooling techniques that allow the graphics card to reach its full performance potential”—so it sounds like a pretty damn good unit for some intense Linux gaming sessions.

    • Linux Magazine’s New Issue (Partial Paywall)

    • Server

      • Started wanting to move stuff to docker.

        Started wanting to move stuff to docker. Especially around build systems. If things are mutable they will go bad and fixing them is annoying.

      • IBM

        • Shifting culture is the best way to reignite public-sector innovation

          Right now, we’re in a storm of digital disruption, also known as the Fourth Industrial Revolution or any of the other trendy monikers coined in recent years. The truth is that the speed of innovation today makes long-term planning incredibly difficult.

          Like everyone, government organizations are struggling to chart paths forward in the face of a fast-moving and increasingly ambiguous future. According to a 2018 report from the Congressional Research Service, federal government IT budgets are growing, but so are the costs of maintaining older systems.

          The only way government agencies — or any organization — will continue to thrive amid continual, innovative disruptions will be to fundamentally rethink how they operate.

        • Multi-cloud: 5 important trends to watch

          Going by the most straightforward definition of multi-cloud – using two or more cloud services from two or more vendors – outsized numbers about multi-cloud adoption shouldn’t really surprise anyone, especially IT pros. It seems hard these days to not use at least a handful of cloud-based services.

        • Three Weeks After Closing the Red Hat Deal, IBM Rolls Out New Cloud Offerings

          Managed services and software optimized for Red Hat OpenShift and Linux aimed at helping enterprises move to the cloud.

        • The Big Picture

          IBM finally closed the deal to purchase Red Hat this month, writing a $34 billion check for the leading Linux company in hopes of restarting its cloud and network service endeavors. Red Hat was a really big fish in the open source scene, but they are tiny compared to IBM, and many observers are wondering how this story will unfold.

          In the press release confirming the sale [1], IBM said all the right things, leading off the announcement with the following bullets:

          IBM preserves Red Hat’s independence and neutrality; Red Hat will strengthen its existing partnerships to give customers freedom, choice, and flexibility.
          Red Hat’s unwavering commitment to open source remains unchanged.
          Together, IBM and Red Hat will deliver a next-generation hybrid multicloud platform.

          As you probably already know, this deal is all about the cloud, and about integrating hybrid cloud with IBM’s existing business service portfolio. The quote from IBM CEO Ginni Rometty sounds like a manifesto, “Businesses are starting the next chapter of their digital reinventions, modernizing infrastructure and moving mission-critical workloads across private clouds and multiple clouds from multiple vendors. They need open, flexible technology to manage these hybrid multicloud environments. And they need partners they can trust to manage and secure these systems. IBM and Red Hat are uniquely suited to meet these needs. As the leading hybrid cloud provider, we will help clients forge the technology foundations of their business for decades to come.”

        • IBM moves quickly to shift software base to Red Hat OpenShift

          IBM Corp. is losing no time in its efforts to demonstrate results from its acquisition of Red Hat Inc., which closed just three weeks ago.

          The company today is announcing that it will make much of its software portfolio available in cloud-native form on OpenShift, which is Red Hat’s version of the Kubernetes container orchestration manager. Containers are portable, self-contained software environments and Kubernetes is a management layer for large container deployments.

          “Cloud-native” is a term for software that’s constructed to take advantage of cloud-specific features such as near-limitless scalability and flexible, usage-based pricing. Many cloud applications are essentially versions of on-premises software that has been shifted to the cloud without the full benefit of cloud-specific features.

          “Cloud isn’t just about sticking content in a container,” said Hillery Hunter, chief technology officer of IBM Cloud. “It’s about getting IT operational efficiency and automation.”

    • Audiocasts/Shows

    • Kernel Space

      • Graphics Stack

        • Diff selection, AArch64 Pi4, caching

          The result of all the diff construction testing and sample implementations … is an unchanged diff format. In my opinion, the scenario that most needs optimization is when a small change is made to a large buffer, and detailed damage tracking is unavailable. Then the main source of delay in the program is the time needed to scan through the unchanged portion of the buffer. On the other hand, when most of the buffer has changed, the data transfer time (and any compression/decompression stages) will take enough time that a 5% increase in diff runtime will be hidden by the other operations. In essence, it’s better to optimize the diff for text input than for games. Based on the target scenario, the bitset format was ruled out, because a 1/64th control data overhead is huge when only 1/1000th of the buffer changed, and the time needed to convert the bitset to another format added too much slowdown, even in the case where no data changed. The split variation on the standard diff format was also discarded, as it required a bit more complexity to manage two buffers, while not significantly improving performance.

          A key optimization used by the standard diff method is “windowing”: small unchanged gaps in the data stream are still copied into the diff. This speeds up diff application, by reducing the number of chunks that must be memcpy’d, as well as the number of branch mispredictions, and makes it possible to limit the number of times that the diff construction routine must switch between copying data and not copying data. The maximal size gap to be skipped is still kept relatively small, to minimize both the total diff size and the total amount of data written. (It’s currently at 256 bytes, and can’t go any lower than 64 bytes without breaking a key optimization for the SIMD diff routines.)

        • Broadcom’s VC4/V3D Driver Developer Parts Ways To Join Google

          Eric Anholt who has near single-handedly been developing the V3D driver stack (formerly known as “VC5″) for use by the Raspberry Pi 4 and other newer Broadcom boards as well as maintaining the mature VC4 driver stack he developed for previous Raspberry Pi boards has left Broadcom. But Broadcom’s loss is to Google’s open-source gain.

          Eric Anholt had been working for Broadcom the past five years on the VC4 driver stack as the Mesa Gallium3D driver paired with the in-kernel DRM/KMS driver and then more recently the V3D driver stack that for months now is mainline in Mesa and the Linux kernel. The V3D driver stack is now in use most notably by the recently launched Raspberry Pi 4.

        • Eric Anholt: Raspberry Pi 4, moving on

          Recently the Raspberry Pi Foundation released the Raspberry Pi 4, which shipped with the V3D driver I wrote as its GLES driver.

          I’m pretty proud of the work I did on the project. I was a solo developer building a GLES3 graphics driver based on Mesa, splitting my time between the new V3D and maintaining VC4, while also fixing issues in the X server and building a kernel driver. I didn’t finish everything (the hardware should be able to do GLES 3.2, and I almost made it to CTS-complete on 3.1 before shipping), but I feel like this is clear proof of how productive graphics driver developers can be working on the Mesa stack.

    • Applications

      • 4 of the Best Download Managers for Linux Users

        Struggling to keep your file downloads organized, or have you suddenly lost connection on a download at 99%? If you don’t already have a download manager installed on your Linux machine, it’s time to get one.

        Thankfully, there are several good download managers for Linux users to try. Here are four of the best. While we are using Linux Mint as an example, most of them should work on other Linux distros, too.

      • New 4.0.2 Version of Uyuni is Released

        Contributors of Uyuni Project have released a new version of Uyuni 4.0.2, which is an open-source infrastructure management solution tailored for software-defined infrastructure.

        Uyuni, a fork of the Spacewalk project, modernizing Spacewalk with SaltStack, provides more operating systems support and better scalability capabilities. Uyuni is now the upstream for SUSE Manager.

        With this release, Uyuni provides powerful new features such as monitoring, content lifecycle management and virtual machine management.

        Both the Uyuni Server node and the optional proxy nodes work on top of openSUSE Leap 15.1 and support Leap 15.1, CentOS, Ubuntu and others as clients. Debian support is experimental. The new version of Uyuni uses Salt 2019.2, Grafana 6.2.5, Cobbler 3.0 and Python 3.6 in the backend.

        “The upgrade involves the complete replacement of the underlying operating system,” according to a post on July 9 by Hubert Mantel on Github. “This is a very critical operation and it is impossible to handle any potential failure in a graceful way. For example, an error during upgrade of the base OS might lead to a completely broken system which cannot be recovered.

      • DeaDBeeF Music Player 1.8.2 Released with Stability Fixes

        The second bug-fix release for Deadbeef 1.8 series was released a day ago with some stability fixes and improvements.

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Wine or Emulation

      • Wine Announcement

        The Wine development release 4.13 is now available.

      • Wine 4.13 Released Following Nearly Month Long Summer Holiday

        Wine 4.12 was released back on 5 July while finally today has been succeeded by Wine 4.13, which is normally seeing updates on a two-week release cycle.

        The nearly month long break in releases was due to lead developer Alexandre Julliard going on a summer holiday for much of July. Presumably many other Wine developers also enjoyed some time away from their keyboards as well as the Wine 4.13 release isn’t too notable even with the extended cycle.

      • Not The Wine O’Clock News is now showing at 4.13

        This isn’t in reference to the lovely fruity stuff, we are of course talking about the Wine compatibility software. The Wine team have been hacking away at their code again, with a brand new release now available with Wine 4.13.

        Quite a small one in terms of features included in this round, partly as Wine developer Alexandre Julliard had a vacation recently. I expect things to pick up again now.

    • Games

      • A three-way look at Rocket League on Linux, with D9VK versus Linux Native

        After chatting on Twitter with a fellow Rocket League enthusiast about the performance of the game, I decided to take a look.

        Rocket League originally released for Linux back in 2016, using an older build of Unreal Engine 3 with OpenGL as the renderer. With that in mind, it’s one of the older major Linux ports available to us. Age is just a number though, it’s a fantastic game. It’s not perfect though and there’s plenty of room for improvements.

      • Extreme arcade space combat game “Space Mercs” has officially released

        Designed and developed by Bearded Giant Games, Space Mercs is an extreme arcade space combat game like some of the classics and it’s out now with Linux support.

        As a reminder, Bearded Giant Games have been developing Space Mercs entirely on Linux with the Unity game engine. Working from a low-powered Notebook, they’ve put a special amount of attention into the optimizations so it should work great across a huge variety of systems. It certainly does look good, with an impressive atmosphere to it!

      • The next Humble Monthly is out, with a nice deal for Linux gamers

        Once the bundle is over next month, you will also get an additional bunch of games. On top of that, as always, you also gain access to the Humble Trove. The Humble Trove is their curated selection of DRM-free games, while subscribed you can download them any time and keep them. Last I looked, the Trove had around 47 Linux games in it.

      • Zachtronics latest game “Eliza”, is a Visual Novel that involves an AI counselling program

        This was quite unexpected, Zachtronics who are known for their challenging and high quality puzzle games have announced a Visual Novel called Eliza and it sounds unusual.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • Try Out the JADE Desktop Environment

        This new desktop environment strives to offers something different, and while the design isn’t for everyone, it does introduce a couple of interesting features.

        2019 is not a year for innovation in the desktop environment. Ever since the desktop revolts over KDE 4, GNOME 3, and Unity in 2008-2012, developers have been cautious about innovation and alienating users with too much change. Any innovations have been incremental or minor. Under these circumstances, JADE (Just Another Desktop Environment) is a welcome development. Although it suffers from a lack of layout knowledge, at least JADE tries, and manages one or two promising features along the way.

        JADE was begun by Vitor Lopes and developed within the Manjaro distribution. To date, JADE is unavailable in any other distribution, but, since it was developed using standard web-technologies like HTML5, CSS, JavaScript and Python, porting it should be a trivial task, and only a matter of time. On the Manjaro forums, it was announced in 2017 as “a completely different DE concept, that changes the way you interact with your desktop, is made to be easy to use, independently of your computer skill.” According to Lopes, he began the product to “learn Python” and to “keep my coding skills sharp.”

        Currently, JADE is available in the Manjaro Webdad Preview version 17.1.11-stable. The preview runs in Virtual Box as an Other Linux – and not as a version of Arch Linux, as you might expect if you know the origins of Manjaro. In fact, if you try to install it as an Arch variant, the installation may stall, even if you use the fallback theme as suggested. The installer appears to be a modified version of Ubuntu’s, with the addition of usefully verbose online instructions. The only oddity is that, when allotted 15GB for the installation, the automatic partitioning creates a sap file of 15GB, which seems excessive.

        The DVD image is live. However, it is so slow that, even on a recent machine, it took 13 seconds to reach the login screen and another 15 to reach the desktop. Even then, I found it so unresponsive that several times I thought the desktop had frozen. The speed improved somewhat after installation to a drive, although even then I found it so unresponsive that several times I thought the desktop had frozen when I clicked to start applications. JADE is still in development, and the point of installing it is not to use it so much as to see how it is designed (Figure 1).

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • June/July in KDE Itinerary

          Another two busy months have passed since the last bi-monthly summary on KDE Itinerary’s progress. Here are the highlights.

        • Sprint ahoy

          Well, I did manage to get some work done during the start of the week cause after that it was just dripping nose and back to back headaches along with a sore throat for around the next 3 days, and I also had to prepare for Krita sprints happening next week.

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • GNOME Launches An Inclusion & Diversity Team [Ed: The comments there are worth reading, too]

          In addition to GNOME’s involvement and stewarding of the Outreachy program (back to the days when it was known as GNOME’s “Outreach Program for Women”), they have just launched an Inclusion and Diversity Team to help the desktop environment community become more inclusive.

          The GNOME Inclusion and Diversity Team looks to ensure the GNOME community is more inclusive and diverse beyond just getting more women and other minority groups involved, as is the case for Outreachy internships.

    • Distributions

      • Arch Family

        • TROM-Jaro: A New Twist on Open Source Freedom

          TROM-Jaro Linux offers a new twist on the concept of open source as free software.

          First released as a beta version last December, TROM-Jaro’s second and current non-beta release pushed out in June.

          This new distro is a custom-built version of the popular Manjaro Arch Linux. It is probably more accurate to describe TROM-Jaro as a strategically modified version of Manjaro Linux. The unnamed developers used the Manjaro community tools to construct the modifications.

          That rebuilding, of course, is perfectly legitimate in the open source software world. TROM-Jaro is not a fork of Manjaro. It has the pronounced look and feel of the Manjaro base.

          In fact, nowhere in the screen displays or application titles is anything branded as anything other than “Manjaro Linux.” This is evident with the initial help screen that welcomes you to Manjaro! Even the installation screens do not hawk the “TROM-Jaro” distro name.

      • Fedora Family

        • FPgM report: 2019-31

          Here’s your report of what has happened in Fedora Program Management this week. Flock is this week in Budapest.

      • Debian Family

        • Sparky 2019.08

          There are new live/install media of SparkyLinux 2019.08 “Po Tolo” available to download. This is the 1st snapshot of the new (semi-)rolling line, which is based on the testing branch of Debian “Bullseye”.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Linux Mint 19.2 “Tina” Released

          Open the preferences window from the update manager and open the blacklist tab. Click the add button and fill in the package name that you want to target and the specific version that you do not want the operating system to update this package to. Hit “OK” and it’ll not update the package to the selected version.

          This option lets stay safe from a specific version that you know will break your system. However, this feature will only block the update to the specific version you’ve selected. In case a later version is released, the update manager will download and install the package updates.

          You can also blacklist a specific version from the update manager by right-clicking the update package and blacklist it. This way of blacking a version update is easy and a recommended one.

        • New long-term support version of Linux Mint desktop released

          With more work than ever going into making the Linux desktop great for all users and gaming, it only seems appropriate that Mint is releasing its latest long-term support of its flagship operating system: Linux Mint 19.2, Lisa.

          This is important because, as I’ve said before after looking at many Linux desktops year in and out, Linux Mint is the best of the breed. It’s easy to learn (even if you’ve never used Linux before), powerful, and with its traditional windows, icons, menus, and pointers (WIMP) interface, it’s simple to use.

          As before, Linux Mint will run on pretty much any PC in your home, office, or junk closet. It only needs 2GB of RAM, but it can run with as little as 1GB. Sorry, Bill, 640K is not enough. You’ll also need at least 15GB of disk space, but 20GB recommended. Finally, you’ll need a graphics card and monitor that supports a 1024×768 resolution. I can find that kind of hardware at my local second-hand store.

        • Linux Mint 19.2 is out

          The Linux Mint team released a new version of the Linux distribution on August 2, 2019. Linux Mint 19.2 is already available in the three supported flavors Cinnamon, MATE, and Xfce.

          The new version is a long-term service release; it will be supported until 2023 and is already available on the official website of the project. 32-bit and 64-bit versions of Linux Mint 19.2 Cinnamon, MATE, and Xfce are provided. The release follows Linux Mint 19.1 and Linux Mint 19.0 which we reviewed here.

          Highlights of the release are reduced RAM usage, and Update Manager and Software Manager improvements.

          Check out our guide on upgrading Linux Mint if you don’t know how to upgrade from an earlier version of the Linux distribution.

        • Best VPN for Ubuntu in 2019 (Full Review)

          Linux is a highly customizable and completely open-source operating system that gives you full control over your computer. The Ubuntu distribution takes that customizability and adds a layer of user-friendliness on top. You get all the security benefits of Linux, only you don’t have to be a command line expert to get things done.

          Even though Ubuntu is more secure than other operating systems, out of the box it doesn’t do much to protect data leaving your device. VPNs bridge that crucial gap by providing encryption for every packet that exits your home network. You’ll get non-local privacy along with a high level of anonymity, all from the comfort of your own Ubuntu system.

    • Devices/Embedded

      • Linux heads for space in hardened Ai-RIO computer

        Aitech announced that its VxWorks-driven “Ai-RIO” computer, which is available in separate Space and Mil/Aero configurations, now offers a Linux BSP. The rugged Ai-RIO runs on a PowerPC-based NXP P1020 and offers radiation resistance and modular I/O expansion.

        Commercial space travel is on the verge of becoming a major market for embedded computing. Much of it is RTOS-driven to ensure greater reliability, but with the advent of real-time Linux kernels, the penguin is playing a growing role. On the low-end, Fossbyte just reported that the European Space Agency is using Raspberry Pi Zero SBCs on its experimental CryptIC CubeSat for low-cost encryption. On the high-end are hardened computers like Aitech’s intelligent Ai-RIO Remote I/O interface Unit (RIU), which has just gained a Linux BSP to join the existing VxWorks 6.9 support.

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • What is open source software? Open source and FOSS explained [Ed: IDG repeats Microsoft lies towards the end (as expected)]

        The “free” in free software is meant to denote users’ freedom to alter and distribute code as they like; there’s no rule against charging money for free software in this sense.

      • Web Browsers

        • Mozilla

          • These Weeks in Firefox: Issue 62

            In Nightly (and targeted for Firefox 70) we now have color-contrast checks in the color-picker tooltip thanks to Maliha, our Accessibility intern!

          • Mozilla VR Blog: Lessons from Hacking Glitch

            When we first started building MrEd we imagined it would be done as a traditional web service. A potential user goes to a website, creates an account, then can build experiences on the site and save them to the server. We’ve all written software like this before and had a good idea of the requirements. However, as we started actually building MrEd we realized there were additional challenges.

            First, MrEd is targeted at students, many of them young. My experience with teaching kids during previous summers let me know that they often don’t have email addresses, and even if they do there are privacy and legal issues around tracking what the students do. Also, we knew that this was an experiment which would end one day, but we didn’t want the students to lose access to this tool they just had just learned.

            After pondering these problems we thought Glitch might be an answer. It supports anonymous use out of the box and allows easy remixing. It also has a nice CDN built in; great for hosting models and 360 images. If it would be possible to host the editor as well as the documents then Glitch would be the perfect platform for a self contained tool that lives on after the experiment was done.

      • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

        • Gnuastro 0.10 released
          Dear all,
          
          I am pleased to announce the 10th release of GNU Astronomy Utilities
          (Gnuastro 0.10).
          
          Gnuastro is an official GNU package of various command-line programs
          and library functions for the manipulation and analysis of
          (astronomical) data. All the programs share the same basic
          command-line user interface (modeled on GNU Coreutils). For the full
          list of Gnuastro's library, programs, and a comprehensive general
          tutorial (recommended place to start using Gnuastro), please see the
          links below respectively:
          
          https://www.gnu.org/s/gnuastro/manual/html_node/Gnuastro-library.html
          
          
          https://www.gnu.org/s/gnuastro/manual/html_node/Gnuastro-programs-list.html
          
          
          https://www.gnu.org/s/gnuastro/manual/html_node/General-program-usage-tutorial.html
          
          Many new features have been added, and many bugs have been fixed in
          this release. For the full list, please see [1] below (part of the
          NEWS file within the tarball). Some of the highlights are: 1) You can
          now do column arithmetic (on FITS and plain text tables) directly
          within the Table program, it also has some operators unique to table
          columns for example conversion of pixel to world coordinate system
          (WCS) coordinates and vice-versa. 2) Crop can now be used to pull out
          sections of 3D data cubes also. 3) You can let CosmicCalculator find
          the red-shift by identifying an emission line's wavelength or name,
          and its observed wavelength.
          
          Here is the compressed source and the GPG detached signature for this
          release. To uncompress Lzip tarballs, see [2]. To check the validity
          of the tarballs using the GPG detached signature see [3]:
          
            https://ftp.gnu.org/gnu/gnuastro/gnuastro-0.10.tar.gz     (5.2MB)
            https://ftp.gnu.org/gnu/gnuastro/gnuastro-0.10.tar.gz.sig (833B)
            https://ftp.gnu.org/gnu/gnuastro/gnuastro-0.10.tar.lz     (3.4MB)
            https://ftp.gnu.org/gnu/gnuastro/gnuastro-0.10.tar.lz.sig (833B)
          
          Here are the MD5 and SHA1 checksums (other ways to check if the
          tarball you download is what we distributed):
          
          886c7badcd5b94d28bb616013b303bfb  gnuastro-0.10.tar.gz
          48d1081543ba19b5d1b59e6d29b3b349  gnuastro-0.10.tar.lz
          fce509583955f4bf15a764f30c7720de9df01a83  gnuastro-0.10.tar.gz
          23c7f8d570e7b2851302500b5227026cb0d76340  gnuastro-0.10.tar.lz
          
          For this release, I am very grateful to Alexey Dokuchaev, Joseph Putko
          and Raul Infante-Sainz for direct contributions to Gnuastro's
          source. Hamed Altafi, Roberto Baena Gallé, Zahra Bagheri, Leindert
          Boogaard, Bruno Haible, Raul Infante-Sainz, Lee Kelvin, Elham Saremi,
          Zahra Sharbaf, David Valls-Gabaud and Michael Wilkinson (in
          alphabetical order) also provided very good suggestions and bug
          reports, I am very grateful to them.
          
          If any of Gnuastro's programs or libraries are useful in your work,
          please cite _and_ acknowledge them. For citation and acknowledgment
          guidelines, run the relevant programs with a `--cite' option (it can
          be different for different programs). Citations _and_ acknowledgments
          are vital for the continued work on Gnuastro, so please don't forget
          to support us by doing so.
          
          This tarball was bootstrapped (created) with the tools below. Note
          that you don't need these to build Gnuastro from the tarball, these
          are the tools that were used to make the tarball itself. They are only
          mentioned here to be able to reproduce/recreate this tarball later.
            Texinfo 6.6
            Autoconf 2.69
            Automake 1.16.1
            Help2man 1.47.10
            ImageMagick 7.0.8-58
            Gnulib v0.1-2794-gc8e2eee54
            Autoconf archives v2019.01.06-55-gc5711b3
          
          
          The dependencies to build Gnuastro from this tarball are described
          here:
          
          https://www.gnu.org/s/gnuastro/manual/html_node/Dependencies.html
          
          Best wishes,
          Mohammad
          
      • Programming/Development

        • Lesson In Adopting Test Driven Development (TDD)

          Test Driven Development (TDD) has been a part of the developer’s term that I view it as an arcane art for me.

          As a love or hate relationship between the developer who swears by it exclusively to you don’t need this attitude.

          Which is similar to adopting Agile software management practices for an organisation.

          I found out about it more as I became involved in helping to guide developers in Python for a developer gym organised by Junior Developer Singapore.

        • Use the Blockchain data to populate the combo box

          Previously the cryptocurrency application has loaded the world currency text file and then populate the currency combo box based on the currency symbol in that text file. In this article, the cryptocurrency program will use the returning currency symbol from Blockchain to populate that same combo box.

        • Why your mock doesn’t work

          Mocking is a powerful technique for isolating tests from undesired interactions among components. But often people find their mock isn’t taking effect, and it’s not clear why. Hopefully this explanation will clear things up.

          BTW: it’s really easy to over-use mocking.

        • Dask joins NumFOCUS Sponsored Projects

          Dask is an open source library for natively scaling Python. It provides advanced parallelism for analytics, enabling performance at scale for the tools you love. Dask builds on existing Python libraries like NumPy, pandas, and scikit-learn to enable scalable computation on large datasets. In addition, Dask provides a general purpose framework to enable advanced users to build their own parallel applications. Dask enables analysts to scale from their multi-core laptop to thousand-node cluster.

        • [Older] History and effective use of Vim

          This article is based on historical research and on simply reading the Vim user manual cover to cover. Hopefully these notes will help you (re?)discover core functionality of the editor, so you can abandon pre-packaged vimrc files and use plugins more thoughtfully.

  • Leftovers

    • Science

    • Health/Nutrition

    • Security (Confidentiality/Integrity/Availability)

      • Cisco’s failure to heed whistleblower’s warning about security defects in video surveillance software costs the company $8.6m in fines

        There’s a lesson here about the people who advocate for allowing companies to decide when defects in their products can be revealed: companies are not trustworthy custodians of bad news about their products, even (especially) when the stakes are high and they face titanic liability for failing to mitigate reported defects.

      • GitLab Is A Very Powerful Tool For Security: Liz Rice Of Aqua Security

        The ‘Takeaway’ from this interview is that GitLab is a very powerful tool for security. Guest Liz Rice, VP of Open Source Engineering at Aqua Security.

      • Liz Rice On Technology & Culture Of The Cloud Native World

        Liz Rice, VP of Open Source Engineering at Aqua Security sat down with Swapnil Bhartiya at KubeCon and CloudNativeCon, Barcelona, to talk about a wide range of topics.

      • bzip2 and the CVE that wasn’t

        Compiling with the GCC sanitizers and then fuzzing the resulting binaries might find real bugs. But not all such bugs are security issues. When a CVE is filed there is some pressure to treat such an issue with urgency and push out a fix as soon as possible. But taking your time and making sure an issue can be replicated/exploited without the binary being instrumented by the sanitizer is often better.

        This was the case for CVE-2019-12900 “BZ2_decompress in decompress.c in bzip2 through 1.0.6 has an out-of-bounds write when there are many selectors“.

        The bzip2 project had lost the domain which it had used for the last 15 years. And it hadn’t seen an official release since 2010. The bzip2 project homepage, documentation and downloads had already been moved back to sourceware.org. And a new bug tracker, development mailinglist and git repository had been setup. But we were still in the middle of a code cleanup (removing references to the old homepage, updating the manual and adding various cleanups that distros had made to the code) when the CVE was filed.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • Iran Claims Saudi Arabia Killed Over ’3000 Americans’ And Still Gets to ‘Have Nuclear Weapons’

        Zarif accused the U.S. of hypocrisy as the Trump administration attempted to support Saudi Arabia in building its nuclear program, tweeting: “Kill 3,000+ Americans but remain a US client and you can have nuclear weapons — even get help in acquiring them.” The statement is a likely reference to the fact that 15 of the 19 Al-Qaeda-affiliated hijackers involved in the 9/11 attacks that killed nearly 3,000 people, the vast majority of which were U.S. citizens, were Saudi citizens, and other alleged links between Riyadh and jihadi groups that target Washington’s interests.

    • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

      • APNewsBreak: Edward Snowden book coming out Sept. 17

        Metropolitan Books, an imprint of Macmillan Publishers, announced Thursday that Snowden’s “Permanent Record” will be released simultaneously in more than 20 countries, including the U.S., Germany and Britain. According to Metropolitan, Snowden will describe his role in the accumulation of metadata and the “crisis of conscience” that led him to steal a trove of files in 2013 and share them with reporters. Metropolitan spokeswoman Pat Eisemann declined to offer additional details.

      • FBI Says QAnon, Internet Conspiracy Theorists Are National Security Threats

        The FBI—an agency which has presided over counterterrorism and major mafia and cartel takedowns—concedes in the report that categorizing conspiracy theories as national security threats might come across as odd at first, but shouldn’t be disqualified in the current environment.

        “Although many conspiracy theories appear benign or inconsequential, others create serious risks,” it reads. The bulletin emphasizes that the internet can be a vector not just for the spread of conspiracy theories, but for people to seek out perceived villains in the real world.

      • Exclusive: FBI document warns conspiracy theories are a new domestic terrorism threat

        The FBI acknowledges conspiracy theory-driven violence is not new, but says it’s gotten worse with advances in technology combined with an increasingly partisan political landscape in the lead-up to the 2020 presidential election. “The advent of the Internet and social media has enabled promoters of conspiracy theories to produce and share greater volumes of material via online platforms that larger audiences of consumers can quickly and easily access,” the document says.

        The bulletin says it is intended to provide guidance and “inform discussions within law enforcement as they relate to potentially harmful conspiracy theories and domestic extremism.”

        The FBI Phoenix field office referred Yahoo News to the bureau’s national press office, which provided a written statement.

      • The Distraction Distraction

        Trump presents us with a conundrum. We can’t ignore a president who spews Ku Klux Klan–level rhetoric that could get people killed and maybe already has. But neither can we allow him to colonize our collective imagination. Elizabeth Warren put it well in tweet: “This president is desperate. Calling out his racism, xenophobia, and misogyny is imperative. But he’s trying to divide us and distract from his own crimes, and from his deeply unpopular agenda of letting the wealthy and well-connected rip off the country. We must do more.” She’s right. We must demand more of our media and ourselves—more clarity, more balance, and more time focused on what the Trump administration is actually doing to our country than on his latest stupid, racist tweet. Democracy is not a reality show, and our media needs to stop treating Trump as if he’s still a TV host, lest we end up, in the late critic Neil Postman’s prescient phrase, “amusing ourselves to death.”

      • In Ecuador, Political Actors Must Step Away From Ola Bini’s Case

        After spending nearly a week in Ecuador to learn more about the case against Swedish open source software developer Ola Bini, who was arrested here in April, EFF has found a clear consensus among the experts: the political consequences of his arrest appear to be outweighing any actual evidence the police have against him. The details of who stood to benefit from Bini’s prosecution varied depending on who we spoke with, but overall we have been deeply disturbed by how intertwined the investigation is to the political effects of its outcome. Ola Bini’s innocence or guilt is a fact that should be determined only be a fair trial that follows due process; it should in no way be impacted by potential political ramifications.

        Since EFF was founded in 1990, we have frequently stepped in to defend security researchers from misunderstandings made by law enforcement, and raised awareness when technologists in the United States have been incarcerated. And last year, we launched a new Coders’ Rights in Latin America project, which seeks to connect the work of security research with the fundamental rights of its practitioners. While security researchers play a vital role in fixing flaws in the software and hardware that everyone uses, their actions and behaviors are often misunderstood. For example, as part of their work, they may discover and inform a company of a dangerous software flaw—a civic duty that could be confused with as a hacking attack.

        When we first began analyzing Ola Bini’s case, we thought this was what had happened. The so-called “evidence” presented after his arrest—which included USB sticks, security keys, books on programming—suggested this might be the case. Of course, owning such things is not a crime, but together, they can seem suspicious to an authority who isn’t in the know.

    • Environment

      • In Zimbabwe, the Water Taps Run Dry and Worsen ‘a Nightmare’

        The shortage of water has become an annual problem in Zimbabwe, but this year’s drought is particularly serious because it has occurred earlier in the summer and affected even more people than usual.

        The level of rainfall this year has been about 25 percent less than the annual average, according to Washington Zhakata, the director of the Climate Change Management Department in the Zimbabwean government. A cyclone inundated the country in March, but it didn’t raise the water table and isn’t included in this year’s rainfall tally.

      • In the Fight to Save the Planet, Its Defenders Are Being Killed

        Global Witness noted that the actual figure is probably far higher because reporting is iffy in the most vulnerable parts of the world. Governments and industries are also learning that there are other, nonlethal means of intimidating or eliminating activists who resist them. In addition to the violence of private security agents, state forces or contract killers, activists now also confront teams of aggressive lawyers.

      • Indonesia to Deploy Thousands of Security Personnel to Combat Haze-Causing Fires

        Fires are an annual occurrence during Indonesia’s dry season, which normally runs from about June to October. The blazes — largely caused by illegal slash-and-burn farming methods by palm oil and pulpwood companies — cause serious haze problems in Indonesia and neighboring countries.

      • Three things Jokowi could do better to stop forest fires and haze in Indonesia

        The fires also produced 15.95 million tons of CO2 emissions per day. This was more than the daily emissions of the entire US economy, making Indonesia one of the major contributors to global greenhouse gas emissions from land use change and the forestry sector.

        In addition to thousands of premature deaths, researchers warned of the alarming long-term impacts of the cross-border haze’s particulate matter being inhaled by infants in Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore.

      • Indonesia battles fires as dry season peaks

        The latest hot spot figures compare with over 750 hot spots just on Sumatra island alone in mid-October 2015 – at the peak of the national fire crisis, caused by massive burning to clear land for palm oil, paper and rubber plantations.

      • Malaysians brace for hazy days due to Sumatra fires

        In a statement on Thursday, the DoE attributed the smog to transborder haze due to forest fires in Indonesia, and said it had stepped up efforts to monitor and clamp down on open burning through the use of drones.

      • Indonesia Fights Fires in Palm-Growing Regions to Prevent Deadly Haze

        Forest fires from illegal burning to clear land for palm oil and paper plantations are a recurrent event in Southeast Asia’s biggest economy. Their frequent occurrence prompted President Joko Widodo to order a moratorium on new permits to clear forest and peat land for palm oil cultivation.

        Riau, one of the country’s main palm oil-growing region, is the worst affected province this year with fires scorching about 28,000 hectares of land already, the disaster mitigation agency said in a statement on Tuesday.

      • Advance of climate change a threat to security in Finland, says expert

        Limnéll also called attention to estimates that global warming may force up to a billion people to become refugees, arguing that it is an indication of how widespread the ramifications of climate security can be for global stability and the entire planet.

      • The Arctic Is on Fire, and It Might Be Creating a Vicious Climate ‘Feedback Loop’

        “Peat fires burn ‘old’ carbon,” Smith said in an email, meaning that the carbon has taken thousands of years to accumulate. “So in a few weeks, a fire can burn through hundreds of years worth of carbon sequestration.”

        In other words, Smith said, these fires are not carbon-neutral. More fires contribute to faster climate change, which in turn creates ideal conditions for more Arctic blazes.

        “These greenhouse gas emissions (which are not offset by future regrowth) will lead to warming, and warming will increase the likelihood of peat soils being drier earlier in the summer and therefore more likely to burn…. In turn leading to more greenhouse gas emissions,” Smith said. “It is a classic positive feedback loop.”

      • New Concerns Raised by Opponents Delay Wanhua’s $1.25 Billion Plastic Complex in Louisiana

        “Look at what is coming into the Parish, instead of saying ‘Yeah, yeah, yeah’—it is time to say ‘No,’” Pastor Harry Joseph told the St. James Parish Council on July 24. He implored councilmembers to consider freshly unveiled public health and economic concerns before they reaffirmed a permit allowing yet another petrochemical plant in a southern Louisiana community fed up with its already rapid industrialization.

        Joseph, pastor of Mount Triumph Baptist Church in St. James, is one of the plaintiffs appealing the parish council’s permit granted May 20 to Wanhua Chemical, which is planning to build a $1.25 billion plastics factory on the banks of the Mississippi River. During the appeal, new information about the project caused the council to halt a vote on repealing the permit. Instead, it sent the matter back for reconsideration to the parish planning commission, which had previously granted the project permission.

      • Energy

        • Fracking’s Dirty Water Problem Is Getting Much Bigger

          While fracking for oil and gas in the U.S. has contributed to record levels of fossil fuel production, a critical part of that story also involves water. An ongoing battle for this precious resource has emerged in dry areas of the U.S. where much of the oil and gas production is occurring. In addition, once the oil and gas industry is finished with the water involved in pumping out fossil fuels, disposing of or treating that toxic wastewater, known as produced water, becomes yet another problem.

          These water woes represent a daunting challenge for the U.S. fracking industry, which has been a financial disaster, something even a former shale gas CEO has admitted. And its financial prospects aren’t looking any rosier: The industry is facing another round of bankruptcies as producers are overwhelmed by debt they are unable to repay.

      • Wildlife/Nature

        • Finally, We Have Some Good Nature News: Tiger Numbers in India Are Rebounding

          The efforts the project team undertakes to derive the tiger population estimate are nothing short of phenomenal: 44,000 field staff conducted almost 318,000 habitat surveys across 20 tiger-occupied states of India.

          Some 381,400 km² (147,000 square miles) was checked for tigers and their prey.

        • The Iconic Joshua Tree Is in Trouble

          Her calculations suggest that addressing climate change could save 19 percent of the trees after 2070. If nothing is done, however, the park likely only would keep a scant 0.02 percent. The study appears in the journal Ecosphere.

        • The New Guy in Charge of Public Lands Thinks We Should Sell It All

          Conservative lawyer William Perry Pendley has argued that the federal government should sell its public lands. As of Monday, he’s in charge of overseeing a huge chunk of them.

          Interior Secretary David Bernhardt signed an order on Monday naming Pendley as the acting head of the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). The BLM oversees more land than any other federal agency—nearly 240 million acres, over three times as much as the National Parks Service, encompassing much of the western U.S. Unlike National Parks, BLM-managed land is governed by “multiple-use” principles, which allow for some activities like logging and grazing to occur.

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • A US senator has introduced a bill that would stop Facebook, Twitter, or YouTube from endlessly showing you content, in an attempt to keep users from getting addicted to social media

        The bill would also require social media companies to add an automatic time limit of 30 minutes per day for all users (though users could change it), and inform users of how much time they have spent on the platform every 30 minutes.

      • ‘Democracy Has Become a Joke on the Island’ – CounterSpin interview with Ed Morales on Puerto Rican protest

        Puerto Rico is a territory of the United States; that’s critical to understanding the island’s historical, political and economic situation. And we rightfully make fun of—especially—politicians who seem not to understand that. On another level, there are reasons to think about Puerto Rico as a different place—Puerto Ricans’ decisive, collective uprising in response to clear revelations of anti-humane governance not the least of them.

        It’s hard not to find inspiration in the vibrant multi-sector protests in Puerto Rico and on the mainland, even recognizing the deep hardships and systemic failures that fuel them. We’re recording on July 25; Governor Ricardo Rosselló announced his resignation late last night. Joining us now to talk about the protests that made that happen, and what in turn spurred them, is writer Ed Morales. He teaches at Columbia University’s Center for the Study of Ethnicity and Race, and his new book, Fantasy Island: Colonialism, Exploitation and the Betrayal of Puerto Rico, is forthcoming from Bold Type Press. He joins us now by phone from here in town. Welcome back to CounterSpin, Ed Morales.

      • A Celebration Of Pioneering Satirist Paul Krassner

        As Krassner wrote in his autobiography, Confessions of a Raving, Unconfined Nut: Misadventures in Counter-Culture, “America had a powerful tradition of alternative journalism that could be traced back, from contemporary periodicals—The Independent, I.F. Stone’s Weekly, George Seldes’ In Fact, to [William Cowper] Brann’s Iconoclast published in the 1890s in Waco, Texas, all the way back to Benjamin Franklin and Tom Paine during revolutionary times.” (The title of his book came from the FBI, which described Krassner as a “raving, unconfined nut.”)

        Krassner was not only inspired by this journalistic tradition but also a column from Malcolm Muggeridge, a former writer for Punch, that was published by Esquire in 1958. Muggeridge wrote, “The area of life in which ridicule is permissible is steadily shrinking, and a dangerous tendency is becoming manifest to take ourselves with undue seriousness. The enemy of humor is fear and this, alas, is an age of fear.”

        “The only pleasure of living is that every joke should be made, every thought expressed, every line of investigation, irrespective of its direction, pursued to the uttermost limit that ingenuity, courage, and understanding can take it,” he added.

        That led to the start of The Realist. At the time, Krassner “had no role models and no competition, just an open field mined with taboos waiting to be exploded.”

      • Boris Johnson’s Fake Radicalism

        We hear much about Johnson coming to power as an iconoclastic figure willing to cut a swathe through the ranks of the Establishment and especially the Civil Service, aided by blue skies thinker Dominic Cummings.

        In fact nothing could be further from the truth. There has never been a Prime Minister more entrenched in and deferential to the London Establishment than Boris Johnson.

        It may seem strange that Johnson’s very first executive decision on coming in to 10 Downing Street was to cancel the long delayed judicial inquiry into UK involvement in torture and extraordinary rendition. On the face of it, there were political attractions for Johnson in pursuing the issue. The policy of complicity in torture had been established by Tony Blair and Jack Straw, with as ever the active collaboration of Alastair Campbell. A judicial inquiry would hold them to account, and given they are not only New Labour but a leading Remainer posse, you would think Johnson would have pushed forward with the chance to expose them. Plus he likes to pose as something of a social liberal himself. So why was Johnson’s urgent priority to cancel the torture inquiry?

        The answer is that scores of very senior civil servants were deeply implicated in British collusion in extraordinary rendition. Those directly guilty of complicity in torture include Sir Richard Dearlove, Sir John Scarlett, Sir William Ehrman, Lord Peter Ricketts and Sir Stephen Wright. It was Johnson’s fellow old Etonian, Sir William Ehrman, who chaired the series of meetings in the FCO on the implementation of the policy of getting intelligence through torture.

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • Ohio Police Officers Face Disciplinary Action Over Stormy Daniels’ Arrest

        Daniels was arrested in July 2018 at the Sirens Gentlemen’s Club, months after suing President Trump. At the time, Daniels had accused Trump of defamation and also was fighting to void a nondisclosure agreement — a “hush deal” she had agreed to that involved a $130,000 payment from then-Trump attorney Michael Cohen.

      • Teenaged girl becomes a resistance symbol for her peaceful reading of the Russian constitution to a Putin goon-squad (they beat her up later)

        Article 31 of the Russian constitution guarantees the right to peaceful political assembly, which is why Russian opposition protesters like to wave copies of the constitution around as Putin’s goon-squads descend on them to dole out savage beatings and mass arrests.

      • Youthful Vlogger’s Face Filter Fails, Exposing Her As 58-Year-Old

        The vlogger used a beauty filter to pose as a much younger-looking woman on Chinese live streaming website Doyu. During a live stream with a different vlogger, Qiao Biluo’s face filtering software stopped working, revealing her true likeness to her viewers — and raising questions about how we present ourselves on the web.

      • Chinese vlogger who used filter to look younger caught in live-stream glitch

        Live-streamers are discouraged from broadcasting in a public sphere, and are extremely restricted on what they can say. Expressing their opinions could result in a backlash from the authorities if the content is deemed to be politically sensitive or against government rhetoric. They also have to be careful that they are not seen to be “vulgar”.

        Consequently, many live-streamers simply sing karaoke in their bedrooms, or eat snacks for hours on end.

      • Mauritania releases Facebook blogger convicted of blasphemy

        “This blogger was francophone Africa’s longest-held citizen-journalist. We thank all those who contributed to his release,” said Christophe Deloire, the group’s secretary-general.

      • Mauritania: Blogger in ‘Blasphemy’ Case Freed After 5 Years

        Mohamed Cheikh Ould Mkhaitir was freed three days before the inauguration of the new president, Mohamed Ould Ghezouani. The authorities transferred Mkhaitir directly from detention to a location outside Mauritania, ostensibly because his life would be in danger in his native country after religious figures and demonstrators had called for his execution.

      • SLAPP Suit In Virginia Tries To Silence Historian Highlighting Ancestry Of Guy Suing To Keep Confederate Statues In Charlottesville

        Another day, another attempt by someone to silence people for saying something they don’t like. The latest is a history professor, who was briefly quoted in an article about another lawsuit. That lawsuit? An attempt by some Virginia residents to stop the removal of some Confederate monuments in Charlottesville, Virginia. One of the plaintiffs in that case is Edward Dickinson Tayloe II. The article, written in the publication “C-Ville” (as you’ve figured out, a publication about Charlottesville) goes a bit into the history of the Tayloe family — which goes back centuries in Virginia and apparently includes cotton plantation (and slave) owners.

        The article contains two quotes from UVA history professor Jalane Schmidt. In the introduction to the article, she is quoted as saying the following about those who were suing to prevent the removal of Confederate monuments…

      • Philippines Lawmaker Introduces ‘Fake News’ Bill That Would Allow The National Police To Literally Police Speech

        Fake news laws are so hot right now. Any government with an authoritarian bent is getting in on the action, stepping up domestic surveillance while trampling remaining speech protections — all in the name of “protecting” people from a concept they can’t clearly define.

        It’s not just the places you expect. Sure, we may like to think this sort of opportunistic lawmaking may be relegated to places like Vietnam and Singapore, where governments have continually expressed their interest in deterring criticism of governments and kings and their shitty laws. But even our own President spends a great deal of time talking about “fake news” and the need to prevent journalists from criticizing the guy sitting in the Oval Office. And France’s government is looking at adding this to its long list of speech restrictions, even if only at “election time.”

        The latest country to add a speech-squashing, government-expanding “fake news” bill to its roster of bad ideas is the Philippines. The proposal doesn’t use the terminology du jour, but “fake news” by any other name is still “fake news.” Here’s the immediate effect the “Anti-False Content Act” would have on the country’s population.

      • Enough With The Myth That Big Tech Is ‘Censoring’ Conservatives AND That The Law Requires Them To Be Neutral

        I feel like we need to repost this on a near weekly basis, but there are two big myths that keep making the rounds over and over and over again, so they need to be repeatedly debunked. First, it’s the idea that internet companies are “censoring” conservatives. And, yes, I know that we’re going to get some angry commenters pinky swearing that it’s true, and calling me all sorts of creative names for not being willing to admit it, but it remains true that there has been absolutely no evidence shown to support that premise. The other one, which is related, is the idea that Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act somehow was premised on platforms being “neutral.” Three recent articles tackle these myths, and it seemed worth highlighting all three.

    • Privacy/Surveillance

      • High [Internet] use and state support help countries ditch cash

        Most transactions around the world are still conducted in cash. However, its share is falling rapidly, from 89% in 2013 to 77% today. Despite the attention paid to mobile banking in emerging markets, it is rich countries, with high financial inclusion and small informal economies, that have led the trend. Within the rich world, more-digitised societies tend to make fewer cash payments. In Nordic countries like Norway and Denmark, where 97% of people use the internet, around four out of five transactions were already cashless by 2016, according to a recent review chaired by Huw van Steenis of the Bank of England. In contrast, internet penetration in Italy is just 61%, and 85% of transactions there were still handled in cash in 2016.

      • The Encryption Debate Is Over – Dead At The Hands Of Facebook

        Update 1AM EST 8/2/2019: On July 25th, WhatsApp’s parent company Facebook did not dispute the characterization posed to it that it planned to “moderat[e] end to end encrypted conversations such as WhatsApp by using on device algorithms,” with the spokesperson pointing to Zuckerberg’s own blog post calling for precisely such filtering. This afternoon, Vice President of WhatsApp Will Cathcart contradicted this, offering “we have not done this, have zero plans to do so, and if we ever did it would be quite obvious and detectable that we had done it. We understand the serious concerns this type of approach would raise which is why we are opposed to it.” Yet asked how WhatsApp planned to meet Zuckerberg’s call for the ability to detect illegal content within its end-to-end encrypted products, including WhatsApp, without such in-client scanning and the close alignment of the company’s work presented at F8 with this call that seems ill-suited for any other task, Carl Woog, Director of Communications for WhatsApp declined to comment, including declining to comment on any of the questions posed regarding how the company hopes to balance the privacy promises of end-to-end encryption with parent company Facebook’s calls for moderation of its end-to-end encryption such as WhatsApp. A detailed accounting is provided here.

      • UK, US, Australia, Canada and New Zealand meet to discuss the “ghost protocol” aka built in encryption backdoors

        The GCHQ has specifically mentioned something called they’re calling the “ghost protocol,” which describes a fantasy scenario where police and other law enforcement officers could be surreptitiously added into supposedly encrypted group chats. Supposedly, applying a “ghost protocol” to WhatsApp was the main concern of the discussion. Besides precluding a backdoor, a world where this happens is a world where the laws of mathematics are being ignored by governments. Something that Australian Prime Minister Turnbull has actually specifically called for.

      • She Was Arrested at 14. Then Her Photo Went to a Facial Recognition Database.

        The New York Police Department has been loading thousands of arrest photos of children and teenagers into a facial recognition database despite evidence the technology has a higher risk of false matches in younger faces.

        For about four years, internal records show, the department has used the technology to compare crime scene images with its collection of juvenile mug shots, the photos that are taken at an arrest. Most of the photos are of teenagers, largely 13 to 16 years old, but children as young as 11 have been included.

        Elected officials and civil rights groups said the disclosure that the city was deploying a powerful surveillance tool on adolescents — whose privacy seems sacrosanct and whose status is protected in the criminal justice system — was a striking example of the Police Department’s ability to adopt advancing technology with little public scrutiny.

      • [Older] Facial Recognition Technology: Ensuring Transparency in Government Use

        In the area of biometrics, NIST has been working with public and private sectors since the 1960s. Biometric technologies provide a means to establish or verify the identity of humans based upon one or more physical or behavioral characteristics. Examples of physical characteristics include face, fingerprint, and iris images. An example of behavioral characteristic is an individual’s signature. Used with other authentication technologies, such as passwords, biometric technologies can provide higher degrees of security than other technologies employed alone. For decades, biometric technologies were used primarily in homeland security and law enforcement applications, and they are still a key component of these applications. Over the past several years, the marketplace for biometric solutions has widened significantly and today includes public and private sector applications worldwide, including physical security, banking and retail applications. According to one industry estimate, the biometrics technology market size will be worth $59.31 billion by 2025.1 There has been a considerable rise in development and adoption of facial recognition, detection and analysis technologies in the past few years.

      • Do Not Use ring (or rustls)

        I’m not joking. If you file a pull request, you will be asked for money. And it isn’t the first time.

        Might I also mention that ring’s implementation doesn’t use blinding during RSA signing? Nor have they merged the latest attack mitigations for pkcs1_encode() from BoringSSL. It is easy to be fast when you’re insecure.

        Then there’s the fact that they don’t do security embargoes. All disclosures are zero days. Never mind the fact that GitHub gives the ability to do all this sanely.

        I’m willing to work around (and patch) some of these issues. But if I can’t contribute without a shakedown, what’s the point?

        Don’t use ring.

        Unfortunately, this means that rustls is now stuck. They are built on top of ring and are widely used in the Rust community. So I can’t recommend rustls until ring fixes its problems.

        Don’t use rustls.

      • ICE’s Rapid DNA Testing on Migrants at the Border Is Yet Another Iteration of Family Separation

        As the number of migrants at the southern border has surged in the past several months, the Trump administration has turned to increasingly draconian measures as a form of deterrence. While the separation of children from their parents and housing of migrants in overcrowded and ill-equipped holding facilities have rightfully made front-page headlines, the administration’s latest effort—to conduct Rapid DNA testing on migrant families at the border—has flown under the radar. However, this new tactic presents serious privacy concerns about the collection of biometric information on one of the most vulnerable populations in the U.S. today—and raises questions of where this practice could lead.

      • District Court Rolls Back Magistrate’s Decision, Says Compelled Fingerprint Product Isn’t A Fifth Amendment Issue

        So much for the Fifth Amendment. At least in Idaho, anyway. Back in January, a magistrate judge rejected the government’s attempt to force a suspect to unlock a seized phone using his fingerprints. The judge found the government’s request to be a violation of two rights — the Fifth Amendment protection against compelling a defendant to testify against themselves — and the Fourth Amendment, since the government hadn’t shown a connection between the accused and the seized device.

        As the magistrate pointed out, the government could not rely on “foregone conclusion” arguments because it had failed to develop any foregone conclusions. The warrant itself said the government was seeking to search the phone for “indicia of ownership” — something the government should have been able to plausibly allege long before it started asking the court to compel the suspect to unlock the device.

      • Amazon Has Already Roped 200 Police Departments Into Its Ring Doorbell Surveillance/Promotional Scheme

        Amazon is slowly but steadily building a surveillance network. It’s not just building it for itself. It has Alexa for that. It’s building a new one for US law enforcement agencies, free of charge, in exchange for free promotion and future long-term buy-in.

        Ring’s doorbell cameras are a consumer device, but many, many people are getting them for free from local PDs. The incentives work for everyone… except for those concerned about a private company turning people’s houses into de facto police cameras. The police hand out the free cameras to citizens, implicitly suggesting end users could repay their debt to um… society[??] by providing camera footage on demand. Amazon gives these cameras to PDs for next to nothing, asking only that PDs promote Ring cameras and push camera recipients into downloading Amazon’s snitch app, Neighbors.

        Two hundred law enforcement agencies is a drop in the S3 bucket, considering there’s almost 18,000 law enforcement agencies in the United States. But every market starts somewhere, and Amazon is aggressively pursuing this untapped arena with free doorbell cameras, a free law enforcement surveillance portal, and a bunch of incentives that skew heavily in favor of the watchers. Sooner or later, the other Amazon marketing push — facial recognition — will get folded in, giving cops the chance to determine who you’re hanging out with by using your own doorbell against you.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • Saudi Arabia Frees Doctor With U.S. Citizenship After 21 Months

        About a week after his arrest, Dr. Fitaihi was taken from his room at the Ritz by security officials, who slapped and blindfolded him and stripped him down to his underwear, he later told a friend. He said he was bound to a chair, given electric shocks and severely beaten during a torture session that lasted about an hour.

      • Birmingham has highest female genital mutilation rate than anywhere in UK

        NHS figures released today reveal healthcare professionals recorded 305 new cases of women and girls having undergone the traumatic procedure across Birmingham and Solihull CCG – which is illegal in the UK – in 2018/19.

      • Why Muslim Friends Betray

        This phenomenon is not limited to the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq. In Nigeria—a nation that shares little with Syria and Iraq, other than for its Islam—a jihadi attack that left five churches destroyed and several Christians killed was enabled by “local Muslims” who were previously on friendly terms with the region’s Christians.

        Nor is this phenomenon connected to any of those contemporary Muslim “grievances”—whether the existence of Israel, “blasphemous” cartoons, or “lack of job opportunities”—Western talking heads often cite to rationalize away Muslim hatred. The following anecdote, over one century old and from the Ottoman Empire, speaks for itself: [...]

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • Cable Programming Blackouts Continue To Rise As Cord-Cutting Continues

        We’ve for some time written about cable TV programming blackouts stemming from contract disputes over retransmission fees. The way this works is that cable operators pay broadcasters of television channels fees to retransmit those broadcasts to customers. When those contracts come to term, broadcasters often demand rate-hikes, which the cable operator resists. In the event no agreement is reached, one side or the other blacks out the channel, pissing off fans of that channel. That anger is then leveraged by both sides to negotiate better terms. Pay TV customers, meanwhile, never see any kind of refund for the missing channel.

        In the pantheon of reasons that cord-cutting continues to be a trend, blackouts may not rank as the highest of reasons, but it might be one of the easiest to understand, irritating examples of how the cable TV business simply isn’t serving its customers all that well. Blackout instances have been trending upward for years, but as Karl just discussed 2019 is already a record-breaking year for blackouts, and we’re only a bit over half way through the year.

      • AT&T Scores $1 Billion Contract To Rebuild DOJ Systems

        AT&T is increasingly becoming one of those companies that’s so bone-grafted to the government, it’s getting harder to determine where the telecom giant ends and the government begins. Reports have already explored how AT&T is effectively fused to the NSA; the company provides the government widespread access to every shred of data that traverses its network, and its employees can often be found acting as government intelligence analysts.

    • Monopolies

      • Pentagon pauses $10 billion cloud contract over Amazon concerns

        The entire contracting process, which involves bids from companies like Oracle, Microsoft, Amazon, and IBM, has been steeped in controversy over the past few weeks. First, Google dropped out of the race after employees petitioned against the contract, raising concerns over the ethics of supplying its technology to the military. But tensions rose late last month when President Donald Trump suggested that Amazon was involved in a conspiracy to win the deal and create a “Ten-Year DoD Cloud Monopoly.”

      • BBC gets go ahead to fight Netflix by keeping shows on iPlayer for a year

        Media regulator Ofcom has given full clearance for the Corporation to keep shows uploaded to iPlayer available for a full year after broadcast, beyond the previous 30-day limit, with some shows of limited commercial value being allowed an even longer shelf-life.

      • Patents and Software Patents

        • Protectability Of A Design, The Representations Of Which Show Different Embodiments Of A Product – Federal Court Of Justice, Decisions Of Dec. 20, 2018, Docket Nos. I ZB 25/18 – Sporthelm [Sports Helmet] And I ZB 26/18 – Sportbrille [Sports Glasses]

          In two groundbreaking decisions that change the settled case law, the Federal Court of Justice continues the trend of the last years: The representations of a design must, in the interest of the legal certainty of third parties, reveal in a clear and unambiguous manner what is exactly protected by the respective design. This requirement sets clearer limits to the previous, highly validity-friendly interpretation of the representations of a design (at European level, see already ECJ, judgment of 5.7.2018, C-217/17 P – Mast-Jägermeister). The core of both cases, which were already decided by the Federal Court of Justice at the end of last year, but were only published recently, was the question of whether a registered design, the representations of which show different embodiments of a product, is valid according to the previous, so-called “intersection theory” ["Schnittmengentheorie"] of the Federal Court of Justice (cf. FCJ, judgment of 15.2.2001, I Z

        • Recent developments in bipartisan patent legislation [Ed: Jason Rantanen promotes the "bipartisan" lie; two politicians with two parties on their lapel don't make a bribed-for, corrupt bill "bipartisan"]
        • Guest Post by Prof. Ghosh: A Fitter Statute for the Common Law of Patents

          As a law professor, I am in the camp of those who are critical of the proposed bipartisan, bicameral legislation (“the Coons-Tillis bill”) to amend provisions of the Patent Act dealing with patentable subject. I am also in the camp of those who find the “two-step test” introduced by the Supreme Court in its Mayo v, Prometheus, 566 U.S. 66 (2012), and Alice v CLS Bank, 573 U.S. 208 (2014), decisions unworkable and inconsistent with its own precedent. I am also in the perhaps much smaller camp that is skeptical of the approach adopted by the Court in its Association for Molecular Pathology v. Myriad, 569 U.S. 576 (2013) decision (even if I agree with the result that identified genetic sequences are not patent eligible). Here are my thoughts about the Coons-Tillis bill and the comments in the letter from the ACLU and the law professors and practitioners organized by Professor Ted Sichelman of University of San Diego Law School.

          A proposed provision of the Coons-Tillis legislation states: “No implicit or other judicially created exceptions to subject matter eligibility, including ‘abstract ideas,’ ‘laws of nature,’ or ‘natural phenomena,’ shall be used to determine patent eligibility under section 101, and all cases establishing or interpreting those exceptions to eligibility are hereby abrogated.”

          The language expresses frustrations with judge-made exceptions to patentable subject matter based on implications drawn from the language of the Act or from judge made common law reasoning. If enacted, the amendment would not only remove established exceptions to patentable subject matter, but also would limit the power of the federal judiciary to create exceptions based on its own reasoning and interpretation of the Patent Act. Such legislation is in conflict with the long-established relationship between federal courts and Congress. If enacted, it would invite constitutional challenges claiming violation of the separation of powers, under Article III, of the Constitution. The proposed amendment would very likely be found unconstitutional.

          Federal courts have as their role the interpretation of statutes. By abrogating the federal court’s power to develop any implications from the statutory language and to engage in common law reasoning in interpreting the statute, Congress invades long-standing judicial power. Although a full analysis of the separation of powers is beyond the scope of this post, Congressional limitations on judicial power in other realms have failed under judicial scrutiny. At the extreme, Congress is limited in its power to legislate that federal courts cannot hear certain cases or controversies. See Boumediene v. Bush, 553 U.S. 723 (2009) (suspension of writ of habeas corpus unconstitutional); United States v. Klein, 80 U.S. 128 (1871) (Congress’ limitations on claims relating to confiscated and abandoned property unconstitutional). But see Patchak v. Zinke, 138 S.Ct. 897 (2018) (Congress’ stripping federal court jurisdiction over claims arising from Department of Interior’s taking of land into trust was not unconstitutional).

        • Reexaminations and Final Decision Estoppel

          In this case, the district court entered a not-invalid final judgment. However, the Federal Circuit has previously ruled that such judgment doesn’t count as a “final decision” for 317(b) until appeals have been exhausted. Fairchild.

          Here, Apple argues that there still has not been a “final decision” because the case is still ongoing in district court. On appeal though, the Federal Circuit rejected that analysis — finding that its prior appeal in the case foreclosed future validity questions — and thus was the final decision for the statute (once the mandate issued and time for Supreme Court petition passed). “In sum, § 317(b) applies here despite the fact that issues unrelated to invalidity were remanded.”

      • Trademarks

      • Copyrights

        • Data-mining reveals that 80% of books published 1924-63 never had their copyrights renewed and are now in the public domain

          But there’s another source of public domain works: until the 1976 Copyright Act, US works were not copyrighted unless they were registered, and then they quickly became public domain unless that registration was renewed. The problem has been to figure out which of these works were in the public domain, because the US Copyright Office’s records were not organized in a way that made it possible to easily cross-check a work with its registration and renewal.

        • Authors Take Copyright So Seriously They Hides Jokes In Their Copyright Notices

          Were you to hear from the lobbying groups for the major book publishers on the topic of copyright, their answers are generally to push for longer terms, stricter anti-piracy measures, and the most draconian reading of copyright law possible. Groups like The Authors Guild have been firm in their stances that copyright is the only thing that keeps authors in any kind of business, so important is it to their livelihoods. One would think, therefore, that all authors of books would likewise take copyright very, very seriously.

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