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08.12.19

Links 12/8/2019: Xfce 4.14 and Lemur 4

Posted in News Roundup at 5:04 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

  • Leftovers

    • Security (Confidentiality/Integrity/Availability)

      • Watch a Drone Take Over a Nearby Smart TV

        “The lack of security means we can broadcast with our own equipment anything we want, and any smart TV will accept it,” Cabrera says. “The transmission hasn’t been at all authenticated. So this fake transmission, this channel injection, will be a successful attack.”

      • Digging through the past

        Something else I spotted: in 2004 I was working on KPilot as a hobby project (alongside my PhD and whatever else was paying the bills then), so there’s lots of links to the old site.

        Problem is, I let the domain registration expire long ago when Palm, Inc., the Palm Pilot, and KDE 4 ceased to be a going concern. So, that domain has been hijacked, or squatted, or whatever, with techno bla-bla-bla and recognizable scraps of text from the ancient website. Presumably downloading anything from there that pretends to be KPilot will saddle you with plenty of malware.

      • NordVPN Adopts the WireGuard Protocol on Linux

        NordVPN introduced NordLynx technology, built around the WireGuard protocol. The technology combines WireGuard’s high-speed connection and NordVPN’s custom double Network Address Translation (NAT) system. WireGuard’s ability to secure users’ privacy often comes up as a point for discussion, as it does not dynamically assign IP addresses to everyone connected to a server. Therefore, it’s required to store at least some user data on the server, compromising their privacy.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • The US Navy will replace its touchscreen controls with mechanical ones on its destroyers

        The US Navy will replace the touchscreen throttle and helm controls currently installed in its destroyers with mechanical ones starting in 2020, says USNI News. The move comes after the National Transportation Safety Board released an accident report from a 2017 collision, which cites the design of the ship’s controls as a factor in the accident.

      • Losing the War in Forgotten Afghanistan

        Yet we should remember this: No matter how deft the diplomacy that papers over a pullout, wars are either won or lost. For years, the Taliban and its al-Qaeda allies have vowed to outlast us and drive us out. Now, we’re getting ready to leave and they are getting ready to rule. What would you call that?

      • Belgian Organization Cancels Volunteer Projects in Morocco Following Media Controversy

        Bouworde has been working in the Taroudant region of Morocco for more than 15 years, sending groups of young volunteers from Belgium to work on infrastructure projects like water canals, schools, and a women’s center in the area.

        However, following significant media attention in Morocco this week, the organization has chosen to cancel its upcoming volunteering projects.

    • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

      • Sikh charity urges journalists to stop using term ‘Asian’ to describe grooming gangs

        The guide, published in June, says: “British Sikh and Hindu groups have consistently objected to the use of the word ‘Asian’ to describe those convicted in sexual grooming gang cases like in Rochdale, Rotherham, Oxford and Telford.”

        An NSO spokesperson told Press Gazette that the charity wanted the “misleading practice” stopped altogether.

      • Guest blog: Reporting on Sikhism

        The guide provides the reporting press with the contact details for national Sikh organisations, who can assist time pressured reporters with snappy timely quotes and with accuracy. Finding reputable resources on items in the news or under public discussion is not always easy, and this is as true for religion as any other subject of public interest.

    • Environment

      • Turkey’s state-run TRT censors child calling attention to controversial gold mine project

        Turkish state broadcaster Turkish Radio and Television (TRT) has censored comments by a young girl calling attention to the environmental risks associated with a controversial gold mine project in Turkey’s northwest.

        Children’s station TRT Çocuk cut short a live phone call with a nine-year-old girl as she began to address the construction of a gold mine to be run by Canada-based intermediate gold producer Alamos Gold in Turkey’s north-western Çanakkale province, news website Gazete Karınca reported on Saturday.

      • Wildlife/Nature

        • Our Vanishing World: Rainforests

          Rainforests are a crucial feature of Earth’s biosphere. Apart from being critical to Earth’s climate and vital carbon sinks, the major player in Earth’s hydrological (water) cycle, a massive producer of oxygen and home to most of the world’s species, rainforests are the home of a large indigenous human population. They are also the source of many vital resources, including medicines, used by humans around the world.

          However, the vast range of ecological services that rainforests have provided ongoingly for the 400 million years of their existence, and which have been critical to the survival of homo sapiens since we first walked the Earth 200,000 years ago, are not measured and valued by accountants and economists: Have you ever seen a balance sheet or set of national accounts that includes an entry for ‘Value of ecological services taken from nature and on which life and our entire production of goods and services depend’?

          Because these services have been available without the need for human management or intervention, and given the primitive conception of accounting and economics that humans use, the ecological services of rainforests are given no monetary value. Hence, essential ecological services are treated as worthless by virtually everyone in the industrialized world. As a result, modern industrialized humans have decided to systematically destroy the rainforests in order to extract a vast amount of short-term profit for the benefit of a few and the temporary satisfaction of many. So if we do not value ecological services such as oxygen and water generation as well as climate and weather-moderating capacities, what is it that we do value by destroying rainforests?

    • Finance

      • “All migrants must earn at least £36k a year if they want to live in UK after Brexit”, Priti Patel told

        A report from the right-wing think-tank set to be published tomorrow warns that record levels of low-skilled immigration in recent years have pushed wages down for those born in the UK on lower salaries.

        But it has already been slammed by commentators.

        Author Emma Kennedy said: “So let me get this straight. When we have a DIRE shortage of nurses, our EU nurses are returning home in droves, Priti Patel wants to raise the threshold for migrants wanting to work here to £36,700?

        “Who do Brexiters think is going to look after our sick? Dogs with sad eyes?”

        The Centre for Social Justice report says the Home Office could exempt key sectors like the NHS to allow workers making less than £36,700 to continue to come to the UK to work.

      • Blockstream Has 3x The Hashpower of Entire Bitcoin Cash Network

        Top clients include Fidelity’s Center for Applied Technology (FCAT). Fidelity is a financial firm which increasingly throws itself into the blockchain industry.

        Blockstream employs BetterHash, an improved mining management software by long-time Bitcoin developer Matt Corallo. Corallo plays another important role in Bitcoin development as the maintainer of Bitcoin’s Ubuntu repository. Interestingly, Corallo and Blockstream CSO recently had a spat on Twitter.

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • Nova Scotia looking to build ‘100% China-friendly’ website to promote trade, sidestep censorship

        Nova Scotia is continuing its bid for an amiable trade relationship with China, with plans for a promotional website built specifically to fit the country’s strict [Internet] censorship laws.

        Nova Scotia Business Inc. (NSBI) — the agency responsible for developing the province’s business interests — put a call out Friday morning for web developers to create a Chinese website to launch by the start of November 2019.

        [...]

        The New York Times, The Washington Post, HuffPost, The Guardian, NBC News, the Globe and Mail and, as of recently, the Toronto Star are all unreachable in China.

      • Ukrainian Court Penalizes News Outlet for Calling Far-Right Group ‘Neo-Nazi’

        A court in Kyiv ruled in favor of a Ukrainian far-right nationalist group, C14, in its defamation suit against the internet TV station Hromadske.TV after the outlet published a tweet referring to C14 as a “neo-Nazi” group.

        The judge accepted C14’s claim that the tweet caused reputational damage and ordered Hromadske to retract the statement and pay a fine.

        The August 6 decision caused outrage among Ukraine’s human rights activists and journalists – and rightly so.

      • Why You Can’t Have Cultural Diversity Without Cultural Distinctions

        In the last few years, several British actors and comedians have made Twitter waves, criticizing their country’s stance toward multiculturalism and free speech. Recently, John Cleese gave fodder to the professionally outraged by declaring matter-of-factly that some cultures are preferable to others. Rowan Atkinson has opined that criticism of a belief system that engages in abhorrent practices is not only reasonable, but necessary. In saner times, these opinions would have been self-evident and their articulation unnecessary.

    • Privacy/Surveillance

      • FDNY warns of major data breach possibly affecting more than 10,000 patients

        The FDNY admitted Friday that an employee’s personal hard drive was ripped off and thousands of EMS patients may have had their information compromised — five months after learning of the theft.

        The theft affected 10,253 people who were treated or taken to the hospital by FDNY EMS ambulance between 2011 and 2018 — including 2,988 whose social security numbers might have been exposed, the FDNY said.

      • The Exxon Valdez of cyberspace

        Oil firms’ insistence on their supply chains speaking the same language, and loudly, on safety is also worth emulating. [Attackers] increasingly infiltrate large corporations by first penetrating the defences of smaller suppliers and piggybacking on the communications systems which link the two. This is made easier by the fact that many firms treat hacks like gonorrhoea, an embarrassing affliction no one wants to admit even if speaking about it would stop its spread. Some call it a tragedy of the cyber-commons.

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • [Older] Chile’s Walmart Workers End Strike After Winning Pay Raise

        Walmart has been criticized in various countries for labor exploitation and U.S. presidential candidate Bernie Sanders recently condemned them for paying ‘starvation wages’.

      • ”A Tsunami of Atheism”

        Iran’s moral guardians are concerned: while Islam is increasing in political importance throughout the Arab world, people in the Islamic Republic of Iran are leaving the mosques in droves. As Ali Sadrzadeh found out, young people seem especially susceptible to the attractions of sects or Christianity

      • Pakistan: Catholic charity decries forced conversions to Islam

        “Every year at least a thousand girls are kidnapped, raped, and forced to convert to Islam, even forced to marry their tormentors,” according to Tabassum Yousaf, a Catholic lawyer linked to the St. Egidio community.

        To draw attention to the issue, the papal foundation ACN is hosting a press conference in Karachi on Thursday, which will see the attendance of Cardinal Joseph Coutts and several Muslim leaders.

        The phenomenon of forced conversions hits Pakistan’s religious minorities, especially Christians and Hindus.

      • Mass shootings have Latinos worried about being targets

        When Michelle Otero arrived at an art show featuring Mexican-American women, the first thing she did was scan the room. Two exits.

    • Monopolies

      • Tokyo and Osaka district courts to start Intellectual Property mediation service

        The purpose of this service is to solve an IP dispute quickly through a discussion between both parties, by advice or opinion from a mediation committee which consists of three members – a judge in the IP division and two experts such IP attorneys.

        This mediation tries to draw a conclusion in 3 to 6 months (within three times mediation meetings). The mediation committee discloses impression of the case. But also it may suggest the parties to solve the dispute through a lawsuit when the issue is complicated. In order to draw a conclusion quickly, both parties are required to submit all necessary documents (including evidence) prior to the first mediation meeting. The mediation is closed to the public, including the existence of a request for mediation.

        [...]

        However, it has an advantage in the involvement of an active judge in mediation meetings. The parties can know what decision the court is likely to make, in a short period of time and at a low cost. Therefore, it may become a useful tool especially for SMEs.

      • Remembering Shamnad Basheer

        Shamnad Basheer was one of the handful of people in the IP world who was larger than life. Kat readers who wish to take in the entirety of Shamnad’s accomplishments are invited to read the attached. Permit this Kat to mention the highlights.

        Shamnad came from the Indian state of Kerala in southwest India. He studied law, graduating with Honors from the National Law School of India University Bangalore, a national higher education initiative to create a special setting for legal education in India. He first turned to the private sector, practicing IP law at the firm of Anand and Anand in Delhi. From there, he made his way to Oxford, earning a BCL with Distinction and in turn an MPhil and DPhil in law.

        Already writing and lecturing to international renown, he inter alia taught at George Washington University in Washington, DC, before settling in for a number of years at the National University of Juridical Sciences in Kolkata as the Ministry of HRD Chaired Professor of Intellectual Property.

        Along the way, he created SpicyIP, which is recognized as a leading IP blog worldwide and serves as the window into all things IP in India (not infrequently, as expressed in Shamnad’s deeply felt and strongly worded posts). Shamnad joined this Kat in co-editing a book for Oxford University Press, in between teaching (for which he won numerous awards), guest lectureships, articles, book chapters, reports, and IP legal advocacy, especially in copyright and in a noted intervention in the landmark Novartis patent case.

      • Patents and Software Patents

        • Amgen Inc. v. Coherus BioSciences Inc. (Fed. Cir. 2019)

          Last month, in Amgen Inc. v. Coherus BioSciences Inc., the Federal Circuit affirmed a decision by the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware dismissing a complaint filed by Amgen Inc. and Amgen Manufacturing Ltd. against Coherus BioSciences Inc. for failure to state a claim. Amgen had filed suit against Coherus for infringement of U.S. Patent No. 8,273,707.

          [...]

          Citing PODS, Inc. v. Porta Stor, Inc., 484 F.3d 1359, 1367 (Fed. Cir. 2007), the Federal Circuit also noted that “where a patent applicant sets forth multiple bases to distinguish between its invention and the cited prior art, the separate arguments [can] create separate estoppels as long as the prior art was not distinguished based on the combination of these various grounds.” The Court concluded that “Amgen did not rely on the combination of its asserted grounds to distinguish Holtz,” and that “while Amgen did assert multiple reasons for why Holtz is distinguishable, our precedent instructs that estoppel can attach to each argument.” The Court therefore determined that in the instant case, “prosecution history estoppel applies to the ‘particular combinations’ ground regardless of the other two arguments Amgen made.”

          Amgen also argued that prosecution history should not apply in the instant case because the response filed prior to allowance of the claims did not contain the argument that Holtz failed to disclose the particular claimed salt combinations. Explaining that “[t]here is no requirement that argument-based estoppel apply only to arguments made in the most recent submission before allowance,” the Federal Circuit stated that “[w]e see nothing in Amgen’s final submission that disavows the clear and unmistakable surrender of unclaimed salt combinations made in Amgen’s [earlier] response.” The Federal Circuit therefore determined that the District Court did not err in determining that prosecution history estoppel barred Amgen from succeeding on its infringement claim under the doctrine of equivalents, and affirmed the District Court’s order dismissing Amgen’s complaint for failure to state a claim.

      • Trademarks

        • SportFuel is running on empty after losing appeal: US 7th Circuit Court affirms that Gatorade’s slogan, “Gatorade The Sports Fuel Company” is fair use.

          Gatorade began using the term “Sports Fuel” to describe its products in 2013. In 2016, Gatorade adopted the slogan, “Gatorade The Sports Fuel Company” and sought to register the slogan as a trademark with the USPTO.

          [...]

          In order to successfully assert a fair use defense under the Lanham Act, a party must show that the alleged infringement “is a use, otherwise than as a mark … which is descriptive of and used fairly and in good faith only to describe the goods or services of such party.”

          The district court determined that Gatorade (1) had not used “Sports Fuel” as a trademark, (2) its use was descriptive its goods, and (3) it used the mark fairly and in good faith, and thus successfully raised the fair use defense.

          The 7th Circuit reviewed each of these prongs individually, but did not consider the likelihood of confusion, as they affirmed the district court’s ruling.

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