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08.16.19

IP Kat Pays the Price for Being a Megaphone of Team UPC

Posted in Deception, Europe, Patents at 11:58 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Some proponents of the Unified Patent Court (UPC) have taken a cloak of anonymity because they know they’re lying; they don’t want to take responsibility/face accountability for it.

UPC PR Kat

Summary: The typical or the usual suspects speak out about the so-called ‘prospects’ (with delusions of inevitability) of the Unified Patent Court Agreement, neglecting to account for their own longterm credibility

THE Campinos/Battistelli-led European Patent Office (EPO) no longer mentions the UPC. It’s hard to even recall the last time ‘unitary’ anything was mentioned by the EPO. Team UPC is another matter. These charlatans and frauds spent at least half a decade of their lives on this destructive legislation, wrongly assuming that in the name of “community” or “unity” or “EU” it’ll pass smoothly with whatever horrific clauses are contained in it (written by litigation firms and their lobbyists).

“These charlatans and frauds spent at least half a decade of their lives on this destructive legislation, wrongly assuming that in the name of “community” or “unity” or “EU” it’ll pass smoothly with whatever horrific clauses are contained in it (written by litigation firms and their lobbyists).”Years ago IP Kat was still quite credible and scholarly (with Jeremy as its editor, not just its founder); we’re sad to see what it has become, rotting like most media, turning to PR/marketing and lobbying. We know whose. Just check the writers’ professional affiliations. It’s rather gross. Might as well rebrand/rename to “Litigation Kat”.

“No rush for the UPC” responded to this recent post from IP Kat. He or she calls out this book and promotional puff piece for advancing Team UPC’s lies and the motivation for these lies:

The book might only become interesting should the UPC come into force, and nothing is less sure than this. With the present UK PM, one can have reasonable doubts that a reference to the CJEU will be tolerated after Brexit.

On the other hand, the RoP have not yet been adopted by the Commission. So the book appears a bit too early. On the other hand, the RoP contain procedures unknown in most Contracting States, like forced intervention. A decision of the UPC might be applicable to a third party not having taken part in the whole procedure! I doubt that this can be constitutional in a number of Contracting States.

The heavy reference to German decisions is not a surprise for those having witnessed the various mock trial conducted in different places.

One observation was that reliance on national traditions was very heavy, especially if the panel is composed with two judges of the same nationality. They can easily outvote the third judge, or ignore the technical judge, as the chairman has a casting vote.

The Court of Appeal of the UPC will have a lot of work and it is only after enough decisions of the Court of Appeal, that it will be possible to say that the UPC will be successful or not. Then a book might be justified, but not presently.

One could also consider that the book is a call to the German Constitutional Court to dismiss the objections of Mr Stjerna. One of the publishers of the present book has clearly taken position in this respect. Its interpretation of Opinion C 1/09 has also changed with time….

The German Constitutional Court does not even need to rule on it; UPC will die on its own. By the time there’s a decision it’ll no longer be relevant.

“Even if the German constitutional complaint against the Unified Patent Court Agreement is dismissed, the German government will not proceed with ratification of the UPCA until the consequences of the Brexit are entirely clear,” says Kluwer Patent Blog, whose latest UPC coverage is by “Kluwer Patent blogger” (anonymous), i.e. it is most likely by Bristows LLP again. They themselves said they're trying to give an illusion (i.e. lie) of UPC progress and here’s the latest:

Even if the German constitutional complaint against the Unified Patent Court Agreement is dismissed, the German government will not proceed with ratification of the UPCA until the consequences of the Brexit are entirely clear.

[...]

The Federal Constitutional Court in Germany is expected to decide about the Stjerna complaint later this year or possibly at the start of 2020, as is more likely according to a recent article of Fish & Richardson: ‘The Constitutional Court case is (…) now scheduled for decision in 2019, but that schedule is not binding. Announcement of the date for oral argument, perhaps within a few months from now, will be the best indication of the decision date, because it must be handed down within three months after the oral hearing. Given the August holidays, it seems most likely the decision will be in early 2020.’

The German parliamentary questions were aimed primarily at the costs of the UPC and Germany’s contribution to its funding. According to the letter of the Ministry of Justice, the most important contribution of Germany so far – 543 981 euro – went to the creation of the new IT system for the UPC, which has ‘almost been completed’.

Stjerna’s complaint is no longer the sole barrier then; outside the FCC (Federal Constitutional Court), even the government itself — i.e. a separate branch — speaks of Brexit. Whatever the outcome may be, software patents remain a big (and growing) problem in Europe because the EPO keeps granting them, even if European courts repeatedly reject these. The EPC too is being violated. That’s a subject we’ll deal with in our next couple of posts.

Links 17/8/2019: Wine 4.14 is Out, Debian Celebrates 26 years

Posted in News Roundup at 9:33 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • LHS Episode #297: The Weekender XXXII

        It’s time once again for The Weekender. This is our bi-weekly departure into the world of amateur radio contests, open source conventions, special events, listener challenges, hedonism and just plain fun. Thanks for listening and, if you happen to get a chance, feel free to call us or e-mail and send us some feedback. Tell us how we’re doing. We’d love to hear from you.

      • Sliding Politics | User Error 72

        Dealing with users who hate change, dumb phones, and different approaches to social media consumption.

        Plus infidelity, the state of the world, and consequences of small decisions.

      • Test and Code: 83: PyBites Code Challenges behind the scenes – Bob Belderbos

        Bob Belderbos and Julian Sequeira started PyBites a few years ago.
        They started doing code challanges along with people around the world and writing about it.

        Then came the codechalleng.es platform, where you can do code challenges in the browser and have your answer checked by pytest tests. But how does it all work?

        Bob joins me today to go behind the scenes and share the tech stack running the PyBites Code Challenges platform.

        We talk about the technology, the testing, and how it went from a cool idea to a working platform.

      • Linux Action News 119

        We go hands-on with the big Xfce release that took four years and five months to develop. Kubernetes gets an audit that might just set a precedent, and Google has a new feature for AMP that has us all worked up.

    • Kernel Space

      • Linux 5.2.9

        I’m announcing the release of the 5.2.9 kernel.

        All users of the 5.2 kernel series must upgrade.

        The updated 5.2.y git tree can be found at:

        git://git.kernel.org/pub/scm/linux/kernel/git/stable/linux-stable.git linux-5.2.y

        and can be browsed at the normal kernel.org git web browser:

        https://git.kernel.org/?p=linux/kernel/git/stable/linux-s…

      • Linux 4.19.67
      • Linux 4.14.139
      • Linux 5.4 Set To Remove Intel XScale IOP33X/IOP13XX CPU Support

        Linux 5.4 is set to remove the Intel IOP33X and IOP13XX series of processors that are part of the company’s former XScale product line for ARM-based CPUs.

        The XScale IOP processors were intended for handling I/O offloading from the main device CPU. These sub-1.2GHz processors were part of Intel’s ARMv8.5-based XScale product portfolio. But with no apparent users of the Intel IOP33X/IOP13XX hardware left — at least anyone that would likely be riding new Linux kernel releases — that support is going to be removed later this year with the Linux 5.4 release.

    • Applications

      • Things You Should Know About Linux Instant Messaging Programs

        One of the highly-desirable features of Linux – a primary reason that developers prefer it to other operating systems – is that it has been improved with a lot of free and open-source program. Many of the above platforms reflect this, making them powerful options for growing businesses looking into their software options as they scale. They’re also strong options for businesses for whom security is the highest priority, which is becoming a greater focus for organizations every day.

        From personal to professional, Linux-based instant messaging programs can offer you flexibility, communication, and security. If you’re running a Linux operating platform, make sure you look into this list of mainstream and alternative chat options for a reliable and robust messenger experience.

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Wine or Emulation

    • Games

      • Twin-stick shooting combined with deck-building, ACardShooter is out now

        Deck-building is all the rage and now it’s come to twin-stick shooters too, with ACardShooter now available on Steam with Linux support.

      • Hunt down beasts, take their power and possibly save the world in Mable & The Wood, releasing soon

        Mable & The Wood is a Metroidvania that’s possibly nothing like any other. One with multiple endings and it’s possible to do it without killing anything.

        I’ve been excited about this game for so long, after discovering it a while ago and it was announced today that it’s going to be releasing on August 23rd! It captured my interest due to the unusual heroine, who carries around a sword too big to swing and it’s how you use the sword that makes it truly sweet. You stick it in the ground, then use your powers to recall it as it slices its way back to you.

      • Solve cable-based puzzles in the fully narrated game Filament, coming to Linux next year

        Currently in development by Beard Envy with publishing from Kasedo Games, the puzzle game Filament has you exploring a seemingly abandoned spaceship while sorting out all the cables.

        From what they said about it, it’s a story-rich and full narrated puzzle game. One that’s meant to be somewhat relaxing with you able to go at your own pace. Going by the official announcement, Linux support is confirmed for release sometime in Q1 next year.

      • Dota Underlords changes ranking again to be more about skill and less about time

        While in Early Access, Dota Underlords is in a constant state of flux and Valve have again changed the ranking system.

        They’re now using the well-known Elo rating system, so the number of points gained or lost now depends on the skill of your opponents. Why the switch? As Valve said, the Lords of White Spire leaderboard ended up being a list of who played the most instead of the best so they’re hoping this will solve it and be a little more fair to those who don’t play all the time.

      • Cerulean Days, a Visual Novel following the internet being shut down after a biological attack

        Cerulean Days certainly sounds like an intriguing Visual Novel. Set on a small modern island in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, a deadly biological attack took place so the government shut the internet down, leaving the island disconnected from the world around it.

        [...]

        If you’re interested in trying it out, they do have a Linux demo available, looks like it was made with Ren’Py and it works quite well. Seems like it has some nice writing to it too along with some great artwork.

    • Distributions

      • Dominique Leuenberger: openSUSE Tumbleweed – Review of the week 2019/33

        Week 2019/33 ‘only’ saw three snapshots being published (3 more were given to openQA but discarded).

      • Reviews

        • Slackel Linux Works Well Inside Its Openbox

          The current Slackel Linux release can be a good choice for new users. It is easy to stumble through the installation steps, but this distro has some benefits.

          Slackel is a reliable operating system that is easy to use. If you like to learn how Linux works, Slackel gets you closer to understanding the pure Linux environment without resorting to the terminal window and the command line.

      • Screenshots/Screencasts

      • Fedora Family

        • FPgM report: 2019-33

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

          I have weekly office hours in #fedora-meeting-1. Drop by if you have any questions or comments about the schedule, Changes, elections, or anything else. (Just not this week because I will be traveling)

      • Debian Family

        • Debian celebrates 26 years, Happy DebianDay!

          26 years ago today in a single post to the comp.os.linux.development newsgroup, Ian Murdock announced the completion of a brand new Linux release named ##Debian.

          Since that day we’ve been into outer space, typed over 1,288,688,830 lines of code, spawned over 300 derivatives, were enhanced with 6,155 known contributors, and filed over 975,619 bug reports.

          We are home to a community of thousands of users around the globe, we gather to host our annual Debian Developers Conference #DebConf”>DebConf which spans the world in a different country each year, and of course today’s many “#DebianDay celebrations held around the world.

        • DebConf19: Brazil

          My first DebConf was DebConf4, held in Porte Alegre, Brazil back in 2004. Uncle Steve did the majority of the travel arrangements for 6 of us to go. We had some mishaps which we still tease him about, but it was a great experience. So when I learnt DebConf19 was to be in Brazil again, this time in Curitiba, I had to go. So last November I realised flights were only likely to get more expensive, that I’d really kick myself if I didn’t go, and so I booked my tickets. A bunch of life happened in the meantime that mean the timing wasn’t particularly great for me – it’s been a busy 6 months – but going was still the right move.

          One thing that struck me about DC19 is that a lot of the faces I’m used to seeing at a DebConf weren’t there. Only myself and Steve from the UK DC4 group made it, for example. I don’t know if that’s due to the travelling distances involved, or just the fact that attendance varies and this happened to be a year where a number of people couldn’t make it. Nonetheless I was able to catch up with a number of people I only really see at DebConfs, as well as getting to hang out with some new folk.

          Given how busy I’ve been this year and expect to be for at least the next year I set myself a hard goal of not committing to any additional tasks. That said DebConf often provides a welcome space to concentrate on technical bits. I reviewed and merged dkg’s work on WKD and DANE for the Debian keyring under debian.org – we’re not exposed to the recent keyserver network issues due to the fact the keyring is curated, but providing additional access to our keyring makes sense if it can be done easily. I spent some time with Ian Jackson talking about dgit – I’m not a user of it at present, but I’m intrigued by the potential for being able to do Debian package uploads via signed git tags. Of course I also attended a variety of different talks (and, as usual, at times the schedule conflicted such that I had a difficult choice about which option to chose for a particular slot).

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Feral GameMode on Ubuntu: Everything You Need to Know

          Feral GameMode is a discreet background utility that aims to improve gaming performance on Linux distributions like Ubuntu.

          It’s not a GUI app; there’s no multi-button dashboard, no toggle-fest, and no real feedback on how it’s running.

          Games compatible with GameMode are able to ‘request’ that a specific set of tweaks are applied to the host system and/or the game process(es) for a short period.

          These tweaks ensure system resources prioritise the gaming experience over other tasks, like drawing your desktop background or checking for updates.

        • The Best App Launchers for Ubuntu & Linux Mint

          So, thankfully, there is a world of alternative app launchers for Linux desktops — launchers that are more traditional, more interactive, and/or often more capable than what Ubuntu includes out of the box.

          Inspired by my recent play with rofi on the Regolith desktop I decided to test a bunch of ’em to compile this: a list of the best app launchers for Ubuntu and Linux Mint (in my opinion, of course).

        • Canonical Outs Major Linux Kernel Updates for All Supported Ubuntu Releases

          Available for Ubuntu 19.04 (Disco Dingo), Ubuntu 18.04 LTS (Bionic Beaver), Ubuntu 16.04 LTS (Xenial Xerus), and Ubuntu 14.04 ESM (Trusty Tahr), the new Linux kernel security updates are here to patch more than 30 security vulnerabilities, including a heap buffer overflow discovered in the Marvell Wireless LAN device driver and a NULL pointer dereference discovered in the Near-field communication (NFC) implementation.

          The security patch also addresses a use-after-free vulnerability discovered by Google Project Zero’s Jann Horn in the Linux kernel when accessing LDT entries, as well as a race condition when performing core dumps. A flaw discovered by Andrei Vlad Lutas and Dan Lutas in x86 processors, which incorrectly handled SWAPGS instructions during speculative execution, was fixed as well.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • linuxjournal.com – Linux Journal shut its doors for good :(
      • Helping The Hispanic/Latinx Community With Open Source | Open Infrastructure Summit, 2019

        At the Open Infrastructure Summit, 2019, we sat down with Joseph Sandoval, SRE Manager for the Adobe Advertising Cloud platform, to talk about the work he is doing with the Hispanic/Latinx Community.

      • Events

        • Tantek Çelik: IndieWebCamps Timeline 2011-2019: Amsterdam to Utrecht

          While not a post directly about IndieWeb Summit 2019, this post provides a bit of background and is certainly related, so I’m including it in my series of posts about the Summit. Previous post in this series: Reflecting On IndieWeb Summit: A Start

          [...]

          I don’t know of any tools to take something like this kind of locations vs years data and graph it as such. So I built an HTML table with a cell for each IndieWebCamp, as well as cells for the colspans of empty space. Each colored cell is hyperlinked to the IndieWebCamp for that city for that year.

        • Meet SUSE at Cloud Foundry Summit in The Hague

          If you’re looking for a great excuse to visit the Netherlands, learn about Cloud Foundry and Kubernetes, and hang out with a cool and interesting community, come meet the SUSE Cloud Application Platform team at the Cloud Foundry Summit EU in The Hague. SUSE is a gold sponsor of the event, so we’ll have a booth complete with live demos and plenty of the cool chameleons that you’ve come to expect of us.

      • Productivity Software/LibreOffice/Calligra

        • btLr text direction in Writer, part 4

          You can get a snapshot / demo of Collabora Office and try it out yourself right now: try unstable snapshot. Collabora is a major contributor to LibreOffice and all of this work will be available in TDF’s next release, too (6.4).

        • LibreOffice Community at FrOSCon 2019

          LibreOffice development takes place mostly via the internet: volunteers, certified developers and other community members collaborate on programming, design, quality assurance, documentation and other tasks. But we also like to meet up in person, to share information, bring new people into the project, and have fun!

          So on the weekend of 10 and 11 August, we attended FrOSCon 2019 in Sankt Augustin, a town just outside Bonn, Germany. FrOSCon is one of the largest free and open source software (FOSS) conferences in the country, with around 2,000 attendees. Most of the visitors know about FOSS already, but some had only learnt about it recently, and were eager to discover more.

      • Pseudo-Open Source (Openwashing)

        • Apollo data graph brings managed federation to enterprises

          Data graph vendor Apollo is aiming to help overcome several obstacles to enterprises using graph databases with its latest Apollo Data Graph Platform update, which became generally available on July 16.

          Among the key new features in the platform are federated management capabilities that enable more scalability across different GraphQL data graph instances. GraphQL is an open source query language for APIs, originally created by Facebook that is used to enable data graph capabilities.

      • Programming/Development

        • ANNOUNCE: libnbd 0.9.8 – prerelease of high performance NBD
          I'm pleased to announce a new high performance Network Block Device
          (NBD) client library called libnbd.  It's written in C and there are
          also bindings available for Python, OCaml and (soon) Rust.
          
          0.9.8 is the third pre-release before the stable 1.0 version where we
          freeze the API, so feedback on API-related issues is very welcome now.
          
          Download:       http://download.libguestfs.org/libnbd/
          Documentation:  https://github.com/libguestfs/libnbd/blob/master/docs/libnbd.pod
          Fedora package: https://koji.fedoraproject.org/koji/packageinfo?packageID=28807
          Debian package: https://bugs.debian.org/cgi-bin/bugreport.cgi?bug=933223
          Git repo:       https://github.com/libguestfs/libnbd
          Mailing list:   address@hidden (no subscription required)
          
          Here are some of the things you can do with this library ...
          
          Connect to an NBD server and grab the first sector of the disk:
          
          https://github.com/libguestfs/libnbd/blob/a5f8fd2f0f48e9cf2487e23750b55f67b166014f/examples/simple-fetch-first-sector.c#L14
          
          High performance multi-threaded reads and writes, with multiple
          connections and multiple commands in flight on each connection:
          
          https://github.com/libguestfs/libnbd/blob/master/examples/threaded-reads-and-writes.c
          
          Integrate with glib main loop:
          
          https://github.com/libguestfs/libnbd/blob/master/examples/glib-main-loop.c
          
          Connect to an NBD server from an interactive shell:
          
            $ nbdkit -f linuxdisk . &
            $ nbdsh --connect nbd://localhost
          
            Welcome to nbdsh, the shell for interacting with
            Network Block Device (NBD) servers.
          
            nbd> h.get_size()
            716266496
            nbd> buf = h.pread (512, 0)
            nbd> print ("%r" % buf)
            [prints the first sector]
          
          Use ‘fio’ to benchmark an NBD server:
          
            $ nbdkit -U - memory size=256M \
                  --run 'export unixsocket ; fio examples/nbd.fio '
          
          Rich.
          
        • libnbd 0.9.8 and stable APIs

          I announced libnbd yesterday. The libnbd 0.9.8 is a pre-release for the upcoming 1.0 where we will finalize the API and offer API and ABI stability.

          Stable APIs aren’t in fashion these days, but they’re important because people who choose to use your platform for their software shouldn’t be screwed over and have to change their software every time you change your mind. In C it’s reasonably easy to offer a stable API while allowing long term evolution and even incompatible changes. This is what we do for nbdkit and will be doing for libnbd.

          The first concept to get to know is ELF symbol versioning. Chapter 3 of Uli’s paper on the subject covers this in great detail. In libnbd all our initial symbols will be labelled with LIBNBD_1.0.

        • PyCharm 2019.2.1 RC

          PyCharm 2019.2.1 release candidate is available now!

        • Basics of Memory Management in Python

          Memory management is the process of efficiently allocating, de-allocating, and coordinating memory so that all the different processes run smoothly and can optimally access different system resources. Memory management also involves cleaning memory of objects that are no longer being accessed.

          In Python, the memory manager is responsible for these kinds of tasks by periodically running to clean up, allocate, and manage the memory. Unlike C, Java, and other programming languages, Python manages objects by using reference counting. This means that the memory manager keeps track of the number of references to each object in the program. When an object’s reference count drops to zero, which means the object is no longer being used, the garbage collector (part of the memory manager) automatically frees the memory from that particular object.

          The user need not to worry about memory management as the process of allocation and de-allocation of memory is fully automatic. The reclaimed memory can be used by other objects.

        • Twisted 19.7.0 Released

          On behalf of Twisted Matrix Laboratories and our long-suffering release manager Amber Brown, I am honored to announce the release of Twisted 19.7.0!

        • PyBay 2019: Talking about Python in SF

          We are back to San Francisco! Our team will be joining PyBay’s conference, one of the biggest Python events in the Bay Area. For this year, we’ll be giving the talk: Building effective Django queries with expressions.

          PyBay has been a fantastic place to meet new people, connect with new ideas, and integrate this thriving community.

        • 10 ways DevOps helps digital transformation

          DevOps helps organizations succeed with digital transformation by shifting the cultural mindset of the business, breaking down detrimental silos, and paving the way for continuous change and rapid experimentation: All those elements help organizations meet evolving customer demands, experts point out. This helps organizations “self-steer” toward better solutions to continually improve, says Matthew Skelton, head of consulting at Conflux and co-author of Team Topologies.

        • CloudBees Advances State of the DevOps World

          At its annual user conference, CloudBees previews a new Software Delivery Management platform as the DevOps vendor celebrates 15 years of Jenkins.

        • How do you verify that PyPI can be trusted?

          Now Go’s packaging story is rather different from Python’s since in Go you specify the location of a module by the URL you fetch it from, e.g. github.com/you/hello specifies the hello module as found at https://github.com/you/hello. This means Go’s module ecosystem is distributed, which leads to interesting problems of caching so code doesn’t disappear off the internet (e.g. a left-pad incident), and needing to verify that a module’s provider isn’t suddenly changing the code they provide with something malicious.

          But since the Python community has PyPI our problems are slightly different in that we just have to worry about a single point of failure (which has its own downsides). Now obviously you can run your own mirror of PyPI (and plenty of companies do), but for the general community no one wants to bother to set something up like that and try to keep it maintained (do you really need your own mirror to download some dependencies for the script you just wrote to help clean up your photos from your latest trip?). But we should still care about whether PyPI has been compromised such that packages hosted there have not been tampered with somehow between when the project owner uploaded their release’s files and from when you download them.

        • Spyder 4.0 beta4: Kite integration is here

          As part of our next release, we are proud to announce an additional completion client for Spyder, Kite. Kite is a novel completion client that uses Machine Learning techniques to find and predict the best autocompletion for a given text. Additionally, it collects improved documentation for compiled packages, i.e., Matplotlib, NumPy, SciPy that cannot be obtained easily by using traditional code analysis packages such as Jedi.

  • Leftovers

    • Health/Nutrition

      • The Microplastic Threat

        When Chelsea Rochman at the University of Toronto and colleagues began their study on medakas (small Japanese rice paddy fish), they did not expect to find what they did.

      • Ubuntu: Lady with borehole helps residents during water outage

        Briefly.co.za gathered that on Tuesday, there was a water outage in Huston’s Pretoria neighborhood. Huston said they were privileged to have a borehole and could go on with life as normal.

        On Wednesday night, her mother decided to help others by opening their borehole for public use. Residents lined up with buckets to get water from the kind family.

      • Ernest Coverson on Guns & Human Rights, Carey Gillam Under Attack From Monsanto

        This week on CounterSpin: The US undoubtedly needs better health care, including mental health care, and blithely violent cultural media is nothing to celebrate; but there is no actual mystery about the main reason behind the gun violence this country sees every day of the year—and that sometimes explodes into mass shootings, like those in El Paso and Dayton: It’s. the. guns. US law and policy undeniably reflects a greater value on the ability of some people to own weapons than on the ability of all people to be safe from gun violence. Vast majorities of Americans support serious regulation, but corporate media debate still seems to revolve around the supposed “rights” of the few, rather than the right of the many to live a life free from this scourge. We’ll talk about what it means to apply a human rights framework to gun violence with Ernest Coverson, End Gun Violence campaign manager at Amnesty International USA.

    • Security (Confidentiality/Integrity/Availability)

      • Security updates for Friday

        Security updates have been issued by Debian (freetype, libreoffice, and openjdk-7), Fedora (edk2, mariadb, mariadb-connector-c, mariadb-connector-odbc, python-django, and squirrelmail), Gentoo (chromium, cups, firefox, glibc, kconfig, libarchive, libreoffice, oracle-jdk-bin, polkit, proftpd, sqlite, wget, zeromq, and znc), openSUSE (bzip2, chromium, dosbox, evince, gpg2, icedtea-web, java-11-openjdk, java-1_8_0-openjdk, kconfig, kdelibs4, mariadb, mariadb-connector-c, nodejs8, pdns, polkit, python, subversion, and vlc), Oracle (ghostscript and kernel), Red Hat (mysql:8.0 and subversion:1.10), SUSE (389-ds, libvirt and libvirt-python, and openjpeg2), and Ubuntu (nginx).

      • A compendium of container escapes

        My name is Brandon Edwards, I’m Chief Scientist at Capsule8. Today we’ll be talking about a compendium of container escapes in the podcast. We’ve previously talked about escaping containers and the sorts of vulnerabilities people should be concerned with a while back. In particular we’re discussing how the RunC vulnerability had engendered all this interest, or concern, or almost shock, the trust the people are placing in containers was broken. Oh wow, an escape could happen!

        I think it’s really valuable to be able to communicate and show all the other ways that that sort of thing can happen, either from misconfiguration, or over granting privileges, or providing host mounts into the container, or having kernel vulnerabilities that could somehow compromise any of the elements of the security model of container, which is both fragile and complex.

    • Environment

      • Energy

        • Christopher Leonard’s New Book Puts an Ever-Expanding ‘Kochland’ on the Map

          Christopher Leonard’s new book, Kochland: The Secret History of Koch Industries and Corporate Power in America, begins, appropriately enough, with an FBI agent, who is investigating criminal activity by the company, standing in a field with a pair of binoculars, trying to catch a glimpse of the daily operations of a company that prizes secrecy.

          Koch Industries was under investigation for theft of oil from the Osage and other Indigenous nations. Walking into the company’s office building involved passing through security checkpoints, Leonard explains, so numerous that one investigator later told Leonard that it “reminded him of traveling to CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia.”

          Through exhaustive reporting and extraordinary interviews with past and current company executives, including some turned whistleblower, Kochland offers readers a view far larger than can be seen through binocular lenses, walking readers past those layers of security checkpoints and into the inner workings of an institution that has for decades tirelessly built itself into practically all American lives, while largely evading accountability or transparency.

      • Wildlife/Nature

        • The War on Nature

          Ancient Greeks, Persians, Egyptians, Mesopotamians, Chinese and Indians respected or worshipped several gods. Those gods were usually forces of nature, which opened the mind, eyes and hearts of human beings to the mysteries, beauty and truth of the natural world.

        • Five Things to Watch at This Month’s Big Wildlife Trade Treaty Meeting

          Dozens of important and potentially controversial decisions for the world’s most imperiled wildlife will come out of Geneva over the next few weeks.

          That’s where the representatives from 183 nations will gather to discuss issues related to legal and illegal wildlife trade at the 18th triennial meeting of the member parties to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), a treaty aimed at regulating the commercial sale of threatened plants and wildlife.

          CITES protects species by adding them to what’s known as its Appendices — listings of species that may or may not be traded. Species listed on Appendix I are banned from all international trade, while those on Appendix II may only be traded from proven sustainable populations. About 90 percent of CITES listings appear on Appendix II.

        • Catch and Hang Live Chickens for Slaughter: $11 an Hour Possible!

          Koch Foods, a giant chicken processor that supplies Burger King, Kroger and Walmart (not affiliated with the Koch brothers) lost no time in replacing the five busloads of undocumented workers taken from its Mississippi plants this month due to an ICE raid. It is already holding “job fairs” to replace the workers.

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • “Bernie is Trump” (and other Corporate Media Bullsh*t)

        A dead-end street with a lemonade stand Where is the sky in upside down land? That question is hard if you can’t see the stars I’m really not sure, ask me tomorrow

      • Is White Supremacism a Mental Illness?

        Have you ever wondered why we [women] are not just in armed combat against you? It’s not because there’s a shortage of kitchen knives in this country. It is because we believe in your humanity, against all the evidence.” —Andrea Dworkin

      • Dead Man’s Hand: The Impeachment Gambit

        The two-year Mueller investigation of Donald Trump’s alleged collusion (“largely synonymous with conspiracy”) with Russia is over. Nothingburger.

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • Pushing For Facebook, YouTube And Twitter To Ban Hate Speech Won’t Stop It From Migrating Elsewhere

        Remember a year ago when lots of people were blaming WhatsApp for violence in India, and demanding that there needed to be new laws passed to deal with WhatsApp? Well, if the actual problem is societal, it’s not much going to matter how you target a particular platform. Wired now has an article talking about another, super popular platform, TikTok, and arguing that it is “fuelling India’s deadly hate speech epidemic.” This, of course, is the same language that was used to discuss WhatsApp over the past few years.

        TikTok, as you may know, is the rapidly growing newish social media platform that is owned by the Chinese firm ByteDance. Of course, its rapid rise in popularity should already challenge the narrative that the big social media platforms — Facebook (along with Instagram and WhatsApp), YouTube, and Twitter — are so dominant that it’s impossible for new entrants to make a play. But, even more importantly, it shows that if the problem everyone is debating is a societal one, blaming the service providers in the middle for not magically stopping societal problems is not helpful. These problems will just keep appearing on each successive platform.

    • Privacy/Surveillance

      • The GDPR Is A Wide Open Vulnerability For Identity Fraud And Scams

        We’ve spent the last year and a half or so pointing out that, while it may have been well-intentioned, there are all sorts of consequences — whether intended or not — to the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), including giving more power to the giant internet companies (when many argued the GDPR was necessary to curb their power), censorship of media, and a way for the rich and famous to harass people. But, of course, some might argue that those are worthy trade-offs if it did a better job protecting people’s privacy.

        About that… Last year, we pointed out that one consequence of the GDPR was that, in making it easy to “download” your data, it could open up serious privacy consequences for anyone who has their accounts hacked. In that story, we talked about someone having their Spotify account hacked, and having all the data downloaded — a situation that might not be that impactful. However, last week, at Black Hat, James Pavur, a PhD student at Oxford, explained how he exploited the GDPR to access a ton of private info about his fiancee.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • Warnings, Ancient and Modern

        The wise priest Laocoön, old legends say, vainly warned against the famous “Trojan horse”. A hostile god sent giant serpents which strangled him and the big wooden present was opened. The soldiers hidden inside opened Troy’s gates so the Greek battalions could rush in, kill the men, enslave the women and destroy the city. Its ruins are still being uncovered.

        [...]

        Some AfD leaders and spokesmen, like nose-tip-bespectacled old Prof. Alexander Gauland, 78, and jolly, friendly Jörg Meuthen, 58, may seem almost harmless or reasonable – until they hit out at “those Muslims” who are endangering the purity of German blood and culture – or killing Germans.

        In an awful incident a week ago a mentally unstable man of Eritrean descent pushed a woman and her son under a train in Frankfurt. The boy died. Such horrors are grist for the AfD, which had fully ignored the shooting of an Eritrean only days earlier by a German, at random from his car window – perhaps the trigger for the later tragedy, committed by a man who was not in the refugee wave welcomed by Merkel in 2015 but had arrived years earlier, in Switzerland, not Germany. Yet one of the 91 AfD deputies in the Bundestag was quick with blame: “Angela Merkel, I curse the day you were born!”

        AfD boss Jörg Meuthen, asked in a TV interview if this was a proper reaction, smiled tolerantly: “I can understand it a bit if people react highly emotionally and perhaps then choose the wrong words.”

      • That Debacle at the Border is Genocide
      • With the Boeing 737 MAX Grounded, Top Boeing Bosses Must Testify Before Congress Now
      • Manifestos of Hate: What White Terrorists Have in Common

        Writing under the title of “If the El Paso shooter had been Muslim”, Moustafa Bayoumi stated the obvious.

      • Uncle Sam was Born Lethal

        One of the occupational and intellectual hazards of being a historian is that current events often seem far less new to oneself than they do to others. Recently a leftish liberal friend told me that the United States under the Donald Trump had “become a lethal society.” My friend cited the neofascist Trump’s: horrible family separations and concentration camps on the border; openly white-nationalist assaults on four progressive nonwhite and female Congresswomen; real and threatened roundups of undocumented immigrants; fascist-style and hate-filled “Make America Great Again” rallies; encouragement of white supremacist terrorism; alliance with right-wing evangelical Christian fascists.

      • La Danse Mossad: Robert Maxwell and Jeffrey Epstein

        Media tycoon and former Labour MP Robert Maxwell (father of Ghislaine Maxwell, Jeffrey Epstein’s partner in crime) was given a state funeral in Jerusalem after *accidentally* falling off his yacht – the unluckily named “Lady Ghislaine”. Later it was revealed Maxwell Sr was a Mossad asset who used his vast network of connections and publishing platforms to run editorial interference over his purchased assets to influence enemies and friends alike, ensuring their fealty to the foreign government that had enlisted him for its espionage work.

      • Appeals Court Gives Gov’t One More Chance To Lock Up Men For Producing An ‘Illegal’ Drug Its Own Chemist Said Wasn’t Illegal

        How many chances does the government get to try to convict a couple of people for selling a drug analogue the DEA’s own chemist said wasn’t “substantially similar” to any controlled substance? Apparently the government will get at least one more swing at the plate, having batted .500 during its first two tries.

        In 2012, the DEA raided Zencense, a business owned by Charles Ritchie and Benjamin Galecki. They were charged with conspiracy to distribute controlled substance analogues. The “spice” made by Zencense used XLR-11 and UR-144 as active ingredients. The government claimed these were analogues of JWH-018, which is a controlled substance.

        The defendants argued that their spice was not an analogue of a controlled substance. If true, this sunk the government’s case, because the conspiracy charges relied on the “knowing” distribution of illegal drug analogues.

        The government claimed XLR-11 and UR-144 were pretty much the same thing and pretty much identical to JWH-018. This testimony was undercut by one of the DEA’s own chemists, who had stated in other prosecutions that UR-144 was not an analogue of JWH-018. Not only that, but the chemist’s professional opinion on this subject was freely available online, as part of a handout on litigating synthetic drug cases.

      • NYPD Used Reverse Warrants To Round Up Proud Boys Members Suspected Of Beating Antifa Members

        The first documented case of the NYPD using reverse warrants to find criminal suspects has been revealed. It made its appearance in perhaps the most 2019 of cases: the trial of two members of the Proud Boys facing assault charges for allegedly attacking members of Antifa.

        Reverse warrants work this way: law enforcement agencies approach tech companies with geographic coordinates, asking for phone data for all phones within the geofenced area during a certain time frame. Using this data, law enforcement works its way backwards to probable cause, sifting through records to find what phones were in the area when the alleged crime was committed.

        Obviously, this is a highly-imperfect way to track down suspects. For one, GPS data collected by companies like Google isn’t exactly precise. For another, “fenced-in” areas will always contain numerous people who aren’t criminals or even suspects, but the data turns them all into suspects until investigators sort them out. The more heavily-trafficked an area is, the more likely the chance officers will pursue the wrong phones/people.

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • FCC Forgets About, Then Dismisses, Complaint Detailing Verizon’s Long History Of Net Neutrality Violations

        So a few years ago we wrote about Alex Nguyen, one of the only folks to file a formal net neutrality complaint (pdf) with the FCC. Before the rules were killed, users could file a free complaint, of which there were thousands. But if you wanted to actually have your complaint looked at by the FCC, you needed to pay $225, submit an ocean of paperwork, and kick off a long-train of procedural and legal fisticuffs most consumers simply didn’t have time for. But Nguyen took the time, and filed a lengthy complaint outlining how Verizon Wireless had a long history of anti-competitive, restrictive behavior that harmed innovation and competition.

        With 300 citations across a 112-page document, Nguyen documented Verizon’s ugly history, including banning mobile payment services that competed with Verizon’s own payment offerings, blocking tablets from working on its network to promote its own tablets, and even banning devices from using GPS to — you guessed it — force subscribers to use the company’s own subscription GPS services. Most of these efforts violated not just net neutrality, but the “Carterfone” conditions affixed to Verizon’s spectrum to ensure the company would treat all devices and services fairly.

        Verizon’s long history on this front is fairly indisputable, and the company has never been held seriously accountable for any of it. And while Nguyen hoped he’d be the one to help hold Verizon to account, the regulatory capture in the telecom sector had other ideas.

    • Monopolies

      • Patents and Software Patents

        • Repurposing patented products: Inking a new test for infringement in Australia?

          The printer cartridges were modified overseas by Ninestar Image (Malaysia), which enabled their reuse in Epson branded printers. Calidad then imported them as ‘refills’ for subsequent sale. Seiko contended that the importation and sale of Calidad cartridges infringed two Australian patents (Nos 2009233643 and 2013219239). Calidad did not dispute that the refilled cartridges fell within the scope of the patent claims. Rather, Calidad submitted that it was the beneficiary of an implied licence, which allowed it to legitimately import and sell the cartridges in Australia.

          The question for the Full Court (Greenwood, Jagot and Yates JJ) of the Federal Court was whether a patent holder can prevent the commercial activities of another business that legitimately acquired the patented products repurposing them for resale in direct competition with the patent holder’s product.

          [...]

          Burley J noted that National Phonograph Co of Australia Ltd v Menck (1911) 12 CLR 15 (Privy Council) supports the principle that subsequent owners may assume they acquire patented products without any restrictions. Under National Phonograph, the purchasers of the printer cartridges are conferred an implied licence to use and dispose of the product as they wish. Burley J stated that while this approach allows the patent holder to impose limitations, the onus remains on them to communicate any limitations to the purchaser, or subsequent owners, at the point of sale or coming into ownership.

          In this case, the Epson cartridges had been refilled, and the memory chips were either reprogrammed or replaced by Ninestar, in order to restore them to their original condition. Interestingly, the court chose to leave the question whether such a modification might be regarded as a ‘repair’ of the patented product.

        • Ubisoft Entertainment, S.A. v. Oy (E.D.N.C.)

          In August 2018, Plaintiffs Ubisoft Entertainment, S.A. and Ubisoft, Inc. (collectively, “Ubisoft”) sued Defendant Yousician Oy (“Oy”), alleging that Oy’s software products infringed Ubisoft’s U.S. Patent No. 9,839,852 (the ’852 patent). In November 2018, Oy moved to dismiss on grounds that the claims of the patent are directed to patent-ineligible subject matter under 35 U.S.C. § 101. On August 9, 2019, Judge Louise W. Flanagan of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina granted the motion and dismissed Ubisoft’s complaint.

          The ’852 patent is generally related to Ubisoft’s music video game, Rocksmith®, which is an interactive game designed to help users learn how to play guitar, such as by allowing users to play guitar along with visual learning aids displayed on a screen and providing users with useful feedback and statistics based on their performance. More particularly, the claims of the ’852 patent relate to a computer program that receives signals from a guitar device while a user is playing a song, assesses the user’s performance of the song, and determines a portion of the song where the user can improve the performance. Once the program determines where the user can improve, the program changes a difficulty level of the fingering notations for the determined portion of the song (e.g., changing a frequency or speed at which the notations are presented) and generates a “mini-game” targeted to improving the user’s performance of the determined portion. As an example, the mini-game might prompt the user to play the determined portion (or the entire song) without missing a note or without the aid of the displayed fingering notations.

          [...]

          Lastly, the Court dismissed Ubisoft’s arguments that Oy failed to prove that the recited steps in the claims are well-understood, routine, and conventional.

          Thus, the Court concluded that the claims were patent-ineligible and granted Oy’s motion to dismiss.

        • “Substantially Equivalent” Disclosure Satisfies Written Description

          This Hatch-Waxman litigation was triggered by the Abbreviated New Drug Application (ANDA) filed by Actavis — seeking permission from the FDA to begin marketing weight loss drugs naltrexone hydrochloride and bupropion hydrochloride extended-release tablets. Nalpropion is the branded distributor of the Contrave and owner of the Orange Book listed patents U.S. Patents 7,375,111, 7,462,626, and 8,916,195. The lawsuit was started by Orexigen who held rights at the time. Nalproprion bought rights from Orexigen out of Bankruptcy in a $75 million asset purchase. (The problem is that the pills are not overly effective — ~10% weight loss, but only when combined with diet changes and exercise.)

          The patentee won the district court litigation and obtained an injunction against generic entry by Actavis until expiration of the patents in suit. On appeal, the Federal Circuit has partially reversed — finding some of the asserted claims obvious.

          The active ingredients were already known in the art, and so the claims at issue are directed toward (1) a method of treating obesity with naltrexone and bupropion and (2) a sustained release formulation of the two drugs in a single pill.

          The key prior art taught use of the two drugs (in sustained release form) to avoid weight gain associated with smoking cessation (rather than losing weight for obese/overweight patients). A second reference taught using bupropion for weight loss. Another reference taught the use of the two drugs as a treatment of depression and included case studies showing weight loss. The district court considered these references but found the weight loss effect were not clear enough and that there were too many potential side-effects to encourage experimentation.

        • Federal Circuit: ‘Physicality’ of Processing Paper Checks Does Not Save Solutran’s Claims from 101 Challenge

          The Federal Circuit recently reversed the District of Minnesota’s denial of summary judgment and held claims related to paper check processing invalid under 35 U.S.C. § 101

        • Chinese Supreme Court Recently Clarified the Standard of Filing a Declaratory Judgment Action of Non-Infringement of Patent

          Declaratory-judgment actions of non-infringement are common in patent litigation because it allows the alleged infringer to proactively bring suit to resolve the situation and eliminate the cloud of uncertainty looming overhead. Under Chinese law, to bring a claim for declaratory judgment in a patent dispute, the claimant must establish that: (1) the patentee sends a “notice” of infringement; (2) the alleged infringer or a pertinent interested party demands the patentee to bring a lawsuit in court; and (3) the patentee refuses to withdraw the warning nor initiate a lawsuit within one month after receiving said demand or two months after the demand was sent.

          On a related note, a unique feature of China’s patent right enforcement mechanism is that infringement claims can be pursued both administratively and judicially. In the administrative system, allegations of infringement can be brought to a local branch of the China National Intellectual Property Administration (CNIPA), which is authorized to issue an injunction in its province or city but is unable to award monetary damages.

          There is no bright-line rule for what is a “notice” of patent infringement as required by the law. A typical “notice” is a cease and desist letter. Sometimes a patentee, instead of sending a cease and desist letter to the alleged infringer or its reseller/distributor/customer, chooses to file a complaint with a local branch of the CNIPA to initiate an administrative enforcement action. Then, a question arises as to: (1) whether such administrative action should be regarded as a constructive “notice” of infringement that may give rise to declaratory judgment jurisdiction; and (2) whether a patentee’s notice letter or lawsuit against reseller/ distributor/ customer alone gives the supplier/manufacturer standing to seek declaratory relief against the patentee.

          [...]

          In China, administrative enforcement of patent rights has pros and cons compared with civil actions. The apparent pros include that administrative enforcement can usually be concluded within 4 months, much quicker than a civil proceeding which will normally takes 1-2 years for patent cases. The cons are that, local branches of the CNIPA would unlikely have the capacity to make infringement analysis if the determination of patent infringement is not straightforward.

        • Relating back to the Original Complaint

          The district court dismissed Anza’s infringement lawsuit — finding it barred by the six-year statute of limitations on collecting back-damages. The statute:

          [...]

          By the third filing, the original patent is no longer asserted but rather two family member patents; and two new products had been added as infringing (along with ten being deleted).

          On appeal, the Federal Circuit held that the claims directed to the six originally accused products properly relate back to the original complaint. For the allegations again the two new products, the court remanded for a new analysis on whether those allegations should also relate back.

          In its opinion, the appellate panel primarily focused on the question of notice — finding that the “technological overlap [between the patents] suggests that the aggregate of operative facts underlying infringement under the ’927 patent in the original complaint gave notice of the substance of the claims of infringement under the ’479 and ’864 patents in the second amended complaint.”

        • Construe Claims First; Then Rule on Eligibility

          In a split decision, the Federal Circuit has remanded this case — holding that the district court needs to construe the claims before adjuding patent eligibility.

          [...]

          MyMail’s patents cover the method method of modifying toolbars on a (PC) computer display from the server-side without user interaction. N.D. Cal. Judge Koh dismissed the case on the pleadings — finding the claims directed to the abstract idea of “updating toolbar software over a network without user intervention.” The court noted that the claims basically gather, analyze and process information and generate a response to transmitted data — all of which are generally abstract functions. In addition the court noted that the claims “relate to [the abstract idea of] using communications networks to update software stored on computers.” Under Alice Step 2, the court found no inventive concepts in the claim — but rather generic, conventional components such as “Internet-connected computers and servers.” While a “toolbar” might be interesting, they were already in widespread use as of the invention and so not an inventive concept.

          In an earlier proceeding, the E.D. Tex. construed the term “toolbar” with some particularity as a “button bar that can be dynamically changed or updated via a Pinger process or a MOT script.” MyMail, Ltd. v. Yahoo! Inc., 16-CV-1000 (E.D. Tex. Sept. 9, 2017). MyMail requested the same construction in this case — hoping that the added complexity would either (1) take the concept out of the abstract idea realm or (2) be considered an inventive concept. ooVoo argued that the prior claim construction was “wrong.”

          [...]

          The patent here stems from a broad provisional application filed in 1997 by Netsafe. Netsafe owned Robert Derry $70,000. He obtained judgment and was awarded the patent rights as payment back in 2000. Derry is the head of MyMail and lead inventor Thomas Selgas is a co-founder.

          Mymail obtained $6.8 million settlement on the patents from various companies back in 2005 and Selgas reportedly received a distribution of $1.1 million. According to IRS court filings, Selgas bought gold coins rather than paying taxes on the income. [US v. Selgas][DOJ Press Release]. That case is ongoing.

      • Copyrights

        • Copyright protection granted to Charlotte Tilbury makeup powder case and design

          Lookalike products pose a concern for many a famous brand, and many forms of legal action may be brought in efforts to quell this, from trade mark infringement to passing off and, also, copyright infringement. When it comes to makeup palettes, pursuit of a copyright infringement claim may be indeed a promising way to go, following Islestarr Holdings Ltd v Aldi Stores Ltd, heard under the Shorter Trials Scheme in the High Court of England and Wales (Business and Property Courts).

          In this case, Charlotte Tilbury successfully proved copyright infringement of 2 artistic works by Aldi: first, their ‘Starburst design’, which decorated the lid of the package containing two makeup powders; and the ‘Powder design’, embossed into the separate makeup powders in the package (pictured).

          [...]

          In the present case, copyright was easily proven once drawings of the designs were produced. Even if the drawings were not present, copyright would nonetheless subsist in this artistic work – fixation would not be an issue here.

          More often than not, subsistence of copyright protection will depend upon whether the Work seeking copyright protection is a ‘work’ at all (the CJEU case of Levola Hengelo, C-310/17 is an excellent example of this, see IPKat analysis here). For UK copyright law specifically, this will extend to whether the Work was ‘of the right kind’, as s1(1) of the CDPA 1988 sets out an exhaustive list of works in which copyright may subsist.

          Finally, since this judgment was heard under the Shorter Trial (as opposed to the Intellectual Property Enterprise Courts, where there is an upper damage limit of £500,000), this could be a potentially pricey problem for makers of lookalike products of this kind …

Nothing Says ‘New’ Microsoft Like Microsoft Component Firmware Update (More Hardware Lock-in)

Posted in GNU/Linux, Hardware, IBM, Microsoft, Red Hat at 9:09 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“One thing I find myself wondering about is whether we shouldn’t try and make the “ACPI” extensions somehow Windows specific.

“It seems unfortunate if we do this work and get our partners to do the work and the results is that Linux works great without having to do the work.

“Maybe there is no way to avoid this problem but it does bother me.

“Maybe we could define the APIs so that they work well with NT and not the others even if they are open.

“Or maybe we could patent something related to this.”

Bill Gates

Summary: Vicious old Microsoft is still trying to make life very hard for GNU/Linux, especially in the OEM channel/s, but we’re somehow supposed to think that “Microsoft loves Linux”

YESTERDAY we saw Red Hat’s (now IBM’s) Richard Hughes complaining about Microsoft [1], whereupon Phoronix picked that up [2] and it was then discussed in our IRC channels, Phoronix forums etc. The corporate media obviously showed no interest in it. All it can do is post “Microsoft loves Linux” images because Microsoft asks for that. To quote Richard: “All the dependency resolution should be in the metadata layer (e.g. in the .inf file) rather than being pushed down to the hardware running the old firmware.”

“All the dependency resolution should be in the metadata layer (e.g. in the .inf file) rather than being pushed down to the hardware running the old firmware.”
      –Richard Hughes
As Michael Larabel put it, “implementation has a number of issues that complicate the process and could quickly evolve into another troubling specification from Microsoft in the hardware space.”

Remember UEFI ‘secure boot’? How did that work out for security?

Microsoft certainly loves Linux with a knife in the back — hence Bill Gates' "Jihad" remark (about Intel’s support for Linux). MinceR at the #techrights IRC channel said: “you can tell something from Microsoft is _really_ _really_ shit when their sycophants at GNOME say it’s shit…”

“Nowadays Zemlin is mostly quoted by the media as saying wonderful things about Microsoft. Most GNU/Linux user just want to vomit.”It is worth remembering that Richard’s work is now supported by the Linux Foundation (since months ago when it adopted LVFS), so maybe Richard can explain to the Linux ‘genius’ Jim Zemlin (who never uses Linux) what Microsoft does here and why it is anticompetitive. We don’t suppose this will happen though. Zemlin is a 'true believer' in Microsoft and his wife managed a close partner of Microsoft when Microsoft paid the Linux Foundation. Nowadays Zemlin is mostly quoted by the media as saying wonderful things about Microsoft. Most GNU/Linux user just want to vomit. Money talks; people who love money are therefore a vulnerability. Jim Zemlin and his wife are the sorts of people whose life aspiration is to have dinner with Bill and Melinda Gates. It’s all about class and power (Harvard). A decade ago Jim Zemlin said negative things about Microsoft and now (after/since Microsoft had given him $500,000) he says Microsoft is a good company while ignoring the below among many other things, patent extortion included (it's still going on). His wife worked for a Gold Microsoft Partner at the time (as a General Manager and Global VP of a SaaS Business Unit). Her business was moving companies to something like Microsoft Azure. In his own words (Jim Zemlin’s interview with Jeremy Allison; 1m:30s), “I’m about as much [boss of Torvalds] as I am the boss of my wife…”

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. Musings on the Microsoft Component Firmware Update (CFU) Protocol

    CFU has a bazaar pre-download phase before sending the firmware to the microcontroller so the uC can check if the firmware is required and compatible. CFU also requires devices to be able to transfer the entire new transfer mode in runtime mode. The pre-download “offer” allows the uC to check any sub-components attached (e.g. other devices attached to the SoC) and forces it to do dep resolution in case sub-components have to be updated in a specific order.

    Pushing the dep resolution down to the uC means the uC has to do all the version comparisons and also know all the logic with regard to protocol incompatibilities. You could be in a position where the uC firmware needs to be updated so that it “knows” about the new protocol restrictions, which are needed to update the uC and the things attached in the right order in a subsequent update. If we always update the uC to the latest, the probably-factory-default running version doesn’t know about the new restrictions.

    The other issue with this is that the peripheral is unaware of the other devices in the system, so for instance couldn’t only install a new firmware version for only new builds of Windows for example. Something that we support in fwupd is being able to restrict the peripheral device firmware to a specific SMBIOS CHID or a system firmware vendor, which lets vendors solve the “same hardware in different chassis, with custom firmware” problem. I don’t see how that could be possible using CFU unless I misunderstand the new .inf features. All the dependency resolution should be in the metadata layer (e.g. in the .inf file) rather than being pushed down to the hardware running the old firmware.

  2. Microsoft’s Component Firmware Update Is Their Latest Short-Sighted Spec

    Microsoft’s newest specification is the “Component Firmware Update” that they envision as a standard for OEMs/IHVs to be able to handle device firmware/microcode updating in a robust and secure manner. While nice in theory, the actual implementation has a number of issues that complicate the process and could quickly evolve into another troubling specification from Microsoft in the hardware space.

    Red Hat’s Richard Hughes who is the lead developer on Fwupd and LVFS for firmware updating on Linux has written a lengthy blog post with his thoughts after studying the specification. Now that vendors have begun asking him about CFU, he’s getting his opinions out there now and there are issues with the specification. Ultimately though if there is enough interest/adoption, he could support Component Firmware Update via Fwupd but he certainly isn’t eager to do so.

Bill Gates and His Special Relationship With Jeffrey Epstein Still Stirring Speculations

Posted in Bill Gates, Microsoft, Rumour at 7:53 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Bill Gates reportedly offered to help a serial abuser of young girls (while knowing what he had done)

A church sculpture

Summary: Love of the “children” has long been a controversial subject for Microsoft; can Bill Gates and his connections to Jeffrey Epstein unearth some unsavoury secrets?

THIS IS a story more about crime than about software (very much like Microsoft, which owes its market position to crimes rather than technical merit). Bill Gates managed to use a fake ‘charity’ to push back against regulators, at times by bribing officials, bribing the media and so on. There’s also the perverted aspect, which we rarely touch as that tends to lead to “conspiracy theory” accusations.

“There’s also the perverted aspect, which we rarely touch as that tends to lead to “conspiracy theory” accusations.”In the past we mentioned Microsoft’s truly bizarre stance on pedophilia, even before Microsoft Peter was arrested for it (he's still in prison), as were people who worked in the home of Bill Gates. The subject merits further research as not much is known and we’ve seen some false rumours being spread too (several readers sent us links about it). Two of the links sent to us are below. One reader cited the Daily Mail, but we regard that to be an unreliable source.

The articles below seem to point to a reputation laundering effort. Some criminals buy themselves a new identity. Rich criminals just buy the media, as Bill Gates did, to ignore their crimes and instead paint them as “Saints”.

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. Bill Gates reportedly met with Jeffrey Epstein to ‘discuss philanthropy’ after the disgraced financier went to jail for sex crimes

    The meeting took place in New York in 2013, according to CNBC, and is further evidence of how Epstein was able to make connections in elite society — even after he became a convicted sex offender.

  2. Years after serving jail time, Jeffrey Epstein found a way to meet with Microsoft’s Bill Gates to discuss philanthropy

    After the meeting in New York six years ago, Gates flew on one of Epstein’s planes to meet with his family in Palm Beach, the people added. He did not, they noted, fly on the so-called “Lolita Express,” which was allegedly used to transport underage girls to Epstein’s home in the Virgin Islands. The Daily Mail first reported on Gates using the plane in March of that year, citing flight records.

Links 16/8/2019: Kdevops and QEMU 4.1

Posted in News Roundup at 7:48 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Desktop

      • Upgrade from Windows 7 to Ubuntu Part 2: Releases

        Knowing Ubuntu releases is important to understand it better. Ubuntu is released twice a year, more precisely, every April and October, hence the number 04 and 10 in every version. It has special release called Long Term Support (LTS) released once in two years, only when the year number is even, hence all LTS version numbers are ended with 04. More importantly, you will also see 3 different periods of Ubuntu Desktop, that have been going through GNOME2, Unity, and GNOME3 eras, with OpenOffice.org and then LibreOffice as the main office suite. You will also see Ubuntu siblings like Kubuntu and Mythbuntu. I hope this will be interesting enough for everybody to read. Go ahead, and learn more about Ubuntu!

      • Goodbye PCs, it’s been nice knowing you. Hello, desktop as a service

        I don’t think we’ll see Windows 10 as a standalone desktop operating system fold. After all, you’ll still need something to log into the virtual desktop — and Microsoft and its partners won’t want that to be a Chromebook, but you can see it from here.

        Now, all that is fine with some people. They love their SaaS programs. I don’t blame them. I love them, too. My Chrome OS-powered Pixelbook with Google Docs has become my go-to business laptop. They don’t see why — for all the good that you get with DaaS and SaaS — this trend has a dark side, as well.

        If we go all-in on SaaS, we’re returning our power to large corporate IT firms. We’re walking back to the 70s when IBM and DEC called the computing shots. Today, it will be Google and Microsoft, but it’s the same model.

        Going forward, if you want to call your own work shots at the keyboard, you’re going to need either a Mac or a Linux desktop. That’s one reason why I’ve always preferred the Linux desktop. On Linux, with open-source software such as LibreOffice, ultimately, I’m in charge of my computing experience.

        The conventional Microsoft/Intel-based PC, that most of you have used for decades? It’s on its way out. I’ll miss it.

      • Forget Windows, Linux or MacOS: Our choice of the best alternative operating systems

        If you’re fed up with Windows, Linux, or macOS, you’ll want to know if there’s a great alternative desktop operating system that’s worth using.

        While there are no absolute definitive answers here – everyone’s use case is different, after all – we’ve discovered ten distinct examples that fall outside the usual bounds.

        Our list even includes a few true outsiders, independent operating systems built from the ground up which serve mainly to prove just how difficult it is to create an entire functioning OS without a large number of brains working on it.

        Everything here can be tested reasonably within a virtual machine, so if something grabs your interest don’t hesitate to download and give it a try.

        Linux powers most of the website providers out there. Check out the best web hosting services in the world right now.

    • Server

      • Keeping track of Linux users: When do they log in and for how long?

        The Linux command line provides some excellent tools for determining how frequently users log in and how much time they spend on a system. Pulling information from the /var/log/wtmp file that maintains details on user logins can be time-consuming, but with a couple easy commands, you can extract a lot of useful information on user logins.

      • Daily user management tasks made easy for every Linux administrator

        In this article, we will be going over some tasks that a Linux administrator may need to perform daily related to user management.

      • The cost of micro-services complexity

        It has long been recognized by the security industry that complex systems are impossible to secure, and that pushing for simplicity helps increase trust by reducing assumptions and increasing our ability to audit. This is often captured under the acronym KISS, for “keep it stupid simple”, a design principle popularized by the US Navy back in the 60s. For a long time, we thought the enemy were application monoliths that burden our infrastructure with years of unpatched vulnerabilities.

        So we split them up. We took them apart. We created micro-services where each function, each logical component, is its own individual service, designed, developed, operated and monitored in complete isolation from the rest of the infrastructure. And we composed them ad vitam æternam. Want to send an email? Call the rest API of micro-service X. Want to run a batch job? Invoke lambda function Y. Want to update a database entry? Post it to A which sends an event to B consumed by C stored in D transformed by E and inserted by F. We all love micro-services architecture. It’s like watching dominoes fall down. When it works, it’s visceral. It’s when it doesn’t that things get interesting. After nearly a decade of operating them, let me share some downsides and caveats encountered in large-scale production environments.

        [...]

        And finally, there’s security. We sure love auditing micro-services, with their tiny codebases that are always neat and clean. We love reviewing their infrastructure too, with those dynamic security groups and clean dataflows and dedicated databases and IAM controlled permissions. There’s a lot of security benefits to micro-services, so we’ve been heavily advocating for them for several years now.

        And then, one day, someone gets fed up with having to manage API keys for three dozen services in flat YAML files and suggests to use oauth for service-to-service authentication. Or perhaps Jean-Kevin drank the mTLS Kool-Aid at the FoolNix conference and made a PKI prototype on the flight back (side note: do you know how hard it is to securely run a PKI over 5 or 10 years? It’s hard). Or perhaps compliance mandates that every server, no matter how small, must run a security agent on them.

      • IBM

        • Announcing Oracle Linux 7 Update 7

          Oracle is pleased to announce the general availability of Oracle Linux 7 Update 7. Individual RPM packages are available on the Unbreakable Linux Network (ULN) and the Oracle Linux yum server. ISO installation images will soon be available for download from the Oracle Software Delivery Cloud and Docker images will soon be available via Oracle Container Registry and Docker Hub.

        • Oracle Linux 7 Update 7 Released

          Based on last week’s release of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.7 is now Oracle Linux 7 Update 7 with many of the same changes.

          Oracle Linux 7 Update 7 features many of the same changes as RHEL 7.7 but now also adding an updated Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel Release 5 based on Linux 4.14.35 with many extra patches compared to RHEL7′s default Linux 3.10 based kernel.

        • RHELvolution: A brief history of Red Hat Enterprise Linux releases from early days to RHEL 5

          The launch of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8 (RHEL 8) at Red Hat Summit 2019 was a jubilant event. Not only for the many team members around the world who worked to make the next-generation of the world?s leading enterprise Linux platform a reality, but also for customers who are excited to utilize its new capabilities in driving business innovation.

          This is a great time to reflect on what is so special about RHEL 8 by taking a walk through time on the evolution of RHEL. The RHELvolution, if you will. I’ll be your guide on this journey, having been at the helm for RHEL engineering since the beginning (2001), starting with Red Hat Enterprise Linux 2.1. And yes, we’ll explain why it started with 2.1.

          It has been thrilling to be part of the RHEL team all these years. Having worked on proprietary UNIX operating systems before being at Red Hat, constructing RHEL offered a first hand view of the power of open source. Through collaboration with customers, community and a highly motivated team, we have had a global impact on the IT landscape. Evolving from “lighting up the box” to dynamic infrastructure that helps to advance the state of the art while liberating customers from vendor lock-in (originally at the hardware level, later expanded to hybrid cloud).

        • Command Line Heroes season 3 episode 4: Diving for Perl
        • How Developers Can Survive the Last Mile with CodeReady Workspaces

          As a way to piece together this explosion of available open source tools into simple and coherent single interface for cloud native deployments, the Eclipse Foundation offers the Eclipse Che integrated development environment (IDE).

          Today’s often desperate need for Eclipse Che can be traced back to the evolution of open source tools during the past 10 years. Not only have these tools been evolving, but in many cases, they have been outright created from scratch. That’s posed a bit of a problem for those out on the cutting edge of scalable microservices as the stable infrastructure components of old gave way to a hodgepodge of brand new open source and commercial products and tools.

          Inside each cloud provider, a host of tools can address CI/CD, testing, monitoring, backing up and recovery problems. Outside of those providers, the cloud native community has been hard at work cranking out new tooling from Prometheus, Knative, Envoy and Fluentd, to Kubenetes itself and the expanding ecosystem of Kubernetes Operators.

          Within all of those projects, cloud-based services and desktop utilities is one major gap, however: the last mile of software development is the IDE. And despite the wealth of development projects inside the community and Cloud Native Computing Foundation, it is indeed the Eclipse Foundation, as mentioned above, that has taken on this problem with a focus on the new cloud development landscape.

        • IBM is bringing Red Hat OpenShift to Its Platforms

          IBM is fully embracing Red Hat OpenShift. The company recently announced that it will use Red Hat OpenShift as the primary container environment for all its hybrid cloud offerings. This includes IBM Cloud, IBM Cloud Paks running on OpenShift, an entire field of IBM consultants and services people being trained on OpenShift, and OpenShift on IBM Power Systems and Storage, IBM Z and LinuxONE enterprise platforms. With this move, Red Hat OpenShift has become the preferred Kubernetes platform for IBM to address the needs of increasingly critical container workloads.

          With Red Hat OpenShift running on top of IBM’s cloud and systems, existing IBM customers can unlock the hybrid cloud model for software developers and systems architects. OpenShift can transform IBM systems that have been optimized for data, transaction processing and AI workloads into another resource for container-based infrastructure, inside the fold when it comes to networking, APIs and data access controls.

        • Disaster Recovery Strategies for Red Hat OpenShift

          As increasingly complex applications move to the Red Hat OpenShift platform, IT teams should have disaster recovery (DR) processes in place for business continuity in the face of widespread outages. These are not theoretical concerns. Many industries are subject to regulations that require data protection even in the event of massive failures. For instance, CFR 164.308(7)(ii)(B) of the HIPAA regulation stipulates that companies must be able to “restore ANY loss of data” (emphasis added) in the event of a failure. Thus for some truly mission critical applications to run on OpenShift, disaster recovery is essential.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • Destination Linux 134 – Xfce 4.14, Ubuntu Snaps, LibreOffice, Linux Journal, NVidia, Huawei, FFmpeg

        Sparky Linux 2019.8, Xfce 4.14, LibreOffice 6.3, FFMPEG 4.2, Phoronix RX5700, Huawei New OpenSource OS, Martin Wimpress on Snaps, Linux Journal Says Goodbye?Again, Nvidia Coming Around? Space Mercs.

      • LHS Episode #296: Sham Shack

        Welcome to the 296th installment of Linux in the Ham Shack. In this episode, the hosts discuss Bill teaching our children (yikes), VHF propagation, the International Lighthouse Lightship Weekend, YOTA, Linux Journal, Huawei, QSSTV and much more. Thank you for downloading and listening to this episode and we hope you all have a wonderful week of amateur radio and open source.

      • Conference Gear Breakdown | BSD Now 311

        NetBSD 9.0 release process has started, xargs, a tale of two spellcheckers, Adapting TriforceAFL for NetBSD, Exploiting a no-name freebsd kernel vulnerability, and more.

      • Ubuntu Podcast from the UK LoCo: S12E19 – Starglider

        This week we’ve been fixing floors and playing with the new portal HTML element. We round up the Ubuntu community news including the release of 18.04.3 with a new hardware enablement stack, better desktop integration for Livepatch and improvements in accessing the latest Nvidia drivers. We also have our favourite picks from the general tech news.

        It’s Season 12 Episode 19 of the Ubuntu Podcast! Alan Pope, Mark Johnson and Stuart Langridge are connected and speaking to your brain.

    • Kernel Space

      • kdevops: a devops framework for Linux kernel development

        I’m announcing the release of kdevops which aims at making setting up and testing the Linux kernel for any project as easy as possible. Note that setting up testing for a subsystem and testing a subsystem are two separate operations, however we strive for both. This is not a new test framework, it allows you to use existing frameworks, and set those frameworks up as easily can humanly be possible. It relies on a series of modern hip devops frameworks, it relies on ansible, vagrant and terraform, ansible roles through the Ansible Galaxy, and terraform modules.

      • Kdevops Aims To Assist In Linux Kernel Testing

        Luis Chamberlain has announced the first release of Kdevops as a Linux kernel development “DevOps” framework.

        Kdevops aims to be the first modern devops framework for the Linux kernel. Kdevops can target different virtualization platforms, cloud providers, and Linux distributions. This devops framework is built off Ansible, Vagrant, and Terraform while it doesn’t integrate any testing frameworks itself but leaves that open to the developer for integration.

      • Etnaviv Is Packing Code For An Exciting Linux 5.4 Cycle

        While Freedreno and Panfrost have been steaming ahead when it comes to open-source, reverse-engineered graphics for Arm SoCs, the Etnaviv project for targeting Vivante graphics hasn’t had too much to report on recently. Fortunately, that’s changing as coming up for the Linux 5.4 cycle they have a lot of new code to introduce.

        The biggest Etnaviv DRM driver feature for Linux 5.4 is supporting per-process address spaces on capable GPUs, which is necessary for bringing up their Softpin support and in turn supporting the texture descriptor buffers on GC7000 series hardware.

      • QEMU 4.1 Released With Many ARM, MIPS & x86 Additions

        QEMU 4.1 is now out as one of the important pieces to the open-source Linux virtualization stack.

        QEMU 4.1 brings many improvements to various architecture-specific bits for ARM, MIPS, POWER, s390, x86, and even RISC-V has seen a number of prominent additions. On the Arm front there is now FPU emulation support for Cortex-M processors, ARMv8.5 RNG support, and other bits added. On the RISC-V front is the Spike machine model, ISA 1.11 support, and support for CPU topology in device trees. On the x86 front there is support for new Hygon Dhyana and Intel Snow Ridge CPU models as well as emulation support for the RdRand extension.

      • Graphics Stack

        • Radeon Software for Linux 19.30 Updated With Ubuntu 18.04.3 LTS Support

          In addition to AMD releasing the Radeon Pro Software for Enterprise 19.Q3 Linux driver, they also quietly released a new Radeon Software Linux driver release for consumer GPUs.

          This new Radeon Software for Linux release is still in the 19.30 release stream as was the case since the AMD Navi launch driver one month ago. But with this updated Radeon Software for Linux 19.30 driver they now are claiming official support for the Radeon RX 5700 (Navi) series.

        • Intel Volleys Another Batch Of Tiger Lake “Gen 12″ Graphics Code

          While it remains to be seen if Tiger Lake will be able to ship on time in 2020 as the Icelake successor, the “Gen 12″ Xe Graphics continue to be worked on with the company’s open-source Linux graphics driver.

          At the end of June Intel sent out the very preliminary open-source Linux graphics driver changes for Tiger Lake that is coming with “Gen 12″ graphics compared to Gen 11 with Icelake. Though so far at least there hasn’t been too many changes to the driver side while today a third round of Tiger Lake enablement patches were sent out.

    • Benchmarks

      • Radeon Pro Software for Enterprise 19.Q3 for Linux Released

        On Wednesday marked the release of AMD’s Radeon Pro Software for Enterprise driver package for Windows and Linux.

        The Radeon Pro Software for Enterprise 19.Q3 on the Windows side added more optimizations for workstation software, wireless VR visualization, and other bits to improve the AMD Radeon Pro support in the workstation software ecosystem. On the Linux side, the changes are a bit more tame.

      • AMDVLK 2019.Q3.4 Vulkan Driver Enables Atomic Optimizer For Navi

        AMD’s official open-source Vulkan driver code had fallen off its roughly weekly code push / release cadence with not having a new release in nearly three weeks, but that changed today with the availability of AMDVLK 2019.Q3.4.

        There is a new Vulkan extension with AMDVLK 2019.Q3.4 and that is VK_EXT_subgroup_size_control, the extension introduced last month with Vulkan 1.1.116. The subgroup size control extension allows for a varying sub-group size and a required size; more details in this earlier article.

    • Applications

      • Violin – minimalistic desktop music player

        Over the past few months I’ve covered scores of open source graphical music players. They’ve been a mixed bag. Some are genuinely excellent, others falling short of my (fairly) modest requirements. Many of them purport to be lightweight.

        There’s a new music player on the block. It’s called Violin, seeing its first release in March this year. The author bills his multimedia app as “… fast, lightweight, and minimalistic desktop music player”.

        The software is written in the JavaScript language using Electron, an open-source framework developed and maintained by GitHub. Violin is published under an open source license.

      • Avidemux 2.7.4 Released with Tons of Bug-fixes (How to Install)

        Avidemux video editor released version 2.7.4 today with tons of bug-fixes. Here’s how to install it in Ubuntu 18.04, Ubuntu 19.04.

      • Cockpit and the evolution of the Web User Interface

        This article only touches upon some of the main functions available in Cockpit. Managing storage devices, networking, user account, and software control will be covered in an upcoming article. In addition, optional extensions such as the 389 directory service, and the cockpit-ostree module used to handle packages in Fedora Silverblue.

        The options continue to grow as more users adopt Cockpit. The interface is ideal for admins who want a light-weight interface to control their server(s).

      • Popular mpv Player is now Celluloid

        The popular media player mpv is renamed as Celluloid and released latest installment.

        Celluloid (formerly GNOME mpv) is a GTK+ based free and open source media player. Celluloid is very lightweight and can easily be adapated as an alternative to popular VLC Media player. This slick media player interacts with mpv via the client API exported by libmpv, allowing access to mpv’s powerful playback capabilities.

        Some notable features of Celluloid includes the implementation of MPRIS D-Bus Interface which allows for better integration with desktop environments that have compatible MPRIS clients, fully functional Wayland support.

      • Proprietary

        • AI Algorithms Need FDA-Style Drug Trials

          Intelligent systems at scale need regulation because they are an unprecedented force multiplier for the promotion of the interests of an individual or a group. For the first time in history, a single person can customize a message for billions and share it with them within a matter of days. A software engineer can create an army of AI-powered bots, each pretending to be a different person, promoting content on behalf of political or commercial interests. Unlike broadcast propaganda or direct marketing, this approach also uses the self-reinforcing qualities of the algorithm to learn what works best to persuade and nudge each individual.

        • Stop Calling it AI

          The hype on terms like “machine learning” and “AI” is a rebranding of the terms “statistics” and “general programming logic”. It’s a long ways away from the scary AI you envision from sci-fi. At best, it makes cancer research faster. At worst, it spends a lot of research money on AWS.

          End of the day, it’s so far away from being a boogeyman that you should refocus on things that matter like global warming or overpopulation.

        • How AI is impacting the UK’s legal sector

          A recent study of London law firms by CBRE revealed that 48 percent are already using AI and a further 41 percent will start to do so in the near future. Furthermore, a Deloitte study estimated 100,000 legal roles will be automated by 2036, and by 2020 law firms will be faced with a “tipping point” for a new talent strategy. As a result, law firms that don’t start to embrace AI capabilities risk falling behind their more innovative peers.

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Games

      • The dieselpunk sci-fi RPG INSOMNIA: The Ark due for Linux sometime after the next update

        In their news post on Steam, talking about their progress on V1.6. While it’s sounding promising, it’s not ready yet as they’re working through the final set of issues. The good news, is that they mentioned that completing this version, will be “an important step towards Linux and Mac versions of the game”.

      • The first trailer for Commandos 2 – HD Remaster has been released

        Commandos 2 – HD Remaster, announced with Linux support back in June now has a first gameplay trailer ahead of Gamescom.

        Originally developed by Pyro Studios, it’s now being handled by Yippee! Entertainment with Kalypso Media Digital acting as publisher since they acquired the rights back in 2018.

      • The team behind SUPERHOT are now helping to fund other indie games

        A nice story for a Friday morning as the SUPERHOT team have announced SUPERHOT PRESENTS, a fund to help other indie game developers who don’t want or need a publisher.

        SUPERHOT PRESENTS, a name they jokingly stole from Double Fine Productions (Double Fine Presents) aims to work with developers who need some “finishing (or starting) funds” and they will give some mentoring and advice. They said they just want to “enable a few more properly independent studios exist in the world” which is rather admirable.

      • Action RPG with mutating characters Din’s Legacy to leave Early Access this month

        Din’s Legacy from Soldak Entertainment is their latest action RPG, after being in Early Access for nearly a year it’s getting ready to release in full.

        Soldak Entertainment previously developed games like Zombasite, Drox Operative, Din’s Curse and Depths of Peril with all of them supporting Linux too.

        For the final release of Din’s Legacy, they’ve set a date of August 28th (announced on Twitter) and since we already have a key, we should be taking a proper look.

      • ClockworkPi Rolls Out GameShell, A DIY Kit To Build Your Own Modular Console

        ClockworkPI is providing tech enthusiasts the opportunity to build their own modular console with the GameShell.

        The gadget is the result of the Kickstarter launched in April 2018. The campaign raised a total of $290,429 or almost six times the original goal of $50,000. Nearly 3,000 people pledged money for the company to push through with the project.

        The gadget was billed to be the first mobile and modular game console using an open-source GNU/Linux system. After building the kit, you can play thousands of retro games from major publishers like Atari, SNES, NES, GBA, and GB.

      • Great looking retro-inspired FPS Ion Fury is out now with Linux support

        Ion Fury (previously Ion Maiden) from Voidpoint and 3D Realms has been officially released, this retro inspired FPS looks fantastic and it comes with full Linux support.

      • Single-player RTS game From Orbit is launching soon with Linux support

        Tentacle Head Games have announced their single-player RTS game From Orbit will launch on August 27th.

        Confirming that date will include Linux support on Twitter, From Orbit will see you manage the crew of a small spaceship stranded in deep uncharted space. You will move from planet to planet as you attempt to find your way back home.

      • FOSS local multiplayer game Superstarfighter sees a great new release

        Superstarfighter is a FOSS local multiplayer game made with Godot Engine that continues to impress me and the latest update is out now with more great features.

        v0.5.0 released around a week ago adds in a new additional variant to the game modes, to add a snake-like feel where instead of launching bombs at your enemies, you need to get them to fly into your tail to take them out. It’s a pretty fun mix-up actually!

      • The Group Stage for Dota 2′s The International 2019 starts, as the prize pool continues breaking records

        The International 2019 is heating up for Dota 2 as The Group Stage has now officially begun and the community-driven prize pool has hit a new record-breaking high.

        The Group Stage going on now, with the second day starting around 1AM UTC Friday, is where you have two groups of nine teams and they face off against every other team in a best of two matchup. The top 4 teams advance onto the Upper Bracket of the Main Event, with the teams in 5th-8th place in each group advancing onto the Lower Bracket of the Main Event. The bottom team from each group is then eliminated!

      • Facepunch adjust their Linux plans for Rust, refunds being offered as it won’t continue at all

        As an update to the Rust situation, Facepunch have now changed their plans for the Linux version. They’ve decided to offer refunds, as they won’t continue it at all.

        Previously, their plan was to split the Linux version of Rust from Windows/Mac to at least give Linux owners a working game although without future feature updates. In the new blog post, written by Facepunch’s Garry Newman, they “now realise how shit that would be” after talking to the community.

      • Survival game Stranded Deep has an absolutely huge update out now

        Stranded Deep, the survival game where you’re marooned on a desert island after a plane crash just had its first major stable update in some time.

        Along with an impressive list of bug fixes, some big new features made it into this release. There’s a new intro scene, a new main menu and loading visuals, a female character model with female voice-over, difficulty options when starting a game, stamina, player skills, sprint swimming for moving faster in water, multiple new sharks, multiple new shipwrecks and more. If you’ve not played for a while, there’s a lot to look forward to when jumping into a new game.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • Xfce 4.14 officially released, here is what’s new

        A piece of good news for this morning! Xfce desktop environment v4.14 is finally here, courtesy of 4 years and five months of efforts by the development team.

        If your ears found Xfce as something unheard of, let’s briefly discuss what the software is all about. Xfce is an attractive, simple desktop environment aimed at UNIX-like operating systems, which include Linux and BSD. Plus, it does not go all out on the system resources as well, as the software is made to be lightweight. Users are to find Xfce with popular operating systems, such as Manjaro, Xubuntu, Linux Mint, and Fedora.

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • KTouch in KDE Apps 19.08.0

          KTouch, an application to learn and practice touch typing, has received a considerable update with today’s release of KDE Apps 19.8.0. It includes a complete redesign by me for the home screen, which is responsible to select the lesson to train on.

          There is now a new sidebar offering all the courses KTouch has for a total of 34 different keyboard layouts. In previous versions, KTouch presented only the courses matching the current keyboard layout. Now it is much more obvious how to train on different keyboard layouts than the current one.

        • KDE Applications 19.08 released with improvements in Dolphin and Konsole Tiling

          The KDE community releases KDE Applications 19.08 and users will find more stability and usability in applications including Dolphin, Konsole, Okular, Kate, and many others.

          With this update, KDE has implemented many new features, improvements, and bug-fixes into their software. With that being said, their most prominent work can be found in Dolphin and Konsole. So let’s see what the new KDE applications have in store for its users.

        • KDE Applications 19.08 Brings New Features to Konsole, Dolphin, Kdenlive, Okular and Dozens of Other Apps (KDE.News)

          KDE.News reports on the release of KDE Applications 19.08. The release has updates for many different applications, as can also be seen in the official announcement.

        • New features with each release, The Kde applications version 19.08 is here!

          KDE is one of the best desktop environments for the Linux operating system that is particularly popular with customization enthusiasts
          The KDE development team makes sure to make it better with each release by adding a host of features and improvements.

        • Applications 19.08

          The KDE community is happy to announce the release of KDE Applications 19.08.

          This release is part of KDE’s commitment to continually provide improved versions of the programs we ship to our users. New versions of Applications bring more features and better-designed software that increases the usability and stability of apps like Dolphin, Konsole, Kate, Okular, and all your other favorite KDE utilities. Our aim is to ensure you remain productive, and to make KDE software easier and more enjoyable for you to use.

          We hope you enjoy all the new enhancements you’ll find in 19.08!

        • KDE Applications 19.08 Brings New Features to Konsole, Dolphin, Kdenlive, Okular and Dozens of Other Apps
        • KDE Applications 19.08 Released With Dolphin Improvements, Better Konsole Tiling
        • Cantor 19.08

          Since the last year the development in Cantor is keeping quite a good momentum. After many new features and stabilization work done in the 18.12 release, see this blog post for an overview, we continued to work on improving the application in 19.04. Today the release of KDE Applications 19.08, and with this of Cantor 19.08, was announced. Also in this release we concentrated mostly on improving the usability of Cantor and stabilizing the application. See the ChangeLog file for the full list of changes.

          For new features targeting at the usability we want to mention the improved handling of the “backends”. As you know, Cantor serves as the front end to different open-source computer algebra systems and programming languages and requires these backends for the actual computation. The communication with the backends is handled via different plugins that are installed and loaded on demand. In the past, in case a plugin for a specific backend failed to initialize (e.g. because of the backend executable not found, etc.), we didn’t show it in the “Choose a Backend” dialog and the user was completely lost. Now we still don’t allow to create a worksheet for this backend, but we show the entry in the dialog together with a message about why the plugin is disabled.

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • Microsoft’s Component Firmware Update Is Their Latest Short-Sighted Spec

          Microsoft’s newest specification is the “Component Firmware Update” that they envision as a standard for OEMs/IHVs to be able to handle device firmware/microcode updating in a robust and secure manner. While nice in theory, the actual implementation has a number of issues that complicate the process and could quickly evolve into another troubling specification from Microsoft in the hardware space.

          Red Hat’s Richard Hughes who is the lead developer on Fwupd and LVFS for firmware updating on Linux has written a lengthy blog post with his thoughts after studying the specification. Now that vendors have begun asking him about CFU, he’s getting his opinions out there now and there are issues with the specification. Ultimately though if there is enough interest/adoption, he could support Component Firmware Update via Fwupd but he certainly isn’t eager to do so.

    • Distributions

      • Clear Linux launches a new documentation website

        Clear Linux fans will now be able to have better access to more information about the operating system as Clear Linux announces a new and improved documentation website.

        New Linux users can be somewhat unfamiliar with the Clear Linux Project. Accordingly, let FOSSLinux give a brief introduction of this wonderful operating system. Powered by Intel, the Clear Linux OS is a Linux-based, rolling-release distro that has its eyes set on providing optimal performance and security. Other than that, users will also find this operating system to be manageable and customizable.

        Now that we’re done with its introduction let’s get to the actual news. The new Clear Linux documentation site is based on a Sphinx/reST framework and uses the Read-The-Docs theme, which you will find on most of the documentation sites out there. With this, it can be seen that Clear Linux wants to stay in the same lane as its competition.

      • New Releases

        • Raspberry Digital Signage donation

          The build of Raspberry Digital Signage you can download from SourceForge is limited is some functionality: if you like this project please donate.

          As a donor, you will have full access to the unrestricted versions of: Raspberry Digital Signage (web-based digital signaging), Raspberry Slideshow (image/video slideshow-based digital signaging) and Raspberry WebKiosk (cheap web kiosking), which can be deployed on how many devices you wish!

      • Fedora Family

        • Flock 2019 – Budapest, Hungery : Internationalization, Localization and Testing

          I am one of the lucky person who has got an opportunity to consistently participate in amazing Fedora community to drive innovation in free and open source way. This was my 5th flock after 2014, 2016, 2017 and 2018. Indeed, it’s great to see how many things has been changed in technology space. Values of Fedora still remains the same, Freedom, Friends, Features and First !!

          For me the highlight talks was Denise Dumas on “Fedora, Red Hat and IBM”. She very well explained how Fedora and Fedora community is very very important to Red Hat and it will remain the same even after acquisition.

          Other than that i also attended all talks from Brendan Conoboy. He nicely explained on RHEL-8 planning side stuff.

        • Flock Fedora Conference 2019

          I attended the annual Fedora Flock conference this year at Budapest, and has been one of the most productive conferences so far. Here is a brief trip report.

      • Debian Family

        • APT Patterns

          Patterns allow you to specify complex search queries to select the packages you want to install/show. For example, the pattern ?garbage can be used to find all packages that have been automatically installed but are no longer depended upon by manually installed packages. Or the pattern ?automatic allows you find all automatically installed packages.

          You can combine patterns into more complex ones; for example, ?and(?automatic,?obsolete) matches all automatically installed packages that do not exist any longer in a repository.

          There are also explicit targets, so you can perform queries like ?for x: ?depends(?recommends(x)): Find all packages x that depend on another package that recommends x. I do not fully comprehend those yet – I did not manage to create a pattern that matches all manually installed packages that a meta-package depends upon. I am not sure it is possible.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • The Mythical Economic Model of Open Source

        Simply put, the Open Source model, involving huge freedoms to developers to decide direction and great opportunities for collaboration stimulates the intellectual creativity of those developers to a far greater extent than when you have a regimented project plan and a specific task within it. The most creatively deadening job for any engineer is to find themselves strictly bound within the confines of a project plan for everything. This, by the way, is why simply allowing a percentage of paid time for participating in Open Source seems to enhance input to proprietary projects: the liberated creativity has a knock on effect even in regimented development. However, obviously, the goal for any Corporation dependent on code development should be to go beyond the knock on effect and actually employ open source methodologies everywhere high creativity is needed.

      • Web Browsers

        • Mozilla

          • Announcing Rust 1.37.0

            The Rust team is happy to announce a new version of Rust, 1.37.0. Rust is a programming language that is empowering everyone to build reliable and efficient software.

          • Using WebThings Gateway notifications as a warning system for your home

            Ever wonder if that leaky pipe you fixed is holding up? With a trip to the hardware store and a Mozilla WebThings Gateway you can set up a cheap leak sensor to keep an eye on the situation, whether you’re home or away. Although you can look up detector status easily on the web-based dashboard, it would be better to not need to pay attention unless a leak actually occurs. In the WebThings Gateway 0.9 release, a number of different notification mechanisms can be set up, including emails, apps, and text messages.

      • BSD

      • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

        • Open Hardware/Modding

          • Designing open audio hardware as DIY kits

            Previously in this series about people who are developing audio technology in the open, I interviewed Juan Rios, developer and maintainer of Guayadeque and Sander Jansen, developer and maintainer of Goggles Music Manager. These conversations have broadened my thinking and helped me enjoy their software even more than before.

            For this article, I contacted Håvard Skrödahl, founder of Muffsy. His hobby is designing open source audio hardware, and he offers his designs as kits for those of us who can’t wait to wind up the soldering iron for another adventure.

            I’ve built two of Håvard’s kits: a moving coil (MC) cartridge preamp and a moving magnet (MM) cartridge phono preamp. Both were a lot of fun to build and sound great. They were also a bit of a stroll down memory lane for me. In my 20s, I built some other audio kits, including a Hafler DH-200 power amplifier and a DH-110 preamplifier. Before that, I built a power amplifier using a Motorola circuit design; both the design and the amplifier were lost along the way, but they were a lot of fun!

          • Nuvoton Launches Brand New M261/M262/M263 Series MCUs for IoT Applications

            Low power and robust security are two major requirements for the Internet of Things (IoT) applications. In terms of low power consumption, NuMicro M261/M262/M263 series provides multiple power modes for different operating scenarios, integrating RTC with independent VBAT to support low power mode. The power consumption in normal run mode is 97 μA/MHz (LDO mode) and 45 μA/MHz (DC-DC mode). Standby power-down current is down to 2.8 μA and Deep power-down current is less than 2 μA. The low power, low supply voltage, and fast wake-up (9 μs from Fast-wakeup Power-down mode) features make M261/M262/M263 series suitable for battery-powered IoT applications.

            The robust security functions of NuMicro M261/M262/M263 series include secure boot function to ensure that a device boots using only trusted software through a series of digital signature authentication processes. The M261/M262/M263 series integrates complete hardware crypto engines such as AES 256/192/128, DES/3-DES, SHA, ECC, and True Random Number Generator (TRNG). Furthermore, it provides 4-region programable eXecute-Only-Memory (XOM) to secure critical program codes and up to six tamper detection pins against outer physical attack, which significantly improves the product security.

            [...]

            Third-Party IDEs such as Keil MDK, IAR EWARM, and NuEclipse IDE with GNU GCC compilers are also supported.

          • Arm, WDC and Qualcomm Announce OpenChain Conformance Activities

            Arm and Western Digital Corporation, Platinum Members of the OpenChain Project and key participants in the global supply chain, today announce conformance with the OpenChain Specification. Qualcomm Technologies, Inc., Platinum Member and founding contributor of the OpenChain Project, today announces expanded conformance to the latest version of the OpenChain Specification.

            The OpenChain Project establishes trust in the open source from which software solutions are built. It accomplishes this by making open source license compliance simpler and more consistent. The OpenChain Specification defines inflection points in business workflows where a compliance process, policy or training should exist to minimize the potential for errors and maximize the efficiency of bringing solutions to market. The companies involved in the OpenChain community number in the hundreds. The OpenChain Specification is being prepared for submission to ISO and evolution from a growing de facto standard into a formal standard.

  • Leftovers

    • How many books could you read if you quit social media?

      Cutting out three 10-minute social media checks a day means you could read as many as 30 more books a year.

    • How many extra books could you read if you quit social media?

      Globally, digital consumers spend an average of 2 hours and 23 minutes per day on social media, according to GlobalWebIndex’s Flagship Report for 2019.

    • Science

      • Green Party Education Spokesperson: A-levels do not reflect 21st-century skills needs

        Commenting on today’s A-levels results, Vix Lowthion, Green Party Education Spokeperson and a secondary teacher who was with her pupils as they got the results this morning, said:

        “This morning I was looking at the nervousness of students, teachers and parents and reflecting how A-levels are high-stakes testing.

        “Pupils feel that their whole future is fixed in three exams taken in the summer heat. The working reality for adults is investigation, project work and in teams. Our qualifications system should reflect these 21st-century skills.

      • The Devolution Trap

        For the many who expressed kind concern at the bureaucratic impasse involved in Cameron starting his new school, I should update you with the good news. Cameron was able toThe Devolution Trap start on time in the local school, and I am very happy to say that both staff and pupils have been extremely friendly and helpful. Which does not obviate the daftness of the system which makes it impossible to get more than a day’s notice of acceptance, but we are getting over the problems that caused.

        But I have also to say that I am genuinely shocked that Cameron took the 33rd place in his class, which is now full. Class size is a very major factor in pupil achievement and I am perplexed to find these Victorian levels of pupil/teacher ratio still surviving in 2019.

    • Health/Nutrition

      • Sick to the Stomach: Pesticides and the Cocktail of Toxicity

        Dame Sally Davies is the Chief Medical Officer (CMO) for England and recently released the CMO annual report for 2019. The report focuses on UK engagement with global health and forging partnerships.

      • Green Party calls for move away from failed ‘War on Drugs’

        Responding to the news that drug-related deaths in England and Wales are the highest they have been since records began more than a quarter of a century ago (1), Green Party deputy leader Amelia Womack said:

        “We are seeing in these figures the huge human cost of the ‘War on Drugs’, and the impact of cutbacks to treatment and prevention services following Westminster government austerity.

        “It is striking the higher levels of deaths in the poorer regions of the UK, including in Wales.

    • Security (Confidentiality/Integrity/Availability)

      • Microsoft’s latest Surface updates are causing CPU and Wi-Fi issues

        Microsoft is working to fix CPU throttling on the company’s latest Surface devices, while owners complain of Wi-Fi issues, too. “We are aware of some customers reporting a scenario with their Surface Books where CPU speeds are slowed,” a Microsoft spokesperson said in a statement to TechRepublic. “We are quickly working to address via a firmware update.”

        The CPU throttling appears to be affecting both the Surface Book 2 and Surface Pro 6, according to a variety of complaints on Reddit. Processors are getting throttled all the way down to a measly 400MHz, and it’s not immediately clear what is causing the problems. TechRepublic reports that the throttling appears to be related to an Intel CPU flag being locked on by mistake, causing the CPU to throttle as it thinks it’s at a thermal limit.

      • Bluetooth BR/EDR supported devices are vulnerable to key negotiation attacks

        The encryption key length negotiation process in Bluetooth BR/EDR Core v5.1 and earlier is vulnerable to packet injection by an unauthenticated, adjacent attacker that could result in information disclosure and/or escalation of privileges. This can be achieved using an attack referred to as the Key Negotiation of Bluetooth (KNOB) attack, which is when a third party forces two or more victims to agree on an encryption key with as little as one byte of entropy. Once the entropy is reduced, the attacker can brute-force the encryption key and use it to decrypt communications.

      • Security updates for Thursday

        Security updates have been issued by openSUSE (irssi, ledger, libheimdal, libmediainfo, libqb, and libsass) and Slackware (mozilla).

      • Inspect PyPI event logs to audit your account’s and project’s security

        To help you check for security problems, PyPI is adding an advanced audit log of user actions beyond the current (existing) journal. This will, for instance, allow publishers to track all actions taken by third party services on their behalf.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • Somalia Assesses Al-Shabab Moles’ Infiltration of Government

        The July 24 suicide bombing that killed the mayor of Somalia’s capital was disturbing on multiple levels, security experts say. Abdirahman Omar Osman was slain by one of his own aides, who was female and blind, and who acted in concert with another one of his employees, also female.

        Besides those unsettling facts, Osman’s death highlighted a cold, hard reality: militant group al-Shabab had again infiltrated an important Somali government entity.

      • Diplomats Losing Out to Trump Picks for Top Spots

        Former diplomats are sounding alarm bells over what they see as a “diplomatic disarmament” of America’s professional foreign service ranks.

        Successive administrations have squeezed out career diplomats from senior jobs, both in Washington and abroad, in favor of political appointees. But the trend appears to have accelerated under President Donald Trump as more and more management and ambassador posts are being handed to people with the right connections

      • The Root Cause of Mass Shootings is the Rage of Alienation

        Mass shootings prompt simple explanations of the gunman’s motivation. At Columbine High School in Colorado, the killers supposedly snapped after being bullied. The guy who shot up a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado was wild-eyed carrot-topped nuts. After a massacre at a Walmart in El Paso, an anti-immigrant manifesto posted online pointed to right-wing politics. Simple mental illness—if there is such a thing—appears to be the culprit in Dayton, Ohio. Also misogyny. But the Dayton shooter’s Twitter feed indicates the shooter liked Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren. So right-wing media blames his progressive leanings.

      • Green MEP at “Stand with Kashmir” event in London

        London’s Green MEP Scott Ainslie will today be attending the “Stand With Kashmir” event in Trafalgar Square, which starts at 5pm.

        In advance of the event, Scott said: “Security in Kashmir can only come from the respect of human rights and self-determination. Time and time again UN agencies and human right organisations have found how Kashmiris’ human rights are being violated.

        “It is time to put an end to the decades of violence and human rights suffered by the inhabitants of Kashmir, and the decisions by India to unilaterally end the rights of Kashmiris is deeply disturbing and should be called out.

        “By virtually cutting off the region, India is making Kashmiris inhabitants of an open-air prison, completely flouting the principle of autonomy enshrined in its constitution. Far from guarantee its security, the Indian Government is raising the stakes in a dangerous game that will only satisfy the hawks in its administration.

    • Environment

      • Greta Thunberg: Climate change activist sets sail from Plymouth

        The teenager, who refuses to travel by air because of its environmental impact, said of climate sceptics: “There’s always going to be people who don’t understand or accept the united science, and I will just ignore them, as I’m only acting and communicating on the science.”

      • Modi has vowed to ban single-use plastics to fight India’s trash crisis

        About 70% of the plastic the country consumes is simply discarded and there is no processing of waste in most Indian cities, according to the Ministry of Environment’s Central Pollution Control Board.

        As a result the world’s largest democracy is home to vast trash mountains that loom over the outskirts of major cities, and huge quantities of plastic end up in the water by way of the Ganges. The river is second only to China’s Yangtze in the amount of plastic it contributes to the world’s oceans, according to a 2017 study.

      • 16-year-old climate activist Greta Thunberg says no company on Earth right now has a climate change strategy that’s good enough

        When Business Insider asked whether she thinks any company on Earth is doing a good enough job to tackle the climate and ecological crisis at a Wednesday press conference, Thunberg said: “We will just simply have to see.”

        “If they succeed in reducing enough CO2 [carbon dioxide] emissions then of course they have succeeded in doing that. And if they won’t, then they haven’t.”

        “And as it looks now, it doesn’t look very good,” she said.

      • Energy

        • Cheap renewables will price out oil on roads

          The days of oil as a fuel for cars, whether petrol or diesel, are numbered − because the economies offered by wind and solar energy and other cheap renewables, combined with electric vehicles, are irresistible, a French bank says.

          BNP Paribas Asset Management calculates that oil majors like Exxon, BP and Shell will have to produce petrol from oil at $10 a barrel (the current price is $58) to compete with electricity on price, while for diesel, it says, oil can cost no more than $19 a barrel.

          “The oil industry has never before in its history faced the kind of threat that renewable electricity in tandem with electric vehicles poses to its business model,” the bank says. Electric vehicles (EVs) could easily replace 40% of the current market for crude oil.

        • Investing in Science to Improve Climate Risk Management

          Climate change caused by past and ongoing emissions from fossil fuel burning poses sizable risks for current and future generations through its impacts on multiple interacting sectors, including, for example, food and water supplies and public health [O’Neill et al., 2017].

          The extent of these risks is subject to deep uncertainties and tipping points, suggesting the need for flexible approaches to climate adaptation. One example of a deep uncertainty in our understanding of climate is the degree to which local and regional storm surge intensities are modulated by a warming climate [Lee et al., 2017; Wong et al., 2018].

          In climate risk management, these uncertainties often affect estimates of potentially damaging impacts, thus amplifying the importance of the uncertainties [Wong et al., 2017a].

      • Wildlife/Nature

        • Deforestation in the Amazon may soon begin to feed on itself

          SINCE THE 1970s nearly 800,000km² of Brazil’s original 4m km² (1.5m square miles) of Amazon forest has been lost to logging, farming, mining, roads, dams and other forms of development—an area equivalent to that of Turkey and bigger than that of Texas. Scientists worry this is uncomfortably close to the threshold for tree loss, of between 20 and 25%, beyond which deforestation begins to feed on itself, turning much of the Amazon basin into drier savannah known as cerrado. Under Jair Bolsonaro, the right-wing president of Brazil who was inaugurated in January, the Amazon appears to be rushing towards that tipping point.

        • A Chance to Save the ‘Rhinos of the Sea’

          Many scientists wait for their whole careers to see their predictions proven correct — and if that happens, it’s often cause for celebration. But for conservation scientists who study threatened species, it can be a gut punch to learn your prediction’s come true.

          For Alec Moore, a conservation biologist at Bangor University, that’s exactly what happened.

          In 2016 Moore participated in a symposium focusing on sawfishes, which were then considered the most endangered marine fish in the world. His talk, however, focused on emerging threats to a similar group of fishes called guitarfishes, a type of ray related to sharks.

          At the time Moore said several of the 55 known guitarfish species faced a risk of extinction. He then called for “comprehensive and coordinated action” for guitarfish that could be conducted in conjunction with current sawfish conservation efforts — which themselves arrived almost too late.

    • Finance

      • Kenyan Government Risks Squandering The Long-Term Potential Of Mobile Transactions In The Hope Of A Little Extra Tax Revenue

        The report notes the many benefits of promoting mobile payments — things like serving as an economic driver, and encouraging savings and credit. Particularly important for developing countries is the how mobile-based services increase financial inclusion, providing access to banking for even the poorest sectors of society, which can help to reduce overall levels of poverty.

        The authors of the study point out that the tendency of taxes to operate on a Laffer curve means that as rates increase, tax revenue from mobiles and data use may decline at some point, making such moves self-defeating. Moreover, if people start to turn back to cash to avoid increased costs of mobile payments, the benefits of digital transactions are lost, including the ability for governments to track and tax transactions more easily, leading to further revenue losses.

      • Boris Johnson accuses MPs of ‘collaborating’ with Brussels to block No Deal Brexit

        The claims by UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson were described on Thursday by Labour MP Mary Creagh as “a wicked lie.”

        Speaking during a Facebook event hosted at Downing Street, Johnson said, “There’s a terrible kind of collaboration as it were, going on between people who think they can block Brexit in Parliament and our European friends.”

        “The more they think there’s a chance that Brexit can be blocked in Parliament, the more adamant they are in sticking to their position.”

      • A Corbyn-led GNU would be a ridiculous creature

        It’s the latest trend in Westminster politics. There has been a lot of talk lately about a government of national unity – a GNU…

      • Marikana was a product of capitalism

        The strike had been taking place for a week – too long for the faceless men who sent a command to the police to end the strike and halt the slide in profits.

        Today marks seven years since the brutal killings of 34 mineworkers by the South African Police Service, aka the Marikana massacre.

        It was August 16, 2012, when police officers were the mediator between hundreds of disgruntled mineworkers and Lonmin mine bosses. The strike had been taking place for a week – too long according to the faceless men who sent a command to the police to end the strike and halt the slide in profits.

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • The old man and the stream

        The point of Sanders’ stream is to connect with people where they are. “It’s another opportunity, I think, to tap in to a potentially supportive audience that we may not be hitting other ways,” says Josh Miller-Lewis, Sanders’ director of digital comms. “Our goal with Twitch is to not only let people know what we’re doing on the campaign every day, and what Bernie’s doing — but also hear from them, and bring their opinion into what we’re trying to do and into the political process.”

      • Bernie Sanders launches Twitch channel

        The senator is one of the first presidential candidates with a presence on the video game streaming service.

      • Why the deepfakes threat is shallow

        The bottom line: Deepfakes take advantage of human vulnerabilities that can be exploited much more efficiently by other means.

        That means the disinformation problem won’t be solved through technology or policy alone.

      • State officials beg Congress for more election security funding

        Speaking at a forum hosted by the Election Assistance Commission (EAC), Louisiana Secretary of State Kyle Ardoin (R) and Connecticut Secretary of State Denise Merrill (D) said additional federal funding is the best way Congress can help states shore up election security and ward off cyberattacks.

      • Ex-CIA chief worries campaigns falling short on cybersecurity

        But many campaigns have said little on their cyber efforts. The Hill reached out to other 2020 presidential campaigns, but those campaigns did not provide details on their cyber efforts.

      • Why Bernie Sanders is Right About the Washington Post–and Corporate Media Overall

        Many decades ago, the great media critic George Seldes observed: “The most sacred cow of the press is the press itself.” That remains true today.

      • Here’s the Evidence Corporate Media Say Is Missing of WaPo Bias Against Sanders

        And then I wonder why the Washington Post, which is owned by Jeff Bezos, who owns Amazon, doesn’t write particularly good articles about me. I don’t know why.

        The Post‘s executive editor, Martin Baron, immediately retorted (CNN, 8/12/19) that Sanders was spouting a “conspiracy theory,” insisting that “Jeff Bezos allows our newsroom to operate with full independence, as our reporters and editors can attest.”

        Many others in corporate media were incensed as well. NPR‘s All Things Considered (8/13/19) accused Sanders of “echoing the president’s language,” and CNN (8/13/19) ran a segment that likewise accused him of using Trump’s “playbook”; CNN‘s Poppy Harlow warned ominously, “This seems like a dangerous line, continuous accusations against the media with no basis in fact or evidence provided.”

        FAIR has been following this issue for quite some time, so we’re happy to offer the evidence CNN and the Post protest is lacking.

      • Bill of Rights: the Last Seduction

        Patrick Henry’s objection to the Constitution is given in the above passage. He, and Richard Henry Lee were anti-Federalists, and thought the substitution of the Constitution for the Articles of Confederation as big a revolution as that of 1776. The United States’s unrestrained power of raising taxes and an army outweighs any structural controls within the document. The speech above and the letters below were written between the ratification of the Constitution and the passing of the amendments called the Bill of Rights. Henry and Lee, above all others, championed the Bill of Rights on the grounds that the Constitution not only did not protect rights, but is an instrument of despotism. They hoped, expressly, to limit the powers of the new government. Henry’s surprising opinion of the Bill of Rights is here:

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • ‘Google Blocked TorrentFreak From Appearing in Search Feature’

        Documents released by whistleblower Zachary Vorhies suggests that Google actively blocked hundreds of sites, including TorrentFreak, from its Google Now service. The blocklist doesn’t provide a specific reason for the blockade, but other sites are flagged for having a high user block rate or for peddling hoax stories. Vorhies has shared the documents with the US Department of Justice.

      • In its struggle to subdue Kashmir, India is stripping it of liberties

        …has obscured the northernmost tip of India. Since it scrapped Jammu & Kashmir’s largely nominal autonomy on August 5th and carved the state into two territories, the central government has maintained a curfew in the region. Internet and telephone services have been suspended. Travel has been restricted. A young academic in Delhi says the lockdown made it impossible for him to celebrate the Muslim festival of Eid with his family in rural Kashmir. The territory has “disappeared”, he says, leaving people like him only able to guess what might be happening there.

      • YouTube is changing how some copyright claims work, and it could result in ‘more blocked content’

        Now, when a copyright claim is manually filed for “very short clips” of music or for music that is “unintentional[ly]” playing in the background of a video clip, the rights holder will no longer be allowed to earn money from ads placed on the video. Instead, they’ll have to choose between leaving the video up and blocking the creator from making money, or blocking the video entirely. The new rules apply to audio copyright claims only, so short clips of videos aren’t covered.

      • Lawyers Who Sued YouTube For Anti-Conservative Bias Are Suing YouTube Again… For Anti-LGBTQ Bias

        So, this is interesting. Every time we talk about alleged “anti-conservative” bias on various internet platforms, people who believe it’s true (and who yell at us for daring to ask for evidence) tend to do two things: (1) cite Dennis Prager and his claims of YouTube’s anti-conservative bias and (2) insist that there is no equivalent on the more liberal end of the spectrum that received similar treatment. We’ve discussed in great detail why both of those claims are laughably wrong, but we never quite expected the very same lawyers who filed Prager’s failed lawsuit against YouTube — the very same lawsuit that Prager himself just used on the pages of the Wall Street Journal to insist was proof of anti-conservative bias — would now file a nearly identical complaint against YouTube… but on behalf of various LGBTQ+ YouTube channels.

        In both cases, the plaintiffs are represented by Peter Obstler and Eric George of the law firm Browne George Ross law firm. And this new lawsuit has basically as much chance of succeeding as Prager’s lawsuit did. Of course, it strikes me as rather ironic that this very lawsuit seems to undermine the basic claim of the Prager lawsuit, that the “only” reason why Prager’s videos could have been put into restricted mode were because of the conservative viewpoints they represented. Yet, here, in this lawsuit, there are lots of claims about how Google/YouTube are purposefully discriminating against the LGBTQ+ community.

      • Is There A Conspiracy Among Legacy Media Companies To Push A False Narrative About Big Tech?

        Over the last few months we’ve witnessed a veritable flood of misleading to simply false articles about internet companies showing up in mainstream sources. There were misleading articles in Vox and the Washington Post. And then, just recently, we saw not one but two NY Times pieces that went out of their way to misrepresent the law. And, then of course, there’s the Wall Street Journal that has been misrepresenting Section 230 for ages. To date, the only one of these publications to run a serious correction (and to continue to help debunking misrepresentations) is the smallest of those listed above: Vox, who did some research and published a big mea culpa.

        This has gotten many in the tech industry to begin to wonder. It’s one thing for (cross aisle) grandstanding politicians like Ted Cruz, Josh Hawley, Nancy Pelosi, and Richard Blumenthal to totally misrepresent the law. But when the mainstream media is doing so on a regular basis — it’s causing a lot of talk behind the scenes about whether this is a coordinated hit. Some, like the excellent reporter Anna Wiener, recently more or less dismissed this theory as being “mostly… a facile argument,” though I think she mixes up two separate issues. First, it is absolutely true that many startup founders don’t know how to deal with the press well, and get personally offended by bad press coverage. And, for those entrepreneurs: fuck ‘em. They should grow up and learn what the press actually does, when done right — which includes researching and debunking nonsense (and there’s a ton of nonsense in Silicon Valley).

        But, that’s a separate issue from whether or not there’s a coordinated campaign to undermine the foundations of the internet by a few larger, legacy industries who have failed to adapt to a changing time. Indeed, we saw significant evidence of Hollywood’s top lobbyists working behind the scenes (though, it occasionally slipped out publicly) to push for FOSTA, the first bill that significantly undermined Section 230.

    • Privacy/Surveillance

      • Researcher buys NULL vanity plate and ends up with $12,000 in fines

        A security researcher by the moniker of Droogie decided he wanted to have some fun with Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) systems (ALPR in the US) systems and much to his surprise and delight, found that the number plate “NULL” was available.

        This seemed like a splendid wheeze. That is until the tickets started.

      • Danish government wants more CCTV to tighten security following explosions

        Moving forwards, the government wants an effective CCTV system so surveillance material can be quickly accessed by the authorities, and it also wants to increase the penalties for blowing things up.

      • Manhattan DA served Google with a “reverse search warrant” in a bid to prosecute antifa protesters

        The Manhattan DA filed assault and riot charges against four Proud Boys, but that’s not all: the DA’s office also served Google with a “reverse search warrant” seeking the names of the owners of every mobile device present on the scene, in a bid to unmask and charge antifa protestes.

      • Trump Administration Asks Congress to Reauthorize N.S.A.’s Deactivated Call Records Program

        The White House is seeking reauthorization of a law that lets the N.S.A. gain access to logs of Americans’ phone and text records — while acknowledging that the program has been indefinitely halted.

      • Victory! California Supreme Court Blocks Sweeping Search Condition of Minors’ Electronic Devices and Social Media Accounts

        The California Supreme Court just rejected the government’s attempt to require a youth probationer, as a condition of release, to submit to random searches of his electronic devices and social media accounts. The trial court had imposed the condition because the judge believed teenagers “typically will brag” about drug use on the Internet—even though there was no evidence that the minor in this case, Ricardo P., had ever used any electronic devices in connection with any drugs or illegal activity, let alone ever previously bragged about drug use online.

        EFF and the ACLU filed an amicus brief in the case back in 2016, warning that the search condition imposed here was highly invasive, unconstitutional, and in violation of the California Supreme Court’s own standard for probation conditions—which requires that search conditions be “reasonably related to future criminality.” We also warned of the far-reaching privacy implications of allowing courts to impose such broad electronic search conditions. We’re pleased that the California Supreme Court heeded our warnings and recognized the substantial burden this “sweeping probation condition” imposed on Ricardo’s privacy.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • Jailed Saudi activist rejects deal to deny torture for release, says family

        Hathloul, who was arrested in May 2018 as part of a crackdown on government critics, initially agreed to sign a document denying the torture, her brother Walid al-Hathloul wrote on Twitter Tuesday. But when Saudi security officials requested she make the statement on camera, she rejected the offer, Walid added.

      • Immigration Is for Rich People

        Oh, and about that “line” that Republicans want immigrants to get in? You can buy your way out of that, too. USCIS gives applicants the option of shelling out an additional $1,410 for what’s known as “premium processing,” which cuts the wait time for a status approval (or denial) from several months to 15 days.

    • The End of Humanitarianism?

      The last century has seen the emergence of several humanitarian norms and laws that were arduous, even frustrating, to implement and often ignored by governments, but which were the result of important lessons learned from the destruction that the world wars brought to civilian populations.

    • Was It a Thumbs Up Sign or a Finger Gun Pointing at Us?

      I have to say it doesn’t take very long for Kansas’ 1st district Rep. Roger Marshall and his staff to feel like as though they are the victims of their constituents’ concerns and not the other way around.

    • The Continuing Hong Kong Impasse

      I was in Hong Kong 10 days ago, which is now in its tenth week of demonstrations that began as a response to a proposed extradition law, but have since expanded to include other grievances and demands for democratic reforms. These include the following:

    • ‘Black Communities Are Already Living in a Tech Dystopia’ – CounterSpin interview with Ruha Benjamin on racism and technology

      This week on CounterSpin: Listeners may have heard about the electronic soap dispensers whose light sensors can’t detect black skin, Google and Flickr’s automatic image-labeling that—oops—tagged photos of black people with “ape” and “gorilla.” An Asian-American blogger wrote about her Nikon digital camera that kept asking, “Did someone blink?” And you can, I’m afraid, imagine what turns up in search engine results for “3 black teenagers” versus “3 white teenagers.”

      Some examples of discriminatory design are obvious, which doesn’t mean the reasons behind them are easy to fix. And then there are other questions around technology and bias in policing, in housing, in banking, that require deeper questioning.

      That questioning is the heart of a new book called Race After Technology: Abolitionist Tools for the New Jim Code. CounterSpin spoke with author Ruha Benjamin; she’s associate professor of African-American studies at Princeton University, and author, also, of the book People’s Science: Bodies and Rights on the Stem Cell Frontier. Ruha Benjamin, today on CounterSpin. That’s coming up, but first we’ll take a very quick look at some recent, relevant press.

    • Attorney General William Barr Declares War On The General Public

      So far, the administration has failed to end the “dangerous anti-police atmosphere” or turn “living in a safe community” into a fundamental right. Trump may back the blue, but the blue keep making things worse for themselves by refusing to alter their tactics, their “us v. them” attitude, or their routine abuse of the rights of those they’re supposed to be serving.

      The former Attorney General, Jeff Sessions, wanted to roll back the clock for law enforcement, replacing the minor alterations of years of DOJ/law enforcement agency consent decrees with old school drug warring that shoots first and never asks questions.

      Sessions is out and the new boss is in. Attorney General William Barr has already made it clear he believes tech companies should create encryption backdoors for law enforcement. Now, he’s declaring war on the general public. His speech to a national police union gathering makes it clear the only people who matter are those wearing badges.

    • Prosecutor Tosses Charges Against Driver After Field Drug Test Claims Bird Poop On A Car’s Hood Is Cocaine

      Maybe with enough lawsuits, this nation of zealous drug warriors will finally abandon field drug tests. The tests are cheap, which makes them popular with law enforcement agencies. But they sure as hell aren’t accurate.

      A field drug test declared a small crumb of an over-the-counter pain relief medicine to be crack cocaine, resulting in the wrongful jailing of a woman for three weeks. Thanks to this faulty field test, this person lost her home and her job.

      A man received a $37,500 settlement for an arrest predicated on a drug field test that turned Krispy Kreme donut crumbs into methamphetamine. In the same state (Florida), another man was arrested after drywall residue was declared to be cocaine by the $2 test.

  • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

    • The Pai FCC Is Oddly Quiet About Trump’s Plan To Have The Agency Police Speech

      So last week, you probably saw the leaked plan by the Trump administration to try and “fix” the nonexistent censorship of Conservatives on social media. According to the leak, a large part of the plan would involve having the FCC, which has no real authority in this area, police speech on platforms like Twitter and Facebook. Most legal experts I’ve spoken to say the plan is illegal and utterly nonsensical, and the FCC has no authority to do this under Section 230 or anywhere else. The order would also undermine most of the logic the Pai FCC used in its effort to repeal net neutrality.

      Oddly though, an FCC that has been very vocal on this subject when convenient has been oddly mute since the story broke, with none of the agency’s three Republican Commissioners (Ajit Pai, Brendan Carr, or Mike O’Rielly) making so much as a peep about the terribleness of the latest Trump “plan.”

    • Congress is demanding that 8chan owner Jim Watkins testify over his site’s involvement in recent mass shootings

      After being “respectfully requested” to appear before the House Committee on Homeland Security last week, 8chan owner Jim Watkins was sent a subpoena on Wednesday ordering him to testify on September 5.

    • Cloudflare filings say sites like 8chan and the Daily Stormer are business risks

      Cloudflare isn’t a social media platform, and it’s described the 8chan and Daily Stormer bans as exceptions to its usual neutrality. But it’s also expounded on some sweeping theories of what free speech should mean for an infrastructure provider. The filing offers some economic justification for this, suggesting that, right now, brushing off moderation and censorship questions is bad business.

  • Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Nintendo Hates You: Company DMCAs Over 100 Videos Celebrating Nintendo Game Music

        Our posts on famed gaming giant Nintendo will likely give you the impression that the company has a very strange distaste for its own fans. Your brain will probably try to convince you that this doesn’t make any sense, since Nintendo fans are what makes Nintendo money. Your brain is wrong. Nintendo has demonstrated over and over again that if forced to choose between maximum control over its intellectual property and allowing fans to do fan-things, it will choose control every single time.

        YouTube in particular tends to find itself in Nintendo’s crosshairs, what with the site being the natural place for fans of Nintendo to share Nintendo-y things with other fans. It’s worth noting again that, on matters of copyright at least, there’s really no reason why Nintendo must issue takedowns for anything that even barely could be seen as infringing on its IP. Such is the case with the recent spate of takedowns the company issued against a YouTube channel which had the singular purpose of celebrating Nintendo game music.

The EPO’s War on the Convention on the Grant of European Patents 2000 (EPC 2000), Not Just Brexit, Kills the Unitary Patent (UP/UPC) and Dooms Justice

Posted in Deception, Europe, Patents at 7:10 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

1600 Gamer @ Berne Switzerland

Summary: Team UPC continues to ignore the utter failures that have led to lawlessness at the EPO, attributing the demise of the Unified Patent Court (UPC) to Brexit alone and pretending that it’s not even a problem

EUROPE’S second-largest institution, especially under the Battistelli/Campinos autocracy, disobeys the EPC every single day. Many people — the “general public” as one might call them — don’t understand the severity of this. The EPC is like the ‘constitution’ of the European patent system. It’s what gave it its authority, so it’s like a founding document. How would people react if the nuclear safety agencies actively sought to undermine regulations?

“How would people react if the nuclear safety agencies actively sought to undermine regulations?”Fake patents are nowadays nonchalantly being granted by the European Patent Office (EPO); it’s causing chaos. Examiners too warn about this. Illegal patents are then followed by illegality and prevention of essential medicine reaching the market, essential software being written and so on.

Yesterday we saw this new press release about a bunch of patents that had been invalidated only owing to UK High Court intervention (legal fights at this level are very pricey). We wrote about this dispute before and here’s the latest:

Estar Technologies Ltd. (Estar Medical) announced today that Regenlab failed to pay legal costs resulting from two orders made by the UK High Court (Patent Court). The Patent Court awarded Estar Medical extensive legal costs after it revoked the Regenlab PRP patent in its entirety. Regenlab claims it is unable to pay the ordered costs because its access to cashflow is “very limited” and a “restricted amount of liquid funds available”. Regenlab originally asked the Patent Court, in a witness statement submitted by its legal counsel, Mr. Andreas Pigni, to defer the payment which “could have a ‘domino effect’ on the viability of [its] business” and “would impact on Regen’s business in a way that would be difficult to quantify financially but is likely to be substantial and would take significant time for Regen to recover its position”.

The Patent Court judgment is in line with the decision of the Opposition Division of the European Patent Office (EPO) which also revoked Regenlab PRP patent in its entirety for lack of novelty and added mater. The EPO and UK judgments add to Estar Medical’s winning the infringement claim in Germany last year and the venue judgment in Federal Court in New York in which Regenlab also lost against Estar Medical.

Why are such patents being granted in the first place? It’s only good for lawyers, not for anybody else.

The EPO’s management carries on walking ahead as if nothing is wrong. They don’t listen to anyone who blows the whistle, either internally and externally. To make matters worse, the EPO squashes all sources of possible dissent, including supposedly independent branches whose purpose (as envisioned by the EPC) was to regulate, criticise and offer oversight. The EPO just ceased functioning like it was supposed to. It’s uncontrolled and out of control.

“The EPO’s management carries on walking ahead as if nothing is wrong. They don’t listen to anyone who blows the whistle, either internally and externally.”“A Decision of the Supervisory Board amending Rule 25 of the Implementing provisions to the Regulation on the European qualifying examination for professional representatives has been published in the Official Journal,” Roel van Woudenberg notes. His blog is about ‘entry level’ stuff for the EPO, which disobeys the EPC. These people may enjoy plenty of frivolous litigation in years to come, but we know at whose expense.

Earlier this week HGF Limited weighed in on the EPO’s Enlarged Board of Appeal with its oftentimes ludicrous composition. Here is its decision, published originally in French:

The decision of case G01/18 has recently been published in French by the EPO’s Enlarged Board of Appeal (EBoA). The conclusion reached was that late payment of the appeal fee and/or late filing of the notice of appeal results in the appeal being deemed not filed.

[...]

Importantly, this decision provides clarity regarding the status of an appeal and the reimbursement of an appeal fee under the above-explained circumstances. Whilst a surprisingly large number of appeals boards (including one enlarged board in R02/10) had previously found that an appeal should be treated as inadmissible under one of the above-described scenarios, the consequence of these (now determined to be incorrect) rulings was that the appeal fee (€2,255 as of time of writing) was not reimbursed in those cases. Accordingly, the only damage to the prospective appellants in each of the ‘minority’ case law cases due to this misinterpretation of the EPC was financial, with no rights having actually been lost as a consequence. This decision should prevent boards of appeal from taking decisions in future which would deny a refund of the appeal fee under any of the above-described circumstances, whilst also drawing a line under the divergence that had developed in this area of (seemingly) straightforward case law.

Meanwhile, there does not appear to be any rhyme or reason as to why so many appeal boards previously decided that an appeal should be deemed inadmissible rather than not filed under one of the above-explained circumstances. For example, there is arguably a difference between the text of Article 108 EPC depending on the language in which it is read (with the English text more clearly connecting non-filing with failure to meet the two month deadline). However, most of the minority case law decisions were published in English and, therefore, it seems unlikely that the divergence on case law regarding interpretation of Article 108 EPC has been based on differences in translation. Furthermore, the minority case law spans nearly a quarter of a century, with little or no cross-over of Appeal Board members from one case to another.

Scheduled to look into software patents in Europe (or simulations on a computer), this Board is very unlikely to rule in a way that irks the Office. What good are appeal boards that are basically threatened by those whom they're supposed to disagree with?

“What good are appeal boards that are basically threatened by those whom they’re supposed to disagree with?”The above issues are very much visible to and are well understood by the German FCC, which has been stalling decision on UPC/A for about 2 years now. As was clarified recently, there should be no expectation of a decision being reached any time soon. Probably not this year, either…

One can expect Team UPC to twist what was said; it has been doing that for half a decade and it is still lying and making up ‘the facts’. Complete and utter distortion of what was actually said can be seen here: [via]

The federal government is currently suggesting that it will wait for Brexit before the Unified Patent Court (UPC) is allowed to start [sic]. This is the result of an answer to a question from the FDP parliamentary group. In our opinion, however, the Federal Government is firmly bound to the will of Parliament and must implement the Ratification Act with the signature of the Federal President without delay.

Complete nonsense. Lots of lies in that one single paragraph, but that’s the usual from Team UPC. There are many barriers facing the UPC, not only in Germany (several raised in the complaint, at least four!) but in other countries as well. Of course Team UPC pretends it’s as simple as “Brexit happens, then UPC!” and “everybody wants it!!!”

“All those law firms that lobby heavily for the UPC basically say (not out loud), “to hell with the law, to hell with constitutions. WE. WANT. MONEY!” Just like the EPO’s management.”The false perception and bogus narratives surrounding UPC are partly due to pro-UPC events, funded in part by the EPO and set up by think tanks. Managing IP did several of those, as did IAM. There are similar think tanks in the US, doing the same thing to influence the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). In the case of the EPO, it went as far as funding pro-UPC events in the US (another continent!).

Earlier this week we saw this latest nonsense called “IP STARS” — the paid-for/fake endorsement from a think tank of litigation firms and patent trolls. They’re sponsors of Managing IP, a publisher as well as lobbying front that does biased events with stacked panels.

What’s troubling about all this is that the UPC is unconstitutional and it’s also impeded by gross violations of the EPC. All those law firms that lobby heavily for the UPC basically say (not out loud), “to hell with the law, to hell with constitutions. WE. WANT. MONEY!” Just like the EPO’s management.

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