09.25.19

Gemini version available ♊︎

Links 25/9/2019: Patent Lawsuit Against GNOME, Zorin OS 15 Education Edition, First Librem 5 Linux Phones

Posted in News Roundup at 1:16 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Server

      • Kubernetes: Contributor Summit San Diego Registration Open!

        While the Kubernetes project is only five years old, we’re already going into our 9th Contributor Summit this November in San Diego before KubeCon + CloudNativeCon. The rapid increase is thanks to adding European and Asian Contributor Summits to the North American events we’ve done previously. We will continue to run Contributor Summits across the globe, as it is important that our contributor base grows in all forms of diversity.

        Kubernetes has a large distributed remote contributing team, from individuals and organizations all over the world. The Contributor Summits give the community three chances a year to get together, work on community topics, and have hallway track time. The upcoming San Diego summit is expected to bring over 450 attendees, and will contain multiple tracks with something for everyone. The focus will be around contributor growth and sustainability. We’re going to stop here with capacity for future summits; we want this event to offer value to individuals and the project. We’ve heard from past summit attendee feedback that getting work done, learning, and meeting folks face to face is a priority. By capping attendance and offering the contributor gatherings in more locations, it will help us achieve those goals.

        This summit is unique as we’ve taken big moves on sustaining ourselves, the contributor experience events team. Taking a page from the release team’s playbook, we have added additional core team and shadow roles making it a natural mentoring (watching+doing) relationship. The shadows are expected to fill another role at one of the three events in 2020, and core team members to take the lead. In preparation for this team, we’ve open sourced our rolebooks, guidelines, best practices and opened up our meetings and project board. Our team makes up many parts of the Kubernetes project and takes care of making sure all voices are represented.

      • IBM

        • Red Hat’s CentOS 8 arrives: Here’s what you get with it

          Ever since Red Hat released Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) 8 in May, CentOS users have been waiting impatiently for CentOS 8 to arrive. Now, their wait is over. CentOS 8 is here and ready for download.

          This is great news for the many hosting companies, data centers, and businesses with in-house Linux experts that rely on CentOS every day for their work. By Datanyze’s count of web servers, CentOS, with 15.65% of the market, is second only to Ubuntu, with its 26.7% share. It’s popular because CentOS is a Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) clone with most of RHEL’s top-tier business server Linux benefits but without RHEL’s costs.

        • New CentOS Linux distro sips updates from RHEL codebase like an ever-flowing Stream

          CentOS has told devs that they can now get stuck into Stream, a new Linux distro it built with code planned for the next minor release of Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL).

          Wait, you may think, is it not Fedora Linux that is based on early RHEL code? True, and Fedora is Red Hat’s free distribution with a twice-yearly release cycle intended for testing and developing new features.

          The Fedora Project goes back to the early days of Red Hat – it was announced in 2003. But Red Hat’s relationship with CentOS is more recent. In 2014, Red Hat and the CentOS Project confirmed a collaboration where CentOS is a community-supported distro based on RHEL code, though “open to variation”.

        • Red Hat and CentOS Unveil CentOS Stream, a New Rolling Release Linux Distro

          Red Hat and CentOS Project announced today the availability of a new GNU/Linux distribution called CentOS Stream, providing a rolling release operating system to developers and contributors.

          CentOS Linux has always been an Open Source alternative to the commercial, enterprise-ready Red Hat Enterprise Linux operating system, and now, both Red Hat and CentOS have decided to bring their alliance to the next level and create a developer-centric distribution for the community, as well as Red Hat partners.

          Meet CentOS Stream, a new GNU/Linux distribution developed in parallel with the current CentOS Linux operating system to offer the community access to the latest development code of the upcoming Red Hat Enterprise Linux releases. CentOS Stream follows a rolling release model where you install once and received updates forever.

        • CentOS Linux 8 and CentOS Stream Announced

          Red Hat and CentOS today announced the general availability of CentOS Linux 8 and the new CentOS Stream.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • RHELhide | LINUX Unplugged 320

        CentOS goes rolling and announces version 8. Find out why we’re excited to take a dip in this stream.

        Plus we review what might just be your next Linux laptop, and explain why systemd is coming for your /home.

      • 09/24/2019 | Linux Headlines

        CentOS 8 is finally here, and with it comes a surprising new release from Red Hat.

        Plus .NET Core 3 is out, a new libc for embedded systems, and Google’s big win in the EU.

      • Self-Hosted Production Meeting | Jupiter Extras 17

        Alex and Chris are hard at work on the next Self-Hosted episode, here’s a behind the scenes real moment from their recent production meeting.

    • Kernel Space

      • The Raspberry Pi Should See Much Better SPI Performance On Linux 5.4+

        The SPI (Serial Peripheral Interface) pull requests to the Linux kernel normally don’t get us excited, but they do when it comes with word of big performance enhancements. There are several SPI performance improvements this round but exciting us the most is the work done on the Broadcom SPI driver for Raspberry Pi hardware.

        The SPI changes for Linux 5.4 come with “a big performance enhancement” for the Raspberry Pi driver to help with performance for devices connected via SPI. The patches to the driver note that when an Ethernet chip was attached to the SPI controller, there was a 30us reduction in ping time with the optimizations and a 2% reduction in CPU time.

      • WireGuard Will Port To Existing Linux Crypto API In Order To Make It In The Kernel

        The WireGuard open-source secure network tunnel won’t be mainlined for Linux 5.4 but there finally is an action plan for getting this promising network security tech into the kernel.

        WireGuard has been trying for mainline since last year but ultimately keeps getting blocked by its proposed Zinc crypto API that they’ve been viewing as a next-generation crypto interface over what is currently offered in the kernel with its crypto APIs. But differing views over Zinc and that making the review more difficult is now leading WireGuard to postponing those plans.

      • The D in Systemd is for Directories: Poettering says his creation will phone /home in future

        Systemd inventor Lennart Poettering told the crowds at the All Systems Go Linux user-space event in Berlin he intends to reinvent home directories to fix issues with the current model that are otherwise insoluble.

        In Linux systems, each user typically has a directory under /home for personal documents and data. Users are identified by a username and user ID (UID) number which by default is in a text database called /etc/passwd.

        Speaking at the event earlier this month, Poettering identified several problems with this long-standing approach. Philosophically, he said, it mixes state and configuration, because in his view the user record is state rather than configuration, and therefore does not belong in /etc.

        The /etc/passwd database is not extensible, and therefore Linux has evolved numerous secondary databases that are stored elsewhere, such as /etc/shadow, a privileged location used for encrypted password hashes and other password-related fields, such as the maximum time before a password expires.

    • Applications

      • 8 Best Free Linux Camera Tools

        Since the advent of the consumer digital camera, hard disks and memory devices have faced the burden of ever increasing amounts of images to store. This is, in part, due to digital photography being an inexpensive way of taking thousands of images without any image processing costs to bear, thereby encouraging the photographer to snap many pictures of the same thing. The only ongoing expense is recharging the batteries in the camera.

        When a digital camera captures an image, its image sensors records the light from millions of sensing area. The camera’s digital circuitry converts the generated analog voltage signal into a digital representation. Many cameras allow these images to be stored in a raw image file. They are akin to digital negatives, as they have the same role as negatives in film photography. These RAW files usually offer higher color depth than JPEG files, but take up far more storage space.

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Games

      • Fairy metroidvania inspired by Slavic myths, Catmaze, adds Linux support

        Ready for your next Metroidvania? Catmaze, a game inspired by Slavic myths is now officially supported and available on Linux as of earlier this week.

        Created by developer Redblack Spade, who also made the 2017 dark puzzle game Reflection of Mine (supports Linux) and the upcoming psychedelic metroidvania Fearmonium (will also support Linux) Linux support arrives for Catmaze well over a year after the Steam release but good things come to those who wait right? Seems so, with it having a “Very Positive” rating on Steam from over 200 users.

      • Looks like the grand strategy space game AI War 2 could release in October

        AI War 2, the space grand strategy game currently in Early Access being developed by Arcen Games is looking close to a full release in October.

        Recently, Arcen have been releasing some pretty big updates to the game polishing up all aspects of it and replacing some older placeholder elements. One such update was released yesterday and in the Steam announcement they mentioned a tentative release date of October 22nd.

      • GOG are giving away Freespace 2 in their Interstellar Sale with some good discounts on too

        GOG have another interesting sale going on as well as Freespace 2 going free for the next 48 hours, don’t miss out!

        If you’re not aware, Freespace 2 can be played on Linux thanks to the FSOpen project after Volition open sourced the game engine used way back in 2002. Freespace 2 is also one of my absolute favourite space combat sims and it’s still awesome to this day even when compared to some newer games.

      • Easily Organize And Enjoy Your Linux Game Collection With GameHub

        This month’s visual overhaul to our Steam library is a welcome change, especially when it comes to organizing and categorizing our collections. But Steam isn’t the only game in town in town when it comes to our Linux game libraries. This week I stumbled across a terrific little app called GameHub, and if you find yourself with a large collection of games across services like GOG, Humble Bundle and Steam, you’re going to want this!

        GameHub is best described as a unified library and launcher for all of your – even if they’re not native Linux titles, and even if they’ve been installed with other nifty Linux gaming solutions like Lutris or PlayOnLinux.

        That’s because it includes built-in support for Wine, Proton, DOSBox, RetroArch and ScummVM.

      • Hilarious looking multiplayer physics fighting game Havocado adds a Linux build

        Here’s a bit of a win for a Wednesday morning. The developer of the multiplayer physics fighting game, Havocado, added a Linux version.

        A user on Steam posted on their forum about it being “quite crashy” with Steam Play Proton, asking if they plan to support Linux or make it work better with Proton. The reply from a developer wasn’t quite what you would normally expect. As it turns out it did originally have a Linux version but they dropped it as no one seemed to play it and doing it “took some time away from development”. Now people seem interested, they added it back and said it will “continue to support it in future updates”.

      • Wild West styled city builder Depraved has left Early Access

        A city builder with survival elements and a Wild West theme? Sign me up! Depraved just recently left Early Access.

        Set in a procedurally generated world so each play through is different, it has the standard setup for a smaller city builder. Start of with nothing but a single carriage full of resources and eventually build up into a bustling town. Not quite the same as massive titles like Cities: Skylines though, since it’s smaller and more focused with the survival elements as you need to keep your people happy with their various needs. You also need to deal with bandits, overcome harsh seasons and weather, wild animals and more.

      • The very unique block breaking shoot ‘em up Sky Racket has a release date

        Releasing on October 22nd, Sky Racket is a shoot ‘em up that’s also a bit like Arkanoid/Breakout. A strange mix but it works well! A game I actually tested and reported on here at GamingOnLinux back in July, it really did impress me with the genre blending.

        It’s a side-scroller like classic shoot ‘em ups, but you’re basically playing Tennis with enemy projectiles. You’re not firing off lasers or bombs or anything yourself, instead you’re sending their own armaments right back at them to destroy them and any blocks in your way. They’re called it a “Shmup Breaker”—works for me!

      • Broken Lines will bring a story-driven tactical RPG in an alternative WW2 setting to Linux

        With quite good looking graphics and gameplay that has me wanting to see more, Broken Lines could be a good tactical RPG for Linux and it’s releasing later this year. This is one we completely missed from Gamescom!

      • A developer from Epic Games adds an offscreen video driver to SDL 2

        Something that came across the desk this morning is a note about Epic Games contributing to the cross-platform development library SDL 2.

        What’s interesting is that the added code from developer Brandon Schaefer, previously a Canonical (Ubuntu) developer, is for offscreen rendering. From what Schaefer said in the submitted code it’s “intended to be used for headless rendering as well as allows for multiple GPUs to be used for headless rendering”.

      • Epic Games Contributes New SDL Video Driver For Offscreen Rendering

        Epic Games’ Brandon Schaefer (and in fact former Canonical developer working on Ubuntu’s Mir display server) has contributed a new SDL2 video driver back-end for offscreen rendering.

        This offscreen video driver for SDL2 is intended for headless rendering and for letting multiple GPUs be used for headless rendering via EGL.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • A patent lawsuit against GNOME

          A company called Rothschild Patent Imaging LLC has filed a lawsuit [PDF] against the GNOME Foundation, alleging that the Shotwell photo manager violates patent 9,936,086. Stay tuned, more details will surely emerge.

        • GNOME Will “Vigorously Defend” Shotwell in Lawsuit

          Shotwell, the free, open source photo management app, has allegedly fallen foul of a patent held by Rothschild Patent Imaging, LLC.

          In an (understandably) short statement GNOME explain the situation as thus:

          “The GNOME Foundation has been made aware of a lawsuit from Rothschild Patent Imaging, LLC over patent 9,936,086. Rothschild allege that Shotwell, a free and open source personal photo manager infringes this patent.”

          You can view the (rather broad) patent in question on Google Patents.

          Now i’m not a patent expert (I majored in Spice Girls trivia) but the crux of the issue seems to concern Shotwell’s ability to get photos off of a connected device (a feature that’s pretty standard across most photo management software).

          Neil McGovern, who’s the Executive Director for the GNOME Foundation, says the organisation “intend vigorously defend against this baseless suit”.

        • GNOME Foundation is Being Sued Because of Shotwell Photo Manager

          The GNOME Foundation is facing a lawsuit from Rothschild Patent Imaging, LLC. Patent troll Rothschild allege that Shotwell photo manager infringes its patent.

        • GameMode improvements for GNOME 3.34 and Fedora 31

          Christian Schaller wrote an excellent blog post highlighting a lot of the cool new features and improvements that ship with Fedora 31. I wanted to add to that and give an overview of new things and improvements we did for GameMode that will be in Fedora 31. First of all a quick refresher about GameMode:

          GameMode is a solution to optimize performance of a GNU/Linux system for gaming. This is to improve frames-per-seconds as well as make games run smoother, i.e. avoid stuttering. Performance optimization is done by applying various global and per-game tweaks: setting the CPU governor, adjusting the I/O priority, changing the niceness of the game and setting a different kernel scheduler (SCHED_ISO). It recently gained support for setting GPU performance modes (NVIDIA and AMD) and GPU overclocking (NVIDIA). Additionally it will inhibit the screensaver and can execute custom scripts on start and end.

          There were two main issues that I focused on: First it was hard to tell if GameMode was currently active and what games/programs were requesting it. The second one was to make GameMode compatible with flatpaks. Both required changes to the GameMode daemon and the API. Upstream was very quick to review and merge all the required patches and roll a release (1.4), thanks a bunch of that.

    • Distributions

      • Zorin OS 15 Education Edition Officially Released, Based on Ubuntu 18.04 LTS

        Talking advantage of all new GNU/Linux technologies and features of the Zorin OS 15 operating system, which was released in early June 2019, the Zorin OS 15 Education Edition is packed with a great selection of educational apps for all educational levels, aiming to provide a free alternative to the Microsoft Windows OS in schools and other educational institutions.

        “It pairs the latest and greatest software with educational apps that make learning better and more impactful at preschool, primary, secondary and tertiary levels. It helps prepare students with the skills they need to understand the world of today and build their world of tomorrow,” reads today’s announcement.

      • The Newest Version Of Zorin OS 15 Brings Linux And Open Source To The Classroom

        Desktop Linux distribution Zorin OS 15 quickly moved to the center of my radar when it was released, because of its overall polish, easy customization options, installation support and out-of-the-box usability. Now the Zorin Group is bringing that accessibility to the classroom with the free Zorin OS Education.

        In general, Zorin OS 15 has solid support for touchscreens (including tablets, 2-in-1 laptops and smart whiteboards), and has a neat “Auto Theme” feature that adapts the desktop wallpaper depending on the time of day. It’s based on Ubuntu 19.04 LTS and ships with Linux kernel 4.18; not bleeding-edge, but certainly stable and thus an ideal fit for the classroom.

        The Zorin OS Education edition takes the base feature set from Zorin OS 15 and layers on “a plethora” of educational apps and games.

      • Fedora Family

        • Out of box H.264 and AAC support in Fedora 31 Workstation

          Up until now, playing video files has been problematic in Fedora as we haven’t been able to include the necessary codecs for popular video formats. This is now changing in Fedora 31 Workstation.

        • Fedora 31 Lands Good GStreamer AAC & H.264 Support

          On top of many other changes for Fedora Workstation 31, this next release of Fedora Linux continues to improve the experience for proprietary multimedia codecs where the patents have lapsed.

          Fedora has long been working on better support for AAC and H.264 support while with Fedora 31 the out-of-the-box experience should be in good shape.

          Fedora 31 just landed the latest GStreamer “bad-free” package with AAC support enabled for handling most MP4 audio content. Cisco’s OpenH264 support is also available through a separate repository that is shipped as part of the configuration but not enabled by default.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Productivity Software/LibreOffice/Calligra

        • LibreOffice Conference 2019 by numbers

          LibreOffice Conference 2019 ended and… seems people really enjoyed!

          Here I provide some metrics about the conference. Hopefully they’ll be useful for next years.

      • Pseudo-Open Source (Openwashing)

      • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

        • Low grade “journalists” and internet mob attack RMS with lies. In-depth review.

          On September 13, 2019 the periodic MOTHERBOARD published an article titled Famed Computer Scientist Richard Stallman Described Epstein Victims As ‘Entirely Willing’.

          As we’ve seen, Stallman did not say or imply that one girl was entirely willingly having sex with Mr. Minsky, much less that all of Epstein victims were (note the letter s on the title of the article after the victim word, denoting plural).

          As we’ve seen, Stallman said that one girl could have presented herself to Mr. Minsky as willingly.

          The article then goes on with its defamation…

        • Free Software Awards: Nominate those who inspire you by November 6th

          Each year we use the Free Software Awards to recognize significant contributions to the free software movement. This year, we are adding a special award for newcomers as well. Nominate the developers, activists, and organizers that inspire you today.
          Every free software supporter knows someone who has made inspiring contributions to the cause for user freedom. Whether you know them personally, or only through following them online, we can all think of outstanding individuals who have helped further the cause for free software through their care and attention. There are also many projects whose contributors have consistently demonstrated their dedication to the principles of the free software movement.

          Each year the Free Software Foundation (FSF) recognizes the exemplary commitments of these individuals and organizations through the Free Software Awards, which are announced as part of the FSF’s annual LibrePlanet conference and gathering for free software users, developers, and activists alike. Rather than simply recognizing the sheer number of commits to projects, the Free Software Awards are meant to recognize the commitment members of our community have applied in their work to advance the cause for software freedom.

      • Programming/Development

        • The Python Software Foundation has updated its Code of Conduct

          The Python community values members who are accepting, helpful, and respectful: for many years, the Python Software Foundation (PSF) has had an organization-wide Code of Conduct that defines these values, and behaviors that we want to have in our community. The Foundation has also insisted for years that every event that we sponsor have a Code of Conduct in place.

          But spaces where our community meets – online, or in person – need a Code of Conduct that does more than just emphasize our values. The PSF’s flagship conference, PyCon US, has had its own Code of Conduct – separate from the PSF Code of Conduct – for many years. The PyCon US Code of Conduct not only highlights our community’s values, but it also identified behaviors that are not acceptable at the conference, explained how to report violations, and included enforcement procedures.

          [...]

          The PSF worked with Sage Sharp of Otter Tech to produce the draft of the new Code of Conduct.

        • Tahoe-LAFS on Python 3 – Call for Porters

          Earlier this year a number of Tahoe-LAFS community members began an effort to port Tahoe-LAFS from Python 2 to Python 3. Around five people are currently involved in a part-time capacity. We wish to accelerate the effort to ensure a Python 3-compatible release of Tahoe-LAFS can be made before the end of upstream support for CPython 2.x.

          Tahoe-LAFS is a Free and Open system for private, secure, decentralized storage. It encrypts and distributes your data across multiple servers. If some of the servers fail or are taken over by an attacker, the entire file store continues to function correctly, preserving your privacy and security.

        • PyCoder’s Weekly: Issue #387 (Sept. 24, 2019)
        • Welcome to Google Code‑in 2019

          Pre-university students ages 13 to 17 are invited to take part in Google Code-in: Our global, online contest introducing teenagers to the world of open source development. With a wide variety of bite-sized tasks, it’s easy for beginners to jump in and get started no matter what skills they have.

          Mentors from our participating organizations lend a helping hand as participants learn what it’s like to work on an open source project. Participants get to work on real software and win prizes from t-shirts to a trip to Google HQ!

        • Google Code‑in 2019

          Google Code-in (GCI) provides students ages 13 to 17 the opportunity to participate in open source projects. Google has announced the 2019 round of GCI.

  • Leftovers

    • Hardware

      • Editing software problem crashing computers in Hollywood

        An editing software program used by some film and TV editors was crashing users’ Apple Mac Pro computers Monday.

        The program, Avid, said Tuesday it is aware of the issue and the company is working to get it fixed.

        “Avid is aware of the reboot issue affecting Apple Mac Pro devices running some Avid products. This issue is top priority for our engineering & support teams, and we’re working diligently to determine & resolve the root cause. We’ll publish additional information as we learn more,” Avid tweeted Tuesday.

      • Google says a Chrome update might be killing some Macs

        We shared a story yesterday in which a number of Mac Pro users were reporting that their machines would not start correctly after being shut down. At the time it was thought that the presence of Avid Media Composer was the cause, although now it seems that isn’t the case at all. Instead, Google has confirmed that its Chrome update corrupted some macOS file systems.

        Google confirmed the issue in a Chrome support thread, saying that “a Chrome update may have shipped with a bug that damages the file system on macOS machines with System Integrity Protection (SIP) disabled.” SIP is designed to prevent apps from modifying system files, but it needs to be disabled to allow apps like Avid to have a direct connection to a Mac’s graphics systems. That’s where the link to Avid came from.

        Google says that it has now ceased the rollout of Keystone 1.2.13.75 – the Chrome updater software that caused the issue – while it works on a fix. In the meantime it has also shared details on steps impacted users can take in order to get their machines back up and running.

        We’ve reached out to Avid for comment on their stance following this news after it confirmed yesterday that it was aware of the ongoing issues. At that time Avid gave the impression that the issue was related to its own software. We’ll update this post if and when we receive a response.

    • Health/Nutrition

      • Lucy Xiaolu Wang on the Medicines Patent Pool

        Patent pools are agreements by multiple patent owners to license related patents for a fixed price. The net welfare effect of patent pools is theoretically ambiguous: they can reduce numerous transaction costs, but they also can impose anti-competitive costs (due to collusive price-fixing) and costs to future innovation (due to terms requiring pool members to license future technologies back to the pool). In prior posts, I’ve described work by Ryan Lampe and Petra Moser suggesting that the first U.S. patent pool—on sewing machine technologies—deterred innovation, and work by Rob Merges and Mike Mattioli suggesting that the savings from two high tech pools are enormous, and that those concerned with pools thus have a high burden to show that the costs outweigh these benefits. More recently, Mattioli has reviewed the complex empirical literature on patent pools.

        Economics Ph.D. student Lucy Xiaolu Wang has a very interesting new paper to add to this literature, which I believe is the first empirical study of a biomedical patent pool: Global Drug Diffusion and Innovation with a Patent Pool: The Case of HIV Drug Cocktails. Wang examines the Medicines Patent Pool (MPP), a UN-backed nonprofit that bundles patents for HIV drugs and other medicines and licenses these patents for generic sales in developing countries, with rates that are typically no more than 5% of revenues. For many diseases, including HIV/AIDS, the standard treatment requires daily consumption of multiple compounds owned by different firms with numerous patents. Such situations can benefit from a patent pool for the diffusion of drugs and the creation of single-pill once-daily drug cocktails. She uses a difference-in-differences method to study the effect of the MPP on both static and dynamic welfare and finds enormous social benefits.

        [...]

        Under these estimations, the net social benefit is substantial. Wang uses a simple structural model and estimates that the MPP for licensing HIV drug patents increased consumer surplus by $700–1400 million and producer surplus by up to $181 million over the first seven years of its establishment, greatly exceeding the pool’s $33 million total operating cost over the same period. Of course, estimating counterfactuals from natural experiments is always fraught with challenges. But as an initial effort to understand the net benefits and costs of the MPP, this seems like an important contribution that is worth the attention of legal scholars working in the patent pool area.

    • Security (Confidentiality/Integrity/Availability)

      • Security updates for Wednesday

        Security updates have been issued by Debian (kernel, libgcrypt20, and spip), Fedora (compat-openssl10, expat, ghostscript, ibus, java-1.8.0-openjdk-aarch32, and SDL2_image), openSUSE (bird, chromium, kernel, libreoffice, links, and varnish), Oracle (httpd:2.4 and qemu-kvm), Red Hat (kernel), Scientific Linux (qemu-kvm), SUSE (djvulibre, dovecot22, ghostscript, kernel, libxml2, and python-Twisted), and Ubuntu (file-roller and libreoffice).

      • How to fight deepfakes and ransomware: Better security training

        I was two days into my most recent CIO role when I received an email from the CEO asking me to work with the CFO to initiate a wire transfer on behalf of a client. The CEO requested that I respond quickly. It’s important to note that this email was sent to the personal email address associated with my LinkedIn profile. Not today Satan, not today.

        There were several red flags in the message letting me know it was not a legitimate request, but the biggest clue was that I had not shared this email address with anyone in my new organization.

        Similar social media targeting is likely being used against you and your users. Hackers target users as it may be easier to have someone click on a deceptive link or share credentials than to break through firewalls unnoticed.

      • Linux MCQ-07: Documentation and Security

        The assessment test is an excellent way to test yourself before starting to study. It gives you an idea of where you should start and why.

        In an assessment test, test your current skills from beginning to advance lever for any subject or topic to check “what do you know and from where you should start learning?”

        Here I have put some basic questions for Linux assessment, so you can test your Linux skill and choose right path for Linux Learning.

      • SamSam Ransomware

        The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center (NCCIC) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) are issuing this activity alert to inform computer network defenders about SamSam ransomware, also known as MSIL/Samas.A. Specifically, this product shares analysis of vulnerabilities that cyber actors exploited to deploy this ransomware. In addition, this report provides recommendations for prevention and mitigation.

        [...]

        The actors exploit Windows servers to gain persistent access to a victim’s network and infect all reachable hosts. According to reporting from victims in early 2016, cyber actors used the JexBoss Exploit Kit to access vulnerable JBoss applications. Since mid-2016, FBI analysis of victims’ machines indicates that cyber actors use Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) to gain persistent access to victims’ networks. Typically, actors either use brute force attacks or stolen login credentials. Detecting RDP intrusions can be challenging because the malware enters through an approved access point.

        After gaining access to a particular network, the SamSam actors escalate privileges for administrator rights, drop malware onto the server, and run an executable file, all without victims’ action or authorization. While many ransomware campaigns rely on a victim completing an action, such as opening an email or visiting a compromised website, RDP allows cyber actors to infect victims with minimal detection.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • U.N. Chief Warns of a World Divided Between U.S. and China

        U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres warned global leaders Tuesday of the looming risk of the world splitting in two, with the United States and China creating rival internets, currency, trade, financial rules “and their own zero-sum geopolitical and military strategies.”

      • Cyber Command’s first major weapons system needs the cloud

        The contract noted that the Air Force anticipates to award up to 15 blanket purchase agreements, which, according to the General Services Administration, makes it easier to meet recurring needs. The notice stated the estimated value of the agreement is $95 million.

        According to contract documents, the blanket purchase agreement will “eliminate contracting and open market costs such as the search for sources, the development of technical documents and solicitations, and the evaluation of offers. This BPA will further decrease costs, reduce paperwork, and save time by eliminating the need for repetitive and individual purchases.”

    • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

      • The Central Role of the Whistleblower

        The fortuitous emergence of a courageous whistleblower in the Trump White House and Harvard Professor Jill Lepore’s pathetically ill-informed review of Edward Snowden’s recent book, “Permanent Record,” are important reminders of the central and difficult role of whistleblowers in any successful effort to restore our democracy. The information provided by whistleblowers is key to the work of congressional oversight; investigative journalism; and informed political debate.  Whistleblowers contributed to the knowledge of the crimes of the intelligence community during the Vietnam War and the exposure of Iran-contra, which led to the creation of intelligence oversight committees in the Congress and a statutory Inspector General at the Central Intelligence Agency, respectively.

    • Environment

    • Finance

      • Trump May Get Much of the World’s Manufacturing Out of China, But It Won’t Be Coming Back to the U.S.

        “Chimerica” is a term originally coined by the historian Niall Ferguson and economist Moritz Schularick to describe the growing economic relationship between the U.S. and China since the latter’s entry into the World Trade Organization (WTO) in 2001. In the words of Ferguson: “The Chinese did the saving, the Americans the spending. The Chinese did the exporting, the Americans the importing. The Chinese did the lending, the Americans the borrowing.” Much of the pre-crisis boom in global trade was driven by this economic symbiosis, which is why successive American presidents tolerated this marriage of convenience despite the increasing costs to the U.S. economy. The net benefits calculation, however, began to change after 2008, and the conflict has intensified further after the 2016 presidential election result. Today, the cumulative stress of Donald Trump’s escalating trade war is leading to if not an irreparable breach between the two countries, then certainly a significant fraying. The imminent resumption of trade talks notwithstanding, the rising cost of the tariffs is already inducing some U.S. manufacturers to exit China. But in most instances, they are not returning to home shores.

      • We Reported on a Nonprofit Hospital System That Sues Poor Patients. It Just Freed Thousands From Debt.

        MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The city’s largest nonprofit hospital system has erased the debts owed by more than 6,500 patients it sued for unpaid hospital bills, less than two months after announcing an overhaul of its debt collection processes.

        The dramatic shift was prompted by an MLK50-ProPublica investigation that revealed that Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare filed more than 8,300 debt lawsuits from 2014 through 2018, including against its own employees. Methodist had doggedly pursued low-income defendants who had little ability to pay, often garnishing their meager paychecks.

      • Trump’s Economy Revealed

        The next time Trump and his enablers boast about the economy to distract from the damage they’re really doing to America, know the truth. Their failed economic agenda has made Americans poorer and less secure.

      • Why Are So Many Top-Tier College Girls Turning To ‘Soft Prostitution’?

        What do they Sugar Babies do with the money they earn with their vaginas? 30% is spent on tuition and other school related expenses, while 25% goes towards living expenses.

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • Propaganda and Politics in the USA, UK and Australia

        Two weeks ago, former Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has analysed the link between politics and the media in three countries – the UK, USA and Australia. In all three countries, Rupert Murdoch’s media empire has achieved a decisive influence. Among many others in Murdoch’s global media empire, Murdoch runs The Sun in the UK, Fox in the USA and the Daily Telegraph in Australia. Ex-Prime Minister Kevin Rudd explains why Labour (UK), Labor (Australia) and the Democrats (USA) hardly ever win elections despite the fact that many pressing issues would favour the progressive side of politics such as growing inequality, wage stagnation, underfunding of hospitals, desolate public schools, universities increasingly out of reach for the middle class, global warming, rising poverty, homelessness, etc. Despite all this, in all three countries – UK, USA and Australia – we see conservatives win election after election. Currently, all three countries are governed by conservatives, just as Murdoch wants it. Perhaps this is because Labour (UK and Australia) and the Democrats (USA) are engaged in a two against one fight when it comes to elections. They face two opponents: the conservatives and the powerful force of Murdoch’s highly influential media empire. At the same time, the conservative parties face only one opponent in their respective countries: Labour (UK), Labor (Australia) and the Democrats (USA).

      • Are Democrats Blowing It All Over Again?
      • Media Continue to Push Misinformation About Venezuela and Drug Trafficking

        In recent years, Western corporate journalists have turned to systematically citing unnamed sources and secret documents from the US national security state. Indeed, one would be forgiven for thinking it was standard operating procedure.

      • Obstruction Of Whistleblower Complaint Leads To Pelosi Announcing Trump Impeachment Inquiry

        Referring to obstruction of a whistleblower complaint by President Donald Trump’s administration, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi announced an impeachment inquiry would be launched.

        Pelosi also issued an ultimatum to Joseph Maguire, the acting Director of National Intelligence, to provide the full complaint to the House intelligence committee when he testifies on September 26, or risk violating the Constitution.

      • Instead of ‘No Collusion!’ Trump Now Seems to Be Saying, So What if I Did?

        Even for a leader who has audaciously disregarded many of the boundaries that restrained his predecessors, President Trump’s appeal to a foreign power for dirt on former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. is an astonishing breach of the norms governing the American presidency.

      • Southfield City Clerk accused of Michigan election fraud

        Hawkins is accused of altering 193 ballot sheets to reconcile the number of absentee ballots that arrived in her office prior to the election with vote totals on Election Day.

        Further, original election night reports were allegedly discovered in a trash can in the Pontiac elections office when Oakland County’s Election Director, Joseph Rozell, began asking questions.

    • U.K. Parliament To Resume After Supreme Court Rules Suspension Was ‘Unlawful’

      The U.K. Supreme Court has ruled unanimously that the suspension of Parliament that was recently orchestrated by Prime Minister Boris Johnson was illegal. In light of the decision, the House of Commons will convene on Wednesday, Speaker John Bercow says.

      Speaking to journalists outside of Parliament after the ruling, Bercow said the court’s ruling was “explicit” and clear. He was careful to say there will not be a “recall” of lawmakers, but instead a resumption of the session — because the court had entirely nullified the suspension.

      Reading the decision of the court, Senior Judge Brenda Hale said the suspension “was unlawful because it had the effect of frustrating or preventing the ability of Parliament to carry out its constitutional functions without reasonable justification.”

      Lady Hale’s summary of the ruling said the order to prorogue Parliament is “unlawful, void and of no effect and should be quashed.”

      Jeremy Corbyn, who leads the opposition Labour Party, said the ruling “demonstrates a contempt for democracy and an abuse of power” by Johnson. Corbyn joined others in calling for Johnson to resign.

      “I invite Boris Johnson, in the historic words, to ‘consider his position,’ Corbyn said, addressing an exultant crowd at his party’s annual conference. He added that Johnson should “become the shortest-serving prime minister there’s ever been.”

  • Censorship/Free Speech

  • Privacy/Surveillance

    • Automatic License Plate Readers Are The Latest Neighborhood Perk

      Round-the-clock surveillance is becoming a part of everyday life here in the United States. Unfortunately, unlike CCTV-infested London, the steady influx of cameras in the US is the result of police-private company partnerships and the efforts of friends and neighbors.

  • Civil Rights/Policing

    • How to Make Sure the Tech You Use and Build Reflects Your Values

      Technology should empower you. It should put you in control. You should not feel used by the company that provides it to you. And if you’re a builder of technologies, we believe you should always carry the responsibility to empower your users. Ultimately you should be able to say that you are proud of what you built.

    • Roger Waters: We’re Ignoring One of Humanity’s Biggest Threats

      DIMITRI LASCARIS: This is Dimitri Lascaris reporting for The Real News Network from Harold Square in Manhattan.

    • US Move Puts More Asylum Seekers at Risk

      (Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, September 25, 2019) –The Trump administration has drastically expanded its “Remain in Mexico” program while undercutting the rights of asylum seekers at the United States southern border, Human Rights Watch said today. Under the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP) – known as the “Remain in Mexico” program – asylum seekers in the US are returned to cities in Mexico where there is a shortage of shelter and high crime rates while awaiting asylum hearings in US immigration court.    

    • Iraq: Appeals Courts Ignoring Torture Claims

      close study of appeals court decisions in terrorism-related cases in Iraq shows that judges in close to two dozen cases in an 18-month period appeared to ignore torture allegations or to rely on uncorroborated confessions, Human Rights Watch said today. Some of the torture allegations had been substantiated by forensic medical exams, and some of the confessions were unsubstantiated by any other evidence and were apparently extracted by force, including by torture.

    • Employers Used Facebook to Keep Women and Older Workers From Seeing Job Ads. The Federal Government Thinks That’s Illegal.

      Two years ago, ProPublica and The New York Times revealed that companies were posting discriminatory job ads on Facebook, using the social network’s targeting tools to keep older workers from seeing employment opportunities. Then we reported companies were using Facebook to exclude women from seeing job ads.

      Experts told us that it was most likely illegal. And it turns out the federal government now agrees.

    • Russian senators denied visas to attend UN General Assembly session

      Ten senators serving in Russia’s Federation Council have been denied U.S. visas they would need in order to participate in the upcoming annual session of the United Nations General Assembly. Konstantin Kosachev, who leads the Federation Council’s International Affairs Committee and was among the senators denied a visa, told Interfax about the incident.

    • First, there were fake Putin graves. Now, there are photos on real graves — and that means potential prison time for Russian opposition activists.

      Activists from various anti-regime protest movements have been installing fake cardboard “headstones” bearing Vladimir Putin’s name and portrait since March of 2019. The first among them appeared on March 10 in the city of Naberezhnye Chelny: It was installed near a regional Investigative Committee building to protest new limits on Internet use. That same day, an activist for the Bessrochny Protest (Permanent Protest) movement named Karim Yamadayev was arrested. He was later sentenced to 28 days in jail, while an acquaintance who helped him bring the fake headstone to the protest site got six days. After that initial action, a number of different movements took up the challenge of installing Putin headstones in public places, from Moscow to St. Petersburg and even Berlin. The graves, they said, symbolized the assertion that Putin was dead to ordinary Russians.

    • Protest Song Of The Week: ‘Blankenship’ By DIIV
    • International Human Rights Bodies Provide a Case for Reparations

      It is common for nations where mass atrocities have taken place to engage in the process of reparation and repair. This process happened in Germany after the Holocaust, South Africa after apartheid, and here in the United States, forty years after the internment of Japanese-Americans during World War II. As a result,  international human rights bodies have sought to lend their expertise to the process, often by holding hearings and publishing international guidelines on the steps necessary to effectively administer a program for reparations.

    • Judicial Blowback

      The Tory government, under both May and Johnson, has made plain its contempt for the rule of law repeatedly, and not only over the prorogation of parliament. In the last few days we have seen the Tories admit to illegal sales of arms to Saudi Arabia, in direct breach of a ruling by the Court of Appeal, for which “accident” Liz Truss gave a completely fake apology.

    • An Uprising in West Papua

      Throughout West Papua, West Papuans are wounded and killed on a daily basis. One would need to follow West Papuan media outlets or social media to see this reality, as it is not an easy task for journalists to cover incidents in West Papua with the Indonesian government’s narrative dominating mainstream national media, and foreign journalists still banned from West Papua.

    • Video: Malian man tied up in public for opposing caste-based slavery

      A man had his feet and hands bound and was publicly humiliated on September 17 in the village of Krémis, located in the Kayes region in southwestern Mali for opposing the traditional slavery that is still practised in the region. He’s not the first to suffer violence for speaking out against this entrenched system.

    • Indonesia protests over sex before marriage bill

      The bill has been delayed, but protesters are concerned it could still eventually pass through parliament.

  • Monopolies

    • ‘Launch at risk’ – Article 9 (7) of the Enforcement Directive interpreted by the CJEU in C-688/17 (Bayer), concluding that when a patent is subsequently revoked it does not automatically follow that the preliminary injunction was unfounded

      The injunction gap is a frequently discussed characteristic of those European jurisdictions, Hungary being one such country, whose patent litigation systems are bifurcated. In a preliminary injunction proceeding in Hungary the court does not assess the validity of the patent in suit, at least not simply at the level of arguments, although decisions on invalidity which have already been made are to a certain extent relevant. Consequently, following the decision on the request for preliminary injunction, the main patent infringement action is suspended for the duration of revocation/opposition proceeding, which may and indeed sometimes does give rise to the patent, on the basis of which the preliminary injunction was ordered, being subsequently revoked.

      This is the context of the case in which the referral in C-688/17 (Bayer) was made by the Metropolitan Court of Budapest, Hungary.

      The parties are Bayer Pharma AG (Bayer) vs. Richter Pharma Nyrt. (Richter) and Exeltis Kft. (Exeltis). The patent in suit covers an oral contraceptive pharmaceutical preparation. Although the patent was still pending when the generic products came onto the market, once the patent had been granted Bayer immediately filed a request for preliminary injunction while Richter initiated a revocation action against the patent. Following the Metropolitan Court’s positive finding on the likelihood of patent infringement taking place, a preliminary injunction was ordered and the main infringement suit suspended in line with the practice of bifurcation.

      The preliminary injunction was, however, subsequently lifted by the Metropolitan Appeal Court for reasons unrelated to the previous findings concerning the likelihood of patent infringement. Some months later the Hungarian Intellectual Property Office (HIPO) revoked the patent. In Hungary, the first instance decision of the HIPO is followed by two judicial instances, as well as the possibility of an extraordinary judicial review, on questions of law, by the Curia (Supreme Court). At the end of the revocation proceeding the patent was revoked with final effect.

      [...]

      The Court reaffirmed that a contrary conclusion would, in circumstances similar to those in the basic case, lead to right holders being deterred from seeking the measures provided by the Directive and would thus be contrary to its aims. As a restriction to its interpretation the Court also noted, with reference to Art. 3 (2) of the Directive, that national courts must ensure that the measures encompassed in Art. 9 of the Directive are not misused. Courts must therefore establish that the request for preliminary injunction is not a misuse of rights.

      Even though at first glance it might seem that the judgement of the CJEU is merely filling a gap in Hungarian legislation, its significance may go well beyond the basic case in determining the content of ‘appropriate compensation’ as an autonomous notion of Union Law, requiring uniform interpretation throughout the EU and in doing so making it clear that ‘launching at risk’ may indeed be the risk of the defendant and not that of the patentee. In what may be considered food for thought for future cases, the decision appears to rule out automatic compensation within the context of Art. 9 (7) while also setting down the necessary safeguards against the misuse of provisional measures. The judgement may consequently impact judicial practice not only in Hungary but also in other jurisdictions and will probably be particularly relevant in countries that apply bifurcation in patent litigation.

    • Is article 3 (a) of the Regulation (EC) 469/2009 disappearing into the mist, or is clarity round the corner?

      The interpretation of article 3 (a) of the Regulation (EC) 469/2009 concerning the Supplementary Protection Certificates for medicinal products (the “SPC Regulation”), has been in the center of attention for courts (including the CJEU) and for SPC enthusiasts alike. The recent AG Opinion in C- 650/17 (Royalty Pharma) and C-114/18 (Sandoz) has provided for more food for thought, for the details of the case and the summary of the AG Opinion see IPKat post here.
      What has been particularly interesting during the past few years is the interpretation of one of the criteria for SPC eligibility in the EU, namely the requirement that the product is “protected by a basic patent in force”. And while national courts and the CJEU have experienced fierce litigation concerning this exact seemingly innocent phrase, clarity is not succeeded.

      The only matter on which there appears to be consensus is that the CJEU has rejected the so called “infringement” test: this means that in order to satisfy the “protected by a basic patent in force requirement”, it is not sufficient for the product to simply fall within the scope of a claim of the basic patent.

      During the past few years, landmark decisions concerning the interpretation of the SPC Regulation have introduced two different tests, namely that the product must be “specified” or “identified” in the claims of the basic patent (Medeva, C-322/10), and that the product must reflect “the core inventive advance” of the basic patent (Actavis v Sanofi, C-443/12).

      In the ruling of 25 July 2018 (Case C-121/17 Teva v. Gilead), Teva, the CJEU ruled that the Medeva test was complied with if, at the filing date (or priority date) of the basic patent:
      (a) the combination of those active ingredients must necessarily, in the light of the description and drawings of that patent, fall under ‘the invention covered by that patent’, and
      (b) each of those active ingredients must be specifically identifiable, in the light of all the information disclosed by that patent.

    • Patents and Software Patents

      • Phigenix, Inc. v. Genentech, Inc. (Fed. Cir. 2019)

        Earlier this month, in Phigenix, Inc. v. Genentech, Inc., the Federal Circuit affirmed a decision by the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California striking the infringement opinion of Phigenix’s expert and granting summary judgment of noninfringement based on a lack of evidence of both direct infringement and intent to induce infringement. The District Court also denied summary judgment of invalidity of Phigenix’s U.S. Patent No. 8,080,534.

        [...]

        Rejecting Phigenix’s arguments that the District Court had abused its discretion in striking the noninfringement opinion of Phigenix’s expert, and without its expert report, the panel determined that Phigenix’s direct infringement case must fail, and therefore affirmed the District Court’s grant of summary judgment of noninfringement.

      • Turkey: Determination Of Non-Infringement Action Is To Be Rejected If Marketing Authorisation Is Not Granted Yet

        As per Article 154 of the Turkish IP Law any person who has a legal interest can file an action to have the Court determine that his acts do not constitute an infringement of the intellectual property rights of a rights owner.

        For a quite long time patent owners were squeezed between conflicting approaches in the implementation of, on the one hand, the legal interest condition in determination of non-infringement actions (DNI), and, on the other hand, the Bolar exemption in patent infringement actions. I In both cases the marketing authorisation (MA) application of the Gx Company is pending. In accordance with established case law on the interpretation of the Bolar exemption, the IP Courts immediately reject any patent enforcement attempt of a patent owner if the MA application of the defendant is still pending, emphasizing that experimental acts for the purpose of the MA are exempted from patent rights. However, the IP Courts used to accept and deal with the determination of non-infringement actions of Gx companies that are filed while the MA application is still pending. The objections of patent owners that the MA application is exempted from patent rights and therefore the plaintiff does not have any legal interest in filing the DNI were not heard.

      • Supreme Court: What is the Role of Functional Claim Limitations?

        The Supreme Court had previously held claims invalid that use “conveniently functional language at the exact point of novelty.” Gen. Electric Co. v. Wabash Co., 304 U.S. 364 (1938).

        [...]

        The claim at issue is directed to a treatment for benign prostatic hyperplasia (prostate enlargement) by administering “an effective amount of an inhibitor of phosphodiesterase (PDE) V.” The claim also includes a group of compounds that might be inhibitors but that are not covered by the claim. Lilly’s Cialis drug does serve the function of a PDE inhibitor, but Lilly argues that thousands of other drugs also fit the functional description.

        The E.D. Tex. court hearing the case allowed it to go to a jury trial and confirmed the jury verdict of infringement ($20 million damages). On appeal, the Federal Circuit affirmed without opinion. (R.36 Affirmance) .

        [...]

        An interesting aspect of this case is how it relates to patent eligibility. The patentees here appear to have been the first to discover the general concept that PDE V inhibitors can serve as a treatment for benign prostatic hyperplasia. That general discovery itself is an unpatentable aspect of how the human body works — what the Supreme Court calls a Law of Nature. As such, the patentee looked to find the broadest application of the general law — administering a PDE V inhibitor in an amount effective to treat. In its briefing, the patentee Uropep suggests that there might have been an eligibility argument in this case, but it was waived by Lilly.

      • Patents for Sharing

        Spurred by the Internet, emerging technologies have changed the way commercial firms innovate and have made it possible for individuals to play an important role in that innovation. Producers in the Information Communication Technologies (ICT), and other sectors dealing with complex technologies with many separately patentable components, find it increasingly difficult to make products without infringing on patents held by others. Numerous overlapping patents often cover such products. Producers have developed a new way to use patents: as inclusive rights for sharing their technologies with others through cross-licensing and other private ordering arrangements in order to ensure the freedom to operate and innovate. Individual innovators, and open source software (OSS) programmers in particular, have also developed a new use of copyrights: using them to share their technologies through OSS licenses. Producers of complex technologies use patents for sharing their technologies with OSS programmers and for protecting themselves from patent assertion. In light of these recent uses, this article proposes a new utilitarian theory for patents: patent as the incentive to share, with the reward of increasing the freedom to operate and innovate. It argues that both the ex ante and ex post incentive to invent theories are outdated because they fail to take into account the patent owners’ lack of control over their products in complex technology sectors. This article urges Congress to reevaluate U.S. patent rights in light of the new patent use. It reviews U.S. patents as property rights from the comparative law perspective and proposes the revitalization of the inclusive side of U.S. patents by introducing a compulsory license for blocking patents. It also proposes that the exclusive side of patent rights should be limited to private and experimental use exceptions to ensure the freedom to operate and innovate by sharing.

      • The Effect of High-Tech Clusters on the Productivity of Top Inventors

        The high-tech sector is increasingly concentrated in a small number of expensive cities, with the top ten cities in “Computer Science”, “Semiconductors” and “Biology and Chemistry”, accounting for 70%, 79% and 59% of inventors, respectively. Why do inventors tend to locate near other inventors in the same field, despite the higher costs? I use longitudinal data on top inventors based on the universe of US patents 1971 – 2007 to quantify the productivity advantages of Silicon-Valley style clusters and their implications for the overall production of patents in the US. I relate the number of patents produced by an inventor in a year to the size of the local cluster, defined as a city × research field × year. I first study the experience of Rochester NY, whose high-tech cluster declined due to the demise of its main employer, Kodak. Due to the growth of digital photography, Kodak employment collapsed after 1996, resulting in a 49.2% decline in the size of the Rochester high-tech cluster. I test whether the change in cluster size affected the productivity of inventors outside Kodak and the photography sector. I find that between 1996 and 2007 the productivity of non-Kodak inventors in Rochester declined by 20.6% relative to inventors in other cities, conditional on inventor fixed effects. In the second part of the paper, I turn to estimates based on all the data in the sample. I find that when an inventor moves to a larger cluster she experiences significant increases in the number of patents produced and the number of citations received. Conditional on inventor, firm, and city × year effects, the elasticity of number of patents produced with respect to cluster size is 0.0662 (0.0138). The productivity increase follows the move and there is no evidence of pre-trends. IV estimates based on the geographical structure of firms with laboratories in multiple cities are statistically similar to OLS estimates. In the final part of the paper, I use the estimated elasticity of productivity with respect to cluster size to quantify the aggregate effects of geographical agglomeration on the overall production of patents in the US. I find macroeconomic benefits of clustering for the US as a whole. In a counterfactual scenario where the quality of U.S. inventors is held constant but their geographical location is changed so that all cities have the same number of inventors in each field, inventor productivity would increase in small clusters and decline in large clusters. On net, the overall number of patents produced in the US in a year would be 11.07% smaller.

      • Micron chips away at memory patent fight at Fed Circuit

        The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit affirmed a decision by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s Patent Trial and Appeal Board that invalidated key claims in an IMS patent on technology for converting analog signals into digital signals.

      • Broad Institute Takes Its Turn in Interference Motion Practice

        Friday, the Broad Institute (and its partners as Senior Party, Harvard University and MIT) filed its opposition to an authorized motion for protective order by the Junior Party (the University of California, Berkeley; the University of Vienna; and Emmanuelle Charpentier; collectively, “CVC”) as well as its Substantive Motion No. 1 that CVC was barred from the interference by interference estoppel. The arguments in each brief were related by several themes repeated (sometimes exhaustively) both between the briefs and throughout each one.

        [...]

        The Broad uses the first sentence to counter CVC’s (presumed) argument that judgment estoppel requires a judgment (i.e., a losing party) and that under conditions where the Board (and the Federal Circuit) find no interference-in-fact there is no losing party and thus no estoppel. On the contrary, the Broad argues that the first sentence of the rule applies in such cases and raises an estoppel because (as argued throughout) CVC did not avail itself of its right to file a responsive motion to the Broad’s motion for no interference-in-fact in the ’048 interference. The Broad finds support for its position in the Notice in the Official Gazette (1277 OG 51 TRDRULE, 2003 WL 25967289, Off. Gaz. Pat. & Trademark Office, Vol. 1277, No. 4 at *30 (December 23, 2003), regarding the rule, and further notes that “[t]he PTAB commonly relies on its own notices of rulemaking to interpret the intent of its rules,” citing Garner v. Quate, 2006 WL 3939187, at 22 *6-7 (B.P.A.I. Dec. 14, 2006). This interpretation of the rule is also consistent with the purpose of estoppel, to promote “finality, certainty, and efficiency,” according to the Broad, as well as preventing “serial” interferences (as the Broad alleges CVC is attempting to pursue in this interference). To rebut a reading of the provisions of the MPEP (Section 2308.03(b)) that could be interpreted as being contrary to their own reading, the Broad cites Racing Strollers, Inc. v. TRI Indus., Inc., 878 F.2d 1418, 1422 (Fed. Cir.1989) (en banc), for the principle that “to the extent any portion of the MPEP conflicts with the federal regulations, of course, the federal regulation controls (provided that the Board interprets Rule 127(a) as the Broad does).

        [...]

        For the absence of doubt, the brief then recites its own patents and application that should be maintained and CVC’s applications having claims (substantially all of them) that should be finally rejected.

        The Board did not grant CVC authorization to file a brief in opposition to the Broad’s Substantive Motion No. 1 but in view of the dispositive nature of this motion it is unlikely not to give CVC the opportunity to respond.

    • Copyrights

      • Guest Post: Copyright Troll-[ing] Canadian Courts? Canada’s First Reverse Class Action Copyright Case

        This Kat was very intrigued to hear about Canada’s first reverse class action copyright case brought by film production companies against a class of a unidentified and potentially unlimited number of Canadians for copyright infringement.

        [...]

        While some may know Voltage by their films, courts and lawyers refer to them and similar plaintiffs as “copyright trolls”. A copyright troll is a party that aggressively enforces its copyright through litigation in an effort to monetize assertions of infringement. There has been significant case law in the U.S., U.K., Australia, Denmark, and Singapore surrounding copyright trolls generally and Voltage specifically. All of the copyright troll litigation share the same modus operandi​: plaintiff owns a copyright to a film; plaintiff sues numerous John Does identified in a single action for using BitTorrent to copy the movie, all identified using the forensic software companies “Guardaley” or “MaverickEye”; plaintiff subpoenas the Internet Service Providers to obtain the identities of these Does; if successful, plaintiff will send out demand letters to the Does; and, finally, Does will send a settlement to the plaintiff. Where the Does do not respond, the trolls obtain default judgments. Very rarely do these cases reach the merits. Never has an international jurisdiction certified a class of respondents. It appears that Voltage has been on a world tour of trolling Courts for copyright infringement, with stints in the UK, Australia, Singapore, and the US. Canada seems to have been its next stop. And Voltage has attempted an ambitious campaign here.

      • Zervos v Picasso, or copyright v droit d’auteur

        Whilst most readers are likely familiar with the work of Pablo Picasso, the same might not be true for the work of someone who closely worked with and catalogued Picasso’s impressive wealth of artworks.

        Zervos was a Greek-French art historian, critic, collector and publisher who founded the magazine Cahiers d’art in Paris and published several books such as The Art of Crete, The Art of the Cyclades, L’art de l’époque du Renne en France. In the early 1930s, he began to catalog Picasso’s work, publishing what is, among experts, generally known as “Zervos”, a 33-volume publication including more than 16,000 Picasso’s paintings and drawings. The last volume of the catalogue was published in 1978, at a time when both Picasso and Zervos had died.

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  15. The World Wide Web is Shrinking and Microsoft's Share in Web Servers is Down to Just 3%

    Microsoft’s presence on the server side is just a niche. No wonder there are many Microsoft layoffs (about 20,000 staff) and Microsoft divisions are being silently shut down.



  16. Warrant of Arrest for Microsoft’s Chief Architect of GitHub Copilot, Balabhadra Alex Graveley

    GitHub Copilot has been criticised for a lot of things, but blogs and the press never ever mention the "social justice" aspects of the thing (because they simply don't care)



  17. Links 12/08/2022: End of JingPad A1/JingOS, Russia Makes GNU/Linux Laptops

    Links for the day



  18. Links 12/08/2022: Kubuntu 22.04.1 LTS

    Links for the day



  19. Links 12/08/2022: PCLinuxOS Browser Refreshes

    Links for the day



  20. Links 12/08/2022: Apple Versus Telegram

    Links for the day



  21. IRC Proceedings: Thursday, August 11, 2022

    IRC logs for Thursday, August 11, 2022



  22. Inside the Minds of Microsoft's Media Operatives — Part V — In Deep Denial About One's Harm

    Source-burning Microsoft boosters, who vainly think of themselves as "journalists", respond to allegations of bias and dissemination of Microsoft falsehoods



  23. Microsoft GitHub Exposé — Part XXV — Microsoft Employs Serial Strangler as a Manager, Running GitHub Copilot in Spite of Arrest for Assault on Women

    Now there is another woman saying that she was strangled by Alex Garveley; we keep hearing more and more of this, so it’s a chronic behaviour and it doesn’t seem to bother Microsoft, which provides funds to protect the strangler



  24. Links 11/08/2022: PostgreSQL Beta 3 Releases

    Links for the day



  25. Windows Falling Below 15% in Cuba This Month

    Now that Microsoft starts locking down and shutting out GNU/Linux (preventing it from even booting!) while laying off about 10% its own workers it’s important to understand that Windows is basically in serious trouble



  26. Links 11/08/2022: Point Release of Ubuntu 22.04 and GNUnet 0.17.4

    Links for the day



  27. Links 11/08/2022: Qt Creator 8.0.1 and Microsoft's 3-Year Bug Door

    Links for the day



  28. Not Everyone Buys the Latest Laptop With Microsoft Windows (Bloatware)

    In Sudan, the share of Windows fell from 99.1% to just 8.77% (in a matter of 13.5 years); Microsoft, which is collapsing (layoffs and shutdowns), is just trying to block people from booting Linux on laptops/desktops



  29. IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, August 10, 2022

    IRC logs for Wednesday, August 10, 2022



  30. Microsoft Death Spiral: Microsoft Fires 200 Employees “Working to Win Back Customers”

    Guest post by Ryan, reprinted with permission


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