SUEPO Organises Hague Protest — Second EPO Protest in a Fortnight, Targeting the Portuguese Embassy in The Hague

Posted in Action, Europe, Patents at 11:10 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

SUEPO Hague Protest

Summary: Second EPO protest in two weeks. Tomorrow it’s the turn of the Dutch branch and the strategy is applying pressure to pertinent governments (seeing that the EU isn't lifting a finger).

THIS was inevitable. António Campinos has been as bad as Battistelli and in some aspects even worse (e.g. staff cuts). So staff of the European Patent Office (EPO) has had enough; the frustration will ‘spill over’ to the streets of The Hague on Thursday.

“The only surprise is that it didn’t happen a lot sooner.”The protest is formally announced here (thanks to pointers from Twitter [1, 2]), not in SUEPO’s main page (“Central”). Here’s the original [PDF] leaflet shown above and our local copy [PDF] of it. European media is not covering this stuff (not anymore). That does not mean that it’s not happening; that also does not mean that EPO management won’t be paying attention. Here’s the text of the leaflet:

The European Patent Office (EPO) is in a deep crisis.

Since the receipt of the first European patent application in June 1978, the EPO has become a leader in the worldwide patent world, and a driving force in European economic integration. Indeed, the European Union has entrusted the EPO with the administration of the European Unitary Patent, once the legislation enters into force. It is the only European Organisation that is not only self-financing, but also generating revenue for the member states.

EPO crisis
However, since 2013 the EPO has been experiencing a prolonged crisis, the worst in its history.

The core of the problem is that decisions are made without proper consultation of all stakeholders, which include staff and their representatives. Worse still, any voice of dissent is actively quashed; there have even been instances of violations of fundamental rights, none of which would have been tolerated by the authorities of the members states or in other European institutions. For years, the members states have turned a blind eye to the abuses.

Then, as of 1 July 2018, the Administrative Council appointed a new President of the EPO, Mr António Campinos (of Portugal), with the explicit task of restoring social dialogue. Sixteen months into his presidency, little has changed. While Mr Campinos has proved more adept than his predecessor at providing fig leaves for his administration, Staff is still subjected to prevarications. As before, Staff is not consulted in any meaningful way in matters directly affecting their working conditions, health and livelihood. As before, Staff is subjected to the abuses of officials appointed by the previous administration, and which Mr Campinos has deliberately chosen to keep in place in spite of their track record.

We, the largest staff union of the EPO, are less than impressed with Mr Campinos’ own track record and choice of collaborators.

We demand that the governments of the Member States take up their responsibility and ensure that the EPO is run according to their mandate.

The European Patent Organisation (EPO) is an intergovernmental organisation created by the European Patent Convention (EPC) signed in 1973. It comprises 38 member states, including Portugal, which sit on the Administrative Council, the supervisory body of the EPO.

The EPO employs about 7000 multilingual, highly educated staff members.

About half of all staff are members of the Staff Union of the EPO (SUEPO), which represents their collective interests.

Failure to discharge this duty is likely to have deleterious effects on the ability of the EPO to fulfil its tasks, which in turn will likely affect negatively the interests of industry and governments across Europe.

Portugal is the country from which Mr. Campinos comes. As such, Portugal has a particular responsibility in the current situation.

To raise awareness about this, SUEPO

- has already held a demonstration in Munich, on 23 October, and
- will be holding a demonstration in The Hague on 7 November, at 12:00.

Given the special position held by Portugal, we will also march by the Portuguese Embassy in The Hague.

We call on all members states, patent applicants and patent attorneys to give this matter the attention it deserves.

SUEPO Executive Committee, local branch The Hague

The only surprise is that it didn’t happen a lot sooner. SUEPO has, in our assessment, been very courteously patient with Campinos. And Campinos did not actually deserve such patience.

Links 6/11/2019: RHEL Release, Shadow of the Tomb Raider Definitive Edition, Git 2.24.0

Posted in News Roundup at 9:50 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Desktop

      • My Search For The Perfect Linux OS Just Ended — With An Unexpected Surprise

        I began my Linux journey 16 months ago with only one certainty: I didn’t want to use Windows for the rest of my life. I’ve remained in a constant state of exploration and discovery in the pursuit of finding that “forever distro.” You know, the one to rule them all. The perfect Linux OS that’s stable, checks all those feature boxes, slides effortlessly into every scenario and is just plain fun to use on a daily basis.

        I greet you today with a sobering and unexpected conclusion: it doesn’t exist. At least not for me.

        This is obviously a subjective statement, but give me a few minutes to explain what’s changed my mind, and why I’m starting to view this “distro hunt” mentality through a different lens.

      • The Second Window of the Pinebook Pro Pre-Order has been Announced

        The Pinebook Pro is not like other computer manufacturers, they are not stacked in a warehouse for regular sale.

        They are produced in batches based on sales. So don’t miss the sale if you really want to buy it.

        The Pinebook Pro costs $199.99 with additional shipping charges.

        The pre-orders are estimated dispatch in December 2019.

        In some bad cases, don’t worry if you missed it or sold it, the next pre-order window will be available in early 2020.

      • PinePhone “Brave Heart Edition” pre-orders open Nov 15th (Cheap Linux smartphone)

        The PinePhone is a $149 smartphone designed to run free and open source operating systems such as PostmarketOS, Ubuntu Touch, KDE Plasma Mobile, LuneOS, or Sailfish OS.

        First unveiled in January, the PinePhone has been under development ever since — and the first pre-production phones were supposed to ship to developers in September.

        After encountering several delays, Pine64 says those developer phones are going to start shipping this week — and on November 15th the company will begin taking pre-orders for the first PinePhone 64 Brave Heart Edition smartphones, which are set to ship in December.

      • Google’s Linux-Based Chrome OS Now Officially Supports Virtual Workspaces

        Google announced today that its Linux-based Chrome OS operating system for Chromebooks now finally supports virtual workspaces with the latest release.
        With the upcoming Chrome OS 78 release, the Linux-powered Chromebook operating system will finally bring support for virtual desktops. A multitask feature, virtual workspaces has been around for years on Linux, Mac, and Windows operating systems, helping users better organize their workspaces and be more productive, but Chrome OS is just getting Virtual Desks now.

        “Use this feature to create helpful boundaries between projects or activities. If you’re working on multiple projects, you can dedicate a desk to each one. Or if you like to take a break during the workday, you could create a desk for web browsing or gaming. If you’re a student, you can create a different desk for each class,” said Alexander Kuscher, Director of Chrome OS Software at Google.

      • Winners of Superfan 3: Mission to Thelio

        Bill Zaumen submitted multiple entries as well. Our favorite was an application he created that can encrypt his information to a backup device using GNU Privacy Guard (GPG). As he explains in his email submission: “The drive contains a very large encrypted file containing a LUKS file system, a long (32 byte) LUKS key that was created with a random number generator and that is encrypted using GPG, plus a directory that can be used as the mount point.”

    • Server

      • IBM

        • OpenShift Developer experience feedback: Take the survey, join community sessions

          We’ve recently added several feedback loops aimed at increasing customer and community involvement in order to better understand how developers create, build, manage, test, and deploy their applications on and for Red Hat OpenShift.

        • Open by nature: What building a platform for activists taught me about playful development

          Participating in a design sprint with colleagues at Greenpeace reminded me of that. As I explained in the first two parts of this series, learning to think, plan, and work the open way is helping us build something truly great—a new, global platform for engaging activists who want to take action on behalf of our planet.

          The sprint experience (part of a collaboration with Red Hat) reinforced several lessons about openness I’ve learned throughout my career as an advocate for open source, an architect of change, and a community organizer.

        • From the core to the edge: How Red Hat is helping to drive accelerated AI into the mainstream

          In the face of changing technology demands, local municipalities and federal governments alike can struggle to keep existing infrastructure operational while striving to meet the growing need to support their communities with advanced technologies. These can include 5G, artificial intelligence (AI) / machine learning (ML) and Internet of Things (IoT), all critical pieces that meet constituent demands for better, faster and more efficient services, but also come with steep IT requirements. 5G infrastructure alone necessitates an unprecedented physical footprint at a street and building level in order to serve the number of IoT devices anticipated to be operating on 5G networks. That number is projected to be as high as 1,000,000 devices per square kilometer (roughly the size of four city blocks).

          IoT and 5G technologies are key components in creating smart cities, where data from sensors, cameras, and specialized connected devices must be processed in real-time to provide insight and assistance with traffic congestion management, crime prevention, and asset and property maintenance. But smart cities are just one symptom of a growing challenge facing public sector organizations. The bigger question is: How do these organizations address the need for computing demand outside their core datacenter, at the literal edge of the network? Adding to this complexity is the proliferation of microservices-based, cloud native applications running on container management Kubernetes platforms, a wholesale sea of change in how traditional IT operations are conducted.

        • What’s new in RHEL 8.1: Kernel patching, more Insights, and right on time

          Last week we celebrated the 25th anniversary of Red Hat’s inaugural Halloween release. This week? We’ve got Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.1 hitting the streets on schedule and ready to take on your toughest workloads. In RHEL 8.1 we have some new tools, live kernel patching, a new system role, and more. Here’s a quick preview of the highlights in RHEL 8.1.

        • What’s new in Red Hat Insights for November, 2019?

          For Red Hat Insights, 2019 has been an exceptional year. Insights provides proactive management and remediation guidance as a Software-as-a-Services (SaaS) solution, and this has become available as part of the Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) subscription to add new value to this already strong subscription. Our customers are showing their appreciation for this value as we can see in its robust growth in adoption. Since being announced at Red Hat Summit, we have continued to innovate on Insights and I want to update you on some key enhancements.


          Once you register the Insights client, you can browse the rules section to see specific risks on your own environments. You can also look on a system-by-system basis to see which systems have matched these rules and most require your attention. As shown in the screenshot below, you can uncheck the “Show rules with hits” box at the top if you want to see the breadth of these 1,000+ rules, regardless of whether there is a match for them on your RHEL environments. (See Figure 1.)

        • Red Hat announces RHEL 8.1 with predictable release cadence

          Red Hat has just today announced the availability of Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) 8.1, promising improvements in manageability, security and performance.

          RHEL 8.1 will enhance the company’s open hybrid-cloud portfolio and continue to provide a consistent user experience between on-premises and public-cloud deployments.

        • Red Hat Ups the IQ of the Intelligent Operating System with the Latest Release of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8

          Red Hat, Inc., the world’s leading provider of open source solutions, today announced the general availability of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.1, the latest version of the world’s leading enterprise Linux platform. The first minor release of the Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8 platform, Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.1 enhances the manageability, security and performance of the operating system underpinning the open hybrid cloud while also adding new capabilities to drive developer innovation.

        • Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.1 Officially Released, Here’s What’s New

          Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.1 is here to deliver more intelligent management through enhanced automation, new enterprise-grade security enhancements, updated drivers for better hardware support, greater developer productivity, as well as yet another layer of performance enhancements to keep the Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8 operating system a reliable, stable, and secure platform for hybrid clouds and other enterprise environments.

          Highlights of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.1 include container-centric SELinux profiles to allow system administrators to create security policies that are more tailored to their needs for better control over container access of a host system’s resources, such as compute, network, and storage, as well as application whitelisting, which lets sysadmins be more selective of the applications that are allowed to be launched on a machine, reducing the risk of malicious apps.

        • Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.1 Released With Kernel Live-Patching Support

          Red Hat this morning announced the release of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.1, the first update to RHEL8 since its general availability in May.

          Arguably most notable with RHEL 8.1 is that kernel live-patching is now officially supported on RHEL for applying kernel security updates without reboots. This comes after Red Hat for years has worked on Kpatch and the in-kernel live-patching infrastructure.

        • Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.1 Debuts With Added Developer Tools, Security & Automation

          Red Hat, Inc. today announced the general availability of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.1, the latest version of the world’s leading enterprise Linux platform. The first minor release of the Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8 platform, Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.1 enhances the manageability, security and performance of the operating system underpinning the open hybrid cloud while also adding new capabilities to drive developer innovatio

        • Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.1 adds live Linux kernel patching

          Six months after Red Hat released the most recent major update of its flagship operating system, Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) 8, the first minor RHEL 8 release of the RHEL 8.1 brings significant improvements to manageability, security, and hybrid cloud performance.

          First and foremost, in my mind, RHEL 8.1 8.1 now has full support for live kernel patching. You can now update your Linux kernel for Critical or Important Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures (CVEs) without needing to go to the trouble of a system reboot. This keeps your system up and running even serious security bugs are patched behind the scenes.

        • Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.1 released

          Red Hat has announced the release of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.1. This is the first update in what is planned to be a 6 month cadence for minor releases. The release notes contain more information.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • 2019-11-05 | Linux Headlines

        Open source code that can listen to songs and tear them apart, longer lifespans for some Chromebooks, and new Google partnership to build an open hardware root of trust.

    • Kernel Space

      • Years Late: Linux 5.5 To Offer Mainline Support For SGI’s Octane MIPS Workstations

        The Linux 5.5 kernel due out as stable in early 2020 will finally have mainline support for the MIPS-powered SGI Octane and Octane II workstations that originally ran with SGI’s IRIX operating system about two decades ago.

        There have been out-of-tree patches for running Linux on the SGI Octane MIPS-based systems while Linux 5.5 is set to finally have this support mainlined for these two decade old workstations should you still be running the hardware and looking for something else besides IRIX or support in other platforms like OpenBSD. Mind you, these workstations were already succeeded by the SGI Octane III a decade ago with Intel x86.

      • The Linux Kernel Seeing Backport Progress Finally For The “$1.5 Million Dollar Bug”

        Several weeks ago we wrote about a kernel fix for Linux 5.4 to address performance issues for highly-threaded Linux software running under CFS quotas. The fix can yield up to a 30x improvement in performance and one company estimated the impact of the bug cost them at least $1.5 million USD in extra resources/hardware. But now it looks like it will soon appear in a Linux 5.3 point release and possible back-ports to earlier kernels.

        The CFS quota performance issue was spotted with Kubernetes workloads that make use of a CFS scheduler quota to restrict CPU shared resources. The bug was highly-threaded software in turn not getting their fair access to the CPU leading to higher latency and lower performance.

    • Applications

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Games

      • The end of the beginning — Shadow of the Tomb Raider Definitive Edition released on macOS and Linux

        In the grand finale to the Tomb Raider origins trilogy, players take on the role of Lara Croft as she battles through the impenetrable jungles of Central America, explores underwater environments filled with crevasses and tunnels, and takes on the deadly organisation known as Trinity.

      • Shadow of the Tomb Raider Officially Released for Linux and Mac, Download Now

        UK-based video games publisher Feral Interactive announced today that official availability of the Shadow of the Tomb Raider video game on Linux and macOS platforms.

        Developed by Crystal Dynamics and Eidos-Montréal, Shadow of the Tomb Raider was launched on September 14, 2018, as the last instalment in the spectacular and thrilling action-adventure puzzle game Tomb Raider origins trilogy. It’s also the twelfth title in the Tomb Raider series featuring the famous character Lara Croft.

        In this game, players will adventure into a Maya apocalypse world where they need shape Lara’s destiny to become the Tomb Raider. As of today, Linux and Mac users can download and play Shadow of the Tomb Raider on their computers thanks to Feral Interactive, which ported it to these platforms.

      • Shadow of the Tomb Raider Now Officially Available For Linux

        Feral Interactive has just shipped their Linux (and macOS) port of Shadow of the Tomb Raider Definitive Edition.

        While Shadow of the Tomb Raider could previously play under Steam Play, this latest Tomb Raider title now has a native Linux port that is backed using the Vulkan graphics API.

      • Shadow of the Tomb Raider Definitive Edition released with Linux support

        Shadow of the Tomb Raider Definitive Edition from Crystal Dynamics, Eidos Montréal and Square Enix has been released today with a Linux port available from Feral Interactive.

        If you’re in the camp of preferring the first Tomb Raider reboot to Rise of the Tomb Raider, fear not, as Shadow of the Tomb Raider is apparently much better. However, I think you’re all rather odd as I thoroughly enjoyed the first two games. That’s okay though, different opinions on fun are what keep the world going. It’s fantastic to see Linux get the full trilogy, since we often miss out.

      • Bridge Constructor Portal is getting a Portal Proficiency DLC where you place the portals

        Bridge Constructor Portal was a surprise highlight when it released in 2017, an unlikely crossover between two completely different games and it worked. Thanks to the positive reception, more is coming with a twist.

      • Fix up some pipes the puzzler game Flux Caves, now temporarily free

        Flux Caves is like playing with a massive set of marbles, only someone came along and pulled a bunch of pieces out and you have to put it back together.

        Quite a relaxing puzzle game, not too taxing on the mind and it’s quite nice to look at too. Watching the balls roll through the tunnels, as you appreciate a job well done on fixing it. It released earlier this year and it has Linux support, however like a lot of indie games it flew under the radar for most. Not seen it? There’s a brief trailer you can see below:

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • Qt Creator 4.10.2 released

          We are happy to announce the release of Qt Creator 4.10.2 !

          In this release we fixed deployment of applications to iOS 13 devices, and added the experimental SerialTerminal plugin to our prebuilt binaries.

          Find a more detailed overview of the other fixes that are included in 4.10.2 in our change log.

        • KDE Plasma 5.17 Released

          KDE plasma is one of the most featured-rich and beautiful Linux desktop environments. It is also the most customizable desktop environment that I have ever used. Recently, it received a new update Plasma 5.17 with a number of new features and improvements.

        • News from KDE PIM in September-October 2019

          We’re in autumn for a little while now and not quite winter yet… It’s time for another post about KDE PIM! I’ll be your host to cover September and October and will try to follow in the footsteps of my peers who did a great job the past few months. Unlike Franck, I won’t start with the stats though, you’ll get that at the end. Is it obvious that I’m trying to make sure the stats addicts read through. ;-)

        • History of LabPlot

          After the recent release was finalised, there is some time now to have a (very) short break in the development, to take care of some organizational topics around the project and to set the development priorities for the next release. But there is also some time now to look back at where we started several years ago and where we are now. In this blog post we want to look at the history of the code base.

          LabPlot is quite an old project started long time ago, back in KDE3 times. One of the important milestones of this project was the complete rewrite using Qt4/KDELibs4 in 2008. This is when new developers joined the project, at least for a certain period in time, and when the jump from 1.x to 2.x release versioning was done for LabPlot. Starting from zero and lacking a lot of features in the 2.0 release, we gradually evolved release by release by implementing new features and by improving the code base.

        • First Notarized macOS Build of Krita

          What happens is this: we build Krita, then we create an app bundle. Then we zip up the krita.app bundle and transfer the zip file to Apple, which then checks whether Krita uses any forbidden API’s or contains its own html rendering engine and other such things that are highly dangerous for the well-being of the computers it allows its customers to use. Then we get a long string of numbers and letters back, which we can use to periodically check whether Apple is done checking. This can take ages, or happen relatively quickly. Then we need to execute a command to “staple” Apple’s imprimatur to the app bundle.

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • GNOME Conference GUADEC 2020 to Take Place in Zacatecas, Mexico, for GNOME 3.38

          With the GNOME 3.34 “Thessaloniki” release out the door and the upcoming GNOME 3.36 “Gresik” in the works, the GNOME Project is planning on the next GUADEC conferences, namely GUADEC 2020 and GUADEC 2021, which will take place in the summer of 2020 and 2021 in Zacatecas, Mexico, and Riga, Latvia, respectively.

          “Recognizing our flagship conference as something that should move throughout the world is important. We hope to not only make it easier for people from North, Central, and South America to attend, but to help kick-start local participation in the GNOME project,” said Neil McGovern, the GNOME Executive Director.

    • Distributions

      • Endeavour OS 2019.09.15 : Based on Arch Linux and Using Xfce Desktop 4.14

        EndeavourOS is an Arch Linux-based distribution featuring a pre-configured Xfce desktop 4.14 and the Calamares graphical installer. The project’s latest snapshot, 2019.09.15, features many package updates, a more complete Arch-x icon set, and the NVIDIA driver installer is included by default.

        “The September release has arrived. As of today, you can download our latest ISO with an updated offline installer. The ISO contains Linux kernel 5.2.14; mesa 19.1.6; systemd 243.0; Firefox 69 (Quantum); Arc-x-icons, a more complete and updated version than the Arc icon set used previously.

      • Screenshots/Screencasts

      • SUSE/OpenSUSE

      • Fedora Family

        • Xwayland randr resolution change emulation now available in Fedora 31

          As mentioned in an earlier blogpost, I have been working on fixing many games showing a small image centered on a black background when they are run fullscreen under Wayland. In that blogpost I was moslty looking at how to solve this for native Wayland games. But for various reasons almost all games still use X11, so instead I’ve ended up focussing on fixing this for games using Xwayland.

          Xwayland now has support for emulating resolution changes requested by an app through the randr or vidmode extensions. If a client makes a resolution change requests this is remembered and if the client then creates a window located at the monitor’s origin and sized to exactly that resolution, then Xwayland will ask the compositor to scale it to fill the entire monitor.

          For apps which use _NET_WM_FULLLSCREEN (e.g. SDL2, SFML or OGRE based apps) to go fullscreen some help from the compositor is necessary. This is currently implemented in mutter. If you are a developer of another compositor and have questions about this, please drop me an email.

        • Fedora 31 Released

          As I stated above that the Fedora focuses on providing cutting-edge technology in each new release. In Fedora 31 also, there is not much that users will notice instantly after installing/upgrading. But that should not stop anyone from upgrading to Fedora 31. It has got all the latest software, bug fixes, and security fixes.

        • NeuroFedora Computational Neuroscience ISO image is now available

          The Fedora community generates a bunch of deliverables for users. The main ones, of course, are the primary editions: the workstation, the server edition, CoreOS, Silverblue, IoT. They can all be obtained from the community website at https://getfedora.org.

          All of these are ready to use and have gone through a thorough development cycle that includes a stringent Quality Assurance (QA) cycle. These are “live”, so they can either either be used directly off the ISO image without having to install them, or they can be used to install a Fedora based system. Them being “live” makes them a great tool for temporary work—grab an ISO, start up a virtual machine, use Fedora to do your work, destroy the virtual machine when done.

          While these are the main deliverables, the Fedora community also generates other media for our diverse user base. These are classified as Spins and Labs. While the Workstation is based on the GNOME desktop environment, Spins provide Fedora users other desktop environment based images: KDE, LXQT, XFCE, Mate, Cinnamon, Sugar on a stick (SAOS). Labs are similar, but instead of focussing on the desktop environment, they include customised sets of software required for particular purposes: Astronomy, Design, Python, Security, Robotics.

        • Linux Day 2019 @ Bari: A Retrospective

          How about Fedora? Well, Fedora was ever present during the event. We placed gadgets on the registration desk, dedicated a special lunch menu entry, tried to install it everywhere we could put our hands on people PCs. We also used Fedora to win a Cybersecurity challenge! You may ask: how did we do so many things? Don’t worry, let’s see them with some quick photos 🙂

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Canonical’s Kernel Livepatch Ubuntu Advantage Client Is Out for Ubuntu 14.04 ESM

          Canonical’s Ubuntu Advantage client is a command-line client pre-installed on all Ubuntu Linux releases that works via single-token access to allow users to access Canonical’s Ubuntu Advantage for Infrastructure services, such as Extended Security Maintenance (ESM) and Kernel Livepatch, which include patches for high and critical security vulnerabilities.

          “The UA client for ‘Trusty Tahr’ enables easy access to Extended Security Maintenance (ESM) and Kernel Livepatch (requires HWE kernel). ESM provides fixes for high and critical CVEs for the most commonly used server packages in the Ubuntu main archive, and Livepatch permits users to apply critical kernel patches without rebooting,” said Canonical.

        • UA services deployed from the command line with UA client

          Canonical is happy to announce an updated Ubuntu Advantage (UA) client that provides users a more efficient and consistent command-line interface via single-token access to Ubuntu Advantage for Infrastructure services for Ubuntu 14.04 LTS.

          The UA client comes pre-installed on Ubuntu systems, with the updated client available for Ubuntu 14.04 LTS users and coming soon for Ubuntu 16.04 LTS and 18.04 LTS. For users with updated 14.04 systems, simply run the ua command to quickly get started with key security and compliance services and tools. All users are entitled to a free account for up to three machines, and up to 50 machines for Ubuntu community members.

          The UA client for ‘Trusty Tahr’ enables easy access to Extended Security Maintenance (ESM) and Kernel Livepatch (requires HWE kernel). ESM provides fixes for high and critical CVEs for the most commonly used server packages in the Ubuntu main archive, and Livepatch permits users to apply critical kernel patches without rebooting. Access to these services ensures systems remain patched against security vulnerabilities.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Linux Foundation

        • LF Edge Organized Its First EdgeX Foundry Hackathon

          LF Edge, the host of EdgeX Foundry project, collaborated with RILA to organize a two-day hackathon for developers to build IoT solutions for the retail-use cases. The goal of the hackathon was to use EdgeX Foundry and other open source projects to solve some of the most pressing retail problems in the most innovative and creative manner.

      • Productivity Software/LibreOffice/Calligra

        • 15 Excellent Free Books to Learn LaTeX

          LaTeX is a professional document preparation system and document markup language written by Leslie Lamport. It’s a very mature system with development starting more than 30 years ago.

          LaTeX is widely used in the publication of scientific documents in many disciplines, such as mathematics, statistics, physics, economics, political science. It helps an author produce professional looking documents, papers, and books that are perfectly typeset. The formatted works are consistent, accurate, and reusable. It’s particularly suited to the production of long articles and books, as it has facilities for the automatic numbering of chapters, sections, theorems, equations etc., and also has facilities for cross-referencing. LaTeX is not a WYSIWYG system.

        • Proposal to conveniently highlight and inspect styles in LibreOffice Writer

          Styles are the essence of a text processor. And while experts love to unleash the power of LibreOffice Writer, it’s at the same time a major source of nuisance. In particular when you receive documents from other people, it can be quite difficult to understand the applied formatting and to fix issues around. This posting presents two ideas for improved feedback.

        • Tender for consultancy on implementing ODF 1.3 conformance in LibreOffice (#201911-01)

          The Document Foundation (TDF), the charitable entity behind the world’s leading free office suite LibreOffice, seeks for companies or individuals to

          provide consultancy on implementing ODF 1.3 conformance in LibreOffice

          to start work as soon as possible. TDF is looking for an individual or company to give technical consultancy on ensuring that LibreOffice will properly implement the Open Document Format (ODF) version 1.3 for both importing and exporting.

      • Pseudo-Open Source (Openwashing)

      • BSD

        • FreeBSD 12.1 operating system released with major updates

          FreeBSD is a Unix-like operating system that includes security, native ZFS file system, built-in DTrace, Jails, and excellent network performance. Many companies have customized their own products based on FreeBSD’s system layer. Some of the big names include macOS, iOS, OPNsense, pfSense, FreeNAS among others.

          Especially after the release of the 12.0 version of the software, the entire system has very good stability and has been significantly improved in performance.

          Now, FreeBSD 12.1 has been released as the first incremental update to last year’s FreeBSD 12. The current FreeBSD already supports the latest desktop environments such as KDE Plasma 5.17.x / Wayland / Gnome 3.28.x. It is more convenient to use as a personal workstation system with the package manager.

        • Netflix Optimized FreeBSD’s Network Stack More Than Doubled AMD EPYC Performance

          Drew Gallatin of Netflix presented at the recent EuroBSDcon 2019 conference in Norway on the company’s network stack optimizations to FreeBSD. Netflix was working on being able to deliver 200Gb/s network performance for video streaming out of Intel Xeon and AMD EPYC servers, to which they are now at 190Gb/s+ and in the process that doubled the potential of EPYC Naples/Rome servers and also very hefty upgrades too for Intel.

          Netflix has long been known to be using FreeBSD in their data centers particularly where network performance is concerned. But in wanting to deliver 200Gb/s throughput from individual servers led them to making NUMA optimizations to the FreeBSD network stack. Allocating NUMA local memory for kernel TLS crypto buffers and for backing files sent via sentfile were among their optimizations. Changes to network connection handling and dealing with incoming connections to Nginx were also made.

        • Netflix Is An Example Of A Great Open-Source Corporate Patron To FreeBSD

          With yesterday’s article about the NUMA improvements to FreeBSD’s network stack made by Netflix in their quest to serve 200Gb/s encrypted video content per server, in no time the forum comments were quick to theorize whether those changes would work their way back upstream to all FreeBSD users or due to the BSD license would be held as a guarded secret by the company. Fortunately, Netflix continues to impress when it comes to their open-source contributions.


        • GNU Toolchain Moves Ahead In Obsoleting Solaris 10 Support

          Beyond GCC 9 having deprecated Solaris 10 support and that code now removed ahead of the GCC 10 release in a few months, the GNU Debugger (GDB) is also moving forward with its plan to obsolete Solaris 10.

          Developer Rainer Orth re-affirmed plans last month to obsolete the Solaris 10 support after originally initiating the discussion last year. For the GDB 9.1 release is when he plans to have the Solaris 10 support removed.

        • LibrePlanet 2020:Free the Future, March 14-15, Boston area, MA

          The Free Software Foundation’s conference on technology and social justice, LibrePlanet 2020: Free the Future, will be held on March 14-15, in the Boston area.

        • Register now for LibrePlanet 2020: “Free the Future”, in Boston area, MA

          Registration has officially opened for LibrePlanet 2020! Mark your calendars: the conference will be held on March 14 and 15, 2020, in the Boston area. Scholarship applications, exhibitor registration, and sponsor opportunities are also open now. For those of you who haven’t been to the LibrePlanet conference before: expect a friendly, social, community-focused event with two days of inspiring talks and workshops from some of the most prominent people in the free software community.

        • Flying with SeaGL, blasting GNU Radio, and more from the Working Together for Free Software Fund

          Free software is software that you can run, copy, distribute, study, change, and improve as you please. While these freedoms are rights that belong to the individual, they are also intrinsically linked to the concept of community and sharing. It’s imperative that we be permitted to use, examine, and alter software as we choose, but we also demand the right to share our improvements with the wider community.

          Working Together for Free Software is one of our initiatives that focuses on the broader world of free software: the community, programs, and funding that we?re coalescing to mount the crucial resistance to the abuses of proprietary software. This is a category that covers a lot of people and a lot of work, and the Working Together for Free Software Fund is just one piece of the picture.

          This fund enables important, mission-aligned free software projects to utilize the FSF?s nonprofit infrastructure to enhance their fundraising and other capabilities, without the labor and costs of becoming a 501(c)(3) nonprofit on their own. This gives them access to the organizational strengths of the FSF, plus additional capacity and unique benefits.

          While all of the projects under the umbrella of the Working Together for Free Software Fund are absolutely worthy of your attention and donations, today we’re highlighting just a few projects with some noteworthy announcements. Want to know if your free software project qualifies?

      • Programming/Development

        • Is Python the Language for IoT?

          Python is one of the most popular programming languages out there, and entire sites – such as Instagram, Reddit and Mozilla – have been built on it. The main advantages are readability, logical flow and the usage of libraries to get more work done with less code.

          As Python is modular and extensible, it might find a strong match in the Internet of things. Let’s look into the pros and cons of Python when used in IoT systems.

        • Python time Module
        • Understanding OpenGL through Python

          Following this article by Muhammad Junaid Khalid, where basic OpenGL concepts and setup was explained, now we’ll be looking at how to make more complex objects and how to animate them.

          OpenGL is very old, and you won’t find many tutorials online on how to properly use it and understand it because all the top dogs are already knee-deep in new technologies.

          To understand modern OpenGL code, you have to first understand the ancient concepts that were written on stone tablets by the wise Mayan game developers.

        • Cool New Features in Python 3.8

          In this course, you’ll get a look into the newest version of Python. On October 14th, 2019 the first official version of Python 3.8 became ready.

        • CFP Deadline for PyCon 2020 Coming Up!

          Call for Proposal deadlines are fast approaching. PyCon US is looking for speakers of all experience levels and backgrounds to contribute to our conference program. We want you and your ideas at PyCon US!

          Be sure to create your account on us.pycon.org/2020 in order to access all the submission forms.

          More information about speaking at PyCon can be found here.

        • PyCoder’s Weekly: Issue #393 (Nov. 5, 2019)
        • Git v2.24.0
          The latest feature release Git v2.24.0 is now available at the
          usual places.  It is comprised of 544 non-merge commits since
          v2.23.0, contributed by 78 people, 21 of which are new faces.
          The tarballs are found at:
          The following public repositories all have a copy of the 'v2.24.0'
          tag and the 'master' branch that the tag points at:
            url = https://kernel.googlesource.com/pub/scm/git/git
            url = git://repo.or.cz/alt-git.git
            url = https://github.com/gitster/git
          New contributors whose contributions weren't in v2.23.0 are as follows.
          Welcome to the Git development community!
            Alexandr Miloslavskiy, Ali Utku Selen, Ben Milman, Cameron
            Steffen, CB Bailey, Christopher Diaz Riveros, Garima Singh,
            Hervé Beraud, Jakob Jarmar, kdnakt, Kunal Tyagi, Maxim
            Belsky, Max Rothman, Norman Rasmussen, Paul Wise, Pedro Sousa,
            Philip.McGraw, Pratyush Yadav, Thomas Klaeger, William Baker,
            and YanKe.
          Returning contributors who helped this release are as follows.
          Thanks for your continued support.
            Adam Roben, Ævar Arnfjörð Bjarmason, Alessandro Menti,
            Alexander Shopov, Alex Henrie, Andrey Mazo, Beat Bolli, Ben
            Wijen, Bert Wesarg, Birger Skogeng Pedersen, brian m. carlson,
            Carlo Marcelo Arenas Belón, Christian Couder, Clément Chigot,
            Corentin BOMPARD, David Turner, Denton Liu, Derrick Stolee,
            Elijah Newren, Emily Shaffer, Eric Wong, Gabriele Mazzotta,
            Jean-Noël Avila, Jeff Hostetler, Jeff King, Jiang Xin, Johannes
            Schindelin, Johannes Sixt, Jonathan Tan, Jon Simons, Jordi Mas,
            Josh Steadmon, Junio C Hamano, Martin Ågren, Masaya Suzuki,
            Matheus Tavares, Matthew DeVore, Matthias Rüster, Michael
            J Gruber, Mike Hommey, Mischa POSLAWSKY, Paul Mackerras,
            Peter Krefting, Phillip Wood, René Scharfe, Robert Luberda,
            Stephen Boyd, Stephen P. Smith, Sun Chao, SZEDER Gábor,
            Tanay Abhra, Taylor Blau, Thomas Gummerer, Tobias Klauser,
            Torsten Bögershausen, Trần Ngọc Quân, and Varun Naik.
          Git 2.24 Release Notes
          Updates since v2.23
          Backward compatibility note
           * "filter-branch" is showing its age and alternatives are available.
             From this release, we started to discourage its use and hint
             people about filter-repo.
          UI, Workflows & Features
           * We now have an active interim maintainer for the Git-Gui part of
             the system.  Praise and thank Pratyush Yadav for volunteering.
           * The command line parser learned "--end-of-options" notation; the
             standard convention for scripters to have hardcoded set of options
             first on the command line, and force the command to treat end-user
             input as non-options, has been to use "--" as the delimiter, but
             that would not work for commands that use "--" as a delimiter
             between revs and pathspec.
           * A mechanism to affect the default setting for a (related) group of
             configuration variables is introduced.
           * "git fetch" learned "--set-upstream" option to help those who first
             clone from their private fork they intend to push to, add the true
             upstream via "git remote add" and then "git fetch" from it.
           * Device-tree files learned their own userdiff patterns.
             (merge 3c81760bc6 sb/userdiff-dts later to maint).
           * "git rebase --rebase-merges" learned to drive different merge
             strategies and pass strategy specific options to them.
           * A new "pre-merge-commit" hook has been introduced.
           * Command line completion updates for "git -c var.name=val" have been
           * The lazy clone machinery has been taught that there can be more
             than one promisor remote and consult them in order when downloading
             missing objects on demand.
           * The list-objects-filter API (used to create a sparse/lazy clone)
             learned to take a combined filter specification.
           * The documentation and tests for "git format-patch" have been
             cleaned up.
           * On Windows, the root level of UNC share is now allowed to be used
             just like any other directory.
           * The command line completion support (in contrib/) learned about the
             "--skip" option of "git revert" and "git cherry-pick".
           * "git rebase --keep-base <upstream>" tries to find the original base
             of the topic being rebased and rebase on top of that same base,
             which is useful when running the "git rebase -i" (and its limited
             variant "git rebase -x").
             The command also has learned to fast-forward in more cases where it
             can instead of replaying to recreate identical commits.
           * A configuration variable tells "git fetch" to write the commit
             graph after finishing.
           * "git add -i" has been taught to show the total number of hunks and
             the hunks that has been processed so far when showing prompts.
           * "git fetch --jobs=<n>" allowed <n> parallel jobs when fetching
             submodules, but this did not apply to "git fetch --multiple" that
             fetches from multiple remote repositories.  It now does.
           * The installation instruction for zsh completion script (in
             contrib/) has been a bit improved.
          Performance, Internal Implementation, Development Support etc.
           * The code to write commit-graph over given commit object names has
             been made a bit more robust.
           * The first line of verbose output from each test piece now carries
             the test name and number to help scanning with eyeballs.
           * Further clean-up of the initialization code.
           * xmalloc() used to have a mechanism to ditch memory and address
             space resources as the last resort upon seeing an allocation
             failure from the underlying malloc(), which made the code complex
             and thread-unsafe with dubious benefit, as major memory resource
             users already do limit their uses with various other mechanisms.
             It has been simplified away.
           * Unnecessary full-tree diff in "git log -L" machinery has been
             optimized away.
           * The http transport lacked some optimization the native transports
             learned to avoid unnecessary ref advertisement, which has been
           * Preparation for SHA-256 upgrade continues in the test department.
             (merge 0c37c41d13 bc/hash-independent-tests-part-5 later to maint).
           * The memory ownership model of the "git fast-import" got
             straightened out.
           * Output from trace2 subsystem is formatted more prettily now.
           * The internal code originally invented for ".gitignore" processing
             got reshuffled and renamed to make it less tied to "excluding" and
             stress more that it is about "matching", as it has been reused for
             things like sparse checkout specification that want to check if a
             path is "included".
           * "git stash" learned to write refreshed index back to disk.
           * Coccinelle checks are done on more source files than before now.
           * The cache-tree code has been taught to be less aggressive in
             attempting to see if a tree object it computed already exists in
             the repository.
           * The code to parse and use the commit-graph file has been made more
             robust against corrupted input.
           * The hg-to-git script (in contrib/) has been updated to work with
             Python 3.
           * Update the way build artifacts in t/helper/ directory are ignored.
           * Preparation for SHA-256 upgrade continues.
           * "git log --graph" for an octopus merge is sometimes colored
             incorrectly, which is demonstrated and documented but not yet
           * The trace2 output, when sending them to files in a designated
             directory, can populate the directory with too many files; a
             mechanism is introduced to set the maximum number of files and
             discard further logs when the maximum is reached.
           * We have adopted a Code-of-conduct document.
             (merge 3f9ef874a7 jk/coc later to maint).
        • Highlights from Git 2.24
  • Leftovers

The EPO Instructs European Examiners to Grant Junk Patents on Algorithms (Maths and Stats)

Posted in Europe, Patents at 12:08 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

After rushed consultation with the litigation ‘industry’ that nowadays controls the EPO (and increasingly the USPTO as well)

You told me that my 'AI' patent was worth something. Relax, here at the EPO everything AI' is purrrre gold; in European court it's junk.

Summary: The departure from patent law and arrival at extraterritorial patent blackmail means that legal duels have been swapped or deprecated in favour of illegal ‘settlements’ (over illegal patents)

THE LAW does not seem to matter. Caselaw does not matter either. Judges? Look what Battistelli did to them (and António Campinos has shielded Battistelli over it for well more than a year). It’s worse than embarrassing; it’s a colossal fiasco that European media — with rare exceptions — refuses to even talk about.

“It’s worse than embarrassing; it’s a colossal fiasco that European media — with rare exceptions — refuses to even talk about.”In the US, the capital of patent trolls, Iancu openly mocks 35 U.S.C. § 101 (i.e. the law) and in Europe the EPO grants software patents in defiance of the EPC. Phillips & Leigh, flinging a bunch of self-promotional pieces into Mondaq lately, has just cited the European Patent Convention, but the EPO violates it every day in order to fake ‘production’. To quote:

Under European law the test for whether a patent discloses enough is whether it “disclose(s) the invention in a manner sufficiently clear and complete for it to be carried out by a person skilled in the art” [Article 83 European Patent Convention]. This is interpreted as meaning not that the patent application has to provide a blueprint for the invention, that can be slavishly followed with guarantee of success: but that the skilled person with a reasonable degree of experimentation can put it into effect.

One has to note that these law firms never speak of the fact that the EPO basically disregarded the EPC years ago. It’s still in a state of gross noncompliance, but nobody is being held accountable for it. Nobody! This has become a shameful display not just for the Organisation but for the whole Union. This complete lack of oversight has led to the granting of hundreds of thousands (maybe a quarter million!) invalid patents, i.e. European Patents not compliant w.r.t. EPC. Every day we see new examples of the EPO promoting illegal software patents (or patents on maths/stats), this time under the guise of something called “websummit” (yes, an insult to the WWW which only thrived in defiance of such patents). “If you’re going to #websummit,” they tweeted yesterday, “you cannot miss the panel discussion on “Patenting the future: The next big invention” on 6 November! See you there!”

See who’s there; those are proponents of software patents. One of them has like a hundred (probably more) European Patents on maths and the EPO showers such people with awards. As of days ago (end of last week) the EPO moreover changed its guidelines, without bothering with a legal process at all, allowing examiners to grant patents on maths/stats (even encouraging if not forcing them to).

“This complete lack of oversight has led to the granting of hundreds of thousands (maybe a quarter million!) invalid patents, i.e. European Patents not compliant w.r.t. EPC.”“Changes in EPO Guidelines of Examination,” as the lawyers’ site put it, have officially come into effect. Who wrote that? A massive proponent of software patents, a litigation giant, Finnegan, Henderson, Farabow, Garrett & Dunner LLP. This firm’s Sanam Habib and Maeve O’Flynn are celebrating illegal guidelines by which EPO allows itself to break the law, the EPC, and grant software patent disguised as “hey hi” (AI). To quote the relevant portion:

Last year, to be in line with the ever growing area of artificial intelligence (AI), the Guidelines added a brand new section for AI. This year the EPO has updated the section relating to patentability of AI and machine learning, and mathematical methods to clarify that “term such as ‘support vector machine’, ‘reasoning engine’ or ‘neural network’ may, depending on the context, merely refer to abstract models or algorithms and thus do not, on their own, necessarily imply the use of a technical means. This has to be taken into account when examining whether the claimed subject-matter has a technical character as a whole (Art. 52(1), (2) and (3))”.

Classifying text documents solely in respect of their textual content is not regarded as per se a technical purpose, but a linguistic one. Care needs to be taken in the presentation of the technical purpose of semantic AI systems.

Shouldn’t they clarify that such patents are likely worthless in actual courts? No, of course not! That might scare away potential clients from Finnegan, which makes millions if not billions of dollars from such scammy practices, enabled in part by heavy lobbying. Finnegan pays a lot of money to the EPO’s propaganda outlets (such as IAM), expecting something in return.

What’s in this for the general public and software professionals? Nothing but trouble.

The European Patent Office (EPO) Carelessly Shows the Only ‘Small’ ‘Businesses’ It Serves Are Law Firms and Patent Trolls

Posted in Deception, Europe, Patents at 11:51 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Related: The EPO is Still Violating the EPC Every Day

Yes. We're here in Ireland. No! Don't tell them we're here to help lawyers from London!

Summary: The façade of EPO ‘caring’ for SMEs cannot stick if the EPO continues along this same trajectory, which merely reveals the nature of so-called ‘businesses’ EPO managers truly support (and profit from ‘on the side’)

THE LATEST bunch of daily links (or Daily Links — a tradition older than a decade here), with in-line editorial comments, speaks regarding anti-Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) ‘scholars’ whose sole goal is scuttling quality oversight; they try to manipulate the Federal Circuit into discrediting PTAB judges. Does that sound familiar? Well, haven’t we got an eerily similar problem in Europe? To certain people the sole goal of any patent office should be to grant as many patents as possible and courts need to facilitate as many lawsuits as possible. We know who profits from that: law (litigation) firms.

“WIPO already self-nukes (or shoots its own foot) by celebrating millions of low-quality Chinese patents simply because these help perpetuate the ‘endless growth’ pipe dream. “Frankly, the firms that play along (in this agenda) dig their own grave; they damage their collective credibility and put at risk the world’s patent system/s. WIPO already self-nukes (or shoots its own foot) by celebrating millions of low-quality Chinese patents simply because these help perpetuate the ‘endless growth’ pipe dream.

Patents and innovation/inventions are not the same thing. Inherently, patents are temporary monopolies, granted in exchange for publication. Yesterday we saw this new press release boasting about the EPO “granting it a monopoly of exploitation…”

Yes, rarely does a company admit so openly, in a paid-for press release, what such patents are:

After the United States, the European Patent Office (EPO) has just awarded Spineway a patent for its Mont-Blanc MIS range, granting it a monopoly of exploitation and the protection of its innovation in nearly 40 countries for a period of 20 years. This recognition confirms the innovative nature of its MIS range, marking an important step for its redeployment.

We’re sure that EPO examiners (or examiners elsewhere as well) very well know what patents are, how they work, and why an overabundance of them is a negative — not a positive — thing. It’s common sense and it has been talked about for many decades if not several centuries.

Notice how, in the above press release at least, words like monopoly and exploitation are used. Did a law firm advise this company (paid or unpaid consultation) before emitting that statement?

“We’re sure that EPO examiners (or examiners elsewhere as well) very well know what patents are, how they work, and why an overabundance of them is a negative — not a positive — thing.”Law firms aren’t honest; they tend to lie a lot. Aside from words like “protection” or “property” they also resort to words like “assets” (referring to mere ideas) and call monopolies “rights” — as if one has some natural right to exclude others from competing. This morning we quoted one such law firm, Phillips & Leigh. It’s not merely a firm but a very large company that makes nothing; the company is expressing happiness about European Patent Office (EPO) management breaking its own law to allow software patents in Europe (even the US, post-35 U.S.C. § 101, barely allows any!). Read all about Phillips & Leigh's latest and the "SME" 'study' — the study of António Campinos — maintaining the same lies Battistelli had spread.

World Intellectual Property Review, or WIPR for short, is already spreading these EPO lies for the EPO’s management. It’s not a news site but a litigation propaganda platform, as its recent track record shows. No EPO scandals are covered there anymore; they haven’t doone so in years. They also lost (or fired) writers who covered these issues. Journalism isn’t their goal; the business model is propping up the illusions or lies law firms want the public to believe.

“Journalism isn’t their goal; the business model is propping up the illusions or lies law firms want the public to believe.”Journalism would be greatly harmed it if was reduced to mere 'tweets', especially ones from the EPO itself. Let’s examine what the EPO wrote yesterday alone. It’s as laughable as always. Almost every tweet contained the misleading term “IP”, but let’s look past that minor detail. “New study released by the EPO’s Chief Economist,” the EPO tweeted. It’s just another bundle of old lies ‘refreshed’/rehashed. He is still lying for Battistelli and lying to everyone in Europe. It’s an insult to everybody’s intelligence, including EPO employees. Another tweet then said: “SMEs commercially exploit two thirds of their inventions. For more findings on the impact of European patents on SMEs’ commercial success, have a look at our new study…”

So-called ‘study’. Also look who’s promoting it! A so-called EPO ‘economist’ (a Battistelli-appointed liar that uses veneer of “economist”/”economics” to promote bad policy), doing photo ops with front groups of patent trolls. “Fiona Lesi” (LESI) wrote: “Thomas Bereuter and Yann Meniere of ⁦ @EPOorg⁩ at the start of the EPO/⁦ @LESIntl⁩ high growth tech conference in Dublin today – great programme & speakers” (photo added). The EPO obviously retweeted this and then continued with this: “@EPOorg and #LESinternationalr High Growth Technology Business Conference in #dublin kicked off by Yann Méniére and Thomas Bereuter of the #EPO. Setting the scene for the day.”

“Now they lie to us, pretending that they cherish “SMEs”…”Another EPO retweet: “Full house at the ⁦ @EPOorg⁩ @LESIntl @LESBandI Enterprise Ireland High growth tech conference in Dublin – speaking today on behalf of @Inngot on tools to help identify, manage and value your IP”

“Heartwarming to see EPO alongside front groups of patent trolls,” I responded, “because that helps reveal just whose interests EPO keeps pushing this past decade or so (at Europe’s expense)…”

Now they lie to us, pretending that they cherish “SMEs”…

Don’t ask them to actually define that term; as people pointed out, critiquing such past ‘studies’, they cherry-pick a very particular type of so-called ‘SMEs’… hardly a representative set. That’s because, to EPO management living in one particular nonscientific bubble, facts do not matter. Facts often turn out to be an inconvenience.

Links 5/11/2019: GNU/Linux Laptops, KDevelop 5.4.4 and FreeBSD 12.1

Posted in News Roundup at 9:31 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

  • Leftovers

    • The Price of “Progress”

      In Civilized to Death: The Price of Progress, author Christopher Ryan proposes the most controversial explanation offered today for what is wrong with our world. The problem began with advent of agriculture which gave rise to civilization: the movement of human activity from a life of cooperative community foraging together to one of individual competition for personal gain.

    • Science

      • Bizarre Calculator Experiment Shows How Reliant People Are on Technology Being ‘Honest’

        In a study published this week, Texas Tech University researchers tested how university students reacted when unknowingly given incorrect calculator outputs.

        Some students were presented with an onscreen calculator that was programmed to give the wrong answers, whereas a second group was given a properly functioning calculator.

        Participants could also opt not to use the calculator, but most chose to use it – even if they had good numeracy skills. Researchers found most participants raised few or no suspicions when presented with wrong answers, until the answers were quite wrong.

        In addition, those with higher numeracy skills were, unsurprisingly, more suspicious of incorrect answers than others.

    • Hardware

    • Health/Nutrition

      • How One Employer Stuck a New Mom With a $898,984 Bill for Her Premature Baby

        Lauren Bard opened the hospital bill this month and her body went numb. In bold block letters it said, “AMOUNT DUE: $898,984.57.”

        Last fall, Bard’s daughter, Sadie, had arrived about three months prematurely; and as a nurse herself, Bard knew the costs for Sadie’s care would be high. But she’d assumed the bulk would be covered by the organization that owned the hospital where she worked: Dignity Health, whose marketing motto is “Hello humankindness.”

      • Australia: Royal Commission Finds Aged Care Horrors

        The Australian government should act on the Royal Commission of Inquiry’s report criticizing the its failure to protect older people in aged care from chemical restraint and other abuses

      • U.S. Judge Blocks Trump’s Health Insurance Rule for Immigrants

        PORTLAND, Ore. — A federal judge in Portland, Oregon, on Saturday put on hold a Trump administration rule requiring immigrants prove they will have health insurance or can pay for medical care before they can get visas.

      • UAE: Prisoners Denied Lifesaving HIV Treatment

        United Arab Emirates (UAE) prison authorities are denying non-national HIV-positive detainees in at least one UAE prison regular and uninterrupted access to lifesaving antiretroviral treatment, Human Rights Watch said today. Detainees living with HIV are also segregated from the rest of the prison population in an isolated area and report facing stigma and systemic discrimination.

    • Security (Confidentiality/Integrity/Availabilitiy)

      • The new IPFire Community Portal

        Together with this new IPFire Community Portal, we are launching IPFire People – our new account system which is being integrated here, our bugtracker Bugzilla, Patchwork and many other things more. In order to sign up for this, you will need to head over to IPFire People and register a new account. That will allow you to login everywhere – a single sign-on solution.

        A new categorisation system will organise topics better and hopefully allow us to keep conversations around a problem more contained in one place, have everyone join in to contribute their knowledge and therefore create a dynamic support community!

        To be as inclusive as possible, we will make this portal English only. Having this debated for a long time, and after phasing out translations on the Wiki, we have decided that we will reach a maximum number of users and leave nobody excluded.

        The project has a large group of users in Germany, but we keep growing and IPFire is becoming more and more popular all around the world. English is the de-facto language in Open Source and allows everyone to take part in our community.

      • Security updates for Monday

        Security updates have been issued by Arch Linux (chromium and qt5-webengine), CentOS (firefox and php), Fedora (file, java-latest-openjdk, nspr, nss, php, t1utils, and webkit2gtk3), Mageia (ansible, aspell, golang, libsoup, and libxslt), openSUSE (chromium and chromium, re2), Oracle (php), and Ubuntu (apport and file).

      • WhatsApp hacking – NSO group: trojan by phone call – ss7: insecure telco phone infrastructure
      • Basic security principles for containers and container runtimes

        There have been recent discussions around the general security of containers and container runtimes like Podman. None of the discussions resulted in the identification of a vulnerability or exploit by their definitions, but the talks did elevate the importance of basic security principles that apply to containers, and just about everything else we do with technology.

      • Sysdig 2019 Report Highlights Growth Of Short-Lived Containers

        Enterprises need to understand how to securely operate container workloads in production and take steps to prepare for the massive growth expected, the report said.

      • On “Clean Architecture”

        The book does a great job of identifying and describing simple rules that, when applied to a project lead to a cleaner, more structured architecture. All in all it teaches how important software architecture in general is.

        There is however one drawback with the book. It constantly wants to make you want to jump straight into your next big project with lots of features, so it is hard to keep reading while all that excited ;P

        If you are a software developer – no matter whether you work on small hobby projects or big enterprise products, whether or not you pursue to become a Software Architect – I can only recommend reading this book!

      • KeepassXC Password Manager 2.5 Brings Huge Updates

        Too many passwords and logins these days. Well, it is unwise to remember hundreds of passwords from websites or keeping them written somewhere. Which is by definition, not recommended.

        This is why you should use a strong password manager like KeepassXC. Forked from KeepassX in Linux, it is a cross platform password manager available in Windows, Linux and Mac. KeepassXC is a database driven password manager armed with industry-standard AES (alias Rijndael) encryption algorithm using a 256 bit key. Some of its features includes – auto-type passwords, multi tagging of passwords (e.g. Work, home, social etc), database locking, passphrase, temp password supports.

      • EU patches 20-year-old open source vulnerability

        A 20-year-old vulnerability in PuTTY, an open source network file transfer application, has been tracked down and patched during a wide-ranging bug bounty programme conducted by HackerOne on behalf of the European Union Free and Open Source Software Audit (EU-FOSSA).

      • Penetration Tests Take Hackers To A Whole New Level

        Undergoing penetration testing or PT, within a company is equivalent to paying a cybercriminal to come in and hack the system albeit legally and with the intention of improving the organization’s security measures. PT is essential as a means to give businesses a real-world vision into the threats that are imposing themselves on their security.

      • Windows ‘BlueKeep’ Attack That U.S. Government Warned About Is Happening Right Now

        When Microsoft issued the first patch in years for Windows XP in May 2019, you knew that something big was brewing. That something was a wormable Windows vulnerability that security experts warned could have a similar impact to the WannaCry worm from 2017. The BlueKeep vulnerability exists in unpatched versions of Windows Server 2003, Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows Server 2008 and Windows Server 2008 R2: and it’s now been confirmed that a BlueKeep exploit attack is currently ongoing.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • The Islamic State and Trump’s Delusion

        Even before the recent raid that resulted in the death of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the erstwhile head of the Islamic State, Donald Trump had spoken of how he had single-handedly defeated the caliphate.

      • Dateline Hoa Lo Prison, Hanoi: The Moratorium Days Against the War, 1969

        On November 26, 1969, Mrs. Trinh Thi Ngo, known to Americans as “Hanoi Hannah”, read over Radio Hanoi an introduction to a tape provided from Hoa Lo prison, just a city block away: “Now listen to a US pilot captured over North Vietnam on the occasion of the [American] Thanksgiving Day.”

      • Iran Adds Advanced Centrifuges in Latest Nuclear Deal Breach

        Iran on Monday broke further away from its collapsing 2015 nuclear deal with world powers by doubling the number of advanced centrifuges it operates, linking the decision to U.S. President Donald Trump’s withdrawal from the agreement over a year ago.

      • The Right To Live In Peace: This Is Not Over

        Thousands of Chileans again filled the streets Monday in a mega-rally to kick off the third week of protests against the country’s “savage capitalism” and rising inequality under billionaire President Sebastián Piñera.

      • Interview With Renato Velez On The Protests In Chile And The Military Crackdown

        Hosts Rania Khalek and Kevin Gosztola of the “Unauthorized Disclosure” weekly podcast are joined by Renato Velez, a left-wing activist in Chile. He has been involved in the protests and talks to them about how they were sparked.

        Renato addresses the way in which the military police cracked down on demonstrations and highlights the ties that President Sebastian Pinera’s administration has to the regime of Augusto Pinochet.

      • US Cuts Cameroon Trade Privileges Over Rights Abuses

        Last week, the Trump administration announced it intends to cut trade benefits for Cameroon by January 1, 2020, citing persistent human rights violations in the country.

      • Germans Reflect on 30 Years Since Fall of Berlin Wall

        This week Germany marks the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. I remember watching the dramatic TV pictures of East Germans flocking through checkpoints on the night of November 9, 1989. A dozen years later, I moved to Berlin, and since then have seen the city and country grow together.

      • African pirates kidnap 9 sailors from Norwegian ship

        The ship, named Bonita, was boarded by pirates 9 miles (14.5 kilometers) from the port city of Cotonou on Saturday and eight crew members and the captain were abducted.

        In a statement to Norway’s Dagens Naeringsliv newspaper on Sunday, a company spokesperson said it would not reveal the crew’s nationalities, citing safety reasons.

      • Syria conflict: The ‘war crimes’ caught in brutal phone footage

        The gruesome footage is much like that produced by the ultra-violent Islamic State (IS) group.

        Yet the men in this video are not IS militants, but rather fighters for a rebel alliance known as the Syrian National Army, trained, equipped and paid for by a Nato member, Turkey. They are under the command of the Turkish army.

      • Pakistan’s Provocateurs Bring the Kashmir Conflict to Europe’s Streets, and Radicalize Europe’s Muslims

        On Kashmir, Pakistan’s leaders are pretending to put on a mask of statesmanship abroad. But the truth is Pakistan has long cultivated, trained and funded Islamist proxy terrorists who have radically undermined living conditions in Kashmir.

    • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

      • Caifornia Governor Vetoes Law That Would Have Mandated Retention Of State Government Emails

        California Governor Gavin Newsom has signed off on some significant wins for state residents. He approved a bill banning the use of facial recognition tech in law enforcement body cameras — the first such statewide ban in the United States. Well… I guess that’s it really. To be fair, he hasn’t been in office all that long.

      • [Old] SIFT (The Four Moves)

        So if long lists of things to think about only make things worse, how do we get better at sorting truth from fiction and everything in-between?

        Our solution is to give students and others a short list of things to do when looking at a source, and hook each of those things to one or two highly effective web techniques. We call the “things to do” moves and there are four of them: [...]

    • Environment

      • People can’t be left to die, says SC on Delhi-NCR pollution, passes slew of directions

        People in Delhi-NCR are losing “precious years of their lives” and cannot be “left to die” due to the “atrocious” pollution situation which reflects a “shocking state of affairs”, the Supreme Court said Monday and directed neighbouring Punjab, Haryana and western Uttar Pradesh to stop stubble burning.

        The top court also stopped all construction and demolition activities as well as garbage and waste burning in the Delhi-National Capital Region (NCR) till further orders.

      • Google workers double down on climate demands in new letter

        Google workers are again calling on the company to cut all of its greenhouse gas emissions by 2030. In a letter sent to chief financial officer Ruth Porat today, the employees also ask Google to end contracts with fossil fuel companies and eliminate funding for think tanks, politicians, or lobbyists that impede action on climate change. They’re doubling down on demands that were made across the tech sector in September when employees at Google, Amazon, and Microsoft joined the Global Climate Strike.

      • A Useful New Life for Waste Plastic

        Swedish scientists say they have found a way to recycle plastic perfectly: their new process can turn any waste plastic back into new plastic of identical quality – and recover all of it.

      • Oil Companies Must Cut Production by 35% to Meet Paris Climate Accord

        A new report released Friday claims that if fossil fuel companies want to have any chance of hitting Paris Climate Accord numbers by 2040, they will have to cut production by over a third.

      • Strength in Numbers: November’s Best Environmental Books
      • New land height metric raises sea level rise risk
      • Energy

        • PG&E’s Outlandish Lobbying in California

          The Pacific Gas & Electric Company (PG&E), again in the spotlight of the national and international news media because of its shutoffs of electricity to millions of Californians as fires now rage throughout the state, spent $876,445 on lobbying from January 1 to June 30 of his year.

        • EPA rolls back rule on waste from coal-fired power plants

          The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on Monday announced it would roll back Obama-era regulations on how coal-fired power plants dispose of waste laden with arsenic, lead and mercury.

          The Trump administration’s proposals weaken rules dealing with the residue from burning coal, known as coal ash, as well as the residue rinsed off of filters installed on smoke stacks. Both are often mixed with water and stored in giant pits that could leach into groundwater or be released directly into local waterways.

        • The Big Bitcoin Heist

          The answer, he decided, lay in the unsecured buildings at the old naval base, packed with zillion-dollar money machines. “I wanted to start Bitcoin mining,” he says, “because it is very similar to growing cannabis. Everything is related: electricity, air, heat, cooling systems. So I started asking around on the [Internet].”

        • Flames, gear and risks of photographing California wildfires
        • Study: Alien grasses are making more frequent US wildfires
    • Finance

      • Is the Run on the Dollar Due to Panic or Greed?

        What’s going on in the repo market? Rates on repurchase (“repo”)  agreements should be about 2%, in line with the Federal Reserve funds rate. But they shot up to over 5% on Sept. 16 and got as high as 10% on Sept. 17. Yet banks were refusing to lend to each other, evidently passing up big profits to hold onto their cash—just as they did in the housing market crash and Great Recession of 2008-09.

      • Latin America: Is Canada Trying to Create Another “Illegitimate” Government?

        Bolivia has recently had a presidential election that without foreign interference would have passed without notice outside Latin America. President Evo Morales was re-elected democratically to a forth term without the need of a run-off election with incumbent Carlos Mesa, which shows his strength as the chosen candidate. However, nine days after the elections the Foreign Ministry of the Canadian government issues a statement expressing “concern” about “reports of serious election irregularities.”

      • They Live, We Sleep

        We’re living in two worlds, you and I.

        There’s the world we see (or are made to see) and then there’s the one we sense (and occasionally catch a glimpse of), the latter of which is a far cry from the propaganda-driven reality manufactured by the government and its corporate sponsors, including the media.

        Indeed, what most Americans perceive as life in America—privileged, progressive and free—is a far cry from reality, where economic inequality is growing, real agendas and real power are buried beneath layers of Orwellian doublespeak and corporate obfuscation, and “freedom,” such that it is, is meted out in small, legalistic doses by militarized police armed to the teeth.

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • ‘They Should All Be Held in Contempt’: Mulvaney Allies Team Up to Stonewall Trump Impeachment Probe

        “This is yet more evidence of obstruction of Congress, which is an impeachable offense.”

      • The Boos at the Ballgame Were Just the Beginning, Mr. Trump

        The cry of the mighty who are falling is growing louder. In the case of the USA it’s a combination of angry accusations based on a confused bluster of humanity in the White House whose phalanx of fools exists so deep within its own perception of itself its members cannot conceive of their leader being booed at a national sporting event. Then again, neither can certain conservative pundits who do not like the man in the White House but slobber their servitude to the building’s presence as some monument of integrity and honor. Honor in DC is a presumption I won’t ever make, not even among those who are not thieves. I have more respect for the dope slingers and their customers, the hookers and their johns, and the panhandlers who sleep in places most of us never knew existed, than I do for the politicians and their paymasters. At least the former do a day’s work and rarely misrepresent their intentions.

      • John Oliver Takes On Fucked Up Voting Machines In The Way Only He Can

        At Techdirt, we’ve been writing about the problems of electronic voting for just about our entire existence. I believe the first time we wrote about the problematic nature of electronic voting was in June of the year 2000, a few months before the controversy over “hanging chads” in the 2000 election in Florida. Over the years, we’ve continued to write about electronic voting and its myriad problems dozens upon dozens of times — and to this day I remain amazed at how little companies and election officials have taken this space seriously. Part of the issue is that there is no easy solution. There isn’t a “good” solution, there are only options that are “less bad” than others. The problem is that many places use solutions that are obviously bad when there are at least better options on the table.

      • Axe the Max: Buffeting Boeing CEO’s Rope-a-Dope in Congress

        This past week, Boeing’s deadly 737 MAX crashes were the focus of two back-to-back hearings – one in the Senate and one in the House. In the House Transportation Committee hearing, at least 50 Democrats and Republicans criticized Dennis Muilenburg’s mismanagement and implied criminal negligence. Muilenburg’s actions allowed Boeing’s marketeers to overrule Boeing’s engineers so that Boeing could circumvent FAA’s safety oversight, which had already been diminished by the Congress.

      • Attacker Stabs Several, Bites Off Politician’s Ear as Hong Kong Boils

        A knife-wielding man slashed several people and bit off part of the ear of a pro-democracy politician in Hong Kong on Sunday, as riot police stormed several malls to thwart protesters who have been demanding government reforms for nearly five months.

      • Kazakhstan: UN Review Should Press for Reforms

        Governments should use an upcoming review of Kazakhstan’s rights record at the United Nations (UN) to hold the country’s new president to his pledges to respect human rights, Human Rights Watch said today. On November 7, 2019, Kazakhstan will undergo its third Universal Periodic Review (UPR) before the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva.

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • ‘Lawmakers don’t give a damn about the children’ A Russian version of the YouTube channel ‘HiHo Kids’ faces felony charges for featuring an interview with a gay man

        State Duma Deputy Speaker Pyotr Tolstoy is outraged about a YouTube channel called Real Talk, where children have conversations with “unlikely companions.” In one episode, for example, children speak to a gay man. In another, a child questions a pornographic actress. A month after Tolstoy’s complaint, Russia’s Investigative Committee launched a felony case against the channel’s unidentified owners for alleged “sexual violence against minors,” and child protection services have visited the parents of the children who appeared in the videos. Meduza spoke to someone with ties to Real Talk, who requested anonymity and answered our questions through the messenger app Telegram.

      • Former Journalist Decides There’s Too Much Free Speech These Days

        I guess if you don’t really rely on the First Amendment as much as you used to, it’s cool to tell everyone else these protections are overrated. That seems to be Richard Stengel’s take on this important Constitutional amendment. The former Time editor and State Department undersecretary has written an op-ed for the Washington Post that says we Americans perhaps enjoy too much free speech.

      • Prager University Loses Another Of Its Silly Lawsuits Against YouTube Over Non-Existent ‘Bias’

        Dennis Prager has been peddling complete and utter nonsense via his PragerU efforts for quite some time, and it expands beyond that too, because he’s been peddling complete and utter nonsense in his still ongoing joke of a lawsuit against YouTube in which he tries to insist that YouTube is biased against conservatives because they put a small number of his videos in “restricted mode.” This, despite the facts that (1) YouTube has no legal obligation to host his videos (for free!) in the first place, (2) less than 1.5% of people use “restricted mode” in the first place, (3) “Restricted mode” is to help parents block inappropriate content from kids, (4) the videos that were put into restricted mode had content that many would consider inappropriate for kids, and (5) most importantly, YouTube showed that many other sites — including those that people consider to be “liberal” had their videos put in restricted mode at a much higher rate than PragerU.

      • MPA Wants Pirated Content Removed Proactively, Just Like Hate Speech

        Major Internet platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube are taking proactive measures to keep offensive content off their services. According to the Motion Picture Association, online services can use similar systems to proactively remove pirated content too. That would be even easier since it doesn’t raise the same speech concerns, the group’s senior vice president notes.

    • Privacy/Surveillance

      • Congress, Remember the 4th Amendment? It’s Time to Stop the U.S.-UK Agreement.

        Unless Congress stops it, foreign police will soon be able to collect and search data on the servers of U.S. Internet companies. They’ll be able to do it without a probable cause warrant, or any oversight from a U.S. judge. This is all happening because of a new law enforcement deal between the U.S. and the United Kingdom. And while it seeks to exclude purely domestic correspondence between U.S. citizens and residents, plenty of Americans’ data will get swept up when they communicate with targeted individuals located abroad.

        This is all happening because, for the first time, the U.S. executive branch is flexing its power to enter into law enforcement agreements under the CLOUD Act. We’ve been strongly opposed to this law since it was introduced last year. The recently signed deal between the U.S. Department of Justice and the U.K. Home Office will allow U.K. police easy access to data held by American companies, regardless of where the data is stored. These U.K. data requests, including demands to collect real-time communications, do not need to meet the standards set by U.S. privacy laws or the 4th Amendment. Similarly, the deal will allow U.S. police to grab information held by British companies without following U.K. privacy laws. 

      • Australia proposed using facial recognition technology for online gambling and pornography age verification

        The Australian government’s Department of Home Affairs has proposed using facial recognition for online age verification for pornography and gambling websites visited by Australians as an update to Australia’s National Identity Security Strategy. The full not-so-detailed plan is titled: “Submission to the Inquiry into Age Verification for Online Wagering and Online Pornography.” In it, the Department of Home Affairs highlights their new Face Verification Service and how it could be used for age verification. Note: no words on how online pornography and gambling users would submit their face image for comparison versus their ID in the Face Verification Service…

      • Hackers Can Use Lasers to ‘Speak’ to Your Amazon Echo or Google Home

        As a result, the microphone interpreted the incoming light into a digital signal, just as it would sound. The researchers then tried changing the intensity of the laser over time to match the frequency of a human voice, aiming the beam at the microphones of a collection of consumer devices that accept voice commands.

      • Brits are divided on the fate of their social media accounts after death

        In all, 1,616 people were asked that slightly morbid question – hopefully in a way which didn’t sound like a threat – and the answers were pretty muddled.

        Overall, the most popular response with 26 per cent of the vote was that the accounts should die with them – but for the contents to be shared with friends and family as a kind of digital inheritance. That was one per cent ahead of those that just wanted everything deleted.

        Nine per cent wanted accounts to be left up for a limited time period and then taken down, and 17 per cent didn’t care because they didn’t have any social media accounts. In all just seven per cent of people wanted to (digitally) live forever, and 13 per cent ticked the every-tempting “don’t know box.”

      • I Got Access to My Secret Consumer Score. Now You Can, Too.

        As consumers, we all have “secret scores”: hidden ratings that determine how long each of us waits on hold when calling a business, whether we can return items at a store, and what type of service we receive. A low score sends you to the back of the queue; high scores get you elite treatment.

        Every so often, journalists lament these systems’ inaccessibility. They’re “largely invisible to the public,” The New York Times wrote in 2012. “Most people have no inkling they even exist,” The Wall Street Journal said in 2018. Most recently, in April, The Journal’s Christopher Mims looked at a company called Sift, whose proprietary scoring system tracks 16,000 factors for companies like Airbnb and OkCupid. “Sift judges whether or not you can be trusted,” he wrote, “yet there’s no file with your name that it can produce upon request.”

        As of this summer, though, Sift does have a file on you, which it can produce upon request. I got mine, and I found it shocking: More than 400 pages long, it contained all the messages I’d ever sent to hosts on Airbnb; years of Yelp delivery orders; a log of every time I’d opened the Coinbase app on my iPhone. Many entries included detailed information about the device I used to do these things, including my IP address at the time.

      • New Technologies: Europol sets up an „Innovation Laboratory“

        The Europol Police Agency will focus more on new technologies in the field of internal security. To this end, Europol will set up an „Innovation Laboratory“ to look for new ways of intercepting, decrypting and monitoring. This was decided unanimously by the European Interior Ministers at their last Council meeting at the beginning of October.

        The new centre will take a „proactive approach“ and analyse new products and processes before they come onto the market. At present, however, the focus is on equipment that is already available, including 3D printers for manufacture weapons. The „Innovation Laboratory“ also deals with the „Internet of Things“. It deals with „challenges and opportunities“, i.e. the criminal use of technologies and their potential use for law enforcement.

      • A network of ‘camgirl’ sites exposed millions of users and sex workers

        In all, the logs were detailed enough to see which users were logging in, from where, and often their email addresses or other identifiable information — which in some cases we could match to real-world identities.

      • This new logo will surely solve all of Facebook’s problems

        Facebook says the goal of including “from Facebook” is to let people know that its apps have “shared infrastructure” and rely on many of the same teams. “People should know which companies make the products they use,” writes Antonio Lucio, Facebook’s chief marketing officer.

        At the same time, the new logo feels like it might also be an attempt to keep Facebook’s different brands a little bit more distinct amid almost nonstop controversy. The different logos seem to say that Facebook the company is not entirely defined by Facebook the social network — they just happen to share the same name and controlling interests.

      • Why is Facebook rebranding? PR experts have some theories

        Now, instead of being rendered “Facebook” or “facebook” with a lowercase “f”, the rebranding displays the word “Facebook” in all capital letters and in a modern font. The company also seems to want its users to know that its subsidiaries are part of its parent company; hence, Instagram and WhatsApp will tell you they’re “from FACEBOOK.”

        This re-arranging of the deck chairs on the Titanic is an easy target of mockery from pundits and online personalities. As many have pointed out, it seems a bit tone-deaf to rebrand after the years of horrors that have emerged from the social media platform. To wit: Facebook’s policy around giving free rein to politicians to lie in advertisements; ennobling far-right groups promoting violence; the platform’s role in foreign manipulation of the 2016 U.S. election; and the preponderance of Myanma military personnel who used the social network to incite genocide — to name a few.

    • Freedom of Information / Freedom of the Press

      • Gunmen assassinate Radio Nigeria staff, one other in Benue

        “They actually came for Engineer. After killing him, they wanted to go so one of his neighbour wanted to know the identity of any of them but they turned back and killed him too,” he said.

      • ‘Seven whistleblowers’

        According to Cockburn’s source about the seven whistleblowers, there’s more. It is that Kushner (allegedly) gave the green light to MBS to arrest the dissident journalist, Jamal Khashoggi, who was later murdered and dismembered in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. A second source tells Cockburn that this is true and adds a crucial twist to the story. This source claims that Turkish intelligence obtained an intercept of the call between Kushner and MBS. And President Erdogan used it to get Trump to roll over and pull American troops out of northern Syria before the Turks invaded. Cockburn hears that investigators for the House Intelligence Committee know this whole tale and the identities of some of the people telling it. Whether any of is true is another matter but Adam Schiff certainly seems to be smiling a lot these days.

      • Exiled Russian Journalist Babchenko Leaves Ukraine Indefinitely

        Ukraine’s Security Service (SBU) on May 29 staged an assassination of Bachenko as part of a sting operation to catch people involved in an alleged Russian plot to kill him.

        The SBU never presented direct evidence linking Moscow to the alleged plot.

      • UN rapporteur Nils Melzer warns: Julian Assange may die in a British prison

        In accompanying comments to the Associated Free Press, Melzer said that his statement was based on “new medically relevant information.” “Mr Assange’s health has entered a downward spiral of progressively severe anxiety, stress and helplessness typical for persons exposed to prolonged isolation and constant arbitrariness,” the UN official said.

        Melzer, an internationally recognised legal expert on torture and its symptoms, explained: “While the precise evolution is difficult to predict with certainty, this pattern of symptoms can quickly develop into a life-threatening situation involving cardiovascular breakdown or nervous collapse.”

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • Trial by fire A scholar burned himself to death to protest the disappearance of indigenous languages and cultures in Russia. We reported from the city where he lived and died.

        On September 10, the scholar and social activist Albert Razin walked up to Udmurtia’s parliament building in the region’s capital city of Izhevsk. The 79-year-old, who held the Russian equivalent of a Ph.D. in philosophy as well as one of Udmurtia’s highest government honors for researchers, held a one-man picket against the disappearance of the Udmurt language. Then, he poured gasoline onto his body and lit himself on fire. Razin died in the hospital that same day. While many Izhevsk residents have come to revere the Udmurt elder as a hero even if they had never heard of him before his suicide, the regional government of Udmurtia has been doing its best to act as though his final act of protest never happened. Meduza reported from the ground on Albert Razin’s life, work, and death.

      • Appeals Court Says It’s OK For Cops To Destroy Someone Else’s House To Apprehend A Criminal Suspect

        Three years ago, police in Colorado destroyed Leo Lech’s home to arrest a person suspected only of shoplifting from a nearby Walmart when the house destruction began. Shoplifting suspect Robert Seacat abandoned his vehicle and hid in Lech’s house. When police entered to arrest him, Seacat shot at them five times.

      • Iraq: Arrests for Voicing Protest Solidarity

        Authorities in Iraq’s Anbar governorate are suppressing the right of residents to show support for demonstrations elsewhere in the country.

      • Riot police storm Hong Kong malls to thwart more protests

        Riot police stormed several malls in Hong Kong on Sunday in a move to thwart more pro-democracy protests, as the city’s leader prepares for talks in Beijing on deepening economic integration between the semi-autonomous Chinese territory and mainland China.

      • African slavery reexamined by a Senegalese academic

        (It may not yet be translated into English. The French publisher presents the book as a study that sheds light on a tragedy that has gone almost unnoticed: the trafficking of Blacks from Africa by the Arab-Muslim world. This trafficking has involved seventeen million victims killed, castrated or enslaved for more than thirteen centuries without interruption. The prisoners were forced to cross the desert on foot to reach the Maghreb, Egypt or the Arabian Peninsula via Zanzibar, by boat… Yet this slave trade was minimized, unlike the Western trade to America. Why? Because only conversion to Islam made it possible to escape slavery, but did not spare Blacks. However, nowadays most of Africa has become Muslim, hence a form of religious fraternity between the “white” and “black” sides of the continent, and a common desire to “veil” this genocide. A polemical and courageous book.)

      • The female Afghan boxers who found sanctuary in Spain

        “We couldn’t stay there,” explains Shabnam Rahimi, 26. “In Afghanistan, women have no rights, no life. I got tired of crying day and night. We were living in fear for much of the time. We went out to box in the mornings and we didn’t know if we would get back alive at night.”

      • Why is Latin America Burning?

        In Latin America several countries are under turmoil, as people cannot even meet their most basics needs. The last few months have seen a remarkable spectacle: hundreds of thousands of citizens are taking to the streets to protest to what they perceive is their governments’ attack on their well-being, and the governments’ responses have been late and inadequate.

      • Uganda: Security Forces Attack Students, Journalists

        The Ugandan police and military have cracked down on student protests over fee increases at Makerere University in Kampala on multiple occasions since October 22, 2019.

      • We Stand in Solidarity with Rojava, an Example to the World

        What is at stake in north-east Syria is more than the fate of the Kurdish people or the autonomous homeland of Rojava or even the fight against Isis. What is at stake is humanity’s ability to survive our current civilizational crisis and to imagine new alternatives before it’s too late.

      • Human Rights Watch to Honor ‘Why We Hate’

        The Los Angeles Committee of Human Rights Watch announced today that it will present its third annual Promise Award to the docuseries for the Discovery Channel, Why We Hate. The award will be presented at the upcoming Human Rights Watch Voices for Justice Dinner on November 12, 2019.

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • FCC Freaks Out About Huawei, But Ignores The Internet Of Broken Things

        Despite a lack of public evidence proving Huawei spies on American citizens (the entire justifying cornerstone of the effort), the FCC this week just dramatically escalated the Trump administration’s blackballing of Chinese telecom firms. In a fact sheet circulated by the agency, the FCC says it will vote in November on a new rule that would ban US companies from receiving taxpayer subsidies if they use Huawei, ZTE, or other Chinese gear in their networks. This could be followed later with additional rules requiring that companies rip Chinese gear from their networks and replace it with presumably US alternatives, the FCC says.

    • Monopolies

      • Patents and Software Patents

        • Board Denies CVC Motion to Seal Priority Statement

          On September 11th, Junior Party (Regents of the University of California, University of Vienna, and Emmanuelle Charpentier, collectively “CVC”) in Interference No. 106,115 with The Broad Institute et al. filed a motion to file its priority statement under seal. Specifically, CVC’s motion requested that it be permitted to have the PTAB seal the priority statement until 45 days after final judgment or indefinitely; CVC also asked for 45 days after judgment to move that the statement be expunged from the record. (In the alternative, CVC requested that its statement remain sealed until a scheduling order issued by the Board for the priority phase of the interference, and that CVC be permitted to file a motion to expunge, e.g., if the count was changed). Last week, the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) denied this motion, in a Decision by Administrative Patent Judge Katz, joined by APJs Moore and Lane.


          The Board was persuaded by CVC’s request to keep its priority statement under seal until the Board issued a schedule for the priority phase, stating that CVC had correctly noted that 37 C.F. R. § 41.120(a) permits the Board to keep priority statements confidential “for a limited time.” The Board remained unpersuaded by the Broad’s arguments that it would be prejudiced, inter alia, because “Broad’s potential licensees, commercial partners, and the public will not be able to evaluate for themselves CVC’s claims to priority, and Broad’s patents will continue to be subject to the uncertainty CVC has sought to create around them since suggesting the 048 interference four years ago.” The opinion states in support that the parties’ priority evidence will not be “made in full” until priority motions are filed if there is a priority phase in this interference. And the Board does not see prejudice to the Broad’s ability to establish priority if CVC’s priority statement is kept in confidence until the priority phase commences.

          The opinion mandates that CVC file by November 7th a revised proposed protective order taking into account the Board’s decision to keep CVC’s priority statement under seal until commencement of the priority phase.

        • Pharma IP Summit: ‘Law firms should not act like law firms’
        • Federal Circuit Limiting Damage on the PTAB Appointments Clause Issue

          Customedia … submits a notice of supplemental authority identifying this court’s recent decision in Arthrex, Inc. v. Smith & Nephew, Inc., No. 2018-2140 (Fed. Cir. Oct. 31, 2019). That decision vacated and remanded for the matter to be decided by a new panel of Administrative Patent Judges (“APJs”) at the Patent Trial and Appeal Board after this court concluded that the APJs’ appointments violated the Appointments Clause. Customedia’s letters seek to assert the same challenge here, which the court construes as a motion to vacate the Board decisions here and remand in accordance with Arthrex.

        • Guest Post by Prof. Rai: In the Constitutional Cross-Hairs: PTAB Judges and Administrative Adjudication [Ed: Jason Rantanen, Dennis Crouch (link above) and other patent maximalists don't even hide the fact that, for the sake of destroying patent quality (good for the litigation 'industry' they front for), they just attempt to scuttle PTAB altogether]

          Last Thursday, in Arthrex v. Smith & Nephew (Fed. Cir. 2019), a panel of the Federal Circuit held that the administrative patent judges (APJs) at the PTAB are “principal officers” who must, under the Appointments Clause of the Constitution, be appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate. In contrast, the current patent statute provides for APJs to be appointed by the Secretary of Commerce in consultation with the PTO Director. The panel further determined that it could remedy the constitutional defect by severing APJ removal protections, thereby rendering them inferior officers who can be appointed by “Heads of Departments” like the Commerce Secretary.

      • Trademarks

        • No economic links, no exhaustion of the “Schweppes” mark in Spain

          This unusual trademark situation has given rise to numerous legal proceedings in Spain, in which the Spanish licensee of the trademark (Schweppes, S.A.) faced distributors who marketed products in Spain under the brand ‘Schweppes’ of the Coca-Cola Group. In the case at hand, Schweppes, S.A. brought an action against Red Paralela before the Commercial Court No. 8 of Barcelona, alleging that the marketing in Spain of Schweppes branded products, manufactured and marketed in the United Kingdom by the Coca-Cola Group, infringes its rights over the Schweppes brand in Spain.

          In defense, Red Paralela argued that the rights of the Schweppes Group in Spain have been exhausted. As a result, Schweppes, S.A. can no longer oppose the marketing in Spain of Schweppes branded products coming from the United Kingdom. In support of its claims, Red Paralela provided evidence which, in its opinion, showed the existence of economic links between the Schweppes Group and the Coca-Cola Group, as well as the existence of promotion of a single brand image by both owners.


          On the other hand, it cannot belong exclusively to the Coca Cola Group, simply because it is the current owner of the brand in the United Kingdom, which is the historical territorial origin of the Schweppes brand, dating back to 1783.

          Thus, the historical value belongs to both the Schweppes Group and the Coca-Cola Group. This means that both owners can use the elements that form part of the historical “DNA” of the Schweppes brand, independently of the existence of a fragmentation of the brand between two owners in the territory of the EU.

        • China introduces new regulation tackling bad faith trade marks… and who is Jing Hanqing?

          As a key point of the Chinese government’s initiative to curb the proliferation of bad faith trade mark applications, Several Provisions for Regulating Application for Trade Mark Registration (规范商标申请注册行为若干规定, hereinafter referred to as ‘the Provisions’) will go into effect as of 1 December 2019. The full text (in Chinese, Google translatable) has been published on the China National Intellectual Property Administration official website (CNIPA, which used to be SIPO).

          The Provisions are intended to achieve the following:

          1. Strengthening the principle of good faith by (1) summarising and listing prohibited behaviours that are scattered in several provisions of the Chinese Trade Mark Law under Article 3; (2) holding accountable not only applicants, but also agents who facilitate activities that violate the principle of good faith (Article 4).


          Trade mark squatting is a topic of platitude already. Normally, through early application (roughly speaking, China has a ‘first-to-file’ system for trade mark registration), or more actively, by applying for invalidation or cancellation of the pre-emptively registered trade mark, one can formulate an effective countermeasure against squatters.

          What Jing Hanqing encountered was an escalated version: it seems absurd for an individual to be pre-emptive enough to file a trade mark application for their own name. In this sense, the Provision provides practical guidance. Together with the revised Trade Mark Law of China (which has just taken effect as of 1 November 2019), the upgraded legal framework is expected to prevent bad faith applications more effectively.

      • Copyrights

        • Huge Anti-Piracy Operation in Brazil Targets Hundreds of Websites & Apps

          A massive operation in Brazil has seen police across the country take action against hundreds of ‘pirate’ websites and apps. The Ministry of Justice initially said that ‘suspensions’ had hit 136 sites and 100 apps but that number has continued to grow. Authorities state that they received assistance from US authorities including ICE and the Department of Justice.

        • US Government Threatening To Kill Free Trade With South Africa After Hollywood Complained It Was Adopting American Fair Use Principles

          Hollywood hates fair use. Even though Hollywood frequently relies on fair use, it seems to go out of its way to fight against fair use being used anywhere else. The International Intellectual Property Alliance (IIPA) (which is a mega trade group of intellectual property maximalist trade groups, including the MPAA, the RIAA, ESA, IFTA and AAP) has freaked out any time any other country in the world has sought to have American-style fair use. Over a decade ago IIPA flipped out when Israel’s fair use rules matched the US’s. The group and other surrogates have also fought American-style fair use in the UK and Australia after both of those countries explored implementing American-style fair use.

Microsoft Needs CoC

Posted in Humour, Microsoft at 7:10 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

We'll say to everyone we love Linux. Then we'll take over their groups. And then use these groups call our critics 'toxic'.

Summary: When Microsoft controls the opposition Microsoft can control the narratives at both ends

António Campinos and Comrade Iancu (US) Both Push Software Patents Into Europe to the Detriment of Small Businesses and Developers

Posted in Deception, Europe, Patents at 4:25 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz


Summary: The EPO continues its war on European companies and the European public; to alleviate public worries the EPO publishes yet another lying ‘study’ (one of many EPO-commissioned ‘studies’) — one that claims the very opposite of what’s true

SOMETIMES it feels like the European patent system exists to serve American multinationals, not the European public (or even European businesses). Look no further than the policy being advanced. Ask simple questions like, “who benefits the most from this?”

“When European law firms call American companies their “biggest clients” we have yet additional conflicts.”It’s all tilted! It’s corrupt. It’s lobbied for. It’s not neutral. It’s rigged by design.

When European law firms call American companies their “biggest clients” we have yet additional conflicts.

Mondaq has just propped up this article from Phillips & Leigh, where the firm says that “the current Enlarged Board of Appeal referral on simulations has the potential to reinforce current practice on computer-implemented inventions or reframe it entirely.” The President of the European Patent Office (EPO) has already meddled — even openly — in this case. We covered this at the time. This reaffirms the notion that the Office totally corrupted the concept of separation of powers. He’s pushing for the judges to approve software patents — by extension — in this very important case. The “Guidelines” he put forth already use nonsensical terms like “AI” to achieve the same and here’s what the firm wrote this week:

The Guidelines reflect only those decisions of the Boards of Appeal incorporated into the EPO’s general practice due to their general procedural significance, but there may on occasion be diverging decisions of Boards of Appeal; and in such cases EPO examiners and formalities officers will, as a rule, follow the common practice as described in the Guidelines, which applies until further notice. However examiners must follow the law and so the Guidelines are not the last word.

While changes to legal provisions are clearly flagged by notices on the EPO website, it is somewhat more difficult to determine whether case law is leading to a change in practice, particularly when Boards of Appeal reach contrary positions.

It is for precisely this reason that we, as professional representatives before the EPO, find it important to keep up with the case law, especially when it coincides with the particular areas of interest of our clients. For instance, the current Enlarged Board of Appeal referral on simulations has the potential to reinforce current practice on computer-implemented inventions or reframe it entirely.

Whilst it is always helpful if the patentability of your application is supported by the Guidelines, it’s part of the nature of innovation to come up with new and unexpected approaches which previous precedent didn’t necessarily expect. Assessing an application in the light of the Guidelines is often only the beginning of the process of arguing a case, not the be-all and end-all of it.

So it doesn’t seem to matter that the EPC, the courts, the Parliament and so on say no software patents in Europe; the new US Director, Andrei Iancu, similarly ignores or distorts the record of SCOTUS, the Federal Circuit, and Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB). He’s trying to resume granting bogus software patents — weak patents which he very well knows courts would throw out. Meanwhile, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s (USPTO) Web site quotes Iancu's EPOPIC lies. Here’s one portion of interest:

For example: what level of detail is necessary in a patent disclosure as to the structure and functioning of the algorithm that underlines a new AI tool? An AI algorithm, that by definition is capable to learn on its own, sometimes performs certain tasks in ways unknown to the programmers. So, how can the inner workings be disclosed such that one of ordinary skill can replicate the invention without undue experimentation (a requirement of our patent system)?

He merely suggests working around 35 U.S.C. § 101 (or put another way — working to violate it). Such a policy would definitely be harming software companies in Europe (usually relatively small ones) in favour of US-based software monopolies like Microsoft and IBM.

“This will, in due course, become an irreversible damage factor to the EPO’s credibility among scientists. Their morality and integrity levels match those of patent trolls.”A few days ago SUEPO linked to a relatively new paper, “RRI and Patenting: a Study of European Patent Governance” — a paper which unlike everything that the EPO’s management funds isn’t mere propaganda for Campinos and Battistelli, with the likes of Gene Quinn quoting Battistelli’s liar Yann Ménière (all of them are very vocal proponents of software patents). This has just been amplified by Watchtroll (“European Patent Office Study Shows Patents Matter for SMEs, Economic Growth“), published within hours after the EPO’s “European patents help SMEs commercialise high-potential inventions, new study shows” (warning: epo.org link); Watchtroll’s role here isn’t hard to see as they’re close to and have been helping corrupt EPO management for a number of years now, e.g. puff pieces, so-called ‘interviews’, promotions of “CII” in Europe and much more. The latest is more of the old propaganda (same lie with a more recent year stamped on it). It’s that “SME” nonsense again; while working for law firms and monopolies they’re looking for corruptible people to do ‘studies’ for them and help warp perceptions, whereupon “tweets” can be posted every day (or every other day), repeating the same lie over and over again, then googlebombing the term “SMEs” to mislead everyone. Here’s what they wrote yesterday:

A new study published today by the European Patent Office (EPO) finds that small and medium enterprises (SMEs) rely on European patents to protect their high-potential inventions and that two thirds of these inventions are commercially exploited.

The study, entitled “Market success for inventions – Patent commercialisation scoreboard: European SMEs”, finds that SMEs depend heavily on partnerships with domestic or foreign partners. The report shows that half of all commercialised inventions protected either by a European patent application or a granted European patent are exploited in collaboration with an external partner via a licencing agreement (62% of the respondents), co-operation (49%) or spin-off (32%). Moreover, the partner is usually from another European country. This reveals how resource-constrained SMEs use partnerships as a way of entering new markets or sharing the financial burden of innovation.

Now the misleading tweets can carry on every day for a year. The Office that harms SMEs will remind us every day just how much it adores SMEs, citing its very own ‘study’…

Who funded the ‘study’? Better not ask. Generally speaking, every report and ‘study’ which comes out of the EPO in recent years is as reliable as Big Oil-commissioned ‘studies’ on global warming. This will, in due course, become an irreversible damage factor to the EPO’s credibility among scientists. Their morality and integrity levels match those of patent trolls. Nowadays the EPO openly and proudly associates with infamous trolls.

IRC Proceedings: Monday, November 04, 2019

Posted in IRC Logs at 3:19 am by Needs Sunlight



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